Thursday, May 22, 2008

Did you know that...

Acne on the head, and the facial skin closest to your hairline is a sign that your shampoo is too strong and is irritating your skin? Switch to a shampoo with a milder formula.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Trouble Sleeping? A reader's reaction

I received a comment from Azure Island Designs which I thought was worth posting on my main page. Just in case you don't have time view the comments page. She gives us this tip...

I endured many years of difficulty falling asleep...then waking up in the middle of the night not being able to go back to sleep...I've tried everything you suggest and more...the only thing that helps me is to stop the caffeine intake...that includes coffee, tea, chocolate anything with has made a tremendous difference for me!! Worth the sacrifice...cheers

Thanks Azure Island Designs! I'm sure other readers would benefit from this.

Just a quick note -- the teas I mentioned in my original post are herbal ones that contain lavender and chamomille, and these do not contain caffeine. I also found a tea called "Nighty Night" by Traditional Medicines specifically formulated to promote nighttime relaxation. So if you must drink coffee or tea, go for the decaffeinated ones.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Did you know that...

Licking your lips frequently can cause dryness and chapping? If you think that licking your lips can help hydrate them, think again. Saliva can leave your lips even drier. It would be best to apply a lip balm as frequently as needed.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Back Acne

The summer weather makes my back prone to acne, or bacne as it's commonly called. I’ve tried several antibacterial soaps, bleaching soaps (to fade the scars), and topical medications, but I found the best products for this condition at Mario Badescu.

For bathing, I use the A.H.A Botanical Body Soap. It’s mildly scented and contains fruit extracts that help exfoliate, rejuvenate and soothe sensitive and irritated areas. I follow this up with the Special Cleansing Lotion “O” which is formulated specifically to control breakouts on the back and chest. I put on a piece of cotton and apply to my back after bathing. The cleansing lotion should be applied repeatedly to the back until the cotton is clean. Do this on a daily basis and you’ll notice that your bacne will dry up in a week. It will also prevent future breakouts and scars will appear lighter after 3 weeks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pick Me Upper

On mornings when you wake up and see a less than perfect face in the mirror, try a cold compress.

First, cleanse your face with a facial wash or scrub. Then wrap an ice cube in soft cloth and use it to massage your face gently in a circular motion. You can also dab it in your eye area. Wait 2-3 minutes for skin to dry before applying sunblock.

Your face will instantly feel fresh and invigorated, with a slight pinkish glow. This will also lessen puffiness in your eye area and close up your pores.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Trouble Sleeping?

We all know that 8 hours of sleep is crucial to our mental and physical health. And we all know that being in tip top shape makes us look younger and more beautiful.

There are times, however, when we really just have difficulty falling asleep. If we're unlucky, this could even strike us the night before a very important day in our life. And the more we toss and turn in our beds, the more frustrated we get, and the harder it is for us to fall asleep.

Here are a few things that you can try to ensure a good night sleep:

1. Aside from the tried and tested hot milk or hot chocolate, try drinking tea with chamomille or lavender before bed time. Both chamomille and lavender are known for their calming properties.

2. If you had a bad day or have a lot of things on your mind, relax and meditate first. Going to bed with a lot of negative thoughts will just prevent you from falling asleep.

3. Put a few drops of lavender oil on your pillows. The scent of lavender is known to calm your mind and soothe your nerves.

Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Underarm Care

There was a time when skin care talk just focused on the face and visible parts of the body. Today, what used to be hidden has gained equal attention -- the underarm.

When I hit puberty, the only thing my mother told me was to wash my underarm thoroughly and wear a deodorant to always smell fresh. From friends, I learned that that plucking hair out gives you chicken skin. So I religiously used deodorants and shaved for couple of years until I opted to switch to plucking because I noticed that shaving started to irritate my skin.

So I got chicken skin -- no big deal! I never really thought there was anything wrong or embarrassing about my underarms until a deodorant commercial claimed to make it whiter and smoother. I rushed to the mirror, closely scrutinized my underarms, and thought, "Hmm... they do look slightly darker."

From that moment on, I started obsessing about it. I see other women raise their arms and in my mind, I shout. "Wow! Nice underarms!", "Ok, I'm normal." or "Put down those arms! Put down those arms!!!"

I have yet to find the perfect solution for flawless underarms without resorting to peels and laser hair removal, but here are a few things that have improved the color and texture of my underarms:

1. Apply virgin coconut oil.

Before every bath, apply a few drops of virgin coconut oil to your underarms to help remove deodorant residue. Twice a week, add a little brown sugar to that coconut oil and apply to the underarms in a light, circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Yes, you need to exfoliate it just like the rest of your skin.

After 2 weeks of doing this, your underarms will feel softer and smoother. After a month, the appearance of chicken skin will improve.

2. Refrain from using a deodorant.

I heard from several dermatologists that deodorants contain chemicals that can irritate and darken the skin. They recommend not to use deodorants, but growing up in a society where body odor is of great concern, it took me a while before I finally tried it.

If you're just spending the day at home, opt to use a deodorant powder instead. I use Milcu and it keeps me fresh the whole day.

If you're going out and need to use a deodorant, opt for one with a mild formula. I've tried Dove and Nivea whitening deodorants which were both good. But my favorite is Rexona Sensive because aside from giving the best antiperspirant protection, it's the one that works best on my skin in terms of fragrance at the end of a long, sweaty day, and improvement on the skin color. Note that I used this before I discovered the coconut oil regimen so I can attribute the improvement to this deodorant.

3. Refrain from shaving your underarms.

A lot of people say that waxing is the best hair removal method for the underarms. It exfoliates the skin, takes the hair off from the roots, and leaves you hair-free for a longer period of time. Veet Wax Strips leave me hair-free for about 3 weeks. I don't know if it's because my threshold for pain is higher than most, but I think the ouch factor of this method is very tolerable. Of course, it would still be best to have it professionally done if you have the time and can spare a little money.

If you cannot or would not want to wax, plucking would be better than shaving.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Peek into my vanity kit

I am not a vain person, but I do believe in the importance of taking care of one's appearance. Not to meet other people's expectations, but mainly to make us feel better about ourselves. And the older we get, the more attention we have to give to ourselves to help us age as gracefully as we can.

My everyday vanity kit just contains a facial wash, powder, lipgloss, oil control sheets, a pack of tissues and a hair brush. Of course I have a bigger loot of products I've tried in my search for the best skin and hair care. All these and more I'll share with you in future blogs. So drop by often and share your thoughts with me as you peek into what's new in my vanity kit.

See ya!