Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Search of Water

Water Squad
Top: Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion Left: Atopiclair Non Steroidal Cream Leftmost: Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturising Lotion Right: Johnson's Baby Milk and Rice Lotion Rightmost: Avène Thermal Spring Water Middle: Johnson's Baby Soothing Naturals Intense Moisture Cream Front: Palmer's Olive Butter Formula Concentrated Cream
The most ridiculous thing I've ever heard someone said, in context of moisturising, is to just use water on your skin. For someone who has eczema and the extreme dry skin that comes with it, water alone is not enough to moisturise. Water evaporates as soon as you put it on. However, I do find that if I moisten [not wet] my skin prior to putting on a moisturiser the product spreads and absorbs better.

So, to compensate for my extremely dry skin, I have to moisturise not just daily, but every time after washing my hands. And, no I'm not just exaggerating to make an interesting story. I wish I was.

The products in the picture above are mostly hand and body moisturisers that I use, some extensively, some not so much; and some I still use, some not anymore. I find that each one serves a bit differently, and I can't decide which is my favourite.

Also, I double up some of these on the face as well, such as the Johnson's Soothing Naturals, Aveeno Active Naturals and Palmer's Olive Butter Formula. What I do is that I simply rub the lotion or cream on my hands, and on a moistened face [as above], pat lightly all over my face [including under my eyes], and dab/press lightly on dry patches.

From the Top

Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion [Amazon] [Drugstore] [Boots]
Just like the name suggests it provides 'express' hydration, but I can't say that other lotions or creams I'm using offer delayed hydration. They all feel hydrating as soon as I put them on. I love the texture of this lotion. This is the only lotion that I sometimes use without pre-moistening my skin. I don't use this on my face though, for some reason it doesn't go quite well with my skin - it doesn't irritate or anything but it doesn't feel as comfortable as the other lotions and creams. This is not meant as a facial moisturiser anyway so I use these on my hands, elbows and knees.

To the Left

Atopiclair Non Steroidal Cream [Amazon] [eBay]
I know I have written a not-so-favourable blog post about this cream. You can find out what I think in my post My Eczema's Battle with Atopiclair. But that was Atopiclair against eczema. As a moisturiser Atopiclair hydrates my skin brilliantly. The only thing is that I have moisturisers that I feel work just as good at a fraction of the cost.

To the Leftmost & Middle

Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturising Lotion [Amazon] [iHerb] [ULTA] & Johnson's Baby Soothing Naturals Intense Moisture Cream [Boots] [Amazon] [eBay]
I know I said that I don't have a favourite, but maybe that's not entirely true because I think these two are my favourite; disappointingly these are not available in Malaysia [not that I know of]. If you do know where to find these here in Malaysia [not online] please let me know. These two have the texture of a light lotion and both make my skin feel softer and hydrated and leave no sticky feeling. Of all the moisturisers here, they all have a light scent but these two I like the best. Like I mentioned above, I use these lotions on my face using the 'pre-moistened and pat' technique. They are gentle enough and don't irritate at all. For a girl with oily skin, these do not feel greasy upon application.

On to the Right

Johnson's Baby Milk and Rice Lotion [Amazon] [eBay]
A lot I've said about the Nivea Express Hydration could apply here. The difference is that I don't feel this lotion as hydrating. There is nothing to dislike but there is nothing to be too fond of either. I use this mainly on my legs.

On to the Rightmost

Avène Thermal Spring Water [Amazon] [SkinStore] [DermStore]
This is not a moisturiser per se. It's just spring water in a spray bottle. By itself it doesn't do much, as I can't really tell the difference between this and regular tap water. But I keep this in a travel size to use whenever I can't find clean water and sometimes it's just handy. Like I said above, I find that having my hands moist helps in the absorption of my moisturiser, and I do that with tap water and sometimes with this.

And the Front

Palmer's Olive Butter Formula Concentrated Cream [Amazon] [iHerb] [eBay]
I have been using this cream as a replacement for the Johnson's Baby Soothing Naturals and the Aveeno Active Naturals as I've run out of both. To be perfectly honest, I don't even know why I bought this [I think it was the olive butter; sometimes I'm such a mystery] and I was preparing not to like the texture as this is the richest and heaviest of all creams I've tried - it is called a concentrated cream for a reason. I thought it would simply sit on top of my skin. But to my surprise it absorbs quite well with or without pre-moistened skin. It doesn't feel greasy and it feels mild enough on my face.

Do you have a favourite moisturiser? Or do you use a bunch of them like me?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How Do I Look?

Notice anything different? [Clicken to embiggen]
Just as expected from a blogger, it seems like a sin to not blog about the blog's new template. If you've been following me, then you might have been one of those to have seen the changing of the look of my blog for these past few days.

