How to Care for Your Contact Lenses

Although lenses provide a lot of advantages than prescription glasses, it’s more tedious to maintain and clean. There is always a danger of contamination which might lead to eye infections.

Wearing Instructions
1. Wash then dry your hands before handling the contacts. Don’t apply moisturizers on your hands before placing them on your eyes or cleaning them.
2. You should not use contacts when you’re going to a sauna, hot tub, hot springs, the beach or pool. You should minimize contact with any form of water while you’re wearing your contacts.
3. Follow the replacement schedule religiously to avoid problems. You should also have your eye checked regularly as scheduled by the doctor.
4. Contact lens prescriptions usually expire within a year so you have to keep it updated.

Cleaning and Storage
1. Follow the instructions given to you by the doctor when cleaning your contacts. Clean one lens at a time.
2. If you’re not using disposable lenses, the contacts should be rubbed and rinsed before they are soaked in a cleaning solution overnight. Don’t reuse the cleaning solution.
3. Do not use water to rinse or soak the lenses. Avoid saline solutions as well. Use your fingers to rub the lenses even if the cleanser doesn’t tell you to rub them.
4. The cleaning products for your lenses should be prescribed by the doctor. Don’t use anything you’re not told to buy.
5. Your contact’s case should be cleaned and dried before and after every use with the cleaning solution. It is advisable to replace them after three months.
6. Don’t place the contact lenses in the case for a very long time. You might have to disinfect them again as per instruction of the lens package.

Contact Lens Solution
1. You should only use the solution once when cleaning the lenses and the case.
2. Be careful not to make contact with the tip of the solution’s bottle. Close the bottle when not in use.
3. Don’t transfer the solution into another bottle so that it doesn’t come into contact with anything else.
4. Your cleaning solution should be compatible with the contact lenses.
5. Saline solution for cleaning and disinfection should only be used when you clean your lens using UV or heat and enzymatic cleaning tablets.
6. Some people are allergic to the lens cleaning solution. If you feel that there is a reaction, ask the doctor about switching to a different product that doesn’t have preservatives.

In Case of an Infection
1. If you feel that your eyes are swollen, red, painful, or irritated, remove the contact lenses and visit your doctor immediately. Changes in vision should also not be ignored.
2. Don’t forget to use eye drops if your eyes are dry or irritated.
3. Buy your lenses and cleaning solution in reputable shops only.
4. Decorative lenses should be avoided if you don’t need them.
5. Protein buildup is also possible especially if you wear the contacts for a long time. Your doctor might recommend a protein removal product besides the cleaning solution.

Common Herbs, Sauces and Spices Every Kitchen Should Have

Are you planning to expand your menu? Here are the basic herbs, sauces and spices that every home should have.

1. Basil is used for pasta, sandwiches and pestos.
2. Bay Leaves are perfect additions for stews, soups and marinades.
3. Cayenne Pepper is used in Indian recipes and hot sauces. These are made from spicy red peppers.
4. Chili Powder is a mix of cumin, oregano, dried chilies and coriander. They are used for Mexican dishes.
5. Cilantro is used in Latin, Caribbean and some Asian dishes.
6. Coconut Milk is used for different types of curry or as a marinade and soup flavoring.

7. Cumin is used for Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. It is made from ground seeds.
8. Curry Powder is a mix of several spices numbering up to twenty. The basic spices are cumin, coriander and turmeric.
9. Dill is used for pickling because of its pungent flavor. It’s also excellent with fish.
10. Fenugreek is used in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. It tastes like burnt sugar when cooked.
11. Fish Sauce is used in a lot of Asian dishes especially as a dip, sauce or dressing.
12. Ginger is used for soups, marinades, sauces and a lot more. It is also considered medicinal.
13. Kaffir Lime Leaves are common in Thai food and different types of curry. They are sold frozen, fresh or dry.
14. Marjoram is used in vinaigrette, marinades and sauces. It has a floral scent and taste.

