Preventing wrinkles… with food

Eat Right!

Apart from ridding poor lifestyle habits like sleeping late and smoking, maintaining happy or calm emotions and selecting suitable beauty products, food also goes a long way in combating wrinkles!

Foods rich in collagen or nucleic acid help to maintain elasticity and radiance in your skin. Chicken skin (boiled, not fried), fish, caviar, oyster, animal livers, mushrooms, black and white fungus, and pollen are examples of such food that you should frequently include in your diet.

Prepare it right!

Food preparation methods affect nutritional content in your diet and ultimately, your skin too! Oily, fried food especially, contributes to facial wrinkles. Here are some tips on how you can still enjoy that oily meal once in a while without jeopardizing your skin.
When preparing fried food, you can coat it in a layer prepared by mixing flour, egg, sesame and coriander fillings.

When preparing fried meat, stir-fry it together with onions, coriander and garlic. When stir-frying fish or any kind of meat, you can wrap it in green vegetables to fry. You should also eat fried food with minced raddish or garlic as garnish.

The trick is to consume as little oil as possible and ensuring that you still eat your vegetables without turning your meal into a salad (not a bad thing for people who don’t mind their veggies, but for those who do mind, this will be useful).

For the most part, choose steaming over frying and avoid deep-fried, stir-fried and grilled/barbequed food. Try to consume fresh vegetables half-raw instead of fully-cooked, as fully-cooked vegetables usually have the least nutritional level. Vegetables should just be boiled to get rid of the germs. When eating grilled fish, have it with minced raddish. When eating grilled meat, have it with fresh, raw vegetables.

Foods that cause wrinkles

Canned beef, canned fish, typical mayonnaise / tartar sauce salad dressing (ah who says all salads are healthy?), food that has been frozen for too long, dried scallop, dried shrimps, chocolate, cake, instant noodles and fried food are examples of food that speeds up the wrinkling process.

Frying and freezing food are popular food preservation methods, but do not keep them past their expiry date as expired food can change for the worst and affect your skin in a big way.

Consuming a lot of salt also results in wrinkle formation.

You can also make masks out of certain types of food and fruits to reduce wrinkle formation! I’ll blog about it in my next post. Stay tuned!

Sephora: Lip Attitude Chic - 07 Sensual Rose

Sensual Rose doesn’t quite strike me as being rose-coloured as it has slight purplish undertones in them. Nevertheless, it is a very nice lipstick. It's texture is moist and creamy and easy to apply evenly to my lips. Under air-conditioning, my lips feel less dry. This moisturizing effect makes your skin look healthily glossy but at the same time, it doesn’t make your lips look shiny, so it is great for nude or light make-up.

It is also fairly long lasting and needs very little touch up apart from after meals. On fair skin, it actually looks flattering, unlike other lipsticks with violet or purple undertones that make fair-skinned users look ghostly. I’d certainly use this again!

There's a huge, sparkling new Sephore outlet at the ION so you can check out this lipstick in different shades there!

Don’t turn skin care products into skin hazards!

Even premium facial products can turn harmful or lose effect when misused, so always use them with care!

Spot diminishers
Upon turning 30, freckles tend to appear rapidly. Fortunately, there are spots diminishing products that will help to reduce the appearance of these pests. However, it is inadvisable to use such products for prolonged periods of time. These products are specifically targeted at diminishing spots, so their effects are usually visible after a short while, but your skin may become over-dependent on it and lose its natural ability to repair dead or damaged skin cells, which are responsible for dark pigmentation. You should cease usage after about 3 months (typically the time needed to finish up a bottle).

Make-up Remover Oil
Make-up remover oils are generally touted to be more effective than water-based make-up removers, especially when it comes to removing thick eye make-up. However, in sunny Singapore, many of us are subjected to combination and oily skin, and our skin also tends to be more vulnerable to break-outs. If you’re not applying heavy make-up, refrain from using make-up remover oils and use cleansing milk instead. It is usually gentler than make-up remover oils.

