Read This Before Investing In Skin Care

imageAsk a group of people what they feel when they hear the word “exclusive,” and you’ll get a range of emotions. For some, the idea of committing to one S.O., one job, even one cell phone carrier, provides a sense of security. For others, a feeling of suffocation.
The same could be said for your skin-care routine. Sure, it may feel satisfying to complete your one-brand routine each morning and night, but do you ever wonder what else is out there?
Not to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you, but we can’t help but wonder: Is your medicine cabinet really a place for exclusivity, or should you be cheating? Luckily, the answer is surprisingly black-and-white.

Why The Pros Want You To Cheat

The pros have spoken and the answer is clear: You should be cheating, with one exception (but more on that later).
“Honestly, buying a one-brand, multi-step system is for the lazy person,” Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, board-certified dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, says. “If you’re willing to do your homework and shop around, you’re probably going to put together a better skin-care regime for yourself than that of a package deal.”
Why? In short, you’re getting a lot of stuff you simply don’t need and could be missing out on the things you do need from different brands. No surprise here: Not every line is the best in every category.
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michael Swann, when you buy into a full line, you’re probably getting filler products. And what’s worse, things that are doing more harm than good for your skin. “Every successful product line looks at their market, just like any good business does,” Dr. Swann explains.
That means, if something like a face mist or a peeling agent is having a moment in the industry, the big lines try to create something to fill that category in order to go after that customer. The product gets stuck into a pre-existing line. “The problem is, you’ve got these lines that have tons of different things that your skin may or may not need,” he says. “I’m not saying they don’t all work, but buyer beware.”



How To Cheat The Right Way

Instead of committing to a full line without giving it much thought, Dr. Swann prefers a “skin typing” approach to creating your own unique routine. It’s simple: Determine what your skin type is (you may need the help of a dermatologist or aesthetician for this) and what your goals are (to prevent fine lines, breakouts, dullness, or just keep the status quo with the right protection, for example). Then, look for products that fit your needs and are suited to your skin-type.

Dr. Swann recommends cherry-picking from lines that do clinical testing for efficacy, likeObagi, SkinMedica, and Elta MD. Skinceuticals, which releases studies on their efficacy, is also a good one to explore.

But before you get overwhelmed, heed Dr. Tanzi’s advice. “Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated,” she says. “You just need three steps.” That is: cleanse, treat, and protect with sunscreen in the morning; cleanse, treat, and moisturize at night.

Disclaimer: This isn’t to say that some lines aren’t a great base for your research. There’s no denying that you will find great products packaged together, but don’t feel obliged to go all in just because the brand is marketing them as a line — think of trying a range a bit like dating, not every person product is going to work with you and your needs, no matter how alluring they are. [Ed. note: For me, face mists are like bad boys, they seem like they’ll be fun and invigorating, but they just dry out my skin.]



Monogamy Has Its Benefits

Of course, this isn’t totally black-and-white. “There are some advantages to using a single line of products,” Dr. Swann explains. “If a company that is manufacturing the products does a lot of testing, they’re probably testing the products together.” That translates to “elegance of use,” Dr. Swann says, which doesn’t mean more effective, just more pleasant (one product won’t pill on another and everything will feel and smell good together) and easier to use (the order and time of day is often mapped out for you).

Dr. Tanzi also notes that for people who don’t prioritize their skin-care routines, or are simply way too busy to put some thought into things, sticking to a line is their best bet. Translation: You may be spending more money and not getting maximum results, but it’s certainly better than not caring for your skin or adding to the stress of your already busy life. (We feel you.)
For people with incredibly reactive skin, finding a line that works for you can be a godsend, because after all, if it’s keeping your skin clear, balanced, and healthy, that’s all that really matters. For example, we’ve heard countless tales from editors and celebrities alike who swear by the power of complete lines like Somme Institute (seen above) and Biologique Recherche. Proof positive that sometimes, shopping around isn’t worth it when you have a good thing going.



The Exception To The Rule: Acne

“Acne is a little bit of a different animal,” Dr. Swann explains. Using Proactiv as his example, he breaks it down like this: No ingredient in a typical acne kit is fancy or unique to that kit (acne lines are all basically made up of the same ingredients, but more on that in a second); but packaged together, they make it easy to feel like you’re doing something to help your breakouts.

