Breaking It Down

Porcelain’s breaking it down — with our breakdown of all the jargon and essentials. Includes anything from analyses of ingredients that people say are good for you… are they, really?

Have you met Aurelie? She’s the latest thing to hit our shelves this Christmas — a classy silver needle white tea speckled with gold dust, and an aromatic mix of neroli, bergamot, jasmine, peach and apricot thrown in for good measure. Whether it’s brewed in a pitcher or teapot? Elegance to the highest degree. With her light, refreshing scent and taste, it’s easy to fall in love with her as swiftly as we did with her name (which we decreed after having the first sip).

A practical fun fact: Aurelie comes high in antioxidants and polyphenols (great for anti-inflammation), reduces cholesterol levels and helps with digestion.

Aurelie — Porcelain’s Bespoke Silver Needle White Tea

AURELIE — PORCELAIN’S BESPOKE SILVER NEEDLE WHITE TEA

Silver Needle is the holy grail in the world of white tea, with distinctive straight needle-like buds and tips that are usually covered in a fine, white downy hair. Beautiful — and also expensive.

The reason for the almost exorbitant price tag? The harvesting process is tedious, time-consuming and requires utmost care. Only young, unopened tea buds can be plucked. At the time of harvesting, the stems are picked as well to prevent damage to the delicate buds, and only at the factory are these removed. Due to this intensive and painstaking SOP, even the most expert tea gatherer can only pick about 500g each day. And after processing, only 100g is left.

So… Who Made Aurelie?

Our dear friends at Gryphon Tea.

So… Why Aurelie?

They understand our mission for healthiness from within. We are first and foremost a skincare provider, but we don’t believe that good skin starts and ends with just good skincare habits. Clear, radiant skin is a culmination of not just that, but a holistic sum of parts, including your diet, lifestyle, sleeping habits, etc.

And the only thing we love more than hydration is antioxidants. These protect against free radicals which damage our skin by destroying skin cells, DNA, and collagen production… in other words, they cause visible ageing: wrinkles, sagging, and roughness.

We always advocate eating your water — so why not eat your antioxidants, too?

Brewing Aurelie, A Silver Needle White Tea Cold

HOW TO BREW THE TEA: COLD & HOT

Brewing Aurelie Hot

Water temperature:      75ºC – 80ºC (167ºF – 176ºF)
Quantity:                         1.5 – 2 tsp / cup (250ml or 8oz)
Steeping Time:               3 – 5 minutes
Rebrew allowed:            Yes
Tea ware:                         Glass teapot

Directions

  1. Heat water and pour some into your teapot and cups to warm them.
    Cold tea ware will cool your tea’s temperature too much and spoil the perfect brew.
  2. Tip 1.5 – 2 teaspoons of silver needle tea leaves per cup (250ml or 8oz) into the teapot and pour the hot water (75ºC – 80ºC (167ºF – 176ºF) in.
  3. Steep around 3 to 5 minutes for the perfect infusion. We suggest a glass teapot precisely to watch the buds dance around with the gold dust — it’s a more than pretty sight!
    White tea takes longer to infuse due to its delicate nature. If you prefer an even subtler taste, infuse it for a shorter time.
  4. Silver needle buds may be re-infused up to thrice. With each additional time, you might need to add a minute to the steeping time. Experiment and have fun!

Brewing Aurelie Cold

Water temperature:      Room temperature / Cold
Quantity:                         2 – 3 tsp / cup (250ml or 8oz)
Steeping Time:               4 – 10 hours
Rebrew allowed:            Yes
Tea ware:                         Ice-cold glass

Directions

  1. Add 2 – 3 teaspoons of tea into cold water
    For cold brews, we usually recommend 1.5x the usual amount of leaves used for hot brews
  2. Leave in the fridge overnight and wake to a super refreshing brew the next day!

Just casually dropping our X’mas kits in this post too. But more on that later.

 

Stay true,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

#JargonBreakdown: What Are Free Radicals?

#GetYourGlowOn: 5 Skin Tips To Revive Dull-looking Skin In Time For X’mas

or… just flip through our site like you do a diary you found by secret!

 

 

Here’s the cold, hard truth: The answer is yes! For the uninitiated and worried mothers out there, pregnancy facials are possible.

