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Archive for the ‘Health & Beauty’ Category

I just happened to read this quote

“In life, as in restaurants, we swallow a lot of indigestible stuff just because it comes with the dinner.” – Mignon McLaughlin.

Wait a minute, “swallow” – who made you to swallow? You don’t have to swallow! You can spit it out if it’s disgust tasting. Isn’t that a waste to dine out at a lavish restaurant for some weird indigestible foods?
If a dinner is with indigestible stuff, I would rather not have that dinner.
The bottom line, you just don’t have to swallow any stuff that you don’t see yourself digesting. Just observe a baby spitting up the foods, you’ll see this very clearly. True to themselves, aren’t they? Babies do teach us a lot, don’t they?
Therefore we have other quotes, “Life is all about choices” or “The choice you make is the life you take”.
If we can (and yes, we can!) consciouly choose to have a more pleasant tasting dinner, that will make our lives easy.
There’s one line in an 80’s song “if it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so so sad”. I think it also works in the opposite way, “if it makes you so sad, then why the hell are you happy”. How could you live such a pretentious life?
You can make change at any time, and it’s smart to change before it’s too late, before your mentality and healthsake are compromised.
By consistenly applying this analogy in all aspects of our lives, we will have achieved a balanced, satisfied life full of vitality.

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Intrigued when reading Dr E. Funk’s philosophy, I am researching on this new terminology “koinophilia” and here I found the modern poem:

Koinophilia
Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder;
it’s in the eyes of a hundred beholders.
Helen’s face did not launch a thousand ships,
but the thousand faces of Helen can launch any ship.
Beauty is a regression to the mean,
the line that cuts a bell curve into symmetrical halves.
Koinophilia,
the true answer given by the magic mirror
when it was asked, “Who is the fairest of them all?”
To behold Helen, to dream of Snow White,
use your mouse.
Drag a thousand noses, eyes, chins, and cheeks
across the computer screen,
and stack them in virtual layers,
then click on the merge icon.
There before you is the statistical average,
a face of uncommon beauty.
Beauty is the algorithm of the mundane.
If beauty is truth, then truth is as common
as the collective mother smiling down
lovingly at her collective infant’s face.
by Richard Fein

As the topic that led to this poem was about face and beauty, I can’t agree more with the author’s point of view:

… what defines beauty. Sir Francis Bacon said that beauty is harmony. Or, beauty is identified when different aspects of the face are in harmony, or in proportion with one another.
Others say that beauty is symmetry. However, studies show that the face has asymmetries in 95 percent of people. If one looks closely enough, he or she will notice that there are many beautiful faces with any number of asymmetries.
Lastly, people have been quoted stating that they cannot define beauty, but that they know it when they see it.
Dr. Funk feels that we cannot define beauty because it is always changing, particularly in the face. Our society today has accepted that beauty is found in all cultures and races.
Fifty years ago, we would have never seen Lucy Liu, Beyoncé, or Jennifer Lopez on the cover of Vogue or voted as People magazine’s most beautiful people. But, they are all beautiful women.
This is defined as koinophilia, or a love of the average. It is an average of all these different facial features that has become the allure to the human eye. Beauty is always changing because we as people are changing. Our perceptions and acceptance of beauty within different cultures are constantly changing which leads to a continually shifting idea of what defines beauty itself.

