life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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adding color

So I got sick, that explains my silence. -I do however have replied to most of the private messages sent my way.

It was a series! *Asthma, UTI, Flu and the usual back problem all throughout* There were days I feel ok then by the afternoon I am feeling not so super. That prompted Kei to get a vacuum cleaner and clean every inch of our home. Also stocked up on buko (coconut) and cranberry juice. Plus sort of force me to take vitamins and more water. –I have issues with vitamins and I dislike going to the bathroom often. 

But I got myself some beauty stuff in attempt to look alive. Lols.

make me look not so pale

make me look not so pale

It’s all good, I am all good now.

And because cleaning the home means I have to wash my hands more often, I have been rather fond of these soap/hand soap and (the cute pink owl) hand cream combination lately. They keep my hands from getting rough.

currently using these

currently using these – owl hand cream and bath and body hand soap was a gift from my cousin

I have also ditched drinking sodas and is now into drinking these vitamin infused juice to cool down. They look colorful and pretty!

photo from the internet

photo from the internet

The ones with the bunnies are the ones I usually buy. My favorite of them all would be the pink bottle that is kiwi-strawberry flavored with lutein – for better eye health. 

That’s about all that is colorful in my (admittedly boring) life now.

Be healthy and happy y’all – till the next post!

 

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My acne journey: products I am using this summer season 2015

Summer is in full swing and is wreaking havoc to my skin. Here I go again. It seems like I am better of with the cold climate months, my skin magically clears up. I think my skin did not get the memo that we are living in the sunny Philippines. Mad hate.

Currently, I am religiously going to my dermatologist, once a week for cleaning. Before, I go there every other week. But since, I need to have clear skin for my big day and the days before that, I have no choice but to really drag myself to the clinic weekly. Every week there is a lot cleaned out, but still a lot remain or pop-up. I freaking hate it. Shelling out and getting pricked is not really something to look forward to.

My face is an oil slick with bumps mostly on my forehead. (I drink a lot of water now, so no. I am not dehydrated. My skin just hates me.)

After another painful pricking session. I asked the derma what else can he recommend, besides the glycerin soap and derma-made toners I am using. I also told him that the glycerin soap seem to lack the cleaning feel it used to have. 

get me through the hot summer days please.

get me through the hot summer days please.

He recommended me to take doxycycline once a day for ten days. Then got me to to use acne-aid soap, continue with my toners and lastly use epiduo. My skin got a bit less bumpy. Thank God. But after 4 days, I feel the “burning-skin-feeling”. So I topped it all off with a light moisturizer I already used months ago.

Does your skin breakout on hot summer days too?

acne journey update-summer of 2015-

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket.


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on recovery

As expected. It turns out that it is not eye infection this time. A blocked duct, or a stye caused my eye issues this time. The eye drops plus antibiotics just couldn’t make it go away.

not my eye, got this photo from the net as this looks a lot like my conditon

not my eye, got this photo from the net to illustrate as this looks a lot like my condition. 

Even if my antibiotics is already Co-Amoxiclav. Bummer. 

Apparently, the right term for my condition was Chalazion. and I am a candidate for incision and curettage.

So last Thursday, I got a minor eye surgery as per the advice of my doctor and is on recovery phase right now.

My incision was done from the inside so no visible scars. Just a bit of swelling can be seen.

Have to keep on wearing my dorky glasses. sigh.

Still on C0-Amoxiclav as well. 

Can’t wait to finally wear contact lenses again! Arrrgggghhh!

 


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My acne journey: the products I used throughout the years, and my continuous battle

I was asked by my classmate way back in third year high, I envy you; how do you keep your clear skin?  I told her, nothing. I don’t have any secret to it. Deep inside, I really thought I was blessed with good skin genes.

How wrong was I to assume? I am stupid enough to assume.

I had the pimple/acne problem later than my friends. I had it right after high school. The summer I left my high school to start a new life in college, the pimples also started.

My mom was a bit worried, she had pimples too when she was my age she told me. She then advised me to use Johnson’s baby shampoo. I did what I was told, even if baby shampoo made my hair more stringy and greasy. I also used Johnson’s baby soap, for my face. I also got myself Eskinol overnight pimple gel, that I always see at TV commercials. That seemed to work for a while but, time progressed and I was getting oilier and the pimples are growing too. They are growing in size. (I was about 15-16 years old this time)

I was also prescribed a huge bottle of Cetaphil facial wash, along with a tube of Pan Oxyl acnegel, by a derma (Family derma) who happily said child, you are now a dalaga (Filipino word for a lady). How was I to be happy and excited to be a lady if I have a growing pimple problem?  I have clear days and put-a-paper-bag on my head days.

acne journey-1 copy

Oh, I also loved the blue Ponds powder that they discontinued. Why pond’s? why?! It effectively hides the redness of my skin.

