Integrating an exfoliator into your skincare regime will not only remove dead skin cells, but it will also maximise the effect of the products you're already using by ensuring you're not layering fresh moisturiser on top of dirty skin. With the right exfoliator you'll cultivate a truly glistening mug. In a good way, of course.
How often should you use an exfoliator?
Unlike a face wash or toner, which should be used daily, you're better off limiting your exfoliator usage to three times a week. If you've got especially sensitive skin, just once or twice will do. Why? Exfoliators provide a more thorough cleaning treatment to leave you with fresh, healthy skin. If you're using it on a daily basis, you'll just end up scrubbing away at perfectly healthy skin and that will lead to irritation and potential blemishes that'll prematurely age you (if the damage is done, it might be an anti-ageing cream you're after).
How do you exfoliate?
As per above, you'll want to be kind to your face when exfoliating. That means prepping your skin under hot water and then gently applying the product in a circular motion. The coarser elements of an exfoliator are specifically designed to get shot of dead skin, so there's no need to scrub away as though you're trying to sand down a wooden bench.
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SINGAPORE: While punishing his 11-year-old daughter for failing her examinations, a 34-year-old man began molesting her when he pulled her shirt up.
He "kept on thinking" about the incident and called her in for another "punishment" only to molest her again.
The offender, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his now 15-year-old daughter, was given two years' jail and six strokes of the cane on Monday (May 10).
The court heard that the man lived with his wife and three children at the time of the offences. Apart from the victim, the couple has two sons.
Sometime in December 2017, the victim was watching television in the living room with her brothers when her father called her into the master bedroom.
He wanted to punish her as she had failed her year-end examinations. After the door was closed, he asked his daughter to sit on the floor and close her eyes.
He began pinching and slapping her all over her body except for her face. When he pulled her shirt up to her armpit, her bra came unhooked, exposing her chest.
The man continued his "punishment" by pinching and slapping her chest, later admitting that he had the "desire" to touch her breasts when he saw them.
When the victim asked if the punishment was over, the accused said "yes" and let her go.
HE WANTED TO MOLEST HER AGAIN
After the incident, the man "kept on thinking" about his daughter's chest. As he wanted to molest her again, he called her into the master bedroom again the following day.
The girl had been reading a book in her room, but went to her father's bedroom as instructed, while her brothers were in the living room.
The offender asked the victim to close her eyes after closing the bedroom door, before unhooking her bra.
He then molested her. After waiting for about two minutes, the victim asked her father is the punishment was over, but he replied that it was not over yet.
Feeling uncomfortable, the victim opened her eyes and began crying as she was afraid. Her father then told her the punishment was over and she could leave.
The crimes came to light in January 2018, after the girl told a friend in school what had happened and the school was alerted to the incident. The victim's mother was informed and the girl was taken to a hospital, where staff members later alerted the authorities about a case of sexual assault.
The prosecutor sought at least two years' jail and six strokes of the cane for the man. She said the degree of sexual exploitation was high, with skin-on-skin contact that cannot be described as fleeting.
There was also deliberation on the man's part, as he had asked the victim to go into the master bedroom and closed the door so that she was separated from her two brothers.
He had perpetuated the "highest form of abuse of trust", she added.
WIFE HAS DIVORCED HIM: DEFENCE
Defence lawyer Shehzhadee Rahman of IRB Law asked that the jail term be no more than 20 months, saying this was her client's first brush with the law.
She added that he had an IQ of only 78, which falls within the borderline impaired or delayed range.
He is "deeply contrite" for his offences, she said. The incidents have caused his family "to break apart", which is "very painful for him", she said.
His wife has since divorced him and his entire family "torn apart", said the lawyer, adding that her client feels "very disgusted" at himself and will never be able to forgive himself.
"Up till this incident he (was) a very loving father," she said.
In response, the prosecutor said the Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist had found that the offender was lucid and in full control of his faculties at the time of the offences and knew what he wanted and what he was doing, despite his low IQ.
