Summer coolers : Recipes of hibiscus juice and cooked mango juice

Hibiscus Juice

Hibiscus has immense health benefits and is known as the botox plant, for its  skin improving properties. Usually I make face mask and shampoo out of the flowers and leaves. But here is a different way to consume the benefits of this plant.

This super refreshing summer drink is very refreshing and rich in antioxidants.

Recipe:

Depetal 7or 8 flowers and clean them thoroughly in fresh water.

Boil these petals in 4 glasses of water. Add sugar to taste. Once the water turns blue and petals loses its color, sieve the petals out and cool the water.

Next add lemon juice to the water which is at room temperature, and then it will turn red.

Add crushed ginger/mint if you like the taste of it or you can skip it.

 

 

Cooked Mango Juice

Now you might ask what is the need to cook the mango. Well according to my grandma, it improves the taste, kills all the germs and can be stored for longer.

We use a mango variety called ‘Moovandan‘ to make this juice. We have a tree in our backyard and the ripe mangoes keeps falling when there is wind. Eventhough the fallen ones are good, they are too bruised to be cut into pieces. So the best way to make use of these, is to make a pulpy juice.

No added sugar or color 😛

Recipe:

Cut the mangoes into pieces (doesn’t matter what size). Add some water and pressure cook it for about 3 whistles. Once it cools, blend in a mixer. I don’t add sugar as the mangoes are naturally very sweet. If not, add honey or cane sugar instead of white sugar. Sieve the juice to remove the fibre. Keep it refrigerated in a bottle.

 

Ancient Ayurveda Woodash Soaps

The man of the house has been demanding bath soap for a couple of days now (as I use herb powder from Krya currently, I don’t keep a tab of the soap stock). I had come across the Ancient Ayurveda brand in Amazon once and decided to give the soaps from this brand, a try.

What the brand calims:

Organic Soaps & Herbal Soaps Are Usually Filled With Colorants Which Are Created With Various Toxic Based Sub Ingredients That Is Hidden In There Description.Our Soaps On The Other Hand, Is Absolutely Free From All Synthetic Coloring Agents And Micas. Our In House Distilled Absolutes Ranges From Volatile Floral Oils All The Way Up To Steam Distilled Herbal Undiluted Extracts.

Impressive facts:
Unlike all the soap brands that prints only the ingredients used in making the soap (that too not always the complete list), they have printed a paragraph of chemical and harmful ingredients that they have not used in making these soaps.

Ancient Ayurveda Oleoresin Soap are absolutely Child Labour Free. These are not tested on animals and is handcrafted, hand-wrapped and hand-packed with 100% recycled paper.

I don’t think it gets anymore ethical this this.

Eventhough there are many combos available, I bought a set of these four soaps : Saffron Goatsmilk , Ashwagandha , Sheabutter Vco & Gotukola Woodash Soap and also the Indian red sandal soap separately.

Shop from : Amazon.in. This is also available in amazon.com.

Price: Since there was an introductory offer when I purchased this, I got them for a total of 525Rs for the combo and Rs281 for the sandalwood soap.

My Review:

The brand is so natural that, they use soy ink and recycled paper for packaging. The products are vegan and pure and is rich in ayurvedic oils (tailas) and herbs.
They have a herbal smell which is very mild and not overpowering at all. The red sandalwood soap has a beige color and is a perfect sphere, unlike the other soaps that are rectangular/oval in shape.

The soaps appear smooth at first but once I started using one, I found that one side of the soap has a layer scrubby herb particles. So infact one side of the soap can be used as a cleanser and the other side as a body scrub, which is very convenient.

The soap doesn’t lather heavily which is expected in the absence of lathering agents like sulphates. Eventhough you keep the soap in a dry dish, you will notice that a wet layer is formed on it. This is the seeping of the ingredient oils to the surface of the soap.

The best way to utilize this is to swipe off this oil layer from the surface of the soap with your hand, and massage it directly on the skin. This will help break down the dirt, sebum and any light makeup. You can then lather the soap with water and cleanse your face again, which will help to remove all the residues from your face.

The soap doesn’t dry out the skin and is great as a winter skincare product.

Also the most impressive part is that the brand works in association with Prajwala, the largest anti-human-sex-trafficking-shelter based in India.

How to increase the longevity of the soap:

This being a completely natural and oil rich soap, the chances of it melting are high. This makes it not very travel friendly, unless you cover it with a plastic wrap. You have to refrigerate the soaps that are not currently being used. I initially kept them in my shelf which is dark and cool. Yet the soaps melted a bit and the oils seeped out of the paper wrap. Also you can cut the soap into halves and use one part at a time.

Incase you buy the red sandalwood soap, don’t expect the sandalwood fragrance from it (which was a bit disappointing). It has a very mild fragrance compared to the other soaps and the fragrance doesn’t last on your skin after bath.

