How to choose the right facial cleanser

How to choose the right facial cleanser

Facial cleansing has become more than just a practice of hygiene. It has become a relaxing ritual for many people with the goal to improve health and appearance.

Why do we cleanse?

Many of the pollution and cosmetic products are not water-soluble so water is not enough. Ingredients in cleansers are capable of turning fat soluble impurities to water soluble. Facial cleansers have substances that are active on the skin’s surface that lifts and removes dirt, sebum, oil from cosmetic products, bacteria, and dead skin cells. In contrast, a good cleanser should also keep the skin surface hydrated to prevent skin barrier damage.

What happens if we stop cleansing?

Our pores will become clogged which may turn to serious acne. Without cleansing, our face will look greasy and aged. Some people may not experience it at the moment, however, inadequate attention can result to cumulative long-term effects.

Skin care products are ubiquitous and most of them advertise promising results. While there is plenty to choose from, there is no denying that choosing the right product for your skin type has become a difficult conundrum especially that not only our skin, but also our budget is on the line.

Do you know?
In order for the skin surface to maintain a healthy barrier, it has to maintain a physiological pH of 4-6.5. The naturally acidic environment protects the skin from harmful bacteria invasion such as Propionibacterium acnes.

How to spot a harsh cleanser?

  1. “Squeaky-clean feeling” or sensation of tightness after wash. This happens because of TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) which is the rapid evaporation of water from the skin surface. This can eventually lead to dryness, scaling, and/or flaking skin.
  2. Irritation as evidenced by redness and itching after use of cleanser – an indicator of damaged skin barrier.
  3. Cleansers with fragrance, dyes, and preservatives can cause allergic contact dermatitis
  4. Cleansers that are not easily rinsed – the potential for a product to cause irritation is if the residual cleansing agent is left on the skin for a long period of time.

How to choose a cleanser?

  1. Know your current skin concerns. While there are different skin types (dry, oily, sensitive, combination), I would like to keep it simple and broke it down into two:
    1. Acne-prone skin a.k.a. oily skin – keep routine simple, use medicated cleansers with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that deeply penetrates into the pores of skin. It is a potent ingredient that targets clogged pores by dissolving “glued” skin debris. But be warned. Salicylic acid can cause side effects such as redness, irritation, and dryness. According to studies, experiencing these side effects is a common reason for noncompliance. It is recommended to start with the lowest potency (2%).
    2. Sensitive skin – avoid irritants or ingredients that are known to cause sensitization in the skin: fragrances (natural in the form of essential oils or synthetic) and dyes are often sensitizing substances.
  2. Whatever your skin type is, choose a simple cleanser that:
    1. Targets clogged pores.
    2. Reduces oil production.
    3. Keeps the skin hydrated – read product ingredient list and be on the look out for: sodium hyaluronate (also known as hyaluronic acid), glycerin, dimethicone. These substances help to retain moisture after cleansing.
    4. Does not irritate the skin.

Please share your favorite cleansers on the comment section down below and which product helped with your skin troubles.

Send me an email at questions@ranlopez.com for feedbacks, suggestions, and queries.

Cleanser review: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

Cleanser review: The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The key ingredient is Squalane oil, a byproduct of squalene oil, which is naturally produced by the body. It protects the skin from UV radiation and is also an excellent emollient that our body is already familiar with. After the age of 30, we produce less of of this which contributes to dry skin. Fortunately, this can be derived from both plant and animal sources. This oil-based skin cleanser costs $7.90 on Ulta as well as on Sephora.

Although this is an oil-based cleanser, this does not leave a greasy feel after rinsing with water. According to studies, Squalane is noncomedogenic and antibacterial. I use this product as a first step to my double cleanse night time routine. It melts away the sunscreen, makeup, esters that the water-based cleansers can’t take off. This product also did not cause irritation. I like the fact that it’s inexpensive in comparison to other cleansers.

The only thing I do not like about this product is it does not take off my mascara quite well. If you do not wear heavy mascara, it may not be a problem for you.

The solution I have found for this is to use Albolene Cleansing Balm for my eyes and that does a very good job in removing most of the residue. Remember to be gentle with cleaning around the eyes as the skin in this area is very thin.

How to use? Apply a small amount to hands, rub hands against each other until it is oil-like in consistency, then massage the face gently. Rinse well with water.

Ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin.

Announcement

To everyone reading my blog posts:

I do appreciate the fact that strangers from different parts of the world take time to read my posts. I am truly grateful.

And to several few people subscribed, I am indebted.

And because of that I would like to let everyone know that I am turning my site from a personal blog to a skin care site.

Cosmetic science/skin care has become my passion and I intensely grew a liking on it.

It’s baffling to know that there are so many people out there needing transparent information about skin care products and I am holding that as my lifetime mission.

I am neither a dermatologist nor a licensed esthetician. However, this is something I am immensely passionate about as I have been through the same skin troubles just like some of us have.

We have plentiful of information that may either help us or misguide us and there’s got to be someone who is willing to deliver transparency to consumers to aid them with making an informed decision of their purchases.

If you have made it this far, again, thank you.

Please stay tuned.

My current struggles

Writing to inspire.

So goes my blog slogan. As much as I want my readers to stay motivated by giving helpful advices, I also want to stay transparent as much as I could.

That’s right. My struggles.

I am nowhere near perfect. The very purpose of this blog is to connect with people who are like me. By doing so, I am also reminded to stay unpretentious.

We live in the information age. Everything is accessible and when we want something, we get it right away. The time that we live in, especially for young people like me, has made us impatient and our self discipline is tarnished. We may say that it has never been more equal for humanity than now, but everyday we are exposed to disparities through social media. We stalk other people’s lives and yet we lose valuable time. We wallow in self pity instead of trying to improve ourselves.

I am one of those people I just mentioned.

Even now I still struggle with time management. I try not to waste it but my day is not spent the way I want it to be. How? I lose sleep at night and as a result, I always have a hard time waking up early. I have been wanting to do a consistent 5AM morning routine but nothing seems to motivate me enough to push myself. Unable to control the temptations of sleeping in, I find myself in remorse of not being able to work on my true goals.

Life is good, everything is within my reach, I can afford anything that I want and still have enough money. But this is the kind of complacency I want to get out of. It does not make me a better person at all. I have bigger goals in life but I don’t act on it.

Since I switched roles from being a Nurse working 15-hour shifts to management, my inactivity has led me to gain more weight. My pants have gone tight and my tummy is uncomfortably bigger compared to after my childbirth in 2016.

But the struggle is not just from the inactivity brought about by work, but from refusing to set foot in the gym and start working out.

I am identifying these issues I currently face, lay it out on public, and come up with solutions. I want to challenge myself by doing the following:

  1. Write definite goals and what I would do everyday in order to make them a reality.
  2. Avoid spending money on wants. Set the money aside as stash cash.
  3. Drink 2 liters of water a day.
  4. Avoid sweets like cake, ice cream, soda.
  5. Wake up early to start home work out routines.
  6. Spend 15 minutes on social media each day.
  7. Keep writing.

My plan is to track my progress in my notebook for 30 days and I will share it to everyone. I am positive that I can do this without fail.

Please let me know if you have any tips for me by writing a comment below or by sending me an e-mail at questions@ranlopez.com. You can also send me a message through my Instagram account http://www.instagram.com/ricemama_.

Well then, I will write to you again tomorrow. Have a pleasant night!

My journey with acne

Warning: This blog contains sensitive photos. Read at your own risk.

I’ve been dealing with acne since after high school. Sad to say but it still haunts me up to this day. Having acne on my teenage years did not really bother me that much however I do remember people from the past give me tips on how to clear it up. There were girls my age back then that started using makeup likely because they wanted to cover any acne scarring. At that time, I hated using makeup. I thought I will just let it run through it’s course since I was still a teen.

My self esteem hit an all time low by the time I was on my early 20’s. More people were butting in. I thought, if it does not bother me, maybe the sight of me bothers them. I started using Proactiv and it seemed to have worked for a few months. The product did give me irritation so I stopped using it. I was back to nothing.

January 2015. I just passed my NCLEX-RN. Before that I was very stressed from all the studying and family problems. I still did not use makeup. When I saw this picture today, I just said OMG.

I did not research to make my face look better. Although I remember applying a BB cream, which was from Korea, to my face and that was all I had to put whenever I needed to go out.

January 2016. Looking a lot better. Still without makeup. I was also dating my then boyfriend, now husband, on this period.

