image of a woman's chest wearing a see-through bra with the nipples covered with ice cream pasties
Filipinos now have stronger and louder voices regarding their bodies and how they express themselves. However, there's still stigma regarding cosmetic surgery or enhancement procedures being done. Bashers are still rampant and in order to break this stigma, I think it's important to talk about these topics in an open-minded and honest way.

One particular procedure that people still get people chatting is breast augmentation. What many people may not be aware of is that there are many other reasons for having breast augmentation apart from a boost in appearance. There are breast cancer patients who undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy and transgender women who wish to further their transition.

Whatever the reason, your body is your body, and you decide what to do with it. That being said, it’s still important to make sure that whatever body choices you make, always prioritize your health and safety so research is key.

For those of you who are looking into or are interested in undergoing breast augmentation, you have many options when it comes to accredited plastic surgeons and medical clinics. It is also important to think about what brand of implants to use. Here in the Philippines, there are three main breast implants that are available : Motiva Implants, Mentor and Sebbin. I will break down the features and characteristics of each brand of implant to help you make the right choice.


MOTIVA BREAST IMPLANT

Motiva breast implants, a product of Establishment Labs, are considered to be the 6th generation of breast implants, with features that are known for their safety and innovation. Motiva implants have two main variants, Motiva Round and Ergonomix.



Motiva Round implants are designed to give fullness to the upper part of the breast creating a fuller-looking and tauter cleavage. Motiva Round contain ProgressiveGel Plus, which is their own patented silicone gel designed to maintain the round shape of the implant, while still possessing the soft feel of natural breasts.
Motiva Ergonomix are specifically designed to look, feel and move the same way as natural breasts do, whether you are lying down or standing up. Other types of implants tend to make the breasts look deformed when for example you lie down and the implants might have a tendency to rotate.


Safety Features

Safety is of utmost priority of course so, here are Motiva's have several safety features.To note, the silicone gel inside both types of implants are designed not to leak in the case of implant rupture.



SmoothSilk®/SilkSurface® - Motiva implants have a scientifically proven smooth shell surface, they call the SmoothSilk®/SilkSurface®. Developed through 3D nanotechnology imprinting creating a smooth surface design that lessens the chance of the implant attracting any formation of bacteria. This feature also makes it possible to insert the implant with a smaller incision, and lessens the risk of double capsule and late seroma.



BlueSeal Indicator - This feature was made especially for the assurance of surgeons. The BlueSeal has a bluish color as an indicator that it is in good condition with no tampering or damage before proceeding with the operation.


TrueMonobloc - Although the implant has many layers, all components of the implant are made in a way to make it one durable structure. This means that Motiva implants are more durable and can withstand more stress and pressure, and allows for easier insertion during surgery.

Q Inside Safety Technology - In order to make it easier for patients and surgeons to verify all the necessary data regarding the patient and the implants, Motiva breast implants has the Q Inside Safety Technology(the world's first FDA cleared RFID micro-transponder for use in humans and the only one with a CE-Mark when used in breast implants.) which helps patients and surgeons see necessary breast implant information without making unnecessary incisions.

Product Warranty

In spite of its low complication rate (less than 1%), Motiva still ensures the safety and satisfaction of patients, by providing a warranty program in the case of any complication. All Motiva implants are covered for replacement in case of rupture under the Always Confident Warranty for the lifetime of the implant, and a Product Replacement Policy in the case of capsular contracture, Baker grades III and IV for a period of 10 years.

For more information about their warranties please check their website : https://motiva.health/motiva-implants/product-warranty/


Note : This warranty program is applied in the Philippines only.


MENTOR BREAST IMPLANT

Mentor, under the Johnson&Johnson Family of Companies, provides a wide range of clinical-based solutions that help women in maintaining, enhancing, and restoring their self-esteem and quality of life.

Another one of the well-known brands of breast implants in the Philippines, Mentor has been one of the leading brands of breast implants for over 30 years. They pride themselves on their commitment to producing high-quality implants for their patients incorporating innovations in order to maintain their high standards of design, testing, and safety.


Products

Mentor offers three types of breast implants: MENTOR® MemoryGel® Implants, MENTOR® MemoryShape® Breast Implants, and MENTOR® Saline Breast Implants.

MENTOR® MemoryGel® Implants gives a soft, more natural feel of breasts through its formulate cohesive gel. It provides increased projection and fullness to the breast.

MENTOR® MemoryShape® Breast Implants on the other hand creates the desired breast shape with youthful firmness. The implants’ shape creates maximum projection to the breast. It uses what they call the SILTEX™ Texture to reduce key complications in primary breast augmentation.

Lastly, MENTOR® Saline Breast Implants provides the firmest feel out of the Mentor implants. It is filled with a saltwater solution. Unlike the gel-filled implants, surgeons can gradually add fluid to Mentor Saline Implants to reach the desired breast size, making it flexible in volume.


Safety

MENTOR® Breast Implants secures its patients of the implant’s safety. The implants’ outer shells, which has been tested for strength, resilience, and elasticity, is made from medical-grade silicone elastomer. These shells are filled with either Mentor’s silicone gel or saline.

