Beautiful, smart and driven – three spot-on descriptors for Dr. Tess Mauricio. This Board Certified Dermatologist, graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine, and Summa Cum Laude graduate of The University of California San Diego, is the founder of M Beauty by Dr Tess clinics in Southern California. What you don’t know about this successful physician, author and on-air personality is how she got her start, and the obstacles she had to overcome before becoming America’s Favorite Dermatologist.
A True American Success Story
Born in the Philippines and the oldest of four kids, Dr. Tess and her family moved to America when she was only 12 and her youngest sibling was a mere three months. With all of the turmoil surrounding the impending ousting of then-President Marcos, the family made a clean break for the states leaving everything they had behind. They shared a small two-bedroom apartment in east San Diego, in less than desirable conditions, and settled in for a long and difficult journey. While her parents each worked two jobs to make ends meet, Tess was the main caretaker for her younger siblings.
The children attended public schools and had to hone their almost non-existent English skills very quickly, a task that was somewhat daunting to the young Tess. However this pint-sized dynamo set her sights high from day one and went on to become a true American success story.
Tess’ parents would always make it a point to say, “This was just temporary. You know who you are, your worth and what you can do. You can pull yourself out of this situation.”
“Every time I started a school,” states Dr. Tess, “wherever it was, I had goals. I told my mom that I would be Valedictorian and I did everything that I needed to do to become so.”
And do so, she did. Tess not only graduated top of her class and delivered the closing statement at her high school graduation ceremony, she also was the battalion commander for the ROTC and a top ranked female sharpshooter, but was also Editor-in-Chief for her school paper. Because of her shining achievements, she was awarded a full Air Force scholarship and an engineering scholarship.
“I always had friends but I was always definitely more driven and focused on excelling.”
Out of financial necessity, Tess opted to become an Electrical Engineering major at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and was one of the few female students in the program at the time. After acing the academics for two years, she knew that she had the grades for a degree in medicine, so she changed her major to biochemistry, applied to medical school and the rest is history.
“My passion was always medicine but being poor you have to think financial and practical.”
Overcoming Her Own Issues
In addition to the financial issues once she reached the states, Tess also had challenges when growing up in the Philippines. Having a severe bout of eczema and darker skin than her siblings brought social scorn. Secure in her academic abilities, she developed a strong personality and was well liked by friends, but the stigma of her skin issues were still festering in the back of her head.
“I always had to wear pants and knee-high socks to cover my legs otherwise I’d be teased. My brother was the beautiful one and I was the smart one… I always had that, but I was hoping to someday fix my skin issues so that I would be more confident,” Tess adds.
Today Dr. Tess feels that the level of what we accept as beautiful changes for all of us. Knowing that inner beauty, in the end, is really what counts, she encourages everyone to keep their psychologically intact, find a support system and to do the things in life that are fulfilling.
However, having grown up being, in her own words, not that attractive and then later on finding great technologies that can help transform such issues, she feels the need to get the message out.
Dr. Tess continues, “Because there are girls, teens, and women of all ages who have little things with their physical appearance that they wish they could improve, I want them to know that there is technology that can help.”
“I have a deep appreciation of how our skin looks and how it impacts how we feel. I’ve personally gone through the journey and I want others to be part of it so they can be inspired and educated that no matter where they are in their lives, they can do something right now to change their situation and make it better.”
Skinfinity RF Treatment – Skin Tightening & Resurfacing Technology
When people get older and lose collagen, or even experience weight loss, the skin sags. In order to restore the skin to a younger state, collagen must be rebuilt to have a firmer, more youthful appearance.
“Patients really don’t want surgery if they can help it. They are looking for great non-surgical options that deliver results.”
The Skinfinity RF treatment by Dr. Tess is a new micro fractional ablative radiofrequency technology designed for skin tightening and resurfacing. By rebuilding collagen in the skin, it offers improvement of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, and stretch marks.
It works using two different types of energy to heat the skin: micro fractional radio frequency technology, which is basically tiny electro currents that heat the skin on contact and micro plasma technology that delivers good heating under the skin. Little electrodes that look like wheels on the surface of the application device tip deliver the frequency on the skin. The skin’s natural reaction is to lay down new collagen, which results in younger looking, thicker and tighter skin.
The procedure is quick and the down time is minimal, with amazing results and without having to go under the knife.
Dr. Tess starts the treatment by applying a topical numbing cream, which is left on for 30-45 minutes to take full effect. The tip of the hand tool is carefully run along the affected area in one or two passes with sort of a rolling sensation. A warming sense is felt along with an occasional zapping sound, which indicates the process is working.
In the end the area is a little tender, slightly swollen and looks as if there is a mild sunburn. After a couple of days, healing has begun and a normal lifestyle can be enjoyed.
By: Kelly Taggart
Photos: Allen Carrasco and courtesy Dr. Tess Mauricio