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  • Writer's pictureJuliana C Stryker

Forget About ‘Work’shops, We’re Going To A Beauty ‘Play’shop!

Being beautiful is as much about feeling good as it is looking good, that’s why the term ‘workshop’ never really resonated well with me.

Come on, you’re meeting amazing people, pampering yourself and trying new looks! Does that sound like hard work to you?

Beauty shouldn’t feel like hard work. Instead, it should be fun and make you feel alive.

Henceforth, I will call these get-togethers playshops. We play with new toys and learn more about what we love! What more can we ask for?


Two weeks ago, Panasonic hosted an informative Beauty Playshop featuring their latest skincare gizmos as well as beauty tips from Celebrity Lifestyle Guru and Natural Therapist, Bryan Gan.

Besides dispensing valuable Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) beauty pointers, Bryan also suggested many useful and out-of-the-box ways to create our very own home retreat.

If you’re in need of a quick sensory getaway and true beauty fix all from the comfort of your own home, then you certainly have to read on!

Your gateway to relaxing home treatments begins here.

Meet our therapist of the day – Bryan Gan

A little background about our host this morning:

Bryan Lao Shi (老师 meaning teacher) started as a health and wellness blogger in 2001. He soon began to gain recognition for his tried and true holistic, natural treatment methods.

On top of this, he’s also an aromatherapy enthusiast. Over the years, he has curated and shared many therapeutic home treatments that combine acupressure massaging with essential oils to help his readers relax, rejuvenate and even recharge.

His passion and commitment really shone through and today, he’s a popular host on hit Taiwanese lifestyle variety show, Lady First (女人我最大) and a renowned beauty consultant for top celebrities.

I’ve got you beauty lovers intrigued eh?

Don’t fret if you missed the Panasonic gig because I’m here to recap the event and its helpful tips. 🙂

4-7-8 Breathing Technique

Bryan Lao Shi commenced the playshop with the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique to help us relax, calm and de-stress before we began the day’s activities. It’s all about the senses, remember?

Though it’s called the 4-7-8 technique, it’s actually as easy as 1-2-3! :p

1) Breathe in deeply through your nose for 4 seconds

2) Hold your breath for 7 seconds

3) Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds

Yup, in case you’re wondering, it is the same 4-7-8 breathing exercise that everyone has been sharing on Facebook.

It is highly recommended by Dr Weil, scientists and people who’ve tried it. The technique helps to regulate your breathing, blood oxygen levels, reduce your heart rate and release special hormones which all lead to a calmer and more relaxed state as well as a fantastic night’s sleep.

Even I’ve been using this method to clear my mind before I hit the sack every night. It works like a charm, I tell you.

I’m a huge fan of meditation. When all else fails, close your eyes, empty your mind, aim for enlightenment. A zen-like calm will do wonders for your soul, ease the tension in those worry lines, ease away that frown, allow you to wake refreshed and ready to face whatever life throws at you. This is exactly why I’ve added the 4-7-8 technique to my meditation repertoire.

Living It Up With TCM

Bryan Lao Shi is also a strong believer of TCM and the use of medicinal herbs. I know some of you may dismiss such healing methods as ‘pure placebo’ but Bryan emphasised that he would only recommend products that he has personally tried and proven to be effective.

Well, you can totally see that conviction in his eyes. Haha!

His first endorsement at the session was that we make our own fresh Corn Silk Tea. He proposed drinking the tea a few times a week to flush out excess waste and reduce bloating.

Do you know that inflammation is closely linked to cancer, heart disease and a multitude of other diseases?

Well, then you’ll be happy to know that corn silk is anti-inflammatory. 🙂

It also helps to protect and soothe the urinary tract and kidneys, and lower blood sugar levels.

To top it off, corn silk contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s a perfect blend of goodness!

Thank you Bryan Lao Shi for introducing this super ingredient to us! Now let’s make some tea!

Simply shuck the corn, save the corn silk and brew it with boiling water.

And here’s my Corn Silk Tea this morning. Yummeh!

Check out my new ‘Wake Up with Me’ video to find out how I incorporated the tea into my morning routine.

