Christmas is almost here and after the past hectic few weeks, you’re kicking yourself now for not spending enough time on your skin? Getting your skin glowing and fabulous doesn’t always necessarily mean you should spend a large part of your time and paycheck for a facial or the latest skincare product.

It’s time to turn that frown into a smile and dull-looking skin to bright-looking, ‘cos we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 quick and easy ways to get your skin to #GetYourGlowOn and boost dull-looking skin to look ready for any party you have lined up ahead (remember to avoid some foods to keep your skin clear):

 

#1: Pamper Yourself With A Mask

No time for a spa treatment? Take a breather and indulge yourself in a relaxing mask treatment! Try out some of these facial masks if you find yourself too busy for a facial treatment at the spa:

Strawberry Mask

Super loaded with vitamin C, alpha hydroxyl acids, salicylic acid, strawberries can save your skin from many disorders including acne, blackheads/white heads, oily skin, dry skin and more.

Grind a few strawberries along with some water and simply apply on your face. Apply and leave it being washing off after 15-20 minutes, and voila, luscious-looking skin!

Papaya Mask

Papaya is a beta-carotene-rich food filled with powerful enzymes and phytochemicals that are good for skin. The enzymes slow down the formation of fine lines and wrinkles by combating free radicals. Papain, an enzyme contained in the papaya, has skin-lightening properties and can reduce the visibility of blemishes and acne scars. Together with alpha hydroxy acids, papain acts as a gentle exfoliator that dissolves inactive protein and dead skin cells. Applying papaya topically to skin will soften your skin, leaving it smooth and supple.

Apply either the pulp of a fresh papaya or use papaya juice to massage your face for 15 minutes, then rinse off for fresher and brighter skin.

Porcelain Hydrocare Bio-Cellulose Mask

Containing Sodium Hyaluronate and Ceramide, this mask provides intense moisturisation for the skin and also clarifies the skin with its natural enzymes to prevent signs of premature ageing. Its oil-free formula also fights free radicals and boosts collagen production as it contains a powerful blend of natural ingredients like litchi seed, cactus and fig fruit extracts. Just sit back and apply the mask onto cleansed skin and leave it on for 20 minutes before removing.

 

#2: Take A Cold Shower

Many may dread this, but braving the cold to take a cold shower instead of a hot one does provide some surprising health benefits! Not only does taking a cold shower help to – amongst its multiple benefits – relieve stress, it also tightens your pores which prevents them from getting clogged as it “seals” the pores in the skin and scalp. Plus, it’s much more hydrating than getting a hot shower!

If you’re having problems adjusting to showering in the cold, take a lukewarm shower first before switching to cold water for the last few minutes!

 

#3: Dig Deep, Exfoliate

Probably the best and most effective way to boost your skin’s healthful appearance is by exfoliating. The outermost layer of our skin – amidst the several layers – is actually dead, and dead skin cells found in this layer protect the healthy cells underneath. Thus, removing these dead skin cells reveals a better complexion and ensures that it gets clearer over time.

An average person would require exfoliation of up to two times a week. After cleansing, exfoliate to make sure you remove all traces of grime and stubborn makeup, which means exfoliating is best done at night.

For a less-harsh ala non-abrasive exfoliant, consider the Revive, Natural Skin Refiner. Using natural enzymes instead of harsh beads, the Natural Skin Refiner contains a potent blend of aloe vera and natto extracts to revitalize and rejuvenate your skin as you massage it onto skin to boost micro-circulation and soften dead skin cells. Your skin is left fresh and supple after the process.

 

#4: Lather On Some More Moisturiser

After exfoliation, the skin is better prepared to absorb most out of your moisturiser, hence it is absolutely essential to your skin with the hydration it needs to look healthy. Without moisturising, the skin may become dry and this dryness may lead to itching, dry patches and other skin problems.

Moisturise with Porcelain Balance, Hydraclear Gel

The Hydraclear Gel keeps acne at bay through 4 key ways: combating bacterial growth, reducing inflammation, hydrating, and regulating levels and skin pH levels. It’s also suitable for all skin types, including dull-looking skin!

