The Best Moisturizer

by Dr. Blight on December 31, 2013

Moisturizing is part of a girl’s daily skin care regimen, but choosing the right type is also as vital as doing it. Moisturizers come in different forms including creams, lotions, and serums; but the more important thing to note is their base. Among these, the most common forms are oil-based versus water based.

Oil-based moisturizers are thicker, provide a sealing effect over the skin and are very good for people who have extremely dry skin. For people needing a medicated type of moisturizer, this is also better as the skin favors lipids and evaporation is slower thus giving the medicine more time to sink in. Harsh weather like winter also spells the need for heavier creams and lotions in order to protect against cold winds and skin burns.

Water-based moisturizers are light, thin and provide an airy feel to the skin, allowing it to breathe. They are good for people with oily, normal or combination skin. By using this type of moisturizer, consumers will avoid the sticky sensation left by oil-based ones. Best season to use? All except winter.  This is perfect for summer, autumn and spring but will not be sufficient for winter’s skin-drying effect.

Recently, I have tried this gel-based moisturizer with Aloe vera. The Nature Republic brand from South Korea is very popular and has received a lot of love from users all over the world so I thought I’d give it a shot and go get it once I have time off from the hospital. To my surprise the 300 ml product (which is quite big) is cheaper than an eyebrow gel or a small blusher. It smells very mildly citrusy and isn’t heady like Aloe vera lotions. When applied, it feels very cool and light; as it dries you will not feel its weight on your face. It feels as light as water actually. The catch? The Aloe vera gel’s moisturizing effect is not as long as other products; it is ideal as a day moisturizer but perhaps you can use other heavier creams at night. Overall, I loved this product and it’s going on my list of essential beauty products.

As a last pointer, when choosing a moisturizing, look for additional ingredients such as light perfume, antioxidants, plant extracts, collagen, vitamin beads, etc assuming you have no allergies to these. These will give you more benefits in one and whatever type of moisturizer you wish to buy, make sure to try it on your skin first. These things don’t come cheap nowadays and it’s important you choose one suitable to your sense of smell and touch–your best moisturizer. That way, you’ll be sure to use it every day. Have fun in getting your moisturizer!

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How to Treat Acne

by Dr. Blight on July 29, 2013

Inflammatory Acne

zeno-zit-zapper

The Zeno zit zapper uses heat to clear out pimples.

Having problem with acne? To treat it properly, know which type you have. It may be inflammatory or non-inflammatory. The first type is the more obvious and worse; reddish papules (flat lesion), nodules (small elevated lesion) and pustules (raised lesions with pus inside) usually cover a large area of the face. Different causes have been proposed including hormones and the lipase of Propionibacterium acnes breaking down and freeing irritating fatty acids. Benzoyl peroxide works well with the inflammatory type by oxidizing Propionibacterium acnes, thereby killing the anaerobic organism. You can buy it as PanOxyl in different concentrations. Vitamin A treatments (retinoic acid, tretinoin) are also, if not more, as effective in treating inflammatory acne. Remember to treat promptly, otherwise scarring can occur. Some tips to control inflammatory acne:

Tip # 1 – Use benzoyl peroxide after washing your face well. Do not scrub your pimples, they’ll only get worse and redder. I personally think that other pimple gels don’t work and benzoyl peroxide only works a little bit.

Tip # 2 – If you absolutely have to pop a pimple; make sure it’s far from the nose and that it’s shallow. You’ll know it’s shallow if you can clearly outline its opaque white round shape. Sterilize your needle and skin with alcohol and puncture at the side. Gently press out the pus if not all contents are emptied. Repeat sterilization afterwards.

Tip # 3 – Avoid, or better yet, never pop pimples near your nose! If you puncture it, you risk further infection and it may spread backward to a confluence of veins in your brain called the cavernous sinus. It’s always more embarassing to have to let people know that you died because of a popping a pimple than to sport one.

Tip # 4 – If you feel a pimple too deep and wide to let you do anything to it; don’t fret. Relax, dip a cotton ball in hot water and use it as a hot compress on the spot. Apply it repeatedly and make sure that each time the cotton comes in contact with your skin, it’s hotter or as hot as the previous one you applied. Use the highest temperature you can tolerate; not scorching, not burning, just hot. Press it on for a few seconds and remove it right before it cools down. You don’t want to solidify and stiffen up the pimple again. After a few minutes of doing this, I guarantee you’ll notice a significant change in size, redness and consistency. If you want an easier way out, use a Zeno Zit Zapper; it also works by heating up the pimple; it’s no mess and is simply handy.

