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Bar Soap vs. Body Wash – Which One Should You Choose for Your Skin?

Showering is a daily essential in terms of keeping good hygiene, but the body cleansers that you put on your body every day may need a little more scrutiny if you’re planning on getting only the best products available for your everyday needs.

When it comes to choosing between bar soap or body wash, there are a few differences and advantages that each one has over the other.

What is Bar Soap?
Soap is essentially the resulting alkaline salts of fatty acids that have a pH balance between 9 and 10, which is necessary for getting rid of the sebum, dead cells, and dirt that has accumulated over the skin throughout the day.
However, this can also strip away much of the necessary oils and moisture that keep the skin healthy.

Not all bar soaps are the same – there are actually different types of bar soaps that are suited for different skin types based on the oils, fats, and alkaline chemicals used to make them. Most translucent soaps manufactured today, for instance, are made with glycerin to even out the drying effects and help lock in moisture.

What is Body Wash?
While bar soap is made of fatty acids, body wash is essentially a liquid cleaner that has a thick consistency and texture, especially when compared to things like shower gel. They are designed to be a more moisturizing and hydrating alternative to bar soaps, and are often marketed to children and people who have sensitive skin.

This is because body wash contains certain skin-softening compounds called emollients, and many newer body wash formulas produced today can even incorporate certain skin ointments that can be absorbed by the skin to lock in moisture.

Most people who have sensitive skin or whose skin dries out quickly and easily can avoid over-drying by using body wash, as they tend to not have the pH levels that draw out the natural oils that your skin naturally secretes.

Which One Is Best For My Skin?
Mild body cleansers are the safest bet if you’re looking for a quick, easy, and cheap alternative to cleaning your skin. The good news that you can get from this is that most of the soaps you see in the grocery aisle are often formulated for normal skin types and are meant to be as general-purpose as possible.

However, you should be particularly picky when you have sensitive skin or are suffering from any skin maladies that may need medical attention. If you’re not sure which one to choose, consider contacting your dermatologist to know what cleaning product should best go with the skin type that you have.

How to Make Your Own Soap At Home from Scratch

Making soap is not just a way to make your own cleaning products to suit your needs or fancy, but can also be a source of endless fun, and can even be a way for you to start your own business in Singapore.

The beauty of soap-making is that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like. While making adjustments to soap-making aren’t hard, it does take practice, and accurately weighing and measuring the amount of ingredients you have can make or break your batch.

While there are several different processes and styles when it comes to soap-making, one of the best ways to make soap is by starting from your scratch. Start by gathering the following ingredients:

• Water – Ideally, you want distilled water when making soap to get the best results.

• Oils/Fats – Use both solid (i.e. coconut, cocoa butter, and palm) and liquid (i.e. sunflower, canola, and castor) oils when cooking soap. Be sure to weigh them separately in different containers.

• Lye flakes – Be careful when using lye, as it can eat holes through fabric and even burn your skin if you’re not careful. Always wear proper safety equipment when handling it.

1. Make the lye-water solution by slowly adding the exact measurements of lye to the water in a pitcher and not vice versa. Stir the mixture gently until the lye is completely dissolved, and cover the mixture with a tight lid and put it in a safe place. Handle the pitcher carefully as the mixture can be quite hot.

2. Once you’ve weighed your soap-making oils separately, melt the solid oils in a large, stainless steel pot over medium-low heat and stir gently. Once the molten solid oils reach 43 degrees Celsius, turn off the heat and add the liquid oils to lower the temperature.

3. Once the liquid oils have been added, allow the mixture to drop to 37 degrees Celsius before adding the lye-water mixture. Use a stick blender to mix them but do not switch it on just yet. Set aside the rest of the mixture.

4. Turn on the stick blender to mix the lye water and oil mixture in short bursts of three or five seconds. Continue to stir and blend until mixed evenly.

Check if the mixture has emulsified by dipping a spoon into the mix and allowing it to dribble back into the pot. If it leaves a trace, the mixture is ready.

5. Add any additives (fragrances or moisturizers) or coloring that you fancy into the mix and give the mixture a brief blend with the stick blender.

