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Skin Care

When we think about skincare products, many of the highly recommended serums come with a hefty price tag. We know we are paying for the branding and supposedly long extensive research done behind each product, but is it really worth the price?

Image Credit : Hypebae

I have been using The Ordinary products that offer specific ingredients for anti-aging for a couple of years now. Previously, I have tried across different brands ranging from luxury skincare brands to drugstore brands alike. They each offer similar results, and I started questioning the dollar value after a while. I was very happy to chance upon The Ordinary products that comes with a super reasonable price tag!

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liushishi


Having troubled skin and think that achieving good skin is impossible? Well, I believe with the advancement of modern skincare technology, improving your skin is definitely not impossible! However, before you splurge on that extravagantly priced ‘magic’ skincare product that claims to reverse your skin’s condition, check out and practice these habits first. You may not think they make a difference, but these are what people with good skin swear by.

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Super-FoodsIn our pursuit to looking beautiful, many women succumb to splendid outfits and lavish accessories to look our best. However, it becomes pointless if you do not take care of your health and general well-being. By eating badly, you are depriving yourself to be at your most beautiful and gorgeous.

I can never stress enough on the importance of eating right and well. It not only brings you good health, it also gives you a healthy natural radiance and abundance of energy for your daily activities. Eating right also reduces the effects of premature ageing.


Here I share my ‘all-time’ grocery shopping list. It may seem to be boring to eat the same few types of food all the time. Yet, how can we get enough of these ‘super foods‘ that supposedly brings you endless health benefits?

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Like everyone else, I don’t claim to have perfect skin. In my thirties, my skin is showing signs of aging and I am constantly battling the problems people in my age group have regarding their skin. Enlarged pores, sagging skin, uneven skin tone etc. On my ‘skincare-sabbatical’ days, I find my skin looking dull, tired and congested!

Here, I share with you some of the simplest skincare tips that everyone should be committed to follow. They are the ground rules for good skin, the most basic practices you must follow. You wouldn’t need to buy any products I use or endorse, just stick with your favorites. A little more mindful and extra awareness will show you great results in your skin!

Retouch_Flawless_Skin

Spend an extra minute removing your makeup.

If you are using a oil based or cream makeup remover, increase your makeup removal process by an extra minute than your usual time. Go in circular motions with your fingers and clean out every inch of your face, especially the T-zone area. This process should take not lesser than 3-4 minutes.

Spend an extra minute washing your face.

Just as you will spend an extra minute removing your makeup, you should spend an extra minute more than your usual to cleanse your face. Pores are small pits in your face, and just a simple ‘wipe-across’ will not remove all traces of dirt and makeup trapped in your pores. Keep going in small circular motions around every part of your face. Again, ideally give it a nice gentle massage for about 3-4 minutes.

Hydrate yourself well.

Drink more water. A good gauge will be going to the toilet about 5-7 times a day.  Again, this is personal. I try to drink 2 litres of plain water a day. Increase your water intake so long you are comfortable with it. Keep to it for a week and you will see a difference.

Exfoliate frequently.

Dermatologists and experts always recommend exfoliate once or twice a week. I myself like to exfoliate at least 3-4 times a week with an everyday mild scrub. These ‘everyday’ mild scrubs are like what their names suggest – safe for everyday use. The key is to instead be scrubbing your skin really hard, go for gentle circular motions but increasing the time you scrub. Over-exfoliation with harsh scrubs may cause irritation.

Change your face towel once a week. 

Imagine the dust that settles on your towel, and not to mention how facial oil and filth that can be rubbed onto your towel. Change them at least once a week to make sure you are not having dirty objects in contact with your face.

Change your pillow cases once a week.

When we are at rest, we perspire, our skin secretes oil, dead skin cells slough off while our skin repairs itself, our hair tends to produce oil and we salivate at times. The bacteria remains on our pillow every night as we sleep. Changing our pillow cases will ensure our facial skin keeps contact with clean surfaces.

Wash your makeup brushes and sponges once every few days or at least weekly.

