6 Essential Ingredients to Look When Shopping for Skincare Products

When it comes to beauty care, we are awash in a sea of products, ingredients and must-have items. The world of beauty is overwhelming for the array of choices it offers. But of course, you can make it easier the next time you go shopping for your skincare products. Here, we’ve pinned down six essential ingredients that a good skincare product must have. Now, you can shop confidently and ensure that you’ll get the best results from your skincare routine.

1. Collagen
Collagen is known to help with the skin’s suppleness and is naturally produced by the body. However, as we age, the body does no longer produce as much collagen as we were younger, leading to wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of aging. By using products with collagen in it, you’re helping your skin repair itself and maintain your natural and youthful glow.

2. SPF
This can’t be stressed enough. Sun protection is non-negotiable. You should be wearing at least SPF30 on a daily basis. Also, along with the SPF number, check the zinc content. Micronized zinc is very effective at reflecting light, significantly minimizing burns from prolonged sun exposure.

3. Vitamin C
It is not only meant for boosting your immune system and keeping illnesses at bay, it’s also an effective anti-aging property. Aside from being an effective anti-oxidant that keeps the skin looking fresh and bright, it also activates the cells responsible for collagen production.

4. Kojic Acid
Aiming for a brighter skin? Look for beauty products with kojic acid in it. All thanks to its anti-oxidant properties, it helps with lightening sun spots and pimple marks and keeps your skin hydrated for that youthful glow.

5. Hyaluronic Acid
This is naturally a water binding agent. How does this benefit your skin? By using products with hyaluronic acid, your skin captures and locks in the moisture, pretty much preventing it from leaving. This moisture-locking property will give you that supple and plumper skin.

6. Milk Peptide Complex
This ingredient helps undo signs of aging by reducing depths of fine lines, promoting smoothness and firmness of the skin, as well as improving its elasticity. If you start to notice fine lines on the face, look for this ingredient the next time you shop for your night creams and essences.

Many of the ingredients above can be found in hypoallergenic and dermatology-tested products. Add these products to your regimen for brighter and youthful skin. With regular use, you’ll see a big difference in no time.

28 Aug 2018

4 Reasons to Ban Your Cat in Your Bed

Playing with cats is wonderfully therapeutic. They can calm your nerves and lower blood pressure. However, this doesn’t mean you should share your bed with your cat. Although cuddling at night with your furball may sound relaxing, letting your pet sleep with you may also cause unnecessary stress.

Here are some important reasons why we strongly suggest to just keep the cat off the bed.

1. Disrupted Sleep
Cats can sleep up to 15 hours a day, but your cat’s sleep cycle is different from yours. A cat that sleeps the entire day is ready to be racing around the room until three in the morning. Other than being hyperactive, if they do sleep, they may snore or scratch you, or simply nudge you for attention while you’re sleeping, taking a toll on your ability to rest and leaving you feeling sluggish in the morning.

2. Allergies and Asthma
More than 25 percent of people around the world have some kind of allergic reaction to dogs and cats, but allergies to cats are much more common that allergies to dogs. Doctors would normally recommend not having cats inside the house if someone is allergic. However, if you love to have a pet cat, there’s a less drastic way to ease allergies and asthma attacks: by simply keeping your bedroom cat-free and using a HEPA filter to eliminate triggers while you’re asleep.

3. Exposure to Litter
Your cat’s litter box is a dirty place, and your cat’s paws may capture bits of waste and litter, which can end up on your bed. While litter mats reduce the amount of waste and litter that gets tracked throughout your house, you cannot entirely eliminate it from your bed unless you keep the cat off the bed.

4. Parasites
Sharing the bed with a cat also means sharing the bed with parasites the cat is harbouring, which of course is not a good thing. Although fleas do not live on people, they do bite and leave you itchy. Intestinal parasites that breed on cats like hookworm and roundworms can also cause illnesses to human beings.

Snuggling with your kitty is comforting, but sharing the covers isn’t ideal for everyone. If you decide to keep your pet off the sheets, make sure to stick to this new routine so your furry friend will get used to it as soon as possible. It will take some time of scratching and meowing outside your bedroom door, but when your cat realizes that this behaviour won’t be rewarded, she’ll learn to look for a new place to spend the nights in.

28 Aug 2018

5 Museums Worth Visiting

Museums are hubs of art and culture and are a lovely place to stimulate minds of both young and old. Here are some museums worth checking out in Singapore.

1. ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
The ArtScience Museums aims to “explore various creative processes at the heart of science, art, technology and culture, and their roles in shaping society.” Those interested in art and technology would be interested in its exhibitions, which aim to showcase the intersections of art and science.

For its architecture alone, the ArtScience Museum is a place that everyone should visit at least once. In their life. Its iconic architecture is inspired by the shape of a lotus flower. Its ‘main body’ can be found at the center of the lotus, with the ten extensions as its petals. All ten petals make a total of 21 gallery spaces, with permanent and touring exhibitions. These gallery spaces have been home to a number of world-renowned exhibitions throughout the years.

The ArtScience Museum is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm.

