Category: Brand Partners

The Truth About Acne

Acne is not only common to teenagers, nearly everyone experiences acne at some point. Some may have it for a few months while others may have it for years. Trust me, I know. I had relatively smooth skin up until I hit my thirties then it went downhill from there. I have what dermatologists call adult acne.
What exactly is acne? You might ask, and how exactly does it develop?
Well, an acne blemish begins approximately 2-3 weeks before it appears on your skin’s surface. While it may seem like you get a pimple overnight, what you’re actually seeing is the final stage of a much longer process.
Acne formation starts in your sebaceous hair follicles – the tiny holes you know as pores. Deep within each follicle, sebaceous glands are working to produce sebum, the oil that keeps your skin moist and pliable. As your skin renews itself, the old cells die, mix in with your skin’s natural oils, and are sloughed off. Under normal circumstances, these cells are shed gradually, making room for fresh new skin. In the case of acne prone skin, these dead skin cells block the pores resulting to over accumulation of oil underneath. Bacteria that live on the skin naturally begin to grow and multiply on this site, triggering an inflammatory response that causes the red, angry pore that we see as pimple.
What triggers acne?
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by eating too much chocolates or oily foods, nor does it occur exclusively during puberty. Acne is a cyclic process that everyone experiences at any age. Stress, hormonal imbalance, climate changes, cosmetic products (comedogenic), drugs, and industrial chemicals are factors that trigger acne formation.
How do you prevent acne from forming?
There are certain skin types that are naturally predisposed to acne formation. While you might probably be one of those who might inevitably experience it (like me), there’s a lot you can do to prevent it.
Nourish. There is no perfect diet to clear acne than a healthy, balanced diet. Eating fresh, unprocessed foods and daily hydration of at least eight glasses of water a day, or more when you exercise, can work wonders on your skin.
Cleanse. Sticking to a daily acne-fighting skin-care routine helps maintain a clear skin. Washing your face gently with a soap-free exfoliating cleanser twice a day to remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells helps balances skin’s ph level. Just a bit of a warning though, excessive washing can cause skin to dry out and produce more oil so make sure you don’t over do it.
Protect. While small amounts of sun exposure may seem to clear acne at first, the sun actually dries your skin causing it to produce more oil and dead skin cells. This creates an ideal environment for blemishes. Avoiding excess sun exposure and wearing at least SPF 15 sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy, prevents skin from drying up and oiling.
Rest. A good night’s sleep (7-8 hours) does magic to your complexion. This boosts the immune system responsible for fighting infections too such as acne.
Exercise. The skin benefits from an increase in blood flow and oxygen when you exercise. If your body is prone to acne, just make sure to wear loose-fit and breathable clothing when you work out, and shower with an acne-fighting body wash soon after.
Relax. Hormones control the sebaceous glands that produce the protective oil that keeps skin soft and supple. Psychological stress, sad to say, affects hormone levels. Too much stress therefore, causes these glands to produce more oil thus triggering acne. So relax and do what makes you happy. If walking, running, dancing, or yoga calms you, do it!

How can Proactiv Solution Combination Therapy stops acne?

Proactiv is safe and effective to use by anyone with mild to moderate acne. It heals current breakouts and prevents future breakouts. It clears complexion quickly and prevents blemishes from leaving behind permanent scars.
Proactiv combines mild concentrations of antimicrobial acne medicine with botanical skin-care agents to gently remove excess oil and dead skin cells. It kill acne causing bacteria inside pores and soothes redness and irritation. Here’s the breakdown:
1. Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (Step 1) works by removing dead skin cells to ensure that the pores don’t get clogged.
2. The Proactiv Revitalizing Toner (Step 2) removes excess oils.
2. The Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Step 3) kills the bacteria and prevent proliferation.
3. The Refining Mask helps reduce the inflammation and swelling.
Proactiv is designed to attack acne “proactively” by delivering the right concentration of medicines and acne-care agents in the right order and concentrations. It helps control the acne cycle before breakouts occur. If you have acne, Proactiv Solution is the key to a clear complexion.
Proactiv Solution comes in 30-Day kit (P2,495) and 60-Day kit (P3,995) and is available at all Watsons nationwide.

