Lifestyle

A visual and literary representation of lifestyle tips. Because we’re more than just about skincare (though that’s what we primarily breathe and live)!

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

 

 

I see a lot of young people… scrolling through Instagram, and it’s frightening because there is a very false sense of what beauty ‘should be’.

– Pauline Ng | Founder of Porcelain 

 

Anita Kapoor: On Instagram, Beauty and Hope | Dear Pauline

We all love Instagram and the pretty things it shows us. Scroll, like, scroll, like — scroll like there’s no end to the perfect blue skies (insert clichéd descriptive phrases we used to regurgitate onto our lined papers as English students) others are lying under. Turquoise waters, snowcapped mountains, bikini-clad beach babes, sunkissed surfer dudes, lavish candlelit dinners. The grandeur in others’ lives. Where does it end?

Last week, we took things off the usual track in our latest #DearPauline column with Anita Kapoor. An afternoon of real, unapologetic sharing, while nestled in Porcelain Origin’s plush velvet couch. Instead of focusing purely on physical skincare woes, we had an honest, realistic conversation on beauty, selling hope instead of fear, and other *ahem* Instagrammable quotes.

Anita Kapoor: On Instagram, Beauty and Hope | Dear Pauline

Anita Kapoor: On Instagram, Beauty and Hope | Dear Pauline

RELATED: #DearPauline: Our Very Own Beauty Column!

So… Instagram.

INSTAGRAM — IT’S NOT INSTANT.

The original meaning of “Instagram” was instant telegram. Meant to be an instantaneous visual record of a precise moment, it’s now become a “shoot-shoot-again-edit-filter-post-20-minutes-later” kind of thing.

And now, with thousands of apps in the market that can do anything to your photos? Whether it’s changing your hairstyle or lip colour or granting access to 10,000 more filters than Instagram currently offers, it’s hard to remember the initial intent of Instagram. What began as a very real medium has now become something that churns out embellished, altered replicas of original, in-the-moment photos.

 

You are not an Instagram post, or a 2-D image. You’re unique — breath, skin, bones, thoughts and feelings.

– Anita Kapoor | Host, emcee, performer

 

Instagram — Compare And Despair?

Credit: Sydney Sims

INSTAGRAM — COMPARE AND DESPAIR?

It’s a very real problem when we scroll through unreal photos and begin comparing ourselves to “them”.

Like many of you, I’m following a ton of friends, strangers, KOLs and celebrities on Instagram. At least ¾ of my feed is teeming with women with unabashedly toned arms / thighs / abs, friends floating in Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon, lovers touring Santorini’s beautiful whitewashed villages and … people simply enjoying the best of what life has to offer.

Before you know it, “Why am I like this and not like that? Why am I here and not there? Why am I not her?” thoughts appear. I’m no stranger to the comparison game. But being a very sane, very logical person, I shut my phone once this toxicity enters my brain.

In many cases (especially for women), the most hard-hitting is when they begin comparing their appearances to others’. It seems superficial but the (negative) impact that Instagram and other visually-based social media have on young people is very real.

 

“It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing – both platforms are very image-focused, and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.

– Shirley Cramer | Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH)

 

Research has found that Instagram creates insecurity and social pressure around how you “should” look, feel, eat, dress, feel… A study by the University of Buffalo also suggested that women who establish their self-worth on their looks are likely to post more photos of themselves in seeking validation.

 

Instagram — Compare And Despair?

 

 

Instagram — Compare And Despair?

Credit: Ryan Moreno

PAUSE. BREATHE. BE AWARE.

We all know that people tend to show their best sides. We also know that Instagram is a highly-curated platform, and often fail to remember that. While we’re ooh-ing over overs’ lives and wishing we were leading the same, we forget to scroll with a pinch of salt. Scroll “rationally”, if you will.

The honest truth is, they could be posting a photo of their champagne parties but not their hangovers. She could have uploaded a shot of her like-worthy OOTD but not the million (possibly ugly) takes before that. He could have taken a panoramic of the mountain he’s just topped but not the familial death that spurred him up there in the first place.