I was feeling a little better with my face but I did have bad relapses.

April 2016, one month after my wedding. Some acne scars on the jaw and cheeks. New acne on the forehead.

And let’s say my best appearance was when I was pregnant to my first child. How ironical.

Pretty confident in here as you can tell. My pores were smaller, face was brighter, lesser acne.

I did not have any special routine at that time. I may thank my pregnancy hormones though because I stayed radiant for the whole period of my pregnancy until 5 months postpartum.

No makeup and acne free for the first time in my life. I guess you can say this was one of my happiest moments. I am sure stress is a big part of acne.

Sure enough, my confidence was short lived. Before my son turned one, more acne showed up unwanted. That’s when I started to use a cleanser and make-up.

I used the Shiseido Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam as well as the Shiseido Pureness Oil-free moisturizer. My skin did pretty good with just these products along with minimal make-up to cover the acne scars.

I started to spend more money than ever to buy make-up. I was not obsessed with it but I did enjoy trying out different brands other than Laura Mercier such as NARS, Bare Minerals, and Too Faced. Because of that, I probably did more damage even though I was cleansing and moisturizing my face. My acne got worse late 2018 until early 2019.

January 2019. My worst nightmare.

I was in deep distress. I was emotional, panicking, depressed, and moody because of my appearance. I was lost. I was using countless different products every week. I tapped into Korean products such as Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Dr. Jart as well as hyped skin care solutions like Drunk Elephant and Fresh Beauty. I felt like my money was flying away.

I turned into YouTube and searched for creators that provide educational insights about my huge dilemma. I found Liah Yoo, founder of Krave Beauty, and Dr. Dray, a dermatologist and followed most of their tips.

April 2019. Convinced that I could do without makeup, I tried a Korean BB cushion to cover my scars. I also used Differin as recommended by Dr. Dray.
Differin at night, sunscreen and BB cream by day.

As stubborn as I was, I finally let go of control, and set up an appointment with a dermatologist in my area. He gave me antibiotics to take every day and a topical gel to apply before I go to sleep.

I did that religiously and I was starting to see good results. He did mention that it’s going to be worse before it becomes better. But how, I asked. He said that acne is deep under the skin and the topical gel will help bring the acne to the surface. Until the acne’s clear, we can take care of the hyperpigmentation. He advised that I need to be stubbornly persistent with the routine he mentioned. It sounded promising.

July 2019.

I am glad I sought for professional advice to help me with my long-time problem. Although I still have acne here and there, I try to remind myself of his tips until it all becomes better. For lack of better word, just don’t give up easily.

Currently, I do the following skin care routine.

Night time:

  1. Cleanse face with HADA LABO Goku-jyun Super Hyaluronic Face Wash. Rinse and pat face dry.
  2. Apply Fresh Rose Floral Toner to face and neck.
  3. (Optional) Let toner sink into face and neck and follow with Sulwhasoo First Care Activating serum.
  4. Put on CeraVe Moisturizing Cream evenly to face and neck. The toner and the serum helps my face extra moisturized. Let the cream sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Using a pea-sized product, apply Adapalene/Benzoyl Peroxide medication all over the face especially on areas of concern.

Morning:

  1. (Optional) Cleanse face with Laroche Possay Salycylic Acid Gel Cleanser. Rinse, pat dry.
  2. Apply Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF liberally unto face and neck.
  3. Put on minimal make up after letting sunscreen sit in the face for approximately 10 minutes.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have comments or feedbacks. Send me an e-mail at questions@ranlopez.com or go to my Instagram page http://www.Instagram.com/ricemama_ 🙂

P.S. I am still on the quest to hunt minimal, affordable, and effective skin care products.

Products I mentioned.

What I wish I knew (as a younger version of myself)

“Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do that.”

 – Gary Vaynerchuk

When I was in high school, my dad hated the idea of pursuing something if it does not lavish money in the household. I had so may interests back then but I did not get enough support to be motivated enough, if anything I was discouraged. Looking back as a young adult, I came to understand him. Time is a precious commodity to be spent on unnecessary things after all. On the flip side, I also believe that time is squandered when your untapped, God-given expertise atrophies.