 

#5: Give Yourself A Facial Massage

You know what they say, the eyes are the window to your soul. But, they can also be an obvious indicator of issues, i.e as staying up late to complete a season on Netflix ;).

If your eyes are looking puffy and looking to put the sparkle back in your eyes, try this little tip which costs you virtually nothing but a few minutes of your time. Simply use your ring fingers to press gently on the orbital bone, then move from the inner to the outer corner of your eyes. Repeat this for two to three times.

This neat massage stimulates circulation around the eye area and also helps to minimize any fine lines you may have.

 


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

 

 

 

There are two types of people in the world: Hoarders and Chuckers. Hoarders are your one-stop shop whenever you need something completely random (newspaper clippings from 1999, anyone?), simply because they keep anything and everything. Chuckers are those who, well, probably have the tidiest, most minimalist homes because they do what they do best: declutter and throw things away.

I’m quite possibly a Hoarder, but even I’ve reached my limit. A fellow Hoarder friend couldn’t stop raving about a book by Kondo, which led me to Google it myself. I found more than just Kondo, and have compiled a quick cheat sheet on some tips that actually worked (for me)! Anyone wants in on Project Decluttering in time for the New Year? Read on!

TIP 1: SORT BY TYPE, NOT BY ROOM.

The most useful thing I got out of Kondo was: Start sorting through the same kind of items first, rather than going through the bedroom, then the living room… Meaning, if you’re going to start with clothes, pull those out from every nook and cranny of the house (not just from your wardrobe) – and start categorizing!

I started with my bags because they’re pretty much all in the same place, and that made it easier for me to start the decluttering process. Which brings me to the next tip!

TIP 2: START EASY

That means leaving those sentimental gifts, love letters and even functional items for later. Begin sorting through things that you can make a snappy decision about first. When things move fast at the start, you build a sort of momentum that keeps you going with Project Declutter.

TIP 3: HOLD IT. DO YOU FEEL A SPARK OF JOY?

Kondo suggests picking each item up and then asking yourself the fundamental question: Does it spark joy? Do you feel instantaneous delight, right then and there – and not a minute later, not after you’ve talked yourself into it, but at that precise moment? Yes? It’s a keeper. No? Chuck it.

TIP 4: DON’T LET GUILT BE THE REASON.

More importantly, don’t keep something because you feel guilty about getting rid of it. Did someone spend a lot of money on that wallet? Did you, and then never used it? I felt the same guilt too, but then I asked myself: Why should I hold onto something that I know I’ll eventually throw out 5 years down, for the same reason I want to now? You can make it easier on yourself and try heeding Kondo’s whacky advice of thanking the item out loud, and then just let it go.

TIP 5: DON’T KEEP IT IF YOU WON’T BUY IT NOW.

I’m a grave offender of keeping clothes from more than 10 years back. It’s a mixture of holding onto the familiar and a “wear it till you wear it out” mentality. To make things easier on myself (and my wardrobe), I made a pact to give each old piece of clothing a last lease of life, a final wear – before removing it from my closet permanently. While still a WIP, I’ve thrown three articles so far… and that’s still progress!

A FINAL TIP?

Don’t just depend on this article – everyone’s unique, and different things work for one person to the next. That’s why there are so many resources out there for you to figure out what truly works for you when decluttering. Take the time to figure which is the right method for you.

THEN JUST START!

P.S. If you’re looking to declutter your space for a period for whatever reason, consider Spaceship – a local storage solutions provider.
P.P.S Done clearing your home for the new year? Scoot here for more reading on getting party-ready skin!

Stay true,

 

 

 

Christmas is coming – there’s only one thing we’re more excited about than the presents… The scrumptious, mouth-watering food! We’ve rounded up 5 delicious recipes for you to cook up a storm before the Christmas dinner party – your guests will be left wanting more, we promise.


A Brightening Christmas Tree Salad

Lend your dining table a burst of colour with this Christmas tree salad!

With pomegranates, pecans, oranges and fresh chard, it’s an explosion of textures and flavours in your mouth. This vibrant salad also ensures you get added boosts of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, Vitamin C, fiber and good fats.

