Let’s Face It

Microdermabrasion totally rocks.

I went to a local franchise called Let’s Face It and their services were awesome. I received a “Power Peel” which is exactly what it sounds like – a diamond peel on steroids. After my first-ever peel experience, my skin feels so clean and flawless. I can already see subtle changes in the geography of my skin!

The diamonds are a little bit grainy, so it feels like they’re rubbing some fine grit sandpaper gently over your face with a vacuum, because as soon as it touches your skin, it’s sucked up into this tube mechanism that makes the entire process very bearable. I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. Afterwards, she placed a cold towel onto my face and massaged it a bit before placing a serum on my face and patting it dry with some soft tissues.

Overall, a fantastic experience and I will be headed back monthly for more! My ultimate goal is to get rid of some of these acne scars and grooves that mottle mostly the cheeks in my T-zone area, and I think it’ll be super effective with repeated treatments so we shall see! Stay tuned for more!

Happy adventuring!

The Golden Rule

Never go to sleep without washing your face.

I know this may seem obvious to most people, but never have I believed in this rule more since moving to a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. Let me give you the low down:

  1. I’m here for medical school. That means that I am stressed, spend a lot of nights awake and don’t necessarily eat three square meals a day. Problems.
  2. There are only two seasons here: Hot/Wet and Hot/Dry.
  3. The humidity here is unreal. It feels like it literally slaps you in the face. On a GOOD day, it’s 90% humidity. On a regular day, it’s 96% humidity. That, coupled with the actual temperature, means it’s hot and constantly feels like you’re in the triple-degrees Fahrenheit range.
  4. I spend a lot of time outside. I walk to school, I use public transportation – everything here is open air and that means the dust and smoke are real. You don’t want those bad boys in your pores.
  5. Heat means oil and sweat are magnified times 100.

NOT washing your face means that you break out – without fail – the next day. It’s instantaneous. And so, I’ve discovered that a few tweaks to my previous skincare regimen have helped a lot! Here’s my newest take on the nighttime routine:

  1. Pull my hair up into a small ponytail and out of my face with a wide elastic headband.
  2. CeraVe hydrating cleanser with some cool water (because warm sink water is not a thing in my apartment, sadly)
  3. Pat dry with a towel, and allow to air dry further.
  4. Apply acne treatment (AcZone gel is my current medication of choice)
  5. SLEEP as much as possible!

The only thing stopping me from bright, beautiful skin is…well, me! Happy adventuring, friends!

Love, PB

Dear Ms. Behar

Hi, my name is Paula and I am just your average twenty-something-just-a-nurse. But to be honest, I pity you. You may wonder why I, an average twenty-something-just-a-nurse, feels badly for you, a television star who reaches millions of people who watch The View each day, but I do. One time, two times, four times, many times, I have seen joy, death, pain, happiness, hope, fear and love move swiftly across the faces of many people. I have given a newborn a bath and have solemnly prepared a person to be seen by their family for the last time. I have drawn blood at 5:00am, I have given CPR and have made glove balloons and handed out ice and apple juice with a smile on my face. I have met people I would never have met, had I not been “just” their nurse. And the fact that you will never know these joys makes me sad for you.

My patients have caused me great difficulty but have also brought me dinner, called me beautiful, asked if I was pregnant or what grade I was in. My patients have wondered about my life, have asked about what books I’ve read lately, have wondered what it is that makes me smile when I’m not in the hospital. They have given me fleeting friendships that allow for the deepest kind of service to mankind, compassion. I may be just your average twenty-something-just-a-nurse, but I have seen more of what life, death, and the course of disease can to do a family, a friend, or a person than anyone could ever bear to see in a lifetime. And the fact that you will never know the hope that such struggles bring makes me sad for you.

Fast-forward an one year later, I am in the unique position of being a Bachelors-prepared Registered Nurse who is also a medical student. I can tell you that in this moment, as I sit here before I begin my studies for the evening, I look back on my time as a nurse and regret none of it. I will always be proud that the first two letters after my name were “R” and “N” because the magnitude of the burden that they carry has taught me one thing: in order to save lives, you must love life.

That is why I am not angry with you; callous words and ignorant thoughts could never diminish or degrade the integrity, passion, honor and commitment that accompanied my position as a staff nurse at a small hospital in New Jersey. It will take away from the lessons I’ve learned, the late nights drinking a cold chai latte with fellow coworkers, the hours I spent laughing with patients, the hours I’ve spent crying with them, and that one time, I saved a life.

You will grow old. You will get sick. That’s a fact of life. And when that happens, please, come right in. My name is Paula. I’m a nurse. I’ll take care of you.

A DIY That You Can Buy!

After moving to the islands (are we all sensing a theme here? Because I am), I realized that not only did I forget most of my makeup, I actually didn’t bring any make up cleanser. Bummer. So, naturally, I took to my grandest resource for makeup tips and tricks (YouTube, woohoo) and was searching the internet for DIY daily brush cleansers and found that many of the ingredients that were listed included some distilled water, alcohol and fragrance.

As I racked my brain to figure out how to find essential oils in a third world country (well, “developing,” if we are being politically correct, but in all honesty, the Philippines still has quite a ways to go), I was in despair. Many of the drugstores here carry local brands (which is awesome) and I have not seen a single essential oil anywhere. Much to my surprise, I realized something: I have all those things here but in the best. way. possible.  (more…)

Washi Madness

Now, I’m fairly new to washi tape, though I’ve heard about it for ages.

Basically, washi tape masking tape made of paper with really cute designs originating from Japan. You’ve probably seen it on Pinterest loads of times and truth be told, searching “washi tape” bombards the user with a never-ending assortment of pins. I wanted to try something a little simpler than making my closet chevron-tastic with just washi tape so, I went and picked up two rolls from Daiso aka Japanese Home Centre here in the Philippines and set about making my own project: personalization.

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The Island Life

Since we last spoke, life (and my daily skincare routine) have changed drastically. 

For one thing, I received a Mary Kay facial which lead to my subsequent Mary Kay party and a complete overhaul of many of my favorite every day items. 

And the other thing?  I moved to the other side of the world. So my climate has basically gone from four seasons to two seasons: tropical wet and tropical dry. That’s right. I moved to a tropical island. No big deal. 

Any way, here’s the word on my skincare! Just before I left, I finally worked up the nerve to see a dermatologist about my acne (I break out a lot) and eczema (since childhood). My dermatologist completely blew my mind. First of all, the amount of product I was using to maintain what I thought was the ideal skincare regimen proved to be extraordinary amounts of the wrong thing.  I also found out that my skin is much more sensitive than I thought, which is why it often reacted so harshly to products that it found unfavorable. Hence the need to change what I was doing and change it fast. I set out from the office with two lists in my hand. One for the acne issues and the other for the eczema and was met with quite an amazing realization. My doctor literally changed everything from the soap that I use on a regular basis to what I use to moisturizer and wash my face to what I put on my body. 

Here goes, the new and improved skincare routine! 

  1. Facial Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, twice a day 
  2. Facial Moisturizer: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
  3. Sunscreen: (depending on my mood) Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 60 or La Roche Posay Sunscreen Fluid SPF 60 for Face
  4. Bar Soap: Dove Sensitive Skin 
  5. Moisturizer: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
  6. Acne Treatment: Aczone gel

And there we have it! What products do you all use every day? Let me know in the comments section below and as always, Happy Adventuring!