goop G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo review

Since in my Insta Q&As most of you have hair care related queries, I decided to review this awesome product asap. The product I am talking about is the G.Tox scalp scrub shampoo from the brand Goop.

Goop is a brand by Gwyneth Paltrow, the wonderful actress from movies like Iron Man, Shakespeare in love, Emma; which are my favorites. I have mentioned the Nuxe lip balm in many posts and I buy it from cultbeauty, when they have free shipping offer. I came to know of this product first from my fellow formulator, Utkarshini. So next time I got the lipbalm, I added this as well to the cart.

What is special about this Salt Scalp Scrub shampoo? (oooh that’s a tongue twister)

Unlike the regular shampoos that comes in cream, gel or lotion form, this Goop shampoo is a whipped cream that has scrubby Himalayan salt for exfoliation. The texture is very thick, which means that the 200ml tub is going to last forever because you need just a pea size to scrub and cleanse your scalp.

Goop Gtox Salt Scrub Shampoo
Goop Gtox Salt Scrub Shampoo
Ingredients:

Salt, Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Coconut Acid, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Extract, Canarium Luzonicum Gum Nonvolatiles,  Orange Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Peppermint Oil, Spearmint Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Schinus Terebinthifolius Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Isostearate, Glycerin, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Maltodextrin, Triethyl Citrate, Dimethyl Heptenal

Why scalp exfoliation is important?

Just like how exfoliating the skin on our body is important to aid cell turnover, scalp exfoliation helps in clearing the oil and dead skin build up. This helps in clearing the dandruff and also reduces thinning of hair follicles due to clogged pores. All the sweat, dead skin, various hair care products and pollution leaves the residue on the scalp which has to be cleared for the health of hair.

But if you have psoriasis, infections, dermatitis, eczema and similar skin conditions, you should stay away from scrubby products and use gentle cleansers instead.

Is this a new trend?

Definitely not. This was a lifestyle for our grandparents, who used  natural bath powders and hair wash powders. These powders when massaged on scalp helped in gentle exfoliation and leaves the scalp squeaky clean. When it came to our generation, we stopped this practise and started relying on aesthetically appealing synthetic products that are easy to apply and wash off, but just makes the pH of our skin and its health go for a toss.

Now an exfoliant need not be a salt scrub itself. Exfoliants like Salicylic acid or Glycolic acid can be used as well, but ensure that you use them in the right concentration that suits your scalp.

My take on the Goop Gtox Shampoo

One of the best hair cleansers I have tried so far. I have had a hard time finding a hair cleanser that is gentle, non-stripping and that which leaves hair soft and clean. This ticks all those check boxes.

Take a pea sized amount of the product and massage it on the wet scalp. The salt in the product is non abrasive, but still be gentle when you massage it.  The product lathers up well and makes a thick creamy lather.  It is easy to wash off. Hair feels clean and soft after air drying, basically beach hair. The salt really helps in volumizing the hair. It keeps the scalp from getting too oily for next few days which is great for people whose hair falls limp after a day or two of hair wash.

The best thing about this cleanser is that you just have to take a spoon full of product in a small container and you can carry it in your purse without worrying about any leakage. The consistency is so travel friendly.

How to make most of the shampoo?

Definitely this product is a luxury buy. It is quite expensive and doesn’t make sense as a daily use product. Using this once or twice a week is sufficient and incase you use hair cleanser daily, you can use a natural budget friendly gentle hair wash on other days.

Is this a great product -> Definitely

Do you “need” it -> Not really

Will I repurchase it -> 100%, until I figure out how to formulate this.

Probably try mixing some well milled Himalayan pink salt with your gentle shampoo and see if that works.

Suganda Skincare White Lotus Moisturiser Review

Suganda is a skincare brand I explored recently.

I was familiar with the brand, since I follow most of the Indian natural skincare brands. I bought this product while there was an offer running. The products of this brand reminds me of Korean skincare products. The ingredients are mostly actives that are used widely in Korean skincare. That itself is quite remarkable for an Indian skincare brand. But this is also a recent trend and formulators use these ingredients, whether or not it is required in a product.

But for few exceptions, moisturisers from Indian natural skincare brands don’t usually come in a variety of textures. It is usually balmy or an oil based cream/lotion. It can suit many skin types but not all climates. For example, I have never come across a moisturiser that suits the intense humidity of Kerala. That’s why I formulated a water based pudding like cream (you will find it in the Insta page) which is light and fluffy and perfect for the hot, humid climate.

I chose to try the moisturiser for this reason, eventhough Suganda also had interesting products like BHA and AHA serums.

Before getting to the review of the Suganda White Lotus Moisturiser, let us talk about moisturisers.

Why are moisturisers important in skincare?

Moisturiser is essential in skincare, especially if you have oily skin. You might wonder why. Do you know that dehydrated skin produces more sebum and makes skin extra oily?

The requirements for a healthy skin changes with climate, food habits, hydration requirements of the body, stress and your overall wellbeing. Incase the skin is dehydrated, sebacious glands over produce sebum to compensate for the dryness. Don’t confuse oiliness with hydration/moisturised skin.

A well moisturised skin will be balanced and will not be dry or oily. The type and ingredients of a moisturiser varies with your skin requirement.

Dry skin needs multiple layers of moisturisers to maintain suppleness. Directly using oily serums or creams will not help, as this forms an occlusive layers on the skin without any hydrating elements underneath. This can further dry out the skin. You should add a water based moisturiser or serum, followed by a thicker cream or oil to form a barrier that locks the moisture underneath.

