I used to have bad skin in my younger days. It was so bad that the acne spots were big and red. And because I thought pressing the acne would help them heal faster, I would happily squeeze them. But I was dead wrong. The constant squeezing of the pimples led to many post-acne marks.

When I realized what I had been doing was so wrong, it was too late. I swear I kicked myself hard enough for that lesson to be learnt the painful way.

Moving forward, it was only when I started understanding more about my own skin and how to care for it that things became better.

I can’t claim I have perfect skin now. But at least I know it has improved significantly to the extent that I receive compliments from my workshop participants. And I am happy to share what really works having tested so many different products.

In this blog, I am going to share the 3 tips you should adopt to get great healthy skin. I personally swear by them. They have been my guiding principles over the years.

 

#1: Know Your Skin Type

This is a big one which many people neglect. Don’t feel obliged to buy just because the salesperson is pushy or super nice. Also, don’t blindly use what others buy for you. They may not suit you.

Different skin conditions require different solutions.

You really need to determine your skin type and how it behaves throughout the day.

Does your T-zone tend to be oiler than the rest of your face? What do your pimples normally appear? Or do your skin feels tight when you try smiling?

All these are tell-tale signs that a different skin type requires a different skincare routine.

Using the wrong skincare will not only not solve your problem, it may even make it worse. Imagine if you use cream-based products for your oily skin problem, it is just like a nightmare waiting to unfold anytime.

 

#2: Read Skincare Labels

Sorry people, but I don’t go for brands. Just because Brand X is a huge brand does not necessarily mean the skincare product suits my skin.

Instead, I follow a more tried-and-tested method of reading skincare labels. Just like how we read food labels to know what we are putting into our stomachs, so too must we read skincare labels to understand what we are slapping onto our face.

Before buying any skincare, turn the product to the reverse side and look at the skincare ingredients. 

The ingredients will always be listed in descending order of weight. Because many products are water-based, aqua or water will almost always be listed first.

Next, check for the active ingredients. Active ingredients are like the star ingredients of the skincare product. They need not always be listed towards the top of the list.

For example, if you are looking at a brightening product, then you need to check if Vitamin C is present. If it is present, then check the percentage. For Vitamin C to be effective, it has to be between 10% – 15%.

Lastly, check if the skincare product contains any possible irritant(s) to your skin. Based on your skin type, you wouldn’t want to aggravate it further. Assuming you have dry skin, you would never choose a product that contains alcohol as that ingredient itself will dry out your skin further. And if you have clogged pores currently, then you must choose non-comedogenic products as the ingredients have been specially formulated to avoid clogging your pores.

lionel-lim-good-healthy-skin

 

#3: Be Diligent

Great healthy skin does not happen overnight. 

You cannot be eating fried foods all the time and hope all the acne disappear.

Similarly, you cannot start using your skincare products for a few days and hope they will miraculously solve all your skin problems.

It does not happen this way.

The human skin is a living organ and the skin cycle takes about 6 weeks to renew itself. Therefore, you need to be diligent and adopt good habits such as having a skincare routine that sticks with you over time.

A proper skincare routine that is easy to follow would be the basic 3-step skincare comprising cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Do this twice a day.

Remember, you only have one face and you use it daily to face others in all human interactions. When you start taking care of your skin (which I regard as your best asset) and treating it well, your skin too will reward you by taking years off your face.

 

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Let’s face it, school is not always the most favourite event in some teenagers’ lives, especially when poor hygiene influences their self-esteem and subjects them to ridicule by their peers. 

Hygiene matters. A great deal. After all, good hygiene is essential for promoting good health. So it was a great idea to kickstart the year with a personal hygiene talk for the students – sharing with them the whys, the whats and the hows.

If you too want to be a good role model to the rest of your peers, then you should read on and remember to put the tips into immediate practice.

There are many aspects of personal hygiene – the most common ones being hair care, oral care, face care, body care and hand-feet care.

In this blog article, I am going to focus specifically on body care. After all, it’s no secret that out of the five aspects of personal hygiene – our body covers the largest surface.

 

Tip #1: Change Out Of Sweaty, Dirty Clothes After PE Lesson

Perspiring is our body’s way of regulating its temperature, flushing out toxins and balancing its salt levels. Our skin is the second most important organ of elimination after our kidneys. It’s healthy to sweat, but you certainly don’t want to smell.

In Singapore’s hot and humid weather, it’s hard not to perspire. But that should not stop us from practising good personal hygiene for our body.

Most, if not all, schools have mandatory physical education (PE) lessons. While some PE lessons are held indoors (either in the hall or sheltered areas), others are conducted in the open (think open field, grass lawn or basketball court).

Imagine going back to the classroom in a sweat-soaked PE T-shirt and shorts…I really shudder to think of that scenario.

If it’s not bad enough for one such scenario, let’s multiply that effect by 40 times by imagining a class of close to 40 students huddled in one classroom.

It is not only unhygienic for our skin to be in constant contact with sweat, dirt and impurities; it is worse to have to endure the stench that emits from the sweat.

Here’s what you can do: A practical and easy-to-implement tip would be to change out of the sweaty, dirty PE clothes after the physical activity lesson is over.

We all appreciate learning in a clean environment. And our body too will appreciate having a set of nice-smelling clothes to wear. So too will you be able to concentrate better in class.

 

Tip #2: Use A Deodorant Or Anti-Perspirant

Just like how earlier civilisations tried to overpower natural odour with sweet fragrances (typical examples would be Egyptians who created perfumes before 2000B.C; and ancient Romans who applied aromatics to their bodies), popular body care brands today too have come up with body care products to help combat body odour. The most commonly available ones which we can buy off the shelves are deodorants and anti-perspirants.

When there is increased body moisture retention on the skin and more bacteria growth, the smell (body odour) becomes even stronger. That’s when deodorants and anti-perspirants come in handy.

Personally, I will choose an anti-perspirant over a deodorant.

A deodorant helps reduce smell. But an anti-perspirant inhibits perspiration. To put it simply, a deodorant is more reactive whereas an anti-perspirant is more proactive. Besides, every anti-perspirant is also a deodorant.

I always believe in one mantra – that good hygiene and effective products must serve its purpose yet be easy to use.

Always choose an anti-perspirant that provides all day comfort and does not have an over-powering scent. For girls, a fruity scent would be nice. For boys, go for a woody scent.

Popular brands like Nivea have introduced three types of anti-perspirants – they are the easy-to-apply glide-on sticks, roll-ons and sprays. The decision you have to make is which one to choose. I like the anti-perspirant spray as it is more convenient and lighter to carry around.

personal-hygiene-talk-body-odour-singapore

 

Tip #3: Consume The Right Foods

You may think it strange how consuming the right foods can help contribute to good body hygiene. Well, it’s indirectly related.

My own research has shown that consuming the right foods has a significant effect to help reduce body odour. And since we have to eat everyday, why not choose to eat healthy?

As a strong advocate of vegetables, I would suggest you incorporate foods that are rich in chlorophyll in your diet. You will never go wrong with green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce and kale.

Consuming green leafy vegetables has a powerful deodorizing effect. If you recall your science class, chlorophyll is vital for photosynthesis which allows plants to absorb energy from light.

If I were you, I will also consume foods that have anti-odour properties as they help you naturally smell good. All of our herbs (some examples include basil, lemongrass, mint etc) fall under this category, together with my all-time-favourite bean sprouts.

Good personal hygiene is for everyone. It boosts our self-confidence and increases our perceived value among our peers. I would definitely want to smell good and look great. And the easiest way to good personal hygiene is practising good body care.

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