Year of the Metal Ox: Chinese New Year 2021 wellness must-haves for better health
Heart Evangelista, a Filipina actress with Chinese roots, is among the celebrity endorsers of Cream Silk Philippines.
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Year of the Metal Ox: Chinese New Year 2021 wellness must-haves for better health

Kathleen A. Llemit (Philstar.com) - February 10, 2021 - 2:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — This upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year marks the year of the Metal Ox, which, according to Chinese Zodiac experts, is characterized as being healthy and fit.

According to Feng Shui and Chinese Metaphysics expert Dato Joey Yap, preparation in all aspects of life, including in health and fitness, is key in achieving success this Year of the Metal Ox.

“The Chinese character for opportunity is hidden in the Chinese word for danger. While there's no denying that the last 12 months have been nothing short of agonizing, matters were only amplified by what we saw in the news. Despite all of this, we often hear success stories about people who thrived in such turbulent times. And if you had to link them together, there are three underlying factors that separates them from the herd -- their foresight, their competency and their luck,” Yap said in his recent 2021 Feng Shui & Astrology Virtual Seminar.

While everyone is advised to stay at home during the pandemic, there are times that we have to go out to do errands. It's during these times that we need to be extra careful.

Health is wealth and so here's a rundown on how we can take better care of it.

Pharmaceutical vs. cosmetic grade isopropyl alcohol 

According to the Department of Health, handwashing is still one of the best ways to prevent illnesses like COVID-19, even if there would be vaccines.

Related: Health protocols must continue after vaccination – mayors

For those who cannot wash their hands immediately, however, putting alcohol is a recommended option.

But how do you we know which alcohol works better? What's the difference between pharmaceutical and cosmetic grade isopropyl alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohols are registered under the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as either pharmaceutical or cosmetic grade. To know the difference, the front label of a pharmaceutical grade alcohol shows the product’s generic name enclosed in a box. Meanwhile, the back label should show a DRHR number, which is the FDA Production Registration Number, proving that the product has passed the highest FDA Standards for isopropyl alcohol.

Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol is among the many options available. It recently teamed up with the Philippine Society of Microbiology (PSM) for a health and hygiene campaign to help families stay safe in the new normal. They launched the Defensil Health Defense Concil and created the campaign "Create Your Daily Defense.” The campaign hopes to arm Filipinos with science-backed knowledge on proper sanitation and hygiene.

One way to prevent the spread of germs is regular disinfection of hands and high-touch surfaces using a rubbing alcohol with 70% isopropyl alcohol solution.

“The council hopes to provide Filipinos with the information they need to stay protected in their homes, workplaces and as they go about their daily activities,“ said John Paolo Calona, the alcohol label’s Senior Brand Manager.

The alcohol brand, said Joel Cornista, President of the Philippine Society for Microbiology, “contains the concentration of isopropyl alcohol known to kill germs on the skin and on different surfaces.”

“Regular disinfection of the hands and high-contact surfaces are known measures to prevent the transmission and spread of germs,” he noted.

Disinfecting wipes

Hand hygiene is key to protecting yourself from viruses, which is why it makes sense to carry your own alcohol, sanitizers and disinfecting wipes at all times.

Having your own personal spray or bottle gives you the assurance of safety since you can avoid using shared sanitizers and minimize physical contact with others.

Using your disinfecting wipes, it’s good to make sure to wipe anything that you need to touch – desks, tables, phones, gadgets and many others. You can never be too careful!

Apart from disinfecting sprays, Clorox and Lysol also now have disinfecting wipes for cleaning hands or surfaces.

Lysol, which also has small bottles of disinfectant sprays for travel, recently partnered with Philippine Red Cross with a P36 million donation for the construction of a molecular laboratory in Cagayan de Oro City. The partnership aims to protect vulnerable communities by breaking down the chain of infections and ensuring everybody is protected from COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Got cold? Inhalers work even with face masks on

You might think you don't need an inhaler but it is super handy. Nursing a cold can lead you to having a stuffy nose, which can sometimes hold you back from productivity. 

Breathe easier by having your Camphor + Menthol (Vicks Inhaler) handy at all times. It works even while wearing a mask!

Vicks Inhaler contains camphor and menthol, which are traditionally known as decongestants. They give off vapors that have a cooling effect in the lining of the nose when you breathe them in, which leads to a fast relief from stuffy nose due to cold.

