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Mary Kay Philippines Beauty Consultant Experience

It was just an ordinary day when my roommates asked if I wanted to tag along going to Baguio City. At first, I declined, as I was really craving for some time to sleep. I was tasked to go to my new job for January 2nd in the afternoon and was planning to attend one of my best friends’ baby shower, so I thought sleeping in the morning would allow me to restore some energy.

After a lot of convincing and thinking, I decided to tag along at Baguio City, in which, I thought wasn’t on the same day. But then, I didn’t know we’re also going to Makati to attend a Mary Kay event.

After a few hours of small-talk with different people, my roommate, Jessica, and I signed up to be part of the Mary Kay Philippines Team. It was also out of impulse but for me, it was a good decision since I’m also a fan of cosmetics. I love how we’re getting freebies and all other stuff, and how we’re also eligible for a sales and beauty training help a week after.

I attended the ESRS (Essential Steps to Reach Success) Training where we were taught selling skills (which totally helped me with my next job) and tons of beauty tips in skincare and health. Like, for example, you have to exfoliate your face’s skin every Wednesday and Sunday because our skin changes skin every three days; or that, it’s really important to cleanse, tone, and moisturize the skin to maintain a young-looking skin.

There’s a lot to learn, but I did enjoy the training. Eventually, I got me my ESRS Completion Certificate. I’m now eligible to give advice for skin care and health, especially with MK Products! 😍💖

After a while, I conducted my first (impulsive) mini-event in Embarcadero de Legazpi when I went home to celebrate Christmas and New Year. It was a FREE makeover and skin analysis for my attendees. Cherry and Jessica helped with it.

Thanks to Embarcadero de Legazpi’s Marketing Head of wanting to have me blog their newly-established restaurants, I was able to get a hold of a place to conduct an event! I got to display and demonstrate the products there for FREE.

As mentioned, it was an impulsive beauty fairand we weren’t really prepared. To be honest, we were only planning to ‘do’ it and give my Facebook friends my promise of giving them a free makeover, but I figured I could use the ex-deal agreement I had with Embarcadero.

So voila! This is what we’re only able to get a hold of. 😂

Here are some of the photos during the event:

Ate Georgia (left) and friends. I honestly didn’t expect them to attend, so I really really do thank them for doing so as I thought this event would flunk!

And then followed by these heaps…

These three beautiful ladies… and many more.

I have many other attendees at night since this event lasted from 3 PM ’til 6 PM (ingressed at 1 PM). Due to not having proper lighting the photos don’t look good anymore. 😌

Thankfully, it went out well, as I can also leverage this opportunity in making a business out of these products, which you can browse here.

Mary Kay Philippines taught me all I need to know about traditional selling and basic-intermediate skincare routine, so if you ever need a beauty consultant, you can have me.

Just contact me at 09952431210 for a free makeover using these products, if you want to test it out, or if you want to make a business out of it as well.

Also, if you subscribe to my email list here and order some items from this Instagram Business Account here, I will give you freebies like lipsticks, foundations, even their best-selling charcoal mask.

Let’s help each other be and feel beautiful! That’s also always my goal why I aspire to be an expert in skincare. 😍💖

Visit my Instagram Business Account here and browse for more items! 💖

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My Baguio-Nueva Ecija Trip: How The Last Weeks Of My December 2018 Went (A Super Late Post)

December 15 – 19, 2018

Going to Baguio City after like… 18 years?; and to Nueva Ecija was one of the most unforgettable and fun things I did with my roommates unexpectedly.


If only I knew we’d go here, I would have recreated these photos. 😂

I was just lying on my bed; wanting one hell of a long sleep, when my former roommate, Cherry, asked me to tag along to Baguio City. I’m not sure why that was, but I honestly didn’t feel like going. It was also one of my best friends’ baby shower happening that night, and I was also tasked to drop by at work before starting on January 2nd. So yes, all I wanted to do that morning was to sleep!

I was then talked out of my senses when Cherry and Jessica – my roommates – convinced me to finally tag along. Eventually, I said “yes” with us, having different agenda in the afternoon at first (I went to my soon-to-be new job, and my best friend’s baby shower and gender reveal, while the two of them went thrift shopping at Baclaran).

Before dusk, we also went to Mary Kay Makati where I officially became a Mary Kay Philippines Beauty Consultant. My certification was done the week after. You can read more about my MK Experience here.

At 8 PM, I went to my best friend, Ery’s, baby shower and gender reveal along with our college friends. I honestly didn’t know we’d be off to Baguio City at midnight. I was just texted we’d go after my mini-gathering with college friends. 😂

I thought we were leaving for Baguio the next day, I didn’t know it was going to be that night! So when we arrived at midnight in QC, we immediately packed all our stuff and went to Baguio. Cherry rented a van that time.

Here’s our back-to-back Baguio-Nueva Ecija Escapade on December 2018

Baguio City Itinerary

We went to check-in at Albergo, one of the most finest-looking hotel in Baguio. I swear, this was too beautiful for a hotel! It’s like a condo-type hotel with a complete set of furniture and kitchen utensils.

