Saturday, January 14, 2017

MFO’s Verdict On: Dyson Pure Cool Link Purifier

I have had allergies for most of my life, and while I’ve kept it in check thanks to changes in diet (cracking down on gluten, dairy and eggs) and lifestyle (no pets, living with air purifiers in the room, vacuuming constantly, cleaning the A/C regularly, always having a constant supply of anti-histamines, etc.) I’m always still on the lookout for that wonder product that will deal with allergies and the sneezing and sniffles that come with it, once and for all. 

Add to the fact that we live along a very busy street, I’m constantly worried about the dust and fumes my family is exposed to on a daily basis. So you can just imagine how pleased I was when I discovered that my my holy grail of vacuums, bladeless fans and hair dryers aka Dyson had an air purifier like no other. Here’s my review: 

The Product: Dyson Pure Cool Link Purifier

The Promise: Removes 99.95% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.1 microns. With a host of impressive features…

Put to The Test: I have to start off by saying I’ve never had warm fuzzy feelings about appliances until I came across Dyson. I remember first seeing a TV ad about Dyson’s ball vacuum and how it could niftily manuever itself across tight spots without the clunkiness of the typical square floor vacuums, and I was blown away. It made such an impression I wanted to own a Dyson. While I never bought the ball because it was beyond my budget then, I’ve aspired for the brand since. 

So yes, I’m biased to start with. We have the Dyson V6 Mattress handheld vacuum that can take out dust mites and leaves our pillows and mattresses smelling so clean and fresh, I’m already a believer. 

Of course, when we got the Pure Cool Link, I made attempts to keep my views objective, but given my background, excuse me if I sound too enthusiastic, haha. 

PORTABILITY – It’s quite compact, that it fits comfortably in the backseat of our sedan. It’s so light too, I carried it out of the store to the car without a sweat. Can’t say the same for our old purifier.

INSTALLATION – Such a breeze, after unboxing and reading the manual, it took less than a minute to clip on the tower to the base and plug it into a socket.

I literally just put the bladeless tower on top of the base and once it clicked, it was good to go

PURIFYING POWERS – Try sitting in front of the air purifier and you can already smell the difference in the air you breathe. It just feels fresher, so much different than having the electric fan on and having the same warm air in the room spewing out from the blades.

If you’re curious about how the filter looks like, here ya go:

This 360° Glass HEPA filter captures ultrafine particles (up to 0.1 microns) from the air including pollen, bacteria and pet dander. It does not have to be replaced until after 4000 hours of use, which translates to about 5.5 months of 24/7 use.

If you think it’s all in my head, well, because I linked our purifier to my phone, I could tell the change in air quality right on my phone screen. Check this out:

From FAIR at 2:24 PM to GOOD at 2:37 PM

COOLING – Our old air purifier spews air up, with no cooling involved. Our Pure Cool Link oscillates and circulates cool purified air across the room, so in a sense, it also works like an electric fan, shooting out a fresh breeze once it’s on. I also love the fact that it’s gentle and quiet. You won’t drown in hangin and the air that comes out is cool. Not like with electric fans where your hair gets into your face when it’s on full blast and how when its warm, it also spews out warm air.

My daughter also knows that while quiet, the air that comes out is strong enough to dry her nails quickly. Too funny.

AESTHETICALLY SPEAKING – For this alone, nothing beats a Dyson. Sleek and well-designed, it just elevates the look of the room. Just spot the difference in these photos:

SAFETY – I have 3 kids all under 7 so safety is always a consideration in our household. With the Pure Cool Link, I can rest easy knowing that my kids can stick their hand in and I don’t have to deal with bloody fingers. There’s also no vents where they can drop balled up bits of paper or some tiny objects the way they would with our old purifier.

Passing the Verdict: I’m pretty much chuffed with myself that I’ve found IT. The wonder product I’ve been looking for. I need not look further after all because hello, Dyson, like that needs an explanation.

The only thing keeping me from putting one in every room right now really is the price. At over Php40,000 a piece, it’s a luxury that while justified, needs to be put into my 2017 household budget.

