As we approach the year end festivities, there is a tendency for us to drink more. We are often told that too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you really know why? Have you ever wondered how alcohol affects your liver when sipping your favorite cocktail or schooner of beer? Here’s a quick rundown:
Your liver is a robust organ and can usually cope with drinking a small amount of alcohol. However the liver can only handle a certain amount of alcohol at any given time, so if you drink more than the liver can deal with by drinking too quickly, or drinking too much, your liver cells struggle to process it.
When alcohol reaches the liver, it produces a toxic enzyme called acetaldehyde which can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring, as well as harm to the brain and stomach lining.
Now, here are seven ways to look after your liver:
1. Have a Balanced Diet
It’s also important to watch what you eat. “While nearly every cell in the body is able to metabolise glucose, only the liver cells can handle fructose,” says Dr Sherwood of the Functional Medicine Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “If we consume too much fructose over time, the liver can become overwhelmed and suffer irreparable damage.” Limit foods that are high in refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, such as soft drinks, baked goods and sweets. Stick to natural sources of sugar (fruit for example) instead.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Alcohol is not the only thing that can cause fatty liver disease – obesity (or even just being overweight) puts you at risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
People who have NAFLD are at an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular problems; they also typically have diabetes and high cholesterol. During the early stages of NAFLD, the condition can be managed by losing weight, drastically reducing fat intake and exercising regularly.
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercising helps your body burn triglycerides for fuel, which can help reduce liver fat. Following an exercise programme that includes both aerobic exercises (walking, cycling or swimming) and weight training can improve your liver function.
Aerobic exercise helps strengthen your heart muscle, which means it can pump blood more efficiently throughout your body. When this happens, your pulse slows and blood flow improves – it’s easier for your heart to move blood to your liver, and then for your liver to send the filtered blood back into your system.
Building lean muscle mass delays severe muscle wasting, which occurs during the advanced stages of liver disease. Weight training also prevents a build-up of excess body fat, which can cause fatty liver and result in a non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that although NASH initially presents with only a few symptoms, it can cause your liver to become non-functional.
4. Stay Hydrated and Drink Lots of Water
Your body needs to remain hydrated. Toxins that affect your kidneys, liver and bowel function will build up when you become dehydrated.
According to Dr Neil-Sherwood, “Dehydration can have a direct effect on our liver’s ability to properly detoxify our body. So as the liver loses hydration, it also loses its organ reserve, or what it uses to take care of the rest of the body.”
Water also helps maintain the fluid content of your blood. When you become dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker – your liver is responsible for filtering blood and the thickness can impact its ability to detoxify.
5. Cut Down on Processed Foods
Manufacturers like to cram in lots of sodium, sugar, and chemicals to “improve” taste and appearance, extend shelf-life, and maximize profits.
Unfortunately, our liver gets the task of filtering through all the junk we eat and too much processed food can really take a toll on its functionality.
One particularly pesky ingredient that’s practically ubiquitous in processed foods is high fructose corn syrup. This refined sugar is made up of about 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
When we consume high fructose corn syrup, the liver uses it to create fat, which slowly accumulates in the liver cells and can lead to liver disease.
6. Cut Down or Limit on Alcohol Consumption
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can cause damage to your liver cells. Over time, liver damage can cause a build-up of fat in your liver, inflammation or swelling and/or scarring (cirrhosis). If you already have liver disease, even a small amount of alcohol can worsen your condition.
How much is a moderate amount of alcohol? According to a previous Health24 article, women should limit their consumption to one drink per day, while men should only have two. One drink is equal to 148ml of wine, a 355ml beer or one shot (44ml) of an 80-proof liquor.
7. Consider Liver Supplementation
Milk thistle has been used to treat liver disorders for more than 2,000 years. It’s the herbal ingredient most often used for liver complaints in the United States.
The active substance in milk thistle is silymarin, which is made up of several natural plant chemicals.
Lab studies suggest that silymarin helps regenerate liver tissue, bring down inflammation, and protect liver cells from damage by acting as an antioxidant. A 2017 analysis of studies found that silymarin slightly reduced certain liver enzymes, markers of liver damage, in people with liver disease. More research is still needed to know how well milk thistle might work.