Overall this is a great soap for kids and adults.

You may also be interested in:

A divine chocolate soap you will fall in love with
Sultana of soaps
Butter Cream Whipped Soaps
Juicy Chemistry Hazelnut & Vanilla Latte Soap
Spicy Apple Pie anyone???
Skin Rehab Soap
Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap
Teas Please from Cape of Good soap
Bubbles and Squeak Soaps Review
CGH Pepper soap review and a little surprise

How you can save your hair from years of chemical torture

I think it’s time for another hair care post, as many of you have been asking me solutions for hair fall issues and the like. Let us get straight into the problem. Choose the methods/ingredients from this post, as per your hair type and need. You can ask your doubts by posting comments here.

The most common hair related problems are dandruff, hairfall, frizziness or oiliness.

Reasons:

The above problems can be inter related. And the reasons can be many. Incase you have moved to a different city, most probably you will face a high rate of hair fall. This can be due to chlorinated or hard water, pollution, or even different climatic conditions.
Otherwise it could be because of your diet. You might not be drinking enough water, eating your greens or you might be taking too much caffeine or alcohol.
It can also be due to hormonal changes, illness, reaction of any product, stress or even because of your favourite chemical laden shampoo.

So how can you fix it?

There is no overnight fix for anything when it comes to natural skin and haircare. You have to be consistent and ready to invest time in yourself. Our goal is to get a healthy and balanced scalp and that + a healthy diet will give you solution for your hair problems.

The first step for a healthy scalp is getting rid of all your sulphate laden hair care products. DON’T EVER TOUCH THEM AGAIN.This includes products from The Body Shop and few SLS laden cleansers from Kama Ayurveda as well. The brand name doesn’t matter. Check the ingredients. Google will provide you more than enough resources on what to avoid.

Dandruff:

Tea tree oil is what you need. You can buy it from brands like soulflower, juicy chemistry, blend it raw beauty,Nykaa etc. I am talking about the essential oil and not any blend.Other alternatives are Frankincense and Peppermint essential oil. You can add few drops of one of these or all in your coconut hair oil or which ever hair oil you use and warm it up a little before applying on the scalp. You don’t have to keep it overnight. Just half and hour to an hour is more than enough.Do this regularly, atleast thrice every week in the beginning.You can also add a piece of camphor in the mix while warming the oil.

Please don’t soak your hair in oil. Applying more oil not only won’t give any added benefits but might cause break outs, incase you have oily skin. Use just enough to condition the hair and scalp.


If you need a hair oil suggestion, I would recommend the Krya Anti dandruff hair oil. for no sticky hair oils, try Kama Ayurveda Bringadi oil and Just herbs Japakusum oil.

Cleansing: You will get all the info you need from this post (6 types of hair cleansers are reviewed here). Natural hair cleansers are mild and will not dry out the hair and scalp. So no need of conditioners. But incase you feel you need something for your unruly hair, a few drops of pure almond oil (Not the bajaj variant which is just a mix)will do the magic. Just 2-3 drops at the ends while hair is still damp.

You can get pure food grade almond oil from mitti.se.

Home made hibiscus cleanser:
For those days, you don’t oil your hair you can make this hibiscus hair cleanser. Best prepared with red small hibiscus.
1.Pluck few hibiscus leaves and flowers
2.Clean it well in water
3.Crush it with your hand in water until it turns thick and sticky/ you can also use a mixer but using hands gives best results.
4.Sieve it so that you get the sticky pulp with no leaves or flower matter.
5. Use it on wet hair and gently massage for a light lather.
6. Wash it off with water.

Hair Drying :
Please towel dry the hair and do avoid electric dryers as much as possible. Also don’t rub your hair vigorously with towel. Just tie it up and leave for sometime and then leave it open to dry.

Hair mask for strong, smooth and shiny hair:

Let your imagination fly high. It is always best to buy pure ingredients and whip up a fresh mask. You can buy clays like kaolin, bentonite, pure aloe vera gel and essential oils and prepare your own masks.

1.Curd, egg white, lemon juice,honey, clay, aloe gel, tea tree oil, mashed ripe banana > You can mix aany of these ingredients to get very nourishing hair mask.
2. Another very interesting hair mask is using flax seed gel. You can buy flax seeds from any provisional store. Add 1 and half to 2 cups of water to a spoon of flaxseed in a bowl and keep it in low flame. Keep stirring untill you get a slight gel like sticky consistency. Let it cool and then strain the gel using a muslin cloth or strainer.
This gel is rich in omega 3 and can be stored in fridge. You can also use it as a styling gel. It gives shine and softness to hair and also promotes hair growth. It can be used as an alternative to aloevera gel in masks.

Now incase you want to just use a premade hair mask, you can try the ones from Krya and Juicy Chemistry.But why spend alot, when you can use a aloevera gel and tea tree oil mix.

