Where to shop in Bangkok

Where to shop in Bangkok

From glitzy shopping centres housing posh international and local brands to colourful and vibrant street markets steeped in Asian culture and traditions, Bangkok is a shopaholic's dreamland. While night bazaars in Bangkok are the best place to find handicrafts, local items, affordable clothes, and souvenirs in general, quality items and luxurious brands can be found in the huge malls spread out across the city.

The shopping mall culture might have been spreading across Bangkok over the culture but what night markets are still the beating heart of the city. What bazaars lack in posh brands, they make up for in atmospheres. Surrounded by beautiful stalls and live music, it's in the night markets that you will get a glimpse into the real Thai way of life. Whether you decide to do your shopping in mall or a night market, they both offer plenty of opportunities to take a break from the shopping frenzy and get a bite, either at a franchise restaurant or from one of the many stalls offering local delicacies such as Pad Thai and rice soaked in coconut milk and served with mango.

Here is a list of the best night markets and shopping centres in the city:

Roi Fai Market, Srinakarin

Literally train market, Roi Fai Market is a lively and authentic open-air bazaar in the Thai capital where you can soak up the local culture and shop till you drop. From vintage collectables and memorabilia to antique furniture and hippy fashion, Roi Fai Market is a vibrant travel capsule for nostalgic travellers. What really makes the train market stand out, however, is its originality. While other night markets house typical modern fashion, electronic devices and knick-and-knacks that can be found in every most stalls across Bangkok, Roi Fai Market is the place where you can buy one-of-a-kind and exclusive items that are hard to find elsewhere, including vintage leather jackets and Japanese action figures. Paired with restaurants, bars and snack stalls, the shopping frenzy is limitless. Please note that this bazaar is only one from sunset to midnight, from Thursday to Sunday.

Central World (in photo)

Spanning across eight floors, Central World is the world's sixth largest shopping centre. With a floor dedicated to each type of merchandise, shopping here feels visiting 8 malls in one go, and every floor is equipped with cafes and restaurants, so you have can a break from all that shopping, or even go to the mall to see it in its colossal splendour.

If you are looking for sports equipment and clothing, this shopping centre is home Bangkok's biggest sports shop - Super Sport. Central World also houses two huge department stores - the Zen and Isenta - which comprise a large range of brands that have their own specific area, although they are not separated by walls.

Comprising a mall and a night bazaar, Asiatique offers the ultimate Bangkok shopping experience. Housing over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants, you can easily pull an all-nighter in this warehouse complex. When you get tired of browsing from one item to the other, you can watch a Thai puppet performance or even catch a show at the Calypso ladyboy cabaret.

To get there, the easiest way is to take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and then you have to get the free shuttle at the end of the pier. Although boats are the fastest way to get there - it only takes 10 minutes - they only run until 11pm. From the boat you can walk along a beautiful 300-metres long boardwalk. Alternatively, you can flag down a taxi, but beware traffic can be deplorable in this area. Although the decor is meant to be in inspired in the 1900s, it is a bit overwhelming that the illusion gets lost. The design of the place, however, is very practical and there's enough space to mingle with the crowds without feeling suffocated like in other night markets.

JJ Green Night Market is a bohemian kind of night market that perfectly pairs being a vintage flea market with a local drinking hangout. You can browse from built in shops to stalls that house everything under the sun, from secondhand clothes to vinyl CDs, collectables, old car models, artwork, antiques, retro cameras, branded posters, musical instruments, you name it, they've got it. Most of the items are a bargain already, so there is no need to haggle.

The best face oils

The best face oils

Whether you are suffering from dehydrated skin, premature wrinkles or even oily skin, the right face oil can help you with a large range of skincare concerns and leave you with glowing, clear, rejuvenated skin. Although most people with oily skin are afraid to use face oils due to the fear of making their condition worse, this shouldn't happy if you choose the right oil for your skin type.

The right face oil can protect your skin from free radicals, prevent fine lines and treat your blemishes, but they all vary so that is why you need to choose the one that suits your skin type. When you choose an oil, you have to base your decision on a few conditions. Oils are packed with natural antioxidants and fatty acids, so they can keep your skin from aging prematurely.

Face oils have many benefits. While it takes a while to see the effects of moisturisers, when you use a face oil, you see instant results. They can also be used in many ways, such as a moisturiser, makeup touchups, as a makeup remover, a lip balm, frizz fighter and under eye cream.

Here are some of the best face oils in the market:

Votary Face oil is a rosy, light oil meant to be applied overnight. You only need to apply two drops and it is absorbed by the skin very quickly. You will feel your skin much more moisturised after only one application and there is no filmy residue on the skin at all. The blend of natural oils is perfect for dehydrated skin and is great for changing seasons and for protecting your skin from poor air quality that can leave your skin looking dull.