If you have oily skin, you might want to opt for toners and oil free moisturisers that would help in balancing the sebum.

Lack of ample moisture on skin can also lead to wrinkles, spots and premature ageing.

Also sunscreen is not a moisturiser. It has to be applied on top of a moisturiser for better coverage and protection.

Suganda White Lotus Moisturiser

Ingredients

White Lotus Moisturiser Ingredient List

My take on the Ingredients

There are many interesting ingredients that are generally not found in Indian natural skincare products. Sodium Palmitoyl Proline is a substitued amino acid which serves the purpose of skin conditioning.

Reading upon white lotus extract, I found that it is known for calming and relaxing effects. Even used as an opiate and is an aphrodisiac. In the Suganda moisturiser, it serves as an anti inflammatory agent.

Vit B3 or Niacinamide is one of the popular ingredients in Western skincare. It helps in reducing dullness, uneveness, fine lines etc. Vit B5 or Pantothenic Acid helps in improving smoothness and softenss of skin. It is deeply hydrating and can stimulate healing process of skin.

Also there is Hyaluronic acid, which is one of the celebrities among moisturising ingredients of recent times.

White Lotus Moisturiser review

A water based moisturiser is usually in a gel form in the market. But this one is is a translucent serum with is slightly runny. The texture is somewhere in between the watery Neogen essence and viscous and slimy, Cosrx snail mucin.

The perfect viscosity

Best things about the texture is that it is non sticky and gets absorbed as soon as it is applied on skin, which is great when you are in a humid climate.

The fragrance of the essential oil mix, is quite relaxing. Not too intense to bother any sensitive noses. But there is also an option to order this without fragrance.

If you have dry skin, you definitely need to layer this up or use a slightly heavy moisturiser on top. Try to use as less as possible first and then use more if required.

The product is expensive, but a pump or two from the narrow nozzle is enough for the face. The easily spreadable texture and consistency helps in sparcely using the product. I will update later, on how long one bottle lasts for me.

My skin was quite oily in my teen years but never acne prone. Using natural skincare products and taking care of my skin over the years has balanced out the skin. I would say my skin is quite healthy. But this is in Bangalore. When I visit Kerala on vacation, the humidity just makes the skin dull and lifeless. One or two pumps of White lotus moisturiser helps in controlling this effect of humidity on skin. It is quite calming on skin and doesn’t take time to sink in. There is no tightened feeling on skin after using this, which is common to gel based moisturisers.

I am sure this product would benefit all skin types, especially if you have problematic skin. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts.

Yes, this product has Phenoxy ethanol as preservative, which is a popular alternative to parabens these days. But I am not complaining, because a water based product needs a strong preservative and usually preservatives adds up to less than 1% in a formula.

And let us be realistic, travel friendliness of a package depends on how you travel. I carry all my skincare products (even the ones in glass bottles and tubs), everywhere I go. You just need to be a little careful and pack it well, that’s it.

Final thoughts

Suganda white lotus moisturiser
Little bottle of potent ingredients

I mean, how fantastic is that a home based skincare brand came up with such an amazing texture. Congrats Bindu on creating basic skincare products packed with actives that really makes a difference on skin. I shall surely write more on this product in Insta, after I finish it up and see any noticeable difference on my skin. For now, it is a great moisturiser for humid climate, that suits especially normal to oily skin type.

I use it as a day time moisturiser under sunscreen. I don’t have to wait for this to sink in before using next product, which makes it perfect for working day mornings. At night I prefer a thicker cream. Also owing to the cost, I don’t want to layer it much and use it up faster.

 

 

How to get glowing skin for Diwali : Rose quartz roller and 108x washed ghee review

Hi readers, it has been a while since I posted something. Since it is Diwali and festivities are starting, here is a detailed post on how to get glowing  skin this Diwali.

If you are an avid skincare lover, you will know that gemstone face rollers are in the lime lights now, eventhough these skincare tools have been around for centuries (supposed to have originated in the Chinese skincare routine). The popular tools include the Rose quartz and Jade face rollers and Gua sha.

What is the use of face roller:

Face rollers are skincare tools that helps in massaging the skin. This inturn helps in draining the lymph nodes, de-puffing, improving circulation and toning the skin.

  • Boosts circulation and oxygenates the skin
  • Brightens the complexion
  • Tightens pores
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Plumps up the skin
  • Promotes Product penetration

How to choose the right roller:

The options I know of are Jade, Rose Quartz and Black obsidian rollers. All three serve the same purpose but what makes them different is the properties of the crystal with which they are made. I will just put down basic properties of each:

Rose Quartz face roller : Calming the skin. Best used in the evening/night. Oily skin.

Jade Roller : Energizing and rejuvenating. Best used in the morning. Dry skin.

Black Onyx: Healing and energy balancing. All skin types.

Moolit 108x Washed Ghee:

Before I review the roller, I want to introduce you to a new multi purpose product, the 108x Washed Ghee. This is from the the brand Moolit Beauty by Utkarshini and I had reviewed her Seabuckthorn Cleanser before. Do check it out, as I have added updates of recent batch of cleanser as well.

I am not a fan of face serums and I prefer thick creams for night time skincare.

A roller can be used with serums and creams for massaging and also it helps the product to penetrate better into the skin. So I got the 108x washed ghee infused with rose absolute.

