5 Ways to Use Castile Soap in Your Beauty Routine

Castile soap has become a staple ingredient for homemade household cleaning products—all for good reasons! It’s eco-friendly, vegan and chemical-free. And because of it’s environmentally safe and organic nature, it has also made its way to our beauty routine.

So, if you have liquid castile soap seating in the kitchen, here are five more ways you can use it for your skin, hair and nails.

1. Facial Cleanser
Keeping a sensitive skin clean can be challenging with traditional drugstore face wash products. Thankfully, you can make your own gentle facial cleanser at home with liquid castile soap. Get a foaming soap dispenser and fill it up with a quarter cup of castile, half a cup of distilled water and a teaspoon each of vegetable glycerine and jojoba oil. Secure the dispenser with its lid, shake gently to mix and use it in the morning and at night.

2. Body Wash
A thorough facial cleanser, castile soap can also be used as a body wash. Create your own peppermint liquid soap with three-fourths cup of castile soap, a quarter cup of vegetable glycerine, a teaspoon of coconut oil and about 10 drops of peppermint oil. With its gentle ingredients, you can use this every day in the shower. Use it with bath sponge for easy lathering.

3. Shaving Aid
In a blender, blend a quarter cup each of castile soap and rose water and two tablespoons of liquified coconut oil. You can also add about five drops of tea tree oil if you like. Store in a pump bottle in the shower. To use as shaving aid, get a pump of the product in your palm, and apply it on the area you want to shave. Then, shave your way to a smooth, soft and well-moisturized skin.

4. Make-Up Brush Cleaner
Remove germs, dead skin cells and build up of products from your make-up brushes. In a regular size mason jar, mix a solution of one tablespoon of castile soap, half a cup of water and 10 drops of tea tree oil. Soak your brushes into the jar and leave them there for 15 minutes. After which, rinse them in cold water and let them dry.

5. Cuticle Softener
Create a homemade solution for your discolored and brittle nails and peeling cuticles with castile soap. All you need is a medium-sized bowl where you can mix half a cup of water, two tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of castile soap and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir the mixture until frothy, and then soak your nails for 10 minutes. Discard the solution afterwards, and moisturize your nails and cuticles with jojoba oil.

These are just a few of the many ways you can use liquid castile soap. You can explore and try your own unique combinations, too. Another great thing about castile soap is it blends well with almost any ingredient you’d commonly find in your kitchen.

Here’s What You Need to Know Before Exfoliating Your Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you probably never get attracted to facial scrubs as you might think it can only exacerbate redness. If you’re acne-prone, the more you don’t want to disturb those breakouts, right? Wrong. It turns out that exfoliating can be beneficial to all skin types.

Here, we will tackle the most common questions about exfoliating, so you can find the best routine that will give you youthful and glowing skin.

1. “I have dry skin. Should I exfoliate?”
Yes, you should! In fact, flaky skin inhibits full penetration of your skin care products. Additionally, build up of oil and dirt can clog the pores and cause pimple-like bumps. The ideal way to exfoliate, though, is to use gentle chemical exfoliators or a light face scrub that has super-fine granules. After exfoliating, follow up with hydrating lotion or a thick moisturizer to restore your face’s moisture.

2. “My skin is too sensitive. Will exfoliating exacerbate it?”
Gritty particles are definitely a no-no, but most skin types can benefit from mild facial scrubs with fine exfoliators. Consider products rich in plant or fruit enzymes to gently deep clean the skin. These products offer gentle enzymatic peel with its grained powder that you mix with water. Just make sure not to over exfoliate, or you’ll strip off too much natural oil from your skin.

3. “When should I exfoliate?”
You can exfoliate either in the morning or at night. But if you’re using a scrub with retinol in it, it’s ideal to exfoliate before bed, since your skin is more vulnerable to bacteria as it has shed off a layer. After exfoliating, always remember to apply liberal amount of moisturizer to restore your skin’s moisture.

4. “Can I use my body scrub?”
No. Never use body scrubs on your face as they contain harsher and larger granules, which is specifically designed to exfoliate thicker and tougher skin in the body.

