Do you exercise with your makeup on?

Posted by Teresa Foo seet Wei on

I am a big fan of exercise and have been working out regularly. I work out at least twice a week with a minimum of 30 minutes each session. Regular Exercise not only keeps my body physically healthy (makes me look younger too!), it also makes my heart stronger. Exercise releases good endorphins that can help us to destress. Exercise have shown potential that "changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills" according to Harvard Health Blog (source). 

Regular exercise also keeps our skin looking healthy. During a workout, our heart starts to pump faster (cardiovascular exercise going on there) and carries oxygenated blood throughout our body. Hence we will get a flushed look during and after we have exercised. In other words, our skin 'glows' with regular exercise. We also perspire a lot in the process. Here are some fun facts about our sweats (source). 

There is a rising trend in wearing makeup during workout which the products are called Athleisure makeup. These makeup are formulated to stay on your skin no matter how much you perspire. Sounds great? Probably not. I spoke to Alexia Buttigieg, an experienced Esthetician, on her views about wearing makeup when you exercise.

Alexia, can you share with us does makeup gets absorbed into the skin?

"Before I answer the question of makeup absorbing into the skin, we must understand that not all cosmetic ingredients are absorbed by the skin. Cosmetics only penetrate the first layer of dead or dying cells. Cosmetics do not go beyond that otherwise they would be classified as drugs or Pharmaceutical products! We do not want cosmetics to go beyond the first few layers of the skin i.e. deep into the dermal layer, as it would affect cell metabolism.

Makeup falls under cosmetics and it does penetrate into the first few layers of keratinised cells but not absorbed into the dermal layer which leads to the blood stream (which is good news). Makeup can get trapped in the horny layers with bacteria and sebum (the natural oil that our skin produces)."

What are the reasons why we should not wear makeup when we work out?

"Athleisure makeup may sound trendy but it is not a good idea to wear makeup during a workout as it can clog pores and disrupt the skin barrier. The foundation, loose powders and blushers are made of colouring agents and other substances (occlusive ingredients) which are meant to stay on the surface of the skin. They may penetrate into the epidermis during a workout. Our body produces heat (burn calories) when we exercise. As a result, skin metabolism rate increases. Pores become dilated (enlarged), and bacteria can get trapped in them. With a cocktail of sweat, bacteria, dirt and makeup, skin cell inflammation can occur and leads to irritation, redness, acne flare-ups and clogged pores.

Cleansing the skin before a workout is ideal, and highly recommended. As mentioned earlier, skin is highly active during a workout and may absorb whatever is on the surface. Even if you do not wear any makeup before starting your workout, your skin should be cleansed prior to any high-intensity activity. You should cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser and apply a light and fast penetrating facial serum. If the workout is performed outdoor, a sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide should be worn so it will stay on the surface and not have the possibility to get absorbed into the bloodstream (nano-sized zinc particles do get absorbed into the bloodstream).

Our skin should be cleansed thoroughly again after a work out to remove excess sweat (and a cocktail of dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells too!) and whatever the skin would have expelled. Gently pat your skin dry with clean tissue instead of wiping with the wet towel to reduce irritation.

TIP: Makeup should be applied at least 30 minutes after the workout (onto freshly cleansed skin) so that the body has enough time to cool down. Our skin will still be in the 'active' state after shower and cleansing. The heart will require some time to slow down the blood pumping action. Your skin should be cool to the touch before applying any makeup especially foundation. 

Most often, girls and women wear makeup during their workout because they want to look good in their selfies or probably due to lack of self-confidence. Would you like to offer a few words of encouragement to all our female readers on embracing their natural beauty sans makeup during exercise?

"You will notice that exercise makes the skin flush which gives an impression of making you look younger and healthier. We should not be uncomfortable in our own skin. Almost no one has the perfect complexion so I believe we should all go bare-faced during a workout and let the skin do it’s own 'workout' too."

Photo courtesy of Alexia and friends sans makeup after their Zumba workout session.

Thank you Alexia for sharing with us. Let us embrace our natural beauty and exercise to your hearts' content sans makeup! Wear your natural flushed look with confidence! 

"Do not let beauty define you. You define beauty.

[ Alexia Buttigieg is a Holistic Therapist who is passionate about everything that can help people feel better in a more natural approach, from massage to self-therapy to essential oils and reflexology. She believes that stress cannot be avoided but nature has given us all we need to reduce it, and live a more balanced existence. She started her career as a Beauty therapist and has achieved diplomas in Esthetician and Physiatrics, where she was able to understand the anatomy and physiology of the human body. She furthered her studies by achieving diplomas in Reflexology (including palliative care) and Aromatherapy. Other certificate courses include tui na, facial analysis and Ayurvedic stone massage. In these past years she has ventured into natural cosmetics and read for a diploma and an advanced diploma in organic skincare formulation, which harmonises her passions for Aromatherapy and organic skincare treatments. Alexia still feels like her first role is being a mother to her daughter and prioritises family and their well-being. She may be contacted at naturannis@gmail.com ]

We have just the right product to help you gently remove your makeup before your weekly workout session. Our Floral Cleansing Water works effectively to remove all traces of makeup and sunscreen including waterproof eyeliners too. There is no need for additional cleansing as the Floral Cleansing Water also conditions your skin. We are offering a 10% discount on our Floral Cleansing Water. Offer ends 9 April 2017, Sunday.

