REVIEW: SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

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Hello everyone!

Age is just a number, or is it? While it is easy to work out someone’s chronological age from their birth year, it does not necessarily reflect the true biological age of their skin. Hence, some people tend to look older than they are and vice versa. It’s no secret to anyone that the key to having youthful and radiant skin is to eat well and lead a healthy lifestyle. But very often, we would also need the help of anti-aging products to give our skin that extra boost to stay young.

Call me paranoid but as I inch closer to my 30th birthday, I’m beginning to pay very close attention to the every single detail of my body. Lately, I have noticed the loss of elasticity in my skin. Although not very visible from a distance, I could feel the weight of my cheeks when my face is at rest. To top it off, I would also see the outer corner of my eyes crinkling into little crow’s feet as I practise my smile in the mirror. As a result, I had tried not to smile too excessively lest more wrinkles developed (perhaps that’s why Victoria Beckham doesn’t smile?). Furthermore, to make the matter worse, I was called “auntie” (a term of respect for any older women in Singapore, but can be a derogatory one for those not that old) on several occasions by young kids 😥 I’m barely 25 goddammit!

So instead of letting nature take its course and allowing age to ravage my youthful looks, I decided I had to do something before it gets costlier to reverse the damage (with botox and whatnot). And honestly, when it comes to combating and repairing aging skin, no brand does it better than SK-II.

Introducing the all-new SK-II R.N.A. Power line!

Introducing the all-new SK-II R.N.A. Power line!

Evolving from stempower technology to the latest innovation in anti-aging technology, SK-II ushers in a new generation of anti-aging skincare with the Pitera x R.N.A. (Radical New Age) Power boutique. It targets the multi-controller of firmness to achieve lengthwise-crosswise firmness by rejuvenating skin cells and promoting structural protein synthesis in every cell, all layers of the skin.

This new lineup sees the reformulation of the brand’s best-selling moisturiser (which will be covered on the next post) and essence (toner) to better cater to the beauty needs of consumers.

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence (50g, S$149)

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence (50g, S$149)

SK-II R.N.A. POWER Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. POWER Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

For weeks I had been experiencing enlarged pores on my nose and cheeks due to hormonal changes partially caused by my menstruation. These large pores caused a lot of inconvenience to my makeup regimen because the bumpy surface made it much more difficult for foundation to be applied evenly. The problem persisted for a while even after my period had ended and it would usually take days for my face to recover.

Read more: Tighten Pores with the Right Tips and Products!

But after using the R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence for the first time, I instantly felt my skin almost reverting back to its original state. The change may not be obvious to the naked eye but you can definitely feel the difference! Apart from the reduction of the pore visibility, my skin had also become smoother after application, allowing makeup to be applied with greater ease. I noticed my hyperpigmentation had somehow lightened a bit as well.

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

Using the provided dropper dispenser, release 2 full droppers of the essence into the palm and smooth over the entire face after cleansing. However, I like to dot my face with the essence and then smear it with my fingers out of habit but it is definitely advisable to use your palms instead so that more product would be absorbed into more parts of the face at the same time. You can also add extra drops onto specific areas of concern, such as on the outer corners of each eye or laugh lines. Otherwise, 2 drops should be more than enough for the whole face.

The essence has a rather milky and lightweight texture with a semi-thick consistency. It has a mellow scent of plant fragrance (can’t quite figure out what but it really smells awesome and calming) and it absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving a sticky residue behind. You know how some cream comes off like sweat or dirt-like playdough when you rub against your skin? Well, this certainly does not! This essence gives my skin a soft healthy-looking glow (even at the T-zone) rather than an awful greasy shine. Therefore, I was truly impressed with the results! 🙂

Essence spreads evenly across the skin, leaving no unsightly residue. Picture depicts first-time use

#NOFILTER: Essence spreads evenly across the skin, leaving no unsightly residue. Picture depicts first-time use

Application

Application

In order to experience the full effect of the product, I had tried it for at least a week (alongside the R.N.A. Power cream) before penning down this review. By the end of the trial, my face felt a lot firmer and looked – dare I say – flawless with a bouncy resilience. It actually regained my confidence in heading to school without makeup (which is a big deal considering how I had never gone to school with a bare face since my first year, even if it was only for a 1-hour lecture). This product is definitely a worthwhile investment despite the cost.