The bed was a cool double-decker where Jessica and I slept at the bottom bunk. It has drawer-like beddings underneath the queen-sized bed (bottom bunk), so if there was a need for an extra, say, a companion; (but of course we wouldn’t just let the driver sleep where we sleep), it can just be pulled out!

At lunch, we went to eat at Good Taste Restaurant where the food served were merely lutong bahay (home-cooked viands) and gulay (vegetables). Yum! 😋

In the afternoon, we went to Strawberry Farm to see some strawberries…

… and sunflowers…

And then proceeded to The Mines View where I did me some horse-riding… 😂

… and a dramatic pose on the view uphill… 😂 LOL! 😆

Then we went to The Mansion at almost 6 PM…

And finally the next day, at the famous Burnham Park…

It was freezing cold in Baguio City and some folks even told us it was ‘sunnier’ that time. Meaning, it could have been colder if we went some other day. 😨😂

I’m not sure how you can go to Baguio City via bus as we rode a Montero that time, but here’s a bit of information on how to get there via commute and/or private transport:

Via Commute

  1. Go to a Victory Liner bus in Manila bound for Baguio City. You can either ride from Pasay, Cubao and/or Caloocan. Regular fare is 450 Php (depending on the bus company).

Via Private Transport

  1. Take the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) going to the SCTEX from Manila at Exit 85.
  2. Drive from SCTEX to Tarlac City, then turn left to a road.
  3. Continue driving until you reach Mc Arthur Highway.
  4. Turn right, drive continuously along Tarlac City roads and Pangasinan province until you reach Rosario, La Union.
  5. From Rosario, La Union junction, turn right to Kennon Road.
  6. Turn right again to Marcos Highway.
  7. That’s all the way to Baguio City. Just drive along!

Nueva Ecija Itinerary

Okay – so I’m not sure what happened AGAIN, but we all impulsively thought of going to Nueva Ecija as part of our roommate’s “job.” I’m not sure what she does honestly, all I knew was that we went there as well to have fun.

We arrived at around 9 PM and went straight to Villa Liza Resort and Restaurant to stay in for the night. Aside from having dinner, we went straight to sleep.

Mornings in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija be like…

… and BREAKFAST! 😍

Fried sunny-side up eggs, longganisa, and corned beef for breakfast

After breakfast photos be like…

And of course, by the pool-side…

I can’t give full directions on how to get there since we were using a rented car to go straight ahead. But here’s what I was able to get a hold of:

Full Address: Villa Liza Resort and Restaurant, Aurora Rd., Bongabon Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: 09494095323 / 0917 710 9600

We should be getting back to Manila by Monday morning but things got out of hand, and my former roommate asked if we could stay one more day. I forgot what the reason was, but the extended stay on Monday was spent going to Pantabangan Dam.

I looked chubby-AF there, though. 😂

Just by looking at this picture, the sunset with nature just feels serene-AF for me. It’s very heart-warming! I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but this picture looks peaceful. ❤🍃

Not to mention a VIEW with the waters feels divine! 😍 I am very in love with everything that is Pantabangan Dam (I am a super fan of the ocean, so waters like these make my soul feel good)! 😍💖

We extended ANOTHER night after Monday, as we went straight to Minalungao National Park after leaving Bongabon, Nueva Ecija for some sightseeing and exploration on Tuesday morning.

The view at Minalungao National Park was super amazing, I bet this is the REAL AND BEST highlight of our impulsive trip!

Here are some of my photos in Minalungao National Park

I posed like I was owning it. Hell-yeah! Haha. 😂

And this view? Dang! It’s a must-see! 😍

This one’s across the river near the cave. My other roommate, Jessica, and I would have gone to the caves if only dogs didn’t run after her that time! Hahaha! I literally ROTFL-ed that time as she even went to HUG a random stranger out of fear. 😂

Everyone was laughing including me! 😂😆

Here we are (with me overcoming my fear of heights), as we took our picture in the middle of the HANGING BRIDGE! 😂

And here’s me, and well… my favorite purple socks! 😂😆

If only we had one more day to stay, we would have seized it as there were TONS OF OTHER ACTIVITIES you can do here at Minalungao National Park:

  • Bamboo rafting and swimming
  • Walk the hanging bridge
  • Hike and/or Trek
  • Go Zipline!
  • Cliff Dive
  • Spelunking/Caving
  • And many many more! 😍

To get here via commute (because I wasn’t able to keep track of how our private transport went)

  1. Ride a bus from Cubao or Pasay (whichever is near to you) going to Gapan or Cabanatuan. Travel time is 3 hours. Fare is 150-200 Php, but I’m not sure if this still hasn’t changed.
  2. Afterward, ride a jeep to General Tinio.
  3. Then, ride a tricycle going to Minalungao Park. Fare is 50 Php.

You also have an option of riding a tricycle from Gapan to Minalungao park, but that’s around 500-800 Php at 1.5 hours average.

We eventually went home on Tuesday evening after all the extended travels.

To be completely honest, going on with this impulsive trip had caused me my work ethic. I went absent for so many days at work (I was on a pre-resign state that time), and I literally didn’t go to work on purpose anymore out of guilt. Hahaha! I know, I know. It was my bad as this wasn’t a good idea; I should have resigned properly yada-yada-yada (I swear it wasn’t as ‘easy’ as you think… but I also swear I won’t do that again)… but I won’t trade this soul-searching experience for a 9:30 PM – 6:30 AM job that only elevated my severe depression during (hence my short hiatus on blogging for almost 3 months).