At seventeen years old. Second year in college. Semester break. I had rashes on my tummy that I paid no attention to. After a day, I have a huge boil in my forehead. A trip to the family doctor confirmed, I got the dreaded CHICKENPOX.

I was in denial! My mum told me that I was vaccinated against the pox! So, why do I have it?!

I can’t bathe, I was itchy all over, I have scars all over. I was a polka dotted mess, with oilier face and bigger persistent pimples.

It was hell.

I applied Sebo de macho to my scars, like my life depended on it. I wanted to get back to normal ASAP!

I felt very itchy and there are now red patches on my skin, it actually made my condition worse. Went to the derma (near my mum’s office) to get it checked. The picky skin I have got irritated from the Sebo de macho. Stupid skin. Was given tubs of Kojic acid. (at that time Kojic acid was not that mainstream and was very pricey. 500php for a small tub of cream. A tub of cream lasts about 5 days max on me.)

The little self confidence I had shattered. My friends are afraid to see me for fear that they get chickenpox. I was segregated when I returned to class, I was asked to stay at the corner of the classroom, with two rows of seats apart. My classmates stayed away from me. I went to hiding in my denim jacket and refused to remove it even if it was sweltering outside. I stayed at the library during free time to hide from people and also for the air conditioner to soothe my itchy scab infested skin.

I got more pimples than before, this time bigger than before. I have brown scars all over, I was a pathetic polka dotted person. If only I could die now. I was depressed as hell. I envy everyone who has clear skin. I prayed every night for speedy healing.

I spent every peso I have buying products that I thought could help me get back my previous skin. Even if I don’t eat lunch, as long as I get products to get my skin back….desperate much.

acne journey-2 after chicken pox copy

I have Likas papaya soap as my body soap, Eskinol calamansi toner for my whole body, a pumice stone, St Ives Apricot scrub for my face and body. Nivea whitening lotion for the body, and Nivea whitening cream for the face, and a oil regulating toner. My skin is starting to heal, in a painfully slow manner. And with the limited amount of money I have, I can’t keep up buying the brands I was using. I switched to Ponds detox white, and Skin white lotion.

The scars are now a pale pink/reddish brown dots on my skin.

It was pure torture. Mental/psychological torture.

Slowly I healed. It took me about a year to fade all the scars the pox left me with.

By this time I was very much into sun protection as I am afraid the brown scar spots would come back when I am exposed to the sun. I spent all of my money on Nivea sunblock. In the highest spf concentration I could find. I still have my pimples/acne, it never went back to being small.

I graduated college. Found a job. (I was 20 years old then)

Squirreled some pesos to get more skin care products. I shopped at Rustan’s essences as they have the “latest” skin care items, I got Akin Hypoallergenic Shampoo (goodbye Johnson’s Baby shampoo) , Used Murad moisturizer and sunblock, and invested on Kose Junkisui a Japanese serum for acne prone skin. Also got the pricey Mario Badescu drying lotion, that did nothing to help my skin.

acne journey-3 road to recovery copy

The pimples stayed but my skin is definitely better than before.

My aunt recommended I use Burt’s bees as she uses the brand for my acne prone cousin too. So, off to beauty bar I went and got the Burt’s bees garden tomato soap, toner and shampoo. Brought Olay moisturizer for day and night. Using VMV armada as my sunblock and Nivea hypoallergenic powder to counter the stickiness of the sunblock.

acne journey-4 stablize copy

Then Burt’s bees garden tomato soap got discontinued. Disaster struck. (I was 21-22 years old by this time)

My skin went on a full rage mode. My pimples are now bigger than the norm, and they are painful. Without a “head”, it’s just painful bumps of red that lasts for weeks. I hated Burt’s bees for discontinuing the soap, I went to all the Beauty bar stores I know and came up empty. Defeated. I headed to the derma (Family derma) again.

This time, the acne/pimples has evolved. Cystic Acne.

I have to take a isotretinoin, a powerful drug. That has a lot of complications/side effects.

That I have to subject myself to monthly blood tests. I have to take ROACCUTANE.

acne journey-5 steroid copy

A box is good for a month. A box costs a little below 3k, plus monthly waiver/consultation from the derma that sets me back another 600php. Plus facial treatment from the derma that adds another 1k to the mix. I am bleeding out almost 5k a month. Almost my whole salary is spent on my skin. On the first two boxes, I get aggravated breakouts, but that was expected said the derma.

