Sunday, April 25, 2021

Moist Butter Cake Recipe



200 g cake flour or all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g sugar
5 B eggs
4 tablespoons plain yogurt (preferred) or full milk

Use our food processor to beat the butter and sugar until well combined or pale yellow in color, about 3 minutes.

Add in the first egg. Beat well after each addition of egg until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes after adding each egg.

Add flour, salt, yoghurt and baking powder.

Pour mixture into silicone baking tray.

Bake until golden brown and cooked, about 40 - 50 minutes.

If desired--> make some cream cheese frosting

225 g package cream cheese, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons​ cream or milk, more as needed
130g confectioners' sugar, sifted
1tsp salt
2 tsp corn starch

Whip using food processor until stiff. Add more corn starch if too soft, more milk if too stiff.

Serve warm and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Get Your Dose of Omega-3 with Ayam Brand™ Tuna and Saba

 As Malaysia is on the road to recovery, many of us are returning to a more rigorous daily routine of work, education, exercise or leisure. We need to safeguard and maintain our health, and increase our immune system. 


In Conjunction with World Health Day in April, it is indeed time to make a commitment to eating cleaner, leaner and tastier. Heart healthy Omega-3 should be on the menu to get you back on track, thanks to its many health benefits.


Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in cold water fish, algae, other marine sources and in flax seeds. Saba and tuna are especially rich in Omega-3, and are much tastier than popping Omega-3 supplements! 


The time is now to get your daily dose of heart healthy Omega-3 with Ayam Brand™ Tuna or Ayam Brand™ Saba. Here are some of the health benefits of increasing your Omega-3 intake.


Omega-3 benefits is essential for development and growth!

Omega-3 is said to render cellular membranes supple, and the smooth passage of signals through neuronal membranes is key for several brain functions during childhood development, and throughout life. EPA and DHA are also said to reduce the symptoms of dyslexia, ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), and other learning, behavioural and coordination disorders in children.


Ladies, get your daily Omega-3

The fatty acids in fish oil improve skin barrier function, prevent UV-induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation, decrease itch and dry skin, and aid skin wound healing. 


Women are generally more likely to get osteoporosis than men as women tend to have smaller and thinner bones. In addition, the risk increases as women reach menopause due to the drop of oestrogen level which protects the bones. 4


The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get 8 or more ounces of oily fish per week (at least 250mg/day of omega 3) as this level has been shown to maintain healthy bones. 



All adults benefit from Omega-3

A study by the Association for International Cancer Research found that regular dose of Omega-3 consumption boosted skin immunity to sunlight. It reduced immunosuppression which interrupts the body’s capability to fight infection and skin cancer. Hence, omega-3 fish oils help to protect against skin cancer.


Seniors should increase their Omega-3 intake

Benefits to seniors include a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, other conditions of mental deterioration, and possibly age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

Omega-3 is also being researched for its role in reducing sleep disorders, anxiety, and impaired immune response. 


Saba is especially rich in Omega-3, 1 can of Ayam Brand Chilli Saba contain the equivalent of eight fish oil capsules, but much more delicious and conveniently packed in easy-open cans. Ayam Brand uses sustainably caught tuna and saba, without artificial preservatives or added MSG for a cleaner eating. Each can of Ayam Brand Saba or Tuna has more than 500mg per 100g of Omega-3 for a scrumptiously healthy addition to your meal. Ayam Brand Tuna, and Ayam Brand Saba are available nationwide in. They are ready to eat directly from the can, or can be used in a variety of delicious meals to suit your taste including sandwiches, fried rice, fried noodles, congee and more. 


Ayam Brand™ offers tuna in a variety of styles including Chilli Tuna Hot, Chilli Tuna, Chilli Tuna Light, Tuna Flakes Spicy in Olive Oil, Tuna Flakes Omega 3, Tuna Chunks in Olive Oil Light, Tuna Chunks in Water, Tuna Chunks in Mineral Water, Tuna Light Flakes in Water, Tuna Chunks in Oil, Tuna Flakes in Oil and Tuna Flakes in Oil Light to suit your dietary requirements and preferences. 


Ayam Brand™ Saba offerings include Saba Flakes in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Saba Flakes in Mayonaise and Saba Chilli.


“Eating tuna or saba regularly is an excellent and affordable source of lean protein and essential vitamins and minerals. It is an easy and tasty way for consumers to add foods rich in Omega-3 to their diet and fulfil the twice weekly servings of fish as recommended by the American Heart Association,”says Teoh Wei Ling, Marketing Manager at Ayam Brand.

” This year, let’s make a commitment to add one more serving of fish to your diet, as well as variety of fruits, vegetables each day – while cutting down on fried or sweet food. It can be a significant movement towards a healthier lifestyle,” Ms Teoh explains. “With Ayam Brand Tuna or Saba , consumers can easily increase their intake of Omega 3 fatty acids and begin to enjoy the benefits of a balanced diet, an essential part of healthy living.”


Follow for delicious Tuna/Saba recipes.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Dirran Organic Product Review

Dirran Organic showcases a wide range of products to suit every skin and hair care needs using various herbal blends. Not every skin is the same. Therefore, getting professional help to choose products that will address specific skin care concerns is the secret to ageless appearance. Individual's skin care needs will also change with skin condition and time, depending on age, environment and stress. Let me introduce the following Dirran Organic products that I have tried recently.

Super Fruits Antioxidant Masque Q10

I did not know how useful exfoliation was and feared about how harsh it is to my skin. In fact, exfoliation needs to be done weekly to remove dead skin cells to allow new cells to appear for more radiant complexion. The Super Fruit mask is made of a powerhouse of antioxidants including blueberry, cranberry, oregon grape, bayberry, cayenne, sea buckthorn and coenzyme Q10.

Apply a thick coat and allow on for 15-30minutes then massage in circular motions to assist exfoliation. After rinsing off, remember to complete the skincare regime (toning, serum and moisturising).

Peptide Complex Hydration Masque

This is a hydration boosting mask which can be incorporated into the daily skincare routine (after all, much effort is needed to upkeep the youthful appearance!). A beautiful concoction of plant oils, peptides and hyaluronic acid is allowed to infuse for 30minutes before rinsing to nourish and strengthen the skin cells.

Vitamin C Stem C 20 Serum

Orange stem cell and dandelion extract are the main ingredients which boost skin hydration, collagen synthesis and provide antioxidant effect to fight ageing by keeping the skin supple. After cleansing and toning, spray a small amount to the face avoiding eye areas twice daily. Moisturize after serum is absorbed. 

Peptide Complex Serum

98% ingredients of the Peptide Complex Serum are naturally derived and 72% organic. These include botanical hyaluronic acid, witch hazel, organic aloe vera juice, jojoba oil and peptide complex.

This becomes a powerhouse to even out skin tone and texture, maintain skin firmness and elasticity, as well as deterring signs of premature skin ageing. Apply a small amount on cleansed and toned skin before moisturizing. This serum is especially effective for dry skin.

Advanced Retinol Serum 2.5%

Retinol is a VItamin A derivative which delays the ageing process to reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, faints pigmentation, boosts collagen production, softens and heals damaged skin. It also enhances skin absorption of wheat germ oil and green eta leaf extract which are rich in nutrients and antioxidants such as EGCG. 

Use as part of a night routine after cleansing and toning. Avoid direct contact with eyes. Moisturize after serum is absorbed. Expecting and breastfeeding mothers should avoid this product as retinoids can cause miscarriage, premature delivery and birth defects. Do not combine with other retinoid products either.

Complexion Renewal Dry Oil

Dry and mature skin is deeply nourished and rejuvenated using Complexion Renewal Dry Oil. Dehydration lines and wrinkles are smoothed by this fast absorbing formula, also with the ability to fight free radicals and faints pigmentation. The oil blend is made of skin loving vitamin E, rosehip seed , argan, rice bran and sea buckthorn oil. Pat onto face and neck daily after cleansing, toning, serum and moisturizer before sun protection. Dry Oil is especially useful for postmenopausal women like my mom as dry and itchy skin can be a real issue.

Advanced Noni Facial Treatment Oil

Noni, grape seed, avocado, macadamia, jojoba and tamanu oils make Advanced Noni Facial Treatment Oil extremely useful after a day out in the sun or after laser treatment. This is able to soothe and heal skin by replenishing and locking skin moisture. Splash some water onto face and neck, followed by patting on the treatment oil. Add some water to the oil to remove eye makeup. My eye area is sensitive to makeup removal products but this treatment oil removes makeup effortlessly without irritating the eyes.

Vitamin C Eye Treatment

If you have puffy eyes and dark circles like mine, Dirran Vitamin C Eye Treatment is a must try! The eye area is revitalized using highly concentrated and bioavailable vitamin C. Liquorice root extract brightens the skin whereas hyaluronic acid and horsetail plant extract keep the eye area hydrated and less puffy. Lightly pat a small amount around the eye before applying makeup twice a day. Remember not to rub to avoid stretching the delicate skin.
Advance Firming Eye Creme

The active ingredients are Matrixyl 3000, peptides, lactic and glycolic acid, vitamins, minerals with plant oils like organic aloe vera leaf juice, sunflower oil and squalene from olive oil.

The eye creme softens and calms the skin around my eyes to keep them hydrated, rejuvenated to reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. After cleansing, gently pat a small amount around the eyes to enhance absorption. Advance Firming Eye Creme is also suitable for all skin types.

Peptide Day Eye Moisturiser

Gently pat some around the eye area, allowing it to be absorbed before applying makeup. And I have noticed significant difference-- the lines and dark circles are no longer so obvious. I don't have to use as much concealer anymore. This moisturizer is great for daily use-- even more so after my oncall.

The main star ingredients are castor oil which contains triglycerides that locks in skin moisture and peptides that boost collagen production.

Cafe Mocha Coffee Scrub

It is easy to fall in love with a whole body coffee scrub-- my first experience was in a local beauty center. Now I can enjoy this in the comfort of my home. Coffee scrubs can be done daily to boost circulation, energy level and circulation, as well as whole body exfoliation. The various plant oils nourishes, hydrates and soften the skin as well. The lingering coffee scent is a bonus for coffee lovers like me.

About Dirran Organic

Dirran Organic products are manufactured in the US and backed by the latest skincare research. Organic here means the active ingredients are plant derived with naturally occurring ingredients. These are cultivated without pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and GMO. The formulas are 100% biodegradable, 100% parabens-free with no dyes, artificial perfumes and harsh skin irritants, of course halal too!


Thursday, April 8, 2021

New Developments in Managing Atopic dermatitis (AD)/eczema

After a year of hiatus, I finally attended the first media event! Rightly so, to update myself about the latest developments in managing atopic dermatitis. Even though this event was meant for the public, I must say that I have also learnt a lot!

AD affects 20% children and 8% adults. 4 main elements in AD includes irretractable itching, dryness, redness/inflammation which can be complicated by secondary bacterial infection due to ineffective skin barrier function.

AD is more than a skin condition. It also affects productivity due to constant scratching. This can result in poor sleep up to 2.5hours! Furthermore, AD can also cause loss of employment, social and psychological burden, embarrassment from socializing and schooling. AD is also costly to treat.

The first talk of the afternoon was delivered by Dato’ Dr Noor Zalmy Azizan. She is a Consultant dermatologist at HKL/Thompson Medical Center. The talk was entitled Introduction to AD (causes, symptoms and impact on patients).

Eczema can be subdivided into Endogenous (eg atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis) vs exogenous (contact dermatitis due to specific triggers). AD is a clinical diagnosis and does not need blood/patch test to confirm.

AD is a complex, chronic and recurrent itchy inflammatory skin disorder. Disease can flare up with stress and dry environment. However, certain cases can also be continuous. Prolonged uncontrolled ezcema can cause lichenification/thickening of the skin or nodular prurigo. AD is also associated with asthma, allergic conjunctivitis and allergic rhinitis.

The prevalence of AD in Malaysian children has risen from 9.5% (1994)to 12.5% (2002) based on the ISACC studies. The risk is higher if there’s family history with filaggrin gene mutation, causing a lack of protein in the skin which moisturizes the skin naturally. Oxidative stress can further damage the skin. The real reasons behind AD are not fully understood yet. The vicious cycle of scratching, sweating, hot water and sun damage further causes skin breakdown, mimicking a failing brick and mortar model.

According to the Malaysian Clinical Practice Guideline of management of AD,
Emollients is the mainstay of treatment of all AD stages based on Cochrane systematic review and is able to reduce the need for steroid use.

The second presentation by Dr Leong Kin Fon, a prominent pediatric dermatologist spoke about the Management of AD & Tips for Parents.

AD is a dynamic disease with many faces. The distribution of the rash differs with age. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment from dermatologists as early treatment can prevent complications. AD usually starts after 6 months of life as the fetus was initially protected in amniotic fluid. The newborn skin was also protected with vernix.

In general, the amount of emollient needed is 500g for adults and 300g children in a week. Oil or cream based moisturizers should be used over the limbs and body as this can last over the day. Lightweight, lotion/gel based emollients can be used on the face instead. Look for hypoallergenic and low irritation emollient and cleanser which are effective against all these symptoms: Itchiness, dryness and erythema.

Other tips including:
-Avoid extreme weather
-Avoid prolonged bubble bath
-Bathe less than 15minutes with lukewarm water (test with closed eyes)
-Rebalance antioxidant levels on the skin
- Empower the patient in the management plan

6 principles of AD management are:

1. Fine tune expectation-eczema takes months to years to control, not cured. It’s like running for a marathon.
2. Always listen, demystify and educate patients - it is not possible to pinpoint the exact cause of AD as it is complex and multi factorial.
3. Need to mix and match treatment to 'flatten the curve' ( tackling itchiness, infection, dryness and inflammation)- persist with effective treatment until remission is achieved.
4. Learn how to befriend steroid cream (they are natural!) with 7 potency levels depending on severity and thickness of skin- usually 2 weeks long, need to review use regularly and watch out for skin thinning.
5. AD starts with itch first then red rash lastly weeping rash- start treating when it’s itching.
6. Natural products can be harmful and loaded with high potency steroids
--Scrutinize the research behind the products, if possible backed by Randomised Controlled Trials

Lastly, Dr V Shubashini, Medical Affairs Manager of Menarini launched their latest AD products– Introduction to Relizema™️-Dermarel™️

Relizema cream is a topical emollient used to protect the skin’s barrier function containing antioxidants (furfuryl palmitate and tocopherol). It has a fast onset and offered sustainable relief for itchiness.

Dermarel lotion containing 3 types of ceramides and plant based oils. It is a lightweight emollient.

Dermarel cleanser is made of ceramide and amino acids suitable for dry face and body.

Dermarel spray & go soothes red and burning sensation especially in inflamed and dry private areas without the need to rub in.

These tips really help our family of 4 to deal with AD. Be in control!

Monday, April 5, 2021

New.bies Skincare Product Review

Unsurprisingly, Asian skin requires skincare products designed by Asians. Read here to understand our unique skincare needs. 

Besides that, the need to wear face mask for long periods also make maskne prevalent in our tropical climate. Refer to my previous post about skincare to manage maskne here.

I have tried a great Malaysian skincare brand recently called New.bie. New.bie was founded in August 2020. What convinces me about the series is their vision to develop premium quality and effective products using evidence-based ingredients-. New.bie also educates the public about the science behind skincare. The aim is to enable most Malaysians to own and experience good quality products at reasonable prices. The brand also strives to equip their resellers with skincare knowledge to help their customers in achieving dream skin.