This experience helped me breathe and find myself again. And I must say it is indeed true that ‘traveling’ really opens up your soul for brand new things to see. Traveling is really food for the soul; so when one tells you this, you’ve got to believe them as it did me.

Despite the judgment I’ve gotten for what I did for the first time, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity where I got close to healing. I wouldn’t trade this experience of healing my soul over some judgment that, “I don’t have a ‘proper’ work ethic” because THIS EXPERIENCE was what healed me from a job that only made my depression worse (throwing some shade aside).

This experience and opportunity opened up my eyes to ways on how I can deal with my deteriorating mental state moving forward. It’s not just about ‘traveling’ per se, although that’s part of it. It’s about the lessons, divine interventions, learnings, and growth along the way.

Ergo… every risk was worth it! 😊💖

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Hydroquinone: What You Need To Know About This Beauty Ingredient

Hydroquinone: probably one of the most heard-about ingredients by beauty enthusiasts to date.

If you’re a fan of having a skincare routine especially in the Philippines, then this ingredient – if you’re reading the label – must have come across you many times. This ingredient is usually found in whitening products, so maybe you must have stumbled upon this ingredient once or twice.

If you’re wondering why hydroquinone is our topic for today, read on.

Let’s discuss how it affects the skin.

Hydroquinone

 

Hydroquinone is an active beauty ingredient with skin lightening properties. In Layman’s term, it bleaches the skin; which is why it’s a valuable agent in the treatment of different forms of hyperpigmentation, as well as other stubborn skin problems including acne marks, sun spots, and melasma.

It’s a synthetic organic compound and skin brightening agent found in a plethora of brightening serums and creams these days, which claims to effectively lighten dark patches. While a good number of licensed dermatologists recommend it as a treatment to hyperpigmentation and uneven skintone, it’s not without controversy. As a matter of fact, hydroquinone is currently banned in Europe, Japan, and Australia.

In Canada and US, high concentrations of this skin-lightening agent can only be purchased by prescription. This leads us to a very important question: is hydroquinone your skin’s friend or foe? Let’s start the evaluation by learning how it works.

How It Works

Hydroquinone lightens your skin by reducing the number of melanocytes in it. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment responsible for your skin tone. In the event of hyperpigmentation, excessive melanin populated the skin’s surface caused by an increase in melanocyte production. When melanocyte production is regulated, the skin tone will become more even over time.

Normally, it takes around four weeks (average) for the hydroquinone to use its powers. Full results may show after several months of consistent use. If you’ve been using hydroquinone and you don’t notice any change within 3 months of use, seek advice from your dermatologist. Ask for recommendations on the prescription-strength formula that’s best fits to your skin’s needs.

Safety Concerns

It may seem like a miracle solution to get rid of dark spots once and for all, but dermatologists don’t all agree about hydroquinone’s safety or efficacy. This is because hydroquinone is not universally considered safe at the moment. With improper use, it can easily become a skin irritant, especially for people with sensitive skin. Another skin disease that can also happen is ochronosis, explained as increased darkening of the skin that is caused by hydroquinone in high concentrations and with long-term use.

In the US, hydroquinone is still be purchased over the counter. While the ingredient is generally considered safe and effective, the number of long-term safety concerns with this ingredient is higher in quantity as compared to other products with skin actives.

How Safe is Hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is usually well-tolerated by most users, however, there are a few exceptions:

  • If your skin is dry or sensitive, the condition may worsen with continued use. This usually tapers off over time as your skin adapts to the ingredient.
  • If you have normal or oily skin, you’re in luck since you have lower chances of experiencing these side effects.
  • Hydroquinone tends to provide better results on fair skin tones. If your skintone is darker, consult your dermatologist before use. The ingredient may worsen hyperpigmentation in darker skin tones.

Using Hydroquinone Raw

When treating hyperpigmentation, consistency is key. You want to use this ingredient daily to get optimal results. To stay safe, follow all product instructions with caution.

Before applying hydroquinone onto your face, it’s highly important to perform a patch. This will help you to figure out how your skin will react and if there are side effects.

To do this:

  1. Apply a small amount of the product on the inside part of your forearm.
  2. Use a bandage to cover the affected area.
  3. Wash your hands to remove the residue that can potentially stain your clothes or other materials.
  4. Let sit for 24 hours.
  5. Stop using if you experience severe itching or other forms of irritation.

If you don’t feel any side effects, you should be able to safely add it to your skincare routine. Ideally, hydroquinone should be applied it after cleansing and toning and before applying moisturizer.

Helpful Tips When Using Hydroquinone

Be sure to apply sunscreen as the last step of your skincare routine. Beauty and wellness experts recommend reapplying as necessary throughout the day.

While consistency can help you achieve the best results, hydroquinone can’t be used for a long period of time. If there’s no improvement in your skin after three months, stop using hydroquinone at once.

Otherwise, the product can be applied for up to 4 months and then slowly taper off use. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use it for more than 5 months at a given timeframe.