And you are: “Around 90% of acne is main acne, or acne vulgaris. So, when someone sees results with a series of products, they’re going to stick with it,” Dr. Swann explains.

Dr. Tanzi agrees. “There are a couple of key ingredients for acne that work: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, plus something to soothe the skin, so it’s a little easier to get a good kit for acne than it is to get a kit for something like anti-aging,” she says. “I’ll have patients call me and say ‘I’m not in the country right now,’ or, ‘I just need something quick for my acne,’ and I tell them to go to CVS and buy La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar system,” she says. “It’s quick and dirty, but better than nothing if you can’t shop around.”

Lesson Learned

The moral of the story? If you suffer from acne, can’t be bothered to pick and choose, or have a good thing going, a pre-designed routine could be a great option for you, but don’t feel beholden to every product, since some could just be filler. As for everyone else? Playing the field is all it’s cracked up to be.

I Went On A Five-Day Nacho Diet, And I Actually Lost Weight


Eating happens to be one of my favorite hobbies.

So, as you can imagine, going on a cleanse diet that limits you to six bottles of liquefied kale sounds like a certain kind of hell I never want to experience.

That is exactly why I decided to try a nontraditional approach to dieting back in the fall. I ditched the green vegetable concoctions for an epic diet that let me eat tacos every damn day.

I went on a “taco cleanse” and actually lost weight by stuffing my face with those tortilla-wrapped bad boys for six days straight.

Unfortunately, I put a few pounds back on since weaning myself off tacos. (I know, who would have thought, right?)

So, I recently decided it was time to go back on another insane diet. But this time, I wanted to try a diet that was nacho average cleanse.

I opted for the taco’s messy fraternal twin and went on an all-out nacho diet.

The nacho diet was just like your typical juice cleanse, except for the fact I replaced those sh*tty drinks with all sorts of insanely tasty nachos.

Yep, for five days I stuck to a strict nacho regimen and said goodbye to alcohol and all other supplementary snacks.

I was pretty sure this diet wasn’t going to work, but at the end of day five, I did the final weigh in and discovered I had actually lost weight. Three pounds, to be exact.

But before you swear off all other foods for tortilla chips and cheese, you should probably know this diet made me sick AF and the nacho-induced nausea I experienced was definitely not worth dropping a couple pounds.

Yeah, sorry to rain on your fiesta.

I recently went on a “nacho cleanse” and only ate nachos for five whole days.


Unlike my previous taco diet, I actually made an effort to be somewhat healthy this time by eating out for some meals and also making healthier versions of nachos on my own.


I began my cheesy endeavors with a colossal plate of nachos piled high with chicken, guac and cheese from Vamos.


Later on, I whipped up some apple almond butter nachos…


…and finished up day one with some simple cheesy chicken nachos I made myself.


I wasn’t feeling so great when I woke up on day two, so I started the morning by finishing the leftover apple nachos from the day before. Later in the day, I hit up El Camion Cantina for some veggie nachos loaded with four different types of cheese.


By dinner, I was starting to feel pretty sh*tty. But, I managed to up my nacho count with a plate of homemade Irish nachos, then went to bed with a horrible stomachache.


I woke up on day three feeling marginally better, so I threw together some breakfast waffle nachos.


For lunch, I had the remaining Irish nachos from the day before. But at this point, I had such bad heartburn, I wasn’t really able to each much.


Then, I finished the day by basically forcing myself to eat some Al Pastor nachos from Taqueria Diana.


On day four, I felt like these nachos were actually trying to kill me.


I’m not used to eating a lot of dairy products, so the cheese was definitely taking a toll on me; it was even making my skin break out. I decided to do some damage control by noshing on a few “naked” veggie nachos for an AM snack.

For lunch, I had a plate of bell pepper pizza nachos…


…and I wrapped up the day by giving myself a pep talk and going in on a plate of nachos from El Vez.


Needless to say, I totally regretted that dinner decision because I was nauseated AF for the rest of the night.

I woke up on day five feeling absolutely awful. But I’m no quitter, so I started the last day off on a strong note by demolishing a heaping pile of apple pomegranate nachos.


This was followed by a mountain of Mediterranean cucumber nachos for lunch.


Finally, I celebrated the end of this damn diet with a victorious plate of homemade veggie nachos.


Five days and 15 plates of nachos later, I guess you could say the nacho diet was a success because I lost three pounds in the process.