Look and feel your best this holiday season

Christmas is upon us and for us Filipinos, it only means one thing – endless gathering and reunion parties with our family and friends! It’s that time of the year when we take our minds off deadlines and concentrate on spending quality time with our loved ones. Since we will be seeing friends and family members we probably haven’t seen in ages, it a must to keep skin flawless and acne-free.
While others are simply blessed with a naturally good looking skin, some (me included) are not spared from acne. Breakout is a reality we constantly face everyday. As we know, acne can put a big blow on our self-confidence and can hold us back from being our usual carefree and fun self. This why we need a good product like Proactiv as an ally so we can look good and feel good this yuletide season.
How to achieve acne-free skin this holiday season?
Simple. But first, let me just say that just when you want to look blemish free and beautiful on christmas, your skin gets the holiday blues. Why? It is because shopping frenzies, binge eating, and endless late night parties that we so love to do during christmas can take a toll on our skin. And since there’s too much going on, we tend to neglect our skin causing it to break into acne.
Good news is, the Proactiv Solution Combination Therapy Kit System can help our skin battle against the stresses of the season. It helps clear existing acne and prevents future breakouts. And what’s more this skincare regimen only takes 5 minutes to do, so it is easy to integrate it to your daily skin care routine.
What is Proactiv and how does it work?
Proactiv Solution Combination Therapy Kit System is the No. 1 acne treatment in America. Recommended by dermatologist, it is a combination therapy system that work together to cleanse and heal damaged skin as well as fight the current and new blemishes from forming.
It consist of Step 1, a deep cleaning prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide in the form of Proactiv’s Renewing Cleanser that quickly penetrates pores and heals blemishes fast. This smooth tiny beads gently exfoliate dead skin cells and other impurities. Step 2 is an alcohol-free Revitalizing Toner with soothing botanicals that works to gently balance skin tone and remove excess oil for a clearer and fresher skin. Step 3 consists of the Repairing Treatment, a light, oil-free skin-clearing lotion that heals blemishes and helps prevent new ones from forming.
Proactiv Bonus:
Each Proactiv kit comes with a free Refining Mask that’s sure to keep your skin clear and acne-free this merry season. Formulated with Sulfur, a proven acne- fighting ingredient that reaches deep into the pores, the Refining Mask gently unplugs pores, pampers inflamed skin, and softens the skin’s texture.
Save yourself the unnecessary stress, let Proactiv Solution do the work of getting rid of your blemishes so you can confidently share the love this season.
Proactiv Solution comes in 30-Day kit (P2,495) and 60-Day kit (P3,995). It is available in all Watsons stores nationwide.

Christmas Gift Suggestions: 100 pesos and below

If you are on a tight budget this christmas yet still want to give meaningful gifts, here are some gift suggestions priced at 100 pesos and below. My daughter and I gave them away to friends this christmas and they liked them for their usefulness.
Muji pens for 85 pesos each
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Character socks for 100 pesos each
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Fab Manila coin purses for 35 pesos each in assorted prints
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Succulents for 90-100 pesos eachimageHappy christmas shopping!

Christmas Gift Ideas: Airees Creates

I have been meaning to write about this artist I have been following in IG and her beautiful watercolor creations. To say that I am a great fan of her work is putting it mildly. I am fascinated with her artwork because one, she paints from the heart and it reflects in all the character figures she makes with her brush. Two, I have never been good in Art and well, she paints the way I used to wish and imagine myself painting had I been an artist myself. And three, she’s a busy mom like most of us yet she deliberately finds time to pursue her passion.
I am talking about Airees, the artist behind @aireescreates in IG. I do not really know her personally and we have not met yet. So, I am just sort of like a fangirl here writing about her girl crush, or in this case, art crush. What’s not to like about Airees?! I mean, the art journals and paper wallets she creates are all made from abaca fibers that were treated organically so they become tear resistant. And, she not only creates with her hands but also supports local women, specifically artisans from Mindanao, who used to be fisherfolks and housewives. All her products are fair traded too and promise to be sturdy and durable. I am an art lover and a sucker when it comes to social enterprises and anything handmade and sustainable, so I support Airees 100%! You guys should too.
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Recently, she launched her very own She Calendar for 2016 which features some of her beautiful artwork. It is a desk calendar that you can put on top of your office, study, or bedside table at home. Each page contains a unique watercolor painting of a girl that Airees herself joyfully and lovingly created plus an inspiring quote from a famous personality to get you motivated. It definitely has good vibes written all over.
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If you are looking for a perfect gift to give to a friend or loved one this christmas, this is it. Her products are not only creative, eco-friendly, and proudly-pinoy made, they bring delight to anyone who receives them. If you want to see Airees’ complete product offerings, head over at aireescreates.com or follow her in Instragram (@aireescreates). You can choose from a wide variety of artsy journals and wallets there plus of course, the super nice She Calendar 2016. Merry Christmas shopping!
Photo Credit: @aireescreates

