Don’t blindly follow the crowd

So what, you read about this awesome product this new blogger wrote about and you have to have it. Why? Because she said it is a miracle product and worked wonders on her skin.

Please don’t do that.

I have seen people writing reviews on how wonderful a product is. And that might be the only product of its kind that they have used so far. So there is no comparative study there.

Don’t just blindly follow and buy based on such feedbacks. See, when switching to chemical free products you will know the difference instantly. But that doesn’t mean that the first product you tried is the best and you should recommend it to people.

When you use products with different ingredients over long period of time, that is when you know the effects and differences between different brands and products.

10 tips to find the right product:

1. Before buying a product read multiple reviews from authentic reviewers and users.

2.Try to understand the ingredients in the product and how it suits your skin.

3. Understand your skin type and the reviewer’s as well, before jumping into conclusions. A product well suited for one skin type might not suit others.

4.Write to the product people and ask your queries and let them help you choose the best product for your skin.

5. Contemplate if this product is really required in your skin care regime. Don’t just hoard unnecessary products.

6. Natural ingredients doesn’t mean it won’t harm your skin. Essential oils are very potent and if not used in right quantity with right other ingredients it can trouble your skin.

7. Try to read reviews from people who have tried out different brands and products, so that the reviews are actually a comparative study and you find out something better than what you think is best.

8. Ask questions. Clear out your concerns. Your skin is not a place to experiment.

9. If you have found out the right product in all categories of your skincare, stick to it.

10. Understand your skin first, it’s concerns and needs and try to find simple solutions. Most of the time we end up spending a lot on solutions that are easily available at home.

 

Choose the right toothpaste

Why do we use toothpaste?

No, not for all those reasons that came to your mind. We use toothpaste because it makes the mouth not smell and taste like mouth. It is a cosmetic. Our elders used to clean their teeth and gum using charcoal from paddy husk (umikari, in my native language) also with neem stem and mango leaves. They ate sugar cane and fibrous food.

We call out teeth sensitive. It can neither take heat nor cold. We pay so much attention to food we eat, cosmetics we choose but never read ingredient list of toothpaste that we use daily throughout our lives.

A study by the Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research (DIPSAR) has found that many of the toothpaste manufacturers are adulterating toothpastes and toothpowders with high quantity of nicotine.

“Out of the 24 brands of toothpastes studied in 2011, seven brands – Colgate Herbal, Himalaya, Neem paste, Neem Tulsi, RA Thermoseal, Sensoform and Stoline – were found to contain nicotine,” said Professor S. S. Agarwal of DIPSAR, which is affiliated to the Delhi University and is funded by the Delhi government.

Read more here

The truth is this: There are no herbal toothpastes in general retail stores within the reach of the common consumer. The ones that are available are normal toothpastes with very limited extracts of herbs. You can find comparative study of toothpastes in Indian market in the link below.

Read more here

Let us look at some ingredients of popular toothpaste brands available in market.

7 Toxic Toothpaste Ingredients
  • Triclosan : Triclosan is a chlorophenol, which is a class of chemicals that is suspected of causing cancer in humans.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) : SLS is used in products such as garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and car wash soaps. Elsewhere, SLS is used for clinical testing as a primary skin irritant.
  • Artificial Sweeteners.
  • Sodium Fluoride: The main ingredient in toothpaste and rat poison
  • Propylene Glycol :Research on the safety of propylene glycol in personal care products is lacking, although it’s a known skin, eye, and lung irritant and may cause organ system toxicity
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) : It’s a known hormone disrupter and can react with other ingredients to form a potential carcinogen called NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine), which is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with cancers of the stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder.
  • Microbeads :The bits were found in Crest microbead toothpaste and were getting trapped under patients’ gums. This gives food and bacteria an entrance to your gum line, which could actually cause gum disease.
  • Hydrated Silica :A whitener that damages tooth enamel

Read more here

Your mouth is actually one of the most absorbent places in your entire body. This is why some medications are administered sublingually, or under your tongue.