According to Ayurveda, washing cow ghee makes it so light that it can penetrate all 7 layers of the skin. I tried washing organic cow ghee ofter watching Utkarshini’s youtube video and got a creamy end product which was not  oily. It is a tedious and time consuming process though. Also to get the right consistency one has to use copper vessels. I didn’t have one and so I tried in ceramic bowl.

The product comes in an amber glass jar and smells pleasantly of roses. There is also a rose quartz crystal stone inside the jar. The cream is thick and can be used as a cleanser and a moisturizer. Unlike serums and oil based butters, this cream makes the skin feel damp(for lack of better word) and not oily when you first apply it and gets absorbed easily on massaging. Hence it is the perfect consistency to use with the roller.

If you use it in double cleansing, massage the face well with a pea sized quantity before washing it off with another cleanser.

My experience using the roller:

I got my Rose Quartz roller from the insta handle happiness_unlimited_. Dr Poonam who runs the handle is a crystal healer and regression therapist. I decided on the Rose quartz roller because I don’t have time for elaborate skincare routine in the morning and a calming and relaxing face massage at night is something I can try. I bought it when there was a launch offer.

The tool has two roller heads. The bigger one can be used for face, forehead and neck and the smaller one for the eye and nose area.

The stones are cool by nature. So when you roll it on your skin, it really calms and cools the skin. But to enhance the experience I place the roller in the refrigerator for few minutes. I apply some washed ghee dots on my face and massage it in using the roller.

You can find many Youtube videos explaining how to use the nose as a focal point and move the roller outwards. Each area needs to be concentrated for a while before moving further. Also don’t apply much pressure on the tool.

Also as per Poonam, the crystal needs to be cleansed regularly. There are many methods for this like holding it in the sage leaf bundle smoke, or in running water or under a full moon covered in salt. You can read about this further in her insta handle or in general from google. I haven’t done all that but I simply hold it under tap water after the use.

Also another great way to use the roller is on top of sheet masks. This helps the essence to penetrate better and also makes the experience better.

I don’t use the roller everyday but I try to include it often in my regime. My skin feels toned and gets a subtle glow after. With regular use you will find a considerable improvement in the quality of your skin. For m it is more or less like meditation, where I  spend some ‘me’ time before bed and it gives a very good vibe.

NOTE : I think Utkarshini has stopped making washed ghee. If interested, you can try one from happiness_unlimited_ itself.

Follow my insta handle for further tips and updates.

 

Vilvah Rose & Vanilla Natural Deodorant

Let me introduce you to a new brand in this post, Vilvah which is a natural skincare brand based in Coimbatore. I bought a couple of products from them a few months back and my favorite out of them is this Rose & Vanila Deodorant.

I have introduced to you the vegan lavender deo cream from Burst Of Happyness.     Many of you prefers the deo in twist up applicator and guess what, the Vilvah one comes in one. Let’s take a look at the details of the product. 

Product description:Sweating is a natural process and not something that we should stop our bodies from doing. Many mainstream deodorants use aluminium chloral hydrate and aluminium zirconium to block this process and work as an ‘antiperspirant’ to stop sweating. Most of the deodorant contain aluminium which is absorbed directly into the bloodstream when applied on your armpits. It is particularly not safe for women which lead to breast cancer and can cause hormonal imbalance.

Price & Quantity : 590 Rs for 60g

Benefits:

Make your armpits happy with our natural deodorant range. The deodorant we make are not designed to block the sweat glands. Instead, we use a combination of natural ingredients to help absorb wetness, neutralise odour and making you smell fresh with our essential oil combination.

Ingredients: Shea Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Arrow Root Powder, Natural Vit E,  Rose Essential Oil, and Vanilla Essential Oil.

My take on the product:

I like the packaging and I find it much more convenient to carry and use. The deodorant has a heavy rose fragrance that lasts long.  If you are not a fan of rose scent try other fragrances from the range, as the scent is strong, kind of like talcom powder fragrance. But there is no artificial fragrance added and you know how much I like the rose fragrance of natural skincare products (check out here).

The product is very creamy and easy to apply on skin. Make sure you rub the product very lightly on skin. A little quantity will suffice and rubbing it more than once will just cause wastage of product. So to make it last long, apply minimally and you are good to go.

Eventhough it is preferable to store the deo in a cool, dry place; I did not see it melt or leak when I traveled with this in a hot and humid area. So this is quite travel friendly.

Juicy Chemistry Neem Butter, Pumpkin & Vitamin E Scalp Repair Hair Mask

This post is a review of one of the new launches from Juicy Chemistry kitchen, the Neem Butter, Pumpkin & Vitamin E Scalp Repair Hair Mask.

Ingredients:

Coconut Butter, Neem Butter, Olive Oil, Baobab Oil, Natural Vitamin-E, Castor Oil, Argan Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Beeswax, Lavender, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Rosemary, Lemon, Tea-Tree Essential Oil and Ginger.

Price: Rs 850 for 75g

Fragrance and texture : This is a runny oil with a slight green tinge. It is not sticky like heavy oils. The fragrance is strong, with mostly tea tree and rosemary notes; but not overpowering.

Packaging : It comes in an amber glass bottle with a pump and cap.

My take on the product:

Usually a mix of tea tree oil, coconut oil, vit e from capsule, castor oil and ginger juice is my go to hair potion for dry and flaky scalp. This hair product (I wouldn’t call it a mask since this is like a hair oil/tonic) has many more beneficial ingredients for the hair. I either mix it with my normal hair oil and use or most times I replace hair oil with just this.