5. “Should I avoid the eye area?”
Some facial scrub, which contain retinol, are specifically formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes. Always read the label to ensure it is safe around your eyes and never use one with coarser granules.

6. “Are all exfoliators the same?”
Exfoliants come in different types. But even so, all helps unveil youthful and more radiant skin. The difference, though, is that manual and chemical exfoliants should be used only once to twice a week, while electronic exfoliants, like Clarisonic, is gentle enough to be used daily.

Regularly exfoliation is good for all skin types—oily, dry, combination or sensitive skin type. The key is to know which kind of exfoliator to use to guarantee best results every time.

Get to Know the Best Things You Can Do for Your Home This Year

The first step to living and relaxing better is making improvements to your home in order to make it a much more suitable place to live both for your practicality and for your tastes, and because nothing you do for your home is a wasted effort, it’s time to go all-out to give your home the sprucing up that it desperately needs.

To start, here are the best things you can do for your home this year:

1. Get that piece of furniture you always wanted
It might be hard to get rid of something that has sentimental value, but if you’re only keeping something because you can’t replace it, then you have every reason to splurge on something that will last you longer.

The same can be said about furniture. If you’re holding onto pieces of furniture at home just because you can’t afford to replace them, now is the time to splurge and finally switch it out for the one piece that you’ve always wanted.

You also don’t need to ditch everything in your living room, either. Even having a single high-quality piece at home, like a sofa or a shelf, everything else will simply fall into place around it.

2. Add more art
People hang things on the wall not just as a sign that they have really moved into a space, but because it makes them happy whenever they look at it – it gives their home a soul and sets it apart from other places, especially their work office.

The way you can make your own home distinct is by adding not just any painting, but a particular painting that speaks to you and moves you every time you look at it.

There’s also no need to go out and buy the expensive stuff from famous artists. Even vintage wall paintings from thrift stores or your photos from your last holiday or vacation can work well for this effect.

3. Share your space with a furry friend
If you’re living alone, one of the things you will miss is sharing the space with your loved ones, and this means that it might get lonely at times.

One remedy for this is that you have the option of having people stay over, or avoid being alone most of the time by moving in with roommates that you know well. Another option is adopting a furry friend.

So while pets aren’t for everyone, you should definitely get one if you are really inclined to love them. However, keep in mind that having pets can be a bit more work, which can take more energy from you especially when you already work full-time.

Home Cleaning Tool Essentials

Whether you’re adjusting to your life on your own for the first time or simply upgrading your housekeeping kit at home, it’s great to have tools and supplies you can use to make your living space as clean and dirt-free as possible.

And the good news is that you don’t need the fancy labels when it comes to getting stuff done – in fact, these are the only cleaning tools and supplies you will ever need to clean your home:

Toothbrush
Don’t throw away your old toothbrushes! When you need something a little more detailed than a scrub brush, you can still use them to clean all kinds of surfaces at home, and you can even use them to apply polish for your leather shoes.

Broom, dustpan, mop
No Asian household is complete without them. Whether you live in a tiled HDB flat or an expensive condo unit in Singapore, you need to have these three most important household cleaning items for clearing any room or dust, dirt, and debris, as well as getting rid of wet stains on hard surfaces.

Vacuum
Whether it’s a sturdy workhorse or a smaller, handheld unit with a rather short extension cord, you need to have at least one working for you at home to keep the dust bunnies and the allergies at bay.

A vacuum cleaner also makes for a deeper and more thorough cleaning than simply using a broom, and when you use both, keeping your home dust-free will be so much easier.

Spray bottle
Need a quick mix of water and soap (or laundry detergent, etc.) to clean surfaces? If so, then having a spray bottle not only makes the work more convenient, but you can also give your home cleaning products a good shake to mix more evenly.

Towels
Microfiber cloths may be the go-to for a thorough cleaning that doesn’t leave any fibers on the surface, but you need something else when you want to get rid of carpet and clothing stains.

Having a stack of cheap white towels not only helps in absorbing stains, but they’re also easy to clean and can take a cleaning with bleach just fine.

Scrub brush
No need for special tire cleaners – a scrub brush is your best friend when it comes to removing mold and mildew off of hard surfaces, as well as removing any accumulated dirt, dust, and grime off of tire grout when paired with a bucket of soap and water.