Eye moisturizers
Most people tend to just massage their eye moisturizers around their entire eye in any random motion. You’d just be wasting your eye moisturizer or worst, making your defects looks worst by rubbing them the wrong way (no pun intended!).

For different problems, you have to deal with them in different ways. For example, if you’re targeting the wrinkles at the corner of your eyes, use two fingers on one hand to straighten out the creases (one finger above the creases, one finger below and gently pull vertically in opposite directions). Hold on in this position and using a finger on the other hand, dab on the moisturizer. Then massage with your index finger in one direction from the corner of your eye to your temples.

If you’re targeting dark eye circles, concentrate on massaging the moisturizer over the dark patch below your eyes.

Cold Masks
Cold masks are great for tightening pores and improving skin texture, but the coldness of a mask that has just been removed from the refrigerator is very harsh on the skin. There’s another more economical and kinder method to tighten your pores involving cotton pads and toner. I’ve described the method in this previous post.

Time interval between product application
In our mad rush to work or school in the morning, we often contract our beauty regime into a casual routine under 10 minutes, going immediately from one cream to another and then jumping straight into make-up.

However, skin requires time to absorb nutrients, hence there should be at least a 10-minute interval between applying your last facial cream and putting on make-up. Otherwise, you’ll also find that your foundation cakes because there’s already cream on your face which has yet to be fully absorbed. Of course, this also means that your skin care regime isn’t thorough since your skin isn’t absorbing all the nutrients.

The time interval between each application of a different product should be at least 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. This sounds time wasting, but while waiting, you can massage the product into your face gently with your fingers. Not only does this speed up the process, it also facilitates blood circulation!

Pop your pimples without leaving scars

I previously promised an article about the correct method of popping pimples but I must have forgotten about it lol. Sorry about that. Well here we go!

Even pimples in the appropriate stage for manual removal (when it has a little yellow ball of pus at the top) can get inflamed if you don’t remove them hygienically!

1. Make your pimples come out more easily!

Firstly, you have to open your pores so that comodogenes come out easily without you having to squeeze them really hard and damage your skin in the process.

You can do this by giving your face a home steam. Prepare a basin of boiling water. Then lower your head over the water, keeping your face at a safe distance such that your skin doesn’t get scalded by the steam. You should feel comfortably warm, but not so hot that its causing you pain. Then drape a towel over your head and basin to contain the steam. Steam your face for about 10 minutes and you’re good to go! However, do not perform this operation too often. Personally, I do it at most once a week, as over-steaming your face can cause dehydration of your skin.

Alternatively, if you’ve already done a home steam recently and shouldn’t be doing another one so soon, or if you haven’t the time for it, you can arrange to have your little pimple removal operation right after a hot bath or shower. The steam from your bath would have a similar, though weaker effect as that of a home steam.

If you’re trying to squeeze your pimples after washing your face, don’t apply your toner before doing so because your pores will shrink and that will make the pimple removal process more difficult.

2. Keep your hands clean!

Always sanitize your hands before squeezing your pimples! Even if you’re going to use a pimple and blackhead removal stick, you may accidentally touch your face in the process, or contaminate the stick.

3. Avoid direct contact with pimples

Get a pimple and blackhead removal stick instead of using your hands. Your nearest pharmacy or beauty counter should sell these. They’re cheap and easy to use, and are less likely to cause damage to your skin in comparison to squeezing. Before using them, don’t forget to sanitize them as well!

However, if you find those difficult to use, you can still use your hands, but wrap your fingers in clean tissue. Also, do not attempt to force out the pimple if it refuses to budge.

4. Post removal treatment

No matter how gentle or careful you are, there are bound to be open wounds where your pimples are popped, so you should disinfect to reduce any possibility of inflammation. Apply some disinfectant specific to the face over the wounds. Alternatively, you can dab a little salt water (with sanitized hands! And make sure you were hygienic when preparing the salt water) over the popped pimples. This will also help to reduce swelling and redness.