On his family being "torn apart", she said: "That's the result of the accused's own actions."
The judge granted the accused his request for a deferment and will hear the case again later on Monday afternoon to decide how to take into account the two weeks he spent in IMH remand.
He could have been jailed up to five years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these penalties for molesting a minor.
SINGAPORE: In exchange for cash promised via an online advertisement, a man agreed to sign a tenancy agreement for a condominium unit he never intended to stay in.
The unit was eventually used by a sex worker for vice, and she was nabbed during a police raid.
Lin Fengchun, 26, was given four weeks' jail and a fine of S$400 on Monday (May 10) for one charge of cheating. Another two charges were taken into consideration.
The court heard that Lin was in need of money in October 2019 when he came across an online ad seeking individuals to sign tenancy agreements on another person's behalf in exchange for quick cash.
He responded to the ad, and a man identifying himself as "Da Ge" contacted Lin on WeChat. Da Ge said he was looking for a unit to rent, but could not as he held only a work permit.
Lin agreed to help him rent various apartment units in exchange for payment. Da Ge later gave the address of a condo unit in the eastern part of Singapore to Lin, and arranged for Lin to meet the landlord's property agent on Oct 20, 2019.
Lin met the property agent at the unit and pretended that he was working shifts as ground crew at Changi Airport. He said he had a girlfriend who was a flight stewardess and would stay over occasionally.
After the agent spoke to the owner of the unit, the latter agreed to lease out the unit to Lin, believing he would be the tenant.
Lin signed a tenancy agreement to rent the unit for 12 months from Nov 5, 2019, for a monthly rental of S$2,000. After he signed the agreement, Da Ge transferred 2,000 yuan (S$413) to him via WeChat as payment.
On Da Ge's instructions, Lin left the tenancy agreement and keys to the unit inside the home before leaving with the main door unlocked. He did not stay at the unit at any point in time.
On Apr 14, 2020, the police raided the unit and arrested a 35-year-old China national for providing sexual services inside the unit.
Lin had cheated the owner of the unit into believing that he was renting it and that he would observe all covenants contained in the tenancy agreement, including that he would use it only as a private dwelling house and not for any immoral or illegal purpose.
The prosecutor called for at least four weeks' jail and a fine of S$415, which was about the amount he received from Da Ge.
Defence lawyer Tay Jing En, who took the case on under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, asked for a large fine of between S$5,000 and S$6,000 instead of a jail term.
He said his client has no previous convictions and that there is "no evidence that he knew what the unit he rented was to be used for".
"I would also highlight that he has been issued with rather glowing testimonials particularly by his National Service commander," he said.
He added that his client accepts that he "acted foolishly, unthinkingly, stupidly even" but said he did not do it maliciously.
The judge granted him a deferment of his sentence to May 12.
For cheating, Lin could have been jailed up to three years, fined, or both.
SVINESUND, NORWAY - They haven't been allowed to have each other over to their homes for a year now because of Covid-19. So come rain or shine, two 73-year-old Swedish twins have met every Saturday, each on their side of the border, on a bridge that links Norway and Sweden.
Every week, Ola and Pontus Berglund each keeps well behind a thin, yet impassable line on the ground, toting camping chairs, thermoses, sandwiches - and plenty of good cheer.
"We're not allowed to cross the border. I have to stay one metre away on my side and he has to stay back one metre on his side," Ola explains, the little Norwegian and Swedish flags they've attached to the bridge fluttering in the wind.
"So basically there has to be two metres between us," he says, pushing his chair back, suddenly aware that he is too close.
At his feet, painted on the road, is a simple white line, the words "Norge" and "Sverige" on either side.
The pandemic has put a halt to the identical twins' weekly visits to each other's homes.
Ola lives in Halden, in southeastern Norway, where he moved almost 40 years ago for love, while Pontus lives a half-hour drive away in the southwestern Swedish town of Stromstad.
Instead, they come together here, at a more or less respectful distance, on the old Svinesund bridge that straddles a fjord between the two countries.