Healthy has never tasted this good!

 

A Heartwarming Parsnip and Apple Soup

Credits: Lauren Caris

Christmas is never Christmas without some decent, heartwarming soup.

Who cares about the humidity in Singapore? Nobody’s going to complain about the heat with a soup this pretty and that leaves you with a warm feeling in your tummy.

The sweetness of apple and parsnip are tempered with the savoury blend of onion, garlic, vegetable stock and a dusting of curry powder, resulting well-balanced flavours overall. Cook Lauren Caris spiced things up and opted to top the soup off with black lentils and vegetable crisps, but you can still do the traditional croutons if you so wish!

The best thing for you busy people? You can make this soup in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days before the dinner.

 

ROAST. BEEF.

We truly intended to start healthy, but did you REALLY think we’d just go completely clean on you?

It’s Christmas – bring on the juicy roast meat and happiness!

This recipe by Olivia throws together a bunch of simple, easy-to-reach ingredients like mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and ground pepper, but turns out a dish that smells mouth-watering while it’s still cooking, and that looks like hours were put into it (well, it does take about 2 hours… but two-thirds of those are spent in the oven)!

Nothing really beats roast beef except roast beef with sautéed mushrooms. Any leftovers would make a mean breakfast the day after too, but don’t make him a sandwich.

Alternative: Consider this brilliant turkey recipe if you really prefer leaner meat for Christmas!

 

Snow Coconut Balls

Remember how we were gushing about how coconuts are wonder fruits that can help with skincare, haircare, and even promoting hormonal balance?

We’re bringing them back with this recipe by Tamara Novakovic – yummy coconut balls that are probably the closest thing that anyone in Singapore can get to snow this Christmas.

Alternative: Try a healthier take on the classic chocolate cake with this recipe if you’re still looking to stay healthy!

 

The Classic Eggnog

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without eggnog.

This recipe delivers Christmas in a cup: warm, wholesome sweetness for the perfect close to a laughter-filled night with loved ones. Replace the milk with coconut milk or almond milk for an even healthier take on the eggnog, and do without the heavy cream. Skip on the alcohol for a kid-friendly version, and help yourself to a cup – but just one.

Alternative: For the lactose-intolerant, opt for this equally yummy, dairy-free version, or try this twist on the classic eggnog for those who really love their pudding and desserts.

 

Credits: Toa Hefitba (@heftiba)

 

We’ve all heard the stories and studies about the connection between what you eat and how clear your skin is.

Well, it’s true.

Much of our health can be indicated by our current skin condition. The skin, as the largest organ of our bodies, serves as a barrier that protects our insides and regulates our internal temperature. As such, an unhealthy looking skin can probably be a clear indication that you may be unhealthy internally!

We at Porcelain believe that, as one of our three philosophies, that “good skin is clear and radiant from within.” In addition to getting facial treatments regularly and adhering to a great skincare routine, the capstone to achieving beautiful, healthy-looking skin from the inside out would be to get a healthy diet.

We know, we know –  it’s hard to resist the temptation of all the awesome Christmas goodies but if you want good skin, there are certain foods you probably should steer clear of

Here are 4 foods you should avoid to ensure you #GetYourGlowOn throughout this Christmas season:

 

“Sugar, We’re You’re Goin’ Down”

Credits: Brooke Lark (@cheekykitchen)

Acne is mainly caused by our insulin levels, and too much of insulin stimulates our sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which clogs our pores to turn your skin into a breeding ground for P. acnes bacteria, which feed on your sebum and spew out inflammatory by-products (yikes).

Foods high in sugar and saturated fats – like white bread, candy fried foods, ice cream, sodas and anything else with a main ingredient of sugar – triggers inflammation and binds to collagen, degrading skin cells. The spikes in your body’s insulin levels that sugar causes further exacerbate inflammation and steep insulin spikes increase the production of skin oils and contribute to the clogging of follicles, which can worsen skin complexion.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to quit sugar cold turkey. It all comes down to how much sugar you’re eating in a day—particularly at any one time. If you consume a soda and a candy bar, for example, you’re likely spiking your blood sugar levels, and you could break out hours later.