Another facial oil that is only suitable for the evening is the Blue Orchid face oil by Clarins. This product is so oily one drop will suffice to coat the skin, yet it is not too heavy so it gets absorbed fast. This is a great way to hydrate your skin quickly.

Seaberry Moisturising Face Oil by Fresh is also a night oil. Although it is thick, it spreads well so you might just need one or two drops for your whole face. This lightweight facial oil is rich in antioxidants. Packed with beneficial fatty acids and other repairing acids, this oil is particularly beneficial for dry skin. This is facil smells like lavender and it is quite fresh, the problem is that it takes too long to absorb.

If you enjoy the smell of roses on your skin, then Una Brennan's super facialist rose hydrate oil is the one for you. Although this oil is meant to be used overnight, you can also use it during the day under your foundation.

If you are looking for a facial oil that you can use night and day, opt for artemis hydroactive cellular face oil by Sunday Riley. Although it is thick, it does not feel heavy and its fruity and citrusy smell leaves your skin feeling fresh.

Packed with omegas and antioxidants, Pai's Rosehip BioRegenerate oil protects the skin from environmental stress and damage. The oil also leaves your skin moisturised and feeling fresh. This is a great oil to use before going to bed, but let absorb before you actually lie down to keep it from staining your pillowcase.

If you are looking for a face oil that suits combination skin types, opt for Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil by Clinique. This is an all-rounder oil that is very nourishing for dry areas but not too heavy for the T-zone and other oily areas.

Packed with tea tree oil, clary sage oil, juniper berry oil and lavender oil, Riddle Botanicals' Relief serum is perfect to treat acne-prone skin. Although it is very moisturising, it doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy as it is lightweight. The serum smells so well that you will think you are at a spa.

Rich in vitamins A and E as well as omega fatty acids 6 and 0, Le Prunier Plum Beauty Oil is a beautifully silky oil that hydrates and soothes the skin without being too thick. As it is pure plum oil, the smells like plum syrup, strong and sweet.

What you need to know about Eczema

What you need to know about Eczema

Eczema symptoms vary from one sufferer to the other, but, in general, this skin condition manifests itself in the irritation of the outer layer of the skin.

What is Eczema?

The British Skin Foundation defines atopic eczema as “an inflammatory condition of the skin. Atopic is the term used to describe conditions such as eczema, asthma, seasonal rhinitis and hay fever, which often have a genetic basis. Eczema is the term used to describe changes in the upper layer of the skin that include redness, blistering, oozing, crusting, scaling, thickening and sometimes pigmentation (although not all of these changes will necessarily occur together).”

Dr Walayat Hussain, consultant dermatologist of Bupa Health Clinics, told Marie Claire UK, ‘Also referred to as “dermatitis”, eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can make your skin red, dry and itchy,' says Dr Hussain. ‘There are a number of different types, and the type you have determines which treatment options are best for you.'

If your skin gets easily irritated, itchy, you get rashes and it is so dry to the point that it cracks and bleeds, then it all points to eczema. The next step from here is to consult a medical specialist so they can confirm the diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment for your particular condition.

As atopic eczema affects the outer layer of the skin, it can appear anywhere on the body, from hands, arms, feet, legs, arms, torso, and even your face.

Types of eczema

Although atopic eczema is the most common one, there are as many types of eczemas as skin types and they all stem from different and they require their own customised treatment.

Seborrhoeic eczema is a kind a skin inflammation visible as yellowish, oily, scaly patches of skin that appear most commonly on the face and scalp but it can also affect other parts of the body.

Contact eczema (also known as contact dermatitis) is manifested as redness, itching and burning that appear upon the skin getting in contact with an allergen such as an acid or cleaning agent. Unlike other allergies that manifest themselves after exposure, contact eczema is developed over time; your skin becomes sensitive to an allergen. This type of eczema usually manifested on your hands, so try to pay attention to what it is that is causing that reaction and avoid it at all costs. Also see your General Practitioner so he can refer you to a Dermatologist who will be perform an allergy test to determine what is affecting your skin.

Dishydrotic eczema (also known as pompholyx) shows as tiny, fluid-filled blisters on your hands and feet. These blisters are extremely itchy and they might burst during the healing process, becoming more sore.

Atopic eczema is often found in people who also suffer from asthma, hayfever and allergies. ‘This can be genetic and you may notice your skin gets irritated on the face, in front of the elbows and behind the knees,' Dr Hussain told Marie Claire. ‘It usually flares up if you have allergies and come into contact with soaps, detergents or other types of chemicals.