They've celebrated their 72nd and 73rd birthdays this way on April 20.
"It's very strange but it's become a need, a pressing need, because we used to see each other every week and we wanted to continue that," says Pontus from the Swedish side.
"The pandemic hasn't stopped us from seeing each other and for us, that's a victory." While the local restrictions have changed over the months as the virus situation has evolved, the border has remained closed.
The closure has angered Norwegians - many of whom own summer homes in Sweden, where life is cheaper - to such an extent that they sued the Norwegian state to get it to lift the mandatory quarantine required when they return home.
'A little party'
The few motorists who use the bridge usually smile or wave at the two grey-bearded gents sitting in their chairs.
Ola, a former nursing assistant who now spends his time making scenery for a theatre, and Pontus, an artist and amateur ornithologist, have become local celebrities, with some people driving up to five hours just to take their photograph.
"That's not very important to us. The important thing to us is to be able to get together and talk about whatever we want," says Ola, sporting a red bow tie "because it's May 1st".
From their privileged perch, the two have, on occasion, found themselves in the role of benevolent smugglers - like the day when they delivered a puppy born in Sweden to its new family in Norway.
That's their fondest memory, they say.
In more than a year, they've only missed their weekly rendezvous three times - because of stubborn police who wouldn't let them onto the bridge.
Otherwise, they've kept to their schedule through blizzards or heatwaves, simply dressing for the weather.
Before the vaccination rollout, many elderly reported feeling a sense of isolation during the pandemic, as a result of having to shield themselves from the virus.
"Each meeting has been a little party," says Pontus, who is divorced. "For me who lives alone, it's really important to see Ola. Without that I'd be depressed." Does he miss hugging his brother?
"Yes," he says with a contagious laugh.
"So sometimes I hug myself - since we're identical."
WASHINGTON - US support for waiving intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines could be a tactic to convince drugmakers to back less drastic steps like sharing technology and expanding joint ventures to quickly boost global production, lawyers said on Thursday (May 6).
"I think the end result that most players are looking for here is not IP waiver in particular, it's expanded global access to the vaccines," said Professor Lisa Ouellette of Stanford Law School.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday supported a proposal to waive World Trade Organization intellectual property (IP) rules, which would allow poorer countries to produce vaccine for themselves.
So far Covid-19 vaccines have been distributed primarily to the wealthy countries that developed them, while the pandemic sweeps through poorer ones, like India.
The real goal, though, is expanded vaccine distribution.
"If it is possible to increase the rate of scaling up production, this potentially would give the manufacturers a greater incentive to come to an agreement to make that happen," Ms Ouellette said.
Vaccine makers like Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTEch have argued that patents have not been a limiting factor in supply. New technology and global limits on supplies are frequently cited as challenges, and both Moderna and Pfizer nevertheless have steadily boosted supply forecasts.
"There is no mRNA in manufacturing capacity in the world," Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said on a conference call with investors on Thursday, referring to the messenger RNA technology behind both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine.
"This is a new technology. You cannot go hire people who know how to make the mRNA. Those people don't exist. And then even if all those things were available, whoever wants to do mRNA vaccines will have to buy the machine, invent the manufacturing process, invent verification processes and analytical processes."
To increase vaccine production capacity significantly within two years, the Biden administration would need to do much more than waive patents, including providing funding to find and build new manufacturing sites, and backing technology and expertise transfer to the new manufacturers, said drug supply chain expert Prashant Yadav.
Moreover, the US government must guard against allowing foreign companies to use Covid-19 vaccine makers' technology to compete in areas outside of Covid-19, which are likely to be more lucrative in the long term, said Thomas Kowalski, an attorney at Duane Morris who specialises in intellectual property. Once a competitor has the technology, restrictions on use are difficult to enforce, he said.
Professor Sarah Rajec of William & Mary Law School said she did not think a waiver itself would do as much as the signal from the United States, a stronger supporter of corporate intellectual property, that patent rights take a backseat to the urgent needs of the world population during the pandemic.
