Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sustainable Beauty: By Nature Handmade Soaps’ Baby Salve

My skin’s been acting strange lately and has been in its worst state for the past couple of weeks. It’s severely drying out, and when I say, drying out, it’s almost like I have skin dandruff, especially around the eye, nose and mouth area (good thing I don’t have acne breakout). I’m certain my skin’s breaking out due to stress or whether if I already have a skin disease (e.g. Psoriasis or skin asthma), the latter, I’m not so sure of. But you get the picture, my skin condition is really that bad and it’s not an exaggeration.

I ran out of organic stash and since I’ve been so busy lately, I can’t squeeze in time to buy my supplies online (as you know, most organic products are not readily available at our local stores). I live in the southern part of Metro Manila; we have a physical store at a nearby mall but they don’t carry BNHMS products. I switched to Celeteque moisturizer, thinking my skin built an immunity of some sort to organic cosmetics; hence the “not working anymore” part. But even the gentlest moisturizer has been drying it out. And so it seems that my skin’s reacting to non-organic products and developed some kind of a super sensitivity to chemical-laden cosmetics even if it’s labeled “hypo-allergenic”.

Luckily, my friend Jen brought me to Mercato Centrale in The Fort a week ago and I was almost jumping for joy when I saw a booth selling my HG moisturizer. My head was literally spinning around. I’ve been using this balm for a good three years and here’s what I got to say about why up to now, I’m still in love with BNHMS’s Baby Salve.

It’s 100% organic. It’s chemical-free. And it’s cheap compared to VMV’s Booboo Balm (approximately P200). It’s a multi-purpose salve that can be used for most baby concerns like nappy rash, insect bites, eczema, dry patches and even small cuts and booboos. Plus it’s my HG night cream.

When my skin is drying out real bad, I use this to soften up the rough spots. It’s a staple in my stash and it’s been my night cream for three-years now. It’s sticky considering that most of its ingredients are organic oils, but when applied in front of a fan or in an air-conditioned room, it easily absorbs in the skin (if you have oily skin, you can’t use it as a day moisturizer because it would surely make you look like a sweaty grease ball). It’s a great barrier balm sans the chemicals. It dries up my pimples and gives me that glowing glow upon waking up when used as a night cream. A colleague of mine asked me long before if I’m taking any Glutathione supplements and if I have a regular facial session with a dermatologist. Yep, that good and it’s working for me.

And Why Alcohol Drinking is bad for Your Health
So what are the other culprits; besides stress, laundry detergents and chemical-laden cosmetics? Apparently, my skin has also turned acidic. I didn’t notice not until the night I’ve cried for almost three-hour tops and saw the horror the following morning. The skin under my eyes has been burnt with my tears! It’s the stress and too much alcohol drinking. Listen to your mother. Drink moderately or better yet (if you have extra sensitive skin like me), don’t drink at all. Errrr, I’m back to being annoyingly boring. Damn.

**I’ve noticed that BNHMS’s products tend to spoil easily—their balm, sunscreen, body butter and oil lotion (well, almost all 100% organic products tend to; this is a good thing though if you want the assurance that you’re getting its purest and safest ingredients). I store them up in the fridge in a separate container so it would last a bit longer. **

Etude House Moistfull Collagen BB Balm Compact SPF 42/PA++

What it claims:

Packaging says it has whitening and anti-wrinkle benefits. It’s a BB cream, sunscreen and foundation all in one. It’s a balm so it has a cream to powder consistency.

What I love about it:
It’s Paraben-free.
High SPF-- SPF 42/PA++
It’s cheap (costs around P800++), considering its multi-purpose benefits.
Buildable-- it conceals freckles and dark under eye circles when blended properly.  
Readily available since it can be bought at our local malls.
No white cast when photographed under natural light.
It’s dewy, light and has no cakey feel.

SPF42, baby!

What I don’t:
It’s not organic.
It sets on dry skin.
Like most BB creams/MU with sunscreen,
 you’ll look ghostly when photographed with flash
 (but it can be remedied with a good setting powder).    
I hate how the packaging is so bulky and orangey.
It’s limited to two shades.

I’m a bit wary on buying cosmetics because I have sensitive skin. Unless the product is organic or has to be Paraben-free and is not tested on animals, I’m not buying. Amplifying your sunscreen when the summer heat is scorching hot is the best thing you could do for your skin. And this is the primary reason why I bought this compact—because of its high SPF/PA++. Who wouldn’t want a BB cream, foundation and sunscreen all in one application? It’s money and time-wise; I’m sold.