Give the right paracetamol dosage

Children are no stranger to coughs, colds and fevers. You probably know the drill when your child gets sick — check the temperature, give medicine, make sure they rest and drink water, and so on. But, have you really ticked all the boxes?

When managing fevers, it is not enough to give them the correct medication. You also need to ensure that the medicine is given in the right dosage to achieve optimal results. This helps avoid prolonging your child’s discomfort.

In the Philippines, paracetamol is reportedly the most used medicine for children’s fever and pain. Experts, however, say that Filipino parents frequently make dosing mistakes, despite 53 percent of them claiming confidence in administering the medicine.

“Paracetamol is a useful medicine for treating fever and providing pain relief. Understanding and checking the correct doses is vitally important if parents are to use it safely and effectively,” shared Dr. Carmina De Los Reyes, Pediatrician and Infectious Disease Specialist. 

“Ensure the dosage is correct. The correct dose of paracetamol for a child depends on their weight. You should always give the dose according to your child’s weight to ensure the efficacy of paracetamol.”

A pediatric study found that measuring dosage with teaspoon/tablespoon doubles the risk of dosing errors among children below nine years old. This is because the sizes and volumes of kitchen spoons vary. For example, the capacity of a normal kitchen teaspoon can range between 1.5 mL to 9mL, which results in a huge difference in the intended dosage. 

According to doctors, some parents also do not understand or are confused by measurement abbreviations such as tsp (teaspoon) and tbsp (tablespoon). This confusion can be attributed to the markings on the supplied dosing device, which can be inconsistent with the instructions. Without knowing what the abbreviations mean, it can be difficult to measure the dose correctly even if you know the prescription for your child.

Now that you are aware of these common mistakes, how can you make sure your child receives the right dosage?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of the measuring device provided with the medication. Similarly, expert groups, such as American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), also recommend measuring dosage in milliliters (ml) to avoid confusion. 

Calpol for Kids adheres to the WHO’s standard of 15mg/kg maximum dosage for kids and starts to work on fever in just 15 minutes. This should not be taken with other medicines that also contain paracetamol which may be found in many other medicines used to treat pain, fever, symptoms of cold and flu, and sleep medications. If the patient has especially been diagnosed with a liver or kidney disease, it’s best to consult a doctor before taking paracetamol. 

Fight stress and aging 


Now more than ever, Filipinas are looking to nature to find the beauty solutions they need. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to find a product that gives the best of both worlds - the potent results that can be created by technology, with the trusted tender care our natural surroundings can give.

A daily skincare and cosmetics line from Korea, Deoproce, available in Watsons, SM Beauty and online on Amorfia, takes pride at differentiating itself from the many Korean brands for its exotic but fine natural ingredients such as snail mucin, caviar and gold, which are prized for their antioxidants and anti-aging properties. 

Be conditioned for greater 

Harnessing the power of nature, Cream Silk unveils its first ever conditioner inspired by Mother Earth: Organic Powerfusion Ultra Conditioner. The haircare brand combines its signature moisturizing technology with organic balms and luxurious natural oils in one product, for naturally luscious hair that blooms with life.

“For the past 35 years, (the brand) has given modern Filipinas the best solutions to make sure their hair is always at its ultimate,” said Carlos Corrales, Cream Silk’s Senior Brand Manager. 

“This year, we are proud to introduce our first ever conditioner that combines technology and the power of nature to help even more of our women unlock the secret to intensely nourished hair.”

Infused with the brand’s advanced technology, Organic Powerfusion is also fortified with natural ingredients and tested and loved by Filipinas. Its two variants, Rich Moisture and Rich Lustre, are made with balms, which are known to moisturize dry surfaces, and oils, which are known to add shine and luster. These also lock in hydration and smoothen hair from the root, protecting it from external elements and further damage. 

The Rich Moisture Ultra Conditioner uses shea balm, rose oil, and hibiscus and honeysuckle extracts to smoothen dry and coarse hair, and strengthen it as it grows. The Rich Lustre Ultra Conditioner is created with almond nut balm, cinnamon leaf oils, and bamboo and aloe extracts, to add shine and smoothness to fortified hair.

Both the Rich Moisture and Rich Lustre Ultra Conditioners are created with sunflower seed oil, which naturally penetrates hair at the root, to nourish each strand from within. 

Recently, the brand launched its “Greater Than Ever” campaign in partnership with Edukasyon.ph, allowing women to take a free one hour course on English Proficiency, Online Entrepreneurship, Executive Services, Retail Sales or Digital Marketing. More information about the courses are posted on creamsilk.com.ph.

Strengthen your gut

The gut is among the most important parts of our body. It is where the good bacteria resides that helps in nutrition digestion and absorption as well as helps in our body's ability to fight off germs.

Thus, it is important that it is well taken care of. Among the many ways that have been found to improve gut health is taking probiotic drinks.

There are several ready to drink probiotic drinks in the market and one of them is Goodday Cultured Milk, a product of Asahi Beverages Philippines, Inc. that contains a special strain of paraprobiotics developed by Japanese technology.

Paraprobiotics are heat-treated lactobacilli that help boost intestinal health and natural resistance, with proper diet and exercise of course.

Prepare for the future with a healthcare plan

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major challenges to everyone’s access to healthcare. These days, safe and convenient access to doctors and medical care is not easily available because of the limitations caused by the pandemic and the community quarantine.

AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, reaches out to help Filipinos take that first step to health by providing them safe and easy access to healthcare anytime, anywhere with free teleconsultation service, available to policyholders of the company’s wide range of health insurance products, such as Health Max, Health Start and Global Health Access. 

“We have always been committed to being a reliable health partner for our customers. We are further strengthening this commitment by giving Filipinos convenient access to health protection during this pandemic to help ease their fear and worry about their own health and that of their loved ones,” said Rahul Hora, AXA Philippines president and chief executive officer.

Teleconsultation provides 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice with just a few taps on a smartphone. Simply download the MyPocketDoctor app from the Google Play or App Store and register with an e-mail address and mobile number. Once registration is complete, the customer can avail of the virtual medical consultation. Health policyholders can also request for the teleconsultation via the Emma by AXA app.

Likewise, Korean pop group SuperM calls on their fans and the public to "do it well” as it recently partnered with PruLife UK for the "We DO Well Together" campaign.

SuperM said, “As the world experiences challenging times due to the pandemic, it is our ambition to spread positive energy and help as many people as possible to achieve not just good physical health, but mental wellbeing as well. We share a common mission to help improve people’s wellness and drive optimism in good and bad times. Through ‘We DO Well Together,’ we call on everybody to put in the same energy and spirit as ‘We DO’ to achieve our life goals together.”

The premiere life insurer has been a leading provider of protection that offers holistic health and wellness services through its all-in-one health app Pulse by Prudential, and a comprehensive range of best-in-class solutions and services to help people live well for longer.

Throughout 2021, the insurance company and SuperM will hold a series of events to motivate people to lead healthier lives and achieve better wellness. The campaign will be rolled out across 11 markets in Asia, including the Philippines.

Say hello to healthy gums

The new year brings promises of new beginnings, and everyone wants to make the most of what they have. While it’s important to start over, and do one’s best at work or school, practicing self-care is essential for one’s overall well-being. To live one’s life to the fullest extent this new year, one must take care of one’s physical, mental and emotional health.

One should make time to exercise and eat well even while at home. It is also essential for people to take mental health breaks every once in a while. While social distancing from friends and relatives, everyone can still keep in touch through social media. People should still prioritize their body hygiene despite being indoors most of the time. All these factors play important roles in one’s overall wellness. 

But there’s a factor that’s not always discussed. Most people are focused on having whiter teeth that they take for granted the health of their gums. A lot of Filipinos suffer from poor gum health, which hinders them from making the most out of life. 

Gum disease is one of the most common infections around the world, and it can lead to serious gum problems such as periodontal diseases and even loss of teeth. Tooth hypersensitivity or pangingilo prevents one from enjoying many types of food, and can be very painful. That is why it is important to use toothpaste specially formulated for the protection of one’s gum health. With Gumtect Toothpaste, everyone can say hello to healthy gums and live life to the fullest.

Available at leading supermarkets, groceries and drugstores nationwide, Gumtect Toothpaste is reportedly the first Filipino gum formula toothpaste professionally accepted by the Philippine Dental Association. They offer two varieties formulated for specific needs: Gum Care Toothpaste and Sensitive. Gum Care Toothpaste is equipped with Gumshield+ Technology, which is specially designed to promote healthier teeth and gums. It also contains ingredients such as Allantoin, which cares for the gums by improving its condition, Vitamin E that moisturizes gums and Triclean, which reduces formation of plaque and shields against harmful mouth bacteria.

