Category Archives: Skincare Journal

Skincare Journal: Coconut Oil Helped my teeth?

Here’s the thing, I don’t know anything about teeth. I know you should brush twice a day, floss occasionally and something about importance of remineralizing teeth and mouthwash that I don’t remember. At beginning of the month, I discovered a light brown colored hole about size of a millet grain on the surface of my teeth that feels painful/sensitive when I scratch it with my finger or brush it with toothbrush. Due to stupid reasons I can’t get health insurance until mid-April, so I browsed online for “how to cure cavity” without much expectation. Well, turns out “reversing cavity” is possible as long as the decay only affects the surface enamel, which is dead tissue and can be repaired in some cases. If the cavity/decay reaches dentine, the living tissue underneath, the decay is said to be irreparable and the only fix is to get it filled at the doctor’s office.

So what did people do to reverse cavity? There were a few scientific studies and it seems to be a combination of diet and upkeep:

  • Eat a grain-free diet of vegetable and fruit with no added sugar.
  • Eat grass-fed dairy such as cheese and butter, or unprocessed cod-liver oil.
  • Brush twice daily and floss regularly, use remineralizing toothpaste.
  • Get enough minerals (calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, zinc, iron, phosphorous, vitamin D). Especially vitamin D3, which has been shown to prevent tooth decay.
  • Oil pulling, especially with coconut oil which is anti-bacterial, helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath by pulling bacteria out of the teeth. It also helps with overall health.

I don’t want to change my diet and already brush/floss appropriately. Since I already have Here Comes The Sun from HUM Nutrition and coconut oil on hand, I decided to take vitamin D and do oil pulling everyday to see how it works.

Vitamin D – Since I had good experience previously with HUM supplements (for cleansing and hair growth), I decided to try Here Comes The Sun. It’s recommended to take vitamin D along with the biggest meal of the day. It actually gave me more energy/keeps me awake so when I took it during dinner it was more difficult for me to go to sleep. Now I take it with breakfast or lunch and it’s fine. However, it didn’t do anything for my skin. I’m sure other brands work as well, but I like HUM. You get $20 off with promo FBBFE and HUM10, and they have 25% off if you buy three.

Oil Pulling – It’s recommended to take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on empty stomach and pull for 20 minutes. The first time I tried it I gagged since the volume increases as it mix with your saliva and my jaw hurts. Now I use a little less than 1 tablespoon, chomp at it until it melts, then gently swish for 7-10 minutes before spitting it out in the trash (the solid oil will clog the sink). I then followed up with a salt water rinse and brush my teeth per usual. I haven’t seen any whitening yet, but it does make my teeth feel cleaner and I’m only pulling for half of the recommended time.

I do oil pulling the first thing in the morning for 5-6 days of the week, then take vitamin D with my breakfast. After 2 weeks, my cavity teeth feels less sensitive/painful when I’m brushing it. It is now the 4th week and there is only a very faint brown outline of where the cavity hole was! It still feel a little sensitive when I scrape the area with my finger but not when I brush my teeth. I’m not sure if my teeth being remineralized is due to the vitamin D or oil pulling or both of them together, but I will continue both until this cavity completely disappears. If you have bad oral health, is cavity-prone, or have those difficult to brush areas in the back but hate mouthwash like me, I would recommend giving oil pulling a try! Continue reading Skincare Journal: Coconut Oil Helped my teeth?

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February Skincare Journal: Aloe Vera Gel for Hair!

Pretty much every other skincare product contains aloe vera. It’s everywhere and for good reasons. It’s hydrating, smoothing and contains antioxidants. I’ve done reviews on aloe vera sheet masks before, but I was feeling fancy at Whole Foods so I picked up this 99% aloe vera gel last year. It is a jelly gel, feels watery going on the skin and a little sticky as it dries. It does moisturizes and soothes but leaves a sticky residue that flakes off when it dries. Ok, so if you are looking for aloe vera gel to moisturize the skin, look elsewhere. BUT! While I was trying to use it up, I applied it on my scalp for a pre-shampoo treatment and it was AMAZING! Basically I squeeze the gel into my hand then rubbed it onto my scalp.20160914_095123

I usually wait 5-10 minutes for it to dry before stepping into shower. It turns slippery and rinses off easily, allowing the shampoo I applied after to clean and foams much better. After my hair dries, I can feel that my scalp feels more refreshed and cleaner than before. It is great for hydrating, purifying and soothing sensitive or oily scalp. If you want soft, shiny hair and clean scalp but find creamy masks and oils make your hair greasy and heavy even after shampooing, then I recommend this. Although any pure aloe vera gel will probably work just as well. Highly recommend! Continue reading February Skincare Journal: Aloe Vera Gel for Hair!