You can also use a scrub brush for almost anything, even soot and dried mud at the bottom of your shoes, and dirt from your garbage cans.

How to Improve Your Charisma

Charisma is a person’s ability to draw and influence others around him/her. A charismatic person appears confident in communication while keeping humble and selfless. Here, then, are some ways for you to develop your charisma. Who knows, you might be the next prime minister of Singapore.

Pay full attention
Having incredible charisma doesn’t always mean you always have to do the talking. It all starts when you listen attentively and pay full attention to others who are speaking to you. This is a good start because paying attention to what others are saying sends a message that you are present in that conversation and not just showing off.

Practice eye contact
Constantly shifting your gaze and not looking others in the eye simply shows that you’re nervous or uninterested. Maintaining eye contact is crucial in communicating your confidence and charisma. One way to practice holding eye contact is to simply talk and look at yourself in the mirror. This may seem awkward but it serves as good practice. When your speaking to someone, you can also try to focus on the color of their eyes as practice.

Use body language
Body language can help a good speaker but also betray a bad one. If you have a voice that’s loud and clear but your stiff and move your body in a reserved way, you might confuse others and end up becoming boring. A charismatic person will use body language to effectively emphasize the message and influence how the listeners feel.

Tell stories
Stories, if timed right and used effectively, can be utilized to attract attention and stir emotion. When you tell a story, you’re giving the people something that they will typically be able to relate to. If you have a story that fits the occasion perfectly, go ahead and share it. Just remember to not go overboard and hog all the attention. Also, make sure it’s not a made-up story, this will do you more harm than good.

Stay positive
Obviously, other people want to stay around those who are entertaining and easy to be around. Additionally, staying positive keeps you in a good mood even at trying times. Others will notice this easily and will turn to you for positivity. Simply remembering to smile is a great way to start. Smiling makes you look kind and more approachable.

Learn from others
You already have your own opinions, perspectives, your own knowledge. And those will not teach you much anymore because you already know them. But there will always be people who know something that you don’t. Accordingly, be open to others’ opinions and perspectives. You’ll be able to learn a lot by simply being open-minded and not staying on a pedestal above everybody else.

How to Cope with Burnout

Burnout is a case of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion brought about by too much stress. Burnout causes you to lose motivation and interest, and also drains your energy and productivity at work. Burnout can affect your life negatively in a lot of ways, so here are some tips for you to fight burnout.

Reach out to your loved ones
One way to relieve a little bit of your pressure is to talk to those closest to you and tell them about your problems. Chances are, they will be more than willing to listen and possibly even be a shoulder to cry on. You will find that having someone to help you carry your burdens will definitely make you feel better. Also, spending time with your loved ones can help you take your mind off work and put you in a more positive mood.

Take breaks
You can take 10-minute breaks, take a short nap or a walk outside of the office for a while, maybe even take a 1-week vacation if possible. Having time to relax is very important when trying to fight burnout. Even if it’s just small breaks throughout the day, it can surely help you release some of that built-up stress. Plus, a change of scenery will refresh your mind and possibly help you strike a balance at work.

Choose your company wisely
Don’t spend your time with negative people who always complain. This will only add to your stress and drag your mood down. Try to go with people who stay optimistic and stimulate positive responses. When you enjoy your time with people, you’re more likely to feel relaxed and happy. You can also just enjoy some time on your own if you want to. This can be a valuable time for you to reflect and take your mind off the stress.

Find a way to relieve stress
Take a hike at the Southern Ridges, cycle around Singapore, have a food trip at different hawker centres, find some activities that you will enjoy. You can also play sports like boxing to get rid of the stress through the punching bag. Having hobbies and activities that you love doing can help you get around stress and easily enable you to get through burnout.

Try to get enough sleep
Many people, when they get home from work late, still reach for the TV remote, surf the internet, or scroll through their phones. Some do this because they want a little bit of time to unwind from work, but they end up losing hours of sleep. Sleeping for only a few hours is a big contributor to burnout. It can negatively affect your productivity and motivation and even increase fatigue. Getting enough sleep allows your mind and body enough time to restore energy and rest.