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As a consumer, I do have a habit of reading the labels or ingredients though, and even reading into a certain ingredient for my own knowledge. I have wanted to jot down as much as I could from what I learned. But so far I have not spent tremendous amount of time into this yet. So now I am starting out with some self-teaching. Actually I am brought back to college days when I studied chemistry.
On discovering the benefits of fruit/natural acids, I am going through the list of the beauty/natural acids
I read from an online article that cider vinegar can be used as a natural skin cleanser or toner. Cider vinegar is made from fruits containing tartaric or malic acid. I guess it is safe in the sense that I exfoliate my face with a lemon wedge, or wash face with grapefruit juice (avoid the eyes) , and still feel confident that nothing can go wrong.
1. Tartaric acid – from a source, it is found in grapes, apples, pears and tamarinds. But from another source (dermadoctor.com), this is actually a by-product of the fermentation process that takes place while making wine. Tartaric acid holds a unique position within the food industry, but has been showing up in several skin care Neova products line.
2. Malic acid – found in un-ripe apples and green grapes. Yummy, I always love granny apples. While it has no obvious benefits for skin treatments, it has been suggested it may help increase oxygen supply to the muscles for certain diseases such as fibromyalgia.
3. Citric acid – found in citrus fruits, acts as an antioxidant as well as helps stimulate collagen fiber production within the dermis. Lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits contain high concentrations of citric acid. Its weak acidity helps bleaching unwanted skin discoloration that often accompanies the aging skin process. Exfoliation is not its main function and realistically should not be considered an exfoliator. One note: citric acid sometimes and somewhere is confused with Vitamin C.
4. Fumaric acid – what I found on food/drug labels when I am curious. Fumaric acid is used as a substitute for tartaric acid in beverages and baking powder. Fumaric acid is quite a handy “enhancer”. It is an acidifier, a flavoring agent, a life-extender of candies, gelatin, and beverages, a denture cleaning agent.
Want to double or maximize the volume of your egg-white foam? Add some fumaric acid.
5. Glycolic acid – interestingly, comes from sugar cane and can also be made synthetically. Glycolic acid works in a number of ways, primarily through its exfoliation properties. In addition, glycolic acid helps reduce the surface skin oils and can help remove blackheads and other skin impurities as well as smooth out fine wrinkle lines. Other benefits of glycolic acid include its moisturizing ability; the potential for it to help bleach unwanted skin discoloration; and its ability to help draw other skin treatments more deeply into the skin. Glycolic acid is also thought to help stimulate collagen production within the dermis to some degree. In fact, a recent study suggests that a glycolic/salicylic acid combination product may be more beneficial in acne treatment than 10% benzoyl peroxide. Glycolic acid at high concentration should be administered and used by a well-trained professional only.
Speaking of this, I can harvest some good sugar canes from my mom’s garden and experiment with “sugar cane exfoliator”.
6. Lactic acid – comes from sour milk. An ideal skin softener, lactic acid is frequently used by dermatologists to cut through thick, rough skin. Lactic acid works both as an exfoliator as well as helps hold water within the skin. Dermatologists originally used it as a skin rejuvenation AHA until studies showed that glycolic acid gave superior results for this use. Lactic acid may be combined with other AHAs to help boost product effectiveness.
7. Ascorbic acid – essentially Vitamin C – a sugar acid having antioxidant properties. Found mainly in berry and citrus fruits, and vegetable, plants, animals, and single-cell organisms, so all living animals make it, lack of it, remake it, or die from it. While ascorbic acid is a vital food nutrient for humans (and therefore termed a vitamin), it is a natural liver metabolite in most other animals. The body helps produce collagen which helps to maintain healthy teeth, bones, gums, cartilage, vertebrae discs, joint linings, skin and blood vessels.
AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) is a blanket term for a variety of fruit acids such as Glycolic, Citric, Lactic, Malic and Tartaric.
Whereas, BHA (beta hydroxy acid) is essentially salicylic acid derived from the bark of the willow tree. Why is it a better acne curing acid?
Beta Hydroxy Acids have a larger molecular structure than their cousin, Alpha Hydroxy Acids. The larger molecule size keeps the Beta Hydroxy Acid on the surface of the skin, allowing it to more effectively penetrate and exfoliate within the pore. It works by causing the cells of the epidermis to slough off more rapidly, preventing pores from clogging up, and allowing room for new cell growth.
8. Salicylic acid – also referred to by some sources as aspirin. But there is a lot more than just aspirin. It is a plant hormone. how? Let’s go back to my chemistry days. To make a few Aspirin tablets, we had Salicylic acid ( in powder form) reacted with Acetic Acid. This reaction was called the “hydrolysis”.
There is a strong connection to a number of health risks including death, from the use of processed products containing salicylic acid. Reye’s Syndrome is one that can kill a person or leave them disabled for the rest of their life. If you are aspirin-sentive, do not use these products. Asthma attacks is another risk. Salicylic acid can cause birth defects when given orally in doses about six times higher than the highest dose recommended for topical use in humans.
Again, acids at high concentration should be used by a well-trained professional only.

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This post is to correspond to the article at Resources.

When people get busy, hurried, and stressed they put aside
their own needs and the needs of their relationships in the
rush to get thing done. But when you are busy, hurried and
stressed is when you need time for yourself and with your loved
one(s) the most. Time and space nourish you, and allow you to be
more effective – and being more effective means you get things
done better and faster.

This is counterintuitive. Just when you think you have
absolutely no time for yourself or your relationships (family or
significant other), is when you should take the time in order to
be more effective. Think of time you spend on yourself and on
your relationships as time spent charging up your body and
spirit.

How do you carve out that time? Here are a few suggestions to
help you out.
1. You don’t have to do everything you have to do
Sometimes people who feel overwhelmed want to do everything on
their list as a way to relieve the pressure. This will not work
because you simply will not get everything on your list done-
and, if you came close, the list would start filling up again
with additional must-do tasks.
What do you really have to do? Be as clear about this as you
would be if you were advising a friend: only a few things on
that list are really in the “must do” category. Erase the rest,
forgive yourself for not doing those other things, and spend the
freed-up time on yourself or your loved one(s).