January Skincare Journal, And Donkey Milk?

I’m kind of proud that I’ve been consistently using my samples and minis as well as exercising daily, which were my goals this year. I haven’t been eating as healthy as I should or lose weight yet, so that’s something to work on in Feburary. Spring is when all the new skincare products come out. There were some fun new releases as well as some interesting finds, such as this Soo Ae Donkey Milk Mask. Why donkey milk? Just like cow milk, it’s soothing and moisturizing so it’s great for those with sensitive skin and eczema. Moreover, it has over four times more vitamin C than cow’s milk but with less allergens. 20170105_123035

The Soo Ae Donkey Milk Healing Skin Gel Mask is a thin, textured cloth sheet soaked in a milky gel serum with a mild floral scent. The floral scent probably comes from the camellia flower water, licorice root extract, witch hazel and various plant extract in the ingredients. There’s only .5% donkey milk in it so there’s no pungent milky scent. My face feels moisturized after taking it off. The gel serum is a little sticky and takes some time to absorb but it is not stuffy or greasy. It’s got pretty good ingredients for a $3ish mask. It’s a nice moisturizing and healing mask for dry combination skin.

Aside from the various skincare I got myself, I was also sent some products from the latest brand Sephora carries, Skin Laundry, for being active on BeautyTalk. I reviewed the Sleepcycle Pillowcase, Gentle Foaming Face Wash and Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask here. If you like effective and gentle skincare with simple ingredients, it’s worth checking out.

Continue reading January Skincare Journal, And Donkey Milk?

July Skincare Journal: Healthy inside, pretty outside

Ever since I decided to lose weight, I’ve tried to be healthier as well. Unfortunately, I’m a stress eater and lives on sugar. It’s not good for my body or my skin, so I’ve been trying to figure out easy ways to eat healthy. One of the things I’ve been obsessed with this year is bento, Japanese lunch boxes. They are sooo adorable and… kind of small, so they made eating more fun and I don’t get as grumpy about the portion control. Sometimes I make fancy ones and post on Instagram, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming.13743681_1813389308888847_1053861072_nYou can have a perfectly nice bento even with minimal cooking. There are plenty of vegetables that can be eaten raw, nuts are a great source of protein when you don’t want to cook meat, and berries are a great source of antioxidants. I did a little research on what are the best/healthiest food to eat, but most of them focuses on the body instead of the effect on the skin. However, I found this little handy guide from nuts.com about what are the best food for achieving a summer glow.nuts.com_summer_glow_x2_v04Aside from matcha, which you can drink or make into dessert, everything else can be tucked into a bento or great as snack with minimal clean up required. Aside from bentos, there’s nothing much going on in the beauty department. After much hem and haw, I finally decided to start using retinol so samples with glycolic, salicylic or alcohol have been put on halt. Have you used retinol? How do you like it? Continue reading July Skincare Journal: Healthy inside, pretty outside

May Skincare Journal. Tom Ford Summer!

So I actually got these last summer, but since I like them so much and they are available again this summer, I figured I would mention them. Tom Ford summer collection! I like warm peachy colors, so my favorite of the collection are Sheer Lip Color in Sweet Spot and the Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach (this color seems to be in high demand, grab it before it’s gone!).20160417_131425

Golden Peach consists of a pinky nude cream shadow in a glass pot, and a gold champagne glitter powder on top. The eye color also have a small mirror under the lid, it’s big enough for you to see the whole eye or lip comfortably. I was afraid the cream shadow was going to look too pink since everything turns pinker on my face, but it was the perfect nude eyeshadow for my light Asian complexion with yellow undertone. The glitter particles are very small and there’s no fallouts, so it did not irritate my eyes. They provide more of a slight sparkle than color, so they are appropriate for all ages/occasions. Sweet Spot is a pinky coral moisturizing lipstick. It definitely adds color to your lips but is not opaque and allows your natural lip color to peek through a bit. Both of them also lasts the whole day no problem, unless it rains or I wipe them. Do you own any Tom Ford? Any favorites? Continue reading May Skincare Journal. Tom Ford Summer!

March Skincare Journal, and GM Diet!

Happy Easter everyone! This will be the last diet I try, partially because I’m getting tired of dieting and partially because there are actually very few (free) diet plans that focus on sustainable healthy lifestyle rather than fast weight loss. Also, the more weight I lose, the more difficult it is to keep at it. My progress has flatlined after losing 20lbs. In order to lose the remaining 20lbs, I will have to make portion control and exercise a habit instead of just temporary measures. There’s no way to get around that, no matter what anyone claims. 