However, I definitely wouldn’t recommend going on this diet because eating an endless amount of nachos will straight up make you feel like sh*t.

If we can learn one thing from this, it’s you can probably lose weight by eating almost anything as long as you cut alcohol and sugar out of your diet.



Which Diet Type Best Suits Your Needs?


There are plenty of diets to choose from these days. To find one that best suits your needs or goals — and which seems feasible — here’s a look at of some of the most popular diets of the moment.

The alkaline diet: banish acidity

The alkaline diet seeks to reduce the effects of foods that increase acidity levels in the blood when digested. The program claims to rebalance the body through a diet comprising two-thirds alkalizing foods (like green vegetables) and one-third acidifying foods (meat, cheese). Alkaline dieters can eat carbohydrate, protein and fat, but the focus is firmly on raw, seasonal produce, green vegetables and fruit.

Chrono nutrition: four meals a day

Chrono nutrition is based on the idea of respecting the body’s natural rhythms. Followers can eat what they like, but only at fixed times of day. So rather than cutting out certain foods, this diet — developed by French nutritionist Dr Delabos — puts different food groups in different meals. The day starts with a hearty breakfast including animal fats, followed by a dense, protein- and carb-based lunch, a sweet snack in the afternoon and a light meal in the evening to prevent excess calories being stored overnight. Dark chocolate is allowed every day, but not after 5pm.

Detox diets: cleanse and purify

A detox is more of a short-term program than a long-term diet. Detoxing aims to flush toxins out of the body. This generally takes around a week, and often starts with a phase of around three days where detoxers eat just one kind of food, usually with unlimited fruit, and lots of water and herbal teas. Cooked vegetables are progressively reintroduced, followed by protein (meat, fish, eggs) over the last two days.

The Dukan diet: go for protein

This diet is very strict in the foods it allows followers to eat, but these can be consumed in unlimited quantities. This controversial diet is a high-protein and low-calorie program that cuts fat and carbohydrate intake. This encourages the body to use up its fat stores (adipocytes) to get the energy it needs to keep muscles functioning. As fat stores are used, fatty acids are released into the bloodstream, making the liver and kidneys work harder. Weight loss can be very quick in the first phase of the diet — the attack phase — which lasts around seven days (approximately 5kg).

Low FODMAP diet: beat the bloat

Developed by an Australian nutritionist in 2005 for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome, this eating program involves avoiding a family of carbohydrates called FODMAPs. FODMAPS are types of sugars that are poorly absorbed by the body. These are naturally present in certain vegetables, cereals, pulses, fruit, mushrooms, dairy products and certain “low sugar” products. Eating FODMAPs can lead to bloating and stomach ache after meals, as the sugars ferment in the intestine. Fruits allowed as part of the diet include bananas, grapes, grapefruit, kiwis, mandarins, oranges, passion fruit, pineapple and tomatoes.

Blood type diet: each to their own

For the American nutritionist James d’Adamo, people with blood types A, B, O and AB shouldn’t eat the same things to lose weight and stay healthy. This is due to the different antibodies developed in relation to the chemical composition of each specific blood group. Four different profiles exist. The “O group” should eat meat and vegetables but avoid dairy products and carbs. The “B group” should fill up on dairy products, green vegetables, meat and eggs, while avoiding chicken, corn, peanuts and lentils. The “A group” should follow a vegetarian diet, with lots of fruit, vegetables and cereals but no meat, beer, dairy products or beans.

The Mediterranean diet or the Okinawa diet: eating for longevity

Following the same diet as inhabitants of the Greek island of Crete or the Japanese island of Okinawa (home to the world’s highest number centenarians) is thought to increase life expectancy. The Mediterranean diet is based on the regular but moderate consumption of red wine, as well as tea, olive oil, plus fruit and vegetables rich in flavonoids and antioxidants which keep the heart healthy. The Okinawa diet is a pescetarian regime that includes vegetables, algae, wholegrains and legumes, fruit, high-calcium foods (broccoli, fish, yogurt, cheese, etc.), fish, seafood, and nuts and seeds rich in omega 3.

Paleo: eat like a caveman

This diet, based on what humans ate in the Paleolithic era, can help dieters shed up to 1kg of fat per week. Eating paleo involves excluding all cereals and dairy products, as well as beans and legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes, fatty meats, salt, sugar, and all forms of processed food and fizzy drinks. Inspired by our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the diet is based on lean meats, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and non-starchy vegetables, as well as all kinds of nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.).