If you do want to begin using the product again, it’s best to wait for at least two to three months before continuing.

Possible Side Effects and Risks

At present, hydroquinone is considered safe in the US. Based on research, there isn’t any clinical evidence currently that proves hydroquinone is harmful to humans.

However, minor side effects may still occur. It can lead to a temporary uptick in redness or dryness initially, more so if your skin is sensitive. These should fade eventually as you get used to the product.

It’s quite rare that hydroquinone caused a condition called ochronosis, which occurs after prolonged daily use. This means you shouldn’t use products containing this ingredient for more than 5 months at a given time.

Natural Alternatives

If you prefer not using chemical agents for hyperpigmentation such as hydroquinone, there are natural skin-lightening products at your disposal.

Typically, these come in the form of:

  • Vitamins A and C are used habitually in anti-aging products since they help brighten the skin and improve overall tone. Used consistently, antioxidants may also lighten skin with hyperpigmentation.
  • Vitamin B-3. Also known as niacinamide, this vitamin is a potent ingredient that prevents darker pigmentation from making it to the surface of your skin.
  • Plant-based acids. Acids aren’t always derived from chemicals. A lot of acids in skincare products are extracted from plants. Try kojic or ellagic acids if you’re suffering from hyperpigmentation. These acids work by slowing down melanin production on your skin.

The Bottom Line

So, is hydroquinone an ally or an enemy? The answer depends on your skin tone and condition.

Hyperpigmentation is one of the most problematic skin mishaps to treat. Although hydroquinone may help lighten your skin, it may not be appropriate for everyone.

Before starting on a hydroquinone skin regimen, consult your dermatologist for expert advice. Do this especially if you have sensitive or a medium to dark skin. They should advise you on whether or not using this ingredient is good for you.

Licensed skincare and health practitioners can also suggest alternative skin-lightening treatments such as chemical peels and natural products.

Take note, this is what it LOOKS LIKE when it’s exposed, degraded, and oxidized!

References:

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ELF 2019: Your Reason To Celebrate Valentines Day, Even If You’re Not In A Relationship

What’s good this coming Valentine’s day? Isn’t it the most awaited time of the month for couples and lovers out there?

Yep, I know. Everyone – who is in a relationship – has been waiting for it. Flowers, chocolates, gift ideas for your SOs – you name it! These are all that I’ve been seeing on my Newsfeed since the month of February started!

I also found it funny how bittersweet posts about Valentines’ day suddenly showed up. It’s like, February 14th is only exclusive to people who are in love; who are in a relationship, or married couples who want to celebrate.

I used to find it unfair that only people who are in this category can celebrate this once-in-a-year event. But thanks to HappyHut Productions’ ELF 2019EVERYONE can celebrate this on February 15th, even if you just got out of a relationship, is single, even heartbroken!

It’s also payday that day, so what’s not to love? 😂💖

Electric Love Fest 2019

Electric Love Fest (ELF) 2019 is a traditional and annual event in Legazpi city for people of ALL types of statuses – single, in a relationship, married, it’s complicated, and brokenhearted. It’s the event where you are given an opportunity to celebrate both your love and freedom along with good music, boozes, and happy people.

Here are the sacred codes for the event:

 

SINGLE: WHITE

MARRIED: BLUE

IN A RELATIONSHIP: RED

IT’S COMPLICATED: YELLOW

BROKENHEARTED: BLACK

Also, catch DJ KHAI of Pioneer DJ Philippines on this exclusive event!

“Touring across Asia as part of a pop group in the late 2000’s, Khai is now back in the Philippines steadily building her career as a DJ. as part of Tonedef Music, she’s also learning the ropes of music production and eyeing to release her own tracks.

Khai started her career as a spokesperson, hosting events for the country’s top brands.

The pop group, Kitty Girls are Hello Kitty Brand Ambassadress were on noontime TV shows

This time she straps on a pair of headphones to rock the metro’s top nightlife havens and serve her unique trifecta of music, performance, and skill set.”

Event Line-up

Electrique Love Fest 2019
February 15 2019, Friday at Chilo Bar – Roof deck
The Marison Hotel, Legazpi City PH
Gate Opens: 7:00pm

ARTIST LINE UP

KHAI LIM (Pioneer DJ Philippines)
RON
MHONDAY
BRIAN ALCANTARA
MACKY MOUSE

Entry Ticket Prices:

500php – Early Bird (Jan 25- Feb 11 2019)
700php – Regular Rate (Feb 12-15 2019)
Limited Slots Only
Call or Text: 09159767520

Presented by:

The Marison Hotel

Co-Presented by:

AB Business Club
Audio Evolution Pro Lights & Sounds
Policarpio Enterprises
Ocean Defenders PH
Train of Love & Kindness Foundation

Supported by:

Le Chere Events
Aim World
Effleurage Spa
Hired Killers Pest Control
Adobo Connection – Legazpi branches
Atty. Amorex “Gado” Raneses
Mayor Jorem Archangel

Media Partners

The Hobbyist Post (Online Blogger)
Glace Virtual Solutions

Powered by:

Happyhut Productions
Evo Philippines

What’s more is that AB Business Club – the club where all businesspeople come together in one group of companies through finance is soon to launch…

… as well as my first-ever Tagalog song composition, ‘Lalayo o Maghihintay?’ is soon to launch the day before (February 14, 2019) on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and 600 other stores worldwide too!