Supposedly this diet plan came from GM, thus it is called the GM Diet. It is a week long diet that helps you to form healthy lifestyle habits as well as lose weight (10-17lbs is what they claim). Here’s the plan:

  • Day 1 – eat only fruit but no bananas. Melons preferred.
  • Day 2 – eat only vegetables. A potato allowed but no more starch than that. Also, no dressing or dairy on your vegetables.
  • Day 3 – eat only fruit and vegetables, but no banana or potato.
  • Day 4 – 3 glass of milk and up to 8 bananas. As much special soup as you want.
  • Day 5 – 6 tomato and <20 oz of lean meat/beef. Drink ~1 qt more water than usual.
  • Day 6 – protein and vegetables, unlimited amount.
  • Day 7 – vegetables, fruit juice and brown rice, unlimited amount.

I followed the details and recipe for special soup from here. At first I was able to follow the diet exactly, although the first day was a little too much sugar. I started losing weight on day 3 and lost 4lbs by the end of week long diet. However, I overate on day 5 and didn’t exercise at all during the week. You can definitely drop 10lbs+ if you don’t binge eat and actually exercise a bit everyday. The advantage of this diet is you don’t starve yourself, it’s healthy food and you do lose weight. The disadvantage is that it’s difficult to adjust if you need a variety of food and easy to gain the weight back. I did get something good out of the diet, since I enjoy eating vegetables a bit more now and don’t crave meat as much. So that is that, I’m now back to good old portion control and exercise. Now, onto the skincare journal…
Continue reading March Skincare Journal, and GM Diet!

Feburary Skincare Journal, and Military Diet!

BeautyTalk was my favorite place to hangout for many years, and I still like to drop by the forum occasionally to chat about skincare. I was contacted to try the new Dr. Brandt Needles No More® 3-D Filler Mask as active member of BeautyTalk. It is an interesting product, not moisturizing or drying. But if you need a little skin tightening, this might be worth a try. You can find my full review here.
On a different note, I unofficially decided I will try one diet per month. Last month was water fast, which was great to train myself mentally but isn’t actually that great for your body since you are not consuming food/nutrients. I decided to try something less severe that promise to rev up the metabolism this time—3 Day Military Diet. You are eating real food with all the nutrients you need, so you can theoretically continue it forever (week: day 1,2,3, 1,2,3,1 then repeat). I just tried it for 3 days:

  • Day 1: The food was fine and I wasn’t hungry. By the end of the day, I feel like I’m digesting slightly better.
  • Day 2: Woke up a little hungry, lost 1lb from yesterday! I like a couple tablespoon of cottage cheese but 1 cup is… not quite as enjoyable.
  • Day 3: Didn’t wake up hungry but 2lbs lighter than yesterday! Iwas a little hungry through out the day but not starving. Also, 1 cup of tuna with no vegetables or carbs to accompany it makes me a little bummed.

Overall the diet worked! It helped with digestion/metabolism and I lost 3lbs in 3 days. While supposedly you can lose up to 10lbs if you repeat it a few more days, the food listed are not ones I usually eat so I stopped… and gained back 1lb the day after even though the amount of food didn’t change much. I would recommend the diet if you need a healthy way to lose weight fast, but keeping that weight off will be difficult.

So that’s that for diet, and now for skincare… Continue reading Feburary Skincare Journal, and Military Diet!

January Skincare Journal. Fasting and Portion Controls

Some things change so gradually you don’t even realize it. By the time you do, it’s difficult to change back. For example, weight, portion control, and tastebud. For healthy weight loss, I’ve been trying to eat processed sugar and meat only once a week, and mostly vegetables/whole grains the rest of the week. The first two weeks was incredibly hard and cranky, this was pretty much how I felt:

But after a few weeks, I noticed it wasn’t as difficult to tell myself no and I am ok with eating fruits instead. However, I have no awareness of portion control and still felt like a wreck. One of my friends who is great at managing herself does one-day water fast once a year, where you basically drink only water (or tea or infused water. The point is 0 calories) for a whole day. I’ve been really dehydrated lately and healthy enough for a fast, so I used this as reference and decided to give it a try.

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I drank 2 cups of matcha, then 6 cups of lemon/mint/cucumber infused water throughout the day. I felt mild hunger and some mild headache in the afternoon, but they never lasted longer than 5-10 minutes. I told myself that I will stop the fast as soon as I felt truly hungry or truly sick, but I didn’t. The difficulty is more due to not giving in to the urge to eat and cravings. I expected to be STARVING by the end of the day, or when I wake up next morning at least, but I wasn’t. The idea of not eating for a day sounds ridiculous and is definitely something I didn’t think I’ll be able to do at all (the watermelon and rice/bean soup next day was absolutely delicious, lol). However, I was surprised that, even if I’m still mentally afraid to eat less, my body is ready for it. That I CAN accomplish what I set out to do, if I stop being afraid and persevere.

