Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Chamomile Tea Toner

I'm obsessed with D.I.Y projects. I want to make stuff as much as possible (well except for stitching, haha!). But what I like doing most are different concoctions for skincare or for household use. For me it's a good way not only to save money but also to help in saving our deteriorating environment because you get to recycle stuff. Also it unleashes the creative side of me, which is cool. So in this particular blog post, I'm going to teach you how to make a chamomile tea toner for a healthy and brighter skin. It's very easy to make, believe me. ;-)

You will need a chamomile teawitch hazel toner (Dickinson's brand or not), and a spray bottle. That's just it!

First step: Brew the chamomile tea and let it cool.

Second step: Pour witch hazel toner in the spray bottle until it fills 1/4 of the bottle (but you can still make some adjustments depending on your preference). This will serve as the astringent property of the homemade chamomile toner.

Third step: Pour the chamomile tea in the bottle until full. Shake the bottle and it's ready to use! You can either directly spray it on your face or on a cotton pad.

(Note: Don't waste the remaining chamomile tea because you can still drink it, besides it is also a source of antioxidants which fight free radicals!)

Chamomile has a lot of benefits when directly applied to the skin. It has healing properties--antiseptic and anti-inflammatory--meaning it is also good for treating acne problems. Not only that because according to some sources from the internet, chamomile can also lighten the skin. It is also said to sooth sunburnt skin and eczema and it may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection. (source)

Who says you can only drink teas? This homemade chamomile tea toner is not only easy to make, but it is also free from harmful chemicals. You can find chamomile tea at any local grocery while the Dickinson's Witch Hazel Toner can be bought at any Healthy Options branch. Good luck!

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Hassle-less Portable Gym!

I'm sexy and I know it! (I work out! I work out!) ;-P

I've been working out for almost 6 months now through weights, swimming, and yoga in order to improve my physique and to gain weight. Months ago I had the privilege to be trained by one of the best fitness gurus in the country, Coach Josephine So, who taught me the fundamentals of having a fit body including the right nutrition for my body type which is ectomorph. So far I've gained almost 8 lbs from my previous weight and also the development of my body is more evident. But it doesn't stop there because working out is a continuous process and should be maintained or else all your efforts will just go to waste.

Going to the gym or the training center is sometimes troublesome and such a hassle especially if you are a busy person (or just a lazy dog), and sometimes it can be very costly. That's why I wanted to share this genius contraption that will definitely give you the convenience of working out at home--THE IRON GYM. (Well mine's just actually a rip-off of the original Iron Gym, haha!)

This is the manual that came from the box. They even misspelled the word "nutrition".

I told you mine's just a rip-off! HAHA!

This is the actual product. Just don't mind the powder smeared on the handles (I have sweaty hands just so you know, haha!)

Basically it is an upper body work out bar which I call "The Hassle-less Portable Gym" because:

(1) It is easy to install. All you have to do is to hang it to any door and that's it! Then simply detach after using it. No need for drilling or any tools.

(2) It safe to use. Because as you hang on it, it automatically exerts force to support the door frame. (Did it make sense?) Also it can support up to 300 lbs!

(3) It is lightweight. Even a four year-old kid can carry this thing! This makes it transferable to any door/place for you to use anytime.

(4) It can be stored anywhere. What's good about it is that it doesn't take much space when you store this thing. I even store mine under my desk and it's not really that much of a clutter.

(5) It is multifunctional! It can be used for pull-up, push-up, sit-up, dip, or just simply hanging on to it.

(6) And most importantly it can definitely help you save a lot of money.

I can say that this is probably the best alternative if you want to enjoy the luxury of working out at home without the hassle of going to the gym (and paying $$$). Add up some weights and transform your home into your personal gym. Fitness gym or training centers may provide you the best service when it comes to working out, but my coach once told me that all you need is your resourcefulness and dedication in achieving that healthy, gorgeous body. 

Good luck!

(P.S. I bought this rip-off Iron Gym at Shopwise, Sucat for the discounted price of only 699.00 Php)

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Best Skincare Tips I Swear By

For the past few years, I've been experimental when it comes to choosing the right products in order to attain a blemish-free skin. And throughout those years, I believed in the notion that perfect skin could be achievable by those products commercialized in the market...but I was absolutely wrong. I did a lot of research when it comes to the different approaches in skincare. And I've come to the conclusion that having a healthy skin can be attained through "holistic approach", meaning our lifestyle and health greatly affects the appearance of our skin. So here are some tips that I've been doing for quite some time now and I definitely swear by it:

1.) Choose the MILDEST cleanser as much as possible.
Not because you are acne-prone skin doesn't mean that you should always use cleansers that are strong enough to dry out the face. It's not healthy plus it strips away the natural lipids of your skin. Remember we should maintain a pH balanced skin (5.5) in order to keep pimples at bay. You can start with Dove Cream Bars or Cetaphil which are mostly recommended by dermatologists. Then after cleansing, it's the time for you TO TREAT your acne by using medication such as salycilic acid.