What my dad did not teach me is that it’s okay to develop a budding interest or passion, stick with it, be freaking good about it, and eventually get paid to do what you really love. I had a lot of time as a teenager to be busy exploring my identity, passion, and purpose in life but I was confined in a preconceived idea. I cannot blame my father entirely because I did not know any better too. If I did, my life would have been different.

I chose to be an obedient child because I was sent to school without having to worry about tuition, school fees, etc. I studied and finished Bachelor’s in Nursing albeit I had an ardent enjoyment in teaching. I do believe that I was led to a good direction. Life’s great. For my age, I have a good paying job and I like what I do. But just like any other person, I had an existential crisis.

That’s when all the if only statements started to cross my mind. If only I was brave enough to be a risk taker. If only I listened to my gut. If only I gave enough attention to learn more about what I really wanted to. If only I knew.

For your inspiration: https://filipiknow.net/facts-about-manny-pacquiao/

I am not dwelling in the past, I am merely trying to make a clear recollection that may strike you. Maybe you were also in the same boat.

If you’re reading these, you may also be in a position where you’re trapped in a job you dislike, you want to escape the 9-5 but you have bills to pay and a family to feed. I don’t think it’s late to figure out your purpose in life and to pursue your goals. You don’t have to have an innate talent either. Talent plays a little role to be successful. In a world full of people bias to naturals, be the striver. We may give an excuse that we don’t have enough time but think about this: Successful people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg did not have more than 24 hours a day to work on their passion. These people were all driven, dogged, and tenacious. There is more time than you can imagine.

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

-Albert Einstein

I would like to share my own experience about being tenacious and the power of deadlines/goals. When I was in high school, I hated math simply because I did not study it with full intention. Moving forward to college, I was lucky enough to have a full-ride scholarship as long as I maintain a grade of C+ or greater per each subject. I knew I cannot take math for granted or else I will blow my scholarship. I paid attention to every single lesson, found out I really enjoyed it, scored very well on tests, and even had a grade of B- at the end of the semester. It’s not commendable but because I did not want to lose my scholarship, I worked hard on it and the best part? I enjoyed it!

And if you’re a teenager, you’re at the prime time of your life to explore your limitless potentials. I see so many teenagers today who are so caught up with trying to be who they are not because of the ubiquitous presence of influencers on social media. Please don’t waste your time doing this when you could be doing something better. No I am not specifically talking about doing your school work. Ask yourself. What do you enjoy doing on your spare time? Is it singing? Dancing? Learning how to code? Playing basketball? Sewing? You don’t have to be innately talented to be motivated. Just get started, hone your skills with the full intention to excel. If you don’t have the equipment, be creative and start right away. Don’t you think that as long you stay consistent, all the equipment you need will come as if it was miraculously bestowed upon you?

“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. However, as digital media consumption continues to grow at unprecedented rates, this number is expected to shrink in counter to that expansion.”

Read more here: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic

Don’t mind what other people may say because first of all, they don’t live your life. Second, they must have plenty of time to mind your business and that’s the main reason why their life is mediocre. You don’t want that kind of life. Taylor Swift even said it and other rich people you can think of: You must be thick skinned. If not, you will never be ready.

I have not mastered all of these but I am actively working on it by giving myself definite deadlines. By giving value to the readers, I am also constantly reminded to do better.

There are so many things I still want to share but I also believe that the attention span of a person is limited. I will reserve it for another time. If you enjoyed reading this please hit follow/like. For questions/feedbacks/comments send me an email at questions@ranlopez.com 🙂

Thank you and have a fabulous day!

A day in a life: 7.31.19

If you’re like me, I like watching YouTube videos of strangers and how their day would typically look like. And those kind of videos are ubiquitous. It’s good and amusing how they seem to be living this fancy and subtly normal life, but I also realized that none of those seem to be authentic. I don’t think I spend my day with such exquisiteness, if you know what I mean. Sometimes my day seems to be filled with various elements of human dynamics at work and at home, which actually makes life more interesting. So I am sharing today how my day looked like. It may be boring for you but I assure you, there is no BS in this one.

0730AM – I woke up and got ready for work. I had set my alarm for 5AM but unfortunately I did not hear my alarm going off. Probably because I was up until around 1AM working.

