Favorite Skin Care Products

Since I shared my not too glamorous pictures about my pimples, I’ve been asked by some about the skin care products that I use to prevent the pimples from coming back.

At the outset, there is no “one size fits all” type of skin care products. You must always observe your skin, what irritates it, what works well with it. Once you’ve found what’s hiyang or good for your skin, stick with it. Why fix what isn’t broken?

As for myself, these are my favorite skin care products that help curb and lessen the appearance of my pimples.

favorite skin care products

As much as possible, I choose products that are organic or have only natural products.

1. Tea Tree Oil (The Body Shop)

Tea tree oil extract is widely known as a topical antiseptic, commonly used to treat pimples. I’ve been using this since I was in college and it does great work on zit control. Compared to benzoyl peroxide, which is a chemical, tea tree oil is natural and therefore, safer on the skin.

Alternative: Acne Defense Solution Gel (Human Nature)

2. Overnight Elixir (Human Nature)

As the name suggests, I use this product before I go to sleep. It’s a combination of 9 essential oils–rosehip oil, passion fruit seed oil, soybean oil, lavender oil, avocado oil, elemi oil, rosemary oil, sunflower seed oil, and natural vitamin E. Simply put, these 9 active ingredients work together to restore the skin to its healthiest state. I especially love the scent of this product and the feel of my skin the next day.

Alternative: Pumpkin Sleeping Pack (Too Cool For School)

3. Sunflower Beauty Oil (Human Nature)

A too dry skin is as much prone to pimples as one that’s too oily so whenever I find my skin getting a drier than usual, especially the areas outside my T-zone, I balance it out with this. It’s not as concentrated as the overnight elixir (so it’s cheaper) so it’s easily absorbed by my skin. Contrary to its name, it’s not as oily and perfect to apply before or after my moisturizer.

Alternative: None. It’s that great! But you may want to know other ways you can use it here.

4. Tea Tree Pore Minimiser (The Body Shop)

Although it’s marketed as a primer and so is technically part of the “makeup/beauty” category, this product still makes my list. I use it as an added layer of protection over my T-zone area before applying makeup (which may or may not have chemicals that can harm or tire my skin). It also curbs my skin’s oil production to an extent so that I don’t look as greasy. And because there is less oil, there is less clogging of the pores.

Alternative: None. I haven’t found a primer that can compete with this.

5. Tea Tree Blotting Tissues (The Body Shop)

For times when my glands work overtime in oil production, I resort to oil blotters. One infused with tea tree oil is always a better option. Sadly, this one’s blotters are smaller in size compared to other normal oil blotters so I limit my use to those days when I know I’m extra prone to breakouts.

Alternative: Gatsby’s oil blotter. I make sure not to buy those with powder. They only contribute to the clogging of my pores.

6. Pore Strips (Glam Works)

Having open pores, I’m very familiar with black heads and since they are prequels to pimples, it’s best to get rid of them. I normally use Glam Works Green Tea Nose pore strips (see review here) because the green tea extract helps reduce skin inflammation and prevent skin irritation, among others. However, I use pore strips sparingly only since using them leaves the pores open for a time after removing the black heads. You must take extra care to avoid touching your nose. If you wish, you can rub an ice cube to close the pores but I don’t usually do this I’m not always sure about the cleanliness of the ice cube. 😉

Alternative: Other variants of Glam Works such as the Classic and Charcoal.

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Pimple problems? What products do you use to prevent and/or get rid of those pesky zits? Share them in the comments below and we can all learn from each other.

Top 10 Things that Occupy My Life

occupation [n]

  1. An activity or task with which one occupies oneself; usually specifically the productive activity, service, trade, or craft for which one is regularly paid; a job.
  2. x x x.
  3. x x x.

This is taken from wiktionaryI especially like the idea that it did not associate occupation with work at the outset so I’m working with this definition.

I noticed recently the things that occupy me, not counting my work of course. There are those that I do to while away the time and those that I really make time for in order to do. But without making any distinction and in no particular order, here are the Top 10 Things that Occupy My Life:

1. Reading

I am currently reading the Xanth Series. Since I’ve gotten a hold of the eBook, it’s much easier for me to read them–in order and without much delay in between volumes. It’s a fun read. Piers Anthony has created a fantasy world where all puns are taken literally.

