Sunday, August 14, 2011

Borage Oil

 courtesy of

I've been adding borage oil to my collection of supplements to maintain health and good skin.

Borage oil comes from the seeds of the starflower plant. It is one of the richest sources of GLA (gamma linolenic acid.)

Our body naturally does this:

Alpha linolenic acid  + Delta-6-desaturase = GLA + Elongase = Dihomogamma linoleic acid

THEN, for the grand finale:

Dihomogamma linoleic acid + Delta-5-desaturase = anti-inflammatory Prostaglandins series 1 (PG1)

PG1 is super important in keeping our skin healthy and preventing / decreasing inflammatory actions within our body.

However, it's important to have an extra source of GLA because Delta-6-desaturase can get a little lazy or even impaired, especially in people who have skin disorders, like eczema or psoriasis. Obviously, it's good to be a step ahead in the process and supplement GLA so that we get a rich resource to biosynthesize PG1.

I get my borage oil supplements at the Vitamin Shoppe. It's been a regular shopping mecca as I've been taking super care of my health.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Multivitamin & Flaxseed Oil

While on my health and beauty journey, I started taking a multivitamin and flaxseed oil supplement on a daily basis. I kinda figured I'm at the point in my life where I really should start nourishing my body by providing what it's lacking from my daily diet.

Considering I'm a vegetarian (though I'll throw in some seafood here and there), I miss out on some vitamins and minerals. I feel getting a daily balance of vitamins and minerals helps in chronic disease prevention, because I only have one body and one life and I don't want to be stuck being sick.

On top of that, I also started taking flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is wonderful because it is the only plant-based source with a high amounts of omega-3's, which helps with cardiac health, lower cholesterol, prevent some cancers, decrease inflammation within the body, and benefit the health of your skin, hair, and nails.

Again, I feel beauty is very closely related to your health - if you want to feel your very best and beautiful, you have to stay healthy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Jivin' & Clarisonic Pro

I can't believe we're already getting into the middle of summer. Work has been intense, but I've been enjoying staying busy and learning new things everyday.

I finally gave in and went to an esthetician, one who specialized in acne, and had great reviews on Yelp. First of all, what I like about her is she looks at skincare as a holistic treatment. Not only does she believe in the right topical beauty regimen, but she also believes in being healthy from within too. My first visit with her was a general consultation along with a facial that included a microphototherapy treatment, which is a light and heat therapy to help even out your skin tone. It's been two weeks and my skin tone has definitely improved. I'm still getting small breakouts, but it's not as extreme as before.

Clarisonic Pro Sonic Skin Cleasing 4 Speeds - Pink

Also, I invested in the Clarisonic Pro and it has definitely helped in reducing my skin issues. My skin definitely feels cleaner and it glows. Even though it's pricey, but it's a great investment. It's so easy to use and I get excited to clean my face just so I can use it. I know, I'm such a geek!

Started working out on a more regular basis. I've been gaining weight from just being so sedentary but eating so much, and could feel the growing sluggishness. After stopping for 5 months, I'm restarting P90X because I can definitely feel the burn after every workout and soreness the next day, which means the workouts are effective.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Feeling bleh

I haven't really updated lately just due to my busy schedule, and honestly, been feeling bleh about makeup. With my full-time work schedule, along with trying to stay healthy and fit, I haven't had the time or energy to do much freelance makeup work.

Also, I haven't really been wearing a lot of eye makeup except for brown eyeliner if I'm in the mood.

My skin has been changing on me AGAIN...the Clean Start by Dermalogica kit totally stopped working for me too. After about 3.5 weeks into the regimen, I started getting a bunch of whiteheads and then a full blown breakout again. I finally called it quits and just gave in to benzoyl peroxide with some trepidation....

So far, it's my second day on the 10% benzoyl perioxide:

  • Cerave foaming cleanser (2 pumps)
  • pea-sized amount of 10% benzoyl peroxide
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
  • take makeup off with baby wipes
  • same as above
Maybe it's too soon to tell, but my blemishes are coming to head or drying up. I didn't get any new breakouts. I do notice my face feels a little drier and somewhat itchier, but there's no major redness or inflammation, which means I just gotta pack on the moisturizer.

For foundation, to keep it light but with good coverage, I've been busting out my Temptu airbrush compressor, (NOT the Sephora kit...don't get me started on that. I already formed an opinion after just testing it at the store,) and applying OCC and/or Dinair airbrush foundation. They're both water-based, so it's not as irritating compared to silicone-based airbrush foundations. Also, water-based makes it easier to blend colors, keep the skin looking matte (since my skin is currently oily), and it makes cleaning the gun a breeze. I dunno, maybe I'll do a comparison with airbrush foundations, but we'll see - can't make any promises.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Clean Start Dermalogica Kit Review

As you all know recently, I've been dealing with oily, acne-prone skin. Even with prescriptions, healthy changes to my lifestyle / diet, and natural & holistic approaches, I was still dealing with breakouts due to medication that I'm currently taking.

