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How Do Whitening Products Work?


In the western world, having a tan is considered an attractive attribute. You’ll often hear it described with such effusive language: “having a healthy glow”, “honeyed”, or “exotic”. In Korea and many other parts of East Asia, though, the standards for perfect skin are absolute and non-negotiable: dewy, spotless, luminous, and pearl-like.

There is little wonder then that the beauty and skincare mecca of Asia boasts of an overabundance in whitening, lightening, and brightening products, each of them uniquely formulated to target every skin type on the spectrum. But how do these whitening products work? And which ones are worth your money? What about the ones that are safe to use? We tackle all of these questions below:

First things first: do they work, though?

One look at Koreans and their pearlescent complexions might suggest that, of course, these whitening products work. However, a person’s skin tone is largely determined by genetics, and most Koreans are already naturally fair. The reason why whitening products are still very popular is because Koreans also love going outdoors and being out in the sun, as much as anyone. A single day out under those harsh UV rays is a one-way ticket to darkened skin.

To answer the question: yes, whitening and lightening products do work, but as with all things, efficacy is not guaranteed with all people, all of the time. Some may take to whitening products better than others. Some may achieve better results with a certain formulation, while others may not. Your mileage will vary.

What’s in them?

There are a number of ingredients infused into whitening products that claim and have been proven to lighten or brighten the skin. Hydroquinone is one such agent. It limits the skin from producing melanin, the pigment that provides the skin its color. Another is kojic acid, a chelation agent made out of several species of fungi. Its claim to fame? Kojic acid provides all the benefits of hydroquinone use, without any of the nasty side effects.

Yet another one is galactomyces, which is found in abundance in such products as CosRX’s Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence. Galactomyces is a kind of fungus that was discovered in Japan as a by-product of sake brewing: someone noticed that the workers in the brewery had bright, supple skin and went on an arduous quest to figure out why. The result is the discovery of galactomyces ferment filtrate, the main ingredient in the product.

So, how do these whitening ingredients work?

Generally, skin whitening products target the clusters of melanin that appear as blemishes, freckles and sun spots. Korean whitening products are also infused with a variety of other nourishing ingredients that help moisturize the skin, even out complexion, and encourage healthy cell turnover, banishing dullness and dryness.

Galactomyces, in particular, provides all of the above with the added bonus of having the ability to control oil and sebum production, thus decreasing acne. It also helps improve skin elasticity for younger-looking skin. Meanwhile, hydroquinone not only prevents the production of pigment – it literally kills melanin producing cells, making it a great choice for people who already have fair complexion, but want to even out their skin tone and remove discoloration caused by acne and age spots.

Finally, a word of warning.

Before trying any skincare product to achieve your specific goals, be certain to do extensive research on the ingredients they’re made with, and make sure that you do not have sensitivities towards them. Products made with fungi such as galactomyces and kojic acid are not recommended for use by those who suffer from fungal acne or malassezia folliculitis. This condition refers to breakouts that are caused by yeast instead of bacteria, and combining an active ingredient with a fungal skin condition may cause a severe adverse reaction.

Remember to patch test every product in order to avoid allergic reactions or breakouts. For best results, always consult with your dermatologist before embarking on any skin whitening or lightening to get expert advice on your specific skin needs.

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Fit for the Holidays Challenge – Week 11


It's here, the final week which means you made it just in time for the holidays.

Week 11 of this year's Fit for the Holidays challenge means it's the end of the line this week! Please read Fit for the Holidays Challenge introduction if you haven't done so already. The challenge runs until December 24th and started October 8th. If you have made it so far, you should feel really proud of yourself, as well as feeling in great shape for the holidays. Congratulations are coming your way, but you've still got one more week to go.


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The Deload: The Path to Bigger, Faster and Stronger


Deload weeks are a necessary component for looking good naked, maximizing performance, and long-term training.

“One More!”

“It’s all you bro!”

“Light weight! Light weight!”


Yea, we’ve all been there. The two dudes in their cut-off high school football shirts, screaming to squeeze out one more bench press or finish one final deadlift. That’s probably been you. I’ve been there, so I can’t judge either.


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Sciatica and Hip Pain: Deal With It


2 exercises to help overcome the inflammatory pain of sciatica and piriformis, very common forms of hip pain.

The hip is a major contributor to all core work. In fact, when we first learn to sit up as babies, we rely on our hip muscles rather than the muscles of our trunk to do this. Repetitive motion like cycling, running and squatting can irritate the muscles in and around the pelvis, leading to chronic pain or limitation. Sciatica and piriformis syndrome are two conditions often presenting with similar symptoms. Here is a guide to the difference between the two as well as treatment for each.




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12 Days of Fitness Challenge: 6th Day of Fitness


Get yourself geared up and into a routine so that you can enjoy the beauty of the holiday season while taking care of yourself and your health. The 12 Days of Fitness Challenge is an efficient and effective way to keep your body moving and mind focused on a healthy task during the holidays.


We are at the half way mark and it’s starting to become a challenge!  If you have been following the challenge, keep up the hard work!  If you’re still thinking about trying this, I encourage you to give your body a test!


Gain inner strength and confidence that will fuel your spirits that will better your health.



The 12-day series starts easy and builds up into more intense challenges as the day’s progress. The moves are simple, but you can advance them to challenge your own fitness level. Starting with small tasks will ensure you stay on track.  After the first few days, the series will get more intense to allow you to improve upon what you started.



  • The daily workouts are designed to focus on a different muscle group each day.
  • Follow the prescribed reps and sets as directed each workout.
  • Challenge your strength level each workout.
  • Complete the ‘Daily Challenge’ by the end of each day.



This is day number 6 of the holiday challenge; if you’re just joining in now, please refer to the 1st Day’s blog and video to get the full program details.  It’s never too late to start the challenge.



Equipment needed: Total Gym


  • The 6th day of Fitness challenges the ARMS & CORE.
  • Perform 10 reps, 2 sets of each exercises listed below.
  • Complete the ‘Daily Challenge’ by the end of each day.
  • Adjust the incline to accommodate and challenge your strength level.


Begin each workout with a dynamic warm-up & conclude with a cool down.

  • Warm up: Perform a 3-minute dynamic warm up to prepare your muscles in all ranges of motion. (Ex: jumping jacks, squat knee up, lunge & twist, etc.)
  • Cool Down: Conclude each workout with a series of stretches to recover and lengthen the muscles worked. Stretching prevents injury and prepares you for the next workout! (Ex: runners lunge, figure 4, forward fold, down-dog, etc.)



  1. Bicep presses
  2. Lat pull & back extension
  3. Bicycle punch
  4. Pullover crunch
  5. Plank slides



  • PLANK HOLD: 90 seconds
  • PUSH-UP PIKE-UP: 12 reps


Check out the video to see how these exercises are performed!


Stay tuned for the 7th Day of Fitness Challenge.


Cheers to your Fitness Season,




WORD OF THE DAY: Confidence


The post 12 Days of Fitness Challenge: 6th Day of Fitness appeared first on Total Gym Pulse.

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