I like this product a lot. My hair is not chemically treated and I only use natural products to cleanse. Eventhough I have hair fall because of the hard water, my hair is not damaged in any way. But I do get flaky scalp and excessive oiliness at times. This oil has really helped in controlling that.

A little quantity is enough to massage the scalp, and then it has to be left for 30 min before cleansing it off with a mild cleanser.  I use it only twice a week.

JC keeps having sale on the website often, and that would be a good time to get this product if you wan tot try it out. I would recommend this if you have dandruff/flaky and oily scalp or if your hair is thin, straight and has less volume.

NOTE : Incase you have dry, frizzy and brittle hair which is chemically damaged and is in need of deep conditioning, you should try the Argan and Mango butter mask instead.  especially if you have curly hair.T he mask is very thick (more like a body butter) and has to be applied from root to hair tip as a pre-wash mask. This will weigh your hair down incase you have straight, thin hair.

These products are for improving the overall quality of the scalp and hair and not a treatment for hair fall. Incase you have hairfall problems, you should also take care of your diet and water intake in addition to using natural hair care products.

Hope you liked this post.  Do subscribe using email id, for timely updates of latest blog posts.

“WOMEN’S DAY GIVEAWAY”

Hey folks, welcome to the women’s day 2019 giveaway. The winner of this giveaway will get this amazing JUICY CHEMISTRY hair mask as a gift. 

GIVE AWAY GIFT

PS: This is not a sponsored Giveaway. This is just me sharing happiness for all your support for the blog.

Follow the steps below to participate:

  1. Subscribe to blog via email .You will find an option in the right panel like this.
  2. Follow us on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM  – Click on the links to go to the pages.
  3. Like the Insta giveaway post and tag 3 or more of your favorite women in the Instagram Giveaway post.
  4. Send them a women’s day wish in the Insta post comment.
  5. Comment under your favourite blog post.

DM us your mail ID, Insta and FB account names in insta,FB or mail after following all the above steps.

To earn extra points:

Tag more friends and get them to participate in the giveaway.

Share the post on your insta story with and tag us.

NOTE : Please tag only folks who you think will be interested about wellness, natural skincare and lifestyle. Only genuine Insta pages will be considered. And whoever unfollows the page afterwards will be blocked and not given a chance to participate in upcoming giveaways. Also the giveaway is open to all but gift will only be shipped to India address.

The winner’s will be announced on 10th March.

ALL THE BEST FOLKS!!!

 

Skin Yoga

I am reviewing two of my favorite products from this 100 % natural brand,Skin Yoga. I had reviewed the green tea face mask from Skin yoga before. I repurchased the full size green tea mask and also tried out the saffron,sandalwood face mask this time.

Skin Yoga Green Tea Face Mask

Check out the previous blog post for detailed review. I will just be adding new observations here.

Skinyoga green tea mask

Ingredients : So this one has an additional ingredient in the formula which is the Neem leaf powder, in addition to the oat meal, green tea and rice powder.

Suitable for : All skin types, especially oily/acne prone skin.

Review:

If you would ask me what is the one product that can clear out acne, I would suggest this mask. The ingredients are simple and highly effective.  On mixing with water to form a paste, this will increase in quantity. So take just a little first and see if that would suffice. I use it as a spot treatment on acne.

Because of the presence of neem leaf powder, this makes my eyes water if I apply a thick layer on my cheeks. So I use very little quantity and apply directly over any acne or marks.

Skin Yoga Sandalwood Saffron face mask : Anti ageing skin brightening blend

Ingredients : Sandalwood powder, Saffron, walnut powder

Suitable for:  Normal to very dry skin types.

Review:

This is a powder version of moisturizer. This mask deeply moisturizes the skin and is great addition to your routine, if you have dry skin.

Unlike green tea face mask, the texture of this is crumbly. But once a little of this is mixed with water the color lightens and it becomes soft in texture.

I wouldn’t suggest this mask for oily/acne prone skin types. After washing the mask off, there will be a bit of oiliness on the skin and in a few minutes these oils will skin in completely leaving the skin glowing.

More on the brand:

This is a high end brand, based on the price and packaging. But it is also highly effective and a little goes a long way. One doesn’t need to slather a thick layer of the products to get the most out of it. I usually use just a pinch or two of both masks like spot treatment. Since I have a combination skin, I use the green tea mask mostly on my t-zone or just over pimple prone area and the sandalwood mask on dry patches on the cheeks. I am sure both the products will last me long.

One thing that makes these products efficient is that all the ingredients are actives and works beautifully on the specific skin types, which makes these products worth buying. You can get them from the Skinyoga website or from Nykaa.

The sourcing of the best quality ingredients must be what makes the difference. Because these ingredients are easily available in market and we can as well make a home made mask with it. But I have found that it doesn’t give the same result as the Skin yoga ones.

Both the products comes in a glass jar with glass lid, packed inside a wooden box.  So these are not exactly travel friendly. But since these are in dry powder form, you can easily transfer it into travel friendly tins.

Hope you liked the review. Do leave your comments.

Natural makeup remover : Moolit Beauty Seabuckthorn Cleanser Review

Incase you are looking for an affordable and completely natural makeup remover cream, read the post below for more info.

I am not a makeup lover and I use mostly kajal everyday and lipcolors at times. But  most of the good ones in the market are water proof/smudge proof, and need a lot of rubbing while oil cleansing, to remove it completely. Also most of the time, the oil seeps into my eyes and causes irritation. It gets much difficult when I travel, because oils are not travel friendly and also I would need to carry tissues or wet wipes to wipe it all off.

I was looking for something that is non-oily and completely natural that would cleanse away the kajal easily.

Many of you would be using mostly micellar waters or cleansing oils to remove makeup. Also there is this trend of cleansing balms, that breaks down makeup and emulsifies with water while washing it off. But these products are too costly and definitely not completely natural.

Here is a homemade product from an upcoming Indian brand called Moolit Beauty by Utkarshini Khanna, that doubles up as a cleanser and a makeup remover, while being non-comodogenic.

Moolit Beauty

I have been following Utkarshini’s Insta for quite some time. She makes 100x washed ghee for skin and hair care and also makes Youtube videos on skincare. Her brand Moolit Beauty is newly conceived and she makes fresh and limited batches of skincare products.

I did not really feel like trying out this cleanser initially, mainly because I was looking for a solid cleanser than a creamy one. But then I discussed this with her and she told me that, to make dense cleansers butters like shea and cocoa have to be added, which can clog the pores. So I decided to give this a try.

As soon as I placed the order, I saw a review from someone which said this smells like Amrutanjan and I again I got skeptical. I am not a fan of strong fragrances whether natural or not. So read on to find out if I liked this product.

Here are the details of the product :

Price : 500 Rs including shipping.  Price and qty are not mentioned in the tub

Packing: Comes in a sturdy amber jar with labels explaining ingredients and instructions, in detail.

Ingredients :

Actives : Seabuckthorn juice,oil and berries, plant glycerin and tocopherol (vit e).

Inactives:  There is a whole list of inactives which are all either ecocert certified/plant based/food grade.

Texture : It’s a slurry of cream, oil and solid bits of sea buckthorn berries.

Fragrance : Unique smell that is not a sweet/floral/fruity. Maybe similar to Ayurvedic product smell. I wouldn’t say it is very strong.

A little about the major ingredient sea buckthorn:

It is a bushy shrub with orange berries. The berries and oil taken from them is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids.  It is known to be great for the skin.

My review : I will make it short and simple.

  1. Needs only tiny amount of product to cleanse entire face and neck.
  2. Non sticky, non oily and completely light on skin.
  3. Removes any kind of makeup with little effort .
  4. Completely cleanses the skin with no oily residue.
  5. Suitable for all skin types.
  6. The oils had seeped out a bit on transit. So this might not be travel friendly. I would transfer a little to a smaller airtight container for travelling.
  7. Doesn’t foam and doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.

Now here is a small experiment to see if this product can actually remove stubborn makeup.

In case the makeup is stubborn, you can double cleanse to remove it completely. A little goes a long way, so use appropriately.

I also read some reviews that said this brightens up the skin, but it didn’t for me (I don’t expect a cleanser to do that ). Maybe this is because it cleanses thoroughly and gives that refreshed look.

Eventhough there are tiny pieces of the Seabuckthorn berries in the cleanser, I don’t prefer rubbing it on skin for exfoliation because what is left is very solid particles (maybe seeds) and rubbing it on skin is not a pleasant experience.

Anyway I like this product and I hope you liked this post. Do comment below incase you have any queries.

Update: The second batch of the cleanser I got is runnier than the reviewed version and also it irritates my eyes. The brand confirmed that the ingredients have not changed and it could be the glycerin used in it that is causing the problem. The main purpose of this cleanser for me was to remove the kajal easily. But looks like I can’t use it in my eye area anymore. Waiting for a better version of the product.

Kama Ayurveda Eladi cream vs Kottakkal Eladi cream

It has been a while since I have reviewed products. Many of you showed interest in knowing about the Kottakkal Eladi cream and my take on whether it is an affordable alternative to the Kama Ayurveda Eladi face cream. So this is more of a comparative review of whether the most affordable purely Ayurvedic Kottakkal Eladi cream is as good as its luxury sibling, Kama Ayurveda Eladi cream.

Check out my detailed review of Kama Ayurveda Eladi cream here and details of my Kama Ayurveda store visit and first impression here.

As per Ayurveda, Eladi tailam is great for improving skin texture, complexion and for kapha-vata predominant disorders. It is also beneficial to hair when mixed with coconut oil to form Eladikera tailam.

Eventhough both are Eladi creams and based on Ayurveda, these are polar opposites in terms of  texture, fragrance, and efficacy. Here is a quick look at some major feature comparison:

Feature Kottakkal Eladi Cream Kama Ayurveda Eladi Cream
Price 55Rs/25g 1395Rs/50g*
Natural EladikeraTailam which is the main constituent is 100% natural. Also has Pharmacopeia approved lanolin and paraffin wax  97.45% + citric acid, cetyl alcohol and EDTA
Fragrance Sweet cardamom smell (not strong) Relaxing,slightly floral
Texture Condensed, flaky** Thick, smooth
Packaging Plastic tube Glass tub
Main Ingredients Eladikeratailam(28 ingredients), Cream base Coconut oil, Crepe Ginger, cardamom, rose and jasmine essential oils, sesame oil, aloevera
Skin type Normal,dry and extremely dry*** Normal, dry***

*When I bought the Kama Eladi cream last year, the price was 895 Rs/50g. Now it has shot up.

**I don’t know how to explain the texture of this one. It reminds me of coconut burfi for some reason (I think it is the cardamom smell). It is thick, and is slightly flaky like coconut flakes which melts into skin on massaging.