Wellaholic's Liver Support helps boost and support liver function. Milk thistle, is a natural herb that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is commonly used to detoxify the body, especially the liver, as well as help liver diseases and gallbladder problems.
Suggested Use: One tablet, taken once daily preferably with meals.
There was a young man who had ambitions to work for a company because it paid very well and was very prestigious. He prepared his résumé and had several interviews. Eventually, he was given an entry-level position. Then he turned his ambition to his next goal—a supervisor position that would afford him even greater prestige and more pay. So he completed the tasks he was given. He came in early some mornings and stayed late so the boss would see him putting in long hours.
After five years a supervisor position became available. But, to the young man’s great dismay, another employee, who had only worked for the company for six months, was given the promotion. The young man was very angry, and he went to his boss and demanded an explanation.
The wise boss said, “Before I answer your questions, would you do a favor for me?”
“Yes, sure,” said the employee.
“Would you go to the store and buy some oranges? My wife needs them.”
The young man agreed and went to the store. When he returned, the boss asked, “What kind of oranges did you buy?”
“I don’t know,” the young man answered. “You just said to buy oranges, and these are oranges. Here they are.”
“How much did they cost?” the boss asked.
“Well, I’m not sure,” was the reply. “You gave me $30. Here is your receipt, and here is your change.”
“Thank you,” said the boss. “Now, please have a seat and pay careful attention.”
Then the boss called in the employee who had received the promotion and asked him to do the same job. He readily agreed and went to the store.
When he returned, the boss asked, “What kind of oranges did you buy?”
“Well,” he replied, “the store had many varieties—there were navel oranges, Valencia oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, and many others, and I didn’t know which kind to buy. But I remembered you said your wife needed the oranges, so I called her. She said she was having a party and that she was going to make orange juice. So I asked the grocer which of all these oranges would make the best orange juice. He said the Valencia orange was full of very sweet juice, so that’s what I bought. I dropped them by your home on my way back to the office. Your wife was very pleased.”
“How much did they cost?” the boss asked.
“Well, that was another problem. I didn’t know how many to buy, so I once again called your wife and asked her how many guests she was expecting. She said 20. I asked the grocer how many oranges would be needed to make juice for 20 people, and it was a lot. So, I asked the grocer if he could give me a quantity discount, and he did! These oranges normally cost 75 cents each, but I paid only 50 cents. Here is your change and the receipt.”
The boss smiled and said, “Thank you; you may go.”
He looked over at the young man who had been watching. The young man stood up, slumped his shoulders and said, “I see what you mean,” as he walked dejectedly out of the office.
If you are taken away only by the Gold-rush train of Bitcoin and its recent skyrocketing surge with new all-time highs every week you might be missing a lot what is happening around.
Ripple (XRP) a cryptocurrency with a centralized enterprise behind the curtains supporting its development and controlling where the token should be led just has experienced a very major climb upwards against the US Dollar – with a market cap of around $8.66 billion and a price (at the time of the writing) $0.2259.
In a trading and investing market – especially cryptocurrency, nowadays it is very difficult to pin-point down the reasons which conclude with this sort of spike, for example Ripple. For future references and help in investing-decision making purposes, down here we will try to explain this particular case.
What played the Role of the Pull-Up Lever for XRP/USD
Just before that, to have a quick heads up – Ripple while working together with financial services, banks and institutions wants to take down SWIFT (entity with a monopoly on border transfers) and disrupt its functionality. According to Thomas – Money should be fast sent and received like data and information now on a global scale.
(To trade cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple or Litecoin, try eToro.)
So for the reasons why the catapult took place:
With the planned Blockchain improvements like Lightning Network for Litecoin, Ripple negotiations and so on, many investors are moving and diversifying their portfolio from the digital currency leader Bitcoin. More than ever now because of the potential upcoming fork happening in November. As for now and the longer term, Ripple is looking more promising than ever to be a choice for the future and a more reliable positioning for traders.
Just today, Ethereum is swinging wildy again, reaching to highs of USD 345 before retreating to the $328 range. (at the present moment). With its high fluctuations, how can we make money with Ethereum?