New.bie Hydrating Glow Essence.

This essence contains AHAs (a combination of Lactic, Glycolic and Citric Acid) with 7 types of humectants. AHAs are used widely in chemical peel treatments in aesthetic clinics to exfoliate, unclog pores from keratin and dead skin cells to avoid breakouts and to reveal the radiant new skin. However, too much acid can irritate the skin causing dryness, stinging and more acne!

New.bie uses the latest techonology by encapsulating the acid which minimises skin irritation while allowing the AHAs to exfoliate effectively. Besides that New.bie Hydrating Glow Essence also faints pigmentation, reduces skin dullness and brightens up skin tone.

How to use New.bie Hydrating Glow Essence:

1.Cleanse and tone.
2.Apply a thin layer directly twice a week.
3.Alternatively, mix New.bie Hydrating Glow Essence into the moisturiser once a day.
4.This can be used every other day or everyday depending on the individual.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

As the name chemical peel suggests, my skin started peeling and became sensitive after AHA application previously. However, New.bie Hydrating Glow Essence is gentle enough not to cause redness or peeling. The essence is also able to boost skin hydration simultaneously to counter the skin tightening and drying effect of conventional acid treatment.

The essence is lightweight and easily absorbed into the skin. It does not burden the skin. I have also noticed a visible reduction in pore size, milia (this is soooo challenging to eliminate!), blackheads and whiteheads after a week of use.

I use New.bie Hydrating Glow Essence before sleep as exfoliating acids may make the skin more sensitive towards UV. It is also advisable to use a good sunscreen while on treatment.

New.bie Hydrating Everyday Sunshield

This physical sunscreen is formulated to alleviate common Asian skincare concerns such as acne prone skin, oily skin, combination skin, sensitive skin and those with melasma. It provides SPF 50 PA++++ with 97% protection.

The active ingredients are mineral filters which is made up of 8% calamine (zinc oxide + iron oxide) and 8% titanium dioxide. This makes the Newbie Hydrating Everyday Sunshield suitable to deal with all those skin issues. Calamine also soothes and cools the skin against heat and acne formation. On the other hand, iron oxide can prevent the development of melasma. This special formulation provides thrice protection against UV damage, ranging from blue light as well as infrared rays. New.bie Hydrating Everyday Sunshield is also suitable for children older than 1 year old.

To understand more about importance of sun protection for our skin, please read my previous post here. The post also explains how to apply sunscreen.

An additional tip to adequately cleanse your skin from sunscreen is by using micellar water or oil based cleanser at night before turning in.
What does Dr Yingzangel think?

Certain sunscreen can be oily, sticky and can also leave a white residue on the skin. This makes applying sun block uncomfortable, especially when it mixes with sweat-- a ubiquitous problem in Malaysian tropical climate. However, to make sun protection effective, reapplication throughout the day is essential.

Therefore, we particularly love New.bie Hydrating Everyday Sunshield as it gets absorbed easily without leaving white cast. The texture is light, non greasy and easily applied. Reapplication is not longer dreaded.

As New.bie Hydrating Everyday Sunshield is also water proof, our family can now hang out by Kuantan beaches and enjoy all the water sports without getting sunburns. Do you know that even if we are staying indoors, sun protection should still be done? This can prevent premature skin aging.

Be rest assured that New.bie skincare products are also safe. They are:
-oil free
--alcohol free
- chemical filter free
- fragrance free
- mineral oil free

In a nutshell, New.bie Skincare range is designed to tackle common skin problems for Malaysians. I love how simple the ingredient list is-- as less is often more for those who have sensitive skin. The affordable price tag ensures the brand maintains its competitive edge in the market as well.

To know more about their products-- please kindly refer to their websites/social media accounts:

Twitter: newbie_hq

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