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Castor Oil for Under Eye Wrinkles

Castor oil is a natural skincare that our ancestors use to maintain youthful and beautiful skin. Previously we have covered the topic of castor oil for acne scars, and now we will talk about castor oil for under eye wrinkles (and other wrinkles!). Have you ever wondered whether castor oil works for under eye wrinkles? Read more about this!

castor oil for under eye wrinkles_under eye wrinkles

What caused under eye wrinkles?

Wrinkles happen when our skin lost its elasticity and also collagen level. As we age, our skin also tends to be drier. With the drier skin and lost elasticity, the skin sags and wrinkles more easily. 

Signs of aging are often obvious from eye wrinkles, be it under eye wrinkles or crow feet. The under eye area has thinner skin and when we age, the skin becomes thinner and has less collagen. This is when the under eye wrinkles start to appear. This process can happen faster if you smoke, never wear SPF around the eye, have a very expressive eye movement in your daily life and if you carry certain genetic traits. 

Castor oil for under eye wrinkles

Given that castor oil has hydrating and moisturizing properties, applying castor oil on the under eye area can hydrate and moisturize the under eye. This will help to slow down the appearance of under eye wrinkles. Castor oil also has ricinoleic acid that helps to stimulate elastin and collagen production. Hence, it can help to maintain youthful under eye area when applied consistently.

Be mindful that castor oil may irritate the eye for some people, and many sources advise to avoid letting castor oil getting into the eye. However, there are people who use castor oil on the eye area without irritation. 

If you have applied castor oil on small patch of your eye area and have no irritation, you can be more carefree in your application of castor oil. Some people apply castor oil on the eye lid and under eye area and massage the oil with eyes closed. This can help with the blood circulation around the eye area and help the skin to absorb the oil. The castor oil can help to hydrate and moisturize not only the under eye area but also the corners of the eyes where crow feet may appear. Doing this can concurrently promote the growth of your eye lashes (which is a bonus!).

castor oil for under eye wrinkles_application

Is castor oil good for under eye wrinkles?

From my research, castor oil is good to prevent under eye wrinkles. However, the extent to which it helps with existing under eye wrinkles might depend on how deep or extensive the wrinkles are. It can definitely help with fine lines under the eye. However if you have deep under eye wrinkles, castor oil might benefit you to a smaller extent. For deeper or more extensive wrinkles, you may need to check with your beautician for other treatment options (like botox). 

Prevention is always better than treatment. If you are in your 30s or entering your 30s, start preventing under eye wrinkles! Hydrate and moisturize your under eye area and also wear sunscreen around the eye. If normal sunscreen irritates your eyes, try gentler sunscreen for babies for your eye area. Also, adopt healthier, age-defying lifestyle that will help you to maintain your youthful look. Also, eat a lot of antioxidant food to fight the aging process.

I am inspired to write this post after I watched a Youtuber named  Jennifer Myers who has been using castor oil consistently for more than 6 years. She has beautiful, thick eyelashes besides wrinkle-free under eye area. Check her out here! 

Castor Oil for Acne Scars: Is it Effective?

Castor oil is broadly used since the ancient time for beauty due to its moisturizing property. Despite the popularity of castor oil as part of ancient beauty regime, many millennials or gen-Z do not know about castor oil and its benefits for skin health, particularly for acne and acne scars. Previously we have talked about other ways to get rid of acne scars: laser acne scar removal and also how to get rid of acne scars on back. This article will delve into the use of castor oil for acne scars.

castor oil for acne scars_oil bottle

Castor oil and acne scars

If castor oil is good for acne scars, how does it help with the scars? You need to learn more about the different properties of castor oil below.

Hydrating and moisturizing the skin

Castor oil is rich in fatty acids. Castor oil contains triglycerides, which is the main component of our skin’s natural oil. Its main fatty acid is hydroxy fatty acid, which gives castor oil its emollient properties. Emollient property is the same as occlusive property. This occlusive property helps to seal the hydration in the skin from escaping. Hence, it helps to maintain the moisture level of the skin. When people talk about castor oil’s moisturizing property, this is the reason why castor oil moisturizes the skin. 