6. Once the soap mixture has thickened, pour it into a mold and spread it evenly until the mixture fills the mold. Set the soap aside in a warm, secure area for 24 hours. Wrap the fully-cured soap in wax paper and seal in an airtight container.

5 Ways to Fix Burn Out at Work

Anyone who has been in a job for a few years may have experienced burnout, which can either be mental or physical exhaustion—or both. When burned out, problems seem insoluble, everything looks and feels dull and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to keep going.

Fortunately, you can do something to help alleviate the feeling of detachment and unhappiness, which can threaten your job, relationships and health. Here’s how you can overcome burnout and feel positive again at work.

1. Be Sociable at Work
Talking to a good listener is one of the best ways to calm down and relieve stress. The person you’re talking to does not have to be able to find solution to your problem; they just have to be able to listen to you attentively without judging you. Do not worry about being a burden to anyone. Your friends will be flattered to know that you trust them enough to share your feelings with them.

2. Find Value in What You Do
This one can be difficult during these times. But try your best to focus on how you make others feel by doing even the most mundane jobs. Focus on the aspects of the tasks that you enjoy doing. Changing your perception and attitude towards work can help regain your sense of purpose.

3. Set Boundaries
As much as possible, learn to decline requests. Do not overextend yourself and learn the art of saying “no.” If you think the job tasked on you is beyond your role, say no to it. Declining doesn’t mean you’re being a brat at work; it allows you to say “yes” to things that you really want to do.

4. Prioritize Exercise
This may be the last thing you want to do when you feel burned out, but exercise does a lot in kicking away mental stress. It also helps boost your mood. Other than regular exercise, try to eat more healthily. Minimize sugar and carbs and more on omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Take Some Time Off
If feeling burned out seems intolerable, take a break from work. Call in sick, go on vacation, ask your boss for a leave-of-absence—anything to keep you away from work for at least a day. Use this time to recharge and pursue something that will help you recover.

Above all, take care of yourself. Do what makes you happy. Because when you’re happy, it is easier to deal with life’s everyday stressors.

5 Common Lies Parents Unconsciously Say to Their Kids

Parents also lie to their kids, it just not as obvious or they don’t even realize it at all. You may have thought your children not to lie, but continually saying these lies as your kids grow older, teaches them to lie as well. Here are some of the lies parents tell their children unconsciously every day.

1. “It won’t hurt, promise.”
They need to get vaccinated but are screaming, and you need to stop the tantrums so the shot can be done. However, the screaming happens because your child knows you’re not telling the truth. You also said it won’t hurt the first time they had a shot, so they know better by now. Rather than giving false hopes, let them know that it’s going to be really quick and then it’s over. Explain why they need the shot.

2. “You are the best singer!”
…or artist, or dancer, or anything your child might be doing awfully. Don’t bother praising if you’re not sincere. Because believe it or not, children aren’t as gullible as you think they are. They can read your body language and tone of voice—they know when you’re not completely truthful to your words. Instead of praising an end product, praise the abilities they have shown while doing the activity.

3. “Be there in a minute.”
Yes, you want to be the one to tuck your child to bed or help them do their homework, but you’re also cooking dinner and want to finish up some chore. Then, just be honest to them. Tell them you need to finish something and then you can help them. Do not say you’ll be there in a minute when you know it’s going to take longer.

4. “We don’t have the money to buy that.”
Rather than telling your child this, explain it in a way that they will understand. Tell them you are all planning to go on vacation that’s why you’re saving up and can’t buy more toys. Help your child understand that sometimes greater things involve sacrifices. Not only you’re teaching your child a valuable lesson, but you’re also saving yourself from telling a lie.

5. “Santa Claus is watching you.”
If your children are fighting and you want them to stop, give them an acceptable punishment instead of threatening them that Santa is watching and won’t give them gifts for being naughty. Punish them by taking away their electronics or banning them from the cookie jar. These punishments work just as effectively since your children know that their bad behaviour has immediate consequences.

Any lies made to anyone, no matter how big or small, can be damaging. It can damage your credibility in the eyes of your child and can damage your child’s trust in you. As a parent, you want to have an open relationship with your child, but this can greatly diminish because of trust issues due to the small lies told during the formative years.