It resets my expectations of portion sizes (do you know the average size of the stomach is less than 4 cups?) as well as give me more mental strength, and I lost 6 lbs last month. To motivate myself to continue eating healthier/less, I bought a bunch of cute bento supplies (mostly from Bento & Co, and you might have seen a few sprinkles of bento pictures on my Instagram). Bentos may look tiny (the red thermal is size of a mug and square bento size of a box for a double cheeseburger) but if you are filling it with solid food (rice and cooked vegetables instead of salad or puffy bread) then it is enough for a meal.

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ps. I got a Facebook page! I kind of accidentally did it, but if you don’t like getting emails, this is another option to be updated on the blog posts. =) Continue reading January Skincare Journal. Fasting and Portion Controls

Skincare Journal, December. Happy New Year! And No More Microbeads!

It’s New Year’s Eve tomorrow, hope everyone is safe and healthy and not getting too stressed out from the holidays… like getting your face and body moisturizer mixed up. So, the thing is I have a jar of Belif Aqua Bomb and Belif Moisturizing Bomb. Both have the EXACT SAME packaging except the color of blue stripe is darker on one. I finished using Aqua Bomb and put Bliss body butter in there last month (cut the tube to get the last bits). One day in mid-December, I just washed my face and applied “Moisturizing Bomb”….. then turned around and saw another Belif jar…… then read the label and realized I just applied Bliss body butter in the Aqua Bomb jar to my face instead of Moisturizing Bomb.

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………..and actually, I don’t know how long I’ve been mistakenly used it on my face!!!!!!! So, erm, if anyone is wondering about using body cream on the face, Bliss didn’t gave me any breakouts, hahaha…haha….haa……*sigh*….Also, if you are putting stuff in jars, don’t put it in the same jar as the moisturizer you are currently using. ChicDabbling does not endorse using body cream on your face.

Also, no more microbeads! I mentioned why it’s bad and recommended alternatives early last year. In short, it’s not biodegradable so it gets in the water and is bad for the fishes. On Dec 29, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 was passed, banning the addition of synthetic/plastic microbeads in beauty products. Even though you can choose a sugar, nutshell or rice powder based scrub, some of them still have microbeads added in. If you don’t like reading the ingredients, BeatTheMicrobeads have an app that checks for microbead for you and lists of products containing microbeads by countries. It will be a few years before the bill goes into effect and microbeads product gets pulled, so it would be good to check out. Continue reading Skincare Journal, December. Happy New Year! And No More Microbeads!

Skincare Journal, November. Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel

I love Korean pop and I love skincare, so naturally I ended up checking out skincare products endorsed by kpop stars. One of them happens to be Nature Republic Soothing Aloe Vera gel. I’m not sure if the popularity is because it’s endorsed by EXO (imagine multiple Justin Bieber and corresponding passionate fans) or because it’s actually a good product. Nature Republic is a pretty good brand, it’s not too expensive and it says 92% aloe vera, so I went ahead and bought it to see how good it is.


It’s suppose to be a gel that you can pretty much use for everything. When I got it, it’s a big jar of clear gel that smells like aloe vera and…. alcohol. I’m ok with alcohol in skincare, as long as it’s in low enough concentration that I can’t smell it. It made me tentative so I tried it on my body first. It’s a lightweight and refreshing gel that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any sticky or greasy residue. It provides lightweight hydrating and soothed my itchy mosquito bites. It’s a nice lightweight moisturizing gel to use in the summer when you don’t need too much hydration but feels hot and stuffy.

Since it was ok for body use, I then tried it on my face over the summer. It feels like a nice and refreshing gel going on and absorbs nicely. I checked my skin the next day, and it did hydrate a bit and makes the skin feel soft, but there’s no change in pores or redness. My skin didn’t feel as firm/plump as when I use one of my mid/high-end moisturizers. Despite the scent of alcohol, I’m surprised it didn’t irritate my skin, although I did not try it near the lashline as eye mask like the diagram suggested.

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It costs ~$8 ish, and it performs as you’d expect from an $8 moisturizer. If you have oily combination skin and want something cheap and basic, feel free to try it. However, I’d rather spend a few dollars more for products with a higher content of aloe vera and no alcohol. It’s not bad, I enjoy using it on my body, but there are better products and I will not be repurchasing.

ps. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Even if you are not interested in the products, a comment on how you like the blog so far is appreciated! Thanks! Continue reading Skincare Journal, November. Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel