Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Secret To Great Skin

30 October 2010

I’ve recently signed up for Pure Fitness @ Knightsbridge and converted into a gym bunny. If I’m not working, I’m probably at the gym, sweating it out at the machines or letting loose in group classes. The results: skyrocketing energy levels and glowing, radiant skin!

From reducing acne breakouts to fighting the signs of aging, health experts say regular exercise can play a big role in how young and how healthy your skin looks and feels. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, so the benefits of exercise can be enormous – increased circulation, delivery of nutrients to skin cells and whooshing away potentially damaging toxins. Exercising also gives skin the optimum conditions for making collagen, the support fibers that help keep wrinkles and lines at bay.

But perhaps the most dramatic effects of exercise are on acne-prone skin. Doctors say working out provides many benefits that can help clear the skin. How? Exercise mediates the production of testosterone-related hormones such as DHEA and DHT. “There’s a lot of indirect evidence that shows that when you exercise your level of stress diminishes. So your adrenal glands are producing less of these male-type hormones that are part of any acne flare-up,” says David Berman, MD, medical director and dermatologic/cosmetic surgeon at the Berman Skin Institute, Palo Alto, Calif., and former chief of dermatology at Santa Clara County Hospital. No wonder, the more stressed I am, the more I want to work out (5x for a particularly hellish week!).

If you want proof, think about any situation that increased your stress level – finishing a term paper or job project on deadline – and you’re likely to recall a breakout. Exercise can help control it. “By reducing stress, it tends to quiet the adrenals. There is less hormone output which in turn helps control acne,” says Berman.

Regular exercise also increases sweating, which in turn can unclogs pores and have a positive effect on breakouts. In the long run, people who exercise have a better complexion overall. If they have acne, it’s better controlled, and if they have occasional breakouts they are definitely less severe, and clear quicker and easier. Now, isn’t this enough reason for you to throw on your sweats and work it out? Can’t wait to hit the gym again tomorrow!

Vichy Normaderm Zero Imperfection 2-week Challenge

23 October 2010

Vichy asked 10 of Singapore’s most influential bloggers to select 10 girls who want great skin to take part in the Normaderm Zero Imperfection 2-week Challenge.

In Phase 1, you select the 5 girls who should take part in the Challenge. Using Normaderm, the anti-blemish range that helps reduce acne, redness and shine, these 5 girls will document their progress with a Skin Diary with the hopes of achieving clearer and radiant skin.

For Phase 2, you vote for the girl who has shown the greatest skin progress. By participating, you will stand a chance to win a $300 Vichy hamper in each phase. So, what are you waiting for, VOTE now!

P.S. For those of you who have been diligently visiting my anti aging website:, thank you for your support and sorry for the dearth of updates. I have been busy with my social media consultancy as well as working on two magazines, The Republic and Aesthetic Beauty Guide.

Dark Eye Circles – Is There A Cure?

16 October 2010

Your shiners, your raccoon eyes, your blue luggage… whatever you call your dark under-eye circles, here’s what they really are: oxidising hemoglobin.

Most people think that dark under-eye circles are caused by staying up late watching monster movies, or having that last drink the night before, or sitting up with your laptop trying to finish the quarterly report. Most people think that their behavior is somehow linked to dark under-eye circles.

Well, most people are dead wrong.

If nothing else, I want you to know that dark under-eye circles are not your fault. They don’t mysteriously appear when you misbehave or are stressed out, only to vanish when you get 8 straight hours of sleep. Dark under-eye circles are a by-product of the very same mechanism that produces bruises (and you don’t blame yourself for bruising, do you?). Changing your behavior will, in almost every case, NOT get rid of your dark under-eye circles.

Dark under-eye circles begin in the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that web the delicate skin around the eyes. Now, your capillaries are so small that red blood cells sometimes have to line up, single file, to get through. Frequently, red blood cells get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This isn’t a problem – it happens all the time – and your body has a mechanism to mop up these escapees. Enzymes in your body break down the red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color).

No problem, right? Except for one thing: when hemoglobin is broken down, its remaining components have a dark blue-black color. Just like a bruise. So your dark under-eye circles are actually caused by leaky capillaries. 

It’s quite possible that capillaries all over your body are leaking small amounts of blood all the time (I don’t know if this is true or not). But the reason dark under-eye circles are so apparent is this: the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest, most delicate skin of your entire body. The capillaries are much closer to the surface of the skin there. Many people’s skin is not only thinner around the eyes, but also more translucent. The combination of capillaries near the skin’s surface and translucent skin makes this discoloration much more apparent. And that’s why you have those dark under-eye circles staring back at you in the mirror.

Home remedies:

The most effective remedy for dark circles is also the most cliche. Thin slices of cucumber applied to your eyes not only helps to lighten the skin, but also soothes and cools the eyes. This can be especially comforting if you’ve been up late the night before or your eyes are red and tired from allergies or staring at a laptop screen.

The caffeine in tea bags acts as a remedy for dark circles by diminishing puffiness. Caffeine in tea helps to diminish water in the tissues around the eyes (you’ll notice that many early eye circle creams contain caffeine for this very reason). In addition, tea contains antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin. Take a used tea bag (green, black or white) that’s been squeezed out. Make sure it’s cool! Leave it over your eyes for about 10 minutes. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in puffiness and under-eye circles. Be careful not to get tea in your eyes.

Lazy to raid your fridge? Look for eye creams or lotions that contain cucumber extracts or caffeine. Alternatively, you can try this aesthetic treatment – Undereye fillers, to lessen your dark eye circles:

Botched Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery Jobs

1 October 2010

Don’t risk your looks by going for cheaper deals abroad or to the beautician when you are doing cosmetic or aesthetic treatments.  Here are some horror stories to drive the message across:

1. Xiaxue’s bad eye job in Johor Bahru

This famous blogger documented her fiasco with a shoddy China doctor in JB in lurid, graphic details. She wanted to cut her eyes to create anime eyes popular in Japan. Not only did she look the same after the surgery, her wounds healed badly and got septic. She’s lucky she did not go blind!

Full story here:

2. Laser treatment leaves woman burnt

This lady wanted laser hair removal on her pubic area and suffered intense pain after the treatment.  The next day, the area erupted into blisters.  She went to her GP then to a dermatologist who told her she had second degree burns and prescribed her a special cream. Unfortunately, this episode has caused her to be scarred for life.

Full story here:

3.  Cosmetic surgery addict injects herself with cooking oil

Cosmetic surgery addict, Hang Mioku, started injecting herself with cooking oil after doctors refused to carry out anymore work on her as she was suffering from a psychological disorder.  Her face became so grotesquely large that she was called “standing fan” by children in her neighbourhood – due to her large face and small body. As Hang’s notoriety spread she was featured on Korean TV. Viewers seeing the report took mercy on her and sent in enough donations to enable her to have surgery to reduce the size of her face. During the first procedure surgeons removed 60g of foreign substance from Hang’s face and 200g from her neck. After several other sessions her face was left greatly reduced but still scarred and disfigured.

Full story here:

Moral of the stories – always seek reputable and qualified doctors to do aesthetic or cosmetic surgery treatments for you. After all, aren’t you worth the investement?

Need help? Check out for qualified practitioners.