2.) Use a gentle toner to balance the pH level of the skin.
There are plenty of toners out there in the market, but only few are gentle enough. I tried using Pond's Toner  and Eskinol before but it did no good for my skin. The alcohol content (and other chemicals) in it was rather drying, and I felt that it stripped away the natural lipids of my skin. I highly recommend Dickinson's Witch Hazel Toner because its ingredient is nothing but witch hazel. It balanced the pH level of my skin while retaining its natural moisture, plus it is really affordable.

3.) Oily skin also needs some moisturizing.
Our skin produces oil in order to cope with moisture. If the sebaceous gland senses that the skin is dry from cleansing, it will produce oil (sometimes overproduce). Basically it is a defense mechanism of our skin. That's why we need to apply moisturizer after cleansing and toning to seal in the moisture of our skin so that it won't overproduce oil or sebum. I use Human Nature Day and Night Moisturizers because it is 100% natural and it is Filipino made. :-)

4.) Cleanse the face NOT more than 3 times a day.
Whenever we wash our face, we most likely strip away its natural lipids and that would disrupt the balance of our skin. That's why it is preferable that we only wash our face 2 to 3 times a day followed by toner and moisturizer.

5.) Use facial masks once to twice a week.
Facial masks are great for the skin in order to rejuvenate and to pamper it. As opposed to those facial masks  sold in the market, it shouldn't be expensive. You can just make it by using HONEY + RICE FLOUR. As simple as that! Leave it for 15-20 minutes (or more) then after rinsing it you will notice that your skin feels hydrated, radiant, and softer.

6.) Do not invest in expensive skincare products.
Unless you are really sure that the product suits your skin well. I remember buying a lot of skincare products in Korea without assessing if it suits my skin. And I tell you those products are not cheap. My skin became really bad after using those products that's why I end up giving it away so it wouldn't go to waste. Do a thorough research first (especially its ingredients) before purchasing a product or find a natural alternative as much as possible.

7.) Make slathering sunscreen a daily habit especially when you're on the go.
Ultraviolet rays are everywhere even in cloudy days. Make sure to slather sunscreen (spf 30 or up is still preferable) in order to protect your skin from UVA which can cause AGING and UVB which can cause BURNING. I recommend Celeteque Dermoscience Sun Care Matte Moisturizer with spf 30--hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, oil-free.

8.) Exercise and drink plenty of fluid to flush out toxins.
Drinking green tea is not only beneficial to our skin, but also to our body as a whole. It is rich in antioxidant which combats free radicals for prevention of cellular damage. Whilst drinking water everyday will flush out toxins from your body. But in order to optimize the release of toxins, we should exercise more often and sweat a lot! A simple morning jog will do.

9.) Take Vitamins C and E for a youthful skin.
These two vitamins are essential in keeping our skin healthy and youthful looking. Vitamin C is not only good to strengthen our immune system but also it helps in producing collagen which gives our skin firmness, strength, and resilience. On the other hand, Vitamin E is also rich in antioxidant and can also help in preventing skin cancer. I suggest you take the Vitamin C in the morning after eating breakfast and Vitamin E before going to sleep.

10.) Eat good food.
Apparently this tip is self-explanatory. Veggies and fruits are the best in maintaining a healthy skin because it is packed with vitamins and all the goodness that our body can benefit. Since those food are rich in fiber, it will help us to release toxins daily through defecation (or pooping!).

11.) Do not stress yourself, have a good sleep.
According to Total Beauty, stress causes our sebaceous gland to produce excess oil which can lead to clogged pores and eventually acne. It also slows down the healing process of it that's why we need a good rest. 8 to 10 hours of sleep is what our body requires. When we sleep (preferably by 10 pm) our body starts to repair and rejuvenate its system. A good night sleep will not only give us that radiant skin, but also a well being.

Challenge yourself and do these tips for a month and you will definitely see a result. You'll not just have a healthy radiant skin, but also a healthy mind and body. These tips will keep you from visiting your dermatologists or aestheticians every now and then. It will also save you a lot of $$$. Achieving a healthy beautiful skin should not be expensive. You just have to be smart, disciplined, and dedicated to this endeavor. Good Luck!

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