Most of us tend to ignore the cleanliness of our makeup brushes. Again, think keeping everything we use on our face clean. Brushes collect dirt and bacteria as we use them everyday sweeping makeup and mixing our skin’s sebum on our faces. Wash them regularly also ensures clean and neat application of our makeup.

Do not touch your face without washing your hands.

Avoid having to touch your face with unclean hands. In fact, our hands are ALWAYS unclean unless you have just washed them. Bacteria and germs are invisible to the naked eye. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before you touch your face.

Avoid clogging your pores with facial products.

Using non-comedogenic products that promises not to clog your pores? Everyone’s skin has a different absorption ability. Some people have skin that absorbs moisture and products faster than others (probably due to drier skin). Because this varies, piling on many types of skincare products one after another could possibly be causing too much product residue on your skin. They will, eventually, be absorbed in. However, to improve the efficacy of each product, try to allow for a 5-min interval between each skincare product so to ensure they get absorbed in properly before you apply the next.

Don’t ignore the peripherals of your face.

We tend to look front-on into the mirror, and because many of us tend to focus on the T-zone area (esp. so if we have oily or combination skin), we may at times overlook the peripherals of our face. Even application of skincare products is essential to ensure our face gets the same treatment evenly. Always remember when cleansing, washing and applying skincare products, get to the edges of our hairlines, chins, under our jaws. You want every inch of your skin to look beautiful and pampered.

Use a sunblock. Always.

Many people do not realize the importance of sunblock. UV rays are the number one energy when it comes to premature aging, uneven skin tones and pigmentations. Staying indoors does not mean that if you are out of the sun, you will be safe from UV rays. UV rays are everywhere where you can see light. I recommend anything from SPF 30-50 for daily use, with PA+++. SPF protects again UVB rays, and PA+++ protects against UVA rays that does more long term damage. Opt for the more +’s, the better.

No excessive tugging of your skin.

Why do we emphasize on not tugging your skin downwards? Imagine years of age with skin losing its elasticity, resulting in sagging of our skin. Every time you have to apply products, do so in an upward and outward motion. It is said that if this action is done religiously without fail, it can delay facial sagging and creates a lifting effect.

Moisturizing.

Lastly, remember to moisturize your face ideally every time after you wash your face. Some cleansers strip off the moisture on your skin and moisturizing after washing is the best time to replenish the lost moisture. Be sure to moisturize twice a day, ideally once in the morning and once before bedtime.

Keep these in mind, and practice them everyday faithfully. Make them a habit of your skincare routine. Remember, with the right effort and dedication, you can change anything. Discard bad habits, and learn good ones. Be disciplined and you will definitely see results. Regardless of age, you can make a change. 🙂

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What are some of your must-do beauty tips? Share them with me! I would love to hear from you beauties out there.

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4e81be95894a0.image_Every women loves their beauty products, well, almost!  To us, having too much of a good thing, is never wrong. Any beauty junkie, will always have more than one type of one product, and chances are, they (me as well) like to try various products across different brands.

Cosmetic and skincare companies are now working harder than before to retain their consumers so they will keep coming back for the same product they once loved. Many women like to switch products every few months (in some cases, if it can even last a month). Most cited the reason that the product failed to deliver as what the fancy advertising campaign had promised.

As a result, cosmetic companies end up having to release staggered “versions” of their products. It is not surprising to see products being launched, and completely obsolete in a year or two.  And to tackle that, they will push out a newer version, improved, added special formulae and ingredients, all because consumers are not coming back for the second one, if its not something newer and novel.

It may seem like “feeding” our skin with different products is nourishing, but what we do not know is that the frequent changing of products can actually have dramatic or devastating results on the skin itself. Delicate dermal surfaces are not meant to be changing products daily, weekly or even monthly. Having known this, we are actually taking a risk as we wouldn’t know how our skin could have been if not susceptible to varying products on a regular basis.

Most dermatologists suggest that it can take any time from 1 to 3 months to see the effects and noticeable changes from the products on our skin. By not allowing our skin to adjust to a certain product might cause more damage to our skin. Signs of damage could mean redness, developing tiny bumps, clogged pores, flaking, itching etc.