Ethereum has grown from a paltry price of $10 to the current $345 within a short period of time. There are several factors behind this price hike. One of the main reasons was Ethereum has been marketed to various potential corporate and government partners are a way of generating revenue through its integration of blockchain technology. Some highly publicized partnership are JPMorgan Chase, Cisco Systems, Inc, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, Microsoft, and other 30 big brands to create a partnership known as the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA).
In order to trade Ethereum, you need to know the various phases of Ethereum planned growth.
Option A: You could Buy and Sell
There are several reasons you should consider buying Ethereum for long-term investments.The technology that underlies Ethereum means that it can be used for a number of other purposes that will be built off of a decentralized and autonomous system. Simply put, it potentially will be a revolutionary technology with the potential to impact a whole spectrum of industries. As the demand for the Ethereum platform and its smart contracts enabled network increases, the value of Ethereum as a cryptocurrency will continue to surge.
Stability – Ethereum had an organic growth, without massive spikes, and it seems to be stable, if not even predictable. The increasing demand and value of a certain cryptocurrency serve as an indicator of its potential. Whatever the reason is, it still increases the demand – meaning a further increase in Ethereum price.
You can choose to buy Ethereum, or if you prefer to have more liquidity, you can opt to trade in Ethereum. I personally prefer eToro as it was an intuitive interface and allows several other cryptocurrencies to be traded as well, as such Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.
You can sign up for an eToro account at http://bit.ly/etoro-ethereum
Option B: You can mine Ethereum
Bitcoin mining started out with simple CPU and GPU mining that can be done on high-powered home computers before the introduction of ASIC miners overwhelmed the industry resulting in only specialized hardware being capable of any worthwhile mining. The Ethereum blockchain, however, is far more resistant to ASIC miners which result in most of the processing being done on rigs mounted with GPUs.
If you have a high-powered system for gaming then your computer is more than capable of mining Ether at a respectable rate. You can choose to mine Ethereum solo but you’ll probably get better results by contributing your resources to a pool. Personally, I have never mined any myself but I have a good read on Nanopool and they’re easy to use. Thanks to their great help page.
In my opinion, Ether could be at a high price but still not profitable to mine because your electricity costs are so high, or visa Versa. You also have to account for the difficulty increase associated with a price spike.
In any case, we should be seeing Ethereum go up, up and up! Don't wait too long!
Note: I'm sharing this as I've been deep-diving into cryptocurrency and blockchain as my own self-learning and perhaps future investment?
Bitcoin mining gets more difficult over time, and so it now takes more electricity and money to mine for the cryptocurrency than ever before.
The rise of ether, another cryptocurrency, and the appreciation of bitcoin could help maintain the profitability of bitcoin mining, despite increasing costs and difficulty.
It's getting more difficult to mine bitcoins, but that doesn't mean miners are packing up their servers en masse and seeking greener pastures.
The number of bitcoins available for mining has decreased from 50 BTC per bitcoin "block" when the cryptocurrency first came onto the scene to 12.5 BTC per block, according to Autonomous NEXT, a financial technology analytics service. It is set to decrease to 6 BTC on June 19 2020, according to bitcoinblockhalf.com, a bitcoin countdown site.
Bitcoin mining is the process by which bitcoin "blocks" are unlocked. Miners are rewarded with blocks when they successfully solve complex algorithmic math problems using computer software. In order to control the supply of bitcoin, its underpinning technology was designed so that those math problems would get more difficult.
In the early days of the technology, people with a few computers were able to mine hundreds of coins in three to four days. That's not what the landscape looks like today, according to Sebastian Quinn-Watson, a consultant with Blockchain Global, a bitcoin mining firm.
"Today, about 1,700 bitcoins are generated a day," he said. "Basically, we are all fighting over one coin every 10 minutes."
"Since mining has become so much more difficult, it requires more electricity, and as a result, more money," Quinn-Watson said. His firm halted expansion of its Chinese bitcoin mining facilities eight months ago.
But Quinn-Watson thinks two factors could make up for a spike in cost and difficulty and sustain bitcoin miners moving forward.
"Ironically, the rise of ether is one trend that could help bitcoin miners," he said.
Ether, the bitcoin rival, which is powered by Ethereum blockchain, is up over 2,000% since last year. Up until June, the cryptocurrency was on track to surpass bitcoin as the world's largest cryptocurrency by market cap, according to Coindesk, but its share of the market has since pulled back.