What are you waiting for?

Book your tickets now at 09159767520 and be on our official guest list at The Marison Hotel!

Get your early bird rates at 500 Php up until February 12, 2019! Regular rates at 700 Php apply after.

See you there! Happy Valentines Day!

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The Difference Between Organic And Natural Products: Are They A Better Alternative?

Nowadays, a lot of people are becoming more conscious of what they put in and on their body. Not only have we become conscious of the food that we eat, but we have also become meticulous with the products that we use. We want to make sure that we live to the optimum so we chose nothing but the best of quality with our foods, drinks and even with the beauty products that we’re using.

As someone that is health-conscious myself, I searched the market for the best products that will give me the ultimate benefits. And I have come across several times with the terms “All-Natural” and “Organic” Products.

What do all-natural and organic products mean? How can you consider a product organic or all-natural? Are they the same? Do they really offer great benefits and give you the same results?

These are only some of the questions that have boggled my mind. I bet some of you have been wondering the same as well. Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.

What are “Organic” Products?

The term “organic” refers to how a product was produced. When a certain product has a certified organic claim, you can trust that the ingredients were grown and prepared without the use of growth hormones, artificial fertilizers, antibiotics, artificial or synthetic chemicals, preservatives or colors.

A manufacturer can’t just easily use the word organic on their beauty products. They have to go through a strict heavily regulation to be able to put the word on their label. You have to know though that some products that have the term organic on their packaging do not necessarily translate to being 100% organic. To be given the privilege of wearing the claim, it has to have 70%-95% organic ingredients.

What are “Natural” Products?

Unlike organic products that have to go through the scrutiny of heavy regulations just to get the claim, natural products are having an easier day at the park. The lack of regulation in labeling a product “natural” is probably because it’s hard to draw a line between what is natural and what’s not.

Generally, you can coin the ingredient as natural if it came from plant, mineral or animal. But because there are no governing bodies that regulate natural products, a manufacturer can easily put the word “natural” on their packaging to attract potential customers. They may contain a number of natural ingredients, but they can still claim that their product is all natural despite the presence of synthetic ingredients.

Why Should I Use Organic or Natural Products?

If you haven’t already, switching to organic or natural products has clearly some benefits. Not only you are helping Mother Earth but you are also giving your body the best care and treatment that they deserve.

Below are some of the benefits of using organic or natural products.

 

1. They don’t contain harmful materials.

When you look at the label of non-organic skin care product, you’d notice the presence of synthetic and man-made ingredients. These ingredients, if used in a long term, can cause organ toxicity, hormone imbalance, skin irritation, and even cancer. Using all natural and organic products simply lowers your risk of getting these diseases.

2. They are better for your skin.

You may get a fast result when using synthetic ingredients, but the long-term effect is not that pleasing. Yes, your blemishes and wrinkles may lessen instantaneously, but these synthetic ingredients can weaken and damage your skin in the long run.

On the other hand, natural and organic products give you real nutritional benefits without any harmful side effects. We all know that natural ingredients such as shea butter, aloe vera, honey, and coconut oil are great in moisturizing and nourishing your skin. You may not get the instant gratification that you get from using synthetic products, but your skin will thank you in the long run.

3. They can reduce skin irritation.

Breakouts and skin irritations are certainly annoying. Using products that don’t contain harsh chemicals is your ultimate solution to irritations, inflammations or allergic reactions. Products that contain lavender extract, tea tree oil and zinc oxide will make your skin nourished and smooth.

4. They are friendlier to your wallet.

One of the biggest misconceptions I have heard is that organic and natural products are expensive.

Whilst there are products that are indeed heavier on the pocket, there are some that come at a friendlier price. Also, using them can help you save money in the long run. Using organic and natural products will improve your overall health and skin condition, thus you won’t feel the need to buy more products just to compensate for your routine.

5. They are kinder to the environment.

We only have one world to live in so we must do everything to protect it. Chemicals that are found in non-organic and non-natural products can produce harm and damage to the environment. Wouldn’t it be nice to use a product that won’t make you feel guilty that you’re causing harm to Mother Earth?

How Can You make sure that a Product is Indeed Organic or Natural?

With the numbers of eco-friendly consumers on the rise, producers and manufacturers are also prowling to get them to purchase their products. With thousands of competitions in the market, some would shamelessly use the claim of being organic or natural just to get the sale.

How can you make sure that you’re really getting the right value for your money?

Always read the labels

We should make it a habit to always check the ingredients list before purchasing a product. You certainly don’t want to put on a facial cream without knowing what’s in them, do you? Before you swipe that beauty product on the counter, take time to read the ingredients list first.

Though it’s not necessary to bury your head in knowing all the synthetic ingredients, it’s best that you’re familiar with some. As a rule of thumb, it’s probably a red flag if you can’t understand the ingredient. Stay away from ingredients that have “oxy”, “-eth-” or “poly” as these are synthetic ingredients. You should also avoid products that contain Sulphates, parabens, and phthalates.