‘Although there is no cure for atopic eczema, your GP or dermatologist may prescribe you with a specific type of moisturiser known as an emollient. These work by restoring water and oils to your skin to soothe and hydrate it, as well as helping to repair the damaged skin.'

Treating atopic eczema

Although there is no permanent cure for atopic eczema, adequate treatment can help to relieve the symptoms and many cases improve over time. These treatments include self care techniques, such as reducing scratching and avoiding triggers emollients and moisturising treatments). You can also use topical corticosteroids to minimise swelling, redness and itching during flare-ups. Topical steroid creams, such as hydrocortisone, eumovate and betnovate, help with the itching, as they keep the cells from producing chemicals that flare up the skin as a reaction to the allergen.

Diet and eczema

What you eat can affect your skin condition since you might have an allergic reaction to it. “Although changes in your diet can't cure your eczema, in some case it may help alleviate the symptoms and minimise flare ups,” Dr Hussain told Marie Claire. This is because some types of eczema are rooted in allergic reactions, and allergy to food is the most common type of allergy.

Lactic and glycolic acid for the skin

Lactic and glycolic acid for the skin

While both glycolic acid and lactic acid are alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) used as chemical exfoliants and peels, they don't have the same effect on the skin. For instance, lactic acid better for sensitive complexions are it causes less irritation and is more mosturinstising to the skin than glycolic acid. As it is derived from milk, lactic acids are mild and the chance of an allergy is minor. Therefore, this kind of peel if the best for those who have never had a peel before.

When the concentration of the formula is more than 30%, a lactic acid peel becomes a chemical exfoliant that dissolves dead skin cells from the top layers of skin. They are mainly used for people with pigmentation conditions including melasma, lentigo or freckles. They can also reduce the acne scars. Meanwhile, glycolic acid exfoliates the surface layer of your skin by breaking down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. It also dissolves sebum, which is the oil produced by your skin. With this dual effect, this acid can be used on both dry and oily skin types.

While salicylic acid penetrates deep into your pores, AHA sloughs off dead skin cells, so your skin will look more radiant and smooth. While AHA peels' strength from one to the other, Kate Somerville's Exfolikate Treatment sloughs all the dead skin cells from your face, for glowing skin. You do have to use it frequently to see long-lasting results. Peels are not a one time thing but it should a habit to do it regularly. This will help you recapture a youthful glow. You just need to watch out for irritation. Always test it first to make sure your skin is not too sensitive.

Lactic acid serum and cream

There are some serums and creams that are enriched with AHA formula, like Sunday Riley's Good Genes serum which you can use overnight and it will smooth out your skin. One of the most popular lactic acid serums is Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive treatment. This package is very strong, so after only one use you will see your face glowing and your skin, smoother.

Try Sunday Riley's Good Genes Treatment, an at-home mask made out of organic oatmeal and organic yoghurt. This combination with the acid and the oatmeal scrub leaves your skin feeling smooth.

Glycolic Acid toner

Derived from sugarcane, glycolic acid can remove dead skin cells, smooth skin texture and prevent wrinkles. That is why this natural exfoliator is a particularly ideal ingredient in facial toner. It can also help acneic skin, since the AHA has greater penetration capabilities and it keeps pores clear, preventing them from clogging.

Apply the toner after cleansing your face, and it will remove excess makeup, dirt and impurities, and will also balance the pH levels in the skin.

Although it might irritate your face at first, glycolic acid moisturises your skin as it increases your skin ability to bind water. If your skin is hydrated, the signs of ageing will be reduced, such as wrinkles and fine lines, as well as excessive dryness.

Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum is worth a try, even though it is expensive. This product haAlpha-Hs a light gel-like texture and is formulated at pH3.8-4.0. Another product worth a try is Alpha-H Liquid Gold, which is the most popular liquid exfoliant on the market. Apart from glycolic acid, it contains licorice which is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Although it might tingle slightly when you apply it, that only means that it is working. You'll feel your skill soft after a few minutes.

If you are looking for a mast that sloughs away dead skin cells, then you need to buy Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. Then there is of course a product by Kate Somerville. This is Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanse which is a fruity concoction that contains pumpkin, papaya and pineapple.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a great way to combat acne. "Salicylic acid has the ability to exfoliate, neutralize the bacteria that causes breakouts, and reduce overall inflammation" Jamé Heskett, MD, founder of The Wellpath in New York City told InStyle. It works in many forms, you can use it in your face wash, your spot treatment, or mixed into your concealer for both healing and coverage. Her favourite is Miracle Skin Transformer Acne Control Tinted Treatment Lotion. You can find it in five beautiful shades.