Pregnant women probably need them more than before they got themselves with child — why, hello there, yet another triple-zit-on-my-nose. Where’s that glow everyone talks about? You aren’t alone; many mothers find themselves privy to acne, dry flaky skin, sensitivity, amongst other unwelcome guests — instead of the elusive, legendary radiance.

However, remember to play by the rules of the game to ensure your baby (and you) are safe during this highly hormonal period. 

Pregnancy Facials - Can I Get One With That Bump? | Pregnancy Diaries

Credit: Alex Pasarelu

GENERAL RULES OF THUMB SO PREGNANCY FACIALS DON’T BECOME PREGNANCY FAILS

  • Don’t raise your core body temperature above 38.9°C. You don’t want your body to trap heat and become an oven… research has shown that raising the internal core temperature too high during the first trimester can result in birth defects
  • ALWAYS tell your therapist that you are pregnant when making the appointment, especially if it’s your first pregnancy facial; this helps them modify the steps as necessary so they don’t get charged with babyslaughter

NOW, THE PREGNANCY FACIALS YOU CAN DO

No bells, whistles, or frills where these are related. In other words: stick to the basics. Gentle, hydrating facials are the safest bets and can deliver much-needed moisture and confidence boosts.

1. Facials That Were Specifically Made For You
Customized and thus perfect for pregnant women, period (no more).

How could we say facials are suitable for pregnant women without first designing one specifically for you? Sometimes, pregnant women need just a little bit of downtime or a reminder that they still deserve to and can pamper themselves. Given the hormonal imbalance and resulting epidermal antagonists, you just want to fix them. You just want your un-saggy skin back. You just want some peace.

Doesn’t some oxygen therapy with a Shiatsu facial massage sound wonderfully oasis-like?

Treatments to try: RestorativeTM. Me-time, confidence and brighter, water retention-free skin.

2. Oxygen Facials
Especially great for dry and dull skin

Pregnancy Facials - Oxygen facials are great for dull, dehydrated skin

Oxygen is a really powerful thing. When your skin is tired, dull and lifeless, it’s there to pull you back from the edge. This miracle gas heals by boosting cellular regeneration and blood circulation. The faster your new cells replace the old ones, the younger your skin looks. This super gentle facial can also clear your pores so it can absorb moisture more. Voila, you’re as close to a pregnancy glow as you can get / you just amped on that radiance you have (you lucky thing, you).

P.S. It’s also anti-bacterial (meaning it can help with your acne) and anti-aging (it plumps out fine lines and wrinkles)!

Treatments to try: OxyReviveTM. Glow-ier, brighter skin awaits.

3. Hydrating Facials
Again, especially great for dry and dull skin

Pregnancy Facials - Hydrating facials are great for dull, dehydrated skin

Credit: Camila Cordeiro

Dry skin can really become the bane of your existence when it seems to flake beyond repair (to your despair). Your body is constantly transferring water to the little one inside while leaving you dehydrated and cranky. Dehydration can exacerbate oily skin conditions (the irony), acne and even pigmentation. Keeping it hydrated and healthy, on the contrary, can increase your resistance to the sun’s damaging effects, pollution and free radicals.

Pair your power-packed hyaluronic acid serum with an intensive hydrating facial to quench your skin’s thirst and heal it to a softer, suppler complexion.

Treatments to try: Sun RescueTM. Happier, more hydrated skin lies ahead. 

4. LED Light Therapy
Brilliant for acneic and distressed skin. And yes, generally safe for pregnant mamas 

Pregnancy Facials - LED light therapy is great for distressed, acneic skin

Credit: Anderson Guerra

To make things clear, LED light therapy is non-invasive and targets only the upper layers of the skin. It doesn’t damage your skin tissues but rather, triggers natural biochemical reactions similar to photo-synthesis.

In other words, your baby is safe.

Blue light targets acne-causing bacteria and simply minimizes / brings breakouts to a standstill. Red light, another commonly-used frequency, boosts collagen production, reduces inflammation and lessens redness and irritation.

Leave your frustration with acne bouts and sensitive, inflamed skin at the door. LED light therapy is a multi-talented weapon against acne, wrinkles, dullness and inflamed skin. Depending on the light frequency, it can be used for anything from boosting tissue growth to stimulating collagen production and regeneration.