Castor oil is also a humectant, which means it attracts water. Therefore it can help to hydrate the skin upon application. The hydrating and moisturizing properties of castor oil helps with skin healing. When there is acne scar after the infection, the many layers of affected skin area need to heal completely so that the scar can improve. This is how castor oil helps with acne scar. 

Anti-microbial and anti-virus

The specific name for castor oil’s fatty acid chains is ricinoleic acid, an unsaturated omega-9 that occurs in mature castor oil plants. Ricinoleic acid protects the skin against harmful bacteria and viruses. Therefore, it helps with preventing acne as well. According to research, castor oil is also low in comedogenic score (1 out of 6), which means very low likelihood of clogging the pores. The last thing you want to have when you are trying to heal your acne scar is the occurrence of new acne.

Promotes elastin & collagen production

Other than that, ricinoleic acid in castor oil also stimulates elastin and collagen production. Elastin and collagen production helps with skin healing as well as diminishes signs of aging. Because of this, castor oil helps with the healing of acne and improvement of acne scar. If you are interested in anti-aging topic, we also write about age-defying lifestyle and habits that you can start adopting!

How to use castor oil for acne scars

castor oil for acne scars_how to use

Given its humectant and moisturizing properties, you should use castor oil on damp skin, after you put your hydrating toner. Similar to other humectants in your skincare (e.g. hyaluronic acid), it will give your skin more benefits when applied on damp skin. Castor oil will lock the hydration and moisture on the skin. Hydrated and moisturized skin can heal faster, so your acne scars can improve faster as well. 

Other than that, be mindful not to use castor oil too often if you are in a very dry climate. When you apply products like castor oil that are humectants on the skin, they will draw the moisture from deeper layers of the skin. In dry climate, this will cause your skin to be drier rather than hydrated/moisturized. 

Castor oil has a very thick texture. When you apply castor oil on your acne scar, put thin layer and massage the oil on the area. Massaging the area will also help with the blood circulation, which will promote faster healing of the skin. Do not apply too thick of a layer of castor oil, as it will not make your acne scar heal faster. Focus on applying the oil consistently, rather than applying a large quantity of it. 

Is castor oil good for acne scars?

Yes, castor oil is good for acne scars. However, always test putting castor oil on a small patch of your skin. This is because every skin is built differently. Despite all the benefits of castor oil for skin, some people might have allergic reaction or react badly to castor oil. 

There are different types of acne scars. Castor oil might help a lot with fresh acne scars or acne scars that cause changes in skin texture. However, for flat, hyperpigmented acne scars, castor oil might help to a limited extent. Instead of castor oil, you can try to brighten the hyperpigmentation and even the skin tone using Vitamin C. I have done a review on Vitamin C serum for acne and acne scars which you can read here.

Probiotics for Acne: How does it work?

There has been more research lately on probiotics and the benefits of taking probiotics for acne. This is also related to the research on relationship between gut health and acne. Previously we have covered the topic on Zinc supplement for acne and Pantothenic acid for acne. In this post, we will talk more about probiotics for acne and if you should try taking probiotics to improve your skin conditions.

Skin-gut axis: Gut health and acne

What is happening inside your body is reflected on your skin. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. You cannot achieve clear skin if your internal body system is not healthy or balanced. A lot of medical research has shown that one important thing to balance in the gut is the microbiome.

There are different types of bacteria in the gut, healthy bacteria and bad bacteria. We need healthy bacteria to have a healthy digestion system. Having said that, one way to ensure we have enough of healthy bacteria is by consuming probiotics. If you do not have enough healthy bacteria, this can lead to many issues like inflammation which can show up on our skin as acne.

probiotics for acne_acne prone skin

Why do you need to take probiotics for acne?

Our microbiome in the body can be tipped off balance and this is when problems like acne can start to occur. The microbiome becomes not balanced if there are more bad bacteria than healthy gut bacteria in the system. The healthy gut bacteria can decrease in number due to many reasons. One is stress, another common one is consumption of antibiotics for a prolonged period and the third one is sugar.