Practical Tip: I’m estimating that I need 2 more Pure Cool Link Purifiers, so for now, I’ll have to move our current one from room to room. Which is not really that big of a deal because it’s so light, I can carry it myself from downstairs to the rooms upstairs.

Also, it’s the only thing that can effectively take away the smell of cooking and ulam in just a few minutes of running it. No need to mask scents with fragrance sprays if you suddenly have visitors coming and you just had danggit or daing for breakfast. Super galing.

Price: Php42,500

Point of Sale: Available at the Dyson Concept Store in Greenbelt 5, and Dyson activation stalls in Greenhills Promenade, Century City Mall. Also at True Value, Rustans, SM Appliance Center, Abenson, Anson’s, Robinsons Appliances and Landmark.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

How We Said Bye to Eczema

Imagine this. You are a new mom. Your baby is just a little over a month old. 

She’s fussy, she cries a lot. Her diaper has been changed, she’s been burped. Maybe she just wants to feed more? 

Then again, maybe it’s the red and raw spots between the folds of her skin that’s bothering her.

You try to soothe her as best as you can. You look at her sweet but bumpy little face and think, I’d gladly take her eczema so that she won’t have to suffer the discomfort and look so kawawa.

Yup, story of my life. That was me and Berry when she was just a newborn.

Everyday, I’d look at the red wet lesions on the folds of her arms and legs and crusty, flaky skin on her cheeks and tears would fall down my face. My mom and sister who were around to help me take care of Berry felt so bad for her. No one in our side of the family had eczema and we had no clue on what to do.

I’d take a picture to show the pedia and show him how it seems to get worse, and he’d say, if only to reassure me, “It really does happen to some babies. Remember to apply topical medication as prescribed.”

So I’d religiously apply the cream on her thin wet skin, and ointment on the dry parts while also researching tirelessly on how to fight eczema once and for all. I’d ask fellow moms for tips, look up information from the eczema website and vowed never to stop until every little bump and lesion was gone.

To cut a long story short, yes, we’ve successfully battled eczema, and looking at Berry now, with her smooth, practically flawless skin, you’d never guess she’s prone to it.

All those hours spend obsessing about eczema has paid off, and I’m sharing the fruits of my research with you. Read on!

1. Eczema or atopic dermatitis is linked to allergic diseases like allergic rhinitis and asthma. While the exact cause is unknown, it definitely is manageable.

2. It is an inflammatory skin condition characterised by dry, itchy, red patches, oozing or crusting , rough, scaly patches of skin 

3. Those who suffer from eczema have a defect in their skin barrier function leading to loss of moisture and increased exposure to irritants and microorganisms. 

4. Managing eczema requires a two-pronged approach: 
  • relieve itching, swelling and inflammation 
  • keep skin moisturized 

5. To relieve itching and swelling, use Elica*, a topical corticosteroid that is a safer alternative to steroids that you have to use twice a day. Cream for wet lesions like inside the folds of skin, and Ointment for dry, scaly patches of skin, like on the cheeks. Just apply a thin film on affected areas once a day. That’s it. Because you can already see a difference in just one day of use. Be sure however not to use for more than two weeks. 

6. Now, for the new normal. You’ve got to keep these in mind to keep flare ups from happening: 
  • Avoid scratching! keep fingernails short or for babies, keep their hands in mittens for the meantime
  • Bawal pawisan! Keep them cool all the time. Luckily, we were living in the US when Berry’s eczema was at its peak, so it wasn’t that hard to keep her from sweating
  • Be quick to wipe drool away on baby’s chin 
  • A natural way and cheaper way to having the A/C on the whole time is through cold compresses and wet wraps 
  • Now this, I learned the hard way. If you bathe your baby in water that is too warm, it will strip the skin of moisture fast. My mistake then as a first time mom was that I made Berry bathe in warmer than lukewarm water because I was afraid she’d get cold. Wrong move! Lukewarm is fine for young babies, cool water is better for older kids.
  • Avoid smoke, perfume and air fresheners. When washing clothes, avoid strongly scented detergents and fabric softeners. Try to use mild (up to now we use Perwoll on our family’s clothes and sheets), or fragrance free or organic detergents like Perla, and make sure to always rinse clothes well.
  • If you are breasfeeding a baby with eczema, avoid food allergens. If they are big enough, avoid giving food that may trigger allergic reactions 
  • Make them wear light, natural fabrics like cotton and linen, and keep the areas covered as much as possible
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I used to put drops of olive oil on Berry’s bath and didn’t use soap on Berry’s skin until her eczema cleared up. After bathing, I’d moisturize her skin with lotion on top of the film of olive oil on her skin. Yes, she was a greasy baby. Haha. But with this rigorous practice, it sounds counterintuitive, but her eczema cleared up by her third month and hasn’t returned since!
Berry always wore long sleeved cotton cardigans or tops when we were out so that we don’t expose her eczema to possible allergens or bacteria

