products claim to increase the rate of cell turnover or aid cell
renewal. As the skin ages, the rate of cell turnover slows down
and this makes the skin look older.
or cell turnover refers to the time required for newly formed cells
to move from the base of the epidermis, where they are formed, to
the surface, where they are sloughed off. It takes about a month
for a cell to turnover in young skin (about 15 days to travel from
the base of the epidermis to the stratum corneum, the dead outer
layer of the skin, and about 15 days to move from the base of the
stratum corneum to the surface). It may take almost twice as long
for this turnover to occur in elderly skin. It's claimed that the
longer the process takes, the more apt the skin is to develop a
dull, drab appearance. There are also claims that this slower cell
transit can adversely affect the barrier function of the stratum
corneum so the skin loses moisture more rapidly and is thus more
likely to become overly dry.
and packaging claims for cell renewal products refer to tests that
prove that a particular product increases the rate of cell turnover.
The fact is, however, that application of many moisturisers will
increase the rate of cell turnover. More important to the consumer
is the question of whether the increase in the rate of cell turnover
will produce any visible difference in the skin, by, for example,
smoothing out wrinkles. This is very doubtful. Most agents that
increase cell turnover improve the appearance of dry skin simply
through their moisturising qualities.
to a sleep-smart
Do you sleep like a baby every night or lie there wide awake
watching the clock for hour after hour? Melanie Bowden finds out
the best ways to get a good night's sleep.
after weeks of insomnia problems, I woke to a foul odour in my kitchen.
I sniffed around until I found a curdling carton of milk inside
a cupboard. The day before I had placed the milk on the cupboard
shelf instead of in the refrigerator. My sleep-deprived brain never
registered the mistake.
I can laugh
about that day now but, at the time, it scared me. I wondered if
I could make a much more dangerous error - maybe while driving -
and that wouldn't be funny.
One out of
three adults suffers from insomnia. In school we learn about how
to eat properly and exercise, but no one teaches us how to get the
best night's sleep. No wonder so many adults are stumbling through
the day tired and then falling into bed worried that they won't
get the sleep they need.
suffer from insomnia or just need more hours of sleep, there are
ways to improve your sleep habits.
It's important to understand the concept of 'sleep debt' as
defined by Dr. William C. Dement, the author of, 'The Promise of
If you don't
get enough sleep one night, that puts you into sleep debt and the
debt accumulates. Dement, who is considered the world's leading
authority on sleep, says that "accumulated lost sleep is like
a monetary debt: It must be paid back."
let's say a good night's sleep for you means eight hours. If one
night you only get six, and then sleep eight the next night thinking
you're back on track, you're not. You still have two hours of sleep
the debt adds up and can affect your physical and emotional state,
as well as your mental competency. Sleep debt is the reason for
countless accidents including the Exxon Valdez and Challenger disasters.
It's also why parents of newborns can feel like they're losing their
If you experience daytime sleepiness - yawning, craving a cup
of coffee, rubbing your eyes - you have sleep debt. How can you
lower it? First make sure you're living what Dement calls a sleep-smart
lifestyle. Don't drink caffeine or alcohol in the evening, have
your evening meal at least three hours before bedtime, and stick
to a set bedtime along with a ritual like a hot bath or reading.
environment is also very important. It should be kept cool and quiet.
Your mattress, pillow, and bedclothes should be very comfortable.
Your bed should only be for sleeping and sex, so no reading or TV
watching in bed. Exposing yourself to sunlight during the day and
exercising regularly will also help you sleep better.
Going to bed
as little as a half an hour earlier can make a difference in how
you feel. Dement says, "The task is to work down your sleep
debt until you are alert and energetic all day... You'll work more
efficiently when you are well rested, and working more efficiently
will, in turn, give you more time for other activities".
So you're determined to get more sleep, but you end up lying
in bed thinking about tomorrow's to-do list. What can you do?
like counting sheep or counting backwards from 100 are good to try.
Here's a great mental game that my mother-in-law taught me: Go through
the alphabet searching for one-syllable boys names for each letter.
For example: Ames, Blake, Cal. If you make it to Z, then start over
with one-syllable girls names, then two-syllable boys names, and
so on, but you'll probably be asleep way before then.
to clear your mind is to write out your to-do list for the next
day before you go to bed. You can also designate a set amount of
time for worrying, say 15 minutes every evening or write your concerns
in a worry journal. The goal is to get the worries out of your mind
so you will be able to ease into peaceful slumber.
techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, meditation,
and massage can also improve your sleep according to Barbara Heller,
a psychotherapist and the author of 'How to Sleep Soundly Tonight'.
stress and prepare for bed, she advises you to "take a deep
breath in through your nose, and then let it out audibly through
puckered lips, as though you were blowing out a candle. Repeat".
survey of my insomniac friends yielded the following stress suggestions:
drink a cup of plain chamomile tea before bed, transport yourself
mentally to a relaxing locale to drift off, and don't live near
neighbours with barking dogs! If you do wake in the night, don't
check the time. That will only make you worry about how many hours
you have left until you need to get up.
If you find it difficult to set your worries aside at night,
try thinking - putting your brain to work on issues and problems
that you face during the day. This technique is outlined in Dr.