5 Tips to Boost Your Immunity This Christmas

Although the cold crisp air that signals the start of the christmas season excites us, I cannot help but feel a little bit worried of the changing weather once again. Not because I just like being the grinch of christmas (although my daughter says that to me all the time) but because this also means the start of allergy/asthma season for my kid.
My daughter was diagnosed with asthma when she was only 6 months old. It was worse when she was growing up. But then after receiving radiation to cure her of thyroid cancer about a year and a half ago, it went on remission. Lately, she’s been getting again the hives, allergic coughs, and colds which sad to say are her asthma triggers. What we do to control and manage it is to drink double dose of our favorite Vitamin C. This way she can enjoy the holiday season to the fullest minus the stress of being sick. You might be wondering how else do I shield her and the rest of the family from these holiday health woes. Well, we do these five simple things:
1. Get enough sleep
A good night’s rest ensures a healthy body. Sleep promotes cell repair and cell regeneration. If our cells are healthy, all the organs in our body function well. It takes the load of stress off our shoulders when we know that we are strong and ready to face the rigors of school and work tasks especially this holidays. Its actually a yay for me this season since getting everyone to sleep isn’t that hard to do given the bed weather we’re having lately.
2. Eat more (organic) fruits and vegetables
Eversince my daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, we became very particular with the food that we eat. As much as possible, we choose organic produced fruits, vegetables, and even meat. Since less to no chemicals were used to grow these products, you’re guranteed to absorb all natural vitamins and minerals when you eat these kind of produce. Although a bit expensive than the local ones in the market, you won’t have to worry about handling and safety issues.
3. Exercise
My daughter and I love to run. The first thing that my daughter’s cancer doctor/ endocrinologist doctor encouraged her to do was to exercise. As much as possible, she needs to be in optimum health so she can easily fight off the pesky cancer cells that are still present in her body. And, what better way to do this than to maintain a regular excersice routine. Running and other forms of exercise promotes blood circulation. When more oxygen circulates our body, we detoxify easily.
4. Meditate and Reflect
The most effective way to destress is through meditation/self-reflection. I know it sounds so Buddhist but it is really quite simple and easy to do. A few minutes of silence, spiritual reading, journalling, painting, or even listening to soft music will do. Studies show that people who tend to self-reflect has less chances of getting one of the life threatening diseases such as heart attack, cancer, etc. than people who don’t. It is because self-reflection/meditation are the mind’s natural way of purging itself from mental toxins and negative vibes. Advent, Christmas, and New Year are perfect to reflect and take stock of our blessings don’t you agree?
5. Drink Fern-C
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My daughter and I have been drinking Fern-C for years. We don’t drink any food/vitamin supplements other than Fern C. My acidity level is high that is why it is my no. 1 choice of vitamin C since its sodium based. When my daughter had cancer two years ago, I put her on Fern C as well. It is because cancer cells thrive on two things, acid and sugar. We need a vitamin C that won’t add more acid in her tummy and would balance the PH level in her body. We found that in Fern C. You can say, I experienced first hand how effective Fern C is as an immune-system booster and how potent it is as an anti-oxidant with my kid. My daughter isn’t cancer free yet. BUT, since she’s been healthy and getting good tests results these past months, thanks to the kind of lifestyle we keep and of course Fern C, we know she’s getting there. I’m proud to say Fern C has become our ally in fighting the Big C and STRESS this holiday season.:)
I say, boost your family’s immunity this Christmas too, drink Fern C!
To learn more about Fern C, visit their websites:
Fern-C Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fernconline/
Fern-C Twitter: https://twitter.com/FERNCOnline
Fern-C Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ferncofficial/