 

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

– Steve Furtick 

 

If nothing else, whenever you’re in a bad place after this pretty place called Instagram, remember that. If you’re starting to question and compare yourself to X (especially a stranger), know you are allowing someone you’d never met to question your appearance, achievements, and person.

When you’ve fully internalized that, take a step back, and relook at Instagram again.

BECAUSE INSTAGRAM IS STILL A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

Honestly? I’ll probably never quit Instagram. It’s great for keeping in touch with family, close friends and friends who’d moved miles away from you. It’s great as an inspirational tool and it’s great for seeing non-stop ads.

 

Just stay in a good place,

 

 

 

 


 

 

WAIT, WHAT’S #DEARPAULINE?

Think “Aunt Agony”, except “#DearPauline” is our personal beauty column! Like our #BareWithMe campaign, in collaboration with the amazing Wear Oh Where, we meet different women from all walks of life to talk skin. Our first instalment of #DearPauline (with Hanli Hoefer) is up now.

 

Hanli Hoefer

Image credits: Wear Oh Where

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Our Very Own Beauty Column! | #DearPauline

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

Our Beauty Guru On “Skin” | #DearPauline

#SkinHacks for the Time-Starved Traveller

Layering Hydration the Right Way | #SkinHacks

 

 

Nostalgia is addictive, isn’t it? I’ve been on a loopy repeat on Diana Krall’s Paula Cole’s Autumn Leaves, its lulling melody never failing to take me back to… then.

 

 

 

There isn’t a specific time I always return to. It often depends on the time, day and mood I’m in — and how far I let it carry me. There’s just something about the languid pull of the accordion, the Spanish guitar that slows then jogs, the jazz snare…

<Hit “Play” before reading on!>

Although, it might just be the fact that we recently moved out of our shophouse office (that’s 9 years of history, mind) — that’s got us travelling back in time. Packing isn’t so much about putting things into boxes as a game of “Ooh, look what I found!”. In a bid to lighten our moving load, we then repeat the riddle of “To keep, or to throw?” (if you’re a habitual hoarder, you might want to check out this post).

If you’re anything like me, you start digging for more nostalgic scraps of history when you’ve found the tip of the iceberg. It was absolutely human for me to snoop a little deeper to unearth the different phases faces of Porcelain.

… look what I found! Were you there when…

Our therapists and HQ colleagues worked within one shophouse?

Nostalgia: Were You There When... Our therapists and HQ colleagues worked within one shophouse?

Credits: Miwitch

Were you there when our first spa opened on Cantonment Road? Then, we ran the office and spa out of the same one-unit shophouse, had one Ikea table and chair, and our founders earned peanuts while reinvesting their profits back into growing the business. The brand has now grown into 4 outlets, and the office peeps also take refuge at Porcelain HQ, our second home. We’re expanding, so holler if you’d like to join the team!

We went through a brand transformation… twice?

Take a look at the shophouse photo again. Take a look at the ones above. Notice anything different? Porcelain has always been a dynamic brand since its conception. Just looking at the photos of the many changes it’s been through, it felt like nothing is ever taken for granted at Porcelain. Whether it’s the logo that morphs, or the products that continually undergo revamps to make them better and more relevant to our clients, the one question that’s always asked is, “Does the product deserve a space on your shelf?”

Our founders faces (never) changed? 

Truth be told, our founders still look the same… Nothing nostalgic to sniff out here. Aside from a refresh in hairstyles, the two ladies still possess the same personalities, passion and drive as when they first founded Porcelain. Next.

“It’s not about a period of time or a demographic. It’s about finding romance in everything, in beauty or in things that are sad.”
– Diana Krall

What were some of your favourite, most nostalgic memories of Porcelain?

Stay True,

 

 

 

 


READ MORE REFLECTIVE STORIES HERE:

Guilty Pleasures Are Okay. Really. | #barewithme

Viola Tan On Vulnerability | #barewithme

Understanding The 5 Dimensions Of Self-care For A Better 2018 | #newyearnewyou

5 Tips To Declutter In Time For The New Year | #toptips