"Many miners without the wherewithal to compete may completely shift over to mining ether tokens," Quinn-Watson said."Less participants means better economies of scale for firms that stay in."
Miners could also benefit from future appreciation in bitcoin's price, according to Quinn-Watson. If bitcoin's appreciation were to outpace the rise in the cost of mining, then the profitability of the business would be unaffected.
To be sure, bitcoin is up about 250% since last year, but it has recently experienced extreme swings in its price. Some miners have attributed this volatility to an ongoing civil war between crypto-power brokers over the future structure of the cryptocurrency.
This, however, doesn't bother Quinn-Watson. He told Business Insider volatility is exciting.
"It will make the system stronger and drive more growth," he said. "So we welcome the uncertainty and see this as necessary aftershock of the Cambrian explosion that is Blockchain."
IrHence, I started to explore avenues where I could possible mine some cryptocoins. I then chanced upon Minergate.
MinerGate is your gateway to mining CryptoCurrencies easily, quickly and with no hassle - you don't need to be an expert programmer - MinerGate will guide you through the process. Mining is an important part of any cryptocurrency’s ecosystem, it allows the maintenance of the network and it’s also a good way to use your computer to make money, but not everyone gets along with a command line terminal and not everyone can afford a powerful graphics card, so today we’re going to show you how to mine Ethereum and other Cryptocurrencies – the easy way!
No “Matrix” terminals, no complicated commands and parameters to set! All you need is a computer and an internet connection, MinerGate will do the rest for you, even if you don’t have a GPU!
MinerGate is a GUI miner (GUI just means it looks pretty) with its own incorporated multipool, and even though it’s an extremely intuitive tool, MinerGate’s cutting edge smart algorithm is always working in the background to make sure you’re getting the most out of your hardware.
MinerGate’s Variable Difficulty algorithm, allows small portions of the Ethereum Blocks to be sent to miners according to their equipment and effective hashrate, making Ethereum mining possible in any computer with a simple click of a mouse!
You might want try Minergate. It's free and while it won't promise you a fortune, at least you can convert your spare smartphone and laptop processing power to good use!
Or if you prefer to trade either Bitcoin or Ethereum, you might want to do so via an Etoro account instead.
I had the opportunity to attend the premier of Cirque Du Soleil's KOOZA, which would be running in the striking blue and yellow Big Top, till 20 August at the open area along Bayfront Avenue, just beside Marina Bay Sands. Having attended previous shows by Cirque Du Soleil, I know that while the production quality for their shows are always of a high standard, the individual segments for the shows could be a hit or miss.
Notwithstanding, KOOZA turned out to be amazing!! A deliberate return to Cirque Du Soleil's origins, KOOZA follows the protagonist, a simple guy with a kite, as he journeys into a magical kingdom after he opens a magical box. KOOZA is inspired by the Sanskrit word "Koza" which means "box" or "chest", and emerging from this box is an international cast of acrobats, musicians, singers and actors.
What made KOOZA special, in my opinion, was that various acts and segments were fresh and interesting. The tightrope segment, for example, was executed differently and with no safety harnesses for the acrobats, it was freaking nail-biting scary!
Accompanying the various acts was a strong and stellar music ensemble and two power singers. Having recorded music and live music made all the difference, and for many occasions I felt that I was watching a musical, where the story flowed seamlessly from one chapter to another.
Interspersed between the acts were several entertaining comedy moments, brought about by the unassuming funny King and his two humping assistants. They broke the tensed acrobatic parts skillfully with genuinely funny antics, and the crowd, including myself lapped it all up.
All in all, KOOZA was pure 150 minutes of pure fun, fear and entertainment. If you have time, do make a date with KOOZA before 20 August. There is a 15% discount for M1 customers, and DBS and POSB card holders also save 15% on A, B, C and D Reserve tickets for shows from 13 to 23 July and from 14 to 20 August. Enjoy!
“Ageing is a fact of life. Looking your age is not.”
I have turned forty last year, but more often than not, in my engagement with strangers who meet me for the first time, I am commonly perceived as being in my late twenties or in my early thirties. The next question that comes up usually would be, “what is your anti-ageing regime?” The creation of Wellaholic as a wellness company focusing on great health, great beauty and great fitness stems from my conviction that while we all age, we can take positive steps to looking younger and better than our age. In this articulate, I would like to share my thoughts on this favourite topic of anti-ageing.
