The Little Things Matter 3

This is the last installment of a series of tips on damaging lifestyle habits.

7. Using your hands to scoop your facial products

Long term effect: If your products get contaminated, your skin could get worst from the presence of germs and dust from your fingers and the surrounding air.

If your product comes in a wide-mouth jar, use a spatula to scoop the required amount and cap it immediately.

8. Over-reliance on home remedies
DIY remedies, if appropriately administered, are effective and cheap. But if inappropriately administered, they may result in sensitive and injured skin in the long run.

Bear in mind that DIY remedies are not substitutes to fundamental skin care products like cleansers, toners and make-up removers. They are supplements which would help to enhance skin care and thus help to reduce costs on additional facial products like acne and age spot treatments that are expensive and would not be needed if you take good care of your skin regularly. Besides, not any home remedy you see on the web works for you, because most home remedy recipes are written based on the writer’s personal skin health and desired achievements, which may not be applicable to you. Home remedies are also a product of trial and error, and there are some careless people who may post home remedies online without verifying them. Always do some research on the composition of the recipe before using it, and if you can’t verify how the ingredients in the recipe contribute to the promised result, don’t use it! Also, do consider the fact that when different ingredients mix, they may produce side effects!

9. Using the same make-up remover for eyes and other parts of your face.

Long-term effect: Using non-eye make-up remover around the eyes can cause various skin problems around the eyes like puffy eyes and dullness.

The skin around your eyes is different from the skin on other parts of your face. Makeup removers that are specific to the eyes should be non-comedogenic and its PH value should be similar to that of your tears so that it is gentle on your eyes. Make-up removers for other parts of your face would contain a different composition that is likely to be unsuitable for the sensitive area around your eyes.

That's all for the moment, but it's not a comprehensive list! Always put your common sense and analytical skills to good use, especially if you're going to do something that would have a direct impact on your body!

The Little Things Matter 2

I'm back again with the continuation of the previous article about poor lifestyle habits that we're so used to taking for granted. More food for thought...

4. Frequently using exaggerated expressions like winking, laughing really hard, frowning hard

Long term effect: You’ll get more wrinkles and at a faster rate

As mentioned earlier, wrinkles appear earliest where facial movements occur most frequently. Do avoid making exaggerated expressions or reacting strongly to something too often. It’s bad for your face as well as your heart.

5. Squeezing pimples

Long term effect: Skin develops an infection and scarring occurs thereafter

Leave your pimples alone. Always remember that a giant pimple will definitely disappear after a couple of days, but a scar will stay for a month or even longer. If you must hide that pimple, cover it up well with lots of foundation and concealer, but don’t forgot to remove your make-up properly.

6. Exceeding recommended time for masks

Long term effect: Skin gets dry, sensitive and ages quickly

Always read the instructions overleaf. Usually, the recommended time is no longer than 15 minutes. Leaving your mask on for too long causes it to absorb water from your skin since its water content is now less than that of your skin. If you’re using a clay mask, it could also cause your pores to clog up.

Tune in for the last installment next week!

The Little Things Matter

You've invested money, time and effort on what you thought were the best facial products. You eat healthily and live healthily. You did everything you thought you were right. So why are problems like wrinkles, saggy skin and pimples still setting in?

All of us have our own little tics, like running fingers through hair, chewing of knuckles when under stress, tapping toes when bored... most of these tics are harmless, but some that seem insignificant may actually leave permanent changes to the point of being destructive! Chewing of knuckles, for example, is known to cause calluses. In the same way, some of the little things we do to our faces may actually disrupt our skincare routines. Set them right before permanent damage sets in!

1. Propping your face up with your hands

Long term Effect: Doing this regularly gives you wrinkles in the long run.
The pulling and pushing pressure exerted on your cheeks by your hands causes wrinkles. What’s more, unlike fine wrinkles caused by dryness, these wrinkles caused by skin loosening will be there to stay and no amount of expensive cosmetics would reverse the problem.

2. Crinkling your nose

Long term effect: You would develop wrinkles around your nose and eyes even if you've yet to reach the age when wrinkles set in!
Wrinkles occur earliest on places where facial movements occur most frequently, usually attributed to an outward expression of emotions. When facial muscles move, a crease will appear, but it will go away as long as your facial expression reverts to normal. Crinkling your nose is not a reflex action, so you have the choice of not doing it frequently!

3. Using only one side of your mouth to chew

Long term effect: Your face will become asymmetrical i.e. one cheek appears larger than the other.
This usually happens when one has a toothache, ulcer or some form of discomfort on one side of the mouth that requires him to concentrate on the other. If it has become a habit, it will occur everyday during all meals. The muscles on the side of the mouth that you keep using to chew will become stronger and bigger over time. Since the muscles on the other side are not in use, they will remain the same size or worst, become smaller in a process known as atrophy. When you eat, always make sure you’re using both sides to chew!

I'll follow up with more in subsequent entries, so stay tuned!

Eat Your Way to Delicious Lips!

Do you sometimes feel that even with the richest lip gloss around town, your lips are still prone to dryness and chapping? Especially during this festive season when you’re either busy with preparations or rushing work to finish up in time for your long weekend leave, it is likely that you may not be drinking much-needed water to replenish your body’s moisture.

In Singapore’s tropical weather, it is quite rare for people to have chapped lips – that tends to happen in colder weathers - so if your lips are dry or even peeling, your lack of moisture is rather serious.

Like dry skin, lip dryness isn’t something that you can improve or cure overnight, but by incorporating certain foodstuffs in your daily diet, you’ll find soon find that those succulently luscious lips that you always wanted is not a dream!

According to the study of Traditional Chinese medicine, there are certain foods with ‘heaty’ effects, ‘cooling’ effects and neutral effects. The more obvious examples of food with heaty effects are durian, fried food and spicy food. These are the type of foods that cause you to fall sick from fever and sore throat, especially if you have a heaty constitution. Examples of ‘cooling’ food include mangosteen, green bean soup and herbal teas. These are the things you eat to combat the heaty effects. Heaty foods are generally drying, so food with neutral or ‘cooling’ effects is recommended for people lacking in moisture.

Vegetables: Spinach, mustard, radish, eggplant, bamboo shoot, tomato, winter melon, cucumber, luffa, bitter gourd, mushroom, green bean, soybean

Seafood products: Seaweed, jellyfish, clam, crab, black fish, oyster

Meat and protein sources: Pork, Duck meat, duck meat and eggs, goose meat and eggs, milk

Beans and grains: Sesame, Black bean, millet, wheat, barley

Fruits: Sugarcane, Banana, Water melon, mango, pear, Luo Han Guo, persimmon, coconut, pineapple, water chestnut

Others: Lotus root, lotus seat, lily, wolfberry, chrysanthemum, honey, tea leaves, rock sugar, table salt

Ensure that you’re drinking sufficient fluids daily (8 glasses) and avoid coffee and smoking. Good luck in your quest for juicy lips!