It is thus important that the average consumer learn to read and research on the products they are interested in trying out, by reading other consumers’ reviews. These information can be acquired and taken reference from beauty forums and blogs, ignoring the peaking hype in advertisements, often claimed as profound medical and advance researches’ results. End of the day, who wouldn’t find it hard not to trust what the doctors or laboratories say?

Product brand loyalty  is evident in consumers who spend time to do in-depth research on what a product does and actually have a certain amount of faith and conviction toward their choices. Their patience and determination results in good skin less susceptible to irritable problems and saves the person heaps of cash spending on wasteful products.

 Personally, I do change the products I use frequently, usually after finishing the entire product. Due to the nature of my work, I need to provide good and reliable reviews and feedbacks to clients from time to time. Understanding the fact that to see a product’s optimum efficacy takes time, I provide reviews at least after a month after using them. Our skin rejuvenation cycle usually takes 30 days for a full run. I try to resist the temptation to try a product that has been heavily marketed. I tend to wait a while, read honest reviews before putting my skin to the test.

How often do you switch your products? Do varying products keep your skin looking healthy, supple and luminous?

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SONY DSCI can never have enough of skincare gadgets. From ultrasonic massagers, facial sonic brushes, vibrating massagers to diamond peel devices – all in the quest of having beautiful and younger looking skin. Personally,  I like to try everything first, before I would (eventually) consider anything invasive (that has to be the very last resort!). After all, experimenting and exhausting all cheaper options seem like a wiser approach.

I have my Germanium beauty roller for more than a year now.I purchased mine off an eBay listing in Japan, supposedly authentic (as its from Japan) and I would very much like to think it is! This innovation semi-conductor facial beauty roller  was a big thing when it was first released in Japan, and seems to be still from my last visit to Tokyo a month ago.

The semi-conductor technology and germanium is supposed to relax wrinkles, eliminate dark spots, enhance glow, and makes you looking younger! In a short 15 mins of usage, it seems to give you an instant face lift, without any side effects, down time, none!

What is it? 

germanium

The chips on the heavy duty plastic roller comprises of over 99.99% germanium. Germanium is full of its negative charged ion, and this is released to our positive charged body, thus helping to balance out the positive-negative effect. It also helps get oxygen into the body and increases metabolism which allows your body to detoxify.

There are many different types in the market. Some has lesser of the germanium chips, while some has more. I bought mine quite happy that it has 41 chips!

How does it work?

Our body is exposed to lots of harmful positive ions. These ions are generated around us from our daily necessities, for eg. our mobile phones, computers, electronic equipement, chemicals, as well as ultraviolet rays. These have  harmful effects on our skin, causing premature aging and lack of lustre on our skin.

  • Our immune system is compromised and makes us more vulnerable to diseases
  • The positive ions slow down the body’s metabolism, in turn leading to an inefficient body system, causing weight gain and illnesses
  • A high percentage of water in our body becomes waste water, due to the positive ions and unhealthy food that we ingest.

Benefits?

It is said that one roll of the germanium roller is equivalent to 1000 taps during a massage. The germanium beauty roller uses over negative ion energy to balance off the positive, thus purging out the waste and toxins in our body, helping to purify our blood. Too much positive ions in our blood is said to turn our body’s metabolism slower and less efficient.

In summary, the germanium roller helps :

  • improve circulation
  • reduce fatigue and tiredness
  • tone facial muscles
  • promote collagen production
  • improve body’s immunity and resistance to sickness
  • get oxygen into our skin
  • push out the excess water retained in our skin resulting in healthier looking and firmer skin

How to use it?

germanium roll

I like to use my roller every night after cleansing my face. As it can be pretty uninspiring to just keep rolling for 15-20 minutes, I will usually do it in front of the TV while catching my favorite drama series. Apply mask / skincare after as normal.

How does it feel after?

Immediately after a good 15 minutes roll, one will feel a hot sensation in the face, skin will look flushed and red, but this normally subsides in 10 minutes at most. The redness will mean promoting blood circulation, and thus helps in the regeneration of skin cells, as well as the efficient absorption of applied skincare products after. Think of allowing your skin a good workout everyday, firming up those muscles and help in increasing the skin’s collagen production.