Rinse:

Now if your hair loss is because of the bad quality of tap water, you can use a hair rinse at the end. This will help in washing off the residue from the scalp. Some options are :

1.Tea water(you can boil left over tea leaves from making tea in water and use it)
2.Rose water mixed with purified water(drinking water)/ you can boil rose petals in water and use
3.1 spoon apple cider vinegar in a cup of water
4.Neem water(Boil few neem leaves in water)

Water and Diet:

No one drinks enough water daily. Most of you just forget and might utmost drink just 1 litre or so in a day. There is no point in doing anything topically, unless you are well hydrated and eat a protein rich diet. So keep away from very oily and spicy food. Eat less salt and sugar. Eat sprouts and green leaves. Drink buttermilk instead of using curd. Eat curry leaves and amla. All this will help in hair growth.

Health issues:

Consult a doctor or dermatologist incase your hair fall is due to health conditions, skin issues like alopecia or reaction to any medicine. Don’t keep experimenting until it is too late.

Tips:

The transition to natural cleansers might weigh your hair down in the beginning. That is because it takes a while for also the chemical residues to get washed off and for your hair to get accustomed to the product. So don’t stop using the product in between and switch back. Use it for a while, and your hair will thank you.

Cover your hair when spending alot of time in sun or dust.
Use a wooden comb instead of plastic one to avoid air breakage due to static.
Avoid brushing your hair when wet. Use a comb with wide teeth if necessary.
Pleat your hair before going to bed.

Throw away your chemical bottles and let nature take its course in giving life back to your hair.Finally, be happy and don’t let stress and pollution take away your beautiful tresses.

Other hair care posts that might interest you:

Dandruff free silky hair and soft supple skin with simple DIY skincare recipes

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

My two favorite non-greasy, deep conditioning hair oils

My favorite hair cleanser from Gia

Natural daily wear lipstick below Rs 150

Enough of skincare you say? For a change why don’t I introduce you to some safe makeup products. I know I know we should take care of our skin and hair and go out confidently flaunting the glowing skin and soft mane but well don’t we all love that additional glam the streak of lipstick gives. Some of us use it daily and some of us just for functions. Whichever it is, researchers say lipsticks and lip glosses may pose specific risks for consumers, because they are swallowed and absorbed little by little by those wearing them.

So what are the toxins that are commonly present in lipsticks and kohl?
Lead, Parabens, Phthalates, dyes, Parfum, Heavy metals, Harmful pigments,Mineral oils, Animal fats, Fragrance etc. These dangerous metals accumulate in the body over time, as they are absorbed through the skin.These can cause skin drying, allergies, and some of these are linked to cancer, may disrupt the endocrine system, or be toxic in other ways.

Why do we still keep using them?
Because we love our matte and glossy lipsticks and fade proof kajals and we don’t know of any alternatives. Even if we find alternatives they are usually from luxurious brands that are super costly. But I found a very affordable lipstick that is free from these harmful toxins.

1. ORGANISTICK LIPSTICKS

Company claim:

Organistick is one of its kind comprising of all natural and organic components that make it long-lasting. Even excess usage of Organistick won’t cause any harm because of the organic as well as natural ingredients.

Ingredients: Shea butter, Jojoba Oil, FD&C Colors, Beeswax, Castor Oil, Carnauba Wax, Natural iron oxides and Titanium dioxides.

Price: For a lipstick of this nature you might expect a minimum of 500 Rs right. Well get ready to be shocked. This one costs just Rs 149

Buy from: Amazon.in, Nykaa.com

Key Features:
-Goodness of shea butter and jojoba oil
-Moisturizes and smoothens your lips
-Natural and organic ingredients
-No animal fat

    My review

In total there are around 36 shades including pinks, reds, nudes and purple shades. I picked up two nude shades from the range called Nectarine and Confused brown. Actually both are similar shades, which I didn’t know and looks almost same on lips.

Nectarine is a nude shade with light pink undertones whereas Confused brown is just nude. The best part is that,their official site (link) provides hand and lip swatches which helps to determine colors in different skin tones. There are many more nude shades in the range.

The packaging is sturdy and travel friendly but could have been colour coded as well. The label at the bottom has the lipstick name. The pigmentation is excellent and gives full coverage even for pigmented lips like mine.The pigment sits comfortably on lips and doesn’t dry out the lips(Obviously with all these skin conditioning ingredients..duh!). It’s neither matte nor extremely creamy and has a shine free satin finish. It does transfer. I wore it overnight to test if dries out the lips (mine being extremely dry lips), but it didn’t. The staying power is like 3-4 hours but it leaves a nice tint on lips without completely fading away. They have some pretty mauves and pinks in the range which I would like to try next time. Love the fact that they have no added fragrance and it has no smell at all . the formula doesn’t enhance limes or dry patches on lips. Also these are affordable and easily available.

What I didn’t like:

I expected the shades I chose to be different nude shades eventhough both shades are just the same in swatches and on lips .Here is another swatch of both on a white tissue.

These are slightly pastel and if you have deeper skin tone this might wash you out. So choose darker shades instead of choosing lighter and peachier shades.

Also don’t expect it be extremely nourishing like a lip balm.

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

Skincare products should suit your skin type as well as the current climate. In summers it is best to you light skincare products with simple and all natural ingredients. Hope you enjoyed the last two posts on summer skincare and haircare. Here is anther one featuring the best chemical free products from Indian brands that you must try this summer for a happy smiling skin.

    The Skin Pantry

Whipped up in the pantry of Mumbai based graphic designer Collette, this brand has a lip smacking range of skin food made of certified organic, natural and pure ingredients. Skin smoothies, creme brulee, honey dew melon and citrus mousse is sure to give you dessert cravings, but these are just some of the skin care goodies from The Skin Pantry. The price range, quality of ingredients and packaging makes it a luxe skincare brand.

Almond and Aloe Whisper

I really love the names of the products and they are apt as well. This one the simplest, mildest and purest of moisturizers and can be used even by the most sensitive skin.
Ingredients : 100% organic cold pressed sweet almond oil, 100% organic apricot seed oil, pure aloe vera gel, pure vitamin E oil.
Price : Rs 1250 for 50ml

My take on the product :
This is everything I imagine a ‘whisper’ would be in the physical sense. Light, fluffy and white this one smells of pure apricot oil. Reminds me of Junaili apricot scrub. A little goes a long way and spreads easily on skin. It makes my skin look a bit dull immediately after application but keeps them moisturized for long without being oily. Apt for summers and suits all skin types.

Rhassoul clay face mask

Ingredients : Jojoba oil, apricot oil, vit E oil, organic rose hydrosol, organic rose otto essential oil and the star, Moroccan Rhassoul clay.
Price : Rs 850 for 50ml

My Take on the product : Suits normal to oily skin types. Smells like a rose garden. Comes with a cute test tube of solution that can be mixed with the clay when it dries up. The face mask comes in a cute little jar with screw cap. It has a mousse like texture and can be easily spread on face. The product can be taken out using the spatula provided or with clean fingers. It is directed not to bring the product in contact with metals as this can strip the clay off its mineral ions and hence its goodness. It dries in a jiffy after application and makes skin smooth, tight and controls oiliness.

Buy : The Skin Pantry

Amara Organix

    This Chennai based brand is the brain child of 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.

    Brightening Face mask

    Ingredients: French green clay, french pink caly, moroccan rhassoul clay, sandalwood powder, turmeric powder, licorice powder, spirulina and lavender essential oil

    Price : Rs 250 for 25g

    My take on the product: Suits all skin types. It is in a powder form and has an earthy natural smell. Less than a tea spoon is surprisingly enough for the face and the product works best when mixed with rose water. I tried the mask by making the paste with water, curd and rose water and I could see the brightening effect of the mask only by using with rose water. Otherwise the mask just made my skin soft, smooth and supple. Unlike other clay based masks this doesn’t make the skin dry and on mixing with water you can see the green and pink streaks of spirulina and pink clay.If you have different textures in your skin, this mask will effectively even out the skin making it smooth and soft.

    Buy from : AmaraOrganix

    I used the zofla rose water to make this powder into a paste and this one is by far the most affordable organic rose water I have come across.

    JivaVrksa pure herbal face pack powder

      I love this simple and effective face pack from the brand Jiva Vrksa. I have reviewed the other products from the brand in my previous posts here and here. This is one is by far my favorite product of all.

      Ingredients :
      Multani mitti, sandalwood, rosepetals, orange peel
      Price: Rs150 for 75g

      My take on the product : Made with simple natural ingredients, this face pack smells predominantly of sandalwood. Apply a thick paste of the face pack powder by mixing with water. On washing off, the skin feels cleansed, toned and soft. It balances the oiliness and can be used by all skin types. This one doesn’t dry out the skin and is apt for summers for a refreshed and rejuvenated skin.


      Kama Eladi Moisturizer for combination to dry skin

    This is one of my favorite moisturizers and by far the only one that suits my combination skin well. This is thick but gets absorbed easily on skin without making the skin greasy. Read the detailed review here.

    In addition to this, make sure keep yourselves hydrated and do apply sunscreen before stepping out. Happy summer peeps.

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

Temperature is soaring day by day and occasional rains are the only relief. This is also the time when oily skin gets extra oily and dry skin gets extra dry. Hair gets frizzy and untameable for some where as it becomes an oily mess for others. So you will be surprised to know that there is a common solution for this. That is to balance the sebum production of the scalp. Using silicone and sulphate filled hair cleansers and conditioners can be damaging in the long run.