2. Singapore Art Museum
This one is for those who love the arts. The Singapore Art Museum is considered to be the first fine art museum in Singapore. It is a sight to behold, housed in a restored 19th-century mission school. A contemporary art museum, the place focuses on different art practices across Singapore, Southeast Asia, and Asia.

The Singapore Art Museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm, and on Friday, from 10 am to 9 pm.

3. Asian Civilisations Museum
With its slogan ‘Singapore’s Museum of Asia,’ the Asian Civilizations Museum showcases pan-Asian cultures and civilizations, such as those of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. It has won TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award for Museums in 2014 and 2015.

It is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm, and from 10 am to 9 pm on Fridays.

4. Peranakan Museum
The Peranakan Museum is a sister museum to the Singapore Art Museum and specializes in Peranakan culture. It consists of three levels, with ten galleries in total. Its exhibitions include the traditional Peranakan wedding, other special ceremonies, and the various Peranakan arts and crafts.

It is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm.

5. The Mint Museum of Toys
The name of the museum, MINT, stands for Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys. Fans of toys both young and old will enjoy the exhibits in this museum. Here you could find more than 3,000 vintage toys and childhood memorabilia, collected from over 25 different countries, housed in a five-storey contemporary building housing.

The Mint Museum of Toys is open from Monday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, and on every last Saturday of the month from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm.

27 Jul 2018

4 Cafes to Check Out

There’s just something about cafes; the smell of bread, the smell of coffee, and the thought of simply sitting down and taking time for yourself. Here is a list of cafes here in SG, some popular, some not-so-popular. Be sure to check out all of them!

1. Open Door Policy
In Open Door Policy, you can be sure that your food is fresh, healthy, and sustainable. This is a cafe that prides itself on its eco-conscious values; its sustainable marketing strategy begins with growing their own produce indoors, using vertical growing methods. This cafe boasts of a dairy- and gluten-free menu, so those with gluten and lactose allergies can rest assured that their food is good for them. Those who simply want to have a more eco-conscious and sustainable diet can also find a good dining experience in Open Door Policy.

Open Door Policy is located at 19 Yong Siak St. and is open daily except Tuesdays.

2. Marble Bistro and Cafe
The Marble Bistro and Café is a cafe that everyone should experience. Headed by local chefs trained by the Culinary Institute of America, this café is popular for the quality of their dishes and the uniqueness of their presentation. All their dishes are made and presented with a clever twist; take for example their Deviled Eggs, which is presented in a bell jar and mini pesto cones.

The Marble Bistro’s seven-course dinner comes highly recommended. They can be found at 6 Everton Park, and are open on weekdays from 11:45 am to 5 pm, then at 6 pm to 9:30 pm.

3. Monocle Café
The Monocle is a global affairs and lifestyle magazine, with three other cafes in London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Its cafe here in SG is housed in a two-storey shophouse and comes with a retail shop, so fans of the mag can browse and shop while sipping a cup of their renowned Allpress. Located in a residential house with minimalist interiors and outdoor seating, photography junkies and Instagram enthusiasts would find this cafe a treat for the eyes.

The Monocle Cafe can be found at 74 Jalan Kelabu Asap and is open from 11 am to 7 pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from noon to 6 pm on Sundays.

4. PS.Cafe at Palais Renaissance
Since its opening in 1999, PS.Cafe has always been a Singaporean favorite. Its large windows and high ceilings make for lovely photographs and an ambiance that can only be described as rustic and romantic. PS. Cafe is perfect for romantic dinners or casual get-togethers with friends.

PS.Cafe at Palais Renaissance Is located at 390 Orchard Road., Palais Renaissance, and is open from 11:30 am to 11 pm on weekdays, and from 9:30 am to 11 pm on weekends.

27 Jul 2018

The Best Video Game Soundtracks You Should Listen To

Tired of your usual music playlist? If you love video games, then you should listen to some of these awesome video game soundtracks.

LittleBigPlanet
The first installment of this series has some amazing indie tracks from around the world. The soundtracks from the sequels LittleBigPlanet 2 and LittleBigPlanet 3 are also equally fun to listen to when you need to focus on your work.

NieR
A lot of fans enjoyed this role-playing title not just for its appealing gameplay and characters, but also for its unusual mix of orchestra and futuristic music.

Fallout 3
While most recent video games feature modern music, Fallout 3 includes some of the best classical pieces and old school music from the 40’s onwards, such as “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” by The Ink Spots.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Not only is this one of the best video games of all time, but its soundtrack is also iconic in the gaming world.

Super Mario Galaxy
Another iconic game series, the Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack features an orchestra for an out-of-this world music experience.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
It’s not unusual for some video games to feature several artists in its soundtrack, but if you want to listen to punk and hip music, this is the one for you.

Chrono Cross
Composed by Mitsuda Yasunori, this award-winning soundtrack should be a staple for Chrono Series fans.

Mega Man 2
Want something fast and upbeat? Mega Man 2’s soundtrack will get your heart pumping with its fast tunes, perfect for a slow morning at the office.

Journey
The title of the game should give you an idea about the gameplay, but it’s also perfect for those days when you just want to relax and listen to soothing music to calm your nerves.