My experience taking probiotics for acne

I have taken probiotics for acne before, be it orally or topically. I will explain a bit later what I meant by topically. 

Taking probiotics orally

Taking probiotics for acne orally is straightforward. You can do it using supplements or by eating probiotics rich food like kimchi or sauerkraut. I also tried to increase my probiotics intake before by consuming more yakult. From my personal experience, it is easier to incorporate probiotics in your everyday life by eating food rich in probiotics like kimchi. I am a big fan of Korean food, so eating kimchi everyday is not a problem to me at all. If you don’t like kimchi or you can’t find kimchi, you can consider incorporating saurkraut instead. These two fermented vegetables are super rich in probiotics. 

If you have acne and would like to test how probiotics for acne works for you, refrain drinking too much Yakult. This is because Yakult is sweet and it contains milk, both of which can worsen your acne. Another option for probiotics that you can take daily is kombucha. A lot of kombucha do not have sugar added so you can safely take them if you have acne.

My experience with taking probiotics for acne orally has been great. It helped to boost my gut health and immunity from within. Moreover, my skin felt more resistant to inflammation, infection or redness. Before, my skin often reacted immediately to some food/beverages that my body did not take very well. However, after taking probiotics, my skin is calmer. Despite whatever negative reaction that my body might have to the new food/beverage, the skin remained clear.

probiotics for acne_kimchi

Taking probiotics topically

Another way I used probiotics for acne is topically. I used to have a lot of forehead pimples. And what really helped to calm down and dry the pimples was yoghurt mask. The lactic acid and probiotics in yoghurt worked really well for my forehead pimple.

Choose full fat, sugar free Greek yoghurt. Then, you can just slather it on your forehead and rinse after 15-20 minutes when the yoghurt mask has dried up. My forehead pimples were literally gone because of this yoghurt mask. No other masks worked this well for my forehead pimples.

How to choose probiotics for acne supplements?

probiotics for acne_probiotics supplement

According to Dr. Axe, a holistic wellness doctor, there are 5 things you should consider before deciding what probiotics supplements to buy:

  1. Brand Quality: look for reputable brands like GNC, Garden of Life, etc.
  2. High CFU Count: choose supplements with high count of probiotics from 15 billion to 100 billion. 
  3. Strain Diversity: choose a probiotic supplement that has 10–30 different strains
  4. Survivability: keep a lookout for strains like bacillus coagulans, saccharomyces boulardii, bacillus subtilis, lactobacillus rhamnosus, and other cultures or formulas that ensure probiotics make it to the gut and are able to colonize
  5. Research: find probiotics supplements that contain bacteria strains that can help with your conditions. Since many factors can cause acne, most strains will be beneficial for acne. This is because they will promote stronger immunity in the body, which is important to fight the acne infection and inflammation

Are there benefits of taking probiotics for acne?

Yes, definitely a lot of research has shown that probiotics and good gut health in general helps with acne condition. This is something called skin-gut axis. If you have problem with your digestion system, it is not uncommon for symptoms to show up on your skin. Both of our skin and digestion system are important in keeping infectious organisms from our body.

However, if you have existing medical condition you might want to check with your doctor about incorporating probiotics into your diet. This is because there might be adverse effects from taking it initially, or it might conflict with your other medication.

Learn more about acne, skincare and skin health with me!

Pantothenic Acid for Acne: Review

I have tried changing my diet to get rid of acne before. It did work well. However, there was a period of time when I could not follow the restrictions. My skin worsened. It made me wonder whether there is something lacking in my body that caused me to have persistent breakouts. This led to me researching and I found out about Pantothenic Acid for acne improvement. I will explain more about my experience taking Pantothenic Acid for acne, Vitamin B5 benefits for skin, and how to take Pantothenic Acid for acne. 

pantothenic acid for acne_pills

Vitamin B5 benefits for skin

Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential in our body metabolism, acting as a coenzyme in an energy-producing chemical reaction. It is also important to regulate blood sugar levels. There is no research that explicitly explains the role of vitamin B5 in acne control. However, there are theories out there that lay out some possible causation relationships between the vitamin and acne. One of them is that Vitamin B5 is required to produce Coenzyme A (CoA). This coenzyme is essential for fat metabolism and the production of hormones, to mention a few. With limited CoA, the priority is to use CoA to produce hormones leaving the lower levels of CoA available for fat metabolism. Consequently, the body can’t process fat effectively and it accumulates in the body; causing high sebum production and therefore acne. Here is how the vitamin B5 acne link was born.