Tip # 5 – Cover pimples with a concealer only if you absolutely have to. If you’re staying home, don’t bother with make-up; it’ll only clog the pores and may stir up more trouble.

Tip # 6 – Observe proper skin hygiene. Remember when your teacher said an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure? Well, she’s right as always. You can actually forget everything but this one. As for hormone-induced acne, it’ll go away after puberty so don’t worry too much. Newer products have come out like Acne Pen which uses silver as an anti-microbial to treat acne. The market can keep coming up with higher tech products but it’s all up to you to discover the products that really work for you. Products aside, simply follow the tips above and enjoy pimple-free years! :)

Non-Inflammatory Acne

etude

 

Notice black dots on your nose? How about small white mounds? This is acne and it’s the non-inflammatory type; it consists of the familiar black and white heads. Black heads are also called open comedones; they have a central keratin plug and are black due to melanin oxidation. White heads are closed comedones; they do not have a visible central plug. Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for the black and white heads; better skin care regimen and pore regulation are required to prevent recurrence. Here are some tips to minimize comedones:

Tip # 1 – Use warm water before applying facial wash so that pores are open and exposed to the cleansing effect. Wash off with water of a lower temperature to close off pores.

Tip # 2 – Try nose packs and pore strips for your nose area every now and then; they effectively pull out the keratin plugs and some unwanted hair. Try i White nose pack that works like glue and if you’re not a fan of the peel-off products, use nose clay masks like the one from Face Shop Black Head Ex Series.

Tip # 3 – Use a facial wash with subtle matte finish. This will lessen the oil on your face and keep it that way for a longer time. Be careful of choosing the brand, though. If your facial wash does give you a matte finish but is overly drying, stop using it. You will only feel sticky and oily when oil does come out on your now desert-like skin. Pond’s Pure White Deep Cleansing Facial Foam with activated carbon works well in giving you the clean feel without overly drying the skin. Gatsby Oil Control Clay Wash also works well.

Tip # 4 – Last but not the least…wash your face well everyday and every time you feel the need to!

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To scrub or not to scrub

by Dr. Blight on July 19, 2013

Fresh-Brown-Sugar-Body-PolishToo much of anything is bad and the same goes for scrubbing during baths. Scrubbing isn’t harmful per se but it’s the way we do it that determines its effectiveness. For me there are three things about scrubbing that makes it good: timing, strength and the right product.

Timing

Avoid frequent scrubbing of the face and body. I can actually do away with scrubbing the body; maybe once every month is fine. When it comes to the face, scrubbing every 2 -4 weeks is good enough. If your timing is too soon you won’t be able to appreciate the difference between a scrubbed and not-scrubbed skin. Your natural skin shedding is also once monthly so it is better to go along with the natural cycle rather than scrub too often which can cause thinning and reddening of the skin. Take note to not use scrubs if your skin is already irritated or inflamed like when you have acne.

Strength

Of course rubbing the body too hard with a sponge, towel or any product would cause petechiae (pinpoint bleeding) and tiny bumps to appear. And the face, well, it’s more delicate so proper products should be used. A light circular motion should be applied over the skin (with a facial or body scrub) and that should do the trick. Remember to not drag the skin too much and to not rub the face downward to avoid sagging.

 Product

apricotThe it product here is St. Ives Apricot scrub. Everyone loves it and it’s not hard to see why. Its main ingredient, apricot is a plant related to prunes and has been in use since ancient times.

Different parts of the plant—seed, oil, kernel, fruit—were used by traditional healers for its healing properties for the skin, digestive and respiratory tract. Its oil is said to be rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin A and E hence its antioxidant properties.

 

 

st ives

St. Ives has apricot scrubs formulated as ‘gentle’, ‘invigorating, ‘blemish and blackhead control’, and ‘renew and firm’. I use St. Ives scrub once a month on my face and absolutely love the feel afterwards. Its smell is fresh and citrusy and light. The scrub particles really help clean the face and not much effort is needed to use it. A simple—very light—circular motion is enough to do wonders for your skin. The effect afterwards is a very soft, matte, and clean skin.

 

This is a must-have in your beauty cabinet! Forget the expensive scrubs, St. Ives Apricot scrub is effective and is definitely worth its price.

As a scrubbing companion, sponges also help in keeping the skin’s softness. Choose the soft medium sized sponges to avoid abrasions and their size allow faster drying too.

Enjoy a healthful glow with proper scrubbing!

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