Splashes of Colors on a Plain Background: 5 Examples of Singaporean Street Art

Not everyone likes street art; however, everyone can agree that street art livens up crisp and clean Singapore with splashes of color in the most unexpected of places. While street art is considered illegal here in Singapore, street artists can still make their art through commissions from patrons, giving us brilliant works of art.

Here are some of the street art you can find here in Singapore.

1. Satay Club and Kampong Gelam by Yip Yew Chong
These two murals are located on the sides of the doorway of Hotel NuVe, to its right and left. Satay Club depicts people eating satay, and was created in July of 2016. Kampong Gelam was created a month after, depicting a family with many baskets, perhaps for sale.

YC’s murals can be found all over Singapore. His artwork often features the everyday life of Singapore, such as getting a haircut (depicted in Barber in 39 Everton Road), or reading the newspaper in the living room (depicted in Home in Eu Chin Street Block 74).

2. Girl Caressing a Lion Cub by Ernest Zacharevic
Girl Caressing a Lion Cub is a gigantic mural that you cannot miss. It can be found along Victoria Street; more murals by the same artist can be found on the same street. Other murals include Child Peeping out of Window, a small easily missed mural wherein a small girl peeps out of a white square; in an exercise in multimedia (here, a shopping cart sawed in half is stuck to a wall) is a mural called Children Freewheeling in Supermarket Carts.

3. Peacock by Mike Makatron
If Girl Caressing a Lion Cub is too large to be missed, then Peacock by Mike Makatron is even more so. This mural encompasses the three stories of Tiong Bahru Market and Food Center and depicts a blue peacock on a bright orange background.

This mural can be found in and was commissioned by the Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre.

4. Harmony by ANTZ and Tiffany Yeo
This colorful mural was commissioned by *SCAPE and depicts rabbits wearing traditional outfits of different cultures. Behind them are different items used in their respective traditions. You can also find more murals nearby, most of which change frequently.

5. Light in Little India by El Mac and Tyke Witnes
Starkly different from Harmony’s bright colors, this monochromatic mural by two American street artists depicts a man staring downwards onto the street. This mural can be found on the Broadcast HQ Building found on 107 and 109 Rowell Road, and was created for the Singapore Night Festival on 2010.

Singapore Destination Highlights According to Google Streetview

Google Streetview is a great tool for those who are eager to find new places to visit in Singapore. Google Street view has curated several locations everyone should check out here in SG. Here are some of those locations.

1. Mount Faber Park
Mount Faber Park is one of the oldest parks in Singapore. It is located atop Mount Faber, a hill about 105 meters in height. For those who like to be surrounded by nature, Mount Faber is covered by a secondary rainforest so that you can surround yourself with nature.

There is a lot to do in Mount Faber. There is bird watching, guided tours, and exercising along its trails. Its location also allows its patrons to see the sights of Sentosa and other Southern Islands.

It is open 24 hours and is located on Mount Faber Road.

2. Punggol Promenade Point Walk
Overlooking the Straits of Johor, the Punggol Promenade is ideal for a romantic walk by the seaside, or a meditative stroll while enjoying the greenery.

The nearby Punggol Point Park is also an ideal place where you can simply lounge and take in the view. If the snacking mood ever strikes, there are various outlets available that serve food and beverages near the park. There is also a nearby playground where children can play. While waiting for the perfect shot of the sunset, you can do many other activities available to do in the park, like cycling and horseback riding.

3. St. John Island
Previously called Pulau Sakijang Bendera, St. John Island is one of the Southern Islands of Singapore. This island is 40.5 hectares of quiet beauty, a quick escape from the noise of the mainland. It is a spot perfect for rest and relaxation, with its white sand beaches and beautiful bright blue waters.

Visitors can choose to stay in one of the many chalets and bungalows available on the island or camp out on the ground. There are many locations where one could choose to spend their time on: picnic grounds, trekking routes, and soccer fields. Fishing is also available on the island, as well as monthly guided tours. As a bonus, St. John Island also houses a huge stray cat population that is friendly to humans.

St. John Island can be accessed from the Marina South Pier.

4. Singapore Botanic Gardens
Back in 2015, The Singapore Botanic Gardens was honored as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and has been the only tropical park included in the list. It has also been ranked as Asia’s biggest park attraction since 2013 by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards. The Gardens founded in 1859 and continues to contribute to the scientific community from its studies on various facets of botany.