A word of advice though, before embarking on our tried and tested practices, make sure to consult with your doctor for the cause of your child’s itching and lesions, even if your maternal instinct says it is eczema. It’s always better to be cautious with kids, and to be safe than sorry!

*Elica is available over-the-counter at drugstores and pharmacies and retails for Php428 for a 5 g tube.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Last Minute Gift Idea via Beam and Go

BeamAndGo was borne out of the desire to help Overseas Filipino Workers support their loved ones in the Philippines other than just providing cash.

Their goal is to enable OFWs buy food, medicine, health care, insurance, education and other essentials for their families in a way that is affordable, convenient, transparent and sustainable.

Beam and Go is harnessing the power of their ability to source cheaply for us folks back home too, to avoid the steep prices for grocery baskets sold in the retail market during the Christmas season.

They've come up with these Christmas gift packs and they'd be happy to prep everything for you, just provide them with the delivery address in email upon confirmation of your order. Check out below:

For inquiries and special arrangements, please don't hesitate to contact Albert Go at 0920-938-8983 or drop an e-mail at He said he'll be more than happy to attend to your inquiries.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Verdict On: Delite Ampalaya Plus Herbal Tea

Growing up, fruits and vegetables were a staple in our meals. We've always loved it except for the dreaded Ampalaya. My mom who has diabetes, would insist that we eat it once in a while because it's good for lowering blood sugar. As a kid, I've always hoped there was a better way to consume it without the bitter taste. A few months back, I was so happy to discover the Ampalaya Plus line of products and shared it with my Mom. 

Recently, I gave my sister Nicole a box of Delite Ampalaya Plus Herbal Tea (from the same makers of Ampalaya Plus Capsules ) to test out and asked her to monitor her blood sugar. 

This is Nicole, she's a real person, and she wrote this review hehe

She doesn't have diabetes or is pre-diabetic, but we are very conscious about monitoring our blood sugar because diabetes runs in the family. Here is Nicole's verdict, as written by her: 

The Product: Delite Herbal Tea Ampalaya Plus 

Product Information: Contains...

- Momordica charantia (Ampalaya) leaves and fruits

- Citrus microcarpa (Kalamansi) juice

- Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) 

- Curcuma Longa (Luyang Dilaw) rhizomes

- Lagertroemia speciosa (Banaba) leaves 

The Promise: 
 The product doesn't have any therapeutic claims. Common knowledge suggests that herbal teas have a multitude of health benefits. Collectively, Ampalaya, Turmeric, and Banaba are best known for being an antioxidant that lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and reduces swelling and pain in the body. It is FDA registered as a Herbal Tea under the Food Category. FDA's position on Herbal Tea is that it is not recommended for pregnant women. 

Put to the Test: 
 For this particular test, we just wanted to know if it can lower blood sugar or if the health benefits being experienced or reported are just really placebo. For 1 week, I drank Delite tea with breakfast. Due to limited lancet needles and strips available, (and mostly because I refuse to prick my finger everyday) I only took my blood test twice which was on the initial and last day of the one week test. 

On day 1, I took an initial blood test 2 hours after having breakfast without Delite. On day 7 I took a final blood test 2 hours after having breakfast with Delite for 6 days straight. 

