We love storytellers with good stories to tell, and chefs with good food to give. In May, we collaborated with a woman who generously shared both with us. Celebrity chef Angela May’s tale is the first of two It’s What’s Inside That Counts stories, which also falls under the Origins series (headlined by Kelly Latimer). While Kelly’s story focused on how her English roots inspire her present and future in Singapore, Angela’s prods us to take a closer look — within ourselves.

Credit: WearOhWhere

“I love everything about the experience of eating, from sitting down with friends and chatting over food, and the food itself. I just felt the need to feed people… there’s a deep seated spot in my soul that physically hurts when I see hungry people.”

ANGELA MAY
CELEBRITY CHEF

Hello, Sunshine by Angela May

We’ve always been advocates of not just topical care for healthy and radiant skin, but also being mindful of what we eat and drink so we’re nourishing our skin from within as well. With the opening of Porcelain Origins and the quaint café that nests within it, it was most opportune to work with Angela just in time for summer. Hello, Sunshine is Angela’s take on a fruity summer smoothie — available for a limited time only at Porcelain Origins at $12.90.

Credit: WearOhWhere

The Ingredients

Angela’s recipe incorporates yummies like peach, lychee, aloe vera, and rosemary and bee pollen for garnish. Is it a coincidence that they’re some of our own favourites and are key ingredients in our products and treatments?

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Quite a wonderfruit, peaches are rich in antioxidants and combat free radicals and anti-aging effects that the sun brings. It’s also moisture- and glow-giving. Find this ingredient in our Soothe – Hydro Cleanser and  Pure – Botanical Soothing Gel

Our go-to for its ultra-hydrating, soothing and reparative properties. Found in almost all our products from our toners to our exfoliators, serums and moisturisers, including the Soothe – Aloe Recovery Gel (of course!)

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Another antioxidant-rich superfruit for the skin. Soak up its goodness with our Hydrocare – Bio-cellulose Mask!

Something similarly bee-inspired is used in our Beespoke™ Honey Facial, a treatment that was specially created for Sofitel City Centre Singapore — bee propolis!

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ROSEMARY

Yes, again, rosemary has amazing antioxidants properties. More than that, it’s a great oil-balancer (just in time for summer) and cleans out impurities without drying the skin. Catch a whiff of it in our Soothe – Hydro Cleanser.

“Peaches are such a great summer fruit. They smell amazing, and have a blush that screams summer.”

We do love bare skin and outward confidence as much as we love feeling good…

P.S. Read our full story with Angela May, interviewed by WearOhWhere, here. Enjoy Hello, Sunshine at Porcelain Origins at $9.90 (U.P. $12.90) when you flash that page!

Are you ready for summer?

 

 

Water’s importance to the body is usually underestimated, and it really shouldn’t be! The amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75%, a key component of the skin. As the largest organ, the skin contains approximately 64% water. Our skin has several different functions: to protect, regulate, feel and act as a barrier against external toxins, like pathogens and chemicals. It also regulates body temperature and helps us sense our surroundings. As the outermost barrier of our body, the skin regulates the body water content by controlling water loss from within the body to the outside via the skin’s topmost layer. Finally, it also blocks water permeation from the outside.


Be water my friend.
— Bruce Lee


If your skin feels dry, tight, itchy and flaky, then it probably lacks hydration! It may also look and feel rough and lack visible radiance. Dry skin will lose its soft, pliable characteristics and may crack, which could lead to the increased risk of infections. Dehydrated skin may also increase signs of aging, such as the appearance of visible wrinkles.

Here are four ways to keep your skin (and body!) hydrated, ensuring skin that’s hydrated, radiant and dewy:

1. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water

Since our body and every organ are at least 75% water, it’s a given that we require a hydrated medium for our bodies to function properly, and that means choosing to consume foods that help hydrate you and also drinking water. Different people require different amounts of water to stay hydrated.

Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. One way to tell if you are not drinking enough water is to check your urine. If your urine is usually colorless or light yellow, congratulations – you are well hydrated. If it’s a dark yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated, so drink up!

And if you’re looking for a beverage that has a bit more flavour than your regular H2O, try coconut. Aside from its myriad of uses and health benefits, coconut water (naturally occurring liquid from the inside of a coconut) stacks up against water as a better ‘hydrator’ as not only does it hydrate you, blood sugar levels are also restored faster as it contains natural sugar. It’s also lower in both calories and sodium, which makes it a great alternative for water.

2. Cut down (or stop completely) on foods that dehydrate you

Drinking enough water is the key to hydration. However, lack of water intake isn’t the only cause of dehydration. Some foods, when consumed excessively, can lead to dehydration as well.

Many of the foods we eat are processed and stripped of true nutrition. These are highly acidic to the body and create water retention to thin out the toxicity. As the body strives hard to flush out the waste, our body becomes dehydrated.

Beverages such as coffee (sorry coffee aficionados out there) and alcohol can also worsen dehydration as both are diuretic. These cause you to urinate more frequently than usual. This is why you usually feel dehydrated and experience headaches after a night of alcohol, as alcohol depletes your cells of water, which in turns causes these symptoms.

3. Eat your greens and fruits

Foods with a lack of nutrition and high acidity due to processing cause an imbalance in your pH level. To maintain a good pH balance in your body, start including in your diet fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes, as these alkaline forming foods not only provide your body with optimal nutrition but also ensures that your system is oxygenated and hydrated.

Another way to maintain your pH balance is to supplement with digestive enzymes, as our pancreas is largely responsible for the production of these enzymes so if your pancreas isn’t working properly, the supplement ensures that your natural enzyme level is where it needs to be.

4. Get a good night’s sleep

We’ve said it before in previous posts and we’ll say it again: sleep is important!