The Singapore Botanic Garden is open from 5 am to midnight daily.

5 Science-Backed Effects of Sleep Deprivation

According to SingHealth, almost half of Singaporeans don’t get enough sleep. A whopping 44% of us are sleep deprived, a number higher than the figures in the US (where only around 35% percent are sleep deprived). Modern-day habits, like a drive for higher productivity and the use of artificial lighting, are making us sleep less and less. While we know that sleep is important, is it really that bad to be sleep deprived? Here are a few science-backed effects of the lack of sleep, and why it’s bad for your health.

1. Lowered productivity
All around the world, many accidents are caused by a lack of sleep, from car crashes to oil spills. This is due to the fact that when we sleep, our neurons are repaired, creating better connections and solidifying memories. Without sleep, your brain doesn’t perform as well as it could, making you sluggish and prone to mistakes. You are also prone to slower reaction times, making you move more slowly and making you do less work than usual.

2. Lowered levels of cognition
When you’re sleep deprived, your brain finds it harder to process and store information. In other words, it’s harder to learn when your brain lacks sleep. And since your brain cannot solidify previously acquired memories, you would have trouble applying the things you have learned in the past, hampering your progress in learning a new skill or information.

3. Lowered immunity
For those of you who are prone to pulling all-nighters, chances are you have noticed that you get sick more often. This is because sleep deprivation impairs the immune system, the system that helps fight off bacteria that leads to colds and the flu. Sleep deprivation also affects the reaction of the body to harmful bacteria; simply put, the less sleep you have, the less effective your body is in fending coughs and colds.

4. Increased risk of diabetes
Diabetes is an illness that affects the production of insulin, which leads to high levels of glucose in the body. When sleep deprived, insulin production is also altered in the body, leading to a higher risk of diabetes, along with other diseases like heart disease and high blood pressure.

5. Lowered mental health and wellbeing
Most of us are cranky and irritable if we had a bad night’s rest. Tossing and turning during the night can turn to arguments and moodiness during the day, which can distance us from colleagues and loved ones. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation leads to mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. This isn’t surprising, considering that sleep deprivation also leads to a brain that has a harder time on concentrating, which can lead to frustration and irritability.

5 Money-Saving Tips and Tricks

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore continues to top the charts as the most expensive city to live in. Learning how to save money is an important skill, but even more so if you live in the most expensive city in the world. It’s not too hard to get into the habit of saving; sometimes, the hardest part is just to start. To help you keep the habit, however, here are a few tips to help you keep the money-saving habit.

1. Remember the goal of budgeting.
One of the things that can hinder your budgeting is forgetting the big picture. There are many people who think that they should record every cent they spend. However, if you’re still spending your money on things that aren’t important, tracking your expenses don’t really help. So, always keep in mind that the goal of budgeting isn’t to track every single cent, but to spend money on the things that really matter to us.

2. Track your expenses—but only for a limited time.
Tracking your expenses, at least for a limited time, can help you understand your spending habits. Once you have that information in hand, you could figure out which habits you should change and which ones you should keep. A good timeframe for tracking your expenses is the time between one salary and the next to get the full picture of what happens to the money that you earn.

3. Put your savings first.
Most people put their savings last, putting away the money left over after spending their money on essentials. However, chances are not everything they spend are not essentials, and that most of the things they bought are unnecessary. Putting your savings first can help you budget your money properly, making sure that you treat your savings like any other important expense, instead of just an after-thought.

4. Have a goal to save for.
Having a goal has been proven to help you stick to your habits. Think about the things that you would like to save for, like a vacation or a new piece of electronics. Then, figure out how long you would need to save for it, and how much you would need to save. If you’re having trouble with the math, there are resources available online that can calculate your goals and help you keep track, like apps and spreadsheets.

5. Use apps and resources to help you.
There are many budgeting applications online or as an app, ranging from free apps to subscriptions. There are those that simply track your expenses, while there are those that go into more detail, with charts and graphs that can calculate your budget for the future. There are even apps that connect to your bank accounts and credit cards to automatically record your expenses so that you won’t have a hard time keeping track of your budget.