15. Mint is used for a variety of dishes including desserts. It even goes well with chocolate.
16. Oregano is used in Mediterranean and South American food. They are usually sold dried.
17. Oyster Sauce has a sweet and savory flavor. It is used as a marinade or a combined with stir-fried vegetables.
18. Paprika has two varieties, hot and sweet. They are made from sweet red pepper pods and are used as seasoning and garnish.
19. Parsley is known for its light flavor and is common in Italian dishes.
20. Rosemary is popular in Mediterranean food. Dried rosemary is an essential in your collection.
21. Sage is common in Italian dishes and has a pine-like aroma and taste.
22. Soy Sauce is used as a seasoning, dressing or dip. The tamari is similar to soy sauce but it’s gluten-free.

23. Thyme is used in Cajun, Creole and Mediterranean dishes. It’s prized for its fragrance.

Where do you get your herbs, sauces and spices?
These are the best places in Singapore you need to check out if you want to stock up on herbs, sauces and spices.

1. Seah’s Spices at 1B Senoko Crescent, Senoko Food Connection.
2. Tai Eng Pte Ltd at 27 Hongkong Street.
3. Raj Provisions (Main Store) at 168, Punggol Field, B1-11/12/13/14, Punggol Plaza.
4. Herbs Garden at #01-74 Roxy Square, 50 East Coast Road.
5. Herbal Sense (Retail and Showroom) at 100 Lorong 23 Geylang, Off Sims Lane, #01-012 D’Centennial Building.
6. Selvi Mills at 189 Pandan Loop.
7. Beifang Herbs Supplier Pte Ltd at 1 Upper Aljunied Link, #07-02 Joo Seng Warehouse.

Hair Coloring 101: What You Need to Know About Dyeing Your Hair

Hair coloring is a staple in any respectable hair salon in Singapore that most people don’t think twice anymore about undergoing the process. Besides, today’s hair dyeing products are much safer and easier to use than most dyes used before. But what exactly happens during a hair coloring process and what are the ingredients in today’s hair dyes? Knowing all these can make your next trip to the hair salon much easier because you’ll know what to ask for when you speak to your stylist.

History of Hair Dyeing

Unknown to most hair dyeing enthusiasts, people have been changing the color of their hair since ancient times. The first recorded use of hair dye to hide graying hair was in ancient Egypt. The ancient Greeks and Romans too used permanent black dye extracted from plants, which were in fact highly toxic. Since then, people have continuously searched for safer ways to color the hair. It wasn’t even until centuries later, since the Greeks switched to fermented leech in lead vessels for 2 months, until other colors besides black were used. Hair dyeing also symbolized a person’s status in society, such as the decree of the Roman Empire to have prostitutes dye their hair yellow. Saxon and Gaulic warriors, on the other hand, wore bright colored dyes to indicate their high rank while on the battlefield.

It was not until in 1863 that the chemist William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered a safer way to dye hair when he was actually looking for a cure for malaria. The result was a synthesized dye the color of mauve. Later, August Hoffman used the mauve dye as a foundation for most modern hair coloring products. Today’s methods still used in most beauty parlors worldwide, including all hair salon in Singapore, is considered antiquated and even dangerous.

Ingredients in a Hair Dye

Most hair dyes used by the ancients were made from natural ingredients and herbs, unlike the commercial hair color developed in 1909, which is based on paraphenylenediamine. Most hair dyes used in hair salon today, particularly the permanent hair color, contain two basic ingredients that make colors last longer. These are hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. The former is used as an oxidizing agent or a developer that begins the color-forming process. The hydrogen peroxide removes the sulfur found in hair, resulting in light but hard hair strands. Before getting your hair colored, make sure that your stylist at your chosen hair salon in Singapore uses only a developer not more than 30% in volume so that the damage to your hair is minimal.