I see my derma once a month.

After 3-4 boxes, my skin is significantly clearer. And my wallet is significantly thinner too.

I am also used to getting my blood test every month that I can assist the med tech on how to locate my veins. I can laugh and carry a conversation while they are getting a syringe full of my blood, and look forward to getting the results to get another waiver and buy roaccutane.

By this time, I am using only derma brought medicines. And a cherry Chapstick to counter the dryness brought about using the isotretinoin. My eyes are also dry that I have to place eye drops from time to time.

After 13 boxes. I stopped Roaccutane. Because it has huge drawbacks. See the list of its side effects here.

But, I’m thankful for the drug. It cured me.

Or so I thought. It was just a break for my heavy derma expenditures.

I continued using Derma brought medicines for another 2 and a half years when the pimples slowly crept back up. The derma medicines are not working anymore. I panicked. (I’m already 25-26 years old!)

Went to see another derma (this time a derma from St. Luke’s Hospital) who also prescribed Roaccutane.

Again I took the drug. For the second instance. This still entails the monthly blood tests and facials/medicines.

This time around I consumed 7 boxes and then was told to stop. I still see my derma once a month, for treatments. But the price of the treatments has grown significantly. I was shelling out 4k a month for her facials. With no more money to go back, I searched for a new derma.

I found one near my old high school. This time around my derma is male. That doesn’t charge much. (less than 1k! this is like a bargain for me!) Good for me, but he requires me to go see him for facial treatment at least every other week (that’s twice a month). I go see him three times a month just to be sure. I also get my medicines from him.

I also go see a female Medicard derma also near my old school, at a hospital clinic, when I have the time. This Derma told me to use the classic Colgate, Pantene nature care shampoo, stop taking vitamin B. Take vitamin A instead.

Technically, I have two Dermatologists. And I still have acne. I still envy people who are blessed with good skin.

To others who also suffer from acne, you are not alone. It’s ok to be depressed and all but, take the fight. Keep on searching for the “cure”. We are all different and my cure may not be the cure your skin needs but we have to patiently look for our own solution. Just think of it this way, we will not age as quickly as those who have good skin on their youth!

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket.

**I am currently 27 years old and I still have the burden called acne/pimples. I am way past the teen-age hormone years and close to the big 30, but my skin still thinks it is a teen-ager. This is a rather personal topic for me. I won’t post pictures as I hate letting people see my bad skin.

***I can’t wear skin make-up (foundation). Only eye and lip make-up are ok with me.


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Celeteque Hydration Facial Moisturizer: thankful for this find

Since the cold months are here, I noticed something different. My skin is dryer than the usual. On my mind I was thinking finally, a rest from oily-ness! Maybe my pimples would be minimized. *wishful thinking…

But no, three weeks later, my skin felt like sand paper.

On my scheduled derma visit, I asked my derma about my sandpaper skin.

I was told to use a facial moisturizer, I was skeptic because I might get more pimples! I used to have a lot of products as part of my regimen. Hmmm… must not forget to write about my acne journey/products I used before. 

I have used moisturizers before and honestly, they sometimes felt thick, and too much for the humid climate we have. I was advised to use Cetaphil facial moisturizer. So, off I got to the nearest drugstore and proceeded to get a moisturizer. When, the bill came up. My jaw hit the floor. The Cetaphil facial moisturizer (250ml) is priced at 700+php. After shelling out for the derma treatment plus some derma made medicines, I am not going to shell out that much. Because if I did, I might as well give up my lunch for a week.

RC Celeteque Hydration Facial Moisturizer

I looked at the counters and saw Celeteque Hydration Facial Moisturizer.

I hurriedly looked at the price. For 50ml it goes for 120php. Not bad.

I quickly took photos of the two products side by side with clear close ups of the ingredients and hurried back to my derma, explaining my dilemma to my derma. It took 10 mins of waiting and yes, I was given the Go signal to swap the prescribed brand to Celeteque.

So, I used it twice a day. And googled about the Celeteque brand. I learned that it is made by Unilab, a local brand and they actually made specific celeteque lines to address different needs of people’s skin! I even took their skin analyzer test.  Take the test for yourself here. 

I have been using the moisturizer for a week now. My skin is not as rough as last week. Doesn’t feel as dry as before!

It did not give me a breakout. My pimple population stayed the same. Lols. And it also a gel type moisturizer, does not feel thick or sticky. That factor is a major plus for me.

I’m happy about it. And currently contemplating on getting more of their products.

Provided my derma allows me.

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket. 


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allergic to the solution

This happened to me. So, I thought I should post this to get other people to be aware.

