Consuming fruit juices the right way

I adore fruit juices because they look and taste delicious, are rich in vitamins, healthy and have beautifying effects! But there really is a lot more to fruit juices than people usually perceive. Not all fruit juices can be drunk anytime or have the same values. Here are tips on how you should incorporate juices into your diet so you can enjoy their optimum effects!

1. Don’t drink fruit juices on an empty stomach
After a night of sleep, blood in your body coagulates because the body has been working to dispel toxins from the various organs. Nutritionists encourage people to drink a glass of plain water in the morning to dilute body fluids. If you drink fruit juices first thing in the morning, not only does it not help to dilute your body fluids, it also burdens your stomach.

2. Fruit juices as a source of energy and vitamin C
Many people, especially corporate workers and students, have hectic mornings and barely eat breakfast. This causes the body to have a shortage of vitamin C and energy. After a busy morning at work, remember to drink a glass of fruit juice to replenish your energy and vitamin C!

3. Freshly squeezed fruit juice is better than pre-packed juice.
Some people prefer getting fruit juice from the supermarket because it’s a hassle to squeeze your own juice. But squeezing your own fruit juice gives you the most nutritious fruit juice. So called 100% pure fruit juice from the supermarkets are really diluted for marketing and packaging appearances. Not only are a lot of vitamins lost in the process, to make the juices taste better, preservatives and flavourings are even added.

4. Fruit juices are not to be taken warm
Warm fruit juices may taste good in rainy weather or winter, but vitamin C gets destroyed by heat. If you use hot water to make fruit juice, you’ll be losing all the health and beauty effects that come with Vitamin C.

5. Fruit juices are not to be mixed with milk
Fruity milk shakes are delicious, but that’s all to it. Tartaric acid in fruits and protein from milk will react such that both nutrients will fail to be absorbed by the body. So if you think fruity milk shakes are healthy, that’s really not true at all!

A Veg A Day Keeps the Skin Doc Away

Everyone wants smooth, tender skin, but sometimes our body just won’t comply with our wishes. With poor lifestyle habits, it’s not uncommon for skin to have uneven pigmentation or look pale and dull. It must be emphasized again that using good facial products and treatments help to improve and maintain skin quality on the surface, but if your health is poor, the problems are just going to keep returning.

The most effective way to improve your skin condition without compromising too much of your regular lifestyle is through eating more vegetables! Different types of vegetables are especially suitable for treating different types of skin conditions!

Red Face
By this, I don’t mean radiant rosy cheeks or the flushed cheeks you get from blushing or drinking, but red patches in various parts of your face. This is usually attributed to eating too much animal cholesterol and animal protein. To counter this problem, include a large amount (estimated 2 servings) of leafy green vegetables when having a meal that’s heavy on meat. Such vegetables include spinach, celery, and lettuce. They are more effective when eaten raw, but you can also make juice out of them.

Crimson Red Face
Similar to the red face, the pigmentation is spread in various parts of your face, but they look more pronounced. Fortunately, they aren’t permanent and only occur when your blood circulation is poorer i.e. during cold weather. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from looking your best at all times. There are two solutions to this problem. You can take warm baths and massage the red portions more often to quicken your blood flow. You should also take in foods rich in vitamin B1, C and D to allow the body to absorb protein efficiently.

Oily skin and dark pigmentation
This usually results from consuming too much oil – namely animal and vegetable oil (yes vegetable oil is still oil after all!). The solution is to reduce your oil intake by consuming less oily foods, and eat more leafy green vegetables. Before a meal, drink a glass of warm vegetable juice.

Asians are rarely born with freckles. If you have freckly cheeks, one of the causes could be consuming too much salt. If your diet consists mainly of animal cholesterol and protein, this will affect your liver’s function negatively, causing freckles to become more obvious. You must include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your diet. Medical drugs are also bad for skin, especially sleeping pills, which result in the secretion of acid. Medication should be avoided when unnecessary.

Uneven dark pigmentation
Generally, consuming too much salt results in rough, dry and dull skin. Exposure to sunlight worsens the condition. If your skin is losing its radiance and turning dull and dark, it is a warning for your body to expel the salt. To improve the condition, you should reduce your salt intake and consume more water and fibre (from vegetables) to aid the colon to function more effectively so that the toxins can be passed out through waste. If you have a bath tub, soak in a warm bath until you perspire. This helps your body to detoxicate.