10 facts about building muscle

When it comes to building lean muscle, you’ll find countless theories, techniques and testimonials. Whether the goal is upgraded health, aesthetics, performance, or a combo of all three, there is no scarcity of advice to help you get there. So much so that it can often become overly intricate and you forget about the basic ideals of building that enviable definition and muscle tone. Trust me, it’s simpler than it seems. As compiled from Men’s Fitness magazine, here are the facts about muscle building that you really need to know.


1. It takes protein

Protein is imperative to have with every meal because it builds and maintains those striking muscles you’re after. Aim for one gram of protein per pound of body weight a day — less active people need less — and that should be spread out over five or six small meals. Don’t go overboard, though. Excess protein, especially from animal sources, has been linked to kidney stones.

2. Sleep is crucial

It’ll be an understatement to say that it’s uber difficult to build muscle without adequate sleep — seven hours a night, preferably eight. Sleep is when most of your hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone, are released, allowing your body to recover and grow. Without adequate sleep, you’re sabotaging your efforts to build muscle, because without those hormones released, your muscles won’t respond to your workouts as well.


3. Yes, it also takes carbs

Protein will only be used to build muscle if you consume enough carbohydrate calories to provide your body with energy. Else, your body will tap into the protein for that fuel and you’ll end up losing muscle instead of building it. Carbs provide energy for muscle function and act as the fuel for the brain. But that doesn’t mean you down a bunch of fries! Opt for minimally processed carbs such as veggies, daal, oats and brown rice.

4. The foundation is key

The abs and biceps might gain more attention but the many little stabiliser muscles around your shoulders, hips, and midsection — collectively the core — provide a strong foundation. Challenging the stability and mobility of these key muscles with medicine balls, doing circuits, squats, lunges etc will surely give you huge paybacks.

5. Routine is the enemy

Training at a consistent time of day is a great thing, but having a routine workout is not since the body quickly adapts. Constantly challenge yourself by adding different movements. When you do turn to a familiar exercise, aim to improve on it by adding resistance or playing around with reps and sets.

6. Timing is important

At the end of your workout, your body is literally desperate for nutrients. The sooner you refuel the tank, the quicker your body will recover and your muscles will grow. One simple strategy is to place in your gym bag a post-workout recovery snack or a shaker bottle for your protein shake that you can consume immediately after the workout.


7. Water is essential

Sadly, we aren’t asking you to go swimming or scuba diving! Fact is, however you train, drinking sufficient amounts of water is essential to building lean muscles. Drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise can increase performance up to 25 per cent. Make it a habit to drink half to one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day to maintain hydration.

8. It’s not just about lifting dumbbells

You can build muscle from carrying heavy grocery bags, flipping tires, hauling buckets of water, doing push-ups and innumerable other ways. The best muscle-building exercises are those that mimic everyday movements. So if you don’t have a gym membership, don’t find excuses and get on your bedroom rug to squeeze in some push-ups.

9. The more muscles involved, the better

Why spend your time on an isolated exercise like a bicep curl or leg extension when you can get much more benefit from movements that pull in more of the body? Think in terms of rotational, chopping, and swinging movements that provide much more range of motion. That said, focus on total body workouts or assign days to cover each body part to get to your goal.

10. It takes intensity

Smartphones produce not-so-smart workouts. Don’t be the person in the gym playing with the phone for two minutes between sets. You’ll lose the focus and intensity required to build muscle. Better yet, don’t rest between sets. Superset with a pushing exercise, like a set of planks or crunches, followed immediately with a pulling exercise like a dumbbell row. You’ll produce better performance since the non-working muscles recover faster while their opposing muscles work.

How to gain muscle for skinny guys

I used to be skinny. Really skinny. In high school and up to my first year of college, I was a complete stick — until I made the decision in my freshman year that I needed to put some muscle on.

Eventually, by my senior year of college, I went from just “putting on muscle” to actually becoming a bodybuilder – standing on stage and posing 35 pounds of muscle above my original starting point.

If you were born skinny, you may not have the potential to gain the bulk of an NFL lineman, but it’s completely possible for a skinny guy to put on muscle. The bonus for you is that your body fat levels are naturally low, so when you do gain muscle, you’ll be able to achieve a very ripped look, which bigger, bulky guys often envy!

