How ReLEx Smile Changed The Way I See

I received my first pair of glasses when I was about nine years old. I didn’t like them. Kids in school used to make fun of my big ‘ol glasses and two ponytails…

Fay glasses

Not my best look… :P

At fifteen, I moved on to contact lenses. I guess I followed my older sister Alyssa’s footsteps since she had started wearing colored contacts. I was more than happy to get rid of my glasses. It felt like a rite of passage to move on from glasses to contact lenses.

Without my glasses, I felt more confident in being active and playing contact sports in school such as Captain’s ball. I used to love that game! Except when the ball hit me in the face while I had my glasses on, ouch.

Even running was a breeze; I didn’t have my glasses slipping down my sweaty nose. It was cool to step out of an air-conditioned room and not have my glasses fog up, paralyzing my vision for a few seconds. Needless to say, switching from glasses to contacts was easy.

I became really dependent on wearing them. I developed a bad habit of wearing them for too long that sometimes it made my eyes extremely dry. I’ve even worn my contacts to sleep, especially when traveling on long haul flights. I switched from monthly contacts to extended wear daily contacts since I realised I needed to wear them for the most part of the day. Even the daily contacts didn’t help very much with the occasional dry eyes; I guess I just shouldn’t be wearing them for more than 12 hours a day!

Once it got so dry that the contacts literally fell out of my eye.

Alyssa did LASIK a few years ago, when she was my age. (Quite a fateful coincidence now that we think of it!) I just turned a year older in August and I was curious to find out if I was eligible for refractive surgery too. Perhaps this was another rite of passage for me – from wearing glasses to contacts lens to permanently correcting my eyesight!

 

What is laser vision correction surgery/refractive surgery? Laser vision correction surgery, also known as refractive laser eye surgery refers to any surgical treatment using lasers to correct problems such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, to decrease your dependency on glasses or contact lens.

How does it work? The treatment works by reshaping the cornea (the clear front portion of the eye) so that light traveling through is properly focused onto the retina for a sharp and clear image.

 

I scheduled an appointment at one of the LASIK clinic at Paragon Medical on September 3rd. On the day of consultation, I had to undergo a few eye tests/pre-refractive surgery evaluation that will provide detailed information on the health of my eyes. I couldn’t wait to get LASIK done!

 

CONSULTATION/EVALUATION DAY

Alyssa accompanied me to the LASIK Clinic in Paragon. Turns out she did LASIK at the same clinic too, six years ago!

When I arrived at the clinic, I had to fill out some forms with my personal particulars and medical history. My nurse was very thorough with her explanation on the pre-refractive surgery evaluation. The evaluation process took about two hours.

We started the evaluation process with five different machines that gave specific information about my eyes. 1) The auto-refractor evaluates my prescription. 2) Next was the non-contact tonometer that assesses the eye pressure. 3) The wavescan machine picks up imperfections in the eye so that the lasik procedure can provide a precise correction (aka it determines which part of the cornea needs to be lasered). 4) The orb scan analyses the corneal thickness.

refractive surgery eye tests

orbscan

The orb scan looked like a hypnotic device! Pretty cool.

Lastly, 5) the penta-cam – it measures cornea thickness and cross sectional view of the anterior structure such as the iris and lens.

We moved from one machine to the other quite briefly. The tests didn’t take more than five minutes each. I was perplexed to find out that it took so many different machines to analyze the eyes, just goes to show how complex our eyes are.

eye tests 2

I’m sure many of you would’ve had to do this Visual Acuity Test to find out the prescription of your eyes if you ever needed to wear glasses. The test measures the sharpness of vision by grading the ability of the eye to discern diminishing sizes of alphabets, numbers or shapes at a specified distance of six metres.

eye tests

Here’s the medical lowdown on my eyes:

Right eye: 725° myopia / 100° astigmatism

Left eye: 550° myopia / 100° astigmatism

As you see, I have a pretty high prescription and what is considered near-sightedness or myopia, which is fairly common. The prevalence of myopia in Singapore is one of the highest in the world, affecting around 20% of children aged seven years and 80% of boys by the time they enter National Service.

The good news is, my eye prescription hadn’t changed for over four years. Bear in mind that eye prescriptions tend to change throughout your twenties. If you can prove that you have a stable prescription, you might be a good candidate for laser eye surgery.

My nurse helped to apply dilating eye drops for the second round of Visual Acuity Test. My eyes stung just a little bit, but only momentarily.

Relaxing the focusing muscles of the eye allows for a more accurate measurement of refractive error. It is extremely important that they get the most precise readings, hence the tests had to be very thorough.

eye evaluation

While waiting for the dilating eye drops to take effect, I watched a short animated video on the different types of laser eye surgeries to correct myopia. It gave me a clear idea on how the procedures are done, what to expect and the preparations required pre and post surgery.

After watching the video, I did a second round of the Visual Acuity Test followed by a consultation with the doctor.

Based on my eye test results, my doctor concluded that I was a suitable candidate for either LASIK or ReLEx Smile.

What is ReLEx Smile?

ReLEx Smile is entirely different from LASIK, as there is no longer the need to create a corneal flap. Instead, a small incision is made in the cornea and the lenticule is dissected and extracted through the small incision. In general, ReLEx Smile has minimal post-op discomfort as only a micro incision is made on the corneal surface. This means 1) faster recovery time and 2) almost no pain and 3) less susceptibility to trauma or complications post-surgery.

 

Is it safe? I had to ask if my doctor did any corrective eye surgery himself. He did LASEK a years ago, before ReLEx Smile was introduced. From his experience, LASEK was a little more painful and took a slightly longer time to heal.

relex smile vs lasik

I was very excited about this new and advanced technology, it was also important to know:

How experienced is my doctor with ReLEx Smile?

 “I just did ReLEx Smile surgery for two clients this morning”, he said with a smile. I found out that he started doing the procedure since 2012 and so far, had no complications with any of his clients.

After answering a lot of my questions, I found confidence in my doctor and we scheduled the surgery for the very next day.

 

SURGERY DAY

I arrived at the clinic just before 10am. The nurses were already busy preparing the surgery room. I had to read and sign a surgery consent form. I read everything thoroughly, in case I had any doubts or questions to ask the doctor. It wasn’t too late to back out. (For a split second I wanted to chicken out because I was scared!)

But all’s good. I knew I was in good hands.

signing consent form

I was eager to get through with the surgery but at the same time, a little nervous. This is going to be life-changing! The doctor gave me a valium for my anxiety, which helped calm my nerves. I tend to get really sweaty hands when I’m anxious.

the last time I wore my glasses

That was the last time I wore those glasses. Alyssa had to wear a surgical gown too so she could enter the surgery room.

Before the surgery, my nurse gave step-by-step instructions on what I needed to do post-surgery.

post relex smile surgery

  • Wear the protective eye shields or goggles for the first 24 hours, then nightly for a week when I sleep.
  • Optive lubricating eyedrops every hour or as often as needed
  • Vigamox and Maxidex eyedrop: 1 drop per eye every 2 hours until bedtime on the 1st day of surgery followed by 1 drop per eye 4 times a day from the 2nd day to the 14th day. I had to apply Vigamox followed by Maxidex eyedrops at least 5 minutes apart.
  • Lidcare eye wipes to clean the eye area in the morning and night for the first 3 days. I wasn’t allowed to wash my face as it might get soap or water in the eyes.

She then applied some antiseptic to clean the eye area as a preparation for the surgery.

lasik preparation

Suction on.” I heard a robotic female voice. “Ready.” I focused on the green light as instructed. I kept very still and continued to breathe deeply and slowly. The laser treatment took about 30 seconds to precisely create the refractive lenticule. A micro incision of about 2 to 4 mm was created.

“Suction off.” The bed moved away from under the blue light and Doc manually extracted and removed the refractive lenticule through the micro incision. I tried to imagine what the procedure looked like from a third person the whole time. For me, it just felt like the doctor was “cleaning” my eye. I couldn’t focus my eyes and all I could see was a blurry light.

Finally, Doc cleaned my eye with a clean cotton wipe again and removed the metal clamp. The right eye was done. Other than a slight discomfort, there was no pain at all. The procedure took about five minutes for each eye. It was all over very quickly!

I tried to open my eyes but the eyelids felt a really heavy. The feeling was quite similar to chopping onions, minus the stinging. Doc did one last eye check and told me that I was good to go!

relex smile procedure

all smiles

The nurses adviced me to take the sleeping pills when I got home. This would allow my eyes time to heal and help me get through the uncomfortable phase after the numbing drops wore off.

As soon as I got home, I slept the whole afternoon with the googles on. I woke up every two hours to have a little peek of my new vision. It was still a little blurry but improved every time I went back to sleep and woke up again. AMAZING!

The aftercare instructions were essentially no eye makeup for a week (meh), no exercise for at least three days (that’s not so bad), no washing of the face and hair with soap for the next two days (eeeks) and no water sports for the first month. It hasn’t been a month since the surgery yet; I can’t wait to be able to see underwater!

The next day, I returned to the clinic on my own for the first post-op review. I was already able to see clearly enough, although it wasn’t 100% yet. I did another Visual Acuity Test followed by a brief consultation with the doctor.

relex smile post-op review

I felt totally normal. It’s like wearing contact lenses, except I’m not! These are my real eyes and I’m able to see with them perfectly. I can’t stop saying how amazing ReLEx Smile technology is. To be able to see the minute I open my eyes in the morning is the most refreshing feeling, still quite new to me.

I had a second post-op review a week later. My eyes were pretty much healed and Doc gave me the green light to start wearing eye make-up again.

20/20 vision! It’s almost surreal to think it was attainable for me. I gotta give it to my doctor for the meticulous work he had to do on my eyes. He did such an amazing job!

The following day after the second post-op, I flew to Germany for a chance to visit the Adidas headquarters in Nürnberg. I made sure I consistently used the antibiotic eyedrops and lubricating drops as directed to avoid any chance of dry eyes.

 freedom at last

I can’t wait to share my next journey through my new vision. Stay tuned!

Above The Clouds: Mount Rinjani

Last April a bunch of friends and I went on a hiking trip to Mount Rinjani in Lombok (Indonesia). We made an effort to train for the big climb by practising a few hikes before the trip.

I’ll be honest though; the journey was a lot more challenging than we had anticipated!

All set, ready to blaze the trail!

A Team: Me, Charlie, John, Eva and Adam.

Our porters went right ahead of us, carrying two baskets on stick filled with food and cooking gear. By the time we arrived at the first pit stop, they had already started cooking lunch... The food was pretty good!

Our porters went right ahead of us, carrying two baskets on stick filled with food and cooking gear. By the time we arrived at the first pit stop, they had already started cooking lunch!

The weather started getting temperamental as we continued to climb our way up to base camp. It rained on and off; good thing we brought our jackets and kept most of our stuff in ziplock bags in our backpack.

The weather started getting temperamental as we climbed our way up to base camp. It rained on and off; good thing we brought our waterproof jackets and kept most of the stuff in our backpacks in ziplock bags.

I found out my Marmot backpack was NOT waterproof so I had to use a plastic bag as a cover; I should’ve bought a rain cover for it. Glad that at least it had a front zipper so I had no problem taking out whatever I needed, even if it was at the bottom of the bag. If you’re thinking about buying a hiking backpack, consider getting one with a front zipper instead of a top-loading bag, it’ll save you a lot of hassle.

Finally made it above the clouds to base camp! Day 1 was by the far the toughest, but we pulled through!

Made it to base camp! Day 1 was by the far the toughest…

A soupy dinner was just what I needed. It was freeeeezing cold that night.

A soupy dinner was just what I needed. Freeeeezing cold that night.

Why it's important to practice your squats.

A good reason to practice squats.

NINJA!

NINJA!

Porters preparing lunch the next day.

Porters packing up on the morning of day two.

Day two: Starting at base camp

Day two: Starting at base camp.

2014-04-19 09.11.13

Misty morning.

Steep decline.

Had to be really careful here as some of the rocks were quite slippery. Those walking sticks helped a lot.

Walking through clouds.

Walking through clouds.

Our rest stop for lunch on day two.

Our rest stop for lunch on day two.

The kitchen was busy.

The kitchen was busy.

If only we had some sun...

Serene.

Amazing view from here. Not quite up there yet though.

Amazing view from here. Not quite up near the campsite yet though.

Right on the edge...

Goat path.

Finally made it up to the crater rim. My legs were about to give away!

Finally made it up to the crater rim. My legs were about to give away!

IMG_1708

We were so glad the clouds cleared up for a little bit for this magnificent view.

The journey down was even harder on the knees.

The journey down was even harder on the knees.

We definitely pushed our bodies to the limits. Our legs felt like jell-o. Our backpacks got heavier as we had to lug our wet clothes. We were soaked in sweat and rain. Badly needed a shower.

Those walking sticks were a lifesaver.

The walking sticks were a lifesaver.

Breakfast for champs! We stayed at a private villa in Lombok after completing our 3D2N night up Rinjani.

Breakfast for champs! We stayed at villa Puncak in Lombok after completing our 3D2N night up Mount Rinjani.

Sick view from our villa!

A much needed rest and relaxation.

Took a boat to the Gili Islands

Took a boat to the Gili Islands. We spent a couple of nights at the Mahamaya.

Little island with a dirt path... No cars here!

Little island with a dirt path… No cars here!

It's so cloudy up there that you can't even see the summit of Mount Rinjani.

It’s so cloudy up there that you can’t even see the summit of Mount Rinjani! Tough for hikers climbing that day.

That was fun.

Swinging good time.

Gili Meno.

I’d love to paint with those colours.

Finally, the sun came out!

The sun made a grand appearance when we went snorkelling!

Glass-bottom boat!

Glass-bottom boat.

When it rains, look for rainbows.

When it rains, look for rainbows.

Sunset on Gili Meno.

Sunset on Gili Meno.

Stayed at the luxurious Oberoi villa in Lombok on the way back.

Stayed at the luxurious Oberoi villa in Lombok on the way back from the Gilis.

Loving life!

Loving life!

Female Strength Training: Kettlebell Basics

Aaaaaand I’m back! Sorry for the lack of updates; work and traveling has kept me occupied. I recently started a journal too (yes, an actual journal that I write in) because it helps me understand myself and grow as a person, as well as a writer. Blogging has been a great practice, although there are certain things I’d rather write down than type out and, keep private than share with the world. After all, one of the reasons we write is to discover what we think.

How can I know what I think until I see what I write?

Writing can be a powerful tool for spiritual growth; it has been for me. Now, with a fresh perspective on life, I’m happy to start blogging/sharing again. I guess you could say I overcame the “blogger’s block”. Let’s pick up from where we left off, shall we?

I’ve been my time occupied as a part-time as a Personal Fitness Coach at UFIT Singapore. I’ve learned so much from my peers that I will always be grateful for. It has been almost a year since I joined the team, yet there’s always something new to learn and share. I came up with the idea to showcase some of the best trainers at UFIT in a series of videos where they can share their style of training and what they do best. In this first video, I’d like to introduce Becky!

Becky is one of UFIT’s strong female trainers and tough cookie. In this video, we talk about something close to home – female strength training. There’s one piece of equipment that women should definitely use more of in the gym, that being… The Kettlebell. Don’t know how or why to use it?

Watch this video for your knowledge:

*Sidenote: I’m wearing glasses as this was just a couple of days before I did Lasik. I’ll share my experience on that next!

Sneaky, Sneaky Sugar

Sigh. Why do “health and fitness food corporations” produce such misleading products for consumers?

questbar

As a huge peanut butter and jelly addict, I fell in love with Questbar after the first bite. A friend introduced it to me a while ago, and I decided to buy a box of a dozen while shopping for other health supplements on iHerb.com. I was impressed when I read the label – ‘No Sugar or Sugar Alcohols Used‘.

Lets not kid ourselves. Sugar-free peanut butter and jelly protein bar? That’s about as far fetched as a healthy cheese dog.  I read the ingredients on the back of the label (should’ve done that before…) and noticed that there was indeed SUGAR in the protein bar, except it’s named Sucralose. it’s really just another word for sugar. In other words, despite the deceptive labeling, the primary ingredient for my snack bar was none other than sugar.

Check your food label! Here are 45 food ingredients that are really just sugar in disguise:

1.   Barley malt
2.   Beet sugar
3.   Brown sugar
4.   High fructose corn syrup
5.   Corn sugar
6.   Cane sugar
7.   Corn syrup
8.   Brown rice syrup
9.   Cane-juice crystals
10. Carob syrup
11.  Yellow sugar
12. Date sugar
13. Dextran.
14. Dextros
15. Diatase
16. Diastatic malt
17. Levulose
18. Ethyl maltol
19. Fructose
20. Glucose
21. Grape sugar
22. Fruit juice
23. Maltose
24. Maltodextrin
25. Honey
26. Fruit juice concentrate
27. Raw sugar
28. Sucrose
29. Sorbitol
30. Molasses
31. Mannitol
32. Demerara sugar
33. Galactose
34. Maple syrup
35. Panocha
36. Powdered sugar
37. Confectioner’s sugar
38. Treacle
39. Turbinado sugar
40. Caramel
41. Ethyl maltol.
42. Treacle.
43. Sorghum syrup.
44. Muscovado sugar.
45. Agave.

Labels tend to be very tricky and manufactures go to great lengths to make their products seem healthier. If you see any of the above ingredients, know that that it’s just another name for sugar.

The search for the best healthiest protein bar continues. Do you have a favourite protein bar? Please share!

Skincare Solutions @ The DRx Clinic

It’s been over a month since my visit to The DRx Clinic. I’ve been using the Derma-Rx skin care range and noticed positive changes on my skin within weeks. My excitement to share this review stems from the fact that their products have worked for me, and I’d definitely recommend a consultation if you have any issues related to skin care.

The DRx Clinic is located at Tong Building on Orchard Road (between Paragon and Lucky Plaza; spot the Rolex store and you’re in the right building).  Take the lift up to the 16th floor and you’ll find the entrance to the clinic.

Entrance to The DRx Clinic

Entrance to The DRx Clinic

If you’re booking an appointment, make sure to do so at least three days in advanced, or a week ahead if you have a preferred doctor.  It is best to show up at least ten minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow enough time for registration. I had to wait thirty minutes because I arrived late!

I consulted with Dr. Angela Hwee regarding some personal skin woes. I got fillers to fix my dark under-eye circles and laugh lines about two years ago at Sloane Clinic in KL, and I’d been thinking about getting it done again since the treatment has worn off. However, I wasn’t keen on the idea of using injections or the high-maintenance of having to do it every few months.

After assessing my skin condition, Dr. Angela gave me her honest opinion – and that was to skip the fillers. She prescribed a range of skin care products from Derma-Rx instead to help diminish some fine lines and improve my overall complexion.

Consultation with Dr. Angela

Consultation with Dr. Angela;0

Although I was kind of hoping for a quick miracle treatment, I was happy that at least I was being kind to my skin. Au natural is the best :)

Photo analysis

A quick mugshot at the photo analysis room.

After the consultation, I was led to the photo analysis room where my profile shots were taken. This allows the clinic to keep a record of my skin condition for the doctor to refer to on the next visit. That should be interesting comparison!

I was given careful instructions by one of the nurses at DRx on how to use each product from the Derma-Rx range. She wrote down the steps for me on the user guide below:

derma-rx instructions

Derma-Ex skin care treatment, tailor-made to suit my skin.

Derma-Ex skin care treatment prescribed by Dr. Angela specifically to suit my skin type.

To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed by the number of products I needed to use for my face! It took awhile for me to get used to remembering the steps, so I wrote it down on a little piece of paper and stuck it on my bathroom wall.

A little reminder that beauty come from within :)

A little reminder that beauty come from within :)

Although I wished that my daily skin care regime didn’t take this many steps, I actually enjoyed using the products as they are gentle on the skin and easy to apply. The only inconvenience I find is packing everything into little containers when I need to travel. Here’s a short review of each item.

 Milk Cleanser: I was using Biore oil make-up remover prior to this and although it was pretty effective, I didn’t like how my skin felt a little greasy after rinsing with water. The Milk Cleanser is fragrance-free and feels like yogurt on the skin! It’s very soothing and leaves my skin soft and velvety smooth.

Milk Cleanser is a refreshing and gentle exfoliating cleanser for all skin types with natural botanical extracts, like Papaya and Mulberry. Ideal for make-up removal, it soothe and lightens the skin, leaving it soft and velvety smooth.

Milk Cleanser is a refreshing and gentle exfoliating cleanser for all skin types with natural botanical extracts, like Papaya and Mulberry.

 Foaming Cleanser: With this Foaming Cleanser, I don’t mind washing my face a few times a day because it doesn’t feel like it’s stripping moisture from my skin. This cleanser promotes natural cleansing and toning, while balancing the pH level of the skin.

Foaming Cleanser is a hydrating cleanser for all skin types that contains optional concentrations of Marine Algae extracts that gently exfoliates for a soothing and refreshing wash. This cleanser promotes natural cleansing and toning, while balancing the pH level of the skin.

Foaming Cleanser is a hydrating cleanser for all skin types that contains optional concentrations of Marine Algae extracts that gently exfoliates for a soothing and refreshing wash.