Materials used in manufacturing MENTOR® Breast Implants are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective.


Warranty

MENTOR® Breast Implants are automatically a part of their MENTOR®Promise™ Protection Plan.

If a confirmed rupture or deflation of implants occur, the patient will receive up to two replacement breast implants of the same type, without paying for any charge.

If the rupture of the MENTOR® Breast Implants occurs within 10 years after the surgery, the patient will also be granted up to $3500 as financial assistance for surgical costs. Complications, other than implant rupture, are also covered by the product replacement.


SEBBIN BREAST IMPLANT

Last but certainly not the least is SEBBIN breast implants. SEBBIN is a French company that has been creating, developing, manufacturing, and marketing implants and medical devices for cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries for more than 30 years.

Products

SEBBIN offers a variety of breast implant options from Smooth Round Breast Implant, Round Micro Textured Breast Implant, Textured Round Breast Implant, and Anatomical Textured Breast Implant. These implants are manufactured in the company’s factory in France. It uses a semi-traditional crafting of silicone, where the products are made by hand to ensure quality control of the implants.

Each Implant is marked by a laser with an identification code, which allows tracing of necessary implant information. This number is placed on labels accompanying the implant. and will also be present on the patient card after surgery.


Safety

All raw materials used in SEBBIN breast implants are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The brand also adheres to the ISO 9001 and ISO 13458, which are standards for consistent, quality product manufacturing. It also has certified CE marking, which means it follows health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products.


Warranty

There are less than 1% reported cases of rupture and capsular contractions, in patients that used SEBBIN breast implants, 9 years after the surgery. In order to assure its customers the quality service of their products, the brand has its own warranty program, which is only disclosed to surgeons that use the brand.
I hope this helped you in making the right decision in choosing the best implants for your breast  surgery. I urge you to coordinate with your trusted and credible plastic surgeon when it comes to choosing the breast implants, so they can choose the right fit for your goals and your lifestyle.

It is a absolutely empowering to pursue the body you always wanted, but still keep in mind to make smart choices along the way.


image of a beautiful black woman with a towel on her haid and touching her bare face

Toners or 'skin', as labeled in some asian products, are always marketed as a must in your skin care regimen. You know how it goes, after washing place some toner on a cotton pad or your palms and gently pat on your skin. Not to be confused with astringents or those alcohol based toners that leave your skin feeling tingly, minty, tight and dry.

I admit I personally didn't see the importance of toners in my teens as I frequently forget to put it or just disregard it completely but they in fact do a significant difference to the skin. Let me break it down...

an image of a matte glass red bottle on a rug
Retails at ₱1,580.00/ 130ml

The skin has a natural PH level of 4 to 6 with the scale of PH ranging from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). Healthy skin has a PH level of around 5.5 which is slightly acidic. Washing the face with your cleanser plus water skews that balance and makes it typically more alkaline so a toner's job is to 'balance' it out to it's natural level to make it radiant and healthy. So toners generally are *slightly*  acidic to help re-balance your skin post-cleansing.

an image of a red matte glass bottle with korean ingredients on it placed on a rug

Use a toner. Periodt.

Similar to moisturizers, no matter what skin type you have, you should always use a toner. It maybe a little more tedious but it does help in establishing a healthy barrier and preps your skin to absorb the rest of your skin care.

There are many toners in the market that can cater to a lot of people but I generally prefer Asian or Korean made skincare. What I've been using lately is this So'Natural PH5.5 RED WATER TONER, which fits the bill EXACTLY. This toner has a unique red color and not just the matte glass bottle but the liquid itself. This is not a result from artificial colouring but from the natural ingredients it has.

an image of a hand with toner liquid in the palm
Ingredients : 
Purified water, glycerin-26, glycerin, 1,2-hexanediol, butyleneglycol, methylglucose-10, sodium citrate, indian myrtle flower extract, indian myrtle leaf extract, xanthan gum, sheet Ric Acid, Betaine, Caramel, Daodium Sodium Dithia, Tea Tree Leaf Extract, Ivygod Fruit Extract, True Coral Horse Extract, Centella asiatica Extract, Lemon Extract, Green Tea Extract
Fun fact : This toner has an EWG GREEN rating, meaning that all the ingredients meet the strictest European Union's standard of acceptable health, ecotoxicity and contamination concerns. The labels properly state all of the ingredients and follow good manufacturing practices amongst other criteria.
See other products/ingredients that are RED, BLACK OR GREEN on EWG here.

Typically I pat this on my skin after washing my face or whenever I feel like my skin feels dry and needs a little boost. So far, I don't see any visible results from using this particular toner after 3 weeks of straight use BUT I do notice that my skin isn't as taut after washing and using this. I feel assured in knowing that I take care of my skin properly (as much as I can) and that it will pay off as I get older.

How about you? Which toners do you love using?


xx,
CJ

PS. Thank you SeoulUnni for sending me this to try!