Look for recognized labels

Probably one of the surest ways to know that a certain product is indeed natural or organic is that if they are recognized by a certified regulatory body. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), European Commission’s Agriculture Ministries, Australian Certified Organic (CCO), COSMOS and Ecocert are some of the most reputable organizations that recognize organic and natural products. Once a product has their approval, you’re pretty confident that you’re getting what you have paid for.

An approach to being healthy should be holistic. We should not only be conscious of the food and drink that we put inside our body. We should also take into consideration the type of ingredients that we use in our beauty products. Using organic or natural products will also give you the same, if not better, result without having to suffer from the harmful effects that these synthetic products give to our body and environment.

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: What You Need To Know About This Infamous Ovarian Illness

I never have imagined how my life had turned-around when I found out I have PCOS in January 2017. Also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, this infamous illness has affected thousands of other women including me.

It was mid-January 2017 when I was chilling with high fever in one week. I really thought I was infected by dengue because knowing where I used to live in Taguig, our apartment was vulnerable to being infested with mosquitoes and cockroaches. As a matter of fact, I just got accustomed to living with those!

I used to live in the Southern part of Metro Manila when I used to work for Globe Telecom. The place looked as if I was living in Squatters area near a public market, transportation and many more. Imagine living in Metro ‘Tondo’ if you’re familiar with Tondo, Manila.

My college friends and I didn’t have much money to pay for a good-looking apartment back in the days, so we settled for that one.

Going back.

I never usually had a fever that long. If so, it would only take 3-4 days because knowing me and how I grew up, I have a strong resistance to sickness. I never usually get sick for the slightest of reasons; hell, I even blamed myself for ‘lying’ to my mom that I was sick so I can borrow money from her. I really thought it was a bad, bad jinx.

So my fever went on for almost a week when I suddenly went to St. Lukes’ Medical Center, BGC to have myself checked up. When it was my turn at Maxicare clinic (thank God I was still covered by my dad’s healthcare package), the doctor asked me, “When was the last time you had your period?”

I paused for a moment.

I re-thought of it over and over.

And then I realized… I last had it in November 2016! 😩

I told the doctor I was two months late when she asked me if I was pregnant. I told her “no” because I never had sex at that time. Until she asked me to get checked by an Obstetrician instead of prescribing me meds for possible Dengue infection (I thought it was Dengue because my roommate had dengue and she was also sick with fever for almost a week).

That was when I discovered I had PCOS… 35 cysts at each ovary.

 

“Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (aka PCOS) affects over 7 million people. That’s more than the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus combined.” ~ Louise Chang, MD


It’s really sad that PCOS is common among women my age, and only a few people know about this illness. Although the awareness of this illness is growing from time to time, it is still quite inevitable how it is still unfamiliar to those who need to know it the most.

So what really is PCOS, so to speak?


PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an illness caused by hormonal imbalance. This means that the testosterone level (male hormones) is greater than of estrogen (female hormones); which leads to irregular menstruation, weight gain, hair growth (hirsutism), etc.

According to holtorfmed.com, the exact cause of PCOS is still unknown, however, genetics and health are major factors. It is stated that “factors such as stress and poor diet can upset the balance resulting in “insulin resistance.” In this case, the cell does not respond to the insulin, causing more to be released, and ultimately creating a surplus in the bloodstream. One study estimates that 65-70% of women with PCOS are obese and have insulin resistance. Genetics are a contributing factor as well; however, diet and lifestyle generally have greater influence. Women with PCOS are also vulnerable to diabetes due to the higher insulin level.

Symptoms of PCOS may vary, but here are the most common effects on a woman with PCOS

Irregular Period

Just as I do, it isn’t normal when a woman has an irregular period because there are monthly cycles to that should be kept track on. And unless you’re not following any of that track, you need to get checked up ASAP!

Acne

I honestly am glad I ain’t prone to too much acne, but this is one of the most common things with a woman with PCOS. If you want to get rid of those, you can try my Fairy Skin Derma Facial Set as it proves to really and seriously eliminate all the dry and emerging pimples in your face.

You really can’t stop having pimples, but at least you can try to overcome it by eliminating it.

Weight gain

This is what I’ve always struggled all my adulting life – weight gain! You seriously need a proper diet and exercise if you want to lose weight.

Actually, confidence isn’t really what matters here anymore. That just comes second! What matters here is your health, because aside from PCOS causing infertility to women – which is a fact, weight gain may even contribute to that.

No, you’re not barren – you’re just prevented from procreating easily (reduced fertility). And if you want to start a family and this isn’t treated well, this could cause a problem between the wife and spouse.

Apparently, it’s one sad fact that causes marriages to fall down. I wrote it in an eBook as to why it can happen. You can go read it here.

Hirsutism

Hirsutism is excessive body hair in men and women on parts of the body where hair is normally absent or minimal, such as on the chin, chest, face or body. Usually, this can make a woman grow a beard, or her armpits look ‘hairier’ than normal armpit hairs for girls.

I actually have this, and it’s really really annoying. My unwanted armpit hair usually looks thicker than the usual armpit hair I see from my girl-friends, and it really grows massive! I try to wax it religiously every month, and even though I don’t have dark armpits, I usually look as if I have one!

