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.

Skincare, fashion, home decor and more

Christmas is over and I am all set to welcome 2018. But before we bid adieu to 2017, let me list out some of my favorite finds of this year.

Favorite color of the year:

Every year there will be one particular color I get obsessed about, and this time it was Cerulean blue for the first half of the year and Indigo for the second half of the year.

The Blue Guitar Project is something I took up this year(eventhough I didn’t completely finish it). So I turned this old guitar into a cerulean blue decor piece, and it now adorns this cozy corner.

The book shelf is upcycled from a wooden protective frame that came with an an online order of furniture.

Favorite Skin Care Finds:

I came across many new organic and natural skin care products and brands this year. Some of them are Gravitale, Junaili, JivaVrksa, Organistick and Burst of Happyness.

But this year I found out that whipping up skincare products myself is much more effective, fun and affordable. You can check out : Skin care recipes

So my favourite skincare finds are aloevera gel and tea tree oil. Make sure you buy pure aloe vera gel and not the one with added colour, fragrance and preservatives available in local stores. These are the two ingredients that can be used for almost all skin problems including dandruff, acne and dryness of skin and hair. These are the basic ingredients you need for silky soft hair and clear face.

You can buy them from Blenditrawapothecary or from Juicy Chemistry

Favorite Organic Food Store:

It is without doubt Happy Healthy Me Organics.

Check out my skin care and food recipes using ingredients from HHM store:
Super tasty breakfast recipes

Multi-mask with easy DIY anti-ageing and black head removing masks

Favorite Fashion Finds:

This has been the year when casual dresses made a come back to my wardrobe and also I have made an effort to buy only from Indian brands that sells sustainable fashion. You might have come across some of the dresses in my travel posts and many more on my Instagram handle. The block prints, Kalamkari, Ajrakh, Ikkat prints and natural dyes like Indigo and Madder has been on trend this year and I hope more and more Indian brands move to sustainable and ethical fashion.

My favorite fashion find of the year is The Khadi Cult. I love them for their quirky and original Indian prints on Khadi. But the most comfortable attire I caught hold of, is this Indigo block printed dress from Mogra designs.

It is so light weight and comfortable and has pockets which is super cool. So here are my attires from Khadi cult and Mogra designs.

Favorite Food Finds:

If you are my Insta follower, you will already know that I love exploring new cuisines and eateries.

The favorite food find of this year has to be malai lassi, specifically from Johari Bazaar of Jaipur. You can read more about it here.

I am not a fan of cold desserts but surprisingly the Italian Gelato store here in Bangalore Milano, converted me. The flavors are all natural and authentic. Eventhough the flavors keeps changing based on seasonal products, my favourite remains Pista. I despise the green colored pista flavors in ice creams and pastries but this one here tastes like roasted pista nuts.

Favorite Home Decor Find:

These handpainted wooden plates from Trove India and the hand made blue pottery magnets from Jaipur holds this position. Aren’t they really beautiful?

Favorite Jewelry Finds:

I am not a fan of anything bling and only prefer to wear small earrings. But this changed after I came across some stunning Afghani glass jewelry pieces. Here is one of my favorites, which was featured in July favorites post.

You can see tow other stunning pieces in this blog post: February Favorites

Favorite shopping site:

You are in for a surprise here. All the above favorites of this year has been bought from different Insta pages I came across over the year. So my favorite online shopping place currently is Instagram and incase you are interested to know the pages to follow, I can write a separate post on that. Let me know in the comments below.

Now let me add one more category, which is the Life changing product of the year:

This is something that I hope, all you ladies out there will give a try. It is the menstrual cup. This product will change your life for good, trust me. And this is the best thing you can do for the environment as well. So do read this post on Menstrual Cups and let this be what changes your life in 2018.

Hope you all liked this post. Do subscribe for timely updates and follow us on Instagram for a variety of content.

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

It has been a while I made a detailed blog post, eventhough those of who following me on Insta is frequently getting DIY skincare recipes and tips.So this post is a small skin and hair care DIY post. These days I am not purchasing any pre-made products from market. I rather prefer getting pure ingredients.

Why make skin care recipes with pure ingredients when you can buy products with similar ingredients?