Q: At what age should one start anti-ageing skincare?
A: Can we ever be too young for anti-ageing products? There is an enormous amount of independent research which shows that people in their 20s and early 30s can take simple yet crucial steps to retard ageing. First and foremost, wear sunscreen consistent. Secondly, avoid smoking.
In terms of protecting against the sun’s harmful rays, Adam Friedman, MD, director of dermatologic research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has this to say, “I cannot stress enough that the No. 1 thing young adults can do to limit the signs of ageing is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF 30 or higher every single day.” In our sunny island of Singapore, this is even more important, as we are subject to large amounts of harmful UV rays. From Wellaholic, we have our W+ Protective Day Cream with SPF50++, which offers the highest protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
In terms of smoking, studies have shown that it hampers the body’s ability to make collagen and also leads to premature wrinkling. Take a look at any smokers around you, and you will start to notice that their complexion is less plump. Add a heavy cigarette habit with lots of sun exposure and it is likely that you are more than 10 times more likely to develop wrinkles than people around your same age who do not smoke and avoid the sun. In short, one should start anti-ageing skincare in one’s early twenties.
Q: What are some of the essentials of anti-ageing skincare?
A: There are a few key components of skincare, or face care. We have the following:
For facial cleanser, I always recommend getting an affordable facial cleanser. This is because most facial cleansers or facial soaps do the same thing – they provided a (limited) cleanup of the skin surface. Dr. Beatrice Wang of Carey Wang Dermatology in Montreal, has this to say, “ Washing your face is not a bad idea, but I don’t think you have to be vigorous about skin cleansing. Most of us are not doing manual labour, so we are not getting that dirty.”
Instead, I highly recommend using a good toner. When asked “What’s the secret weapon to healthy skin,” Dr. Hadley King, a New York City board-certified dermatologist, had a simple answer: toner. “Toners are most helpful and necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin, or for people who want extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavy skin products such as sun screen,” she explains.
At Wellaholic, we advocate our alcohol-free W+ Tightening Toner, which contains Azeloglicinia®, Salicylic Acid Complex, Aloe Vera Extract and Hyaluronic Acid, that helps to control sebum while hydrating and clarifying the skin. Azeloglicina® is a patented natural identical derived active ingredient that illuminates and improves texture clarity for a more glowing complexion; it addresses uneven skin tone and dark spots while improving skin quality for a brighter and more luminous complexion.
Throughout the day, I would suggesting using a strong sunscreen, like our W+ Protective Day Cream with SPF50++. In order to fully protect your skin, you should ideally apply the day cream in the morning as well as right before lunch, before you step out of your office.
In terms of facial serum, I am a strong proponent of Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate. The benefits of retinol for skin are huge. Retinol is proven to stop premature aging of skin. If you want better facial skin, retinol gets results, and this is widely documented in many articles. Wellaholic’s W+ Flawless Face Serum is formulated for the Asian skin, and contains a gentler but effective Retinyl Palmitate, which helps to increase collagen production and hydration to gently reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, excess sebum and enlarged pores and signs of sun damage.
However, a face serum does not contain any moisturizing element, and hence cannot help keep your skin moisturized throughout the night. Hence, it is important to find a night cream that works in tandem with your face serum. In our belief of the powers of retinol, Wellaholic’s W+ Rejuvenating Night cream assists in cellular regeneration and the prevention of collagen loss from UV photo-damage and ageing. With the goodness of Retinyl Palmitate, Hyaluronic Acid and Allantoin.
Q: In addition to skincare, what are the other ways to look and feel younger?
A: As espoused previously, I believe that a good diet, good supplementation and good fitness all work together to help me look and feel younger. Since my last twenties, I have been on a daily supplementation of Resveratrol, after reading a research article by the Harvard Medical School on the abilities of Resveratrol to slow down ageing. More than a decade later, I am still on this daily regime, and whether this has contributed to my looking younger is something that I cannot verify, but the growing amount of literature and research on Resveratrol seems to support the initial claims.
In fact, Wellaholic’s W+ Resveratrol was one of the key reasons to the creation of our Wellaholic business, as part of my conviction that good things should be shared with all, and that the journey to the fountain of youth cannot be made within a day; it requires years of discipline!
