28 March 2013

Part Two!

Here I am, blogging about my allergies and what skincare products I use, just like I promised.. Believe or not I actually blogged 75% of this post last weekend but gave up in the end cuz I was just too tired. I'm a little tired from all the physical work I've been doing (long story), plus I recently started full-time, and hungry too since all I've had today was three plain pratas, so I'm going to make this quick & snappy (or so I thought).

Allergies: I can't binge on seafood like salmon, oysters, squid & prawns. I also can't wear anything but cotton; anything below 95% cotton will give my skin an unpleasant prickly sensation. I'm also more susceptible to scratching when I sweat, and I sweat easily, so being under the sun for prolonged periods is also a no-no.

Now on to skincare! I use:

1) For itches - Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment
I rinse the itchy area with cold water, then smack on a thin layer of the ointment. If the itch still persists after a few minutes, I lather on a bit more. By then it usually works. If it doesn't I'm ashamed to say I either resort to hot water or scratching. ]:

2) For moisturizing - RoC's Extra-Emollient Cream
I went to Guardian at Centrepoint almost two years ago, and a nice lady who worked there saw my cracked, reddened skin and recommended that I try the Extra-Emollient Cream; said it worked for someone she knew. She was nice enough to tell me I should get it from Robinsons instead since they were having 20% off; I don't know why I listened, but I guess I was desperate so I went and got it straight away. I'm glad to say it works better than QV & Aquarea for me, and although I'm still on a lookout for other moisturizers, I'm pretty satisfied with what I have right now. What I really like about it is that it doesn't give my skin a burning sensation, unlike some of the therapeutic body lotions I've tried, plus it does its job. If I had a chance though, I would like to try brands like Physiogel, but it's a little pricey so I don't feel confident enough to buy it without trying a sample first.

3) For weeping raw skin - Sudocrem
When I go into a scratching frenzy, I end up ripping off the top layer of my skin and making it weep (most eczema-sufferers should be familiar with this!). ]:
I was at Mustafa Centre a few weeks ago when I came across Sudocrem; I can't quite remember where I've seen the name, but it piqued my interested when I saw it was an antiseptic healing cream recommended for eczema (according to them it works for bedsores & diaper rashes too). I figured it might help with my wounds. What I didn't expect was that it'd stop the weeping, which in all my years I have never found a way to stop before (side note: fresh aloe vera helps speed up the healing process)! So yup I'm really happy I found this cream. Plus it's super affordable at $4.50 per tub; it may be small, but despite using it almost everyday, I still have a lot more left, perhaps enough to last me til August!

I really hope one of these products for you guys out there, whoever's reading this! Just keep an open-mind and be sure to try everything at least once! If it doesn't work, don't give up hope, there's bound to be something out there that works for you!

17 March 2013

On a(nother) personal note..

As you've read (or can read) from my bio on the top right, I suffer from atopic eczema, and it has greatly limited the things I can wear or slap onto my skin. I know how difficult it can be to feel and look pretty with this condition, I myself am scarred all over my body except on my face.. To my surprise, I've found in the past few years that it isn't uncommon as I thought it was, so I'm going to share what has helped me cope with it, in hope that someone can learn from my experience. You must bear in mind though, not everything works for everyone; the tricky bit about eczema is that our eczema can be triggered by a vast variety of things, so what I'm allergic to may not affect you.

1) Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits & vegetables.
Drinking water helps the body flush out all the toxins, while vegetables are well, just good for you in general. I used to hate drinking water, especially at room temperature, but after forcing myself, it's more of a habit now than a chore. I'm a big fan of meat, but I love my veggies as well, so eating vegetables isn't an issue for me. Fruits however are not something I eat unless offered to me, so I make it a point to eat them with my partner. You can do the same with your family, friends, whoever; just share a whole bunch with them and you won't even cringe.

2) Showering in cold/room temperature water (after soaping).
I hate to admit this, but I love bathing in almost-scalding-hot water, even if just for a few blissfully itch-free minutes.. I don't think a lot of people do this, but quite a few eczema-sufferers that I've met have also admitted to doing this, despite knowing it dries our skin terribly and gives us this a sort of "chicken-skin". I've been taking cold showers, and after awhile the coldness just numbs the itch, plus my skin has thankfully returned to it's normal texture. This doesn't mean you can't wash yourself in warm water though, you need to get rid of all the grease & dirt after all.. just do it real quick before soaping yourself.

3) Moisturize diligently!
Is your skin feeling dry? Chances are it is, so keep moisturizing until it doesn't! Make sure you find one that is safe for your skin (fragrance-free, suitable pH, dermatologically-tested, you know the drill). Same goes for everything else you put on your skin.

4) Wear nothing but cotton (or Tencel, if you can find it!).
I'm not sure if this applies to everyone, but synthetic materials are terrible for me. I once ended up with a really bad itchy rash all over my legs after wearing polyester pants to work; I learnt it the hard way and haven't repeated that mistake since! It may be difficult to find 100% cotton clothing at first, but once you've done enough research, you'll figure out which stores/brands carry them.

