My two favorite non-greasy, deep conditioning hair oils

Hair issues for me, is not season dependent. Hair fall issues started during my college days, when I moved to a different city and started washing my hair with water having high chlorine content. It hasn’t come down at all, unless I go back to my hometown. Somehow my hair only likes the humid atmosphere and water with salt content.

Anyways I have since experimented with a lot of hair oils, both home made ones and store bought ones. The ones that I really liked recently and has continued using are the Bringadi hair oil from Kama Ayurveda and Javakusum from Just herbs. One thing in common with both of these is that, they are non-greasy, serum like and highly conditioning.

Growing up in Kerala where Ayurveda is quite popular, I have heard a lot about Nilibhrigadi hair oil. This is the popular hair oil from famous Ayurvedic brands like Kottackal Arya Vaidya Pharmacy. Since Kama Ayurveda products like hair oil are manufactured at the arya vaidya sala factory, I believe the formula must be the same, eventhough Kama ones costs alot.

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Coming to the efficacy, both of these are very light oils, non-sticky and spreads easily.

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Cost : Bringadi – 545Rs for 100ml, Javakusum – 445Rs for 100ml

Fragrance: Bringadi smells more ayurvedic and Javakusum has a pleasant fragrance typical of all Just Herbs products.

Ingredients : Indigo, Bringaraj and Amla are the main ingredients in Bringadi and this one claims to treat for hair loss, premature graying and dandruff.

Hibiscus, gooseberry, henna and other oils form the ingredients of Javakusum and claims the same as Bringadi.

Why I liked them?

The home made oils I use are generally very sticky and makes my face oily as well, on application to scalp. Also it takes a lot of hair cleansing product to wash this off.

These oils on the other hand are of the consistency of serums and spreads easily on hair. My hair feels conditioned, tangle free and  soft, on application of these oils pre-wash.

It takes very little quantity of hair cleanser to wash these off and I don’t feel the need to use conditioners after. As for the claims like hairfall, dandruff and premature greying preventions, I cannot vouch. I feel since the water at my place is hard water, I cannot control hair fall with just hair oils. I don’t have dandruff or premature greying, so no comments on that.

But if you are looking for conditioning hair oils that are free of all nasties, these are what you should buy.

My winter skin care regime

Winter is on our door steps. Eventhough winter reminds me of all things ‘Christmasy’, it also comes with skin issues like dry flaky skin. Especially for people like me with a combination skin type, choosing the right product is of utmost importance. With oily t-zone and dryness in hands and legs, an overall lifestyle change is also required to address these climate related issues.

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The key is to use products that nourishes the skin well without stripping the skin of its moisture and natural oils.

1.Cleanse with mild soap free cleansers

Cleansing is of utmost importance and this is the major factor that determines the longevity of a healthy and youthful skin. Use mild cleansers that are soap free to clean your face so that it doesn’t strip your skin of all moisture.

I use body oil from Gia, as a first cleansing step to remove the dirt, sebum and pollutants accumulated over the day (read review here ). After this I gently massage my skin with Khadi cucumber and aloe cleansing milk. 

Pros:

This cleanser is soap, sulphate and paraben free. This white thick cleanser is like a puree of aloe and cucumber and has the goodness of shea butter for that extra kick of moisture. It is very mild and gentle and will suit all skin types. It refreshes the skin well and makes it soft. At just 100Rs for 210ml, this is quite inexpensive.

Cons: Doesn’t remove makeup or grime.

Other suggestions: Oats based cleansers from Gia here , Silksplash from justherbs here , mix of chickpea flour(besan) and honey.

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2. Exfoliate once a week

Kama Aurveda Kumkumadi brightening scrub and Greentea face and body scrub by Fuschia are my favourites this winter. Both are soap free and creamy. The Kama one has more gritty particles than fuschia one. Leave the scrub for a couple of minutes before washing it off, so that the awesome ingredients gets enough time to work on the skin.

3.Moisturize

If your skin gets dry, stretchy or flaky, with white patches especially on your knees and elbows, using just a body butter or lotion will not help in the long run. It would just keep the area moisturized for few hours. If you want soft and supple skin for winter, oil massage is a must.

I have been using the oils Sugandhadi (Buy here) and Jwalini (Buy here) from Kama ayurveda as massage oils, and let me tell you, I just love them. These have the goodness of sesame oil,coconut oil, ashwagandha, cardamom etc and have very calming and relaxing ayurvedic fragrance. I sometimes feel that it has a hint of warm peppery smell. These are not viscous or very oily and gets easily absorbed by skin. Priced at just Rs 350 for 100ml, these are affordable as well. Wash it off with ubtans or green gram powder for best results.