Ms Rajec said Mr Biden's support for a waiver "pushes the drug companies to be more open to partnerships, and other licensing on favorable terms, in a way that perhaps they otherwise wouldn't be."
Drugmakers argue that they have already struck significant partnerships, sharing technology with competitors who they might not have linked up with if not for the pandemic.
"Our position is very clear: this decision will further complicate our efforts to get vaccines to people around the world, address emerging variants and save lives," Brian Newell, spokesman for pharmaceutical industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said in a statement.
European patent attorney Micaela Modiano said that even if the waiver is adopted, vaccine makers are likely to negotiate for some payment, if less than what is generally paid in licensing arrangements.
Her firm Modiano & Parners represents Pfizer but has not worked on any Covid-19 related matters.
"I would imagine that the pharmaceutical companies are already and will continue to lobby significantly to make sure that if this waiver proposal passes, that it just doesn't pass as such, but that they receive some sort of financial compensation," she said.
SINGAPORE: Fewer people on board lorries were injured or killed in road traffic accidents since safety measures were introduced in 2009 and 2010, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Friday (May 7).
In a statement, an LTA spokesperson said the traffic police are currently investigating the two recent accidents involving lorries ferrying passengers. The driver involved in the first case has been arrested for careless driving causing death.
"Internationally, while there are different practices, it is not uncommon for goods vehicles to be used to carry passengers.
"For example, countries such as Canada, Thailand and the USA allow for passengers to be ferried on the rear deck, with varying degree of safety restrictions," said the spokesperson.
He added that in 2009 and 2010, the Government rolled out a series of measures to enhance the safety of workers ferried on lorries.
"Since then, the number of people on board lorries and who were injured or killed in road traffic accidents has been falling."
It added that the accident rates in 2020 were significantly lower for all motor vehicle types due to "lower traffic volumes arising from COVID-19 restrictions".
The charts below, provided by LTA, show the number of people on board lorries and motor vehicles who were injured or killed in road traffic accidents.
The accidents involving lorries include those not ferrying workers, said LTA.
This issue was raised in Parliament in 2010, when regulations requiring the lorries to install canopies and higher side railings were implemented after a review.
A minimum deck space requirement per seated worker was also doubled from 4 sq ft to 8 sq ft, according to a 2010 Parliament reply by former transport minister Raymond Lim.
Lorries ferrying workers to workplaces are also required to stick to the road speed limit or 60kmh, whichever is lower.
There is also a height restriction for workers seated on the carriage deck, with workers required to be no more than 1.1m above the carriage deck when seated.
LORRY ACCIDENTS IN APRIL
Last month, two migrant workers died after a lorry collided with a stationary tipper truck along the PIE towards Changi Airport at the Jalan Bahar exit. Another 15 workers were injured.
The lorry driver, 36, was arrested for careless driving causing death, police said.
In another accident later that week, 10 men were taken to the hospital after a lorry overturned along Upper Bukit Timah Road.
These accidents have sparked fresh calls for the practice of carrying workers on the back of lorries to be reviewed.
SINGAPORE: A 64-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly snatching a gold necklace from an 81-year-old victim, the police said on Friday (May 7).
The police said they were alerted to the incident along French Road in Jalan Besar at 4.35am on Thursday.
The suspect got into a confrontation with the 81-year-old man and pulled a gold necklace from the victim’s neck before fleeing the scene, the police said. The victim fell, suffered lacerations on his head and was taken to the hospital.
After investigating and using footage from police cameras, officers established the suspect’s identity and arrested him on Thursday. The stolen gold necklace and S$1,718 in cash were recovered, the police said.
The suspect will be charged in court on Saturday with robbery with hurt. If convicted, he faces a jail sentence of between five and 20 years and at least 12 strokes of the cane.
S'pore experts debunk claims of Covid-19 vaccines linked to neurological diseases, strokes; say more evidence needed
SINGAPORE - Claims that mRNA Covid-19 vaccines could cause neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's have been recently making the rounds on social media and messaging apps.