2. Blogging

I mentioned before that I’ve been blogging since college, but it was a time when blogs were just online journals. I ranted quite a lot, threw my “creativity” into the Internet for all to see, and learned quite a few tricks about html to make my blog “pretty”. Then I stopped when I graduated. Now, I’m blogging again with a different purpose in mind. No more ranting, but I’ve yet to define the blog that I have on my hands right now.

3. Game Day!

With friends, of course. This we schedule often and the ideal is to do it on a weekly basis and sometimes at different venues. We’re actually spread out over five cities and there’s just about 6 of us who regularly make it. Of course, the more there are available, the better. We can never get enough players to play the many board games that we’ve bought for ourselves and for everyone! If you want to join in the fun, let me know! That’s one more player and, perhaps, a friend. 🙂

4. Yoga

Stress buster! One of the few things that I will spend money on and make time to be able to do. Currently, I’d rather go to yoga classes so that my form can be corrected by the teacher, if any. I also like the positive energy the class shares every time. The fact that I’m becoming stronger and more flexible each time I go on the mat also helps.

5. Pole Fitness

photo

I’ve just gotten back after more than a year of rest, thanks to my friend who was kind enough to give me a free pass. This kick-started my enthusiasm for pole again. It’s another strength developer, working against my body weight. The feeling I get each time I nail a trick only makes me come back for more. It’s very elating–the feeling of power and grace. Dispel your “conservative” (more like outdated and discriminatory) thoughts for a bit. Reserve it for when and after you have tried a class or two.

6. Zumba

There’s not much classes that I can attend to for this but when there are classes available, I make sure to go. Not only does it satiate my craving for dance, this cardio workout is a great way to slash off several hundreds of calories in an hour.

7. Driving

I do my make-up while driving to work.

Of course. If I wanted to attend those classes, I’d always be driving. There are no near enough studios in my area. Nothing within walking distance. So I spend most of my time driving from one class to the next. I also spend a total of 4 hours a day driving to/from work (doing my make-up at the same time).

8. Make-up

Need I say more? I’m not a make-up artist or anything, I just love how make-up can change how anyone looks whether by enhancing one’s features to be more beautiful or transforming one’s look altogether. But most of the time, I just like trying out different combinations of make-up as well as skin care products. Whatever works for me and my sensitive skin is always the priority so I spend time with all these things. It’s kikay!

9. Surfing the Internet

Part of it is for blogging, the other half is for work, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media updates. Sometimes, I just get sucked into the vortex that is the Internet and only come out hours later. Brain suck!

10. Human Nature

IMG_4753

We made a heart during our Human Nature Dealers Immersion at the GK Enchanted Farm.

I said before that I’m a dealer/re-seller of this wonderful brand. All ingredients and products are sourced and made in the Philippines. More than a majority of the products are 100% natural. If it’s not, then the labels will show the exact percentage. I’ve been a long time user before I became a dealer and I became a dealer initially so I can save on my personal purchases. It was only later that I introduced it to my friends because I’ve already tried the products themselves. So I make time to attend their seminars and research on their products. I’ve done a couple of reviews of their products (Safe Block and Exfoliating Bar) and have lined up some of their items for review as well.

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What occupies your life?

REVIEW: Human Nature’s Exfoliating Bar

To scrub or not to scrub.

There’s a new addition to the bath collection of Human Nature. It’s the Human Nature Exfoliating Bar, which has loofah exfoliants that scrub away dry skin.

Curious as I was, I bought one to try. I’ve always been a body wash user until I switched to Human Nature’s bath line, which only had bars for soap. Personally, I don’t find bar soaps alone efficient enough in the cleaning department. I always feel the need to use a loofah, a soft towel, or sponge to scrub myself with. I tried a bar soap with oat bits before, but found it bad for my diet since I get hungry every time I use it, but that’s beside the point. 😉

Fast Facts

HN Exfoliating BarPrice: Php 84.75

Product Description:
Infused with loofah exfoliants that deeply cleanse and invigorate skin
Cold processed to retain skin-hydrating abilities
Free from harmful EDTA and BHT present in most soaps
Soothes the senses with its sweet vanilla fragrance

Ingredients:
Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, aqua (water), sodium hydroxide, decyl glucoside (plant-derived), sodium lactate (sugarcane-derived), glycerin, Luffa cylindrica fruit powder, chromium green oxide (CI 77288)

Source: Human Nature

Impressions

I thought this was a good product to have considering that we don’t always have the time to rub ourselves down with body wash or bar soap and then scrub our skin with loofah or sponge. It takes time, believe me. With a bar soap with loofah exfoliants, this should cut the time right?