0815AM – I left for work. As much as I hated not being able to spend time to read before going to work, I decided to listen to Jeff Bezos’ interview while driving. The title of the interview is: “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: It Is Always Day One”. I usually listen to inspirational talks to help me get motivated for the day.

0830AM – As soon as I got to work, I spoke to manager to brief with him of the plans for the day as well as activities that were due. It’s the last day of the month after all.

0845AM – I went back to my office to jot down several tasks I knew I needed to accomplish. Keeping a To-Do list helps me to stay on track. I made sure I drank enough water before shift change.

0900AM – I headed to the patient treatment floor 30 minutes before shift change. This free time allowed me to have some short chats with my peers, at the same time this also enabled me to understand more what’s been going on at the treatment floor with the employees as well as the patients.

0930AM to 1115AM – This is the shift change period. This is one of the busiest times on the treatment floor wherein direct-care staff members terminate treatments and discharge patients in preparation for the next wave of patients who’re coming in. It’s refreshing to have conversations with patients and to listen to their stories which I have always enjoyed even when I was Charge Nurse.

I was told by one of my coworkers that my presence during shift change helps the transition a smooth and seamless process. I appreciated the fact that I was actually helping my team. Somebody said the same thing on Monday. That brings smile to my face 🙂

I enjoy working with my team who are vibrant, full of life, and knows how to have fun.

Being in the management position, I am consistently practicing to remind my team to follow protocols while taking care of patient/s. While there were staff members who were more challenging to deal with on Monday, today was actually better. I saw more people who became more mindful on what they’re supposed to do.

1115AM – A short break for me before the staff meeting.

1130AM – Our staff meeting started. We had good food. But since I am currently on soft diet as advised by my oral surgeon, I got myself a potato salad and the softest part of the rotisserie chicken. I stayed off of soda and finished my 750ml water instead. That felt like an accomplishment.

In our staff meeting, we discussed clinical issues, our priorities and expectations. There was also a lot of talk about teamwork by my manager. The staff members were also encouraged to voice out their concerns as well as to come up with a plan with each issue identified. For me, it is very important to let the direct-care staff talk on meetings as they comprise the biggest portion of our team.

0120PM – I went back and forth from my office to the treatment floor to finish off some of my tasks for the day. My manager and I also investigated on an incident that occurred on Monday as the senior management was asking for a report to be sent to them. We were able to complete this without delay.

0430PM – I gave myself a break, had crackers and coffee. I was already starting to feel sleepy and tired. I thought of having some conversations with my coworkers and this helped me to stay awake. I also talked to another employee who was having some concerns about another employee.

0500PM – I completed more assignments and wrote a few more to do starting tomorrow. I left for home at around 0615PM. While driving, I continued listening to Jeff Bezos’ interview.

I got home a little before 7PM. I felt exhausted from the lack of sleep. I made myself a simple dinner which my son also ate with me. That dinner gave me a boost of energy. Probably because it has rice and I love rice (I did not have rice for lunch).

I played a little bit more with my son. He’s gotten so big and very active. I love how he became so vivacious and smart. Albeit he throws some temper tantrums, it is so easy to distract him. I also used to have a hard time convincing him to brush his teeth, now I don’t have to anymore since he has learned to tell me when he’s ready.

I got my son ready for bed around 0845PM. I took him to our bedroom and while I was doing my night time routine, he kept playing with the bathroom lights and snatched some stuff from the sink and hid it from me which entertains him so much. This used to annoy me but now I have learned to appreciate this buoyant behavior of his.

Visit http://instagram.com/ricemama_ to check out my posts and stories – most of the time I post IG stories of my son.

After a long stretch at work, the highlight of my day will always be spending alone time with my son, playing around, acting stupid, until someone surrenders. My son went to sleep around 0930PM. This gave me 30 minutes to watch a show on Netflix. While watching, I also thought of how I miss my husband every single day. I only get to see him before I head out to work. Adult like kinda sucks, but that deserves a different story. By around 10PM, I sat in front of the desktop writing this blog post as promised.

I’m very relieved that I’m able to do this tonight. No matter how much I thought it would be a lot easier to just keep on watching my TV show, sticking to my own deadline is still more important.

Again, thank you for reading if you have made it this far. I will include photos next time. Please send me an e-mail at questions@ranlopez.com for questions/feedbacks/suggestions.

See you on my next blog post!