Darkening of skin

As mentioned, darkening of the skin happens with a woman with PCOS. Dark skin patches usually occur around the armpits, groin, neck, vulva, elbows, knees, knuckles, and lips.

To be honest, despite being too nitpicky and careful when it comes to my skin, there are really areas of my body that need full attention! I hate that I have to look as if I have dark underarms, elbows, knees, and more due to my PCOS. Not to mention, there’s this stigma when something’s “off” or “dark” around your body, you aren’t “hygienic.” 😂

That’s not actually a concern, but that’s still annoying, right? 😂

Anyway, truth be told, the darkening of some parts of the skin is linked to hyperinsulinemia with acanthosis nigricans (AN). It also has a relationship high androgen levels in women.

According to Sepalika,

… the presence of these dark, velvety skin patches is a sign of abnormal glucose tolerance in women who have PCOS. And if you are obese, your risk is even higher. In select few cases, medications commonly prescribed for PCOS like birth control pills, thyroid medication, corticosteroids and growth hormones can also trigger Acanthosis Nigricans as they cause changes in insulin levels.However, the good news is that once you treat the underlying condition, i.e. insulin resistance and lose weight, or change your medication, these skin patches tend to disappear.

If you have dark underarms or anywhere around your body due to this, I suggest you use the ever-amazing Tawas Calamansi Papaya by Goddess Touch. I used to use it on my face, and sometimes in my armpits, and I can see visible results in just 2 days (with the latter)!

You can go get that here.

Mood swings

While it’s true that we, women, are all savage, hungry and ANGRY during menstruation, it is a lot more depressing and stressful when you have PCOS.

I remember totally acting up with my dad at a local fast food chain because I felt “offended” over something I think I overreacted about, and I ended up cursing everyone at home, even my grandparents! Like seriously, I was ravaging them with my hurtful words and then the next morning, I had my period. 😂

Thank God, my grandma just understood (I didn’t know I had PCOS that time until a year AFTER).

But going back, mood swings are a lot more often with women with PCOS than normal women. And it became far worse when I took up a BCP!

When I had my checkup back in 2017, my doctor recommended I use a birth control pill to regulate my menstruation. It made me super fat that I had to stop it! I don’t know if it’s because I abruptly did without following the three-month rule she [the doctor] advised, or was it because the BCP made me too eager to eat, but it caused me severe – MAJOR – depression and anxiety I will never forget.

It took me losing my job, going back home, experiencing the worst year ever, and so on. I’m just thankful I survived a lot after that but hell no, I won’t go back on using a BCP! 😭💔

Infertility

Infertility in women because of PCOS is caused by the absence of ovulation. Most of the time it’s less frequent, but this is because the cysts in the ovaries block it from producing more eggs.

As mentioned, I wrote about more of this in my eBook, which you can go find here.

In conclusion

PCOS may sound simple but, it is hard and frustrating. According to research, women who suffer from PCOS find it hard to seek answers with regards to this illness. They tend to be diagnosed by at most five doctors before they really know how PCOS affects their health and how they can prevent it. It also has lower budgets provided by the government compared to other illnesses that’s why PCOS victims create their own communities where they can freely share their experiences and inspire other victims.

There is no cure for PCOS. Fortunately, you can reverse PCOS by taking care of yourself! That is, by eating healthy through removing junk from your digestive system.

Also, avoid:

  • Alcohol
  • Processed Meats
  • Sugary drinks
  • Fast food
  • Solid fat
  • Too much meat


For better skincare (if you’re really, really desperate to avoid what it can cause to your skin and take care of your it), you can use these products I personally recommend:

  • Tawas Calamansi Papaya – this is a Filipino-made organic all purpose cream that whitens dark areas.
  • Prolife Atlas 400 I.U. Vitamin E – this helps protect your skin against UV rays and damage by formulating collagen for your skin’s elasticity
  • BHK Vitamin C – usage of Vitamin C serves as an anti-oxidant that can help heal damaged skin and appearance of wrinkles
  • Or ask your dermatologist

It is also better to exercise daily and avoiding stress as much as possible.

Remember to always listen to your body; irregular period, weight gain, and acne shouldn’t be neglected. If ever there are any irregularities experienced, it is much safer and better to consult your gynecologist.

Stay healthy and happy!


References:

Holtorfmed.com on signature skin conditions

Women’s Health

Very Well Health Skin Tips For Women With PCOS

Better Health 

Sepalika

Photo by Silvia Agrasar
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7 Most Notable Benefits Of Aloe Vera

It was when our family moved in for good here in Legazpi last 2006 when I noticed my grandfather used to plant aloe veras on our third floor. I used to pluck one as a kid (which results to an angry grand-dad lol) and realized how disgusting the transparent, slimy thing coming out from it.

I never realized the effects of it growing up until I discovered this “yucky,” transparent slime has more to offer than what meets the eye. It also soothed my Sunburn from my Calaguas Island trip last June 2018, but that’s already a commercialized product I already bought due to its popularity these days.

But what is the difference of using it raw? 😱 Let’s find it out!