How to take Pantothenic Acid for acne? 

There is a science-backed online source that recommends 750mg of Pantothenic Acid combined with 250 mg of L-carnitine for severe acne. If you have mild acne, you can reduce the dosage. The combination with L-carnitine is optional, but some people say that it helps to ‘boost’ the effect of Pantothenic Acid in regulating sebum production on the skin. Personally, I just took Pantothenic Acid without L-carnitine.

A lot of research mentions that it is okay to take a higher dose than recommended as long as you don’t go extremely high because the excess amount will go out from the body along with urine (given that the vitamin is water-soluble). You can choose to reduce the dosage after your skin clears up if you are worried about over-consuming the vitamin. Please do more research on this, especially if you have certain medical conditions.

Also, be mindful that whatever we take orally might interact with one another. Check out this article on what drugs/substances might interact with Pantothenic Acid.

Based on my experience, how effective is Pantothenic Acid for acne?

Pantothenic Acid did help me to a certain extent in controlling my acne. I stopped getting those angry red bumps on my face after consuming Pantothenic Acid two months ago. However, from my experience, I developed a dependency on this vitamin. When I stopped taking Pantothenic Acid for my skin, acne started to pop out again. 

If you want to try out taking Pantothenic Acid for acne and confirm the Vitamin B5 benefits for the skin, you should do it diligently for a few months at least. You will not see the effect in a few weeks’ time, not to mention overnight. The photo below shows my skin 2 months after Pantothenic Acid and Japanese water therapy.

pantothenic acid for acne_clear skin

Should you try Pantothenic Acid for acne then?

[Update from 2022] I am writing this final paragraph after I stopped taking this vitamin. From my personal experience, the side effect of stopping the intake is quite bad on my hair. I had a bad hair fall for a few months after I stopped taking Pantothenic Acid for acne. I read on Reddit that this is not uncommon, so watch out for this! There is a Youtube video by Dr. Dray that is very informative on Pantothenic Acid for acne and its efficacy. Check it out.

At the end of the day, every human body is built differently. What did not work for me might work wonderfully on some of you. I suggest you can give it a try, but observe how your body reacts to it. If it does not fit you, you can find other supplements that can help with your skin health. I have long switched to taking Zinc supplements, which have been working well for me for the past few years now. I cover my experience with Zinc supplement for acne in this other post, so check it out.

Learn about acne, skincare and skin health with me!

Japanese Water Therapy: Methods and Review

Water is important in our life. Our body is ~60% water according to a Healthline article. Without enough water, our bodily functions cannot run properly. However, is that the only benefit of water to our body? The Japanese might beg to differ. They consume water in such a way to unlock more water benefits for our bodies. Want to find out more about this? I have talked about lifestyle changes for acne in other post. Now I will talk about Japanese water therapy that I have tried myself, with great results.

My dad suggested I try out this simple, cheap yet effective therapy. It originates from Japan and apparently it is the secret why the Japanese are slim and healthy. This might be a generalization but come on, we often hear people in Japan live past 100 years old – so this should not be far from true!

Japanese Water Therapy: How to Do This Therapy?

The therapy has very simple rules:

  1. Drink 3-4 glasses (160 ml each) of warm water right when you wake up, before brushing your teeth
  2. Avoid eating anything 45 mins after
  3. Do not drink or eat anything after any meal for 2 hours

I find the last one is hard to stick to. After the meal, I would like to have water or tea to rinse the mouth and throat to get rid of the food smell. This is especially after I have food with strong taste/smell/herbs. I would not drink too much after big meals like lunch or dinner, but I will just drink just enough amount to rinse my mouth and then pop some mints to freshen my breath.

japanese water therapy_drink water

Is Japanese Water Therapy effective?

