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Monday, January 26, 2015

Should You Use Baking Soda For Acne?

Short Answer: NO!
Re the baking soda: DON’T DO IT. Contrary to what most people think, extreme cleansing such as you’d get with with baking soda, a household cleaner, by the way, can actually aggravate acne.  This is because you need some moisture in your skin to add a barrier to bacteria, irritants and infections.  Over-cleanse your skin, and you lay yourself open to more acne, not to mention rebound oiliness.
Don’t you want a perfect complexion like Jaehyo?  Bet you a 100 won his dermatologist and beauticians aren’t letting any baking soda near that creamy-smooth skin. 
Alkaline v. Acid
And, baking soda makes your skin more alkaline.  But, you actually want a your complexion to be at its natural 4.5-5.5 acid level because that acid mantle kills bacteria and protects you. If you make your skin more alkaline with a product like baking soda, you reduce your skin’s own protection against acne-causing bacteria. 
Personally, I find images like this gross, but it makes the point. 
A Plan
What would help more for exfoliating and cleansing, is to use a cleanser with a skin-level ph, such as Cerave* followed by a salicylic toner and then a water-based moisterizer.  If your skin is really oily, try OCM instead of a regular cleanser to get it back in balance, but still use the salicylic toner and the water-based moisterizer.
There are alternatives that I’ll get into in later post.  But yes, the basic mix is castor & olive. 
A Second Plan
Another alternative, should you want to do mask treatment, is plain yoghurt.  I recommend the full-fat from happy, grass-fed cows kind, because a happy cow will produce healthy dairy. For a yoghurt mask, after cleansing, just rub yoghurt into your skin - in fact, you can do this all over before you shower - and then wait about 20 minutes.  Then wash off, and continue with your skincare routine, salicylic toner and moisterizer. Yoghurt has the same ph level as skin, 4.5-5, and so it’s good for helping your skin to its perfect ph. 
We all need a happy cow in our lives.  
Don’t cleanse your skin with baking soda!  Just don’t.  Follow the basic skin care plan described above - I’ll write later on how to fine-tune it more - and strengthen your acid mantle so you can smile like Jaehyo here.
*With all products, patch test them first. Put a dab on your wrist or just by your ear where any reaction won't show, and wait 24 hours.  If you have sensitive skin, do it a few days in a row to be sure. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Top Ten Kpop Songs of 2014

This is entirely my own opinion based on what I liked listening to again and again, and thus has no bearing on your personal angst regarding your own faves. 
10. 912 Crew. Please, no major agency pick these kids up and ruin their lives. They’re doing fine with their cheap, outdoor MV that someone’s mother is shooting on a home camera. 
9. BTS War of Hormone.  It’s hilarious & V gets the girl as he should because he's the cutest. ‘Nuff Said. 
8. Orange Caramel Catallena. Catchy, fun and creative.  Suits me. 
7. Boyfriend Witch.  loved the song, loved the video, and loved the live performances.  Every single time they nailed it, especially Donghyun. Did you see Donghyun?  He's the bleached blonde with blue contacts beckoning you into their Witch-World.  And this was my entry to other gorgeous music these otherwise mild-mannered young men produce.  
6. f(x) Dracula.  Actually, maybe this should be higher on the list. Anyway, loved the whole album.
5. T-ara and Chopstick brothers’ Little Apple.  I’d have placed this higher but all the nosebleeds in the video grossed me out. Still, if that doesn’t bother you, the story is, the Chopstick Brothers help T-ara N4 members, Eunjung, Qri, Hyomin and Jiyeon get a personal training business going.
4. SPEED Don’t Tease Me.  I liked it.  And I liked how CCM didn’t give them a real MV but just issued the video of their showcase where they performed their circus choreo.  Saves on the members’ debts to their company.  
3. Block B’s OST for Secret Door.  I actually tried watching this terrible show just because this song was awesome.
2. Block B’s Jackpot.  Look, practically every scene has Jaehyo.
 What’s not to like? I’m linking both versions.  
1.  This was the year I discovered T-ara.  Sugar Free is the best song of this whole past year. I’m linking the video and a performance because, if you’re epileptic or migraine-prone, the performance is watchable but the video is not.

Honourable Mention: 8 year old Song Gia with Follow Me. Not only is this child cute overload, but how do you resist diss lyrics like, "Do you still let your mom dress you?"