While you’re dutifully brushing and swishing, the ingredients in your toothpaste enter your mouth and gums,  which are the gateway to every system in your body.”2

This is why you need to be very careful when choosing  toothpaste. Many popular brands contain questionable ingredients that you’re far better off avoiding.

Read more here

 

It is actually the brushing that cleans the teeth and not the toothpaste. In toothpaste covers it is written that only a pea size amount is advisable. Still in ads they show the entire brush covered in paste. Also it is written that if swallowed consult doctor. We are putting this product in our mouth that is toxic if swallowed. Can the warning be anymore clear.

Carefully read the ingredient list before buying toothpaste and choose wisely. Or use traditional methods of cleaning teeth to be safe.

Burt’s bees beeswax lip balm

The only thing I look for and hoard whenever I come across a new chemical free skin care brand, is the perfect lip balm for my dry, parched and chapped lips.

I have tried it all I should say. They are either waxy, oily or heavy on lips. If not any of these, it just doesn’t help my chapped lips beyond an hour or as long as my lips are coated by the balm.

This one had caught my attention last year when I had been to USA but well, I did not think it would be worth a try. Recently I read a few more positive reviews and finally decided to give it a try.

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Price : 4.8$ for .15oz tube in USA or 599Rs for 4.25gm in India.

Buy from : here

Ingredients: beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, peppermint oil, lanolin, tocopherol, rosemary leaf extract, soybean oil, canola oil, limonene.

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My experience with the product :

I FINALLY FOUND THE PERFECT LIPBALM FOR MY LIPS.

The experience has been nothing but surprisingly incredible. I did not have high hopes on this one either. This being 100% natural, I thought it would be similar to other natural lip balms I have tried before.

The first time I applied it on my dry lips, I was surprised by the burst of freshness from peppermint. I did not quite like it as it felt like the menthol or to be exact Polo candy feel on the lips. It gave a cooling sensation to the lips without being tingly. But that subsided in few seconds and I couldn’t even feel anything on my lips. It did not feel like I have applied lip balm as my lips had a matte kind of feel to it but it felt really hydrated. No more dryness, no more chapped feeling or bleeding because of the chapped dead skin.

The lip balm is refreshing.

Hydrated my lips without being waxy or greasy on application.

Extremely light on lips and made a perfect base for lipstick.

Also I don’t have to peel away my Kip’s skin when it gets too dry and flaky even for lip scrub. This lip balm is potent enough to moisturize dry skin.

Kept the lips moisturized for almost 2 hours and I couldn’t try it for longer as I would either drink water frequently in between or wash my face.

It doesn’t melt in tube even though completely natural.

Vit E and beeswax conditions the skin and leaves the lips smooth and supple.

Other variants and flavours of the lip balm are available as well.

 Inshort I am a firm believer now and will not switch to another brand for lip care until it proves to be better than this.

LOVE BURT’S BEES 😍😘😍

 

 

Juicy Chemistry Rose Sandalwood Mask

Hi all,

In this post I am reviewing the Juicy Chemistry Rose & sandalwood mask for oily skin. I really liked the divine smell of their Classic rose body butter, that made me try other products in their rose collection. But to my dismay the rose lip balm, rose saffron soap or this mask, none of them has the same fragrance.

But it is understandable as far as this mask is concerned, as it has sandalwood essential oil that always takes the centre stage when it comes to fragrance.

JCmask

Price : 400Rs for 50gm

Packing :  The mask comes in a plastic jar with sturdy cap. It is travel friendly as it doesn’t spill. I don’t remember if it had a protective lid. Because I might have removed it later. So there is little spillage while opening the cap.

Ingredients : Fullers Earth, Orange Peel, Rose, Almond-meal, Lavender, Sandalwood Essential Oil, Rose Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil

Fragrance : Mostly of sandalwood essential oil. It is a soothing fragrance, of natural ingredients.

Texture :

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The texture is powdery with no harsh particles. On mixing with water it doesn’t forms a brown paste with smooth particles because of the presence of almond meal and orange peel.