 RECOMMENDED! If you are a skincare junkie who wouldn’t mind spending on beauty gadgets, this might be a worthy investment. It costs about US$200+ if you get it from Japan. eBay sells cheaper ones made in China.

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There are some of us who are always not satisfied with our skin. We lament its dullness, uneven complexion, acne, oiliness, crinkly wrinkles etc. We either blame it on our poor genes, or we blame the countless products’ efficacy. Everything that can be wrong, is possibly wrong.  

Are we able to change that? Yes we can!

Our skin works in such a way that it renews itself every 30 days. This may differ from person to person. Some are blessed with faster skin renewal, and hence are kept looking young. As age catches up, the skin’s ability to renew itself slows down. This is when we first start to see the effects of aging. And sadly, for women, this effects will start to show from the age of 25.

Here, I share some tips on how to maximize the benefits of your skincare, some little reminders of how we should be taking care of our skin, with minimal effort (it still requires a bit of commitment) and seeing maximal results (hopefully!)

Tip :

#1: Makeup Removal – The amount of time to put on your makeup, is the amount of time you need to take to remove them. Completely.

Take time to slowly remove your makeup. Rub in your cleanser in circular motions and the key here is to not RUSH! The longer you take to slowly cleanse, the cleaner your skin will be. Try to imagine washing a stain off your clothes. The longer you rub in your detergent, the longer you soak, the cleaner it becomes. If using cleansing water with cotton pads, clean until you do not see any residue on your cotton. For cleansing oil and gel users, gently massage in for recommended 4-5 minutes, before cleaning off with a clean cotton pad, before washing with your facial cleanser. (Of course dont leave it there for 10 mins..what needs to be washed off, needs to be.)

#2: Cleanliness – Wash your face at least twice a day, but keeping it to maximum thrice a day.

It is recommended to wash your face the minute  you get out of bed in the morning, and once before bedtime. If you are back home in mid-day, it is key to remove your makeup immediately and wash your face. That will be the 3rd time as recommended as a maximum. Too many washing will strip the face of its natural oil that helps to keep the skin hydrated.

#3: Promote Circulation – Gently massage your face for at least 1.5 minutes while cleansing.

Again, do a slow massage of about 3-4 minutes with your facial cleanser. Remember to get into areas that are often neglected, like the corners of your nose, nose bridge area and between your brows, around your lips, as well as near the hairline on the peripheral of your face.

#4: Keep Clean – Change your pillow cases and face towels once a week

Our skin secretes oil and other bodily fluids through the day, and especially so at night when our bodies are at rest and regenerate themselves. Dirt and bacteria built up on our pillow cases and face towels really fast, so its recommended to change them as often as you will like. Once a week is a guide.

#5:Keep Hydrated – Use a mist spray throughout the day, and drink at least 8 glasses of water.

Using a spray mist throughout the day on top of your makeup is actually better than having use oil blotters to remove oil and shine from our skin for people with oily or combination skin types. We have a misperception that oil on our face is bad for us. It is, however, the skin’s natural ability to regulate its moisture content and oil secretion is linked to having dehydrated skin. Use of a spray mist helps to replenish the moisture lost from the surface of our skin, and drinking water helps to keep our system hydrated, to achieve that in-and-out radiant hydrated and supple look.

#6: Skin Absorption – wait 5-10 minutes in between skincare products.

Many of us buy lots of targeted skincare products, each with a bigger than better tagline. From fixing premature wrinkles, keeping skin hydrated round the day, to whitening and firming, the promised results are endless. Yet, I do not recommend using 3-4 or more products in a short 5 min regime. Imagine our skin as a sponge, it has its own limited absorption ability. What happens when we pile many types of creams and gels on them? Will the many products we use, gradually weigh down our skin and cause our pores to clog up because our skin cannot absorb fast enough? What happens to the products that do not get absorbed? Some tend to react with the surrounds, attracting dust and germs and bacteria before they finally get absorbed after 20 mins, or even longer! 