Not necessarily. The first time I used the soap, I had to rub it on my skin several times to feel the loofah bits. Because the exfoliants of Human Nature Exfoliating Bar Soap are infused into the bar soap, you don’t get an even scrubbing. A portion can be smooth while a part may have too much exfoliants. Sometimes, I turn it this way and that to get the right feel.

There are times that I didn’t like how the exfoliants rub at my skin. So I revert to rubbing the soap with my loofah/sponge and then scrub myself with the latter. It took me more time, actually, to get the scrubbing that I wanted.

Good Points

  • Since the Human Nature Exfoliating Soap is a fusion of loofah exfoliants and bar soap, it is cheaper compared to the price of soap and loofah/sponge.
  • It can be good for those in a hurry and no time to scrub down using body scrub. The loofah exfoliants will do the job.
  • The vanilla scent can be therapeutic.
  • It’s has of 100% no harmful chemicals so you’re assured that only the good touches your skin. No SLS or SLSS and what you wash off are also natural products that are still good for the environment. No harmful chemicals there.

Bad Points

  • If you’re looking for good and even scrubbing, the Human Nature Exfoliating Bar is not for you. The distribution of the loofah exfoliants is not equal and some parts are just hard on the skin. If you’re like me, stick to one loofah/sponge and one body wash or bar soap.
  • I also found that I used it up faster than a regular bar soap. Maybe because I really wanted to get that good scrubbing out of the soap itself.
  • We all know that it’s not recommended to scrub our skin everyday. You only need scrubbing to remove accumulation of dry skin unless you want to damage the new skin that you just revealed after yesterday’s scrub. Since scrubbing is not for everyday use, you will still need to keep that regular bar soap or body wash you have.

Verdict: 5/10

If you want a scrub down while soaping your body and a cheap on at that, this is for you, especially for those in a hurry. However, if you wish for a good and even scrubbing, you might not be satisfied with this one.

For sure, my experience is with just one Human Nature Exfoliating Bar. Will I buy this again? Probably not. It’s a personal choice, really. I’m the complete scrub down type and I’d rather feel the actual loofah or sponge on my skin.

Disclaimer: I am a Human Nature Dealer but I strive to give a fair and objective opinion on Human Nature products. After all, I am a consumer of the products myself.

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Have you tried the Human Nature Exfoliating Bar? Or other bar soaps with scrubbing bits in them? Let me know what you think.

REVIEW: Human Nature’s 100% Natural Safe Block

As the rainy season draws near, sun lovers continue to bask with what remains of the summer heat. Beach resorts are still packed and thriving. Those who missed out on the hottest days try to cram their vacation into what’s left of May or even try to extend their summer well into June. But whichever month we please, be it March, April, May, or June, the fact is that the summer heat can be as harsh as the rolling waves of the sea. Protection against the sun’s rays is not a question but a necessity and with all the sunblock varieties that may be found in department stores, how does one even get to choose?

I am a lover of Human Nature products. I have been using almost all of their products from skin care, feminine care, cosmetics, to even their detergents, etc. You can just imagine my happiness when Human Nature finally introduced Safe Block, a water resistant sunblock that blocks 93% of the sun’s harmful rays.

Prior to Safe Block, I have been reluctantly using other sunblocks in the market. Reluctantly because I have sensitive skin and there is no sunblock that has left me without any breakout. Without naming them, for I have tried quite a lot, these sunblocks, despite their spf levels, never quite protected me from the sun. I get sunburn and uneven tanning even though I don’t try to tan.

One reason I can think of would be the ingredients in these other sunblocks that, though they claim to protect me from the sun, are unfortunately harsh on my skin, let alone the environment when the sunblock is washed away by the water.