Beauty Hacks by Alex Gonzaga

As an actress, comedienne, and TV host, it is part of Alex Gonzaga’s job to take good care of herself, especially her skin. Being on the limelight, her face has to be camera-ready at all times. The 27 year old actress knows that to maintain a clear and radiant skin, she has to keep a healthy lifestyle, from what she eats to what she does off-cam.
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Alex graciously shares some beauty hacks guranteed to keep face acne-free. Here are some of them:
1. Get as much sleep as you can
Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep has been proven to reduce one’s stress level. Stress which causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil leads to the formation of acne. Alex explains, “Sleep helps the skin recover after a long tiring day so I make sure I get enough rest every night.”
Personal Tip: Studies have also shown that cell regeneration happens between 10 pm to 2 am, so make sure to sleep no later than 10 so your body can benefit much from skin cell regeneration.
2. Drink lots of water
Increasing the amount of water you drink is a great way to hydrate skin and flush out internal toxins from the inside out. Alex shares that she always keeps a bottle of water to keep herself hydrated during long hours of shoot.
Personal Tip: Add lemon to your water to balance the PH level of your body for a more glowing skin.
3. Exercise
Physical activity cut down stress and improves blood circulation. Exercise efficiently distributes oxygen to skin cells and carries wastes away. Alex adds, “I do pilates regularly. It is fun and a great way to relieve stress.”
Personal Tip: 20-30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise everyday is enough to improve blood circulation. You not only glow, you burn (fats) as well.
4. Sleeping without makeup on
No matter how tired she is after a long day at the set, Alex religiously takes time to remove all traces of makeup from her face to make sure her pores are not clogged with sweat, dust, and dirt.
Personal Tip: Choosing the right make-up is important as well. Some make-ups have strong chemicals and harmful ingredients that can make skin react thereby causing breakouts. Make sure to check the active ingredients in the product before you start using them. It is always safe to choose organic and hypoallergenic.
5. Invest in over-the-counter product
Alex swears by Proactiv, the leading anti-acne treatment product which is safe and effective to use by almost everyone. Alex shares, “Proactiv has always been part of my beauty regimen for six years. Its specially-formulated ingredients help treat and prevent acne.”
Personal Tip: Composed of the complete 3-Step System to knock out acne, Proactiv is very economical, safe, and easy to use:
Step 1 is the Renewing Cleanser, an oil-free, soap-free medicated exfoliating cleanser with U.S. prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide that kills acne-causing bacteria.
Step 2 is the Revitalizing Toner, a refreshing alcohol-free toner that refines and purifies pores.
Step 3 is the Repairing Treatment, a feather-light, invisible medicated treatment that kills acne-causing bacteria.
Every Proactiv kit comes with a free Proactiv Refining Mask, a rich, deep-cleansing mask formulated with sulfur, a proven acne- fighting ingredient that reaches deep into the pores where blemishes begin.
As Alex puts it, “Proactiv use only requires less than five minutes a day. It’s convenient and it works!” Take it from her, she sure knows her way to a smooth and acne-free skin.