Skin isn't as rough as before after very first application

Skin isn’t as rough as before after very first application

What say you, ladies? Is this something you would lay your hands on? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read more: Learn how you can better utilize your SK-II products in this Japanese skincare routine.

Thanks for reading!

The SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence is now available nationwide at SK-II counters at S$156 (30ml), S$224 (50ml) and S$308 (75ml). You can read more about this product here.

5 Tried and Tested Beauty Hacks

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Hey everyone!

When it comes to caring for the skin, I know some can be really relentless and wouldn’t hesitate spending exorbitant amounts of money on upscale skincare products and other ways to enhance their appearance. But do you know that by piling up products over products on your face, you not only clog up your pores which can lead to greater skin problems, it also robs the skin of its natural ability to recover? Likewise for your hair, frequent visits to the salon to get them chemically treated causes more damage to your once-beautiful locks than you think.

We often get so caught up with our complicated beauty regime that we forget that “less is more”. It is definitely possible to achieve a healthier and more radiant-looking skin with just a fraction of your usual expenses or better yet, at absolutely no cost. You don’t need to spend a fortune on spas packages to relieve stress, or expensive hair treatments to get enviable tresses because – believe it or not – these are achievable at the comfort of your home using everyday products!

I’m sure you’ve seen many beauty hacks floating around the internet so I’ve shortlisted and personally tested out five (also swore by some of my beauty enthusiast friends) that have proven to be rather effective. Do note that these hacks may react differently to your skin so do exercise caution when trying them out.

For reference, I have combination skin and do get breakouts from time to time. To find out what skin type you have, click here.

1. Apply baby lotion on your hair to make it softer and shinier

Forget about getting your hair rebonded which can be really damaging in the long run with the harsh chemicals used in the process. As crazy as it sounds, this method works like a charm. I was taught this technique by a schoolmate (turned beauty pageant contestant and now a popular actress) whose long beautiful thick curls often drew compliments. I tried it for a few months (until my lotion ran out and I got lazy, heh) and my hair did turn out to be silkier and softer, like baby hair.

Directions

  1. Apply a small amount of baby lotion on your palm
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  2. Rub it and then dab it on your hair to give it moisture. Do not apply on your scalp.
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Do apply sparingly because too much would make your hair look super greasy and you wouldn’t want that, right?

2. Fix chapped lips with petroleum jelly

This needs no further explanation because many of you might have already read or heard about this widely-used remedy somewhere. For those who haven’t, petroleum jelly is one of the main ingredients in lip balms. Studies have shown that petroleum jelly soothes skin by locking its moisture and that it won’t clog pores. It has miraculously healed my dry lips a couple of times and prevented me from picking my lips (bad, bad habit) although I only wore it to bed.

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Petroleum jelly can be found in most pharmacies 🙂

Directions

  1. Apply a THIN layer on your lips. That’s it!

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However, this method is not recommend to those who make out *shifty brows* or have the tendency to lick their lips a lot because apparently, consuming little amounts of petroleum jelly over prolonged periods can cause lung inflammation.

3. Place cold towel on your face to minimise pores

One lesser known beauty tip is putting ice cubes on the face to tighten up the pores. But as you know, ice cubes melt and can become a messy affair when it does. Hence, another way I’ve come up with would be to place freezing cold towel on the face instead! Dubbed the “cold towel treatment”, it’s fuss-free, easy and most importantly, it doesn’t drench your top in the process. Moreover, with such scorching hot weather in Singapore right now, applying something cold onto your face (and other parts of the body) can bring much relief to your skin. I’ve been doing this every morning for the past decade and I seriously attribute my youthful look (a bit buay hiao bai/shameless but I’ve been told many times that I look younger than 25 even though I have terrible sleeping and eating habits LOL) to this practice. Try it!