My experience using the product :

I prefer masks that can be directly applied on skin without having to mix with water. But this being a product with 0 preservatives, I am fine with taking that little effort.

Since it is a clay based product it is good for oily skin. I have combination skin and I use this whenever I feel that my t-zone needs oil control. I mix this with tap water, make  a paste and apply it evenly on my face and  neck.

This heats my skin a bit but there is no tingly effect. So while I prefer #justherbs anti tan mask (review here) to cool my sin after sun, this one I use to keep the oiliness at bay.

It dries up pretty quick, in about 10min. But I don’t wait till the mask completely dries up. This is because, it can cause skin to stretch when it dries out and thereby cause wrinkles.

The pack effectively balances out oily skin but it might parch dry skin. It doesn’t brighten up my face or bring a glow, but it controls oiliness of skin and keeps the skin fresh.

Verdict :

Can’t say this one is my favourite clay based mask (review of which is coming soon) but when used regularly this does improve skin texture and controls oiliness.

Not for people with dry facial skin.

Buy from here

 

 

Look what came in my mail today!

I am so excited to receive this pack of awesomeness and I can’t wait to use and review these goodies.

So what I got is a box of 3 soaps from Manissha of Cape of good soap. All with really interesting ingredients and all three looks really pretty.

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About the brand:

Brain child of Manissha, the brand specializes in custom made soaps and bath goodies. The brand is based on Belgium.

The brand claims ingredients to be pure and organic and each soap is customized, keeping in mind the needs and skin condition of customer. Other products from brand includes shampoo bars and bath salts.

I love the name of the brand and the fact that the ingredients are really different from the ones I have been using so far. The bars look beautiful and smell really nice.

The soaps I received are Green tea, rise wood&mint and pepper&bergamot. The pepper one actually smells like pepper even though it is not overpowering.

This has been chosen by Manissha for my combination skin type with dryness on hands and feet.

Detailed review will be posted after using each of these for a while.

 

Green Clay Detox Mask

I have reviewed many products from Gia already. Today the post is about French green clay detox mask from the brand. This is a wonderful mask for oily skin, as it absorbs impurities and controls excess oil.

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Price : 300Rs for 50gm

Ingredients:

french2

As you can see, this is a mix of 4 clays and it has no added fragrance or preservatives.

French Green Clay is a 100% natural bio-organic material and contains a cornucopia of valuable elements, with several important mineral oxides, magnesium, calcium, potassium, dolomite, silica, manganese, phosporous, silicon, copper, and selenium.

Rhassoul clay is rich in magnesium, silica, potassium, and calcium, which all help to nourish your skin. The molecular structure of Rhassoul clay gives it a unique ability to absorb excess dirt and oil, as well as extract toxic matter from the skin.

Kaolin clay works by reducing the production of sebum.

Fuller’s Earth or Multani mitti is known to tighten pores, diminish scars, lighten and detan skin.

Texture:

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This is a fine powder when dry with pale green colour because of the green clay.

When mixed with water, it forms a paste but it is not a smooth paste. There are soft lumps of colloidal oatmeal in it.

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My experience:

This is a good buy as only half a teaspoon of product is enough to cover face and neck. 50g lasts really long. I have still have half a tub left. I don’t apply it as a thick mask as I don’t want to dry out my skin. The mask smells earthy and is a very mild smell. It gets dried out pretty fast. I don’t wait for it to get dried as that stretches my skin. I wash it off with water after about 8min.

This masks removes extra oiliness from skin, cleanses it well, massaging while washing it off increases blood flow in face and removes impurities. This is for oily and combination skin and will further dry out skin, if used for dry facial skin.

I like this a lot and this is different from the herbal masks I usually use. But it doesn’t brighten up my skin as much as herbal masks.

Hope you all liked the post.

 

Dhathri Herbal Shampoos

Let me review a commercial herbal brand today, that has a variety of skin care and health care products and is widely available irrespective of being from the small state of Kerala. Dhathri is a brand we associate with Ayurveda. The growth of the brand was fast and tremendous. Starting from a successful herbal oil, the brand now has plethora of products in market.

