Juicy chemistry Rose deodorant stick review

Juicy chemistry damask rose, sea buckthorn and jasmine deodorant is  one my recent purchases from the brand. I have reviewed similar products from  brands like Vilvah and Burst of happyness before. Here are the links if you haven’t already read the reviews:

Vilvah rose and vanilla natural deodorant review

Burst of Happyness Lavender and Grapefruit deodorant cream review

On the same lines, JC has a range of 3 deodorant variants, out of which I chose the rose one.

To all those who are new to natural deodorants, these are not anti-perspirants, and hence doesn’t hamper the biological toxin removal process. It merely imparts fragrance to the under arms skin and thereby prevents the foul sweat smell. Also unlike the synthetic deodorants, it contains no toxins and generally causes no irritation to the skin (unless you have any issues with the natural ingredients or essential oils used). It also prevents skin darkening which is a general side effect of synthetic deos.

Juicy chemistry rose deodorant

Ingredients

Arrowroot Powder, Beeswax, Cocoa Seed Butter, Shea Butter, Apricot Kernel Oil, Tapioca Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate, Coconut Oil, Seabuckthorn OilVit E, Sunflower Seed Oil, Geranium) Oil, Hydrated Aluminium Silicate, Ylang Ylang Oil, Jasmine Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Diatomaceous Earth Powder.

My take on the product

Like all other  products from the brand, the Juicy chemistry deodorant stick also has an amazing blend of essential oils, which gives it a sweet fragrance, predominantly of jasmine. To compare, the Vilvah deo had a stronger rose fragrance which used to linger longer on skin as well.

The packaging is eco friendly card board one with a push up applicator. As you use up the product, it can be slightly pushed up from the bottom to use.

Damask rose, sea buckthorn and jasmine deodorant

The consistency is what I love the most. The Vilvah deo had a very creamy consistency (the packaging changed from plastic to similar cardboard package now. So not sure if formula also changed). So there was no control of how much you apply. Sometimes in high humidity and warm temperatures, you end up applying more than required.

But with Juicy chemistry deo, the consistency is just creamy enough to apply without any tug but not so creamy that you end up applying more.

I stay in a hot and humid climate, and hence I need to reapply the deo every 3-4 hours on days with excess sweating. There is no sticky feel on the skin and this cream deodorant doesn’t leave any cast on the skin.

Comparatively, the Vilvah deo used to hold up fragrance longer than this. But if you are sensitive to strong fragrance you might prefer the JC variant. Also I prefer the consistency of JC deo to Vilvah one.

Since the product is not so soft, you end up using just the right quantity and hence I am sure this will last me long. It is compact, light weight and hence travel friendly.

I would like to try the other deodorant variants from Juicy chemistry before I find a favourite for repurchase.

A note to JC: I have come across the wrong product content being printed in the JC packages at times. For eg, in the Directions to use section of this product, they have also mentioned the usage directions of the scrub.

You may also like to read:

My favorites and not so favorites from Juicy chemistry

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

Let’s discuss face mists : Juicy Chemistry and Blend It Raw Apothecary face mist review

Juicy Chemistry Coffee, Chocolate and Macaroot hydrating mask review

Pregnancy Skincare: The Do’s and Don’ts

Pregnancy and breastfeeding period is not necessarily the time you think about skincare or even get to invest in self care. Still if you are someone used to a routine or someone who wants to start with some skincare to combat all the spots and marks left by the crazy hormones, this post will help you get started.

The Do’s:

  • To start with, a nourishing and balanced diet is what is essential for your skin and overall health of you and baby during pregnancy. So nothing else can help, if you don’t pay attention to your diet. Natural sources of fibre and protein are your friends now and always.

Seeds, nuts, single origin cocoa, greens, local fruits especially banana, cold pressed oils, organic red rice, whole grain flours have to be included in diet along with protein rich food.

  • Hydrate : This must be something even your doctor and mom  keeps saying. It is essential to have plenty of water and electrolytes for a glowing skin and a healthy pregnancy. Coconut water, lime water, herbal waters are all great.

Make sure you use good quality glass or steel bottles instead of plastic ones.