Directions

  1. Wet your facial towel
  2. Place it in the freezer overnight (or at least 3 hours for it to be entirely frozen)
  3. Remove it from the freezer the next morning and cover your entire face with the cold tower for about 20 seconds (or until it cools to room temperature). You may also put it behind your neck for an added pleasure.
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Frozen towel – you can’t really tell from this picture but it’s hard stiff!

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Brrr! It’d trigger brain freeze the first few times but don’t worry, you will get used to it!

Alternatively, you can also use the Facial Cool Putter EH-SQ10 by Panasonic which works just like putting ice cubes on your face. I have a set, courtesy of Panasonic, and I can tell ya – it instantly cools down your skin and shrink your pores. But unlike the cold towel, it does not require 3 hours to cool. Simply plug in the device to the power outlet and give it just 30 seconds to turn cold (reaching about 10°C when room is 25°C) and then it’s ready for use! This product is especially useful for white-collar workers who are in dire need of something to perk them up after lunch (y’know, food coma) and using the cold towel treatment would be inappropriate (and unglam). You can also use this after shower when the skin is still warm to get better facial tightening and cosmetic effect. How awesome?!

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Panasonic Facial Cool Putter

It has a relatively small cold-plated surface which allows you to target specific areas of your face.

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Panasonic Facial Cool Putter

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First touch was very ticklish to the skin lolol

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Use the entire cold plate for wide parts of your face such as the cheeks, forehead and… ears?

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Ahhhhh this is heaven 🙂

4. Place cold metal spoons on your eyes to rid puffy eyelids

If you wake up to really puffy and tired eyes after a late night, you can quickly de-puff them by placing a cold metal spoon on the bottom of each eye. Massaging the area with the spoons while the icy temperature cools constricts the blood vessels and reduces swelling, hence helping to rid under eye dark circles and eye bags. It also tighten up your skin before you apply makeup.

Directions

  1. Wet 2 metal spoons (optional, but I do this to make it even colder hehe)
  2. Put both metal spoons in the freezer overnight (or at least an hour)
  3. Remove spoons from the freezer and place each spoon on the area beneath your eyes
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Frozen metal spoons

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And yes, the Panasonic Facial Cool Putter that I’ve mentioned earlier can also be used on your eye area! It works just like the metal spoons because it has similarly small cold metal surface. Once again, it only takes 30 seconds to cool, not 3600 seconds!

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Beneath the eyes

5. Enjoy aromatherapy while steaming your face

This only applies if you already own a face steamer. I use the Facial Ionic Steamer, also courtesy of Panasonic, to help me open up my pores, cleanse them and aid circulation in my face. My face feels clean and refreshed after every steaming session.

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Panasonic Facial Ionic Steamer

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The steam evaporates from the water you filled into this container!

Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that treats the mind, body and spirit using essential oils. Essential oils are packed with numerous health benefits that differ from one type to another. I particularly like lemongrass because it calms me down and relieves my stress and insomnia.

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What my room smells like now. This contains lemongrass essential oil 🙂

But who would have thought of incorporating aromatherapy into your (boring) face steaming sessions at home? Thanks to Bryan Gan 老师’s innovation, all the lucky ladies at the recent Panasonic beauty workshop he fronted now know that it’s possible to enjoy the steam and our favourite scent at the same time! How?

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Things you need

Directions

  1. Dab a little bit of essential oil onto a square puff/cotton puff

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    Dab dab dab. You can use a dropper too!

  2. Stick a sticky tape onto the puff and attach it to the steamer

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    Stick it up!

  3. For maximum pleasure, dim the lights and play your favourite songs in the background. Not sure what to listen to? Pick one of my favourite Spotify playlists below:The Very Best of Enya | Lisa Ono Best 1997-2001 | English Oldies
  4. Leave the steamer on for about 6 minutes and inhale the scent ^_^
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Yay, who needs to go for spa when you can do something similar at home?

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Caught in the act! Boyfriend loves the steamer too 🙂

Psst.. The steamer can also be used in conjunction with the Facial Cool Putter as a final step of moisturising or to better cleanse your pores (hot to open, cold to close). Just follow these steps:

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Wanna lay your hands on the Facial Cool Putter and Facial Ionic Steamer by Panasonic?

Great news!