Their herbal oils, shampoos and facemask were the first herbal products I used throughout college.

There are three shampoos from the brand that I have used, the most used being Dheedhi aloe shampoo. But not to make this post really long, I will review it later.

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Dhathri Chemparathi Thaali

Thaali is an age old hair cleanser recipe followed by our grandmoms and moms. It is basically a pulp of hibiscus flowers and leaves mixed in water or boiled rice water. I apply this to hair instead of shampoo whenever I am home. All you need to do is crush the flowers and leaves of dark red hibiscus with hand in a bowl of water and extract the pulp. Massage this to wet hair and wash it off.

I couldn’t believe it when Ayurveda companies commercialized this and brought it in bottles.

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Price : Rs 90 for 100ml

Ingredients :

Chemparathi -10g,Kandakari -5g, Brahmi -10g,Kattarvazha(aloevera) -10g, Nellikka(amla)  -1.25g ,Thiruthali-5g.

 

My Experience:

The product is herbal with no added chemicals and is pocket friendly.It is colourless and has herbal smell.But I feel that there is added fragrance. This shampoo is really mild and if hair is heavily oiled you need a good quantity to wash it off completely. It lathers well but not as much as chemical laden shampoos. Overall it is a good buy for daily use if you are looking for simple ingredients and if you dont have hair problems like hair fall or dandruff.

Dheedhi Ayurveda Lime Shampoo

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Price :Rs 130 for 100ml

Ingredients : Lemon (Citrus limonum. Fr.-Fresh): 5ml, Indian Pennywort (Centella asiatica, W.P.-Fresh): 1.25g, Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum, W.P.-Fresh): 1.25g, Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis, Fr.-Dr.): 1.25g, Thorn apple (Datura metel, Lf. & Sd.-Fresh): 5g, Thyme (Bacopa monnieri, W.P.-Fresh): 1.25g, Indian aloe (Aloe vera, Lf.-Fresh): 20ml, Coconut oil (Cocos nucifera, Endo.-Oil): 5ml

Colour : Lemon yellow

Fragrance : Heady scent of lime probably because of lemon oil, but this reminds me of floor cleaner smell.

Product Claim :

 A comparison between both in the picture above.

 

Skin Rehab Soap

I have reviewed Juicy Chemistry soaps before and this one has some special ingredients.

Claimed to be skin rehab soap, this one is specifically for scarred and damaged skin. With healing and antioxidant properties of carrot and scrub action of adzuki beans, this soap is claimed to be super beneficial for skin.

Does it really heal damaged skin???

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 Price: Rs 850. With an additional shipping cost of Rs100, THIS IS VERY EXPENSIVE.

IngredientsShea Butter, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter, Distilled Water, Sodium Hydroxide (Lye), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosehip Essential Oil,Neroli Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Helichrysum Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil,  Carrot Juice, Adzuki Bean

Colour : The soap is of pale yellow ochre colour with brown particles of adzuki beans.

Fragrance : The fragrance same as the skin rehab butter from the brand. It must be the carrot seed oil smell predominantly and blend of other essential oils.

Texture : It is a solid soap piece and has rough texture because of the scrubby particles.

My experience using the product:

Just like other soaps from the brand, this one also lathers well and makes skin squeaky clean after use. But this did not help with the dry white patches in knees and elbows. I like the scrub effect and it is quite mild. The soap doesn’t seem to heal damaged skin or moisturize it my dry skin. I use it on face as well and I feel this will suit sensitive skin as well.

So basically this is a good soap with exceptional ingredients, but I don’t think it is worth the price. Probably the ingredients might show it’s effect after regular use of same soap over a period of time. But hell no, this is not pocket friendly and not one that’s so great that you can ignore the price.

 

 

Lips Don’t Lie!!!

Lush, the international natural skincare brand, is the first of its kind I ever knew of. I wanted to find out something similar in India That’s how I found Sand for soapaholics, started by Sangeeta who has experience in managing Lush India outlets.