The other major ingredient, ammonia, is used to lighten the hair and acts as a catalyst for the dye by separating the cuticle. As a result, the hair dye used at a great hair salon shop in Singapore penetrates to the cortex of the hair strands so that it stays there for as long as 8 months.

In a sense, your stylist at the hair salon isn’t applying pigments on your hair when dyeing, but is using a concoction of chemicals to begin dye formation. The brown color, for example, is not a mixture of three different dyes like the principle used in mixing colors for art. Instead, it is made up of two colorless chemicals, that when mixed, produce brown. One of the chemicals that creates the color is the paraphenylenediamine or PPD, which reacts with hydrogen peroxide. There are no known substitutes for PPD, except its derivative p-aminophenol, which is valued for its oxidative reaction.

If you’re skeptical about these potentially harmful products, ask your stylist at the hair salon for other natural hair coloring products that don’t contain ammonia, lead acetate and coal tar. The best hair salon in Singapore have colorists that specialize in various natural hair coloring products that don’t dry or damage your hair.

Permanent and Semi-Permanent

Permanent hair coloring refers to the process of opening the shaft of the hair to add color, while semi-permanent hair coloring is the adding of color only. Permanent hair dye is sometimes called color treatment or hair dyeing, while semi-permanent dye is referred to as hair gloss. Semi-permanent doesn’t even change the color of your hair, but adds a shiny and colored layer on the cuticle without opening the shaft. As a result, permanent dye lasts longer than semi-permanent and provides more coverage for faded or graying hair.

Permanent color is used to darken, lighten, add or change hair color and must be mixed with a developer-activator for it to be effective. Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t need developer-activator and there is no need to mix the color because it can be applied directly to the hair.

Points to Remember Before the Procedure

The best hair salon in Singapore will usually give a consultation before the stylist can recommend which color will suit you best. You might wonder if you need a single-process or a double-process color. The former refers to the application of color to the hair one at a time, while the latter is the bleaching of the hair and then the toning of color.

Before the procedure, remind the hair stylist not to wash your hair so that the natural oils can help protect your scalp. Moisturizer and petroleum jelly must be applied around the hairline so that the chemicals don’t irritate the skin. The hair salon might also recommend a keratin treatment so that color stays longer on your hair.

Your stylist at the hair salon will give you instructions on how to take care of your newly-dyed hair. The best hair salon in Singapore will also recommend hair care products that will keep the color shiny and your hair healthy. One of the most important is the use of color-treated shampoo and conditioner made specifically for colored hair. You will be advised as well to limit your exposure to direct sunlight because the UV rays can make the color fade faster. That is why you will need to use a UV spray every time you need to go out. You might also need to go for scheduled touch-ups when the color starts to fade.

Women and Cancer: The 3 Most Common Cancers in Women

We are at constant battle with cancer every day, and it is often an uphill battle. The good news is, more and more battles are being won. However, we need to be aware which type of cancers hit women the hardest and what needs to be done to avoid, treat, and even cure them. Here are five of the most common cancers that strike a good number of women in Singapore.

1. Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer any women may face in her lifetime. It can occur at any age, though the risk increases as you age. Because of certain factors, some women are more prone to developing the disease than other. However, every woman should know what it is and what can be done to prevent and treat it.

Symptoms: Early signs of breast cancer can be detected through self-examination. Breast cancer signs may include change in the shape, size, or texture (puckering or dimpling) of the breast, abnormal discharge (with or without blood) from the nipple, a lump in the breast or in the underarm area, and red, swollen skin on the areola or nipple.

Screening: Clinical breast exam (CBE) and mammogram done at an oncologist from Singapore should be done once a year even to women who appear healthy. Remember that the purpose of a screening test is to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage, before any signs and symptoms start showing up.

Treatment: Depending on the stage of your cancer, how far it has spread, and its location, your Singapore oncologist may perform a surgery—breast-conserving, modified radical, mastectomy, or total mastectomy—in conjunction with a therapy—chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or targeted therapy. The therapy will help kill any remaining infected cells that were not eradicated through surgery and help reinforce the cancer treatment.