The First Filipina Face of Proactiv

I got word from my brand partner, Proactiv, that they have finally found the perfect Filipina who embodies the brand. Last month,27-year-old actress and comediene, Alex Gonzaga, joined the roster of Hollywood elites as the first Filipino endorser of Proactiv.
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Although I am not particularly fond of Alex, I have to admit that her charm and not to mention her loyalty to the brand makes her a perfect Proactiv endorser. Shares Alex, “The Proactiv 3-Step System has been an important part of my daily skin care routine for years! It is effective and easy to use. I am so thrilled to be the first Filipina face of Proactiv and tell everyone all about my experience using it.” She further adds, “It’s mild formulation gently exfoliates my skin, removes excess oil and delivers powerful acne-fighting medicine.”
Being an in-demand celebrity, she knows first hand how stress and fatigue can take a toll on the skin. She spends long hours taping, doing shoots, and attending to mall shows. She also puts on pounds of make-up which can cause damages on the skin such as zits and breakouts. If there is one person who can sincerely and credibly share how Proactiv’s dermatologically tested ingredients make skin clear, radiant and acne-free, it is Alex.
I was quite impressed when I learned that even with her frenetic schedule, Alex purposely finds time to do her Proactiv’s simple and easy 3-Step System. She explains her step by step beauty regimen as:
STEP 1: “Before going to sleep, I apply Proactiv’s Renewing Cleanser. You can feel it gently removing impurities in your skin with its exfoliating beads.” Akex shares.
The Renewing Cleanser is an oil-free, soap-free medicated exfoliating cleanser that kills acne-causing bacteria. It has U.S. prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide which are ultra-fine micro-crystals that penetrate the pores fast while being gentle on the skin.
STEP 2: “I follow it up with the Revitalizing Toner,” Alex continues.
Proactiv’s Revitalizing Toner is a refreshing alcohol-free toner that refines and purifies pores. Its Glycolic acid exfoliates dead skin cells to help keep pores unplugged while its botanical-rich formula soothes and hydrates acne-prone skin.
STEP 3: “I just squeeze a pea-sized amount of Repairing Treatment on my palm and spread it on my face,” she adds.
The Repairing Treatment is a feather-light, invisible medicated treatment that kills acne-causing bacteria preventing zits and acne.
Proactiv is available in 30-day kit (P 2,495.00) and 60-day kit (P 3,995.00). It is exclusively distributed at all Watson stores nationwide. Each Proactiv kit comes with a free Refining Mask. This Refining Mask makes a great leave-on spot treatment at night for better complexion in the morning.
Alex was warmly introduced as the new Proactiv brand endoser during a Press Launch last September 29 at Buddha Bar Manila. Says Proactiv Philippines General Manager, Mari del Rosario “We are proud to have Alex Gonzaga as the first Filipina face of Proactiv. She is beautiful, spontaneous, and hip. She fits the brand perfectly. With Alex heading our local campaign, we hope to reach out to more Filipinos and encourage them to take a step and fight acne today.” Welcome aboard, Alex!

Gawa ni Femi

One thing I love about instagram is that it provides a visual feast for the eyes. One account I follow there that never fails to make me smile everytime it post update is Gawani Femi.
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This account is owned by Femi Cachola, an artist and crafterpreneur, who does amazing things with pots. She paints and gives each of them a character, and calls them potheads. The result is pretty amazing especially when you match them with the right succulents or cacti plant.
Here are some samples of her artworks:

Mimi an Otaku who is passionate about all things Kawaii

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Lala the Karaoke Queen who is crazy about musical theatre and singing contest
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Jojo who just love real and made-up stories

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Vivi who finds uncommon exciting and weird amazing

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Popo the real man’s man with his love for action movies, tools, old spice, and bacon
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Dada the bookworm
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They look good together too!
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These are just some of the potheads that Femi cleverly and skillfully created. She organizes and facilitates craft parties and workshops as well. Her products are available online and at some selected stores.
Femi and her potheads are also doing the rounds of art festivals and fairs. You can connect with her in instagram here and facebook here to get the latest updates on her potheads’ whereabouts.:)
With the holidays coming, I am sure all of us are looking for a unique gift to give to friends. One that would make them squeal in delight and amazement. Gawani Femi potheads are perfect christmas gifts. I mean, who would not fall in love with them, they are quite charming plus they are proudly Filipino made. Let’s support local art!