I visited their outlet in Bangalore and for starters got this saffron lip balm, Lips Don’t Lie (inspired by Shakira’s ‘hips don’t lie, I presume).

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PC: Sand for Soapaholics (I used up mine before clicking a pic)

Price : Rs 160 for 5g of the untinted one.

Ingredients: Every 5gm contains Cocoa Butter , Emulsion of Honey , Beeswax Ext., Lanolin , Vanilla Absolute , Saffron Stamen Ext.

Lanolin is a fatty substance found naturally on sheep’s wool. It is extracted as a yellowish viscous mixture of esters and used as a base for ointments.

Well, that though natural, can’t say Iam a fan.

Packing : Comes in a tiny plastic tub with product label.

Colour : Product is light brown-beige in colour, imparted by saffron and honey.

Fragrance : Natural fragrance of ingredient mix which is more of a herbal aroma, than the usual fruity or floral smells

Brand Claims: The lip balm moisturises lips and supplies moisture.Cocoa butter, honey, Kashmiri lavender and vanilla are the star ingredients. Regular usage makes lips rosy and plump.

My Experience :

I got the untinted version of the balm. It did not smell very appealing to me initially. But my lips being parched, Iam always in the look out for the best lip balms.

As it claims, it moisturises dry lips effectively . Doesn’t feel waxy or heavy on lips. But it doesn’t treat chapped lips. So once you stop using this, dryness is back. But yes, the brand doesn’t claim to treat dryness. It hydrates as claimed. This is the second best lip balm I have used so far. Review of the best so far is on its way.

 

 

 

 

Mintensity Foot soak

Bath salts are not yet a staple in our bath regime. It is gaining popularity though.

Bath salt is a mixture of Epsom salt/sea salt, essential oils and clays. It can be crystalline or in powder form depending on its use.

Benefits :

  • Bath salts contain minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, bromide and sodium. These minerals are known to cleans and detoxify our skin.
  • Magnesium helps us fight stress and combat fatigue; calcium keeps water retention in check, promotes healthy bones and can help stave off osteoporosis; potassium balances moisture levels in the skin; bromide soothes tired, sore muscles; sodium plays a significant role in managing the balance of lymphatic fluid in our bodies.
  • Adding bath salts to bath water not only imparts soothing fragrance to skin, but also relaxes the muscles.
  • Dead sea salts are known to be effective in managing symptoms of arthritis and muscle sores.
  • Essential oils in bath salts energizes/ relaxes mind and body.
  • Makes skin smooth, soft and supple.
  • Can be used for exfoliation or as foot soak.

I am not sure if all these claims are true about bath salts. Probably using it regularly over a period of time really makes a difference to skin.

Mintensity

salt

Mintensity is a mint green coloured foot soak salt from the brand Gia. I use it as a bath salt by adding a spoon full to a bucket of bath water or as a foot soak salt when I do pedicure.

Price : Rs 250 for 200ml

Ingredients:  Dead sea salt, Epsom salt, Himalayan pink salt, rose clay, rose petals, almond powder, essential oils/fragrance.

Colour : Mint coloured salt crystals and pink salt crystals

Fragrance : Soothing and relaxing fragrance. Can’t say it is minty. It is a fragrance blend and smells very pleasant. It is not a floral or fruity smell.

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My Experience :

I am not a regular user of bath salts. When ever I feel stressed out or get a foot pain, I add this to bath water. I add a tea spoon full to a tub of warm water and soak my feet in it for 30min. The salt dissolves in the water and a film of oils can be seen on top. After that I dab my feet dry and scrub the feet with the some salt. I massage the flaky skin with damp coarse salt for a while and then wash the feet. There is no need for moisturisers after, as the oils in the salt mixture hydrates the skin well.

The soothing aroma relaxes my sore muscles and the fragrance stays for a while.

This can be made at home by mixing sea salt crystals with essential oils. Salts in market comes in different hues and you need to pick the ones specific for your need.

Colours like blue and lavender are supposed to be calming where as hues like red and orange are energizing.

You can get this product from : here

The brand also offers a separate bath salt variant.