Product Review: Legere Water Drop Shiny Pearl BB Cream

This brand of BB cream seems to be the hottest now, given its publicity on popular Taiwanese beauty show Nu Ren Wo Zui Da. I couldn't contain my curiosity, so I got one to try.

Like other BBCreams, this one promises a whole range of skin protection abilities. It serves as a sunblock, protection and healing for sensitive skin especially those plagued by acne, oil control and make-up base.

On first contact with the cream, I can understand why this product is so highly acclaimed. It feels very cooling, soothing and light. It's visible, but not felt, unlike some oil-based creams and foundations, which could stifle your skin. Being more watery than other make-up bases I've used, it needs to be blended quickly or you'll see swirly lines on your face when it dries.

Fortunately, it dries quickly, because no matter how nice it feels, it's concealing effect is not exemplary, so I always have to apply powder over it. It does cover up faint scars and blemishes, but not the more obvious ones. It also doesn't cover eyebags. What I always do is put some concealer over the blemishes and the eyebags, apply the BB Cream and then pad on a layer of loose powder.

It's also not called Shiny Pearl for nothing. It makes your face shiny. Well, my skin is the combination type, and I've always tried my best not to let it get shiny and oily-looking. However, applying loose powder helps to eliminate the shine factor. The colour of the cream is also surprisingly dark. It's brown, the darkest I've seen of all foundations and bb creams for Asians (Chinese) so far. Upon application, it seems to blend with the colour of the fairest skin, but after it dries, I realized it turns a queer orangey brown. It's as though I went to get my face tanned. This is certainly not good, but once again, it can also be remedied by applying loose powder of your own skin tone all over your face.

I really love this cream because it provides very natural coverage. Well maybe semi-coverage seems like a more appropriate word, but I love how it makes my skin look smooth and flawless without looking like I dipped my face in skin-coloured flour.

I have doubts about its supppsed sun protection feature. There's no SPF value written on it. So I'd advise users not to put too much faith in it and apply your sunblock as usual instead. I don't think much of its oil control properties either. As the day goes on, my face starts getting shiny again. It could be because the loose powder flakes off, revealing the shine from the BB cream. I have to apply loose powder regularly throughout the day, but we usually do have to fix our makeup from time to time anyway.

I can't review it's healing effects because I do not have acne-plagued skin. However, one of my friends who does said her doctor recommended this cream for her because it doesn't clog up pores and will not irritate skin. She's been using it and it hasn't made her skin worst or caused additional breakouts.

However, all in all, it's certainly a make-up base that I would recommend.

DIY Masks for Acne Scars II

More DIY masks to reduce acne scarring!

Red wine with Honey

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey into a small glass of red wine. Stir until the mixture is even and apply on your face. When about 80% of it has dried up, wash away with warm water.

You use this mask every alternate day.

Citric acid stimulates cell renewal, thus causing dark pigmentation to lighten and makes skin smooth and whiter. Honey has moisturizing and nurturing purposes. However, people who do not react well to alcohol (such as getting red patches on skin upon consumption) should not try this method.

Green bean and Bai Zhi mask

Mix 3 teaspoons of powdered green bean with 2 teaspoons of powdered Bai Zhi. Stir some honey into the mixture. Apply on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with clean water.

You can use this mask 2 to 3 times a week.

This mask has detoxification and cleansing properties and will be especially suitable for people with oily faces.

Bai Zhi is a Chinese herb that you can get from a Chinese medicinal hall or the supermarket.

Pearl Powder and Yoghurt Cream

Mix about a teaspoon of yoghurt (natural yoghurt, not flavoured ones!) with a pinch of pearl powder and apply the cream to your acne scars before you go to bed. You don’t have to wash it off.

This can be done once every day.

Do refrain from adding too much pearl powder even if it’s famous for beautifying properties. Too much of it can clog your pores. Just a pinch will do, and it should be fully absorbed into the yoghurt.

Choose skimmed or low fat yoghurt to avoid the formation of oil bumps.