2. Simplify
Look carefully at the items on your list that involve a lot of
steps or look like they will take a lot of time. If they really
must be done right now, is there a way to do them more simply,
more directly? Think about your experience with complex
projects, and how they often seem to double in complexity and in
the time required as unexpected problems crop up or extra steps
have to be added.
This may be the time to go for a “good enough” result, rather
than a perfect one. Opt for simplicity and ease: it’s ok not to
struggle. Use the freed-up time to spend on yourself or your
loved one(s).

3. Set a realistic to-do list for the day; stop when it’s done
If you work for someone else, your boss only gets to tell you
what to do during the hours he or she has paid for. Beyond that,
if there is any justice in your work world, someone else has to
do the things that you could not get to, or they have to wait.

Try this experiment: pretend that your to-do list has hired you
for a certain number of hours each day. Work your hardest for
your to-do boss in the time you have agreed on. And then stop
for the day: enough is enough. You may need to pare down your
idea of what you can reasonably accomplish in a day.

4. Take care of yourself
Do one (or more) self-care actions each morning. This can be
vastly different for different people: from a 10 minute
meditation to a short walk, to making sure you have some quiet
time even if you have to get up 15 minutes early, to using a
special body-care product, to applying moisturizer to your face,
to making a special cup of tea or coffee before you run out the
door. Do something easy, fast, and special to recharge your
batteries and let you know you are important.
You will then find it easier to make better choices throughout
the day, having been recharged a bit by your self-care action.
You will be more likely, later in the day, to make wise
decisions about making time for yourself and your loved one(s)
instead of doing more stuff.

5. Set a drop to-do list time, before you drop from exhaustion
Set a time every day when you will stop everything you are
doing to give yourself some space and time or spend time with
your loved one(s). Make sure this is a time long before you drop
from exhaustion. If you tend to pass out at 9 pm, make sure your
alone or together time starts no later then 8:30. Better yet,
make it 8 pm.
Alternatively, decide on a time that works best in your
schedule and stop for half an hour to an hour in the middle of
the day or early evening to spend time on yourself or on your
loved one(s).

6. Refuel with love
It seems impossible during a busy period to carve out any time
at all for yourself or for a loved one. But you can and you
really should. We all know people function better on adequate
sleep. But do you know that people function better on adequate
love?
When you are spending time on yourself you are loving yourself.
This self-love will nourish you and make you more effective.
When you are spending time on loved one(s) you are allowing
yourself to be nourished by them/him/her and that will make you
more effective as well.

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As I am watching “Youth Knows no Pain” on HBO-E, I am triggered by a doctor’s question “What’s your feeling anout the anti-aging industry?”
I feel it is going over-board. So many people, doctors of all kinds, facialists, skin technicians and alike, are getting into this business. And so many young people are attracted into this beauty-fixer upper industry for their obsession of being beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I am attracted to pretty things as well, probably in two ways: out of curiosity and admiration. I admire beauty that is highly self-maintained through natural nourishment and trained through hard-core disciplinary acts.
I believe we are in the age-conscious era. We human beings have evolved from being conscious about what we intake to what is good for your body, your brain, and the most ultimate desire is stay young longer, (if not forever). So does Youth knows any pain? Of course, it does, depending on how we take “that pain”. No pain, no gain. Not happy about one aspect of your face, your body? We have to weigh on the pain if it’s worth it for the gain we want. The pain from the knife, from exercise or disciplinary actions. It is all up to us. Agreed for those who have limit physical capability have to choose the knife-pain. But then you have to maintain, to keep it up. I believe in no pain no gain. I listen to my body, and eat, sleep, relaxt, workout equally and moderately. I don’t really need to go far out of my way or my limitations.
I am in my thirty’s and no one can’t believe my real age. A plastic surgeon friend once said I look like twenty-something. God bless him! We all know it takes as double work for women as it does for men as part of aging process. Women stretch, expand, shrink, sag, wrinkle, lose bone density due to menses and giving childbirths. Men go bald, age later, sag a little bit, but most likely expand. Then it would be sad if men can’t keep up and can’t maintain. The key is “maintain”.
The worst mistake is to be like someone. As we grow and learn from mistakes, own experiences, we know more about ourselff. I have learn to love myself better, know what I want, what does and would make me happy, what stands out from my body, my face. To me, being healthy, in control of your life, and being strong are what boost the condidence and self-esteem, which then boost the beauty.

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