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How should I cleanse my skin?

Posted by Teresa Foo seet Wei on

Most of us if not all wash our face with some kind of facial cleanser at least once or twice a day. I am picking up a three times a day! That is way too much washing in one day even in our humid climate. There are some of us who only wash your face with water. Is that enough? What facial cleansers should I be using? There are literally hundreds of facial cleansers in the market to choose from and any consumers will have a hard time making a decision.

Let's start with how many times you should be washing your face.

When you wake up in the morning, you should wash your face with a gentle cleanser. You need to do so because your facial skin is coated with a cocktail of dead skin cells, sebum from your facial pores and scalp, mold, mildew, fungus, dust mites and mites’ feces. Ewwwwww…You get the gist. All of them are found on your pillow. (Pssst, you need to change the pillow covers at least once a week.) 

No fret. Washing your face with water only cannot remove these cocktail of microorganisms. With the help of gentle facial cleansing products in the morning after you wake up, your skin is clean and you can continue with your usual skincare regime of toning, moisturising, sun protection and maybe makeup.

You go about your day commuting to work, school, volunteer work, shopping, doctor’s visits, etc. During the day, your skin starts to get coated with a layer of dust, pollen, air pollutants, smoke and sebum. At the end of the day, you will remove your makeup/sunscreen and follow through with a thorough cleansing.

Twice a day of facial cleansing, one in the morning and one when we get home/before bedtime are sufficient for daily cleansing. Washing your skin more than twice a day can put a lot of stress on the skin barrier as it is stripping away too much of the skin’s natural moisture i.e. disrupting the skin's acid mantle.

What type of cleansers is suitable for me? Let’s take a look at the common facial cleansers available to you. There are gel and foaming cleansers, cream cleansers, oil-based cleansers, clay, oleogel cleansers and also facial soap bars.

This is a general guideline on selecting facial cleansers for the common types of skin:

  1. Normal resistant skin
    You are one of the lucky ones on this planet! You can use just about any type of facial cleansers that you like, as your skin is neither dry nor oily, and do not react to any cosmetic ingredients.
  1. Normal to dry/mature/aged/dehydrated and also sensitive skin
    Cream cleansers, oil-based cleansers and oleogel cleansers will not leave your skin feeling like it has been stripped of it’s natural moisture. Since these type of cleansers usually include botanical oils, they have refatting properties that will leave your skin feeling moisturised after cleansing.
  1. Normal to oily/acne skin
    Gel, foaming, clay cleansers and even oleogels (self-emulsifying oil cleansers) will be suitable for this skin type. Your skin is usually oily around the T-zone. These types of cleansers leave a refreshing sensation on your skin without feeling like it has been coated with a layer of oils. Make sure to look for gentle, pH balanced skin as you do not want to wash away too much of your skin’s natural moisture. 

Natural facial soap bars are usually made with botanical oils, extracts and essential oils. The pH of the soap (pH 7-9) is usually higher than the skin’s natural pH (between 4-6). After cleansing your skin with a facial soap, it can leave your skin feeling tight. Using a moisturiser after cleansing will remove the tight skin feel. We do not recommend facial soaps for dry/mature/aged/dehydrated or even sensitive skin.

Now you know the importance of facial cleansing and how to select facial cleansers for your skin type. 

Look out for our next post where we share our views about the latest trend of wearing makeup during exercise or Athleisure makeup.

We have gentle facial cleansers for your daily cleansing needs. Floral Cleansing Water is great for makeup and sunscreen removal. It is also suitable for dry/mature/aged skin as it is gentle and do not strip the skin of it’s natural moisture. Our Rejuvenate Cleansing Balm & Mask is a self-emulsifying oleogel that turns into milk when water comes in contact with it. It cleanses your skin effectively and is very gentle on the skin. There is no layer of oil left on the skin after rinsing off with water.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Festive eating and your skin

Posted by Teresa Foo seet Wei on

Have you recovered from the 'food coma' after the Christmas feasting? I hear a 'NO' and now we're onto another episode of festive feasting again! Lunar New Year is just round the corner and with the many reunion dinners and company lunches, I am sure many of you have had a few kilos added to your weight. 

There is always a risk of excessive eating and not forgetting alcohol bingeing during festive seasons. We get carried away when we meet our friends and relatives whom most of us only see them once a year due to our busy schedules.

Do you know that festive eating can have a negative effect on your skin besides your body putting on a few kilos? Yes you heard me right. Let's take a look at what many of us will be consuming over this Lunar New Year.

Kueh Lapis, Pineapple tarts, Kueh Bangkit, Kueh Susu, Bak Kwa, Glutinous rice cake (年糕), Yu Sheng, Egg rolls, assortment of nuts, copious amount of cookies, chocolates, Arrowhead crackers, and the list goes on and on. Oh throw in the numerous cans of soft drinks, sugared teas, beers and wine we will have during our visits to friends and relatives' home.