The below ingredients in shampoo are the major culprits of your bad hair days.

Alcohol, for instance, does have the effect of removing oil, but it dries out your scalp and stimulates it to produce even more sebum. Alcohol types called “isopropyl alcohol,” “benzyl alcohol,” and “denatured alcohol” are especially damaging, since these are pure types of alcohol.

Silicone also shouldn’t be in your shampoo; it not only surrounds your hair, causing it to dry out from within, but also builds a non-water soluble layer on your scalp. Sebum production builds up and increases under this layer. Silicones are usually easy to recognize in a list of ingredients because they end with “-cone,” “-conol,” or – “siloxane.”

Both Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and its close relative Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) are the major foaming ingredient in shampoos and detergents. The sodium laureth sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.
In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, SLES also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.

There are many more harmful chemicals like Triclosan, Dimethicone and Phenoxyethanol, to name a few, in the common drug store shampoos.

Why should you switch to natural chemical and preservative free hair wash powders according to me:
,
1. It cleanses hair gently without stripping it of moisture or natural oils.
2. Repairs and conditions hair and cools your scalp.
3. Doesn’t make the hair dull and lifeless after 2-3 days of hair wash like synthetic shampoos.
4. Adds volume, shine and softness
5. Brands claim that it prevents hairfall, split ends, premature greying and dandruff when used regularly for longer periods.
6. Balances the sebum secretion of scalp and there by prevents scalp from becoming too oily or dry
7. Gives a natural refreshing herbal scent to hair.
8. Prevents itchiness of scalp
9. These powders can also be used as hair masks for that extra nourishment, by mixing with banana pulp, curd or egg white.
10. The water after hair wash is bio-degradable and eco friendly unlike its chemical laden counterparts. This can be used to water plants.

Well if the above list failed to impress you, I don’t know what would.

1. Krya Hair Wash Powder


PC: Krya.in

Krya is a completely natural and ayurvedic brand with a wide range of bath and body care products in addition to products like natural laundry and dish wash powders.In their blog and site, they have given detailed explanation of the different skin types as per ayurveda, the reason for various skin and hair problems and what lifestyle changes to stay healthy and beautiful. The ingredients used are mostly organic and they use traditional ayurvedic preparation methods that extracts goodness of each ingredient used.

This brand has separate products that caters to specific conditions like normal, oily hair types and dandruff prone hair. I tried this particular hair wash powder from them.


Ingredients:
Shikaki, Citriodora, fenugreek,vetiver, tulsi,triphala, soapberry. Key Ingredients are listed in the pack, as the ingredients changes depending on the season and availability of herbs
Price: Rs 300 for 100g
Packaging: Comes in a cardboard pack with paper labels. My only request to Krya is to have better packaging with clear labels. Because when I bought multiple products, after taking those out of the cardboard boxes it really confused me as to which powder is what.
Fragrance : Strong herbal fragrance

Buy : here

JivaVrksa Hair Wash powder:

To know more about the brand and reviews of skincare products from them, check out my post by clicking here

Ingredients :

Price : Rs 80 fro 75g
Packaging : Comes in paper satchets with clear labeling. There are paper pouches inside the satchet that holds the product. This makes it easy to store the product and not get confused with other similar powders.
Fragrance: Light herbal fragrance

This powder is much lighter and easier to spread. But this doesn’t remove oil completely from pre-oiled hair in one wash. Need to use 3-4 tsps of product to completely remove the oil but the price point and ingredients list is very impressive.

Buy: Amazon

How to use:

Take 2-3 tsp of any of these hair wash powders in a bowl and make a thin paste by mixing with water. Use this paste to wash the hair just like you use shampoo and rinse it off. Soapberry is the natural foaming agent in the cleanser that gently removes the oiliness from the scalp. Don’t expect any bubbly foams like your synthetic shampoos. I spread the paste on the scalp and hair and gently massage it from roots to tips. It can be easily washed off, if you were wondering and takes less quantity of water when compared to washing off highly lathering shampoos.


Keep in mind :

If you oil your hair, you might have to wash it multiple times with the powder to remove the excess oil.
Also if you are new to natural hair cleansers, it will take you a while to see positive results from these. This is because the powders would in the initial uses, be removing all the chemical build up in hair, during which you might feel the hair is a bit weighed down.
Store the powders in air tight containers and use dry spatulas to take them out. Avoid contact with moisture as these are preservative free.

Hope you liked this post.

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February favourites

Hi All, I am so happy to welcome you all to my ‘own’ blog, ‘flavoursofbeauty.com’. This is going to be a post on february favourites. I know that many of you who follow me on Instagram are looking forward to this post, because you all have been incessantly asking me about the details of those gorgeous afghani chandbalis. Yes I have included it here.So here are my feb favourites.