Other foods that received Bryan Lao Shi’s stamp of approval were White Fungus, Dried Longans and Chrysanthemum.

White Fungus

Bryan believes that white fungus can help to bring radiance back to the face and promote healthier lungs.

Dried Longans

He suggested boiling dark dried longans with red dates to create the ultimate remedy for insomnia and stomachaches. Dried Longans are rich in iron and fibre too so they make very healthy desserts!


Finally, with Chrysanthemum, it gets a little tricky. Different types of Chrysanthemum serve different purposes and even the number of  Chrysanthemum flowers play a part.

In summary, drink White Chrysanthemum (Baijuhua) to reduce eye dryness, Yellow Chrysanthemum (Huangjuhua) to treat headaches, Baby Bud Chrysanthemum to boost immunity and relieve stress and finally, Wild Chrysanthemum (yejuhua) to reduce heat, swelling and pain.

Bryan Lao Shi recommends six flowers in every cup for best results. No more, no less!

Beauty Meets Technology

It’s a Panasonic Beauty Playshop so this means we also got to enjoy product demos by Bryan and witness first hand the effectiveness of the Panasonic gadgets.

I used the Panasonic products according to Bryan Lao Shi’s suggestions. Check out my demos with the gadgets on my previous post – Wake Up With Me.

Create Your Own Sanctuary At Home

Bryan Lao Shi came up with a pretty innovative way of using the Panasonic Facial Steamer to turn your home into an aromatherapy retreat.

Okay, here’s the thing. Panasonic actually discourages mixing the water in the steamer with any other substance as it may cause burns, malfunctions and even shorten the life span of the machine.


We really wanna enjoy those soothing essential oils like we’re in a real spa. So to counter that, Bryan developed a simple and effective method which I’m going to share with you in bit.

First, here are the items you need: A cotton pad, scotch tape and of course, your favorite aromatherapy oil.

All you need to do is to add a few drops of essential oil on the cotton pad, then attach it to the funnel head of the device.

Turn on the switch and you’ll feel like you’re enjoying your steaming session in your own spa haven.

Speaking of facial steaming, I know many of you may be wondering if steaming really helps to open the pores and dislodge the unwanted impurities. Or even worse, does it act like a total dehydrating agent and strip our skin completely of moisture?

This brings us to the next segment of the post:

Here Comes The Science

Steaming and detoxing… Are they too good to be true?

I’ve always been very conscious about my gaping skin pores so ever since I heard that hot water opens pores and cold water shrinks them, I hated myself for indulging in all those hot steam baths and began to attempt to ‘reverse the effect’ by gliding ice cubes around my face every morning.

Haha! That was ten years ago.

Now I know I can’t pit against the will of mother nature. And you should too.

I’ve spoken to Dr Chia Hui Ling, Plastic Surgeon at KK Hospital and Dr Suzanne Cheng, Dermatologist at the National Skin Centre to clarify all these beauty myths about pores and detoxing. “Pores do not open and close. Anecdotally, steaming helps to soften the pore and hence, it becomes easier to extract the clogged debris. There is no evidence that we expel any toxins through skin, just sodium from perspiration. That said, steaming is not entirely pointless. The heat from the steam will help with vasodilation and improve circulation to the face.  The causes of enlarged obvious pores may be different for the young and old. Younger skin tends to have heaps of clogged pores from excess sebum secretion, while older skin may suffer from skin laxity resulting in pores opening up too.

To tighten pores visibly, you’ll need lasers to improve collagen remodeling.”

Chia Hui Ling Plastic Surgeon KK Women & Children’s Hospital MBBS (London) MRCS (UK) MMED (Singapore)

“Pores or hair follicles probably do react slightly in response to heat.  And the condensate from steam would soften the epidermis temporarily, much like soaking feet before paring callouses. It’s a misconception to think that applying a mask or washing your face with cold water will “tighten” open pores.  To do that, you’ll need procedures such as Fractional Co2 Laser and Radio Frequency to promote new collagen formation. Finally, the skin does not eliminate toxins, that’s the job of the liver and kidneys.”

Suzanne Cheng MBBS (London) MRCP (UK) Consultant Dermatologist National Skin Centre

I hope that cleared the air. No facial steaming treatments or topical products are going to help you ‘detox’. The only way you can do it is through a healthy liver and kidneys.