1. You can make multiple products with these ingredients at home
2. You can create your own DIY recipes to suit your skin type
3. When you buy products with your favourite ingredients, you don’t get any information on the percentage of this ingredient in the product.You might be paying more for say just 0.5gm of the ingredient in the product.
4. Which takes me to the point, saves money.
5. You can be assured of what goes into your skincare recipes
6. More effective as ingredients are fresh and pure

7. No preservatives, chemicals or parabens that can harm your skin.

Mini review:


PC: Blenditrawapothecary

I bought a couple of ingredients from Blend It Raw Apothecary. Aarushi, beauty with brains behind this new brand, is a natural skincare blogger herself.
The brand has come up with monthly beauty boxes as well in previous months. They have oils, butters, muds and clays,floral waters and other pure powders to name a few. I bought Aloevera gel, rose petal powder, charcoal powder, orange blossom water and an essential oil blend for hair.

The products come in a box(mine didnot have brand label though), packed well. The label on each product mentions the usage and ingredients list incase of a blend. The quantity is great and will for sure last me long.

The only disappointment for me was orange blossom water because I thought it would smell differently. If you think this one smells ‘citrusy’,you are wrong. I have never used orange blossom water before and to my surprise it actually has a mild fresh green chilly smell. Basically it is made from orange blossoms as the name implies and it doesn’t smell like orange peel or like orange essential oil.The spray bottle is quite handy and a few pumps makes you feel fresh. But I still prefer rose or vetiver water over this.

So here are some DIYs for smooth and soft skin and silky hair. Can be used by all skin and hair types.

Hair mask for silky soft hair

What you need :
Tea tree oil/Peppermint oil/Elevate oil blend
Aloe vera gel

You can use pure aloe vera gel from the plant or buy this if you don’t have a plant. The aloevera gels sold in drug stores are not pure and you will see a plethora of chemical ingredients in the ingredient list. The one I bought few years back from a drug store in Thailand even has parabens.

I bought the tea tree oil from Juicy Chemistry.

Just Mix:
Mix aloevera gel with few drops of the essential oil. Say 2 drops for a table spoon of aloevera gel. The essential oils are potent and shouldn’t be used more.Mix it well to get a slightly milky mix.Now apply this to the scalp if you have an itchy scalp or to the hair and hair tips incase you have dry frizzy hair. I don’t oil my hair when I do this but you can also try this after you shampoo the hair, as a conditioning mask. Keep it for 10min and just wash it with off with water. In case you have very dry and frizzy hair, you can mix curd, egg white or few drops of almond oil with the mix.

You can use the same blend for face incase you have acne prone skin.

Benefits:

Tea tree oil is anti septic and has the ability to soothe dry flaking skin, remove dandruff and even can be used for the treatment of lice.
You can even add a few drops to your hair cleanser, tooth paste,face wash for added benefits.

Aloevera gel is a versatile ingredient that soothes, calms, hydrates, conditions and overall just makes your skin super happy.

I have an oily and itchy scalp. But after using this mask a couple of times, it stopped getting oily oily for a few days after hair wash. The mask has balanced out my scalp. Also the itching just stops the moment you apply the scalp and helps fight dandruff as well.

The Elevate blend from Blend it raw apothecary has the following ingredients:
Organic essential oils of Lavender, rosemary,ylang ylang,cedarwood and peppermint.
Price: Rs 275 for 10ml

Mask for soft supple skin:

What you need: Now this one is a versatile mask and you can add ingredients as per your skin type.

For dry skin : Aloe gel, rosepetal powder, honey/lavender essential oil/Almond oil
for very dry/flaky skin : Oats, rose petal, honey, aloevera gel
For oily skin : Aloe gel, rosepetal powder, floral waters (rose water, orange blossom water, lavender water)
For irritated/acne prone skin: Aloe gel, tea tree oil, rose petal powder, rose water
For skin brightening: Rosepetal powder, wild turmeric powder, Gram flour,sandal wood powder, floral water

Price:

Blend it raw aloegel : Rs 250 for 200g
Blend it raw rose petal powder : Rs 350 for 100g
Blend it raw orange blossom water : Rs 475 for 100ml

For my mask I used orange blossom water, rose petal powder, aloevera gel and 1 drop of lavender essential oil. Use very less essential oil or it is going to burn your skin.I love the color of this mask and it is very gentle on skin. It makes the skin soft, glowing and hydrated on regular use.

Point to remember:
Patch test these blends in your hand and wait for a while to make sure it is not causing any redness or irritation.

Hope you liked this post. Let me know if you like to read more of skin care recipes. Do SUBSCRIBE and follow us on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM for more skin care tips.

Other posts you might like:

Summer skincare
Summer haircare
All about menstrual cups
Multimasking
Hairfree smooth skin
All about hair cleansers
How to choose skincare products that suits you