***I have combination skin and both worked well for me.

Detailed review of Kottakkal Eladi Cream :

I bought this from a Kottakkal outlet when I last visited Kerala. Also available in Amazon. Initially I was skeptical because I expected a strong ayurvedic smell and very oily texture for the cream. I was almost sure that it would break me out. Also I expected the cream to be too heavy for my skin and make it oily after application. Surprisingly it didn’t.

Compared to Kama Eladi cream, this one takes more time to sink into the skin.  So one thing to note is, natural skincare products, especially ayurvedic ones, are very rich because of the presence of oils in it. So a very little quantity is enough to cover the face and neck, as it spreads quite well (unlike chemical based ones). So start with as little as possible and see how your skin responds to it and then use more if required.

Here is a trick: Spritz face mist on face before applying the cream and it will get absorbed much faster, and won’t leave any shine.

Only half this quantity is needed incase you have normal skin type

I use it more as a night cream (my days are busier and I barely get time for multiple steps of skincare) and sometimes as a day cream followed by sunscreen. It will be perfect for dry skin type. I have extremely dry skin on my arms and feet and it works well as a body moisturizer.

The most noticeable change after application is that, it makes skin softer. The Kama Eladi one, makes the skin more supple I would say. I used it over acne as well and it didn’t worsen it. I really like the slightly ayurvedic sweet smell of the elaichi and its very different texture.

Here are the negatives : As per Ayurveda, this is meant for normal to dry skin types.  Eventhough it worked well for my combination skin, it might not suite acne prone combination-oily skin types. This is not exactly a negative. Just that each product is meant for particular skin type.

Definitely will be heavy on skin, if the climate is very humid or if you go overboard with the quantity. In my location humidity is less and hence I feel no oiliness or heaviness on skin.

Leaves a slight sheen on skin until it gets fully absorbed. But it is not noticeable, like for oils.

Which one will I repurchase?

Definitely the Kottakkal Eladi Cream. Because it is completely natural and the ingredients are beneficial for improving skin quality. Also the tube packaging is very travel friendly. The price point is the biggest plus. One doubt that still remains is what constitutes cream base. I hope it is natural ingredients and this is the info I got from an Ayurvedic doctor.

Kama Eladi Cream is a good moisturizer and I really enjoyed using it. I liked it especially for its texture and  fragrance. But it didn’t have any lasting benefits and I think for the current price, it is definitely not worth buying. Also because it is not even 100% natural. There are many other affordable natural moisturizers in the market. 

NOTE : I take care of my skin well and the only time it misbehaves is, when my diet is erratic or of low quality. So I can’t comment on whether it would reduce blemishes, pigmentation etc (eventhough ayurvedic doctors say it does, when used systematically). Also I believe that the overall health of skin can only be improved by having balanced diet and following simple but systematic skincare regimes (regular deep cleansing and applying sunscreen provides more benefits in the long run, than using expensive skin care products).

 

Ecofriendly, safe baby and toddler care products

A mom knows what is best for her kid and I feel it’s not a good practice to give unsolicited advice in this matter. Many of you from my insta family has asked me to write about baby care products and so even though I have not much personal experience with this, I shall list out some helpful products that I came across in my research.  This is an assorted list of all things that are helpful for parents. Also these might make great gifts.

Kolkol Ergonomic Baby Carriers:

Let me quote the brand:

Ergonomic baby carriers let you carry your baby in a position similar to how you would hold them in your arms. This means the utmost comfort for you and your baby. It promotes bonding and helps breastfeed anywhere. It helps the parent handle everyday chores while taking care of the baby. There are many studies that show carried babies sleep, feed and grow better, and significantly cry lesser.

And with Kolkol you can carry your babies hands free. Their ring sling cloth carriers looks very simple and comfy for the babies and the buckle carriers can be used for toddlers.

Also their ring slings are on sale now.

Check them out : Kolkol

Cloth Diaper:

If you are someone who is conscious of the environment and would like to reduce the non-biodegradable waste generated from household, you can checkout this alternative to regular baby diaper.

In India there are many brands selling cloth diapers : Bumberry, Easyfeel, Superbottoms, Bumpadum to name a few.

Also Qtrove has a Bath and Health section for babies and many reusable cloth diapers from some of the above mentioned brands are featured here.

You can also join this FB group called Clothdiaperingindia, to get answers for your queries.

Safe wooden toys:

PC: Varnam Craft Collective

Majority of the toddler toys in the market are made from plastic. In a matter of months most of these toys will end up in waste bins and ultimately in land fills. Also many of these toys are coated with toxic paints including lead and can be harmful for kids. So why not switch to eco-friendly ones. I am listing down some options you can look into.

  1. Varnam Craft Collective  : Varnam brings a modern twist to the traditional Channapatna toy craft. They also have a variety of home decor and accessories collection that looks as good as showpiece items. They have two stores in Bangalore and they can be spotted in exhibitions as well. I have come across their stalls many times in exhibitions and they even have some quirky printed kids wewar in their collection.
  2. Shumee : This brand was started by the mom, Meeta to fill the gap of not having trust worthy safe toys in India. Their site also features Children’s books.
  3. Onlywood : An Indian brand that claims to make toys that are safe with no sharp edges, decorated with vegetable colors that is NON-TOXIC and LEAD FREE.
  4. Funwoodgames : Their toys are made from ivory wood and they support Indian cottage industries and rural artists. This brand offers free home delivery as well.