If you suspect sugar could be the cause for your bad skin, try to cut down on the sugary drinks to notice a difference.

 

High Glycemic Foods, or “Bad Carbs”

Credits: Olia Gozha (@oliagozha)

The glycemic index is a way to tell the “good carbs” from the “bad carbs. High glycemic foods can also be understood as foods that are high up on the glycemic index, and that means “bad carbs”. These are foods that break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They also cause your hormones to fluctuate and overall inflammation—both of which encourage acne. Foods like white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, potato chips, cookies and cakes, etc are foods you should cut down on and instead, choose low glycemic-index foods, like vegetables, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and most fruits.

 

Fast Food

Credits: Niklas Rhöse

Despite its great taste, fast food is unhealthy — period. Studies have already shown that fatty greasy fast food not only expands our waistlines, but slow our thinking and even increase inflammation in the body, potentially worsening acne and even asthma symptoms.

Try to reduce the number of visits to a fast food joint, or opt for a salad instead if you do visit one.

 

Milk and Dairy Products

Credits: Frank Luca

Before you leave out a plate of cookies and milk for Santa, include a note to tell him that milk causes acne. No, seriously.

So far we know that there is a correlation between acne and a high glycemic load diet and foods that spike blood sugar can also increase inflammation in the body, causing acne breakouts.

But why milk?

Milk contains an abundance of a hormone called IGF-1, a growth hormone which is really good for calves, but not for humans. IGF-1 in milk is also one of several factors that cause inflammation in humans. The insulin spike you experience when you consume milk and dairy products also causes your liver to produce more IGF-1, worsening your acne.

Peace,

 

 

 

Running yourself on a really hectic schedule shopping for Christmas? Struggling to finish everything on your plate by that dreaded deadline before the festive season? You might be putting yourself (and your skin) through some serious stress right now, and you might have noticed duller skin on top of increased tension and fatigue.

Here are 10 tips on how to #GetYourGlowOn in time for Christmas and the New Year (and they pretty much revolve around hydration and oxygen)!

 


 

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Credit: Ethan Sykes (@e_sykes)

You probably already know that hydration is the key to better skin. Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to flush your skin back into plumpness, which helps to “fill in” wrinkles and pores for a smoother-looking complexion. Water can also help fight off breakouts as sebum levels on the skin are reduced when it’s sufficiently hydrated. It’s one of our guiding philosophies to have a good balance of water and oil on the skin in order to prevent acne breakouts and blemishes. Then again, drowning yourself in water at one go isn’t the solution. Moderation is key – hydrate yourself and give your skin a steady flow of water throughout the day, since your body can only take in so much water per hour.

If you aren’t the kind to drink your water, eat it! It’s even better to reach out for vegetables and fruits simply because they hydrate your body twice as effectively as a glass of water! Moreover, this water stays in your body longer, as opposed to the water that simply passes right through.

A final water tip? Water actually reaches all your other organs before reaching your skin, thus it’s important to give your skin water directly (and keep it there – another of our mantras!) as well by using suitable products. Apply a hydrating moisturiser as soon as you can after leaving the shower (especially if you’re the kind to take really hot showers, which actually dries out your skin – but more on that later). After showering, the skin is extra porous and thus can better absorb the water that you apply on it after.

2. Double Cleanse — Because Once Just Isn’t Enough

We’ve probably worn our clients down with Mantra #2: Always double cleanse.

The first cleansing step not only helps remove makeup, but also the more superficial layer of grime that accumulated throughout the day (so this applies to you too, guys). The second step essentially is a deeper cleanse for your pores before using a toner to clear any other remnants.

You might think it a hassle, but your skin will really thank you for it once you’ve worked this habit into your skincare regimen. After all, there really isn’t a point in slathering on the moisturisers if nothing is going in (worse, you might be further trapping dirt and increasing sebum production within): Double cleansing and toning only help to prep the skin to maximize absorption of nutrients from your serums and moisturisers afterwards.