Remember to drink up, take a lot of fruits and vegetables and of course, rest well to keep your organs healthy.

For added support to your detoxification programme, I highly recommend taking Milk Thistle supplements (especially if you’re partial to a lychee martini once in a while) as this supports the function of your liver which is responsible for producing Glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in our bodies. A healthy liver means more Glutathione which in turn means you’re at your best in terms of fighting free radicals and other toxins.

*If you’re not certain whether Milk Thistle is suitable for you, please consult your doctor.*

So Is Steaming Still Good For Us?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Steaming only becomes dehydrating and damaging when you are exposed to it for too long. But if managed wisely, it can also give you intense hydration and replenish lost moisture.

Skin also becomes more absorbent during steaming so this is the most opportune time to apply your skin care products.

So how long is too long?

Five minutes. Anything more and it’ll be a negative relationship where your skin loses moisture faster than it can absorb moisture.

In conclusion, too much steaming is bad for your skin but used in moderation with your favorite beauty products, you’ll get the most effective moisturising treatment.

A Different Kind Of Beauty Advice

I know that nowadays you can find any information on Google. As such, many of us have become Google Scientists, proving our beauty theories with articles found on the internet.

However, there are many articles and studies around, even those published on so called reputable platforms such as Pubmed and the Lancet, which may be inconclusive and erroneous.

There are studies which are too small to be statistically significant, are flawed in terms of study methodology, and sometimes you even have to look at who’s funding the research to decide whether to take the results with a pinch of salt or not.

This is why doctors and scientists in fact have to undergo training in order to be able to effectively ‘critically appraise’ research to know what can be trusted and what can’t.

It’s fashionable these days to try and use science to decide whether a beauty product may really work or whether you might be just experiencing the placebo effect.

Just remember to be prudent with the information you can find, in case the so-called facts lead you away from a beauty wonder to a beauty blunder.

With a big thank you to OMY, Panasonic and of course Bryan Gan, I hope you have found this journey enlightening.

Now we can all combine ancient traditional ideas with the latest technology to get the best of both worlds and reach for new heights of beauty.

Aim for the stars belles!

Great News Belles!

Fancy trying out these gizmos for yourselves? Well, it’s your lucky day!

Panasonic Singapore is extending a very special offer to you ladies.

1. Cool Putter EH-SQ10 Readers’ Price: S$109 (including delivery and GST). [Usual RPP: S$129]

2. Facial roller EH-SP32 Readers’ Price: $159 (including delivery and GST). [Usual RPP: S$189]

3. Compact Facial Steamer EH-SA31 Readers’ Price: $174 (including delivery and GST). [Usual RRP: S$199]

How you can order:

1. Email to with subject: “Blog readers’ promo – Panasonic Beauty (”

2. In the email, indicate product name, model, and quantity of purchase.

3. Indicate which blog you saw this promo from (

Panasonic Singapore will reply to the emails directly with the payment and delivery details. The promo is valid

till 5 July 2015 only, while stocks last.

I’d love you hear what my beautiful belles make of these devices! Looking forward to hearing from you all soon!

Hold Up!

Yay! I made it to the finals of the Singapore Blog Awards 2015! This is my third time being nominated in the beauty category so I really hope third time’s a charm. 😛

I couldn’t have gotten here without you guys and I hope you’ll join me for this dance one more time to help make my dreams come true.

And you can do that by casting a vote for me. Simply click on the image below and you’ll be directed to the voting gallery or you can click here –

You can vote once everyday until the 6th of July at 3pm.

I know it’ll be challenging to remember to vote for my blog everyday but if you like this post and what I’ve been doing so far, may I unabashedly suggest that you could (maybeee) remind yourself everyday when you’re sipping your morning coffee?

So morning coffee = vote for! 😛

Haha! Thank you once again for all your support and love!

Your friend, Juliana

Disclaimer: Please rest assured that even though this post was created in partnership with SBA2015 and Panasonic, it does not have any bearing on the content of this post. Opinions stated are objective and genuine. Also note that all sources, information, content, links are valid to change at any time.



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