And of course, one should not forget fitness and exercise. New research shows that regular physical activity can reduce the inflammation in the body that comes with aging, which could also help decrease your risk of developing related diseases and conditions—like heart disease, depression, decreased mental function, and loss of muscle mass.
And there you go -- Ageing is a fact of life. Looking your age is not. There are things that you can do to look younger, but it requires consistency, commitment and discipline. It’s never too early to start, so let’s start today!
While a few basic skincare ingredients have become household names, one is constantly part of the conversation: retinol. We have all heard of it, but we’re not all exactly sure what it is—or how it works.
An informative article by Byrdie’s Hallie Gould peels the layers off retinol. In short, retinol is an amazing ingredient for your skin! To find out more, read on.
In an effort to get educated , Hallie contacted both a top dermatologist and a celebrity aesthetician for the full rundown. Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group and celebrity facialist Renée Rouleau eagerly and thoroughly answered all of her burning questions, as well as the ones she crowd-sourced from co-workers and friends.
What is Retinol?
“Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that has been used for anti-aging and found in many skincare products,” Nazarian explains.
Rouleau adds, “It can stimulate the metabolism of skin cells and encourage collagen production. Retinol can be absorbed within the skin and, when combined with certain enzymes, it’s converted into tretinoin (the acid form of vitamin A, also known as retinoic acid). Using a well-formulated and stable product with retinol will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles and large pores. Its magic is in its ability to resurface the skin’s texture for a smoother, more even-toned look."
What’s the difference between retinol, Retin-A, and retinoid?
“Both Retin-A and retinol are considered types of retinoids (which is a class of medication),” says Nazarian. “Both can help with promoting faster skin cell turnover, and both are proven options for helping reverse signs of skin aging. But retinol over-the-counter—it requires conversion in the skin to the active form, while a Retin-A is a prescription product that is more potent and slightly more effective at diminishing wrinkles and fighting acne. You will need to speak to a dermatologist about getting a prescription.”
“Retin-A restores the organization of cells through cellular turnover in the epidermis, so they are less likely to fall into the pores and block them—resulting in fewer clogged pores and small breakouts,” says Rouleau. “It also improves the look of wrinkles by retexturing and smoothing the skin’s surface and reducing pore size.”
What are the pros?
“The pros of either are that you will see improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, and enhanced collagen production in the skin, with improvement in skin tone. Retin-A is just a stronger prescription version that works faster and more effectively not only for anti-aging but also for acne,” explains Nazarian.
Retin-A can be helpful for those with certain types of acne prone skin. “A prescription retinoid is very beneficial for anti-aging and works on some types of acne,” Rouleau explains, “specifically whiteheads, blackheads, closed comedones, and general clogged pores."
What are the cons?
“The cons of either,” says Nazarian, “are that over-usage can cause drying and irritation of skin. Some people with super-sensitive skin conditions like rosacea may not be able to tolerate either. Both topicals also make you more sensitive to sunlight, leading to quicker and easier sunburns. Both are also contraindicated in pregnancy,” says Nazarian.
She continues, “Retinoids can only be damaging to skin if you have a super-sensitive underlying skin condition like eczema or rosacea and can flare and enhance inflammation. Still, patients with sensitive conditions like rosacea may still be able to use a retinoid, but they need to gradually introduce it into their skincare regimen, perhaps only one time weekly, and prep their skin with a topical moisturizer before applying the retinoid.
“Lastly, I don’t recommend Retin-A or retinol it for anyone who doesn’t take sun safety seriously. Daily use of sunscreen is crucial to seeing successful results with a retinoid,” says Rouleau.
At what age should you start using retinol?
Nazarian recommends, “There are no true guidelines on how early you can start a retinoid, but if you’re old enough to be thinking about wrinkles, you should be doing something to prevent them! I find that most women benefit from starting a retinoid treatment in their late teens or early 20s.”
Similarly, Rouleau recommends retinol for those in their late 20s who have minimal to no breakout activity—as this is when cellular turnover starts to slow down. She continues, “Simply put, the best candidate is for those whose breakout years are behind them. If someone has sensitive, easily irritated skin, retinol is a good ingredient to prevent the look of aging whereas a prescription retinoid could be too irritating. With continued use, retinol works to fade hyper-pigmentation (brown spots and patches) and give the look of smoother skin in a gentler, non-drying way than a prescription form.”