Cleansing and nourishing products for kids:

Eventhough there are many natural and ethical brands in India selling baby care products, do understand that natural products can also cause adverse reactions on skin, if the ingredient doesn’t suit your babies skin type. So my suggestion would be:

  1. Use minimal to no products on your baby. Regular oil bathing should be enough for the baby’s skin.
  2. If you do want to use any soap/cream/powder on your baby, either seek advice from the doctor or make sure you are buying from a trusted brand.
  3. All the trusted natural skin care formulators are always open for clearing any doubts. So talk to them and go as per their expert suggestions.
  4. Choose products with minimal ingredients with no synthetic colorants or fragrance.

I have only included very few trusted brands here. All these brands are 100% transparent about the ingredients and you can hence choose the products that would suit your toddler.

Krya : I have reviewed many Krya skincare products before and they are a brand completely based on Ayurveda (in its truest sense and not like brands that claim to be ayurvedic for namesake). They have separate line of products for babies and toddlers. Even separate cleansing powders for boys and girls. They have added elaborate description of everything you need to know here.

For toddlers they have anti lice products as well. Find the details of toddler care products here.

Juicy Chemistry : A regular reader of my blog will be familiar with almost all the products of JC so far. So this certified organic brand also has products for kids. I gifted the baby shampoo, soap and diaper balm from this range to my baby niece. I wanted to buy the mosquito repellent cream as well but on checking with the brand, they did not recommended it for babies. Check out their kids range here.

MamaEarth : This brand caters products for Mamas, Papas and babies. How cool is that? They are the first MadeSafe Certified Brand in Asia and the products undergoes dermatological tests. Some of the interesting products are  natural toothpaste, teas for expecting moms and organic bamboo based baby wipes. They do use a synthetic but safe preservative in their product. You can check out their website.

Toddler fashion:

Kids clothes from most brands are more expensive than adult clothes these days 🙁 . In our family we love using pre-owned clothes for babies and toddlers. Aunts and cousins circulate the clothes which are in good condition, to the next generation. Kids grow out of their clothes very fast and I feel these sustainable practices should be encouraged. All my clothes as a kid was stitched by my mom from cloth scrapes and were really beautiful. No she did not do any stitching before or after that. I guess kids clothes are relatively easy to stitch.

But incase you are looking forward to twinning with your kid on a special occasion, The Khadi Cult and Indieproject offers some colorful, quirky prints.

Read and grow:

I just had to write about books even though it is not exactly in context with this blog post. My love for books happened because of my grandpa. He used to take me religiously to kids library and then to public library as my reading matured. He would sign up for plans from DC books. On paying a small amount every month, we can take books for double the total amount at the end of the year. These days many of us live away from family and there might not be a grandpa around. But parents should find time to read to the kids and later introduce them to amazing books.

The Irrelevant Project:

I need a separate blog post to write about the amazing work, this awesome group of people does. They simply aim at bringing the stereotypes and biases surrounding gender/class/caste/religion etc, to light. Sometimes our opinions are strongly based on prejudices that are imbibed in us from our childhood and we don’t even realize it most of the time.

PC: The Irrelevant Project

Currently they have 5 books in store that are for ages 6 and above (I say 6 and ‘above’ because even though these are illustrated and written for easy understanding of children, the topics they talk about are relevant, current and applicable to all age groups.)

The books cover topics like body positivity, gender stereotypes, diversity, bullying and consent to name a few.

The books are available in Amazon.

PC: The Irrelevant Project

You should definitely follow their Insta account. The posts explains schema, gendered language, priming etc in a very simple and easy to understand manner.

Public Libraries:

Do take your kids to old book shops, public libraries or Just books atleast once or twice every month. It would help them to get to know the book loving community around and also develop reading into a habit than a hobby.

So that’s all for now. Let me know if you liked this post and found it helpful. Also do comment your go to brands for kids, so that it is helpful for others as well.

A complete guide to India’s truly natural skincare brands – 1

Many of you must be interested in switching to natural/organic skincare and beauty products, but could be hesitant. One reason is that, the popular ones we all know of are mostly luxury brands (like Forest Essentials & Kama Ayurveda), which are obviously very expensive. Also sometimes people blindly buys products from brands claiming to be natural/organic, when in reality they might just have a very small percentage of natural ingredients and thereby end up having a bad experience. Sometimes even the most popular brands we know hides majority of their ingredients under the name ‘base’, eg: Biotique.

Handmade natural skincare products are safe and are multitasking ones. For eg: a handmade soap made with natural ingredients can be used as a hair, body and face cleanser.  Would you dare to use your shampoo as a face cleanser otherwise?

There are many Indian natural skincare brands that sells quality products at affordable prices. These brands are transparent about the ingredients used and gives all the ingredient info in the label. Here is the list of few such natural Indian skincare brands, that I have already introduced you through the different posts.

1. Juicy Chemistry

The first time I tried JC products was three years back when they had just the fb handle and some amazing products. Now they have grown to be a very popular organic certified brand with a store in Coimbatore and products extensively available through online sites.

The brand is started by a husband wife duo, Pritesh and Megha Asher. The products are pure and made of high quality ingredients and has 0% chemicals/preservatives. All their products smell amazing because of the exquisite combination of essential oils. So eventhough you might feel this is not very pocket friendly, let me tell you, it is worth the price.

Products I recommend:  Body scrubs, body butters, soaps, face mists.

