Keeping Humidity Levels friendly for your skin

It seems that many people are traveling abroad this year for a white Christmas since the economy picked up! Since I'm receiving more emails asking me about skin care tips for winter, I’ll try my best to comply!

Environmental conditions affect our wellbeing in many ways. Since your lodging is the place where you spend the night recuperating, it's important to know how you can make it a conducive place to rest and relax.

In countries experiencing winter, hotels and rooms have heaters or even fireplaces to keep you warm. While these are necessities, the heat causes moisture in the room to evaporate. When humidity levels are too low, one may experience itchiness and dryness in the nose and throat, headache and bleeding from the capillaries. When I was visiting a country experiencing winter a couple of years ago and didn’t know better about protecting my skin from the harsh winter climate, the skin around my nails bled, and I had a friend who suffered from nosebleeds every morning. Random bleeding is alarming and even leaves stains on your clothes if not taken care of in time. Furthermore, dryness causes skin itch, peeling and roughens the texture of your skin.

Here are some tips to prevent humidity levels from dipping too low. If there’s a fireplace in the room, place a kettle filled with water over the fireplace, leaving the cap off. This keeps the water boiling and the steam issuing from it will increase humidity levels in the room. If your lodging has a heater installed, stand a basin of water on top of the heater. You can also hang your wet towels and clothes around your bedroom. They will contribute water to your surroundings and consequently dry quickly!

If you can spare the time, take a hot water bath before going to bed, or before going out in the morning. In winter, your metabolism decreases and blood flow is slower than per normal, hence the paler outlook. A hot water bath will stimulate blood circulation and give your skin a healthier glow!

Keeping your skin supple in winter land

The rainy season has come again in Singapore and this also means decreasing temperatures and winter in other countries! Some of you must have already begun preparations for going abroad during the year-end holiday! If you’re going to a country with winter, don’t forget that you will need to protect your skin against the harsh dryness of the weather. Keeping your skin fresh and smooth isn’t all about piling moisturizers on your skin.

1. Drink lots of water
Overseas, we don’t get the comfort of drinking as much water we want, whenever we like, especially if you’re in the middle of trekking up a mountain or exploring some slums, but do make the effort to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. A sudden decrease in water consumption is often detrimental for health, what more when you’re in a new climate. Drinking water keeps you healthy too so you can enjoy your trip without falling sick! So you don’t have to go out of the way to ensure you get your eight glasses of water, try to get at least 2 glasses of healthy beverages during your main meals. Soup contributes to water consumption too. You wouldn’t say no to a steaming bowl of hot soup, would you?

2. Easily-forgotten parts
Middle of eyebrows, behind ears, nose, edge of eyes, neck and joints on elbow and knee. Many people tend to neglect these areas, so if you don’t moisturize them, you’ll feel the drying effect will be even more severe in winter.

3. Morning is the best time for skincare
Our body has a biological clock such that there are different times when different parts of the body work best. Our skin actually absorbs moisture and nutrients best in the morning at around 8am. Therefore, make it a point to apply your moisturizing cream and do your moisturizing facials and what not in the morning before you go for breakfast. This applies even if you’re traveling to a vastly different time zone because our body adapts to our environment. Once you’re no longer jetlagged, your body has adjusted to your environment.

4. Moisturizing Sprays are useless on oily skin
Oil and water do not go together. The oil obstructs water from being absorbed your skin. If you have oily skin, you do not need a moisturizing spray, even if it’s touted as a handy must-have winter item. Rely on water and moisturizing cream instead.

5. When too much is simply too much
Just because the weather is drier than usual doesn’t mean you slather on more moisturizing cream than usual. Continue to use the moisturizing cream as per instructed. Applying more than the recommended amount restricts your pores from being able to open completely and breathe properly at night. When skin can’t breathe properly, it can’t regenerate new cells and perform its usual repair process, which results in dry skin instead!

Maybelline: Creamy Gel Eyeliner

Recently, I picked up a new eyeliner from Maybelline. I was attracted to the sticker on it’s packaging which screamed “No. 1 eyeliner in Japan!” Yes I get taken in easily by catchy taglines, especially anything to do with Japan’s famed beauty industry. Well, I don’t know how true the statement is, but this gel eyeliner is good enough to want to make me buy it again!

Application is really easy. A brush is provided with the eyeliner, so all you have to do is use it to apply the gel. It’s not called a ‘creamy’ gel for nothing. Because of this creaminess, it is very smooth to apply on. No furious repeated brushing across your poor lids. Blending is a cinch, so if you accidentally draw a little out of line, you can fix it easily.

It is very lasting. I didn’t have to touch up after 8 hours outside, this despite my having oily eyelids . It comes off easily with the right make-up remover, but won’t budge if you try other means to get it off. That’s why it’s important that you blend it quickly because it also dries and rather quickly upon application.