Panasonic Singapore is extending a very special offer to my Singapore resident readers from now till 5 July 2015! The Facial Cool Putter EH-SQ10 is now going at $109 (RPP S$129) and the Facial Ionic Steamer EH-SA31 at S$174 (RPP S$199). Prices for both include delivery and GST with ONE-YEAR warranty.

How to order?

1. Email to hanwei.chew01@sg.panasonic.com with subject: “Blog readers’ promo – Panasonic Beauty (omy.sg)”
2. In the email, indicate product name, model, and quantity of purchase.
3. Indicate which blog you saw this promo from (fionaseah.com).

This is my final post for the Singapore Blog Awards and I really wanna thank you guys for all your support! 🙂 If you like this post, please cast a vote for me! You can vote once everyday ’til 6 July.

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Signing off with a group picture with Bryan Gan 老师 who inspired me to pen this post!

Thanks for reading<3

Panasonic Singapore

Website | Facebook | Singapore Blog Awards

6 Vital Points to Massage for Health and Beauty

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Hey everyone!

In this day and age of face-paced living, it is almost impossible to relax yourselves especially when you’re residing in Singapore, where one in four workers here reported being highly stressed in a poll conducted by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in 2013. Fortnightly pampering sessions like trips to facial spas, massage or nail parlours are reduced to once a month (none, for some) as you rise through the ranks with heavier responsibilities to shoulder because there’s just no time for that. As a former supervisor in a popular tuition centre who had to juggle work, study and love life, I can totally understand the fatigue from working long hours with little time to recuperate. At work, I had to run 3 outlets and be at my ex-bosses’ beck and call, sometimes even working past midnight to tie up loose ends. I worked over the weekends due to lack of manpower and hardly had time for leisure because most shutters would be down by the time I knocked off. With such hectic lifestyle (as with what most working adults are experiencing here, albeit I’m sure not as demanding as mine – that’s why I’m now out of there 😐 ), who would have the time for relaxation?

But do you know that it is very important to relax your body? Not only does it “trigger a flurry of genetic activity that is responsible for some important health benefits“, it also rejuvenates your body and slows down your ageing process! You don’t know how chao lao (old and haggard) I looked when I was slogging at the tuition centre three years ago. I looked frail with terrible complexion, had my hair falling out and fallen sick a couple of times in a short period. All these could have been avoided if I had found a better job hadn’t put so much unnecessary pressure on myself (trying to perfect myself at work) and relaxed. Ex-colleagues used to describe me as a kan chiong spider, overly anxious about everything.

Since I left my job, I had all the time in the world to pamper myself. I started indulging myself with full body massages (occasionally, coz so pricey omg) and foot reflexology and really felt the difference in my general health (slept better, getting sick less often, etc.). I did the latter typically weekly. Even so, you know how expensive such massages are in Singapore. Each 40-minute reflexology session costs at least S$30 at some places and doing it long term will make me go miserably broke.

Then one day, I had this sudden realisation that I could do the massage myself (learnt by secretly observing the masseur’s techniques ohohohoho!!). It’s a bit troublesome lah but I could save LOTS of money in the long run, so why not? And it works even better with this Warming and Facial Body Roller I had received from Panasonic to review as part of the requirements for being a finalist of the Singapore Blog Awards.

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Warming Facial & Body Roller EH-SP32 (S$189)

The Warming Facial & Body Roller is such an amazing tool – it comes with two detachable rollers (squeezing and stroking rollers) to suit use and preference and even has a heating element to create warming effect on skin! I largely enjoy using it because of this feature. It’s like putting a warm towel on your body.

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Detachable rollers for squeezing and stroking

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Adjustable temperature – Hi (approx 48°C) and Low (44°C) available

So now I’m going to share with you guys the areas on your body to massage, as well as some really simple (yet very beneficial) massage techniques I’ve acquired by observation and research combined with my takeaway from my recently attended workshop conducted by top health and beauty guru, Bryan Gan 老师!

IMPORTANT NOTES!