Read my reviews :

Juicy Chemistry citrus and sage foot scrub

Decadent body scrubs for all skin types

Juicy Chemistry Rose Sandalwood Mask

Juicy Chemistry Hazelnut & Vanilla Latte Soap

My favorites and not so favorites from Juicy Chemistry

Spicy Apple Pie anyone???

Juicy Chemistry : Choco-Vanila Body Butter – Now discontinued

2. Gia bath and body works

This is the first natural skincare brand I tried. I wouldn’t call all products completely natural as some of them contains fragrances and safe food colors. The brand is run by Gayatri based on Mumbai. She takes into account customer suggestions and even customizes perfumes. Her soaps are a work of art and looks edible. The fragrances are so good that your bathroom will smell amazing.

Products I recommend: Chocolate creme silk soap, cup cake soaps, oats based face cleansers in various flavours.

Read my reviews :

Pomegranate facial cleanser from Gia 

Daily cleansing method for soft and glowing skin

A divine chocolate soap you will fall in love with

Butter Cream Whipped Soaps

My favorite hair cleanser from Gia

Mintensity Foot soak
3. Zofla

This is one of my recent finds. I have used just one product from this brand, which is the rose water face mist. Unlike many commonly available brands like Dabur that sells chemical solution in the name of rose water (check out the ingredient list next time you feel like buying this : Aqua, Fragrance, Rose Oil, Propylene Glycol, Propyl Paraben, Methyl Paraben, Bronopol.), this rose water is made by steam distillation of organic Kannauj rose petals.

The product comes in a plastic spray bottle and can be just sprayed on to your skin for a boost of hydration, freshness and can be also used to mix your face packs or to calm skin inflammations. I bought this from amazon and it costs only 160Rs for 100ml.
4. Greenberry Organics

Started by a Mom-son duo, this brand is the first ECOCERT certified brand in India. I have used their most popular product, MUDASH 3 In 1 Face Mask, Scrub and Cleanser. The particles are a bit too gritty and hence suitable best as a body scrub. The brand also offers many more skin, body and hair care products.

Read myreview : Best Skincare Finds : Multitasking products for all skin types

5. Blend It Raw Apothecary

Incase you wish to whip up your own skincare recipes or if you are an essential oil junkie, this is the best brand to buy all the flower powders, clays, oils, face mists and what not. I would always recommend getting the ingredients and making products like face mask, scrub, lipbalms, body butters on your own; because then you really know what goes into the product and also these are much cost effective but equally good. The brand is the brain child of my fellow blogger and skincare enthusiast Aarushi, based in Delhi.

Read my review : Dandruff free silky hair and soft supple skin with simple DIY skincare recipes
6. Krya

With roots strongly based on Ayurveda, Krya adhers strictly to the age old textual methods of product preparation. This is a lifestyle brand and apart from skin and hair care products, this brand has baby care and home care products as well that are 100% herbal, vegan & cruelty-free.

Preethi Sukumaran, one of the founders, always finds time to respond to customer queries. She prescribes a holistic approach where she suggests changes to lifestyle and food habits. She also posts videos in the Krya blog addressing the lifestyle issues of urban life and ayurvedic way of living.

Products I recommend: Hair oil and hair wash powder, hair color, detergent.

Read my review: 

Summer hair care with natural hair wash powders : Featuring Krya and JivaVrksa

All natural and safe home care products
7. Burst of Happyness

Baed on Pune and run by Shreya Sharan Pawar, this brand was started as a result of her quest to find remedy to the allergies brought about by chemical based skincare products. The brand offers vegan soaps, shampoo bars, serums and many more body care products.

Product I recommend: Natural deodorants in lavender and rose scents.

Read my review: All natural and vegan deodorant
8. Cape Of Good Hope

Manisha creates beautiful art in soaps. Her soaps looks so pretty and smells amazing as well. The last product she sent me was a geode soap customized with ingredients that are harmonious with my zodiac. She also customizes products based on customer needs.

Products I recommend: Let Manisha know your skin concerns and leave the rest to her. My favorites are the Rose wine scrub and Green tea soap.

Read my reviews:

CGH Pepper soap review and a little surprise

Take time to smell the roses

Teas Please from Cape of Good soap

Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap

9. Junaili

Can a product so simple and pure that it is a raw material in itself, be as effective as the skin care concoctions with many exotic ingredients?

Junaili carries the purity of the Uttarakhand mountains and mist. This himalayan apothecary run by a family, uses just one raw material : Apricot.

The cold pressed apricot oil is customized into hair, face and body oils and the kernals are processed into scrubs.

Read my review: http://flavoursofbeauty.com/junaili-apricot-body-scrub-simple-and-pure/
10. Ancient Ayurveda

This Kerala based brand works with Prajwala, the world’s largest anti-human-trafficking shelter based in India, to empower women. Wood ash soaps are their specialty and these soaps oozes of ayurvedic tailas. The soaps are so soft and melts easily.

Read my review: Ancient Ayurveda Woodash Soaps

11. Amara Organix

This Chennai based brand is by the lovely lady, Mehar. You name it and they have it, a wide range of skin care, bath and body products and exotic soaps that caters to all kinds of skin care needs.

Recommended: Handmade soaps,  Brightening Face mask

Read my review: Moisturizers and face masks curated for summers : Introducing The Skin Pantry and Amara Organix

Hope you liked this post. I have not included any luxury brands in this feature. I will be consolidating more products and introduce you to more authentic brands in the upcoming posts.

Comment below about your favorite natural skincare brands and the recommended products.