Here are seven things I learned from my own journey.


Normally, you can get from food all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need. But if you’re trying to put on significant size and you’re exercising at a level that is constantly stripping your body of fuel, you’ll need help from supplements.

For calories and upping your protein intake, a protein powder is important. If you don’t want the typical gut distress that comes from eating protein powders, don’t just settle for any version of protein powder. Try to choose one without added soy and corn, with no artificial sweeteners, and with added digestive aids such as digestive enzymes and probiotics.
Other supplements that can effectively help a skinny guy gain muscle are:

-Creatine: 0.3 g/kg bodyweight for 5-7 days followed by 5 g/day.

-Carnitine: 750 mg, 2,000 mg/day, in 2 doses.

-Citrulline: 6-8 g, 30-60 minutes before exercise.

-Beta-Alanine: 2-5 g, 30-60 minutes before exercise.

None of these supplements are a substitute for lifting frequently and lifting heavy, but they will certainly help to enhance results.

Eat Frequently

Strength training is very glycolytic, which means it burns a high amount of carbohydrates. Because of this, you shouldn’t go into any muscle building workout without having eaten about 300-600 calories of a carbohydrate-containing meal two to three hours prior. This meal can include sweet potatoes, yams, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice or any other healthy carbohydrate source. If you eat another similar meal after your workout, you’ll be able to put on size more quickly, as your muscles will rapidly absorb the sugars more quickly after a workout.

In addition, timing your protein intake with several small 20-25-gram portions split up through the day will be far more effective for gaining muscle, compared to a giant protein shake at the beginning and end of the day.

Ultimately, a skinny guy trying to put on muscle should be aiming to consume a pre-workout meal, a post-workout meal and at least four to five additional meals. This may seem like a lot of eating and food, but this is what it takes to build significant muscle if you’re skinny.

Open Thread: Who Is Your Ultimate Beauty Icon?


A few years ago, I had an interview for a contract position at a Canadian fashion magazine. During the interview, the beauty editor asked me to name my ultimate beauty icon. Although I’d spent hours preparing for the interview (and had written a short list of possible answers to that very question), I totally drew a blank. Then I panicked and blurted out, “Daryl Hannah in Splash.”

I immediately regretted the answer. I mean, Darryl Hannah looked beautiful as Madison the mermaid, but I think that had more to do with her bone structure and less to do with any makeup she wore. Her crimped bangs really haven’t stood the test of time, either.

Of course, the situation could have been worse. I could have said “Hagrid” or “Lady from Lady and the Tramp” or something. The interview moved along, and I wound up getting the contract. All’s well that ends well, I suppose. But if I could go back in time, I might have done things differently. I might have named one of these women as my ultimate beauty icon:

Zoe Kravitz and Lisa Bonet

<> at Hollywood Palladium on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

This mother/daughter duo is so beautiful that it almost physically pains me. Whenever I see photos of Zoe on the red carpet, I obsess over her makeup. Last summer she did gold lips and geometric eyeliner for the Mad Max: Fury Road premiere, and I’m still not over it. And as for Lisa Bonet, well, she’s been doing the glowy skin and dark-lined eyes for years, and I love her for it.

Emma Watson


In my opinion, Emma Watson is the new classic—she always looks chic, timeless, and so elegant. Emma usually does a bold brow and dramatic lip, and I love that she doesn’t cover up her freckles.

The septuagenarian with purple hair


I used to work at a liquor store in Toronto, and one of my favorite regular customers was a woman in her seventies. She came in once a week to buy a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin, and her naturally white hair was always dyed bright purple. She wore bright red lipstick and colorful clothing, and seeing her on a weekly basis was just a treat. I hope that if I’m lucky enough to be tossing back gin and tonics in my seventies, I do it with purple hair and red lipstick, too.

So, now that I’ve told you mine, I want to hear yours: who is your ultimate beauty icon? Let me know in the comments section below!

Black Women Fight Back Against Beauty Industry That’s Failed Them


Almost any Black woman who has wandered into a drug store has faced the same dilemma: Which shade of [insert product here] fits my complexion? Usually, this refers to the foundation laid as the base on a woman’s face, but it can also refer to lipsticks and blush.

The issue doesn’t just deal with makeup but, as many exasperated natural-haired women know, it refers to products for the mane as well. Though Black women have Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter, the masses of hair companies have only recently begun to pay attention to the unique beauty needs of Black women, according to Refinery29.