I immediately bought it when I was completely sure that I’ve scrutinized its list of ingredients. It’s not organic but it’s Paraben-free and Etude House doesn't test on animals. I’m a bit guilty here, but I just need it for a limited time only—just this summer. I’ve been using this for almost two weeks now, so far, I haven’t been experiencing any breakouts. I have dry skin so I have to moisturize prior to applying it. I’m not used to applying non-organic cosmetics anymore, so I don’t know if this is just psychosomatic, but it stings a bit when applied on my skin, especially on the driest parts of my face (around the eye/nose/mouth and forehead), so I always make sure to apply the Baby Salve first as some sort of a barrier protection and it’s pretty much working. I top the BB balm off with a setting powder and it’s good to last for a good 6-hr with no touch-ups (this depends on what itineraries you’ve planned for a day, so let’s say you’re planning to have a midday stroll under this summer heat, don’t expect it to last long).         

The balm was applied just on the right side of my face for comparison.

Here’s what it looks like when applied and blended:
  I’ve used BNHMS’s Baby Salve to moisturize
 my face prior to applying the BB balm.   

Here’s what it looks like
 when topped off with a setting powder:
See how it concealed my under-eye circles?
 It also did a great job in covering
 up my freckles. Yey!     

I can’t be sure on the whitening and anti-ageing part because I’m not using this every day and I don’t intend to use it for a long time. When summer’s over, I’m back to using MMU again, so I guess I’ll just skip the part where I have to give an advice whether it makes the skin lighter or smoother in any way, because personally, I think sunscreen and avoiding the sun is all you’ll ever need to protect your skin from ageing which is close to impossible in our country. But then again, Oh well, the things you would do for vanity.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On Frilly Hats and Series of Unfortunate Events

I haven’t been myself lately and there were series of unfortunate events AKA reasons for my long online absence. Not to mention that summer is officially here. It’s been twice since we’ve gone off to the beach. Say hello to the scorching heat of the summer sun (and to my sun freaking spots, which by the way, every summer, continues to breed on its own)! :)

So exactly what are those reasons?

Okay, let me start off with February. We celebrated Polie’s 1st birthday with our closest friends and of course our family (unfortunately for me, it was just Pao’s family). I won’t be elaborating anymore on what exactly had happened, but let’s just say that it was not a typical birthday party you’d expect to see (but what’s typical nowadays, anyway?). I’m just glad it’s over, at least for this year.

I seriously love this pic even if I look so enormous here.
L-R: Bor, Funch, Jap, Jen & Beachie

Happy Birthday, Polie! 

My March was one hell of a roller coaster ride. Not to mention what a crazy week I had when we were on a beach trip with our closest friends (well, because something annoyingly bitchy has happened right before we took off from the airport). But it was a blessing in disguise, really. It has caused me great pain but I’m grateful it happened because it was an indication who I should be sticking with (and it was just plain common sense! Sometimes I really hate myself for being so stupid). I’m thankful because in times that I feel lost and needed a friend, they were there, our friends. Never fails.

w/ Funch and Jen, before we took off.
Do I look good in this stress?

Puka love!

Our last sunset.
 Boracay is love. And Boracay is so not overrated. 

Bye pristine white sand &
 crystal blue waters.
 See you again next year! :)

To top it off, a concert with Mr. Scott Weiland! Stone Temple Pilots in the flesh, a dream come true for hubby dearest. Suffice it to say, he fits in the generation when Stone Temple Pilots was Stone Temple Pilots. He grew up listening to the band (when rock music was still about Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll), so just imagine how ecstatic he was when Scott belted out those eerie notes. It was one hell of a night and Scott is still amazingly so hot.

Big Bang Baby! 

 It isn't you, isn't me. Search for things you can't see.
 Going blind, out of reach. Somewhere in the Vaseline.

I didn’t expect that housework would exhaust the shit out of me, seriously. It’s been a month that I’ve been doing our dirty laundry and keeping our home spic and span (which is something I’m particularly proud of; and that with the exception of ironing clothes, because I just sucked at it). We decided to lay off a househelp (it was Manang, to be precise) mainly due to financial reasons. We want to cut down certain expenses such as, of course, that would be the obvious, and then comes the electricity/water/food consumption. You see, when you’re a mom and when you do the budgeting yourself, every single peso is accountable. I’ve been a budget-maven for the past couple of months. And sometimes I just hate it when I get too frugal. And I know hubby hates it too.

But it’s just so fun that even if I find it so darn hard, I can’t let go of it. I know how laundry detergents trigger my asthma attacks, not to mention that I have sensitive skin and I’m allergic to detergents and cleaning aides, in which, I’ve suffered a severe face rash on the onset of my housekeeping fiasco. Or how I would get panic attacks when I’m deliriously tired from cleaning and scrubbing dirty floors. I enjoyed it so much, that even at the end of the day, when I still have to cook a decent dinner and clean our bathroom upstairs, I can still smile and say with grace, I’m genuinely happy.

Because I just can’t. And because I’m still losing weight even if I pigout on junkfood in the middle of the night and Polie’s gaining weight already because I’m too OC that I still have to prepare a separate fat-free, oil-free, organic munchies for him and because I just love the smell of our home when I do all the cleaning myself. How could I let go of that? See, if you know me well, you know that I just can’t.

Off for some R&R with my sisters, errr, I mean a sister and a brother.