▪ Do not use the device with any lotions, oils, creams or alcohol wipes as doing so may damage the roller.
▪ Do not soak product in water or use in locations with high temperatures and levels of humidity as it is not waterproof.
Do not use the roller while wearing makeup as the makeup can get into the gaps in the roller and damage it.
▪ Do not wash the product. Wipe with baby wipes (no alcohol wipes) after use.

1. Face

Facial massages, although easy and intuitive, are often overlooked but do you know that by relaxing your facial muscles and connective tissues, you’re actually softening your expression-induced lines around your eyes, lips and brows, helps expel acne-causing toxins and de-puffs and brightens the eye area [1]? That’s right! By massaging your face often, you not only get a face lift naturally, you also save money on Botox! But remember, all facial massages are to be done in an upward direction. You don’t want your skin to sag as a result of the massage, right?

Psst.. If you don’t have a roller, just stroke with your fingers or massage in rotational movements 🙂

  • Set your temperature to ‘LOW’. Beginning with your contour lines, move the squeezing roller from the bottom of the chin to the bottom of the ears so as to squeeze and lift. Also, clench your jaw and roll onto the masseter muscles (a.k.a jaw muscles, the upper part of your jaw that’s protruding out, both sides) 10 times. Push one end of the diamond roller into the masseter muscle and rotate around it. Do it 5 times for the first time and gradually increase it to 10 times. This can help to relieve constipation and migraine.
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Hehe like my illustration? Face modelled after mine with some modifications of course. Purposely added blush and bronzer to the face (contours) because I’m a beauty blogger after all mah

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Contour lines

  • Switching to the stroking roller, move it toward the outer side of the face so as to pull the corners of the mouth upward. Do this 10 to 15 times.

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  • Move the roller from the side of the mouth to the cheekbones. Do this 10 to 15 times.

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  • Move the roller from the corner of the nose to the ear and slowly move upwards to the area under the eyes. Do this 5 to 10 times because the skin there is more tender. This will help to soothe puffiness and relieve muscle tension under the eyes.

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  • Move the roller to your forehead in an upward direction. Do this 10 to 15 times. This will help to even out the skin (no more wrinkles!) above your brows.

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  • And finally, move the roller up from the bottom of the chin to the bottom of the lower lip. Do this 10 to 15 times.

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2. Scalp

If you’ve been to salons to get your hair washed, you might have experienced having your scalp massaged for a few minutes. It’s one of my favourite moments in the salon because the feeling is so orgasmic and I’d sometimes fall asleep unknowingly. Well, scalp massage actually helps to increase blood flow to the hair follicles, thus promoting hair growth. It can also ease the tension you feel in your neck and behind your eyes.

I’d sometimes rub and knead the skin of my scalp with my bare fingers which can get tiring after a while. Now that I have the roller, it makes my life even easier! A technique that I’ve come up with, it’s not as enjoyable as having your scalp massaged by a professional but it’s still better than nothing. Use the roller with a teeny weeny bit more strength.

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Start with your hairline

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Then to your main scalp area

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Move the roller up and down towards the crown

3. Neck

If you have neck stiffness, this is something you should try! Neck stiffness is caused by stress, excessive computer use, head and neck trauma and bad posture. This in turn reduces the blood flow to cause fatigue, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, insomnia, and poor functioning of the immune system. Hence a good neck massage would help relieve that stiffness and rectify or prevent the above problems [2].

Using the squeezing roller, move it up and down and enjoy the grip! Then, move the roller down to the shoulder and back up to your neck again to give it a good massage! Feel the warmth of the roller, it’ll make you feel so good!

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Back

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Side

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(optional) I use the stroking roller to “roll down” my double chin. HAHA!

4. Stomach

The appliance also helps to tone your stomach and at the same time, activates the acupressure points around the stomach area to ease indigestion and bloating (have to be followed by peppermint oil), rid water retention and boost your immune system. Switch to the stroking roller, turn the temperature to ‘HI’ and move the roller up and down. As it’s going to get very comfortable, it’s best to do this exercise on your bed. Do this 30 to 50 times before sleeping 😉

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No supermodel abs to show sorry

5. Arms

If you’re a victim of bye-bye arms like me, this roller can help tone them! It also makes you feel so awesomely good and at the same time, invigorates your tired and aching arms (maybe from carrying all the heavy shopping bags! GSS mah)

  • Going back to the squeezing roller, raise your arm and move the roller up and down your underarm about 50 times (following the stomach exercise) or for around 3 seconds. You will feel the device gripping onto your flabs.

