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Jetske Ultee:'I now see the beauty of imperfection'

Jetske Ultee: I now see the beauty of imperfection

Cosmetic dermatology research doctor Jetske Ultee (47) knows everything about beautiful, healthy skin. Now that she is getting older, she no longer has the feeling that she has to live up to a beauty ideal. “I feel better about myself than when I was younger.”

Where does your fascination for beauty and skincare come from?

“My parents were hippies and had nothing to do with looks and makeup. I do. As a little girl I already collected beauty glossy's and at the drugstore I asked for samples of care products. You can tell so much from the skin. You will glow with love. But stress can cause cold sores and pimples and delay wound healing. An unhealthy lifestyle, too much sun and a lot of stress make your skin dull and sallow. I enjoy making people aware of this and giving them advice that makes them feel better about themselves.”

Read also: '3 questions to Jetske Ultee about cellulite'

You will be 48 this year. How do you view aging?

“When I look in the mirror, I think:I can still be there. The funny thing is that I look at myself differently now than I used to. When I was seventeen, I was approached by a modeling scout on the beach in Nice. And I didn't believe him. I didn't think I was that beautiful, I thought:I'll go to the photo shoot later and it turns out there was a misunderstanding. As I get older, I no longer feel like I have to live up to a certain image. I have accepted myself as I am. Not that I'm very happy with a new gray hair or with the slightly softer skin on my neck, but I'm better in my own skin now than when I was younger. I have more self-confidence and dare to show myself.”

Would you consider a cosmetic procedure?

“I used botox from time to time, until my daughters said, 'Mom, why are you doing that? You are beautiful just the way you are.' That comment made me realize that I sometimes look too critical in the mirror. In addition, I set an example to my daughters and to others. By having an eye for your own beauty you also say to yourself on a deeper level that you are worth it. That's what you radiate. But I am not against botox, fillers or cosmetic procedures. Everyone should know that for themselves. I get it too. If you can only look at your floppy ears and no longer see your beautiful sides, surgery can help you feel better. But ask yourself why you are so critical of yourself. Ultimately, it's about finding the balance between loving yourself as you are and honoring yourself by enhancing your beautiful sides.”

When do you think someone is beautiful?

“If someone dares to be himself, even if he does not meet certain beauty criteria. Wrinkles don't mean much to me. I think a radiant skin is the most beautiful, so skin that is always well protected and has no sun damage. I think someone like Audrey Hepburn has aged beautifully. Brigitte Bardot less so. Her skin is very exposed to the sun.”

Do you want to know how long she spends in the bathroom in the morning and what she thinks about creams from the natural store? You can read it in the January issue of Santé.

Text:Belinda Fallaux, photography:Yvette Kulkens, makeup:Elles Nijkamp