Reduce Your Risk: Like any other cancer, there’s no sure way to prevent breast cancer. However, there are a few things you can certainly do to lower your risk. For example, physical activity, body weight, and diet are linked to breast cancer, so make sure to manage these factors well to stay in good health and shape. If you have strong family history of breast cancer, discuss with an oncologist Singapore about genetic testing for mutations in your genes that can cause the development of breast cancer.

2. Ovarian Cancer

Often lethal, this type of cancer is hard to detect as it mimics the symptoms of less serious illnesses. Ovarian cancer is more common in women over the age of 50, but can also affect younger women.

Symptoms: This type of cancer shows very subtle symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, backache, feeling of fullness, bloating, and weight loss, so women often don’t go to see a doctor until symptoms occurs more frequently and the disease has spread further in the body.

Screening: The earlier the cancer is detected, the better chances for recovery. However, ovarian cancer is hard to detect when it is in its early stage. Many times, patients with ovarian cancer show no—or very mild–symptoms until the disease is in advanced stage. Currently, there are no screening tests for ovarian cancer, but can still be detected through rectovaginal exam, blood test, and ultrasound.

Treatment: Ovarian cancer is often treated with a combination of treatments, most commonly surgery and chemotherapy. The type of surgery, however, depends on several factors such as the stage of cancer, patient’s preferences, possible side effects, and whether the patient is planning to have children. Take time to learn more about your cancer treatment options by discussing them with your Singapore oncology consultants.

Reduce Your Risk: Taking oral contraceptives decreases the risk of ovarian cancer, especially for women who have been using them for three years and more. Women who have been using (or have used) birth control pills for more than five years have about 50 percent lower risk of developing the disease. Hysterectomy and tubal ligation can also reduce chances of developing ovarian cancer, but Singapore health experts suggest that these operations should only be performed for valid medical reasons—not for preventing ovarian cancer.

3. Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which spreads through sexual intercourse. Most women’s bodies are capable of fighting this infection. However, for some, it leads to cancer. If you smoke, have multiple sex partners, or are HIV infected, you’re at higher risk for developing cervical cancer.

Symptoms: Usually, precancerous lesions aren’t accompanied with symptoms. However, once the cancer has thrived, you may experience bloody discharge and irregular bleeding between periods (although these can also be caused by some other factors).

Screening: Pap tests, tests that will detect irregular cervical cells, must be done once a year with a Pap smear, and every two years with a liquid-based test. If in case you got an abnormal Pap test result, HPV testing must be done.

Treatment: Fortunately, most abnormalities linked to cervical cancer can be detected by screenings and treated before the disease aggravates and spreads to other organs. For low-grade change, your oncologist Singapore may order a colposcopy to examine closely your cervix. If test results show high-grade changes, you’ll undergo colposcopy and your doctor may have to collect a sample specimen of your cervical tissue for biopsy. If lesions are larger, your specialist will likely recommend a cone biopsy, which requires taking of large amount of cervical tissue for in-depth examination. A combination of treatments, such as surgery with radio therapy and/or chemotherapy, may be done depending on how advanced your case is.

Reduce Your Risk: Regular Pap test is essential for prevention of cervical cancer. And of course, HPV vaccines will protect women against the types of HPV that can cause most vaginal, vulvar, and cervical cancers. However, regular Pap tests are still required for women who are vaccinated with anti-HPV.

Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in Singapore. However, if we have enough knowledge about the disease and know how to prevent and treat it, it’s not impossible to recover from any critical situation we may be in.

Just Got Hired? Here’s How to Prepare For Your First Day at Work


Changing jobs is part of your career and personal development. It may not necessarily be something you enjoy doing, but it’s far better than enduring a stagnant and boring environment.

It’s a new beginning, so it’s worthy of a little celebration. Sure, there’ll be challenges along the way, but there’s nothing you can’t overcome with being prepared—mentally and physically.