1.Bamboo tooth brush from happy healthy me

Happy healthy me, is an organic store located at Indiranagar and you would have seen my haul picture in Instagram. I bought a couple of organic food products and this cute little bamboo brush. The bristles are not so soft if you think that’s how natural brush bristles feel like. But the head is quite small. So it reaches all those nooks and corners in the mouth and just does a good job in cleaning your teeth.


Image of the bamboo brush and krya hair cleanser

2.Juicy Chemistry favourites
Yes I have written many many posts reviewing JC products and if you didn’t know, Juicy chemistry is now available at #myNykaa (here). There will be 15% off on JC products in Nykaa most of the time. So keep an eye for that. The tea tree essential oil and lemon-spearmint lip balm really worked for me. The oil is versatile and I am coming up with few DIYs for you, on how you can use this oil with your skin care products to reduce acne, dandruff etc. The lip balm is rich in essential oils and is more on oily side than creamy. It melts on contact with lips and moisturizes it well.



3.Krya anti-dandruff hair cleanser

I have oily scalp that tends to get itchy on the third day of shampooing. Eventhough I use natural shampoo bars, it didnot help me reduce the dandruff. But this grain based cleanser surely did. I bought body oil, body cleanser,laundry powder, face cleanser and hair cleanser from Krya. Purely ayurvedic and organic certified, I trust and love Krya products. The oil secretion of my scalp has balanced with just couple of uses and it doesn’t get itchy anymore. Detailed review coming soon.Buy krya products here

4.The Skin Pantry Rhassoul Clay mask
This clay based face mask is the latest buy and I have only used it 3 times so far. Love the skin tightening and toning effect of this one. It is on the expensive side, but I am loving it.This mask has a whipped mousse like consistency and has moroccan rhassoul clay, organic apricot oil, vit e oil and organic rose hydrosol as ingredients. Check them out here

5. Now for the most awaited product : The gorgeous pink afghan chandbalis
I bought this and another set from an insta store called #dropdeadg (dropdeadgorgeous) and let me tell you, I have been on the look out for these in many insta stores and dropdeadg sells it at the most economic rate. Do check out their insta page. I also bought this green ones from them which are equally lovely.The packing is cute and pretty, the delivery was fast and the products look exactly like the pictures they showed me. Very impressed with this store. Since I bought two products, they gave me a discount on the total.

I hope you liked this post. Let me know if you would like a monthly favourites post.Comment below for more info on any of these. Also like and subscribe to my blog for updates.

DIY all natural mask for glowing skin

I have been getting messages from many of you asking to recommend a good skin brightening mask. Even though I have tried face masks from many brands including high end ones, none of them has given the glow and brightness to skin, as this simple home made mask. I have been using this since my school days and this was my one and only step for skin care. This is an all in one face/ body pack that offers many benefits like,

  • controls oiliness
  • reduces pigmentation
  • lightens sun tan
  • clarifies skin
  • combats pre-mature aging
  • scrubs away dead skin
  • softens skin
  • reduces acne

Are you ready to make your skin dewy and bright. So here we go.

Ingredients are simple and easily available in India:

  • half teaspoon sandalwood powder
  • half teaspoon red sandalwood powder
  • 1 teaspoon chick pea flour/besan
  • Quarter-half teaspoon on turmeric powder
  • Honey/Curd/Rose water/Milk to mix the ingredients as per skin type

I usually add a spoon of honey or curd for my combination skin. If you have dry skin milk/honey or milk cream will provide the extra moisture boost.

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How to prepare:

Simply mix all the ingredients to form a fine paste that’s not too thick. Adjust the quantities as required to get the right consistency. Adding more red sandalwood powder makes the mixture more coarse in my case as the red sandalwood powder I have is not so fine.

How to apply:

Wash your face with warm water and cleanse it well. Apply the pack using hand or a clean face brush. Don’t forget to apply it evenly on your neck as well. Two cucumber pieces for your eyes and relaaaaxxxxx.

Keep it till you feel a bit of stretch. Do not wait till mask is completely dry,as it can dry out and stretch the skin. Massage the still wet mask by moving the fingers upwards. Massage for 2 minutes and wash the mask off using a warm moist face cloth or simply wash it off with warm water.

Finally rinse your face once with cold/ water in room temperature and pat dry.

Admire your squeaky clean and bright face in the mirror <3 <3 <3

This can also be applied as a foot mask for soft and tan free feet.

NOTE : Make sure all ingredients are pure and of good quality. Buy from trusted vendors. Do not use the turmeric powder you use for cooking in this. Kasturi manjal or wild turmeric powder is what we need here.

I get it powdered in mill from raw turmeric. Also I use home made paste of sandalwood and red sandalwood by rolling the wood sticks on stone.

You can also buy these in stick/powdered form from online sites like EbayGiskaa and Amazon.