In the cosmetics industry, aloe vera is considered one of the leading ingredients of many beauty products. It is mainly because of the wonderful results this plant can give to our skin. Legend tells that even Cleopatra herself used aloe vera as her daily beauty regimen to keep her skin flawless. But according to some researchers, the aloe vera plant has more to offer and not just for cosmetics.

Aloe Barbadensis Mill or more commonly known as aloe vera is part of the succulent plant species which means that the plant’s leaves are thick, fleshy and contains sup or juice. The plant is a native from the Arabian Peninsula and because of its unique looks, it became popular and was globally traded. At first, the aloe vera plant was used as a mere house decoration. But as years progressed, our ancestors learned about the various benefits it offers and that is why they considered it as a wonder plant.

Long before the discovery and availability of commercialized medicines, our ancestors treated aloe vera as a remedy for different illnesses. They widely cultivated the aloe vera plant because they claimed that it has healing properties.

Here are the 7 most notable benefits that we can get from using aloe vera.

 

1. Can Help in Healing Wounds

The aloe vera’s wound healing ability is probably the plant’s oldest known benefit. From the ancient Chinese to Egyptians, aloe vera was used in tending wounds. The plant’s clear gel, also known as aloe, helps to speed up the healing process and lessens the scarring damage a wound can leave to your skin. According to history, Alexander the Great used aloe to help him treat his wounds and his soldiers.

2. Aids in Skin burns

Because of aloe’s cooling effect, some people used it on skin burns. In addition to its fast healing property, they claim that it gives them relief from the burn’s stingy feeling. The story says that since sunblock is not yet available in the olden days, aloe vera gel was used as a skin protector. They applied it on their skin to avoid getting burned from long exposure under the sun.

3. Treats Skin Problems

The most evident use of aloe vera nowadays is for cosmetics and if you will visit a beauty shop, you will notice that there is a wide range of beauty products to choose from.  But for someone who suffers from acne problems, using commercially-processed products with different ingredients can further add damage to their sensitive skin. Aloe vera gel can help in improving our skin’s condition not just only for moisturizing dry skin but also treating acne problems. It helps in reducing inflammation and gives a calming effect. To some, they claim that aloe vera gel can also be used on psoriasis because it can lessen its itchiness.

4. Used for Hair Growth Treatment

Of all the reported benefits of aloe vera, hair loss control is the most popular. Aloe vera is believed to be a good remedy for hair growth treatment. The aloe contains proteolytic enzymes that give a soothing and nourishing effect on the scalp. It also helps in reducing itchiness because of dandruff and repairs dead skin cells. Regular use of aloe vera on your scalp improves its condition and eventually, will become healthier. And when a scalp is healthy, it becomes an ideal environment for growing hairs.

5. Controls Blood Sugar Level and Lowers the Risk of Having Heart Diseases.

Aside from the gel, an aloe vera plant contains sup or juice which can be extracted from its leaves. Research revealed that drinking its juice can help someone who suffers from diabetes mellitus type 2. One of the characteristics of this type of diabetes is having a high level of sugar in their blood. And by drinking two tablespoons of the plant’s juice for two weeks, their blood sugar level will decrease. Aside from controlling the sugar level in the bloodstream, drinking aloe vera juice can improve a person’s diet. As a result, the body fat level will improve and the chance of developing heart diseases will be lower.

6. Helps in Digestion Problems

If you suffer from constipation from time-to-time, orally consuming of aloe vera juice is also advised. Aloe vera leaves contain a laxative substance known as aloe latex and it is found at the base part of the plant’s leaves. It has a pulpy texture and gives off a yellow color. As advised, a cupful of aloe vera juice can give you relief from stomach problems like constipation.

7. Encourages Increase in the Production of Red Blood Cells and Boost Immune System

Another benefit that we can get from drinking aloe vera juice is that it can increase the production of red blood cells. In fact, aloe vera is used in correcting disorders like anemia. It can also help our body cells to produce nitric oxide and cytokines that we need to boost our immune system.

In conclusion…

Even though there are lots of reports about the different benefits of aloe vera, science still lacks evidence to support its effectiveness. There are still not enough documentation to prove that the aloe vera plant has the ability to cure many health problems. Some scientists even claim that the plant contains potential toxic properties and if consumed at some dose level, can induce side effects.

Many people are allergic to latex.  Drinking aloe vera juice can cause side effects like stomach discomforts, diarrhea, lower potassium level, and abdominal cramps. In addition to these, some people can also be sensitive to aloe vera gel and can have skin allergies, skin rash, irritation, and burning sensation. Pregnant women are also not advised to drink aloe vera juice because it can cause contractions and can lead to birth complications

Nonetheless, since it has been used for such a long time that a lot of us still believe in its benefits due to its trademark being “pure” and “chemical-free”, many of us still use raw aloe veras despite its recorded side effects.

But, as a smart consumer, always keep in mind that a doctor’s advice is still appropriate if you are planning to use the aloe vera plant.

 

References:

https://www.everydayhealthy.com/diet-nutrition/diet/aloe-vera-benefits-risks-uses-more/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318591.php

https://food.ndtv.com/health/1882205

https://www.lillyofthedessert.com/aloes-story/