Meanwhile, Sensitive toothpaste is packed with Dynamic Desensitizing System, which helps provide relief from tooth sensitivity or pangingilo. It also contains Gumshield+ Technology and Anti Cavity Protection, which ensures fresh breath and strong teeth enamel that is protected from cavities. 

Lamoiyan Corporation, a leading manufacturer of personal hygiene and home care products in the country, has donated over three million worth of Lamoiyan products to the Department of Education (DepEd) as it celebrates Head Lice Awareness Month and 5th year of Kilusang Kontra Kuto (Movement Against Head Lice) initiative.

In support of DepEd’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan amid the pandemic, Lamoiyan Corporation distributed packs of Licealiz Head Lice Treatment Shampoo, Hapee Toothpaste, and Dazz Dishwashing Liquid to selected regions for distribution among the students. Selected regions in Luzon are Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and National Capital Region. Whereas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao are the beneficiary regions for Visayas and Mindanao.

Boost immunity with nutritious juices and sauces

To express appreciation and gratitude for the invaluable efforts of frontline health workers and law enforcement officers who are working tirelessly to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, NutriAsia gives Locally Dalandan Blended Juice Drink to various hospitals and checkpoints to help our frontliners boost their immune system and stay well-hydrated.

NutriAsia, the leading producer and distributor of sauces and condiments in the Philippines — home of well-loved brands Datu Puti, Silver Swan, UFC, Mang Tomas and Papa. UFC Ready Recipes Sauces are a range of ready to use cooking sauces, made from ingredients such as real tomatoes, selected spices and meat flavors. The sauces are convenient and easy to use as they are pre-mixed and pre-seasoned, and all you have to do is to pour the sauce and let it simmer. It’s available in different variants like Afritada, Menudo, Caldereta and Mechado.

Suit up for Valentine’s Day against HIV

Continuing with its mission of informing the public, especially the youth, about HIV awareness during a pandemic, Durex recently resumed its University Townhalls, now dubbed University Digi-Townhall, as part of their ongoing Protection & Preparedness Education (PPE) Campaign. Shifting the event to an online platform, what used to be held annually in various college campuses is now done virtually, still with subject matter experts as key resource persons and the Boys Night Out crew—Slick Rick, TonyToni, and Sam YG—as hosts.
“By moving our townhalls online, we want to bring forth the strong message that Durex continues to reach out to the youth who are the most vulnerable,” said Durex Philippines. “It’s critical that we keep them informed of the dangers of contracting HIV, of the importance of using protection, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.”
Given the present COVID-19 situation, the dangers of HIV have escaped public awareness, with many still unmindful of how HIV is equally deadly as coronavirus. This view is further validated by data from the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau showing that from July to September 2020, there were 1,875 confirmed HIV-positive individuals reported to the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP). Of these, 95% percent or 1,783 of the reported cases are male and the median age is at 28 years old.
Thus, through the University Digi-Townhall, Durex aims to help reverse this trend by helping people—particularly singles and stay-at-home couples—be more prepared, protected and educated about HIV, highlighting the importance of safe and protected sex during these challenging times with the use of condoms.
For the first University Digi-Townhall, held in partnership with LoveYourself, Inc., National University Student Government, National University Student Affairs Office, and PUP College of Business Administration Student Council, infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvana, Educator, Sex Therapist and Licensed Psychologist Dr. Rica Cruz RPsy, and Jabar Ysmael, a Person Living with HIV, were on hand to share with the close to 400 participants their valuable insights and advice.
In his talk, Dr. Salvana discussed the state of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines following the alarming UNAIDS annual report which states that the country still has one of the highest growing infection rates in the world. Dr. Cruz, furthermore, emphasized how proper awareness coupled with practicing safe sex can help curb the spread of HIV, contextualizing her presentation on safe sex in the time of pandemic. Meanwhile, Esmael drew from personal experience as he spoke on the challenges of dealing with HIV/AIDS in the Philippines, while underscoring the importance of getting yourself tested.
“In view of recent data, the urgent need for Filipinos to always stay prepared and protected against HIV/AIDS cannot be stressed enough,” said Dr. Salvana. “This has become ever more critical now in these times when health and wellness awareness is paramount.”

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