What time of day should you apply?
“Most retinoids are not photo stable or sunlight stable, meaning they should be kept in an opaque well-sealed container and used only at night. Generally speaking, I suggest all of my patients begin using a pea-size amount once weekly over their moisturizer. They would gradually increase how often, but not how much, they are using based on how their skin response. If any redness or irritation is noted the next day, you should skip that night’s application.”
Rouleau adds, “Apply your retinol serum to the entire face and neck. Wait three minutes and apply a small amount of moisturizer, if needed. Use the retinol serum for two nights on, one night off, alternating with an exfoliating acid serum and a nourishing treatment serum.”
Are there any all-natural ingredients that mimic the effects of retinol?
“There are many other topical antioxidants, peptides, and extracts that can have similar anti-aging benefits to retinoids. The benefit of retinoids are that they can be found over the counter and can be very affordable. Remember you’re going to be using this for many, many years! It has a well-established research record and is undoubtedly one of the best tools we have in our anti-aging battle.”
What about Wellaholic’s Retinol Range?
W+ Flawless Face Serum -- A skin rejuvenating serum with Retinyl Palmitate that helps to increase collagen production and hydration to gently reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, excess sebum and enlarged pores and signs of sun damage. Made in Singapore and registered with HSA. $79
W+ Rejuvenating Night Cream -- skin rejuvenating cream that assists in cellular regeneration and the prevention of collagen loss from UV photo-damage and ageing. With the goodness of Retinyl Palmitate, Hyaluronic Acid and Allantoin. $79
Here’s wishing you good skin!
When I was approached by Sudio to test their top-of-the-range Vasa Bla wireless earphones, I said, "why not?". Ever since I subscribed to Spotify Premium, I have been listening to music while doing my work in the office, working out at the gym, and also while driving. Hence a good pair of earphones always helps, especially if I am able to switch between them - I could charge one while using the other, hence use them alternately.
Over the last year I have also acquired several earphones, namely:
I decided to give myself a week or so to test the Vasa Bla, and here are my findings.
My first impressions of Sudio Vasa Bla was a very good one. The package arrived in a nice gift box, which made it ideal as a lovely birthday present. I chose the rose gold black version, and I was delighted to find that the rose gold trim on the earphones was actually metal (and not plastic that was made to look like metal, i.e. faux metal). Nice touch!
Also included was a leather case which was pretty useful to keeping the earphones, as well as a clip which is again godsend which means I can use this at the gym. I like the battery power of B&O's H5, but it kept dropping from my ears when I workout so that was a big problem for me.
The sound range for Vasa Bla was generally decent, and was ideal for casual listening. I did a comparison test with my other earphones, and while it did not offer any sound isolation or noise cancelling, it provided good mid-range. I would have hoped for more bass. Of course, it was not able to compete with Shure's SE215 which really blew the competition away by how well it could define the music/sound, but unless you want to select a wired option, then perhaps Vasa Bla could be more portable. I certainly couldn't use SE215 for my gym workouts since I move around at the gym a lot and prefer not to have my phone on my body.
Comfort and Convenience
I found the Vasa Bla earphones very comfortable. Perhaps it's my personal experience with it, but I like the cool touch/feel of the metal around the earphone which gives it a very premium feel. At no time did the earphone drop off my ear during my workouts (fortunately!) and this gives the Vasa Bla an edge over the H5, which over time got too tiresome to use... imagine doing bench presses halfway only to realise one side of your earphones has dropped out of the ear... it can be rather irritating!
I had some issues with pairing the Vasa Bla as well..... make sure you read the instructions (provided in the booklet) on how to pair it via Bluetooth! The battery life for these earphones is about 8 hours of playback, but for me it lasted around 4 hours to 5 hours, which was more than good enough for my usual daily usage.
In short, if you are looking for a premium wireless earphones with a really premium feel, or if you are looking to buy a nice gift for a friend who enjoys good music on the go, Vasa Bla could be a really good option.