I was getting new pimples every week, never giving my old blemishes time to heal.

Anyways, I was examining several acne regimens out there and thought Dermalogica's Clean Start Kit ($35) would work best for me.

I had tried benzoyl peroxide treatments in the past and they just ended up making my face red, inflamed, itchy, and sensitive for several weeks until my skin adjusted to the formula. I didn't want to deal with that, leaving me with mainly salicylic acid treatments to choose from.

I ended up choosing Dermalogica's Clean Start Kit just because there were good reviews online and I liked that they had an affordable sample pack for you to test the products before shelling out money for the full-sized bottles.

I wish I had started on the regimen sooner! Even though it won't rid your acne overnight, I could already notice a change after 4 days of using it. Even the OH said my skin was looking a lot less red and seemed to be better. I even noticed my face looks less oily. Before, I had to blot every hour, otherwise my face would look like a greaseball, but the treatment really does well to control the oil production so that I don't have to blot as much.

I will say that after a week of use it hasn't completely cleared my face, but it definitely cleared my complexion by 75%, which is A LOT better in my opinion. It definitely gave my old blemishes / acne scars some healing time.

I only use the cleanser and toner at night. Other reviewers have noted how dry their skin became due to the overuse of salicylic acid, so I just use each product in the kit once a day. In the mornings, I use a gentle face cleanser and the Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel to replace the Clean Start cleanser and toner.

I would only recommend this product for those who have oily skin. Unfortunately, I feel this would be too drying for those with already dry skin. However, you could try experimenting by lowering the amount of usage, so instead of using the kit daily, maybe just use it every other day or less frequently.

I would also suggest using all the products in the regimen. I believe the products are meant to be used together to complement one another, and it wouldn't be as effective if used separately.

I've already purchased the full-sized bottle through Ulta (and even used my Ebates account to get some cash back...chaching!). Can't wait to see what the next week as in store for me!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Natural Facial Peel

I was looking around for DIY facial peels since I didn't want to go out and spend money on mediocre masks with limited number of treatments.

I actually found a lot of recipes online, but for the most part the basic ingredients are:
  • 1/2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 packet of plain unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 Tbsp aloe vera gel
  • 1-2 drops essential oil of your choice
You just mix everything in a bowl until the gelatin is fully mixed with the liquids. Apply it to a clean face (ideal if just steamed or post-shower to open the pores) with a brush that you don't care about anymore.

Wait for the mask to completely dry. You will tell when the mask is ready to peel when it's hard to move your face.

I recommend applying it in sections on your face instead of doing it all together. It makes it easier to peel. Also, make sure you avoid applying the gelatin mixture over hair, because it's like peeling duct tape off your face and it's going to hurt like hell.

Make sure you apply a toner or splash cold water onto your face after you peel off the mask. It will help close the vulnerable open pores.

If you want to use the gelatin mixture again, just put it in an airtight container, put it in the fridge, and you just warm it up in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt the mixture before your next use.

Dispose the mixture after a week.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Face Wash & Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser

I finished my old facial cleansers and started using cleansers from The Body Shop's Aloe line. I had a Groupon to burn and decided to get something that I would use on a daily basis instead of something collecting dust in my beauty stash.

I've been using both products for more than a month, which is a good amount of time to note any side effects from the products.

The Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser 6.75 oz 

Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser ($14 / 6.75 oz): This cleanser was definitely made for sensitive, dry skin. It really reminds me of Cetaphil's Sensitive Skin Cleaner, except TBS cleanser has a more lotion-like consistency while the Cetaphil Cleanser was more liquid gel-like. I use this cleanser in the mornings, because this cleanser wasn't made for tough cleaning. It will definitely NOT take off makeup nor do any deep cleaning, but it does take off superficial facial oils/grime while keeping your face hydrated.

I actually don't use this product with water. I found it ideal to apply the cleanser by itself all over my face, let it marinate for 5 minutes, and then wash it off with water. Sometimes I'll just take a damp washcloth and wipe it off. My skin is moisturized but still feels clean.

The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash 4.2 oz 

Aloe Gentle Facial Wash ($16 / 4.2 oz): This is a foaming wash. It cleans a little bit more than the Calming Facial Cleanser, but it will not take off heavy makeup. It's best for people who wear little to no makeup. However, even when wearing mineral makeup, I still take a cleansing cloth to take off the makeup before using this cleanser to clean off the leftover residue.

Both products have not broken me out nor caused any irritations. They don't dry out my skin either. Again, they're ideal for people with really sensitive skin.  However, I feel like they do an average job of cleaning for people with normal/combo skin, and the whole reason for a cleanser is to clean. I most likely won't be purchasing this again.
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