Local-wise, I personally favor Uniqlo for their printed tees, & Zara for their organic cotton tees, whereas online you can find American Apparel, which also uses cotton quite frequently in their designs, and, if you can afford it, People Tree is famous for their organic cotton clothing too, plus they do very pretty dresses suitable for work. Denim also usually has a high very content of cotton, sometimes even 100%, so denim brands like Levis, Wrangler, Lee Cooper, etc. would be a good option too. If you're lucky enough to find Tencel (I got my first Tencel-cotton-mix dress from Uniqlo!), which can be pretty pricey, good for you! I've read that they're better for us even though they're "man-made", as for why click here, it's a PDF file (don't worry it's in point-form!) for you to read! And if you still don't know why cotton is good for us, please go Google it. 

5) Try your darnest not to take steroids.
I took them once, gained almost 10kg (I've no self-control) but my skin had never been that amazing in years. Once I weaned off them (two months later I think?), the itch came back feeling worse than it was before, so all I could do was the above, so really, it's only a short-term measure.. not much help if you ask me.

7) Get a humidifier, especially if you sleep with the air-con on.
It keeps my skin less dry. Want more info? Google it.

8) The most important of all: Keep trying everything & be very observant!
Like I said in the beginning of this post, everyone is different. Your triggers may be chemically-related, food-related, stress-related, basically anything in your environment! So don't give up, just keep experimenting; if you notice your flare-ups get worse when you eat seafood, cut it out for a month, and see if you get better! If you do, congratulations, that's one point you can cross off your list! Who knows, maybe you won't even have to try all of the above tips!

I really hope the above helps you guys somehow. In my next post, I'll write a little about my allergies, and more on what skincare I've used in the past three years (ie. what helped and what didn't). And if you know any brands that use cotton often, please let me know!

So many wishes, so little trees.

*Edit: I meant to post this in my personal blog but since I kinda wish I could give this to so many people I know (or have known), I'm just going to leave it here.

I also want the below.

16 March 2013

Twist the knife and bleed my aching heart..

Excuse my frightfully emo heading, it's just an extract from Garbage's #1 Crush lyrics; it's one of the songs featured in the film Romeo + Juliet (I love them all!), and it's the first thing I thought of when I saw this shirt!

I could gush on and on about this shirt & how I love everything about the film, about how it has everything I want in an overpriced shirt (well, except that it's 50% polyester), but hey, here's a photo of it for your eyes to feast upon! If you, like me, hold the story and everything related to it dear to your heart, don't be alarmed at the fangirl screaming within you. For the heavy price tag of SGD150.15, you can walk around with this blazing Catholic iconography, and feel the delicious burn and happy floaty feelings that come with love.. or at least, that's what I imagine it'd be like.. Wearing this shirt I mean, not love.

That's all I've got at 4:17am, I was supposed to be in bed at least four hours ago, so as you can see, I really should stop now before I continue my rambling..

05 March 2013

Tired, not weary.

I recently got a full-time job and the switch has been quite taxing on me as I currently have to juggle two half-shifts at both companies in a day, and will only be adopting full-shifts at my new workplace in less than two weeks time. Until then, I won't be blogging as much as I did, how ever little as it was.

CNY also took a toll on me; I can't explain why but I've been inexplicably busy post-CNY. I know it was quite awhile ago, I'm still not too sure what happened, but I'm confident it has something to do with February only lasting 28 days, which gave me in total.. two weekends, to rest on! Suddenly everything makes more sense.. Anyway, enough excuses, today's post will be (predictably) back-dated.

Sadly, alike my previous posts, it also will be about missed opportunities.. Or, from a more positive viewpoint, unspent money. Kinda. I also won't have to squeeze more clothes further into my large suitcase (presently my only storage option for my um, spare clothes) which I am very sure is on the brink of exploding. It's mostly polyester and other non-cotton pieces of clothing which I can't bear to let go because #1 they are barely worn #2 who else will wear them?! Maybe someday when I've time I'll put them all up on eBay, & hope that some sentimental soul out there will give them a good home and pass them on to her daughter/s & so on.. Oh wishful thinking.

Crochet Midi Skirt by Asos (Sizes XS - M) - SGD96.53 23.60

FYI, the pretty skirt above is made of 100% cotton. Realistically however, I would never buy it because #1 it's white, and us girls know how finicky it is to wear white bottoms, especially during our "monthlies" #2 it's by Asos. I bought a white skirt from Asos last year, it was the first piece I ever bought from them; after receiving it I wasn't very fond of the color because it has a pink lining inside which shows through the white overlay, looking quite different from what I saw on my screen, and also because it feels a bit like I'm wearing a tablecloth. It is made by Asos, plus I got it pretty cheap, so I really shouldn't complain.. I've decided however to never get anything made from Asos again.

If I could be bothered to dye the above skirt black though, like how I want to with the white skirt I currently own, and if it came in my size, I might have taken a chance with it. But no, the only reason why I'm blogging about it is so I can use this as a future reference, something to look out for in a different color in a similar design when I'm window-shopping. I've always thought wearing something crocheted would be lovely; something unique for a change.

There are a whole lot of other things I'd like to blog about like socks (holes have sprouted in at least half my socks, and I want something trimmed with a little lace or frills to wear with my clogs) and footwear (I'm thinking of getting a pair of Dr. Martens shoes & Teva sandals), but it's half an hour to my bedtime so I really should stop here.