#7: Pore-Clogging – minimize the use of too many products on your skin for each regime.

It is fine to use many targeted products. However, this has to be done in a spaced out regime where you apply one specific product type, you wait for a while before putting on the next. You will be able to feel the skin absorbing the product, for some feel sticky or wet upon application. Feel with your palms. Apply on the next when it feels ‘drier’ than immediately after applying the previous.

#8 : Hygiene – Keep your hands and hair out of your face during the day.

Our hair traps dust and dirt, so do our hands that are full of bacteria and germs from touching things around us. We may not see them but our everyday objects lying in the house can be as dirty as the road. Gadgets like our keyboards, remote controls, cleaning rags etc. are full of bacteria we don’t want on our faces. 

So, what other tips will you share with us regarding your skincare habits? 🙂

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Women of today are in constant quest to find ways to improve how we look.  We often find ourselves admiring models on media, magazines, advertising campaigns etc. Seeing the pretty and seemingly flawless beauty turn our attention instantly to the product listed below this stunner. Very often, these are adverts for skincare products, makeup, and beauty enhancing procedures.

Photo credit : Hugh Lippe

False beauty in advertising present to us the ‘perfect woman’ image – smooth skin,  with zero wrinkles, perfectly even skin tone, defined sharp jawline etc. We all know such pictures don’t reflect reality. The average women, or even movie stars, do not look like this. Such beauty is ‘created’ by digital enhancement, and yet, more and more women are hoping to achieve these biologically impossible standards. A recent survey has shown that young girls see the pressure of looking good as being the worst part of female!

Should we not embrace the fact that we are bestowed with natural curves and that we are naturally prettier looking than our male counterparts? It becomes like a global obsession that young people of today are starting to be very mindful of how they look even from a very young age. This is not a bad thing, but over-excessive pursuit of beauty can be dangerous. From as simple as piling on layers of makeup to feel more confident about oneself, to turning to diet pills, botox and fillers injections to cosmetic surgery. These are very real issues by plastering the impossible vision of perfection everywhere in our visual society.

The Bare Beauty’s mantra is that every woman can look good, with the right approach to living and beauty. Everyone has the right to feel happy about themselves, regardless of their size, shape or form. We want to look fresh and natural, and that inherently makes one look younger.  


Embrace :

  1. Love yourself – When you actually do, you radiate a natural glow from within. You exude a kind of personal confidence that makes you more ‘you’, and it becomes evident to those around you. People who love themselves are always comfortable with their own self, regardless of how they actually look and dress.
  2. Live healthy – Eating well and resting sufficiently is important, as it gives you health, which is essential to beauty. Just like how our body functions with healthy organs, you shine when your skin benefits from living healthily.
  3. Be happy. – Learn to focus on the positive, start to appreciate the smaller things in life. Inject happiness daily by picking small little tasks to fulfil, and that gives you a sense of joy and satisfaction.
  4. Be appreciative – Work towards appreciating everything around you, even adversity. Every moment has its beauty, play it up. Live in that moment for it only comes once.

Enhance:

  1. Beautify ourselves – Identify our best feature or asset, and bring it on. Enhance them with subtle makeup, clothing or even pairing it with the right attitude. 
  2. Develop our personal wellness balance – A beautiful mind and heart lead to a beautiful soul. Work on finding spiritual peace and kindness.
  3. Improve ourselves – Constant acquisition of knowledge to improve ourselves. It could be focusing on character building, knowledge gaining, interpersonal skills as well as life’s hard skills. As we are open to learning, we will then be able to improve and escalate.
  4. Change our living environment – The surroundings which revolve around us daily will determine what kind of person we are. Stressful environments lead to an imbalance in our health wellness. Improve the quality of our living space will better our physical and mental wellbeing.
  5. Change our mind-set – We are unable to remove all sources causing unhappiness in our lives. The only way will be to change our mind-set and establish the good in every unpleasant situation. Adopting a cheerful and optimistic outlook helps to improve your overall state of mind, enhances your confidence and definitely drive better results in everything you do.
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