Cleans up digestion first thing in the morning

Within 10-15 mins after drinking the water, I can feel my body warming up, just like when you warm up the car engine after haven’t used it for long. Likewise, after sleeping for 7-8 hours, our body needs to warm up in order to get the ‘engine running’. Within half an hour to one hour, normally I will go to the bathroom to do ‘the business’. It feels good to do it early in the morning and get rid of the waste from the body. Starting the day with a clean colon!

I believe having active digestion with a regular pooping schedule helps me to maintain my figure and weight as well. I am 168 cm tall with 49 kg weight. My figure is tall and slim and I can contribute this not only to genetics but also to my toilet habits. When we eat, we are providing our body with the input of food, and when we poop we are removing those waste post digestion of the food. I eat 3x a day and I poop 1-3x a day normally.

Japanese water therapy_poop

Hydrating the body and clearing up toxins

I used to skip drinking water first thing in the morning before.  When I get to the office, instead of drinking water, I drink coffee first. It was a bad habit, especially our body needs water after 7-8 hours of not having any water intake during our sleep. Water is one of the biggest compositions in our body. Therefore, drinking water is very important to keep our body hydrated, to keep the cells functioning, and also to get the toxins out of the system.

After 2 months of doing Japanese water therapy regularly every morning, I noticed that my skin is hydrated. I have less flaky skin even when I forgot to put on moisturizer on my skin. This proves that hydrating from within is as important as, if not more than, hydrating from outside. Also, I used to have flaky, dry feet – you know, those white clouds on your feet that you feel so tempted to peel? I noticed I don’t have that anymore and I got my baby soft feet back. Not sure about the science behind the disappearance of those ‘white clouds’ but I will contribute it to the Japanese water therapy.

japanese water therapy_hydrated skin

My body feels warmer

People who know me for a long time would tell you that I used to constantly have digestion problems. When I go to the mall or get exposed to very cold air-conditioning in the room, or when I feel nervous about something, my digestion system often reacts badly. I will have the urge to go to the toilet and often have unexplainable diarrhea. This was very inconvenient. After doing Japanese water therapy for a few months, I feel my body is warmer from within. Despite the coldness of the room, my digestion system will be fine. No more sudden cold sensation or the urge to go to the toilet. It is as if the digestion system is calmed down. 

Moreover, in the past, I need to always make sure I have a cardigan or scarf in my bag as I feel cold easily. However, now I don’t need to do that anymore – talk about CAREFREENESS! For this one, I am very certain it is because of the water therapy.

japanese water therapy_carefree

Should you try Japanese water therapy?

Yes, I highly recommend this Japanese water therapy, because it is very simple, cheap, and easy to do. The gist of this therapy is to drink water on empty stomach, and try to follow the portion/size and timing details per instructions stated above. You can reap a lot of benefits from just a small change in your daily habit in the morning. 

If you are wondering whether it clears up my skin, the answer is yes to a certain extent! I still do get occasional pimples even after doing water therapy. Pimples and acne are very complex issues and I didn’t expect this therapy to get rid of them all at once. However, I am not disappointed with this therapy. In fact, I am very satisfied with the major positive effects it has on my body. There are a lot of people who can testify positively about the benefits of Japanese water therapy. You can read an article here that also shows you the benefits of water. When your parents and people tell you to drink more water, listen to them!

Drink more water and cheers!

Update (Feb 2022): My skin is clearer now which can contribute to the detoxifying effect of this water therapy. Also, what I am amazed with is that my premenstrual pain is gone. I used to experience horrible pain before my period came. Also, my period used to last for 3-4 days only. Now I don’t feel any pain at all before my period and my period lasts for 5-6 days. It is as if the outflow of the menstrual blood is improved after doing this therapy.