While you’re on your way to success, why not keep these tips to prepare you for your new job.

  1. Get Yourself a New Outfit

Make sure you’re making an excellent first impression by going on a little shopping spree. You do not necessarily need to spend a fortune for a new office outfit, especially if you know where to shop. However, it’s guaranteed to make you feel like a million bucks if you dress up in a new, quality outfit, which will add to your confidence level. Let the little shopping serve as a reward for having the courage to start a new endeavour. It may be scary at first, but there’s nothing impossible with a new pair of heels.

  1. Prepare a Pitch

Prepare a 30-second explanation of who you are and where you worked before as colleagues will likely ask about your previous employment. Also, be prepared to explain what you’ll be doing in your new job as there might be people who don’t clearly get your role or just want to start a conversation with you.

  1. Project High Energy

You’ll be observed more during your first days at work from an external standpoint. Your work ethic and attitude are most visible now, since no one has ever evaluated you just yet. Everyone loves to work and be around with enthusiastic and positive people, so let them know that this is exactly what they can expect from you.

  1. Always Remember Why They Chose You

There is a reason why your employer chose you over hundreds of other applicants. They saw something in you that obviously they don’t see in others—remember that the next time you doubt yourself. It’s normal to doubt a little sometimes, especially when starting a new job, but don’t let that hinder you from doing your best.

  1. Prepare Your New Space

Have all the things you need prepared before your first day at work. It is important to have your ‘comfort zone’ set up in your new office, especially when you feel more comfortable to work with these things around. Bring and purchase a few things for your desk, like colourful sticky notes and a small picture frame where you can put a family picture, a picture of your dog or your significant other. Own your new space, and it’ll be easier to function, allowing you to easily focus on work and do your job better.

Above all, don’t be too hard on yourself if your first day didn’t run as smoothly as planned. Though you should be prepared, remember that there’s always tomorrow to make things right.

Tips to Help Your Newborn Sleep


If it is your first born, things can be overwhelming. There are times you do not know what to do. This is completely normal that is why you need all the support and help you can get from your mom or friends who have children. The good news is that their smile or laugh is worth it at the end of the day.

If in this case you are having troubles putting your newborns to sleep, you need to know few basic things. Newborns have a difficult time differentiating day and night. This is the reason why sometimes they have short bursts. However, in a few weeks, he/she can differentiate as long as you teach him/her. Here are some sleeping tips that you can consider:

  1. Use light to your advantage

It was mentioned earlier that newborns cannot differentiate day and night. It has something to do with the light. Remember that lights serve as the push button of your newborn. When it is dark, the brain will release melatonin – a sleep hormone. When it is bright, it will keep the baby active. You can help your baby differentiate by making his/her days bright and nights dark. With this, he/she will figure out when it is sleeping time.

When it is day, bring your baby outside for sunlight. When it is time to sleep, you can employ the help of dimmers. To facilitate sleep, lower the lights at least two hours before his/her bedtime to set the mood.

  1. Check if he/she is drowsy

Paediatricians here in Singapore and the world remind the parents to put the baby on bed drowsy and awake. If the baby is asleep, he/she will get used to it. If you put him/her on bed little bit drowsy, he/she will learn to go to sleep on his/her own. When the baby wakes up at night, he/she will learn to self-soothe.

  1. Do not rush to his/her side

It is normal that babies cry in the middle of the night. If you jump hearing squeak, you will only teach your baby to wake up more often at night. DO not rush to his/her side. Instead, wait for a few minutes before going to his/her side. Do not try to pick him/her up. An assurance will do. Don’t engage the baby by meeting his/her gaze because this will mean playtime for them.

  1. Be lean on diaper changes

Your baby cries and you kind of figured out he/she needs diaper change – that is not the case all the time. You will just jostle the baby awake. When he/she cries, try to sniff and you will know when it is time to change.