 

Toner: The final step to cleansing process. Using the Toner helps to restore moisture to the skin, leaving it revitalised and supple.

Toner is an alcohol-free fluid with Glycolic and Salicylic acid to enhance the cleansing process. It contains Allantoin, which helps restore moisture to the skin, leaving the skin revitalised and supple.

Toner is an alcohol-free fluid with Glycolic and Salicylic acid to enhance the cleansing process.

*Tip: Anytime you are putting on multiple products on your skin, it is best to let each one dry before applying the next.

 Comedone Formula:  This amazing formula zaps whiteheads and blackheads (also known as comedones) like magic! OK… maybe it’ll take at least a week or two to see the difference but when you do, you’ll know it’s done its job. And I love it for that. It’s highly concentrated so use just a small amount (one tiny pump) and apply only in problematic areas such as the chin, nose and forehead.

Comedone Formula is natural formulation containing botanical extracts, which work to reduce the appearance of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). It assists in dissolving and softening comedones and prevents new come done formation by loosening the follicular plug and also by reducing sebaceous activity.

Comedone Formula is natural formulation containing botanical extracts, which work to reduce the appearance of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). It assists in dissolving and softening comedones and prevents new comedone formation by loosening the follicular plug and also by reducing sebaceous activity.

Max-C: This may smell a little weird at first but thankfully, it goes away after a while (just give it a few seconds to dry and let your skin absorb the Vitamin C goodness).

drx max-c

Max-C is a potent anti-oxidant formula based on the highest possible stable concentration of Vitamin C. It counteracts free radicals, encourages collagen and elastin production to control the adverse effects of photo damage, including wrinkling, sagging and other symptoms of premature skin ageing.

Rejuvenator: I was advised to apply this slightly creamy formula on the under eyes and neck only. It moisturises, protects and stimulates cell renewal and turnover, resulting in firmer skin and diminishing the appearance of fine lines. You don’t need to depress the pump all the way – you’ll get plenty of product for your face and neck with just half a pump.

drx rejuvenator

Rejuvenator is a non-oily formulation with a combination of Glycosaminoglycans Complex, which aids in the prevention of collagen breakdown and a blend of vitamins and minerals.

Vit-A Gel: Like the Max-C, the texture of this formula is a little runny but I like that it is absorbed by the skin within seconds of application without leaving the skin feeling greasy.

Vit-A Gel is a unique formulation containing synergistic blend of green tea extract, Sodium Hyaluronate and Salicylic Acid (BHA) to stimulate and increase cell-turnover, with additional comedolytic action. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture.

Vit-A Gel is a unique formulation containing synergistic blend of green tea extract, Sodium Hyaluronate and Salicylic Acid (BHA) to stimulate and increase cell-turnover, with additional comedolytic action. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture.

Liposomal Sunscreen SPF30: Don’t underestimate the importance of sunscreen. You’ll regret not having worn sunscreen when you look at your skin compared to those who have worn daily sunscreen 20 years from now! Dr. Angela initially recommended the tinted sunscreen but I liked this one better because it felt less greasy on my skin. The tinted sunscreen didn’t quite go with my dark skin tone. I get tanned quite easily so I never leave home without SPF protection. This one’s a daily necessity! It’s water- and sweat-resistant too.

Liposomal Sunscreen SPF30+ is an advanced water-and sweat-resistant formulation made from essential ingredients based on liposomal nanotechnology, delivery prolonged broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA I, UVA II/UVB exposure.

Liposomal Sunscreen SPF30+ is an advanced water-and sweat-resistant formulation made from essential ingredients based on liposomal nanotechnology, delivery prolonged broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA I, UVA II/UVB exposure.

Derma-Rx skin care products are specially formulated using high-grade ingredients and manufactured in GMP-certified facilities.

They are used by Derma-Rx affiliated clinics around the world and only prescribed by medical doctors. Since the active ingredients are at doctor-prescribed levels you receive the genuine benefits of things like vitamin C and tretinoin without having to wait months to see results.

I’d recommend the Derma-Rx skin care range to anyone who’s looking to improve their skin condition without turning to botox/fillers or cosmetic treatments. It’s a little pricey, and you’ll need a doctor’s prescription, but at least the products are tailored to your skin condition and you can always track the improvement during every consultation. It’s good to get expert advise than taking your chances with over-the-counter products!