Look 10 years younger in 2 days!

This method was revealed by the popular Japanese beautician Saeki Chizi on her talkshow about skin care. Apparently, many Japanese girls subscribe religiously to her shows, and we all know how Japanese girls are famed for their young appearances. It’s quick, painless and cheap, so let’s give it a go!

You will need:
- Normal cleansing facial mask. It can be any sort of mask; clay, peel-off, DIY… just get one that you normally use. However, do not use an overnight mask as this is not an overnight treatment.
- Permeable plastic wrap (the type used for wrapping food)
- Massage oil or lotion for face
- A steamed towel. To steam a towel, soak it in hot water, take it out and wring it dry, and put it in a microwave oven and heat for 30 seconds. Don’t heat it for longer than that or it may burn up.
- Facial mist spray
- Facial essence
- Facial cream
- Chilled towel (refrigerate a towel overnight)

Here's what you do:

1. Use a facial mask to correct surface problems on your face (such as zits and blemishes).

2. Place a layer of plastic wrap over your facial mask. Remember not to cover over your mouth and nose! Vapour moisture that passes back and forth the plastic wrap helps to moisturize your face. The effect will be more pronounced if you do your facial while having a soak in your bath tub (there’ll be lots more water and vapour).

3. Remove your mask and plastic wrap according to the time span you are supposed to use the mask for.

4. Massage your face with massage oil/lotion. This will help your skin to regain its radiance, elasticity and intensity. Simultaneously massage the lymph nodes on your face (under your chin and on your cheeks) to promote the removal of toxins and reduce facial swelling.

5. Place a steamed, warm towel over your face for five minutes or so, until the towel has cooled. This will open up your pores, allowing your skin to absorb moisture and nutrients.

6. Spray mist on your face to refresh skin.

7. Apply facial essence to nourish skin.

8. Apply a layer of facial cream which will act as a protective layer, locking in moisture and nutrients inside your skin.

9. Turn in early and have a good night’s rest.

10. On the second day, before you put on make-up, use a chilled towel to cover your face for five minutes. This will minimize your pores and make your make-up last longer.

When the sun is out to play, keep the Oil at bay

It’s summer and hot, sunny weather is back, for better or worst. 34 degrees Celsius isn’t too bad if you take the right precautions and face your day with a positive attitude! After all, there’s a Chinese saying that goes Xin Jing Zi Ran Liang (if your heart is at peace, it will be cooled). And think about poor India and the Middle East where temperatures go up to 40 + degrees Celsius!

So what are the precautions one should take? I’ve already written a few articles about UV rays, sun block, taking care of burnt skin etc, so I’d like to touch on something else that is just as essential as sun protection. And that would be oil control. In hot weather, your skin tends to secrete more sweat and oil. Especially for those who already have oily skin to begin with, this excess secretion will burden your pores.

Keeping it simple
First of all, contrary to piling all sorts of creams on your face, keep your daily skin care and make-up regime as simple as possible. Bear in mind that the more nutrition you try to feed your face through direct entry through the skin, the harder your skin cells and pores have to work! Basically, if your skin is reasonably healthy, all you really need is a cleanser, toner, day and night moisturizer and sun screen. Keep your make-up light, especially in the day when you’re outdoors, and use non-comedogenic make-up. Keep your skin healthy by consuming fruits and vegetables daily.

Concentrating on the T-zone
The T-zone area (Forehead down to the nose) is most prone to oily secretions and is the first region on your face to start secreting oil. To curb oily secretions, the natural thing to do is of course to treat the specific problem. These days, a lot of skin care products are targeted specifically at T-zone areas. Do note that some of these products tend to leave a white sheen behind which doesn’t really look flattering on your face, so what you can do is apply and blend your foundation before it dries completely, and don’t apply an overly thick layer!

Beware oily skins and dry constitutions
Don’t think that just because your skin is shiny with oil, it’s well-moisturized. In fact, sometimes when the skin’s oil regulation function is messed up due to various problems, sudden change in weather conditions included, your skin may be oily, but is in fact dry inside. This leads to problems like skin sensitivity and flaking, and in more serious circumstances, may cause rashes and infection. In this case, moisturizing alone is not effective. If your skin starts acting up, the best cure is moisturizing + cooling down. After a day out in the sun, take a cool shower, or place a towel that has been iced over the affected areas. Then apply a mild moisturizer suitable for sensitive skin.

More tips to come in the next update!