Research has suggested that people who sleep in are more creative, score higher on inductive reasoning tests, are less stressed and more productive. Sadly, many people (especially 9-5ers) get by on less.

Science says that we need eight hours of sleep to perform optimally daily. However, if you do your body good by getting enough sleep (7-8 hours minimum), you are actually allowing it to regenerate on a cellular level. As a result, it becomes less-stressed and more alkaline.

Don’t skimp on the zzz’s and ensure that you get adequate, quality sleep by developing a good bedtime routine. That means not using your electronics 2-3 hours before bedtime and letting go of the thoughts that may run rampant at night.


Water is the driving force of all nature.
— Leonardo da Vinci


 

Stay True,


Running a really hectic schedule shopping for Christmas? Struggling to finish everything 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

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

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)

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

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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!


RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS:

You don’t have to live at the spa, spend money on expensive branded products, or change everything about your beauty routine in order to have an acne-free and a healthy, glowing, foundation-free complexion. One cannot simply rely on these few methods and hope for a miraculous improvement. There are many factors at play when it comes to skincare, and people often overlook the most fundamental ones.

Today, we explore 4 simple daily things that everyone can do to achieve perfect skin. Though they may seem extremely minute in the grand scheme of things, one should always remember that a mountain can only be moved by shifting the tiniest stones first!

Change Pillowcases Every 2-3 Days

The most innocuous object at home might most probably be the guiltiest. To the majority, our pillowcases seem hygienic because we only lie on them right before we sleep. Many forget that pillowcases are exposed to dust and pollution particles in the air whilst we are out of the house.

Pillowcases do house dirt, and the oil that builds on our face as we sleep overnight does seep into the sheets as well.

Thus, it would be wise to launder or change pillowcases every 2 to 3 days so as to lessen the likelihood of clogged pores and blemishes. Another option is to switch to silk or satin pillowcases which are gentler on skin in the long run too.

Cut / Reduce fried food and dairy in your diet

Many are aware that fried food is bad for health, but find themselves unable to stay away from it. The same applies to dairy because of its ubiquitous presence in our food and drinks. Those of us who love fried chicken, cheese and milk tea thereby become the most likely victims of acne.

It may be difficult to place complete dietary restrictions on ourselves; take it a step at a time.

Replace milk / milk teas / coffee with  green / brown rice teas which are also tasty and healthier. Fried chicken can also be replaced with a grilled version. There is a plethora of vegan options out there that taste just as good as dairy products too!

Wash your hands before touching your face

Touching our faces seems so natural to many of us. When we think, we touch our chin. When we are tired, we rest our faces in our hands.

Unfortunately, this just breeds more bacteria under our skin as our hands are often dirty. We must always remember to wash our hands with a good soap before touching our skin.

The best solution, of course, is to not touch our face at all unless we are washing it or applying skincare. This rule might be difficult to those who like to pick at their pimples especially, but it can make the biggest difference.

Be wary when trying fad products

People with healthy, immaculate skin know that the right routine matters more than the latest hot product.  If it sounds too good to be true or fails the common sense test, it probably won’t work. Save your money for products that work. Get moisturizers, sun protection and serums that have been proven to bust acne / eliminate wrinkles / get rid of dead skin cells. Remember to consider your climate and environment you live in and always seek advice from a beauty professional.

When seeking the opinion of a beauty professional, be on the lookout for:

  • verifying the source of the expert opinion
  • misleading credentials
  • brands that don’t understand the chemistry behind their ingredients or don’t really know the way skin works
  • overstating results and exaggerated promises
  • evasive answers to direct questions
  • unanswered emails and calls requesting more information

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

There’s a lot of goodness packed in one cucumber! Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need everyday, including:

– Vitamin B1
– Vitamin B2
– Vitamin B3
– Vitamin B5
– Vitamin B6
– Folic acid
– Vitamin C
– Calcium
– Iron
– Magnesium
– Phosphorus
– Potassium
– Zinc

1. Cucumbers for energy 
Cucumbers are full of vitamin B and carbohydrates that can provide energy which can last for long periods.

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2. Cucumbers for smoother, younger looking skin
The photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten and firm up the outer layer. What you can do is try rubbing a slice or two of cucumber on the problem area for a few minutes. To tone skin and tighten open pores, you can try using cucumber as a toner. You can either mix it with Apple Cider Vinegar, and with a few drops of Lemon, honey & aloe vera gel or use it alone. This can help you achieve more youthful and radiant skin.

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3. Cucumbers fade dark circles & reduce puffy eyes
Cucumbers have the ability to quickly and easily reduce the appearance of dark circles. Due to the antioxidants and silica present in cucumbers, they can rejuvenate the skin and fade dark circles. A common tip is to place 2 cucumber slices on both eyes and let it rest for 20 minutes while relaxing your eyes.  Due to the large amount of ascorbic acid in cucumbers, they can also reduce water retention and overall puffiness!

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4. Cucumbers cure your hangover!
Cucumbers contain sugar, vitamin B and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients that the body lost. If you eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed, you will wake up feeling refreshed and free from headache and an awful hangover.

5. Cucumbers freshen your breath
Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30s. The photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth which is the culprit of bad breath.

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6. Cucumbers treat sunburn 
If you are guilty of staying out in the sun a little too long and are dealing with sunburn, cucumbers have cooling effects on your skin, and is a very gentle and easy method to soothe and calm your skin, speeding up the healing process.

7. Cucumbers treat cellulite
Cucumber can reduce the unsightly dimples on your thighs. Mix half a cup of ground coffee with some cucumber juice and a tbsp of organic honey to make a paste. Apply it to the affected area, and gently massage for 5-10 minutes then rinse off with warm water. Your skin will appear smoother and long term use will help to reduce cellulite 😀