3. Exfoliate!

Twice to thrice a week, use a gentle exfoliator to boost your skin’s job of clearing dead skin cells. Exfoliation also helps to boost microcirculation, so you experience brighter skin within minutes.

4. Moisturize your skin

jeremy-bishop-14593

Credit: Jeremy Bishop (@tidesinourveins)

Our tropical climate in Singapore largely calls for gel moisturisers rather than cream-based ones, but get your skin specialist to make suitable recommendations for your skin type. As we mentioned above, it’s not sufficient to drink or eat your water, especially if you’re gunning for a healthy, radiant glow this Christmas! Remember to moisturise every morning and night to speed up the process.

In the morning, spritz skin with a hydrating mist or spray for instant rejuvenation, followed by a lightweight water-based moisturiser and top with sunscreen. Nighttime calls for a little more intensive moisturisation, so consider using a deeply hydrating serum underneath the moisturiser for an added moisture boost for glowing skin.

5. Don’t Forget Your Lips, Neck and Décolletage

Remember to care for the rest of the area on and around your face as well as you care for your skin! It’s easy to neglect these areas, but your neck and décolletage develop wrinkles which tend to reveal more about your age than your face itself. Don’t forget to include all these areas in your skincare regimen, including cleansing, toning, exfoliating and moisturising. Your lips also deserve some TLC to complete the entire healthy outlook!

6. Let Your Skin Breathe

Aside from Tip #1 (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate), this is also another really fast way for your skin to reboot into its healthy, radiant state – don’t wear foundation! It’s something most women find a challenge, but by skipping this step, you’re also feeding your skin with more oxygen without it having to go through all the layers of makeup, foundation, and whatnot.

Moreover, foundation and heavy makeup can cause congested skin – a shortcut to acne and dehydration thereafter. Unless you’re really conscientious about removing your makeup at the end of every day, we suggest skipping this step for awhile if you want glowing skin pronto for Christmas and the New Year.

Oxygenated blood is red, and deoxygenated blood is blue, right? Keep those cheeks flushed with oxygen, and you’ll naturally experience brighter skin.

We probably also shaved ten minutes off your morning routine before work for you – you’re welcome.

7. Never Leave Home Without SPF

Credit: Glen Jackson (@glenjjackson)

No matter the time of the day or night, never leave home without sunscreen.

Of all the benefits you get from this tip, this is probably the most convincing in your quest for Christmas-ready skin: It helps to prevent sunburns, skin discolorations, which means more even skin tone, which means a reduced need for foundation or concealer… refer back to Tip #6.

8. Book Some Facials

noah-buscher-385639

Credit: Noah Buscher (@noahbuscher)

While you still have some time, clock in some hours at your facial spa to help boost results from your home skincare regimen. Your therapist has techniques and access to equipment that can revitalize your skin with greater efficacy.

What can professional facial spa services do? Good facial massages help stimulate microcirculation and lymphatic drainage to aid removal of pollutants in the skin. What you get afterwards is healthier and more radiant skin.

9. Shower Without the Heater On (If You Can)

seth-doyle-133177

Credit: Seth Doyle (@sethdoylee)

We all enjoy really hot, steamy showers sometimes – especially when the rain’s making for a cold, cold day. But the heat actually isn’t doing our skin many favors in terms of hydration. If you’re able to, jump into the shower without the heater on!

10. Clock the Zs

vladislav-muslakov-261627

Credit: Vladislav Muslakov (@entersge)

Your skin and body naturally heals itself during sleep.

Sleep helps your body reverse everyday free radical damage via cellular renewal, which means you wake to better, brighter complexion (if you’ve rested enough and well). We won’t go too much into the science of it all but know that a good night’s rest can also stimulate the repair and regeneration of collagen-producing cells – so you’ll experience firmer skin.

If you suffer from restless nights and struggle to get some shut-eye, try using a sleep remedy, such as a silk sleeping eye mask to help you reach that stage of deep slumber.

And there you have it, our ten tips to #GetYourGlowOn for the festive season! You have just slightly more than a month to go – start treating that skin well!


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