What You Need to Know About Zika Virus

Although zika virus has been documented for some time, it has caught the attention of the media recently because of a rise of cases in several countries. Most people now associate the then-harmless disease with congenital defects on newborn babies whose mothers are infected by the virus.

Here are some of the things we know about zika so far.

Zika Outbreaks in Previous Years
Zika was first described in 1947 among monkeys and in 1952 among humans. There were also recorded outbreaks in subtropical and tropical countries from the 1960s to the 1980s, although the symptoms were, and still are, often considered milder than other mosquito-borne diseases. It was only in 2015 that the virus was associated with the Guillain-Barre syndrome and microcephaly among infants that it has taken the spotlight.

How Zika is Transmitted
Studies are still ongoing about the virus to find a treatment, but its known primary mode of transmission is through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, the same genus that is responsible for deadly diseases such as dengue. Researchers are still studying the possibility of virus transmission through blood and other bodily fluids, because there are studies that show the virus can also be found in other body fluids such as the urine, eye fluids, saliva, and semen.

Diagnosis of Zika Virus Infection
People who suspect that they are infected with the virus will need to have their travel history checked before tests on blood and body fluid samples can be done. The incubation period of the virus is still unknown, and the symptoms are milder than those shown among individuals infected with dengue, for example. The symptoms go away after a few days and sometimes do not even need any treatment. What makes zika infection dangerous, however, is if the infected individual is pregnant. Studies in recent years show that the virus causes brain abnormalities in the baby. It is still unclear if it also causes other neurological disorders in newborns.

Zika Virus and Sexual Transmission
Although studies are still scarce about the connection of zika infection to sexual transmission, some researchers suspect that it might be linked to pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that couples should use contraceptives for a six-month period in areas where zika outbreaks have occurred to prevent adverse pregnancies. Expectant mothers are also advised not to travel to countries affected by the virus to prevent such complications.

What is Typhoid Fever?

Although typhoid is no longer common nowadays because of the vaccines and better overall sanitation, families still need to take steps to prevent infection, especially when preparing their food.

Typhoid Fever
Simply put, typhoid fever is a type of infection caused by the Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi found in food and water. Doctors consider it a serious illness that sometimes show similar symptoms to other diseases. The danger of ignoring these seemingly harmless symptoms is the possibility of them developing into life-threatening complications. There is also a similar disease caused by the Salmonella Paratyphi A, B, and C called paratyphoid fever, which might be confused with typhoid.

Typhoid Symptoms
Symptoms vary among affected individuals, although they will exhibit these common signs of typhoid fever, such as; fever, headache and nausea, constipation or diarrhea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Typhoid fever may be mistaken for another illness, especially if the symptoms are mild, but ignoring these can place the person’s life in danger. A persistent of high-lasting fever should be a red flag that the person needs medical attention. The severity and the type of complication from typhoid fever also vary, that is why the number of fatalities are still high.

Typhoid Vaccine
Travelers are often advised to get one of the two vaccines available before traveling to countries that are at high risk. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends two vaccines; such as the live attenuated oral Ty21a vaccine and the injectable polysaccharide vaccine. The former is recommended for individuals older than five years, while the latter is recommended for individuals two years and older.

Typhoid Prevention
Besides getting any of the two vaccines, you still need to observe sanitary practices when preparing your food. The vaccines after all are only 50% to 80% effective. The doctor will advise you to be careful when buying or preparing your food and drinks, especially if you travel to areas where the disease is common. As a precaution, make sure that your food is always served cooked and hot, dairy products are pasteurized, and the vegetables and fruits are washed in clean water. Avoid raw or undercooked or soft-cooked food, food made with fresh ingredients, and food served at room temperature.

Typhoid Treatment
Once the presence of the bacteria is detected in the blood, urine or stool, treatment begins with the prescription of antibiotics to fight off the Salmonella bacteria. However, doctors are careful when identifying the type of antibiotic that should be used, because it has to be based on the geographic region and the individual’s resistance. Usually, improvements can be seen within a period of ten days with proper care and medication. In some cases, the individual’s gallbladder is removed if the symptoms are severe. If left untreated, typhoid fever can lead to pneumonia or intestinal perforation.