We spend hundreds upon hundreds on our skincare routines, removing the last traces of teenage acne marking our complexion, plumping up our skin with the latest holy grail moisturiser and way more. But how many of us actually put in as much effort into sun protection as we do on our routines.
The truth is that the time we spend under the sun could be undoing our entire skincare routine, causing premature ageing, pigmentation and even potentially life-threatening conditions like skin cancer.
In a country like Singapore, sun protection is especially important seeing how the UV index can hit the extremes here.
We dig deep and uncover the truth behind some common sun protection myths and talk about why you should start your sun protection regime today.
Myth #1: UV Rays do not affect us when we’re indoors.
Myth Busted: UV is as much of a danger indoors and out. UVB rays are blocked out by glass windows but the real danger indoors is UVA radiation. Studies have found that glass allows at least 50% of UVA rays through.
A 2012 article from the New England Journal of Medicine published a photo of a 69-year-old man with unilateral dermatoheliosis -- severe damage from ultraviolet rays on one side of his face. The UV damage sustained throughout his career of driving a truck had dramatically aged the side of his face with more sun exposure.
Imagine what sun damage will do to you in 10 years or so.
Myth #2: Sunscreen is unnecessary when it’s not sunny.
Myth Busted: UV radiation can pass through cloud cover as well. In fact, you might be getting MORE UV radiation on cloudy days. In some instances, UV rays can be reflected off the cloud's edge, thus intensifying the level of UV rays while giving the impression of a sunless day.
The lesson? Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
Myth #3: Tanning is great for your skin
Myth Busted: That enviable sun-kissed glow is caused by UVA rays and is actually a sign of damaged skin! The change in skin colour is a response to DNA damage that triggers the release of melanin to protect your skin from further damage. Getting a tan can be the biggest cause of premature ageing and sunspots.
Save the money on expensive anti-ageing treatments and nip the problem in the bud. It’s never too late to start on your sun-protection habit so that your skin remains happy and healthy.
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Kinohimitsu UV Bright!
Ingredient Spotlight! Here at the Kinohimitsu HQ, we believe that nutrition is the way to a happier, healthier you and we're starting this new segment on our page to put the spotlight on the oh-so-good for you ingredients that we use!
In the world of Acai Bowls, Exotic Smoothies and Cold Pressed Juicing - trends come and go. But are these Superfood trends worthy of weight in gold? We explore the science behind Maca, an up-and-coming Superfood known for its energizing properties. Some even call it nature’s viagra!
Maca, known by its scientific name of Lepidium Meyenii, is a biennial (that means it takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle) plant from South America. Used widely by the ancient Peruvians as trade currency and a fortifying tonic, there have been records of Incan soldiers carrying Maca roots into battle to lend them aid in their conquests.
Once reserved strictly for the Royals to use, Maca is now the superfood flavour of the month in health food stores all over the world. The root is usually grounded up into a fragrant, butterscotch-tasting powder after being harvested.
But how great is it for your health? Here are 3 amazing things that the Superfood can do for you!
1. Maca is an amazing adaptogen
The human body is designed to release cortisol as a response to stress. The hormone courses through the veins, sending signals to the heart to beat faster than normal, giving a boost to the senses in preparation to fight or take flight.
As much as the evolutionary response helped our early ancestors, modern life has become increasingly stressful and this has become a boon instead. Those who experience chronic stress may burn out easily and are at a greater risk of health problems such as heart disease.
A possible solution would be phytotherapy, the use of plants for their healing abilities. Adaptogens like Maca are a unique class of healing plants: They help balance, restore and protect the body by helping it adapt to external stressors like job-stress, illnesses and anxiety. This study has linked the consumption of Maca to the lowered scores in depression and anxiety inventories.
2. Mood, memory and energy enhancer
Forget the coffee
Maca might just be the boost in the morning you're looking for –sans the caffeine jitters.
Researchers have also found that maca compared with a placebo, acted as an energizer in apparently healthy men. Several studies have also found that the consumption of maca root aids with recall and focus thanks to its high antioxidant content.
3. Boosts Male Sexual Health
Sans the pills
Some call Maca nature's answer to viagra. A 2002 study found that Maca helped to boost libido in participating men at 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. However, studies so far have debunked the myth that Maca aids in boosting testosterone levels, having been inconclusive so far.
Clinical trials have also drawn the link between Maca and male fertility. It was found that Maca consumption resulted in improved sperm production and sperm motility.
Have confidence and always try - that’s the motto of Nafesah Daud also known as. The 35-year-old, bona fide supermom has a grit and determination that would put many soldiers to shame.
Nefesah (2nd from the right) and the team at The Nail Social.
Prior to her current job as the salon manager at socially conscious nail salon, The Nail Social, the single mother of six had difficulty finding full-time employment due to her hiatus from working life and family commitments. As prospective employers could not understand how she could possibly split her time between work and managing her kids.