Kind of a superhero like oxygen.

Treatments to try: Pick Me Up. Rejuvenated skin is just 30 minutes away.

AND, THE STUFF YOU CANNOT DO

As we said — no bells, no whistles. Refrain from fancy stuff like:

  1. Electric currents
  2. Chemical peels – The skin is super sensitive and easily irritated during pregnancy
  3. Microdermabrasions – These will likely scar your extra-sensitive skin and aggravate breakouts.
  4. Extractions – Or, if really, really necessary, ask your therapist to be really gentle with your sensitive skin
  5. Plastic surgery

Credit: Bruce Mars

Not just slayers of skin woes, pregnancy facials can also really lift your mood. You deserve it. Go for it.

 

Stay true,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Pregnancy Skincare: 5 Woes, 5 Tips | Pregnancy Diaries

Skincare For Expectant Mothers: 10 Tips

Understanding Acne – Why Some Get It And Some Don’t

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

Dry Skin Vs Dehydrated Skin – 3 Quick Tips | #SkinHacks

 

 

Everyone talks about the pregnancy glow. Less talked about are the nasties: Zits like back when you were in high school. Dry, flaky skin even when you don’t usually have dry, flaky skin. Days out on the beach are days long gone because — is that another dark mark on your face? We ask you to calm down though — these are all perfectly normal pregnancy skincare skintuations that many women like you face… and there are remedies.

Pregnancy Skincare: 5 Woes, 5 Tips | Pregnancy Diaries

Credit: Josh Bean

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #1: ACNE
(WHEN I WAS 13, I HAD MY FIRST LOVE ZIT)

Being a teenager was nothing without bouts of breakouts… but when you’re 30 and pregnant? You might almost wish you weren’t having a baby bump. Pregnancy hormones can send your oil glands into overdrive, creating a breeding ground for acne. Worse, androgen (a male sex hormone) increases during pregnancy, further increasing sebum production, clogging, blackheads and finally, pimples.

The cruellest joke ever? The acne products you used to use are unsafe while you’re pregnant because of the chemicals. Minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline and Accutane, are definitely no-gos as they can cause birth defects.  Then, it’s best to stay away from ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid too, since these can enter the bloodstream. Most products are not actually pregnancy-tested…

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Your skin will most likely clear up after pregnancy. In the meantime, here are some quick tips.

Skin Hacks: DON’T SQUEEZE. DON’T PICK. DON’T TOUCH. Opt for ingredients like lactic acid, tea tree oil or sulfur. See a doctor if you’re really sick of the acne that seems persistent and widespread. Instead, cleanse face with a mild, hydrating cleanser. If necessary, use steam to clear clogged pores. Look for non-comedogenic / water-based skincare products as these don’t aggravate oily, acneic skin. Also, contrary to popular belief, you CAN go for facials while pregnant — watch out for the next Nanny Princess Pregnancy Diaries post on this! 

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #2: DRY SKIN

Damned hormones. Where you once had smooth, glowing skin, you’re now left with a dryness that doesn’t seem to stop itching.

Why?

It’s really many factors that play a part: More moisture is channelled to care for your baby, thus leaving you high and dry. With the little one inside you, your body temperature also tends to rise, thus literally getting you more hot-headed, stressed and itchy, thus triggering dry skin.

Pregnancy Skincare Woe #2: Dry Skin

Credit: Juliana Arruda

And the biggest contender (again): hormones. Oddly, those can’t seem to make up their mind between producing too much or too little sebum. Too little oil? You’re facing dryness and decreased elasticity. Too much? What else to do but to keep washing your face, right? Wrong. Washing your face too frequently can actually dehydrate the skin even more.

Skin Hacks: Water — lots of it. Aim for 12 cups a day. Hydrating lotions for milder cases; prescription treatments for severe ones. Warm (not hot!), comforting showers (and oatmeal baths, we hear) work wonders to calm your spirits and skin but don’t spend too long in there or your natural oils will start depleting. Get a humidifier for the bedroom. And our final, favourite trick: Get a high-grade, ultra-hydrating serum loaded with hyaluronic acid to quench your skin’s thirst.