Hope you liked the post.

 

 

All about hair cleansers

Hi you all 🙂

Hair care products play a very important role in the quality and health of hair, along with other controllable factors like protein rich food, keeping hydrated and having stress free life. I had thick long straight silky hair as a kid but once I moved to a different city to do my college, my bad hair days started. Because of the change in water (chlorine rich water), my hair started falling off a lot and became thin and dandruff prone in no time. I used to use commercial shampoos then and it made my hair dry and thin day by day.

Once I converted to natural skincare 🙂 , I concentrated more on getting back my hair quality. Even though my hair is now back to it’s former silky texture and has grown thicker, the hair fall still has not reduced much owing to the hard water from pipes. When I am back in my home town, my skin and hair problems vanishes as the quality of water is much better their.

Many of you have written to me asking about hair care products and shampoos for different hair types. I thought rather than reviewing each hair cleanser separately, I will combine it all in one, so that you can choose what suits best for you.

Before going to the reviews, let me tell you how I wash my hair. Hehee yeah with water, but I always wash my hair post oiling. So I oil my hair atleast 30min prior wash, then gather the hair forward and wet it well. Take a coin size amount of shampoo and mix it with water well. If I use shampoo bar, I lather it well with water. Apply the lather on scalp and massage gently towards hair tips. Rinse hair and repeat the shampooing incase you have oily hair like mine. Apply the conditioner only to hair and not on scalp and leave it for few minute before washing the hair thoroughly.

The products I am writing about here are:

1.Hair cleanser from Gia bath and body works

2.Lavender,chamomile shampoo bar from Juicy Chemistry

3. 8 in 1 root nourishing amla-neem shampoo from Just Herbs

4. Onion cream shampoo from Aroma essentials

5. Beer coconut milk shampoo bar from Soaps by Sangi

6. Dhathri herbal shampoo

Some of this has already been reviewed in detail before, so I will add the links to those.

  1. The Argan oil and silk protein enriched hair cleanser from Gia is my favorite of the lot. The reasons being:

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Price : Rs 290 for 200ml

  • It has same consistency as that of commercial shampoos but with none of its cons.
  • Thick consistency and creamy and silky texture.
  • A little quantity goes a long way and the bottle lasted me many many months.
  • Most economical comparing quality, quantity and cost out of the lot.
  • Lathers well
  • Makes my hair soft, silky, oil free and clean in a single wash.
  • Convenient sleek packaging that is travel friendly.

Cons :

  • Only that this came with a screw on cap and I need to shake it to get the product out.
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

Read detailed review here : My favorite hair cleanser from Gia

Buy it here.

2. The lavender and chamomile shampoo bar is a product I tried recently and it really impressed me. Reasons are:

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Price : I got it as a gift for a contest. But actual price is around 800Rs if I am not wrong.

  • Very impressive ingredients list
  • Heavenly fragrance
  • Removes oil and cleanses well in 2 washes
  • It doesn’t dry out the hair and makes hair soft and manageable.
  • No preservatives or chemicals.
  • Awesome packaging. The product came in this handmade pack that is so pretty and re-usable.
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Cons:

  • Very expensive.
  • Since it is a soap I don’t find it travel friendly unless packed well and kept dry.
  • Gets used up faster than liquid shampoo.
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

The product seems to be out of stock now. The brand has launched some new shampoo bars instead. You can write to them to know about availability.

Buy it here

3. 8 in 1 root nourishing shampoo from Just Herbs

I used it for a while and then stopped as I was not as impressed by this product as the other hair cleansers I was using.

Price: Rs 525 for 200ml

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Pros:

  • Like all Just Herbs products, this one has a pleasant and nice fragrance
  • It is quite mild and lathers decently on wet hair
  • Doesn’t dry the hair
  • Impressive ingredients. Contains certified organic Gooseberry (Amla), Neem, Hibiscus and Henna
  • Can be bought from their website and shipping is free

Cons :

  • The consistency is very thin and I need to use a lot of product to wash away all the oiliness (my hair is short and straight). So the product, even though 200ml, gets used up very fast.
  • Expensive
  • The bottle did not come with a dispenser, even though they show one in site. So I have to just pour it on hand directly which is not convenient.

Buy it here

My only issue with this one is the texture. It is not exactly in cream form and the onion smell can be strong for sensitive nose. Also I need to wash hair multiple times with this one to completely remove oiliness.

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Buy it here

5. Beer coconut milk shampoo bar from Soaps by Sangi  : This was my first shampoo bar buy and I got it about one and half years back. This was just a solid bar of soap with no frills. Not pretty looking and no added fragrance, but it was a good buy.