Eric Maisel's book, 'Sleep Thinking'.
it works. Think of an issue you want to find a solution to and then
pose it as a question to yourself as you fall sleep. One of Maisel's
tips is: "Fall asleep with a wonder, not a worry". For
example, instead of thinking, "What am I going to do about
my hideous job?," rephrase it as, "I wonder what I could
do to improve my work life?" Phrasing the question as a wonder
makes you more receptive to possibilities. In the morning, write
down anything relevant you remember from your sleep or dreams. Even
if you don't actually solve any problems this way, "Sleep thinking
promotes a good night's sleep because you go to bed relaxed and
curious, not stressed out and worrying," according to Maisel.
"Also, you go into a deeper sleep which allows you to feel
find that sleep-thinking lowers stress and reduces insomnia. Most
insomniacs lie in bed worrying. With sleep thinking, you learn how
to refocus that worrying into positive problem solving.
Try a doctor
If you try various nonprescription suggestions and still aren't
sleeping well, be sure to check with your doctor. Insomnia can be
a symptom of other health problems such as asthma or depression.
Heller says, "Chronic medical problems often don't respond
to self-help remedies". She advises that if your sleep problem
is persistent or periodically recurs, then you should seek medical
not every tip will work for you - or even be right for you. In the
interest of keeping my milk fresh, there are a lot of things I'll
try in order to get a good night's sleep. But give up reading in
- Asia Features
Make a choice
Dear H. H Forever,
(Letter withheld on request)
Your parents don't like your boyfriend
because he's a Burgher. What makes you think they'll like your cousin?
He's younger than you and a family member. They wouldn't approve
of either of your choices. The decision rests with you. What is
it that you want? Do you want to build a life with your boyfriend?
He's working and more established than your cousin who's still a
teen. Out of the two, who can you do without? I don't know either
of these guys. Only you know them and only you can decide on who
is best for you. Think about it. Our life depends on the choices
love with a star
I'm a 22-year-old girl. I have fallen in love with a boy who's
in a TV advertisement. I know he's a TV star but it is not the reason
to love him. I met him at my cousin bro's wedding. I smiled with
him and I looked at him every minute. I think I really love him.
I can't get him out of my mind. What shall I do? Can I get him?
Please help me.
If it's only a handsome guy you need, I'll say go for it. But
I'm sure you want more than just a handsome face. Qualities are
Beauty's only skin deep they say. Besides, when beauty fades, if
there's nothing of substance to replace it, you're in for trouble.
You know next to nothing about this guy. If you can find some details
about him, do so. Be realistic. If I were you, I'll put the TV star
out of my mind, go out, meet people and enjoy life until Mr. Right
Dear Puzzled Lucky, (Letter withheld on
Is it possible that you like him maybe even more than you want
to admit to yourself? Maybe he's not your type but he seems like
a nice guy. If you don't want him, that's fine, but what's wrong
with friendship? There's no sense in making him an enemy when you
can be friends. Explain things to him. I'm sure he'll understand.
Who knows, once you get to know him, you may even change your mind.
To my sweet dream girl Menaka,
You are the only one who touched my heart. I
look forward to seeing you. I wish you a very happy birthday on
Your ever loving Viranga
Hi sweet Jel,
I wish you a happy, fantastic and romantic 19th birthday. May
all your dreams come true. I love you. Take care.
My affectionate mum,
I miss you very much. But my prayers bring you very close to
me. I love you so much.
Your youngest daughter, Nadee (Beruwela)
Dear Chaturanga (2003 A/L)
I called you last week but your mom answered and snapped at
me. Tune in to Yes FM Super Fax this Wednesday.
Thinking of you,
Dear Romesh (2002 A/L),
Darling, I miss you like crazy. Just want to say that you are
on a wild goose chase. Be on the look out.
From Tin Tin
To my darling Mal,
I love you so much. You are on my mind all the time. I am sure
that we have a wonderful future together. Wish you the best for
Your ever loving Ravi
To our dearest friend Mizra,
been so thankful to God for your friendship. Happy birthday and
God bless you.
From your pals, Nuskiya and Farha
To my sweet heart Isha
mysterious guy, you are the most wonderful boy I have ever met.
You are very special to me as you have touched my heart. I love
you and think of you all the time. Wish you a bright, romantic,
healthy and successful future. May all your sweet dreams come true.
Your ever loving Suja
Dear son Babu JSD,
We wish you a bright and prosperous happy birthday. Son, study
well instead of playing rugger in campus.
All our love,
Mum, Dad, Arun and Menaka
To my dearest Chamini, Nadiya, Nilangani, Shashi, Sonali and all
You have helped me in more ways than you will ever know. Thank
you. You will always have a special place in my heart as such wonderful
From Aloma (Nilangi)
On your birthday, you should know how many people care for
you and admire you. We join in the celebration of wishing you a
very happy birthday.
From Pameela, Bhatiya, Randika, Sanjaya, Udaya, Raja and Sandika
To our dearest friend Azmiya,
We wish you a very happy birthday. May all your dreams come
true. We wish you a bright and prosperous future. We are lucky to
have a friend like you.
From your loving friends - Zaifa, Mifra, Fasliya, Samra, Rukshana,
Dilhani, Simaya, Skenoma, Iyana, Vidhu, Raihana, Azma and Shabiha
To my darling husband Faisal,
On your 22nd birthday (October 26) may all your dreams become
a reality. It's amazing to know that both were born on this special
day. I love you.
From your darling wife, Fazmina