 

 


PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #3: INCREASED SENSITIVITY
(YOUR SKIN IS BEING A BIGGER BABY THAN THE ACTUAL BABY)

As if acne and dry skin weren’t painful enough, your skin might be literally… in pain. The usual facials you go for might verge on painful, your face seems to get red more easily when you’re exfoliating, and your favourite scented lotion is now sitting on its lonesome on your dresser. Your skin is being a total baby.

Why?

… You guessed it. Hormones.

Skin Hacks: Gentle is the name of the game. Swap out scrubs (both for the face and body) for a loofah or a soft, textured washcloth. Switching to unscented / natural lotions and body washes could also help. Apply calamine lotion on itchy spots. Shun products that are heavy with additives, dyes, and / or fragrances, all of which can exacerbate the situation. When in doubt, always check in with your dermatologist, pharmacist or doctor.

 


“You certainly don’t want anything causing micro-tears on your skin… the more cuts and wounds on your skin, the easier it is for chemicals to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Ingredients to stay away from in soaps and body washes include triclosan, parabens and fragrance.”
| Melissa Schweiger, coauthor of Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom, and Baby

 

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #4: (HYPER)PIGMENTATION
(AKA ITS SUPERHERO ALIAS, THE MASK OF PREGNANCY)

Aside from causing hormones to go a little (a lot?) out of whack, pregnancy also increases melanin production. Melanin is responsible for darkening of the skin, and you might be victim to dark patches.

The sun you used to love? That love might be long gone at this point. But it won’t be for ever… the melasma (another name for this pigmentation conundrum) usually fades after pregnancy.

Skin Hacks: If you weren’t religious about sunscreen before, it’s time to start now. An SPF of at least 25 to 30 would do half the trick; the other half would be for you to stay indoors as much as possible to reduce sun exposure. Physical and mineral sunblocks are your safest bets, as chemical sunscreens can irritate your sensitive skin + have potential risks. In more specific words, opt for protection that comes with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

PREGNANCY SKINCARE WOE #5: STRETCH MARKS
(YOU TIGRESS WHO BROUGHT LIFE TO THIS WORLD)

Pregnancy Skincare Woe #5: Stretch Marks

Credit: Chayene Rafaela

A good 50 – 90% of women get these in pregnancy. It isn’t curious—anytime a body grows at a rate at which the body can’t keep up with, these tiger stripes appear. These tend to come fastest in the final trimester when your baby grows the most.

 


“For most people, whether or not they get stretch marks has to do with genetic predisposition.”
| Glenn Kolansky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist

 

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent it, there are ways to reduce the risks of developing them (too much), including controlling your weight. Staying hydrated (at least 12 cups of water a day), and eating a healthy and balanced diet (think antioxidants, vitamins, leafies, fatty acids).

Skin Hacks: Thoroughly moisturize, especially areas which are most prone to these marks. These include your belly, boobs, stomach, hips and thighs.

Till the next Pregnancy Diaries post, stay true,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Skincare For Expectant Mothers: 10 Tips

Understanding Acne – Why Some Get It And Some Don’t

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

Dry Skin Vs Dehydrated Skin – 3 Quick Tips | #SkinHacks

 

The health benefits of high-quality rest have been well-documented: improved memory, boosted immune system, and better state of mind are just some of the gifts of a good night’s sleep. Sleep’s effects on beauty, particularly on skin, however, should not be understated. Read on for the science behind beauty sleep, and how to wake up to better skin!

Sleep Your Way to Better Skin | #SkinHacks by Porcelain Prologue

Credit: Zohre Nemati

 

 

Your Body Works While You Snooze

While you sleep, your body cleans its systems, leaving it hydrated and refreshed. This means that oil and dirt built up in your pores can be naturally flushed, and your skin moisturized, while you’re snoozing.

Sleep also lowers stress levels which can reduce inflammation and redness of the skin. Inadequate rest can lead to an overabundance of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can clog pores and cause acne. Similarly, this process can prevent signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots.

Firmer, more youthful-looking skin is another product of good sleep. While resting, your body rebuilds its cells as well as its collagen and elastin, leaving your skin plump and smooth.

