Common Misconceptions about Facial Products

These days, the influx of information has created so many falsehoods about facial products and ways to use them! I've summed up a list of myths that are most widely spread and their corresponding facts!

Myth: Facial products with alcohol are bad for skin and should be avoided at all costs

Fact: The presence of alcohol in facial products has been demonized. Although non-alcoholic facial products are gentle and ideal for skin, alcohol content is not necessarily bad. An appropriate amount of alcohol cleanses pores of oil and dirt with greater effect than non-alcoholic products. It also aids pores to contract, hence providing greater control over oil secretion. Facial products with alcohol are generally more effective for people with oily skin. As long as you do not have dry, sensitive skin and are not allergic to alcohol, it’s all right to use facial products with alcohol.

Myth: This brand/type works miracles on me. I should stick to it and never switch!

Fact: In a tropical country like Singapore where the weather and humidity are relatively constant, it’s all right to stick to the same product. But if you’re going to a place with a different climate or if your skin experiences significant changes at some point of time, you need to change the brand and type of product in accordance to your skin problems. For example, if you’re going to a country that’s experiencing winter, choose highly moisturizing products targeted for extreme cold and dry weather. If you have severe breakouts during ‘that time of the month’, you should avoid oily and highly moisturizing products that may worsen your breakouts.

Myth: You can never go wrong with cotton pads and make-up puffs when applying or removing facial products.

Fact: Cotton pads / make-up puffs are indeed more effective at removing residue because they are more absorbent, but those with rough textures may actually harm your skin. Do be careful to choose smooth cotton pads and make-up puffs that are gentle on skin. Also, if you use clean hands to massage your face while washing it, warmth from your hands will prevent pores from contracting, thus allowing your skin to absorb nutrients from your facial product more effectively.

Myth: Organic products will not harm your skin because they are natural.

Fact: Actually, products like lemon, peppermint, citrus fruits and camphor oil are acidic in nature and can be harsh on sensitive skin.

DIY Masks for blackhead removal

Here are some simple masks made from food that can be used to extract blackheads!

Green Melon Mask

You will need:
1 Green Melon
1 Facial mask sheet

1. Put the green melon in the blender, add in some water and blend.
2. Filter the mixture, setting aside the liquid for use.
3. Pour the green melon water onto facial mask sheet and wait for it to soak up all the liquid.
4. Cover face with mask for 20 minutes.

Apart from removing black heads, its cooling effect reduces infections and swellings. If you have pimples, you’ll soon be rid of them!

Egg nose mask

You will need:
1 Facial Mask Sheet
Egg White from 1 egg

1. Cut out from the facial mask sheet, the portion that covers the nose. This will be used for the nose mask.
2. Apply egg white on the nose mask
3. Place nose mask on nose. Make sure it sticks on your skin and don’t leave space for bubbles.
4. Sit in front of a fan to dry the mask. Once the mask is dry, remove it. You should be delighted to find black spots (your blackheads) on the mask!

The best time for a facial

Today's Friday! Woohoo! The weekend's finally here and I'm sure lots of people are going to hit the night spots to hang out with their friends until late since there's no work the next day. However, I'm going to head straight home today right after work because I'm going to pamper myself with a facial at home!

What's the rush though, you must be asking. You see, after returning from work, having dinner, doing the housework, bathing and washing face, it’s at least 9pm before one finally gets time to relax and start your home facial treatments. But did you know that 9pm and after are inappropriate timings for beauty treatments?

Our skin also has a biological clock. Between 9pm to 11pm, the skin is most sensitive, blood capillaries are weak and the body is most susceptible to decreasing blood pressure, water swelling, bleeding and infection. In this condition, beauty treatments like masks, moisturizers etc burden your skin and may lead to complications.

The best times to do your facial treatments are around 7 or 8 pm, or after 11pm.

4pm to 8pm is the best period to do beauty treatments. During this period, blood is high in oxygen content and the skin absorbs nutrients more efficiently.

After 11pm is the time when cells grow and split most rapidly. Hence, our skin is able to absorb nutrients from masks and moisturizers more quickly and thoroughly!

How Not to Overeat During the Festive Season

Yet another long-awaited long weekend is here again! Since it's Hari Raya Puasa, many people in Singapore will probably be visiting Muslim relatives and friends to celebrate a month of fasting! As for me, my neighbour has already dropped me and my family an invite, and we've RSVPed of course. I'm excited about seeing their new curtains and threads and catching up with them, but - I'll be honest - what I'm really really looking forward to is the food. My neighbour is an excellent cook and she makes awesome traditional Malay dishes! Just thinking about them makes me salivate! I guess many people are going to do a lot of eating on this festive day too, since festivities often equate to hospitality and lots of food!

Even so, don't forget to exercise prudence with your diet! I'm not going to be a wet blanket and tell you that you should be counting calories at a table laden with delicious Malay delicacies. It's all right to indulge once in awhile, but over-eating is bad for health and the holiday spirit should not be an excuse to subject your body to heart-burn and indigestion.

Three Golden tips to avoid over-burdening your stomach:

Don't skip earlier meals so that you can eat more later. Your brain will send out messages telling you that you need to eat more to make up for the lack of food earlier on, but your stomach capacity or digestion ability doesn't expand just because you are hungry. You will end up eating more indeed, more than your body can process.

Drink more water. Warm drinks and plain water are fine, but not gassy drinks. It's healthier, fills you up without hurting your digestive system, and you probably will need it if you are not used to the spicy Malay fare.

Don't be afraid to say no if you're full. Most hosts will offer to refill your plate with food or ask you to take more helpings. This is usually done out of courtesy and you should not have to worry about offending them if you say that you are full. They'll surely understand. Of course, do say it in a polite manner. If they have fruits, you may ask for that though. Fruits give your diet a fiber boost and do not contribute to overeating.

Have a great weekend ahead! Selamat Hari Raya!