Text by Karen Legion and Gerald Gloton
When Max Collins decided a few years back, to have an image overhaul – change of network, management, and screen name – not only did her career take flight, so did her sense of self-awareness, appreciation, and respect. Her conviction to resist bowing to the pressures of showbiz is a ray of radiant light that pierces through the overcast world of local entertainment.
With Filipino and American blood flowing in her veins, Max Collins seems pre-destined for a career in front of the camera. In a country where fame comes easy for a girl with a pale, pretty face, it would have been easy for her to rely on her God-given gifts. But for the doe-eyed actress, a career built on the merits of youthful beauty alone is fleeting.
Showbiz is all about youth. What’s in is being young, vibrant, and healthy. But for me, age doesn’t matter. It’s in the attitude.
Indeed, Max sees each day as an opportunity to better herself – and not just in her craft. The rising television star revealed that though she is blessed with naturally good looks, she makes it a point to take care of herself.
“Trying to be beautiful is a constant process. It doesn’t come naturally for me,” she said, adding that this caring for yourself is the true secret to retaining a fresh glow. “Even if you’ve hit your senior years, you can still act vibrant and take good care of yourself, that’s what being youthful is.”
The Irish-Italian Fil-Am belle – a dead-ringer for singer Lana del Rey! – admits that fame has not spared her from the skin problems that plague young adults. She may have fair skin, but she reveals that it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to keep it glowing in the best way possible.
“One of my favorite products is the Flugenta cream, which is like a mild peel. I try to put it at night, so that in the morning, it peels the skin off while giving moisture to the skin. It has a micro-peeling effect, in that sense. I use facial wash and toner, and just regular wipes to take off my make-up. If my skin is too dry, I try to put coconut oil. At least, coconut oil is a healthy moisturizer than using products with more chemicals. I prefer natural,” Max said.
All-nighter teleserye tapings, cover photo shoots, commercial and other modelling commitments always take a toll on her fair skin. She shared that her “very sensitive skin,” can also be prone pimple break outs – so much so that she has learned to develop both preventive and reactive measures of her own.
“The products that I use have to be very mild or hypoallergenic. I just try not to put too many products on my skin and take off my make-up,” Max said.“Sometimes, what I use for my pimples, like if I have a big one, I use [an ointment] for cuts or just to prevent the bacteria from entering open wounds.”
Still, though she has come to rely on a host of products to help her maintain her natural assets, Max knows all too well that caring for her skin goes way beyond mere product applications.
So, her advice to young adults who also wish to maintain their preferred skin color – celebrities and non-celebrities alike: Begin from within.
If you’re upset or if you’re stressed out, it really comes out in your skin. I think it starts from the inside.
Her personal regimen involves constant hydration and a healthy diet. The rising star shared that she tries to begin every day by drinking a lot of water, and ends it with a cup of hot lemongrass tea.
“If I eat oily or fatty food, I can see and feel the difference. So, as much as possible I try to make sure to eat healthy,” she said.
Apart from being conscious about what’s going into her body, Max knows that the best way to keep stress at bay is to be cool as a cucumber. Being in front of the spotlight almost all day every day will wear out any artist to the core, but she has learned to stay calm and collected, even when faced with a hectic schedule.
Max prefers to release the tension, stress, and pressures of work by engaging in an active lifestyle, one that has been largely unexposed to the public eye.
“Take time for yourself and recharge. In the morning, especially when I have shoots, yoga keeps me physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. I try to go to the hot yoga or sauna to remove all the toxins from my system. Detoxification, really,” she said.
And to complement her fitness routine, Max also tries to stay away from alcohol and cigarettes, and makes a great effort to ensure she has some quiet time every day.
At a glance, Max has that stereotypical mestiza face that young Filipinos could only dream to achieve and older Filipinos could only wish they had.
But, she has never gone out of her way to show off the complexion she was born with. Instead, Max wants to end the cycle of skin shaming and advocate skin pride through healthy living. She is bold enough to point out that society may be setting the tone of what is acceptable or not, but only you can dictate how you want it to affect your life. As long as you feel good in and out, there is nothing to be ashamed of. The world is yours for the taking, whether your skin is light or dark.
“There will be days when you won’t feel beautiful because of the skin you’re in. But still, try. Because that is one step closer to being a better you,” she said. “If you don’t love yourself, who will? You have to love yourself and what you do. Because if you don’t love what you’re doing, you will not survive”.