Human Nature’s Safe Block is 100% natural as with almost all of Human Nature’s products. Meaning to say, Human Nature avoided adding chemicals and artificial ingredients that most often cause skin irritation or lead to other illnesses as such ingredients are easily absorbed by the skin.

Fast Facts

HN Safeblock

Price/Size: 
Php 249.75 / 50g
Php 549.75 / 200g

Instructions:
Apply 20 minutes before exposure to the sun.
Reapply every 80 minutes or after sweating, swimming, or toweling.

Product Description: ABCs
100% natural, broad-spectrum, reef-friendly family sunscreen.
Armors skin against aging UVA rays with PA+++ rated protection.
Blocks 93% of skin-burning UVB rays.
Cares for our coral reefs with only all-good, sea-safe natural ingredients.

Ingredients:
Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, zinc oxide, hydrogenated castor oil, Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride (coconut-derived), dicaprylyl ether (vegetable-derived), beeswax, Glycine soja (soybean) oil, oryzanol (rice-derived), fragrance (all-natural), glyceryl caprylate (coconut, palm and glycerin-derived), tocopherol, anisic acid (anise seed-derived)

Source: Human Nature

Impressions

as applied on my left hand (the lighting is different on the left most pane)

as applied on my left hand (the lighting is different on the left most pane)

Quality

Human Nature’s Safe Block did not disappoint. From the moment I smelled it, I fell in love for it smelled like the lotion that you would want to wear everyday. If you’re a user of Human Nature products like me, you’d know that Safe Block has the same scent as Human Nature’s 100% Natural Healthy Lotion (Blossom Beauty)heavenly. When I was in Zambales with my family, I can’t help but apply and re-apply Safe Block. Even my cousins joined in on my excitement and tried it out.

The application is smooth, leaving a white film of protection just like any sunblock. I should emphasize that it is water resistant. After I did several laps and underwater handstands, the protective film’s still on my skin when I came back to shore. Even as I showered, I saw the water form into beads on my skin like a newly waxed car. But despite being water resistant, Human Nature’s Safe Block can easily be washed off with soap and water.

Strength

Suffice it to say, after 3 days and 2 nights in Zambales, swimming in the sea, playing beach volleyball, and walking along the shorelines, I did not get sunburn. I did not tan severely. There were no visible tan lines. There was no uneven skin tone. Happy!

In the website, it says that Safe Block is a physical sunscreen that stays on the skin’s surface to deflect the sun’s UV rays. Most sunblocks, however, are chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays and convert them to heat. Maybe this is why with other sunblocks I’ve tried, I’ve been getting uneven tan lines and patches of sunburn. With Safe Block, I suffered nothing of the sort. The sun’s harmful rays were the last of my problems.

You can also try Human Nature’s 100% Natural Sunflower Oil. Sunflower has essential elements that protect you from the sun’s rays, which is fitting considering its name. It also has other properties that make it work as an all purpose skin care product good for everyone.

Value

My only comment would be the size of the Safe Block, which is available in 50g and 200g only, as with most of Human Nature products. 50g is too little if you’re going for a 3D2N summer vacation. 200g is too large for the same duration, unless you’re sharing it with the whole family. Considering budget and time constraints, we don’t go on many summer vacations in a year. It usually ranges between 1-3 (I think).

There’s also the factor that since most Human Nature products are 100% natural, their shelf life are shorter, usually good for only a year. So for me who’s just bought a 200g Safe Block and used it for myself, my Mom and Dad, and for the last stretch of summer, I still have half of my Safe Block unspent. It expires on 12 April 2015.

Verdict: 9/10

It’s only due to the size that Safe Block didn’t make a 10/10. Other than that, it’s Safe Block hands down compared to other sunscreens out there. It’s affordable and it delivers. Did I mention I didn’t burn under the sun?

Plus, it’s safe on our seas. When we swim, there are no chemical compounds washed away to destroy our coral reefs. I feel safe and good knowing that I’m safely protected under the sun but at the same time I don’t cause damage to the environment. It’s a two-for-two deal that I wouldn’t dare pass up.

Disclaimer: I am a Human Nature Dealer but I strive to give a fair and objective opinion on Human Nature products. After all, I am a consumer of the products myself.

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How do you protect yourself against summer heat? Let me know what you think.