What does all these food tells us? They are all high in Glycemic index (high GI). We will be consuming lots of refined flour, high sugar and fats and alcohol too. These will cause our blood sugar to rise which will induce excessive production of insulin. 'Elevated insulin levels stimulate the secretion of androgens and cause an increased production of sebum, which plays a fundamental role in pathogenesis of acne vulgaris.' (Source). Most often, we will experience breakouts after festive season and in some, exacerbate existing Eczema (Dermatitis) condition. Also due to the insufficient intake of fibre, many may experience constipation too.

Excessive alcohol consumption within a short time or long term duration can lead to dehydration of the skin. 'Alcohol can produce urine flow within 20 minutes of consumption; as a result of urinary fluid losses, the concentration of electrolytes in blood serum increases.' (Source). Try and limit the intake of alcohol and remember to replenish with plenty of water.

So how do we ensure we get to have our share of the New Year goodies and also maintain healthy skin? It is easy to indulge in all the festive goodies but our body will suffer which will eventually affect our skin. Therefore prevention is better than remedy. Let's be honest and we know we cannot avoid eating all the New Year goodies but it is wiser to practice eating in moderation. 

I have designed a simple food journal for you to download and print so that you can keep track on what you have eaten and what you should be eating to ensure a balanced diet during the festive season. Click on the image to download the file.

Meanwhile, I wish everyone a Happy & Prosperous Lunar New Year,新年快乐,身体健康,心想事成! Huat ah! 


Further reading:
• Guide on Sugars intake for adults and children: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/guidelines/sugars_intake/en/
• The Science of 'Breaking the seal': Urge to urinate comes more often with inhibition of Anti-Diuretic hormones: http://www.medicaldaily.com/science-breaking-seal-urge-urinate-comes-more-often-inhibition-anti-diuretic-hormone-316382

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Pollution and it's effect on your skin

Posted by Teresa Foo seet Wei on

Environmential pollution is an increasing problem in many large cities around the world. Small countries like Singapore cannot escape the threat of environmental pollution. Pollution can occur within the country from the daily onslaught of car exhaust, smoke, dust and also haze from neighbouring country.

So how does environmental pollution affects our health and skin? Particulate matter or PM is a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles suspended in the air. This complex mixture may contain dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. The size of the particulate matter can be as tiny as 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller, which is about 30 times smaller than a strand of hair!

These tiny particles are inhaled through our noses (so small that our nose hair is unable to filter it!), pass through our lungs and into our blood stream which is then carried throughout the rest of our bodies! It can cause severe lungs and health problems in the long run being exposed to the particulate matter on a daily basis.

Besides posing health problems, these particulate matters are able to penetrate into our skin through the pores and hair follicles. Their deposits can cause skin problems such as inflammation, excessive sebum production, degradation of collagen, increased oxidative stress and pigmentation. All of these will affect the integrity of the skin barrier function and speed up ageing.

How do we tackle environmental pollution? A thorough cleansing that do not disrupt the natural pH of the skin is an important first step in anti-pollution skincare regime. We present to you our essential 3 step – CLEANSE, TONE & NOURISH anti-pollution skincare capsule collection for your urban beauty care.

This can be achieved with our pH balanced Floral Cleansing Water made with Organic Rose hydrosol that not only removes makeup and sunscreen, it also effectively removes environmental pollution. Follow through with our Rejuvenate Cleansing Balm that is rich in antioxidants for a deeper cleanse and also acts as a facial treatment to nourish the skin.

Achieve smoother youthful skin with daily or weekly microdermabrasion with our Bamboo Facial Polish that is an add-on to the Rejuvenate Cleansing Balm. Gently polish away dead skin cells to encourage cell renewal.

Toning is another essential skincare step that removes all last traces of makeup, dirt, grime and excessive sebum. Our Antioxidant Facial Essence tones, hydrates and nourishes the skin by infusing potent antioxidants from Gotu Kola, Liquorice and Kakadu plum extracts. The facial essence plumps the skin with extracts of snow mushroom, the botanical version of Hyaluronic acid.

Last but not least, repair and protect the skin barrier with our Super Fruit Defense facial oil serum that is made with a cocktail of super fruit oils such as Acai, Cranberry, Passionfruit, Raspberry to name a few. This facial oil serum is loaded with vitamins A, C and E and rich antioxidants such as carotenoids from Buriti oil and Seabuckthorn CO2 extracts.


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Liquid Gold slows down the effects of TEWL

Posted by Teresa Foo seet Wei on

Botanical oils are sometimes called Liquid Gold which can provide the skin with essential fatty acids of Omega 3, 6, 9. The oils also slow down the water loss from our skin (by forming a barrier on top of the skin) which is one of the contributing factors in ageing. 

Have you nourished your skin with oils today such as Sweet almond oil, Argan oil, Rosehip oil, Camellia oil? Our range of body balms are packed with botanical oils to hydrate your skin and keep them well-nourished! 

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