Fay hokulani derma-rx

Sleep Soundly And Wake Up Refreshed

Advertorial

Some nights I’d toss and turn in bed for hours on no end. I’d be tired as hell but no matter how long I’d try to keep my eyes closed, I just either can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep. Waking up every hour or so to check the time doesn’t help either, but I can’t help myself. Hours go by like minutes and next thing you know, I’d wake up in the morning feeling drained before my feet even hit the floor. Other mornings, I could swear I got at least eight hours of sleep yet my body tells a different story. The trouble was, at times I’d spend too much time thinking about work the next morning that I worry about not being able to sleep, which makes it even harder to ‘switch off’.

My doctor prescribed Xanax to help with my anxiety. It helped to calm the nerves and I was able to fall asleep easily but I’d wake up feeling really groggy. I didn’t want to grow dependent on the drug so I stopped taking it after a while.

I learned to manage my anxiety and sleeping patterns eventually through yoga, meditation and maintaining an active lifestyle.

 However, recently I discovered a new way to cope with the occasional bedtime troubles. Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula is a safe and natural remedy that helps support the body’s natural ability for a good quality sleep. Unlike prescription drugs or sleeping pills, it actually leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning!

blackmores sleep

Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula contains naturally derived extracts of valerian and lemon balm plus magnesium to help those who are experiencing sleep difficulties or particularly disturbed sleeping patterns to achieve a restful, restorative and quality sleep.

 Since I’ve already been taking Blackmores supplements (Women’s vitality multi and Fish Oil 1000), I decided to give this one a try. The fact that it’s made with natural ingredients adds bonus points in my books.

blackmores sleep sound

The recommended dosage as stated on the label is 2 tablets, 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. If you wake up in the middle of the night, you may take an additional half a tablet.

ingredients sleep sound

The natural, active ingredients include Valerian extract, lemon balm and magnesium.

 Valerian extract helps to reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep and improves sleep quality so you wake up feeling well-rested. Lemon balm provides a calming effect and relieves restlessness. Magnesium is important for the healthy function of the nervous system and muscle function. I learned that those who suffer from magnesium deficiency tend to have less time in deep sleep phases, hence, are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

blackmores sleep sound tablets

Blackmores Sleep Sound Formula comes in a glass bottle with 30 tablets inside. The tablets come in an  average size of  2cm width, I had no problem taking both tablets at a time with some water or non-caffeinated warm tea.

natural sleep supplement blackmores

I took two tablets nightly for five days and woke up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. It helped me feel more relaxed so I’m able to ‘switch off’ and sleep soundly all night. 

Sleep Sound Formula can be taken as long as required. However, if you continue to have sleeping problems, it is recommended that you see a healthcare professional to address any underlying issues.

Small changes to your routine can also help you to sleep better.

Here are my top 3 bedtime rituals that help me to relax, sleep better and ultimately, live better.

1. Drink herbal tea

herbal tea before bed

I’ll have a cup of green tea in the morning but usually skip caffeine past noon. At night, I’ll have a ‘sleepy time’ tea which is made of ingredients that promote sleep such as lemon balm and lavender flowers.

sweet dreams tea

There’s just something inherently calming about a warm sip before bed, even it’s just the ritual of taking the time to do so.

2. Twenty-minute yoga

back bend2

Practicising yoga for at least 20 minutes helps me to wind down as it relaxes both the mind and body. Stretching in general has a calming effect as it releases tension in the body. Make sure to breathe in deeply and exhale slowly when doing each pose to reap the benefits.

3. Relieve stress through meditation

Fay meditate

When you’re stressed out, your adrenal glands release hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which keep you amped up and struggling to snooze. I spend at least 10 minutes on meditation to calm the mind and ease the soul. It encourages me to be present and slow down all the worries that collect throughout the day. It’s a simple but powerful way to relieve stress. You just have to take the time to try it yourself! :)

Are you still up past midnight struggling to fall asleep? Check out Blackmores Singapore Facebook page and take part in the IQ quiz that is scheduled every midnight from 31 March to 7 April 2014. Why not put this time to good use and challenge yourself with fun brain teasers as you’ll stand a chance to win a bottle of Sleep Sound Formula (worth $39).

There are 5 sets of Sleep Sound Formula to be won every night for 8 consecutive nights. Send in your correct answer to promotion@blackmores.com.sg. First 5 people who gets it right wins. For more information on Sleep Sound Formula, hit up http://www.blackmores.com.sg/products/Sleepsound

Good luck and good night!