Red Dead Redemption
Although you could also pick any of the Grand Theft Auto game soundtracks, what makes the soundtrack of Red Dead Redemption stand out are its emotional pieces that complement its powerful storytelling.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Orchestra and video games commonly go together, but Skyrim stands out because this massive title includes an equally massive soundtrack. The most notable, however, is the main theme “Dragonborn.”

Metroid Prime
Another classic game on this list, Metroid Prime features not just futuristic themes, but also choral chants and alien insect sounds.

Shadow of the Colossus
Need to study for an exam tomorrow? Hailed as one of the best games ever, Shadow of the Colossus also features the best soundtrack that will serve as background while fighting the sixteen colossi.

Crypt of the Necrodancer
If you need to hit the gym but don’t want to listen to the usual songs on your playlist, try the Crypt of the Necrodancer soundtrack for upbeat techno, jazz, trap, and metal that will inspire you to work harder.

31 May 2018

What You Need to Know About Dengue

Dengue is still a threat in most affected countries despite the precautions taken against it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half the world’s population is now at risk, but most especially those residing in subtropical and tropical climates including Singapore.

Here are some facts about dengue you need to remember.

Dengue Mosquito
The virus is primarily transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, although there were instances that another species, Aedes albopictus, was also the transmitter. Ae. aegypti is the same transmitter for other mosquito-related diseases such as Zika infection, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The symptoms are almost similar as well.

Four Dengue Serotypes
Serotype is the name that describes varieties in a species, and in the case of the dengue virus, there are four distinct types that have been documented in recent years. These are DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. The treatment of the patient will depend on which serotype has infected the body and may even provide immunity in the future.

Incubation Period
If a person is bitten by a mosquito that carries the virus, dengue will incubate for a period of four to ten days before the symptoms show up. Usually, these symptoms last for two to seven days, but the severity will differ among affected individuals.

No Specific Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no one proven way to treat dengue. The affected individual must be taken to the hospital to monitor and maintain the correct levels of body fluids to help the body to fight off the infection naturally. It’s crucial for the patient to get the appropriate care at the first early signs of dengue. Do not wait for the symptoms to worsen, because the infection can cause severe bleeding, organ impairment, plasma leaks, respiratory distress, and fluid accumulation.

Platelet Monitoring
If an individual is suspected of having dengue, he/she needs to have tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as a platelet count test and an antigen test. The normal count should be anywhere between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter, that is why if the patient’s platelet count falls below 10,000 per microliter, he/she will need a platelet transfusion.

Different Symptoms
The infection will manifest differently among affected individuals, but there are common symptoms that you should look out for; such as high fever (usually 104° F or 40° C), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, pain behind the eyes, nausea and/or vomiting, rashes, and swollen glands. Severe dengue can cause more serious complications, that is why you should not wait for the following warning signs: vomiting, rapid breathing, severe pain in the abdomen, fatigue, blood in the vomit, and bleeding gums.

31 May 2018

5 Species of Large Fish You Can Catch in Singapore

Fishing is a great pastime to get into as a way to relax, get in touch with friends, and get acquainted with what nature has to offer, since Singapore is home to a wide variety of freshwater fish.

Because several reservoirs that have been previously closed to anglers have now been opened, now is the perfect time to get started on this hobby. Here are just some of the species of large fish you can reel in:

1. Catfish
This is one of the most recognizable fish that you can find in most places in Singapore because of its smooth grey color and prominent whisker-like barbels.

These fish can reach weights of as heavy as five or eight kilograms. There are several types of this fish that you can catch in Singapore, such as the warty catfish and the old world river catfish.

2. Peacock Bass
Belonging to a genus of large cichlids, this predatory freshwater fish is originally belongs to the Amazon water basin and is diurnal in nature. You can usually catch this type of fish any time of year in Singapore.

The peacock bass is a prized catch among anglers in Singapore as both food and game, as this fish is not only hard to find, but also quite hard to catch.

3. Giant Snakehead
The giant mudfish is capable of growing to a length of 1.3 meters, and can weigh up to as heavy as 20 kilograms. Though often found in Southeast Asia, this species is considered an invasive species in a number of countries since it has been introduced to different ecosystems, particularly those in Singapore.

4. Barracuda
This ray-finned fish is one of the most common species of large fish that you can catch in Singapore. Though not sought after as much as other species of prized fish, barracuda have an intimidating appearance and aggressive behavior that make them a challenge for any angler who happens to have them on the line.

Most characteristics of barracudas that make them distinct are their dark grey, green, or blue color, irregular black spots on one or both sides, and their pointed heads with a large under-bite. Given time, they can grow to 1.6 meters in length and weigh as much as 7 kilograms.

5. Grouper
Groupers are perhaps the largest and heaviest fish that you can catch in Singapore. Though the name “grouper” is given to most fishes belonging to the Epinephelus and Mycteroperca genera, it actually extends to other smaller genera, such as Anyperidon, Cromileptes, and Tirso.

Groupers are characterized by having a stout body and a large mouth. Not only can they reach lengths of more than 2 meters, but also weigh as much as 200 kilograms.

30 Apr 2018