You can also use warm coconut or sesame oil instead. This process of ‘Abhyanga’ ensures that the skin is taken cared of during winters, relaxes the muscles and even gives a good sleep at night.

I also add a few drops of Lavender essential oil from Soulflower, to the bath water and the fragrance is so relaxing.

For face I use Kama Eladi Hydrating Ayurvedic Face cream (Read review here). This nourishes my combination skin, without making it oily.

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Swatches L-R : Gia body oil (transparent light one on the extreme left), Just herbs Silksplash(transparent thick liquid), Khadi cleanser, Fuscia scrub, Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi scrub, Kama Ayurvedea oils Sugandhadi and Jwalini

Lip Balm :

Take extra care of your lips, as they tend to chap easily during winters. My favourite lip balms are The Burt’s bees peppermint lipbalm (reviewed here ) and the Aroma Essential’s  Orange vanilla lip balm (reviewed here).

In addition to using suitable skin care products make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and keep away from beverages like coffee and tea if possible.

Let me know what your winter skin care problems are, and I will include the tips and tricks in the next post for sure. Have a happy winter you all 🙂

My favorite buys from Kama Ayurveda

As you know from my Kama store visit and haul post (here), I had bought quite a number of items and got a couple of samples from the store. I have not started regularly using all of them except the face mist and the moisturizer, and I am loving its effects on my skin. Kama Ayurveda is a high end luxury brand, that offers some amazing skin and body care products. If chosen wisely, you actually can make some awesome purchases without burning a hole in the pocket, considering efficacy and quantity needed.

Kama  Eladi Hydrating Ayurvedic Face cream

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If you are my Instagram follower (Inst), you already know by now how much I am liking this one. I have combination skin type with oily t-zone. This one was not an instant pick as I was concerned if this would make my face all oily. I mean Ayurvedic formulations are usually on the oily side, so I didn’t want to spend so much on something without trying it out first. So I got a sample tube of the cream from the store and tried it out for about 2 weeks. Even though the sample tube was tiny, it lasted me 2 weeks (application once a day).

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Price : 895 for 50g. But trust me, if 5gm can last me 2 weeks, do the math. This is worth it.

Ingredients : Along with many other ingredients, this has the goodness of coconut milk, cardamom, rose and jasmine essential oils, sesame oil, aloevera etc. This is 97.45% natural and free of parabens and nasties.

Packing: A bit bulky but looks very pretty. The product comes in a dark glass tub that is heavy. No spillage from the tub as their is an inner lid. Got a tiny wooden spatula with this to take the product out, without contaminating it with hand, which is very thoughtful.

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This is very light and creamy in texture and gets absorbed easily on skin, without leaving any oily residue. I apply it sparingly and spread it well on face and neck after cleansing and toning. Did not cause any breakouts on my skin.

Love the pleasant natural fragrance, texture and how it just nourishes my skin from within.Loved it so much that once the sample pack got over, I went ahead and got it.

Yes it is costly but it does last a long time. And I feel that rather than spending on many skin care product, a good moisturizer can multitask and keep my skin soft and supple.

Nay points : Costly, Might not suit very oily skin type.

Kama Pure Vetiver water

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I have not used face mists mists or toners before and this was my first buy from Kama (well mostly because this was affordable). I tried the rose, lavender and mogra mists from the store but this one caught me by surprise. This earthy water just refreshed my face and kept it oil free for long, on application. The other ones felt a bit heavy and this is best suited for combination to oily skin type.It is 100% natural and steam distilled from the roots of vetiver grass.

Price : 250Rs for 50ml. I have been using it daily for nearly a month now and more than half the bottle is still left.

The spray just spritzes the water like a mist and ensures a little quantity is sprayed well over an area. No product wastage as the spray comes out like a mist.

The fragrance is very earthy but very refreshing. Spray this on face and it just energizes the skin and wakes it up. I store this in refrigerator. The packing is travel friendly and sleek.

I am sure, I will be stocking up a bigger bottle once this gets over.

Nay Points : None. Totally loving it.

 

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.

Right products with right ingredients for your skin type

What are we doing wrong???

It is quite easy to understand what product to buy. Say you need a cleanser, or a shampoo, all you need to do is go to store and get one. But how do we choose the product?

Mostly based on the ingredients you like, say you like the fragrance of rose or lavender. Your preference will always be to buy such products, those that appeal to you in fragrance, texture or those products that worked for your friends or your favorite blogger.