RECAP: Your Guide To A Beautiful Life on LxEdit

DAY 1

The first product that I feel good about sharing with you is the balance Me Radiance Face Oil.

lxedit-day-1

Radiance Face Oil has become a daily luxury for my skin. I’m a firm believer in 100% natural products and this one works extremely well for me. The nourishing blend of pure essential oils absorbs deeply into the skin without feeling greasy. Since I have combination skin that is more oily in the T-zone, using the Radiance Face Oil has helped to balance it out so my skin feels evenly hydrated. I use two golden drops every morning with an SPF moisturizer and about three drops at night on its own. The natural ingredients smell so divine and the non-greasy texture makes it ideal for massaging in after a long day.

DAY 2

Here’s to a brighter morning. Before bed, I like to use the Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Eye Creamunder my eyes. The light-weight texture absorbs well and leaves the delicate area under the eyes silky soft. As a little icing on the cake, I relax the eyes with a cooling eye mask for ten minutes before turning the lights out.

dr.hauschka regenerating eye cream

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DAY 3

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the unique texture of the Rejuvenating Mask by Dr. Hauschka. I’ve always used a clay mask that dries up and sort of hardens on your skin. This one, however, has a very creamy consistency, more like a lotion, which makes it easy to spread all over the skin without creating a mess.

rejuvenating mask

The lovely scent of lemon and tea tree oil is refreshing and somehow reminds me of a fancy spa. The mask feels very soothing on the skin and dries up after a few minutes, leaving no residue.

Finally, a mask I can use while my boyfriend’s around!

I happen to not like the idea of him seeing me looking like Green Goblin. After twenty minutes, I used a warm, damp towel to wipe the face and neck. My skin feels noticeably softer and more radiant right away. I love the healthy glow! Watch it in action.

DAY 4

After applying a moisturizing sunblock, I prefer to keep make-up as minimal as possible using only a concealer to hide dark under eye circles and minor blemishes. It’s all about enhancing your natural beauty. My go-to is the versatile Zoeva concealer and corrector palette.

640x640x5a1e6d48b6ef11e3994a127f2820e406_8.jpg.pagespeed.ic.TIM1FG_eSQI used to always have a problem getting the right concealer shade especially when I’m occasionally more tanned. This palette comes in twelve high pigmented concealer colors which you can mix-and-match to custom-blend a shade that suits your skin tone. The eight color correctors help to camouflage any skin problems on your body such as scars or bruises. I find it easiest to blend using only the fingertip. The texture is slightly creamy with a smooth, velvety finish. I recommend using a moisturizer or primer prior to the concealer for stay-on power.

DAY 5

This Sigma brush works very well for contouring. It’s just the right size and the angled shape makes it perfect for shading the sides of the nose, cheekbones and jawline. The brush is super soft and doesn’t shed any hair. It blends beautifully! I also use it with an illuminating powder to highlight the top of my cheekbones and nose bridge as a finishing touch.

sigma precision angled brush

DAY 6

After working hard all week, it’s important to have some ‘me time’. For me, it’s indulging in a relaxing bubble bath after a morning workout. It’s the perfect way for me to destress and unwind.

wild vanilla bean rahua omega mask konjac sponge

To set up a spa-like experience, I use a scented candle and some tealights. My favorite scent is the Wild vanilla bean soy candle. It smells heavenly and since it’s made with soy wax, it’s non-toxic and clean burning. I also use the Konjac body sponge with a little bit of soap to exfoliate the whole body. It’s gentle enough to even use on the face. To bring lustre and shine back to dry or frizzy hair, Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask is my lifesaver. Leave on for fifteen minutes and rinse off. Hair feels oh-so amazingly soft and silky smooth.

I feel good about using these products because they are all 100% natural. Love yourself and love the environment!

DAY 7

From hair mask to hair treatment, I can always count on using Rahua’s 100% natural products to keep my hair healthy and beautiful. Just a tiny dab of the Finishing Treatment is all I need and my hair is ready to go with or without a blow-dry. A little goes a long way… avoid using too much or hair may end up greasy. I find that it really helps to tame my frizzy hair, especially in this humid weather.

rahua finishing treatment

This post wraps up my Wellness Week special on LxEdit. I hope you’ve found my beauty tips helpful as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and don’t forget to bookmark  WithLoveFay.com !