If you are keen to find out more, please visit Sudio Sweden via this link: http://www.sudiosweden.com/sg/earphones-collection
Lastly, I will be doing a Vasa Bla giveaway on my Instagram, so if you keen to get a free one, please check it out!
Most startup disasters are caused by a failure to connect with the customer. The commonly acknowledged startup killers -- premature scaling, running out of capital and a lack of market interest -- all have a root in broken sales strategy.
Here are four secrets entrepreneurs can use to nail their messaging, map their sales process and scale into sustainable sales revenue.
1. Embrace salesmanship.
Many of the brightest innovators have a toxic reaction to selling and immediately look to delegate anything that has to do with the sales process. What they fail to embrace is that selling is a reality that everyone, regardless of role, engages in every day.
Selling is merely an exchange. It may be a product or service, but it can also be an interview, an action or a presence. Every interaction you have is exchanging something with someone.
“Even if your role has nothing to do with selling in a tangible way, a broader perspective of the sales process will reveal the innumerable exchanges you have engaged in throughout your life. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to change anything. The best sales technique is being genuine and authentic,” says Brad Harker author of The Laws of Influence: Mastering the Art of Sales, Leadership, and Change. Harker is also a consultant that helps entrepreneurs build sales strategies that catapult their startup’s sales revenue.
2. Focus on value.
Once you embrace the reality that you are always selling, it becomes imperative to understand what you are selling. The product or service you offer, or money you receive in return, isn’t as significant as the perceived value of what you are exchanging. Consider for a minute that your customer is not buying the widget that you sell. Rather, the customer is buying the value that widget creates for them. Customers don’t care who you are or what you offer until they can see that it can create value for them. Does it solve a problem they have? Does it save them money? These are the kinds of questions the customer will be asking themselves.
“Furthermore, the value you create must be greater than the perceived cost of what you are asking them to give in exchange. If you can build a product or service that profitablycreates value greater than the required cost/status quo/alternative solution, your startup will inevitably succeed,” stated Harker. “The question you should constantly be asking yourself is, ‘What value does my product or service create?’
If you want more success, create more value.”
3. Innovate empathetically.
The entrepreneurial process is predicated upon the creation and exchange of value. Whether you are solving a problem or improving an existing solution, most entrepreneurial epiphanies are value driven. Yet, as concepts evolve into startups, entrepreneurs without a sales perspective may turn their focus to appealing to investors, or become obsessed with perfecting their solution in hopes that it will sell itself.
Whatever the reason, entrepreneurs begin to lose touch with the value they offer their customers and find themselves burning through cash and lacking sales.
“The challenge to entrepreneurs is to innovate empathetically; in other words, innovate with the needs of the customer in mind. If you engage first in the value you create for
your customer, then the development of your solution will become far more organic and efficient,” said Harker. “There is much to learn by listening to your customer and getting that feedback loop started as early as possible.”
4. Build to sell.
It is never too early to start thinking about selling. Start with a simple process map to help organize and define how this looks for your business.
Most early-stage startups have a difficult time explaining their sales, which translates to messaging that doesn’t resonate with the audience. Once you embrace the reality that your success is tied to your sales performance, you will be compelled to design your solution in the context of a sales strategy.
Take a minute and think about your sales process today. What are the steps of your sales process? Who is your customer? Where are you sourcing your leads? What is your messaging strategy?
How long is your sales cycle? What are your conversion rates from lead to close? What is your customer acquisition cost?
If these questions are difficult to answer, there are a number of resources to help you begin mapping a sales strategy and crafting a message to reach your audience. To get you started, take a few minutes and answer these six questions:
• What product or service do you provide, and how would you describe it to a five-year-old?
• Who is your ideal customer (get specific -- who would you prefer to sell to)?
• Where can you find your customer (social media, publications, events, etc.)
• What are 5 of your customer’s key pain points?
• What are 5 solutions your product/service offers?
• Who are your competitors, and what strategies seem to be working well that you can you model to reach your target audience?
By answering these questions and following these four tips, you'll already be ahead of most innovators who have a great idea and no plan on how to actually sell it.
BRIAN AINSLEY HORN
Brian Horn is a best selling author and co-founder of branding firm, Authority Alchemy. He transforms business owners into celebrity entrepreneurs using the process of “authority marketing”.
(Original Article at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/284057)
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.