Managing Summer Acne With Proactiv

Summer is synonymous to vacations, thrilling adventures, and  the great outdoors. But unfortunately for some, the high temperature can also spell acne and its complications. The sweltering heat often cause sweating, which when mixed with excessive oil, dirt and bacteria clog skin pores and lead to breakouts. But then the good news is, despite our overactive oil glands this summer, we can still enjoy the sun, thanks to the best pimple-fighting ally: Proactiv Solution! It is the leading anti-acne treatment product in the market that is proven safe and effective for everyone. Not only does it address acne from the roots, it also helps prevent facial blemishes!
How It Works
Proactiv’s mild formulations gently exfoliate skin, remove excess oil, and deliver powerful acne-fighting medicine. Its acne-care system can work alone or in combination with a dermatologist’s prescriptions. Its micro-crystal medicine penetrates pores fast and delivers instant acne-fighting action.
How to Achieve Acne-Free, Summer Ready Skin
Making Proactiv an essential part of your daily skincare regimen is just easy since it only takes five minutes to apply. Its oil-free formulation is designed to absorb excess oil giving face a more mattified appearance.  Skin remains soft, smooth, hydrated, and without the greasy look and feel.
Simple Three-Step System to Acne-Free Skin:
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RENEW
Step 1: Renewing Cleanser
This medicated Renewing Cleanser is made with exclusive micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide. This small, fine particles are designed to quickly penetrate pores and kill acne-causing bacteria on contact. They act as tiny exfoliating beads that gently remove dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells.
REVITALIZE
Step 2: Revitalizing Toner
This refreshing, alcohol-free toner helps remove impurities and excess oil so skin looks and feels clean, soft and refreshed . The soothing botanical agents in this solution also gently balance the skin tone.
REPAIR
Step 3: Repairing Treatment
This feather light, medicated repairing solution gets deep into clogged pores faster. It is designed to be gentler on the skin. Its oil-free formula makes it safe to use in your entire face.
BONUS: Refining Mask
This rich, deep cleansing mask uses sulfur, a proven acne blemish-fighting ingredient that reaches deep into the pores. It heas  existing blemishes, pampers inflamed skin, and softens and refines the skin’s texture.
This summer, we can definitely beat the breakouts, by using PROACTIV!

Protect Your Skin From the Sun With Daylong

I never thought I’ll manage to run a 10 km in this heat but yesterday morning, I did, thanks to my new sunscreen! When I was training for the marathon, I would wake up as early as 5 am to beat the sunrise. I would clock in a nice 14-16 km long run and a few short runs every week. But then when summer came, it has been very difficult for me to do even a 10. It is because by the time I packed in some decent miles, the sun is already scorching hot and I can feel it burning my skin. So lately, I have been running mostly in the afternoons.  I have to admit that even at this time, there’s no escaping the heat.  A sunscreen is still in order since the sun stays till 5:30 pm. 
I have never been a fan of sunscreen lotion. Well, maybe because I don’t like how it leaves me feeling icky and how its dizzying smell sometimes linger. But when I became enagaged in this sport, I have recognized the need to apply it more often especially when a couple of friends remarked how I seemed to have aged with just a few months of running and also when I learned that two of my friends’ relatives have been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma a.k.a skin cancer due to severe heat expore. Those harmful UV and infrared radiation are really no joke, mind you. 
When my daughter and I were shopping for a new sunscreen after our supply ran out, we came accross a line of Daylong Sun Protection from Galderma. I decided to try it because I figured if its from the same maker of Cetaphil, it must be good. My daughter has been a Cetaphil user since she was a baby.  We absolutely swear by this product since it cured her of atopic dermatitis.
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Anyway, back to Daylong. I purchased the Daylong Gel SPF50+ for sensitive to oily skin since I have both. And boy, it didn’t disappoint. I put on a generous amount on my skin before a run and it didn’t feel sticky at all! Even when my sweat glands were working overtime, my skin remains grease free. And the best part, no scent! I instantly loved it. My face usually stings whenever I stay too long under the sun even with sunscreen on. Surprisingly, with Daylong, there’s none of that. A clear indication that this product has no strong chemicals and has been dermotologically tested safe. Looks like, I have found the perfect sunscreen! 
There’s a lot to be said about the harmful effects of UVA, UVB, and IR radiation. Premature aging, irreversible sun damage, skin cancer to name a few. If you want to know more about these  hard facts as well as how Daylong can protect your skin down to a cellular level, visit their website at http://daylong.ph. They have interesting reads there. 
Next on our list to try is the Daylong Sun Protection for kids! Yes they have that too. I am excited because my daughter is willing to try the product after letting her know that yes it’s grease free and fragrance free! She loves the great outdoors but hates putting on sunscreen like me. Lets see how this one goes.:)