Thankfully, some women have newly taken control of how their faces are made up in the morning. Ofunne Amaka took to Instagram one day to demonstrate to other Black women how makeup swatches would show up on darker hues. Little did the fashion and beauty blogger expect, she was met with thousands of followers who appreciated her efforts. Now, Amaka is launching an app called Cocoa Swatches, after the same-named Instagram account. Because of thoughtful individuals like her, a change is being lead in predominately white beauty brands to demand more products for coarsely textured hair and melanin proficient women, according to Mic.

Lately, it seems that cosmetic beauty companies are taking notice and starting to implement changes, no matter how many decades late the change has come. According to Refinery29, L’Oréal launched a “Women of Color Lab” project in 2013 aimed at producing foundations which feature the wide ranges of Black skintones. The company acquired Carol’s Daughter in the next year, and in its press release announcing the move, the company touted Carol’s Daughter as a brand that “caters to a diverse, rapidly growing market,” as if that market – filled with Black consumers eager to consume products that work well with their tresses – hasn’t been sitting on the sidelines for all these years.

It’s been well-documented that Black women make up a bulk of the consumers in the beauty industry. According to The Huffington Post, the Black hair industry accounts for profits of $500 billion. That’s including the shift away from relaxers to natural hair. With all that money being spent, there’s plenty of financial proof that there is high demand for quality products catering to Black needs.

Where makeup is concerned, it’s clear that Black celebrities are being featured more prominently than ever as ambassadors across marketing campaigns for companies ranging from drugstore brands like Neutrogena (Kerry Washington) and high-end ones like Lancôme’ (Lupita Nyong’o). But it’s still taken so much time for these brands to feature makeup that includes a variety of skin tones. Washington wasn’t even able to find a foundation that matched her skin tone, according to Refinery 29.

One thing that holds beauty companies from including women of color is the idea that there needs to be specialization. According to Refinery29, Black products are always featured separately in the “ethnic” beauty section. Other times, the products are no longer carried by retailers due to issues of demand. Retailers and beauty companies alike should stop seeing Black women as the other and start seeing them as being in tune with other consumers of beauty products.

“They’re not categories,” said Desiree Reid, vice president of Iman Cosmetics. “They’re customers that are looking for the same thing every woman’s looking for when she walks down that beauty aisle.”

Once companies get on board with this line of thinking, Black women will see more honest improvements.

Study Says Diet Rich in Vitamin C May Help Prevent Cataract


Cataracts are like perpetual cloudy days, only they are in your eyes. Statistics say that over 50% Americans will develop this vision impairment condition as they turn 80. However, a new promising study published in the journal Ophthalmology suggests that a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables can help dodge the risk, unless you have a genetic tendency.

affecting vision and making it harder to see clearly as the person ages. Experts recommend that to prevent cataract from spreading from one eye to another, it must be treated before it gets worse.

For the purpose of study, a total of 1,000 pairs of female twins were recruited byresearchers from King’s College in London. Each participant was approximately 60-years-old who were made to fill a food questionnaire answering questions about their nutrient intake everyday.

With the help of digital imaging scan of every patient’s eyes, the researchers measured the development of cataract. The participants who consumed vitamin C and about two servings of fruits and vegetables every day had 20% less chances of getting cataract as compared to those who consumed less nutritious diet.

Researchers contacted 324 twin pairs in a follow-up ten years later. They discovered that the participants who reported consuming more Vitamin C in their diet now showed a 33% lowered risk of developing cataract as compared to those with less consumption of Vitamin C.

“The findings of this study could have significant impact, particularly for the ageing population globally by suggesting that simple dietary changes such as increased intake of fruit and vegetables as part of a healthier diet could help protect them from cataracts,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Chris Hammond, the chair of ophthalmology at King’s College, in a press release.

Beauty review: Enhancing my skincare routine with Innisfree’s Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack

It is seriously hard to maintain good skin in Singapore – especially for me.

This may sound a bit like a rant but why can’t we enjoy cooler weather here and not feel like we are stepping into a sauna whenever we leave the house?

Moreover with outdoor air pollution, ladies in Singapore usually end up with a ‘melted’ face of cakey foundation and oil pools around our T-Zones – especially around our noses – by the end of the day.

With my oily and sensitive skin, I have been experimenting with my skincare regime.