They come after the publication of a research paper in scientific journal Scivision, which suggested that mRNA vaccines such as the ones developed by Pfizer and Moderna could potentially trigger prion disease.
But local scientists have been quick to debunk these claims.
Professor Paul Tambyah, deputy director of the National University of Singapore's Infectious Diseases Translational Research Programme said that prion disease is a result of one's proteins adopting an unusual arrangement, causing them to aggregate.
These aggregates - known as amyloids - can then harm the cells, causing neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, he added.
Alzheimer's disease is a consequence of amyloids accumulating in the brain cells,
The research paper claimed that two types of RNA-binding proteins - namely the FUS and TDP-43 proteins - could bind with the vaccine's mRNA molecules, causing a possible formation of protein aggregates leading to neurological disease.
The mRNA vaccines contain fragments of the Sars-CoV-2 virus's genetic material, which has instructions for making the spike protein specific to the virus.
This "trains" the human body to recognise the invader so that it could produce human immune cells to fight against it.
Debunking this, Associate Professor Sylvie Alonso, who is the co-director of the Programme, said that TDP-43 and FUS proteins bind to mRNA molecules and rearrange them, so as to control the body's protein production.
The two proteins have "prion-like regions" which may lead to the formation of protein aggregates under certain circumstances.
Accumulation of these aggregates in the central nervous system is known to lead to neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Those with ALS have damage to their motor neurons, affecting their brain and spinal cord, and eventually their muscles.
However, there is no experimental evidence at this stage to support the claim that these proteins bind with the mRNA molecules from the vaccine, said Prof Alonso.
Prof Tambyah added that it could take years to prove or disprove such a claim, given that neurological diseases take a long time to develop.
Several other social media posts have also suggested that taking the Covid-19 vaccine could lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.
For instance, a post on April 22 by Facebook user Jo-ann Tan had claimed that her brother-in-law had suffered three strokes within two days of receiving his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on April 18.
Changi General Hospital had responded on April 23 with a Facebook post saying that its preliminary assessment does not indicate that the vaccine was the cause of his stroke.
This was not the first time that such allegations were made.
On April 15, the Ministry of Health instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue corrections to the Facebook pages of Goh Meng Seng People's Power Party and Goh Meng Seng (Satu Singapura) for implying that the Covid-19 vaccination had caused or substantially contributed to a doctor in Singapore suffering a stroke.
It added that there is currently "no credible evidence" suggesting that there could be increased risk of heart attack or stroke after one takes the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Prof Tambyah said that researchers are still learning about the coronavirus and the immune system response to its various components, including the spike protein.
He noted that local researchers had recently published a study where asymptomatic patients had experienced late presentations of stroke, after recovering from Covid-19.
All 18 were migrant workers who were aged between 35 and 50 years old.
However, more complete data will still be needed to prove the link between vaccination and cardiovascular disease.
"Currently, there are close to a billion people worldwide who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and there has not been a rise in the incidence of cardiovascular disease reported or any groups identified at higher than normal risk of cardiovascular complications," he said.
"What is more important is for those who have been vaccinated to report any symptoms or complications that they might have... so (that) these can be studied and investigated completely," he added.
SINGAPORE - A video allegedly showing a large group of South Asian passengers arriving at Changi Airport on Wednesday (May 5), that is after Singapore tightened travel restrictions for visitors from India, is "misleading", said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
In a Facebook post on Thursday (May 6), CAAS clarified that "no flights from South Asia had arrived at Terminal 1 in the early afternoon of Wednesday".
Posted on Facebook page "Singapore Incidents", the footage shows more than 60 passengers arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 1 at around 2.53pm.
They then walk past a renovation hoarding, which had been removed on April 5, said CAAS.
This shows that the video was taken before 11.59pm on April 23, when long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India were banned from entering or transiting through Singapore.
Since May 1, the same border controls have been extended to travellers with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
"We urge the public to rely on information from official websites and not to circulate videos and other information that may contain falsehoods," said CAAS.
More information will be released shortly, it added.
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