Even if we are in an outlet of  a particular brand, we don’t generally ask the staff on what might be right for our skin type. Or if we have any particular concern, we need to choose products accordingly.

How I realized this?

For example, I love pleasant natural fragrances like that of rose and lavender. So if I am buying a lip balm and there are three options, say mint, rose and vanilla ; I go for the rose variant. But after using it for sometime, I realize that it doesn’t make my chapped lips any better. But that might not be because the product is not good or the ingredient list is not impressive. It is simply that I did not choose the right product from the choices I had.

Whenever I see products with mint/peppermint, coffee, tea, pepper etc I instantly make up my mind that I wouldn’t like them. I don’t stop to think if my skin would disagree though. As one of my instagram followers rightly said, ‘It is like you really like certain kind of food, but your body might be allergic or wouldn’t respond well to it’.

Finally when I decided to try the Burt’s bees lip balm, which has peppermint as major ingredient, I did not expect a miracle. From childhood my major skin problem was my chapped lips. It was always dry and chapped and the skin gets so dry that even lip scrubs can’t remove the dead skin. I tried lip balms from many different brands and even those home made natural ones, but none of those worked for me. The major mistake I amde was, I always chose what I thought was best for my skin, lip balms with rose, vanilla, citrus and chocolate flavours or oils. None with mint.But when I finally did, that was the best thing I ever tried on my lips. It made my lips smooth, supple and matt without any dryness throughout the day.

This doesn’t mean all those lip balms I tried were bad, it wasn’t right for my skin condition. But for someone who just needed a mild daily moisturizer, all of them would have worked well.

Sometimes on my Instagram page I encounter questions like ‘How can you say that this product doesn’t work? It worked well for me and I loved it’. I correct them saying, see I never said that this product doesn’t work. I said this doesn’t work for me. Why? Because my skin condition, need and the climatic condition of where I live can be very different from yours. So something that works for you, may not work for me even if we are both oily skinned. There are many factors affecting the efficiency of a product and the best judge is you =, given you know your skin well.

How to choose the right products?

When I visited Kama ayurveda outlet recently, I decided to buy a face mist. As usual I went for the rose/lavender ones. Because so far on all blogs and reviews, I see the rose or lavender variants reviewed the most. Everybody praises these and not the earthy vetiver mist I came across there. The staff there suggested the vetiver mist instead saying, this is best for combination/oily skin types, as the other two might be a bit heavy for such skin.

Eventhough reluctant, I decided to try it. To my surprise, I loved the earthy natural fragrance of the mist. It was light on skin, kept me fresh and took away the oiliness from skin.

So first point is :

  1. Be clear on what your skin needs (not what you want).
    You need to understand your skin type first. Just because your face is oily doesn’t mean your body skin needs to be oily too. Most of us might be of combination skin types, that is oily in T zone and dry around mouth. So understanding the skin type is very essential in choosing the right skin care product.

Advice is mostly free.

      2. Always ask expert opinion, before you invest on skincare.

       3. Rather than spending your money on products to try, read multiple reviews on the same. Ping the blogger and get to know if this might work for your skin. Also when you are in any brand outlet, ask for testers before buying the full product, if you are not sure.

       4. When buying from artisans who make handmade skin care products, don’t blindly follow the reviews posted in the page. Chat with the brand person and get as much info about the product. Ask questions regarding your concern and skin requirement and choose wisely.

5. You don’t always need to have different kinds of products to take care of your skin. Keep it simple.

My beauty kit includes mostly of a good cleanser that provides mild scrub action as well (soap free mostly oats based), so I don’t need a separate scrub. I use homemade face masks mostly or if not I use face pack that has ingredients to address multiple skin problems at once, rather than buying different products for all needs. My body skin is dry, so I always need a good moisturizer and I have not come across the best one so far. Still searching.

6. Don’t go crazy on natural skin care products either. Basically all ingredients are chemicals if you think about it, natural or artificial. Just like how all artificial chemicals are not harmful for us, all natural products might not be safe for all skin types either. So be careful and keep a watch on changes happening on skin while using the product.

7. There is only so much these products we apply externally can do. Eat healthy, keep hydrated, rest well and have good thoughts. Healthy skin is a reflection of healthy life.

So even though I hate mint in food, my skin loves mint. Here are the current minty products I am using. mint.jpg

I have reviewed few of the products in this, and you will see more reviews in the coming days. Also I am enjoying the fresh feel of the vetiver face mist from kama ayurveda.

Let me know of your thoughts or queries on this post.