Day 1 - Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly sandwich without Delite 
Day 2 - Just Delite 
Day 3 - Chocolate bread slice with Delite 
Day 4 - Cucumber shake and Dragonfruit with Delite 
Day 5 - Estrelles caramel cake with Delite 
Day 6 - Rice with daing, seaweed, salted egg end tomatoes with Delite
Day 7 - Dragonfruit with Yakult and 2 cups of Delite (I took two cups because I ate 4 donuts yesterday and pasta) 

Passing the Verdict: 

Day 1: 104

Day 7: 69 

Quite shocked at the Day 7 level. One sachet is enough. 

I would still have preferred eating the real thing, which is fresh Ampalaya, Banaba, or Luya boiled in water, but this alternative has my seal of approval.

Limitations of the experiment: Variables such as diet and exercise varied daily. 

Practical Tip: The taste is slightly bitter but quite delicious. Enhance the Kalamansi flavor, by squeezing one real Kalamansi into your hot or cold tea. Next to water, Delite has zero calories and has no sugar added, no artificial color or flavor, and may be taken hot or cold. It is probably one of the healthiest health drinks available in the market. 

Disclaimer: It is important to note that Delite tea should not be considered a stand alone treatment for any ailments. A balanced meal rich in fiber and low in fat, coupled with exercise is still the best way to prevent Diabetes. 

Price: Php20 x 1 sachet, Net Weight/sachet:25g 

Point of Sale: Available at Mercury, Watsons, TGP, South Star, Rose Pharmacy and all leading drugstores nationwide. Available online via Lazada and for those abroad, through the Ampalaya Plus website.

Promotion: Special Lazada offer buy any of our product and get 1 free Delite Herbal Tea. (Good while offer lasts) 

-Buy 1 box of Ampalaya Plus and get 1 box free of Delite Herbal Tea. 
-Buy 1 box of Renalin get 1 box free of Delite Herbal Tea. 
-Buy 1 box of Slenda get 1 box free of Delite Herbal Tea. 
-Buy 3 boxes of Enduranz get 1 box free of Delite Herbal Tea. 
-Buy 3 boxes of Delite Herbal Tea get 1 box free of Delite Herbal Tea.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

On Skincare Regimens

If there’s one thing I learned about skin care regimens, it’s that it can’t be static. 

It should evolve as you age, and more especially when situations change - from local weather fluctuations to moving countries, and hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause. Although, I can’t personally attest to the latter yet, heehee. 

What I know for a fact is that with my desire to manage and improve my #SkinHealth, my skin care regimen has changed so many times, from when I was in my teens, to now that I am 40. 

In high school, I started with being a soap and water kind of girl to washing with Cetaphil when soap started to feel too harsh for my face. 

I began doing the Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize routine in my early 20s, which I coupled with the Oil Cleansing Method. Then using essences became an extra step and by my early 30s, I switched to a thicker moisturizer because of the harsh sun and winter weather in the city we lived in then. 

When I came across Garance Dore’s No Water cleansing routine. I decided to incorporate that into my daily life and have since included serums, facial oils and face masks in my bid to slow down aging. 

Of course, I still go to my dermatologist for regular cleansing facials, peels, prodding and pricking. 

There have been times when I would also take Biotin, a vitamin that helps thicken hair and is good for the skin and nails. But I don’t take it for prolonged periods. 

It’s practically a career just taking care of my skin, and I super envy girls who have low maintenance skin care regimens. 

So I know for a fact that for those of us who have or have had pimple and other skin issues, finding a skin care routine can be extra challenging. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, and it can be costly trying a product out, finding it doesn’t work and then moving on to the next one. 

The great thing is, there are beauty vitamins now that deal with pimples at the source. I’ve mentioned Lactezin in an earlier post

Lactezin has Lactoferrin (antibacterial milk-derived protein), Vitamin E, and Zinc, which combined together, have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. It deals with pimples from within, for clearer, smoother, less oily skin with finer pores. Wish this was around during my time! 

If you still haven’t figured out the best skin care regimen for your skin type, it’s time to start thinking about it. Whether you become one of the lucky soap and water kind of girls or you decide to embark on a Korean pop star-style 16-step routine, the choice is yours. No judgment here! 

As long as you have a fortified regimen built from a solid skin care routine plus beauty vitamins, blemish-free, healthy, glowing skin can be yours. Take it seriously and you'll see.

P.S. Lactezin is available at leading drugstores at Php20/capsule.
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