Sleep Your Way to Better Skin | Use bedtime to your advantage

How to Use Bedtime to Your Advantage

Make sure your nightly routine sets your skin up for a rejuvenating night’s sleep. After brushing and flossing, it’s important to also take a few steps to look after your skin. Start with a cleanser, like the Soothe – Hydro Cleanser to moisturize and gently clear your face of bacteria. Then, a exfoliator, toner and serum can help further protect your skin before crawling into bed.

You should also try sleeping with an eye mask for double benefits at night. Firstly, it can help block out distractions that might keep you up. The human brain sleeps best in the dark and far away from artificial light, so a mask that darkens the room can improve your sleep, and thus, your skin. Secondly, a frozen eye mask can significantly lessen the appearance of dark circles and bags under your eyes.

Your bedding can also make a huge impact on your sleep and skin. Try to use a foam mattress with airflow to prevent sweating, and a clean pillowcase to clear the oil from your face while you toss and turn. Bedding changes like these will not only ensure that you get a higher-quality sleep, but that you’re taking care of your skin too.

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep Your Way to Better Skin | Use bedtime to your advantage

Credits: Jan Zhukov

The Bottom Line

Oily, dry or somewhere in between, your skin deserves the best. Try out some of our suggestions, or adapt them to meet your own needs to get the most out of your sleepy time skin care. The key is to simply do whatever you can to improve your sleep and its impact on your skin.

 

Stay true,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

8 Easy-To-Follow Skincare Tips For Men

Fuss-free Skincare Routines: How Long is Enough? | #DearPauline

Is Mid-Day Cleansing Bad for My Skin? | #DearPauline

#SkinHacks for the Time-Starved Traveller

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

 

These two words mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably, but they actually each mean something different. They also serve different purposes when it comes to your skin. So… What’s hydrating vs moisturizing?

Difference Between Hydrating vs Moisturizing

Before we talk about that, lets’ talk about the largest organ on your body: the skin. It holds in all our bodily fluids, thus preventing dehydration. Keeping the skin nourished is vital for its health and to fight damage caused by dryness, skin conditions, or environmental damage.

Dry skin affects males and females equally and is even more prevalent in older individuals as they are prone to the condition. Our skins tends to produce less amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants with age. On that, the amount of water vapor in the surrounding air or ‘humidity’ is another cause of dry skin.

With all these said and done, when do moisturizers work best? When should you use a hydrator? Let’s dive right in.


Hydrating vs Moisturizing

Hydrating vs Moisturizing: The HA+ Hydrating Serum is a perfect oil-free hydrator for both dehydrated AND dry skin.

Porcelain Intensive – HA+ Hydrating Serum

Don’t get it wrong, you haven’t been living a lie: Both moisturizers and hydrators work to ensure that our skin receives moisture. The natural lipid barrier of our skin protects itself from damage and loss of water, but if you’re someone who suffers from dry, flaky skin, then you may need some extra reinforcements. Enter moisturizers.

Having dry skin means your skin probably isn’t producing enough lipid cells on its own, so moisturizers can help lock in moisture. Hydrators, on the other hand, usually contain humectants.

These work to catch moisture from the air and saturate it through the layers of your skin. So what does the difference boil down to?

The difference is:

Dehydrated skin needs hydration.

Dry skin needs oil and moisturization.

Let’s identify the differences between the two.

 

 

Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin

Hydrating vs Moisturizing: It boils down to whether your skin is dehydrated or dry.

Hydrators alleviate dehydrated skin, while moisturizers help the effects of dry skin. Dry skin is classified as a skin type, which means your skin’s inadequate production of natural oils can be attributed to a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. The results of dry skin are usually flaky, itchy, and an overall dull, rough, or lackluster appearance.

Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is caused by a lack of water. This means that even oily skin types can suffer from dehydration. As the water content of your skin is depleted, the results become visible on your skin, leaving it less supple and elastic.

Just remember: Dehydrated skin lacks water and needs to be hydrated with hydrating products, while dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized with moisturizing products. Dry skin is actually a skin type while dehydrated skin is something that anyone, no matter their skin type is, can experience.

 

The Bottom Line

The interchangeable use of hydrating and moisturizing of can be confusing to some but when it comes down to it, these terms actually refer to very different skin conditions. Before you purchase your products for your skin it’s best to analyze your skin to determine your current skin condition, dry or dehydrated, so you’re using the right products and the right ingredients.

#StayHAdrated,