The Flower
Fleur is the name of the designer of the new template, and all her templates are minimalistic in nature. You can find out more about her and her templates at her website. However, at the moment the templates are available at her Etsy shop, where you can also find templates not only for the Blogger platform but also for Wordpress; plus other custom designs and services such as turning your current template into one that's responsive [which will adjust to any screen size] which I'd like to get in the future. Her after-sales care has been excellent; sticking by me when a few changes were needed and restored something that went missing.

The Template
As you might have guessed, I'm a fan of minimalism. The new template is everything that. The template is cleaner and simply aesthetically pleasing to my eye. It's a two-column template with the navigation bar on the right. In line with the new look, I have decided to do away with a few things including the Google Friend Connect widget; but you can always add my blog manually on your Blogger dashboard if you do follow blogs that way.

The Installation
The installation process was simple enough being a copy-and-paste of the code. For those who don't have a clue about HTML, you don't have to have any clues at all but it helps to have a basic understanding of HTML if you want to do some minor adjustments, which I did. The template came with an installation guide. After working on it for a few days with the help of Fleur, I finally got everything sorted out and the template is finally to my liking.

The Browsers
Different browsers can render templates differently. The template looks great in Chrome and Safari on my laptop, but I have also tested it on my tablet using Chrome and Android Browser; the latter being the only one to display my blog a bit oddly. I hope no one is using Android Browser anymore... is there?

As you can see I'm happy with the current template and hoping to be using it for quite some time.

Friday, July 3, 2015

I Finally Slept in My Contacts!

I can't believe I finally slept in these [the contacts, not the makeup].
I finally did it! I bit the bullet and slept in my contacts. So, what's the big deal?

Because of Reasons
It is such a big deal for me because when I decided to wear contacts, I wanted to be absolutely sure and so I researched to death [apparently not because I'm still alive] and the outcome was not quite reassuring; particularly when I came across a disconcerting story of a girl in Taiwan who wore her contacts for six months straight and got infected by acanthamoeba [Google search] and had to pay with her eyes. Also, to top it of, most comments often accompanying those articles I came across, supposing from users who claim they have been using contacts and have followed the proper care and still get some form of infection, was not encouraging for a newbie like me. I don't know how accurate and authentic the story about the Taiwanese girl is, but it is an extreme case and if you want to do your research online, it helps to be impartial and you'll probably come across an article such as from Live Science to give you another perspective.

Safety First
I took a conservative approach to sleeping in my contacts, which I had [and still have] been wearing almost daily, consistently averaging twelve hours a day with daily cleansing for almost four months prior to sleeping in them. The contacts I've been wearing, taking naps in, and finally have slept in are Biofinity contacts by CooperVision which have been approved by the FDA to be worn continuously for six nights and seven days - I have blogged about them here. It is important to note that you can't simply sleep in any contacts; you can't even wear some contacts for more than eight hours [well, technically you can but the risks are manifold compared with contacts that are approved for extended wear].

Safety Second
When I say 'conservative' approach, I really did take precautions. The contacts I wore to sleep were fresh from the package and I only wore them for one, yes one, night or to be specific just over thirty eight hours of wear, with about eight hours spent asleep.

Breakdown of wearing time:
Put on contacts - eyes felt great.
After about fifteen waking hours - eyes felt relatively good but slightly dry.
After sleeping for about eight hours - eyes felt relatively comfortable, and by this time I could feel the contacts in my eyes more prominently than before.
After another fourteen waking hours - by this time, I have washed my face and showered, so my eyes were slightly uncomfortable and a bit dry.

My Concerns
- Showering
- Prominent blood vessels

In my previous post, I have touched upon my concern with my blood vessels becoming more noticeable here; they are not too troublesome and don't amount to a pink eye. The more serious problem here is showering. Since the risk of getting an infection is greater if you shower or swim in your contacts, you do have to remove them prior or immediately after. If that it so, what it means is that you do have to go through the process of cleansing and disinfecting your contacts every time you do one of these activities. I do one of these activities every day, and if I have to do the whole cleaning/disinfecting process every time, that sort of defies the purpose of having the convenience of extended-wear contacts.

The End
In the end I didn't buy Biofinity to sleep in or wear for a week without removing my contacts. I wanted a pair of contacts that I could wear for more than just eight hours a day and maybe take occasional naps in, and extended wear contacts are perfect for this.

I took a risk but a measured one when people around me kept telling me not to sleep in my contacts; ever. The thing is, we hear people die every day in a car crash but the car has been a ubiquitous form of transport that we never think twice [or once] before we get into one every day. I've made my choice and I took a risk but it's a calculated risk to wear contacts and to finally sleep in them even though for only one night.

Have you tried any extended-wear contacts specifically Biofinity? Have you slept in them?