In her own skin

Doc Alicia with son Adam

By Cristina DC Pastor

How many times have we been told we don’t look our numerical age, that we look more like a sibling to our children? It’s the “Asian genes,” and we’re secretly proud to have them in our DNA.

The Asian skin is possibly one of our prized physical attributes, according to Dr. Alicia Almendral, family physician/geriatrician/cosmetic doctor at Pelham Medical Group in Westchester. It takes longer to age, and when it does it ages better. It is also “very sensitive,” especially when exposed to extreme temperatures. In New York, it could be the scorching heat of July or the blistering cold of January.

“The cold air prevents the skin from producing its natural moisture barrier and causes the top layer to dry out and flake off,” she explained to The FilAm. “The hot air, on the other hand, contributes to premature aging.”

Being prone to pigmentation can hasten the aging of the Asian skin and give it dark spots. Small wonder the use of Botox or fillers is becoming very popular among FilAms, said Almendral.

“I’m more into chemical peels and microdermabrasion, those types which stimulate skin growth,” she said. But when those remedies come late to save a distressed skin, Almendral goes the traditional Hollywood route.

Women pondering the use of Botox for the first time are usually conflicted, she said. They want to try it, but also worry at what it might do to the face or the purse.

“Side effects are usually temporary and mild,” said Almendral. “There could be minor bruising at the site of the injection and they usually go away after a couple of days.”

As for cost, Almendral let out a modest laugh. “Visit my website na lang…It’s usually less than market rates.”

She explained the process. “I assess and inspect the skin, find out if there is asymmetry or what the concern of the patient is. Then I would suggest what needs to be done to those laugh lines, wrinkles or dark circles under the eyes. I could recommend fillers or Botox.”

Fillers and Botox, as we know by now from watching too many Real Housewives on TV, gives the face a fuller, fresher look. Overdone, it makes the face look taut, rubbery and pulled-back, like Jim Carrey’s The Riddler.

Many first-time Filipino patients express a little bit of anxiety, she said. Others come to her at an age when there is still time, and damage to the skin can still be slowed. “Others are into it for prevention,” she said.

A medical graduate from UST, Almendral came to the U.S. in 1999 and continued on to her residency in cosmetic medicine. She also maintains a private clinic in her Bronx home. She and husband Aries have four children Aly, Adrian, Aiden and Adam.

Check out the website for more services – and rates.

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