I remove my make-up everyday by massaging my face with extra virgin olive oil. Then, I will apply some honey to moisturise my skin, and leave it on for about five to 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

Every other day, I exfoliate dead skin with a black sugar face scrub from KLAIRS. I will also use an egg-white mask once a week to remove pesky black and white heads.

Although my current skincare regime leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh, I still feel that I am missing something.

After unclogging my pores, I need a product that can help close them up.

I also want to brighten the dull skin tone around my nose whenever it gets oily.

Gel-like texture, cooling effect



Recently, I tried using the Innisfree Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack ($37) for a week to see if it suits my needs.

According to Korean beauty company, the sleeping pack is a cream infused with six types of citrus flavonoids extracted from organic tangerine peels, which helps to brighten up dull skin tones, correct dark spots, and refine uneven pore textures.


I found the cream easy to spread over my face with its gel-like texture. It felt light and cooling on the skin and also had a light orange scent.

After applying the sleeping pack, I chilled out in an air-conditioned room to help it dry up.

As it was a leave-on treatment, I placed a soft towel on my pillow to prevent the cream from transferring to my pillow case.

Rinsing off the sleeping pack with warm water the next morning left my skin feeling firm and smooth.


After using the cream for three nights, I found that it reduced my skin redness.

A week later, my skin lost the usual patchy redness and it felt smooth. The dry skin around my forehead and cheeks also looked more hydrated.

It was hard to tell if the size of my pores became smaller during the review period but I think there might be more visible results with longer use of the sleeping pack.

My only peeve of this product was its gel-like texture. The stickiness gave me an icky feeling and I had keep my hair away so it wouldn’t get stuck to my face.


After I finish up Innisfree Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack, I am keen to give Innisfree’s White Tone Up Sleeping Pack ($24) a try.

It seems like a promising product as it has the 6 Free System stamp, which means it is free from parabens (chemical preservatives), talc, artificial colours, animal ingredients, mineral oil, and artificial fragrance.



Tried and Tested: Six super glycolic skincare treatments

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L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Peeling Lotion 29

A long time staple in my bathroom cabinet and one of my favourites. It’s very good at smoothing out skin and exfoliating gently without any scrubbing which makes it ideal for fragile skin. Use after cleansing as your would a toner, don’t wash it off and apply your normal serum or moisturiser on top. I haven’t noticed any “peeling” so I’m not sure why that’s in the name. Don’t worry, your face won’t fall off.

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Estée Lauder Idealist Dual Action Refinishing Treatment €50.50

This is a great product that works really well to smooth skin and exfoliate because it contains high levels of active ingredients. The glycolic is joined by salicylic acid (the pore unblocker) and you’ll feel the difference straight after use. Spread over cleansed skin and massage in – you don’t have to use much. Leave it on for five minutes, wash off and bingo.

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Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Retexturising Pads €60.45

This box of cotton discs is saturated in a mixture of glycolic and amino acids. I like it because it couldn’t be more simple; swipe a disk over your face to quickly exfoliate and you’re done.

image (4)Neostrata Oily Skin Solution €39.95

Neostrata make some of the strongest glycolic treatments around and this kit is designed to be used once a week for four weeks. It’s pretty strong and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to those of you with fragile or sensitive skin. However you can use it anywhere on the body and it can help to clear skin on the back or chest for instance. As men’s skin is thicker and often oiler than women’s it’s a treatment that is worth considering if skin is very congested

image (5)Clarisonic Sonic Radiance cleansing device Kit €249

The Clarisonic Aria is very effective method of sweeping away dead skin cells and exfoliating at the same time. I like this kit because it includes three cleansing products all with ingredients to brighten skin. The evening cleanser includes a gentle glycolic and lactic acid mix which work with the brush to deeply exfoliate. Your serum or moisturiser can sink into new fresh cells and will do a better job. Yes, there are cheaper sonic brushes out there but in some cases you get what you pay for and this is one of them.

image (6)Aisling Loves . . . Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask €35

I use this mask all the time because it’s easy, quick and really works. Despite the current trend for leaving makeup on all night we all know that it’s a very bad move. This mask is the quickest way to recharge. Spread a thick layer of the gloop over your face for ten minutes and after you’ve washed it off drench your skin with lots of moisture rich serum or moisturiser (yes even if you have oily skin). Instant forgiveness.