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PC : Soaps by Sangi

Price : Rs 220-240 for 80-90gm bar

  • The product has excellent hair nourishing ingredients like beer and coconut milk and it cleansed the scalp extremely well leaving it soft and nourished.
  • Did not dry out my hair.
  • No strong fragrance
  • Mild on hair and can be used for all hair types

Cons :

  • Not travel friendly as it might melt.
  • My hair remained a bit oily even after 2 washes
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

I bought almost 2000Rs worth items from them but this, a clay based soap and a detergent bar were the only ones that I liked. The body butters, gels and lotion bars didnot suit my skin at all and I did not like their consistency.

Buy here

6. Dhathri Herbal Shampoo : The most widely available herbal shampoo that you can find in any super market. This was my go to shampoo during my childhood and throughout college years. I have done a detailed review of this here, Dhathri Herbal Shampoos.

Pros: Easy availability, pocket friendly, chemical free.

Cons : Strong fragrance, Lime variant can be drying.

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I hope this post was helpful. Do let me know your feedback and also let me know names of any other hair cleanser that is worth mentioning.

 

 

 

Kama Ayurveda store visit and haul post

Kama Ayurveda, started in 2002 in India, is a luxury skincare brans that sells authentic ayurveda based skin care products. According to the brand,

 Our treatments are 100% natural and use plant-based ingredients, prepared from organically – grown plants and herbs or collected by India’s tribal communities from natural habitats. This means – No artificial colours. No artificial fragrance. No animal ingredients. No petrochemicals, parabens, urea, propylene glycol or sulphates. All our organic products are internationally certified.

I had always wanted to try their products but felt they are too expensive. But recently, I came across many product reviews of the brand and wanted to check out if it was worth the hype.

They have two outlets in Bangalore, one at the V.R Mall and another at 1 M.G mall. I got a chance to visit both the branches and I bought few of their products.

First of all, I loved their store decor. The tranquil Indian instrumental music and pure fragrance from the incense, transports you to a peaceful state of mind. There is an ‘Indianness’ in the store that is so refreshing fro a change. I had done my research on the brand before visiting the stores. They partner with Arya Vaidya Pharmacy to ensure the quality of products. As per the store staff (who was very helpful), their labs are in Kerala but unfortunately, no stores there. From the reviews of many bloggers, I already had an idea of their best sellers (the kumkumadi face serum, scrub and hair oils)

V.R Mall store

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The small store offers products ranging from face care, body care products to authentic ayurvedic oils and incense sticks. I walked around smelling and trying out all the products and even my husband, who is not into the skin care madness like me, enjoyed the music and decor of the store.

I had already read rave reviews on the kumkumadi oil and face mists. I, being not a fan of face oils, did not feel like getting that. Even though I was not planning to buy anything, the store staff spent a good amount of time, explaining the usage of products I showed interest in and I ended up getting the vetiver face mist, as suggested by the staff (for combination skin). He said rose and lavender mists can be a bit heavy for oily/combination skin types.

Also the range of soaps were amazing, most of them smelled really good, especially the rose and red sandalwood ones. So I got the rose, cinnamon,orange soap that had a heavenly fragrance.

Loved the packaging of products and the paper bag I got. I don’t know where the French connection is from, as all the products have details mentioned in French as well.

1 MG store visit

Mohnish and Reema, from the brand arranged my second store visit. The 1 MG outlet of the brand, has an ayurvedic doctor for clients to consult. But to my disappointment, the doctor was not available on the day I visited. Nevertheless, I spent quite some time, checking out the products and finally bought eladi hydrating day cream. This branch actually lacked the music and space of the first outlet and the staff did not look that interested about the customers either(probably because it was quite late in the evening).

I got sample tubes from both the stores and i started using few of them. Samples included hand and foot cream, night cream, face masks, face scrub, bringadi hair oil and tiny bottles of body oils. Also I got a book let with all their product images, % of natural ingredients and a small description.

First impressions:

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All the products, smells so pure and are quite light on skin. Even the creams ,inspite of being thick, gets easily absorbed and doesn’t leave oily cast or residue. The face mist is very earthy and refreshing. The ingredient list and quality are really impressive.

The ingredients are very pure and formulated in the best of quality, that only a small amount of product is required for each use. Hence it lasts longer and I feel that the price is justified. Even the 5g tube of face cream, lasted me a week and more, with daily use.

Also I feel a huge difference in the quality and efficacy of the product, even within 2 weeks of use, compared to other pocket friendly alternatives I have tried so far. Wait a second, I don’t think the price difference is much (for the products I bought), as most of the natural brands available, sells products at a comparative cost these days. The face toner for eg, cost only 175Rs when many other handmade natural brands I know, sells it for more.

Also I did not buy the very costly products, that I felt I did not really need in my skin care regime.

The brand also offers pure essential oils, lip balms, body lotions, scrubs, plant based masks and ubtans.

I will be reviewing the products after using it for a while.

Do check out their store when you get a chance and let me know your thoughts.