“School holidays, if a child is sick, school closure, staff retreat or childcare arrangements. They will question me and will ask me things like if one is sick, what will be your arrangement, do you have any alternative care. So sometimes, it left me really speechless because I do not know what to say,” Fyza confesses.
So she took the plunge to improve herself in other ways when prospective employers cited her outdated skills for their rejection, she dedicated time and effort to attend courses and upgrade her skills
“I said to them - if you are keen to teach me then I am willing to learn. I completed everything, all my courses, went job hunting and yet they still gave me lots of reasons for not giving me the job.”
Dejected after her fruitless job-hunt, she got in touch with Daughters of Tomorrow (DoT). a registered charity in Singapore aimed at helping to facilitate livelihood opportunities for underprivileged women.
“Since you have not been working for so long, your confidence will definitely be very low,” Fyza says. At DoT, she was enrolled into a confidence curriculum and put in touch with the founder of The Nail Social, Cheryl Ou.
Working at The Nail Social allowed her to juggle her commitments between taking care of her family and work with flexible working hours and arrangements. 3 years on, Fyza has climbed up the ranks and now manages the salon - a far cry from her days of job hopping from odd jobs.
"Being super to me is, being a mother who can make her kids smile. After a long day of work, it makes it all worth it when you look at your kid's face knowing that at the end of the month they are looking forward to a good feast," she says.
Her advice to those who are struggling? Find the confidence in yourself.
“If she can do it why can't I. Those words shouldn’t come from anyone else but yourself. Imagine yourself in the same boat as someone you admire and find the confidence in yourself to try.”
#SuperladyStories in an initiative powered by the drive, passion and ambition of #Superladies everywhere. Ladies in tech, ladies leading the charge and ladies who challenge tradition. Do you have a super lady in your life? Join the conversation and share her story with us by hashtagging #superladystories and #kinohimitsusg on Facebook & Instagram.
Made from the edible saliva of certain species of swiftlets, Bird’s Nest has been consumed and used as a health tonic since the Tang and Sung dynasties of ancient China. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the ingredient is a neutral-energy tonic that aids to reinforce energy, nourishes the lungs, spleen and improve the complexion.
So is that the tiny bottle of bird’s nest really the solution to all your skin problems? We’ve dug deep into medical studies and research papers to uncover the truth behind this delicacy.
Bird’s Nest is made out of mostly glycoprotein which are cells that have diverse functions in all areas of the body, it also contains 18 amino acids, some of which cannot be manufactured by the human body, carbohydrates, and mineral salts. Aficionados tell of it’s rejuvenating and healing properties with the highest grades of Bird’s Nest commanding up to $5,000USD.
And it seems that science agrees with tradition this time, several studies have found that Bird’s Nest consumption aids in the regeneration and differentiation (the process in which cells which are less specialised develops or grows into a more specialised one) of cells.
A joint study done by several Chinese universities tested the effects of common chemotherapy drug, cyclophosphamide which suppresses and slows the immune system, on mice and the effects of the consumption of Bird’s Nest with relation the slowdown of the immune system.
The study found that Bird’s Nest consumption, “effectively accelerates the proliferation of B-cells and the antibody secretion of cells.”
What does that mean?
B Cells, or B lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell. They act as a clean-up crew of sorts by making antibodies to trap invading viruses and bacteria. Antibodies help your body neutralize viruses by coating and trapping viruses or bacteria in large clumps.
T-Cells releasing chemical signals to help a B-Cell divide to connect with invading viruses. The B-Cells then turn into Plasma cells to release antibodies.
The study concluded that the consumption of Bird’s Nest was most likely the cause of the “involved in the proliferation and activation of B-cells and the antibody secretion of cells.” Which indicate that consuming Bird’s Nest may help to relieve the immune suppressing effects caused by chemotherapy.
Other studies like this, suggest that Bird’s Nest consumption can help the prevention of certain influenza viruses and delay conditions such as Parkinson's Disease!
Bird’s Nest contains high levels of Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), a low molecular weight, 53-amino acid polypeptide that stimulates cell growth, proliferation and differentiation.
It plays a part in the quest for great skin by promoting the growth of skin cells, namely - keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Keratinocytes are responsible for a healthy skin barrier and help your skin look supple and smooth while fibroblasts help with synthesizing extracellular matrix and collagen - the framework of the skin.
Lab tests done by Oryza Japan showed that the consumption of Bird’s Nest helped to reduce Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), a process where the outermost layer of our skin loses water to the surrounding air through evaporation, as much as by 30% Results showed tremendous improvement on skin moisture where transepidermal water loss is reduced by 30%
The test also used a DermaLab Ultrasound Imaging System done on test subjects also found that dermal collagen score of test subjects increased by 7% a month after the daily consumption of Bird’s Nest.
As amazing as Bird’s Nest might be for health, it is not a cure-all and does not replace the effects of medicine or a good diet. However, using it as a supplement or tonic would do wonders for your health and beauty. Does it deserve the reputation that it has? Science says yes.