The colours are limited. I’ve only seen a black and brown one in the local stores. I bought the brown one. It’s a very pretty colour and even has a little shimmer.

The bottle is typically tiny, like most brands of gel eyeliner. But it should last long enough if you aren’t doing a goth make-up everyday. Priced at 19.90 SGD, I personally find it a very worthy purchase!

How do liver spots (freckles) come about II?

As promised in the previous post, I'll look at the causes of liver spots and how to prevent them! Apart from the sun, here are the other culprits!

Heavy make-up
Make-up contains metallic elements, with absorption of light being one of their chemical properties. Scented cosmetic products especially, contain large amounts of metals like lead, which can cause black pigmentation on skin. Furthermore, when make-up is not thoroughly removed, colour pigments in the make-up will enter the skin, resulting in the formation of coloured pigments.

Only use heavy make-up when you absolutely have to, such as special occasions. Stick to light, natural make-up on regular days!

Too much whitening
Whitening techniques such as chemical peeling and chemical scrubs, when done too frequently, can cause skin to become sensitive to light and dry. A little sunlight can cause red spots and coloured pigmentation. Unless you intend to stay indoors all day, don’t be too caught up with chemical whitening methods!

Computer degeneration

These days, most of us have to use the computer for at least a few hours a day. However, rays emitted from computers are harmful to our skin and causes a variety of skin problems, including dark eye circles, pimples, dryness and spots. Since it’s hardly impossible to keep away from our gadgets, the next best thing to do is to increase our skin’s defences as much as possible.

Before applying make-up, apply a make-up base with UV ray blocking function, such as Laneige’s skin veil base. If you work in the office and have to be in front of your computer the whole time, remember to reapply sunblock every couple of hours!

Lack of Exercise
Exercise helps to dispel toxics through our skin through perspiration. Otherwise, these toxics remain in our bodies and skin and can give way to dark pigmentation. No matter how busy you are, sat aside some time for a little work out every day! Some perspiration is better than none at all!

How do liver spots (freckles) come about?

Isn’t it annoying to invest so much time and fortune dousing your skin in skincare products, only to have those annoying brown little blemishes disfiguring your skin in the later part of your life? The problem with freckles is that they usually only emerge years after the damage is done, and there is nothing you can do by then. It is always important to be mindful of your beauty habits so you don’t end up doing something that’s a cause for regret.

November has been cool and most people only take out their umbrellas when it rains. Now, even if the sun doesn’t show it’s face, UV rays are ever present, any time, any where, even in your house where it enters through the windows. And UV rays are one of the main causes of liver spots.

Don’t let your guard down even on a rainy day. Taiwanese show host Barbie Hsu, famed for her beautiful complexion, goes out and about in sunglasses, hats and even a veil over the face such that she has been teased for resembling a grass cutter! But you know, you can never be too cautious when it comes to beauty! Anyway, just an umbrella or a hat when you’re outdoors would suffice. Of course, don’t forget the sunblock!

However, the sun isn’t the only culprit for those liver spots. Tune in next week for more information about liver spots and how to prevent them! In the mean time, keep those brollies in your bags!

Concealing body art

Did you have a spooky weekend? I must say that Halloween in Singapore is pretty happening this year! Lots of clubs had great offers if you entered in costume and many attractions were made over and implemented special events just for Halloween. Over the weekend, I saw many creative costumes complete with heavy make-up, face and body paints. Halloween is honestly a great time to let down your hair, have fun and be out of character and become something else for a change. But what happens if you can’t revert in time for work and school on Monday?

A colleague of mine who loves going sleeveless came to work today all wrapped up in a woolly shawl. Apparently, she wasn’t trying to dress up as a sheep but was trying to cover up the remnants of her huge airbrush tattoo that she got for her dragon lady Halloween costume.

Body painting usually draw negative attention at the work place, and are definitely banned from school. Most good quality airbrush tattoos, however, require time and effort for complete removal, and then there is of course, the issue of permanent tattoos, which can only be removed through painful lasering.

But body art lovers need not despair. With some make-up tricks, concealing the marks of rebellion is simple and quick!

You will need
1. A set of heavy-duty, heavy-pigmented concealers meant for covering up scars and tattoos, of varying shades near your skin tone.

2. Finishing powder for setting make-up

Step 1: Choose a concealer of a slightly darker shade than your own skin tone. Massage a generous amount of it over the part of your skin that you wish to conceal. At this stage, you don’t have to try to completely conceal the tattoo.

Step 2: Choose a concealer of a slightly darker shade than your own skin tone. Apply it over the first layer of concealer, blending while massaging to achieve a natural-looking shade.

Step 3: Gradually add on more layers of concealer and blend it using massaging movements until the tattoo is completely hidden.

Step 4: Apply finishing powder over it. You should bring loose powder out with you so that you can touch up whenever there’s a need to.