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The product can also be used on your wrist and elbow but I personally use it around my wrist to improve my lung circulation. In Chinese medicine, massaging the wrist (内关 nei guan) ensures smooth flow of Qi (oxygen) in chest and it is good for relieving pain when breathing. It also, among many other benefits, improves cardiac functions; prevents cardiovascular diseases such as angina, stuffy chest, palpitations. Perfect for asthma sufferers like me!

  • Move the roller from the wrist toward the elbow. There is a “point of sleep” on your wrist where massaging it would make you feel drowsy (great if you’re insomniac). It’s located at the point where your ring finger and index finger meet when a line is drawn vertically downward from the fingers to the wrist.

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6. Legs

Despite being the most used part of the body, your thighs are sadly the most neglected part of your leg which you walk on all day. Unless you’re in for a full-body massage, no masseur (especially if he’s a guy) would dare to touch your upper thighs during a reflexology session. It’s a very sensitive area and touching it would give you goosebumps instantly. So yes, you are solely responsible for your poor overworked thighs.

  • To relieve muscle tension around the thighs, move the roller from the knee towards the upper thigh. Do it for about 2 seconds. I like to do it around my inner thigh though ^_^

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Like runners, ladies who love wearing high heels would often experience sore calves. The calves most likely get injured more often than not due to very intensive calves workout or running. Calf muscle injuries can greatly hinder your mobiliy because they are what help you walk, run or jump  so it’s important that you take great care of them.

  • To improve your systemic circulation and reduce scar tissue (happens when your calf injury is left untreated), move the roller from bottom to top. Do this for around 2 seconds.

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Last but not least, alright, this will probably disgust some of you clean freaks out there but hey, I realised that it can also be used on your feet! For obvious reasons, please only do this step after you’ve completed your facial massage haha. And of course, after you’ve washed your feet thoroughly. Feet massage has a truckload of benefits including promoting better sleep, improving blood circulation and relieving aches and pains and many more. After all, your feet are packed with nerve endings connected to every part of your body.

  • Use your squeezing roller and target different points of your feet. Since the diamond roller is quite huge, you can probably only massage the centre of your foot, grip the sides and the area beneath your toes (press the diamond against it – your Tai Yang acupuncture point is somewhere there). If you don’t have the roller, you mainly use your thumb.
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Side

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Press against the middle

There are in fact other areas of concern mentioned by certified massage therapists, like on the buttocks, spine (actually this is worth trying!) and collar bones but I’ve yet to explore them. Essentially, it’s the same massage technique using the squeezing roller – just move the roller up and down and enjoy the warmth and grip!

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In a nutshell… (tl;dr version)

It’s super easy and since the appliance is so portable, you can do it any time, any where, even in your office, in your car, while watching your favourite Korean drama on the computer screen.. you get the gist. What’s more, if you have aged parents at home, you can also help massage their hands or legs with the roller. But be warned, they’ll probably request for MORE sessions like this in the future because it’s seriously very comfortable. (Never mind lah, they like can already. Filial piety mah!)

Like this Warming Facial & Body Roller
by Panasonic?

Great news!

Panasonic Singapore is extending a very special offer to my Singapore resident readers from now till 5 July 2015! The Warming Facial and Body Roller EH-SP32 is now going at $159 (including delivery and GST) with ONE-YEAR warranty. Its usual RPP is S$189. It’s really a great offer and investment, don’t you think? 😉 Better than paying S$60 a month for foot reflexology!

How to order?

1. Email to hanwei.chew01@sg.panasonic.com with subject: “Blog readers’ promo – Panasonic Beauty (omy.sg)”
2. In the email, indicate product name, model, and quantity of purchase.
3. Indicate which blog you saw this promo from (fionaseah.com).

I will be back again to talk about another product range by Panasonic so do stay tuned for it!

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Thanks for reading ❤

Panasonic Singapore

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