This is by no means a replacement to getting a ophthalmologist to check your eyes. 

 

As a contact lens user, I have my share of eye irritations and infections promoting me to stop wearing them for a time.

I hated it. I don’t want to wear glasses. (I want to look pretty not nerdy!) But recently, the irritations are getting more and more suspicious. Every time I wear my contact lenses, my eyes would be irritated. I get itchy eyes, blurry vision/dry eyes. Wake up with more than normal eye mucus/weepy eyes. I will got to the ophthalmologist to get it checked, get medicated drops (I had used Vigadexa and later on 4 Quin-DX) to heal it, rest my eyes for week or so. And because I really hate wearing my glasses, I would wear my contacts again and the whole thing repeats itself.

This red eye irritation been going on and off for months now…

Till I read about contact lens solutions being the irritants.

getty_rf_photo_of_saline_dropping_on_contact_lens

I quickly looked at my lens solution. I was using Solocare Aqua but due to it being unavailable, my Mum switched it to Opti-Free RepleniSH. Stupid me. I never noticed. 

After a while I started having eye irritations/infections. Never thought that my solution was the culprit.

Hurriedly rushed over to our optometrist. She said that sometimes, people do get allergies to their solution.  Arrrgggghhhhh!

Once we got home, we then threw away the Optifree and got Solocare. I even gone as far as getting new contact lenses and case just to be sure.

Tomorrow, I am going to start using Solocare again, hopefully my eyes will accept the solution.

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product/s. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket. 

 


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status in a bowl

My dad kept fishes as pets. I loved our pet fishes, and being curious with fishes, I read up on them that led me to read about sharks. I know they have rough skin, they are made up of cartilage, they have this certain ampullae of Lorenzini to help them detect the heartbeat of their prey, they have a sharp sense of smell and hearing, they are the apex predators…etc. I am awed with sharks.

bull shark photo from national geographic

bull shark photo from national geographic

I have amassed a lot of toy figures of them, and even more so when I got into swimming and my team is called “sharks”.  (I was stoked to be on the team even if sharks are actually the second best, the dolphins are the dream team.)

Go team sharks!  MIKE PARRY/MINDEN PICTURES-National Geographic Creative

Go sharks!
MIKE PARRY/MINDEN PICTURES-National Geographic Creative

Being Chinese, it was not long that I got introduced to sharksfin soup.

I cannot recall the exact time I first seen the soup. All I know is this soup is bloody expensive it costs about 4000-5000php and up locally. 

sharksfin soup photo from wikipedia

sharksfin soup photo from wikipedia

This soup is common in fine dining Chinese restaurants. It is actually a status symbol delicacy in a bowl. A banquet with this soup is considered good, and without it is considered as mediocre. Usually, I get this about two to three times a year. I never gave it much thought.

 Having the sharksfin or even having the corn soup (considered as cheapest) is ok for me, as long as I have a soup I’m good.

 

However this is really bad. I should care.

In a study made last year, roughly one hundred thousand sharks are being killed every year to be made into soup. That is a lot of sharks being killed.

a female mako shark being finned photo from national geographic

a female mako shark being finned photo from national geographic

Sharks die a cruel death, by shark finning. It  is catching a shark, cutting of its fins with a hot metal blade then throwing the shark back  into the sea to die a painful death by drowning (sharks drown when they can’t swim), loss of blood, being eaten by other animals. Without their fins, sharks are good as dead.

bloody sharks fin - photo by Chip Clark for the Smithsonian

bloody sharks fin – photo by Chip Clark for the Smithsonian

Fins are the only thing that is valuable in the sharks so they usually fin the sharks and leave it to die in the sea, saving precious cargo space to get more fins. In some European countries they are also killed for their meat.

 

photo from shark savers

photo from shark savers

A sharks fin fetches over $10,000 USD. For 1 fin. The high price makes finning sharks appealing to poachers. But this is unsustainable. Shark population is declining at a rapid speed and the sharks are slow to reproduce. These creatures are close to being gone. It is not too late yet to save these animals.

photo from shark savers

photo from shark savers

 

It is very ironic that Shark fin soup is a status symbol in Asian countries, and is considered healthy and full of nutrients. But, it is actually more harm than good. Sharks fin soup contains dangerously high levels of mercury that is linked to several well known diseases including degenerative brain disease and Alzheimer’s.

Jeremy Lin for shark savers

Jeremy Lin for shark savers

I have said no to sharks fin soup.

 

Learn more about the plight of sharks:

http://voiceforsharks.blogspot.com/2014/04/in-ocean-or-in-soup-where-do-sharks.html

http://www.sharkwater.com/