  • Use gentle and minimal skincare products. A good quality, gentle, soap free cleanser, SLS free shampoo, body butters/synthetic free creams, floral waters or face mists, chemical free deodorants, bath salts and a lip balm is the most you really need for self care during this time.

When you need a quick freshen up and can’t leave the baby, just spritz some face mist and it would give you the instant boost.

If you need to relax a bit but your swollen feet is killing you, immerse it in some bath salt in a tub of warm water and you will sleep like a baby.

Body butters can double up as massage balms, moisturisers, nipple creams etc but make sure you find one with little to no essential oil.

Also using a safe sunscreen can help if your skin is prone to dark patches and pigmentation.

Gentle exfoliation using milled sugar or dry brushing (avoid face) can help your skin glow.

Niacinamide, Vit C, rosehip seed oil, propolis, Aloe Vera, Vit E are all your friends during this time.

  • Be happy and embrace all the changes that comes with pregnancy. It is at times nerve wrecking to go through a lot of changes physically and emotionally during this period. But your body is there to support you and your skin is the most resilient organ.

Using cold pressed sesame oil or massaging with body butters can help give your skin the much needed elasticity. So embrace the silver marks on your belly and the dark patches, because with time these will fade out and will just be sweet memories of how your amazing body created a new life.

Before you buy a product, check with the brand to understand if it is safe during pregnancy and breast feeding.

The Don’ts:

  • Ditch your synthetic deodorants having aluminium chloride and also your chemical laden makeup. Opt for natural or cruelty free vegan products. There are many affordable Indian brands creating such products.
  • Avoid the formaldehyde rich nail polishes.
  • Retinol, Retin-A and Hydroquinones are a strict no.
  • Sunscreens can’t be completely natural but there are many brands making mom and baby safe sunscreens. I prefer mineral based ones to chemical ones.
  • Essential oils and fragrance might cause sensitivity.  Always patch test products having EOs and make sure the product has EOs within the permitted derma limits. Even better is to go for products with no fragrance.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and parabens can be avoided as well.
  • Avoid or have minimal consumption of coffee, tea and products with high sugar content.

NOTE: There hasn’t been any in depth study to prove the adverse effects of AHAs, BHAs, hair dyes and hair removal creams on pregnancy. The cautionary ingredients in these are harmful only in high concentrations. Since pregnancy causes sensitivity for many women and babies might be allergic to such product residues, it’s better to avoid these or use these1 in moderation.

You can find many safe products in my Insta handle or check out the reviews in the blog.

Suganda Rosehip Moisturiser Review

A nourishing moisturiser for Summers

If you are looking for an oil free day moisturiser for normal to oily skin, you should head to Suganda White lotus moisturiser review. But incase you need a day cream that is light and nourishing, for normal to dry skin, the Rosehip moisturiser from Suganda Skincare might be the right choice.

The Suganda Rosehip Moisturiser is very different from the white lotus variant. This is not an oil free formula but still is quite light and non-oily. This again comes in a similar glass pump bottle like the white lotus one. It has more of a lotion consistency than a thick cream and a little goes a long way.

The reship moisturiser, as the name suggests has reship oil as the main ingredient, along with jojoba oil. Niacinamide and Hyaluronic acid are two key ingredients in most of the high end moisturisers these days. The light texture makes it convenient to use as a day time moisturiser and you can layer it up for extra care during night.

This is definitely an expensive moisturiser (Rs 1000 for 50ml) but considering the array of skin loving, anti ageing and nourishing ingredients it contains, the product is worth the cost.

But if you are looking for a product that gives you clear skin with firming or anti ageing benefits in a short span of time, you should invest in AHA/BHA or retinols instead. This is a moisturiser with many actives that gives you such anti ageing benefits only if you use it over a long period of time.

Ingredients:

Aqua, Rosehip Oil, Jojoba Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , Niacinamide(Vitamin B3), Glycerin, Propanediol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate,Trimethylglycine, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Polyacrylate-13, Panthenol, Tocopherols, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane(Turmeric), Camellia Sinensis(Green Tea), Allantoin,  Fragrance(Natural Essential Oils), Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum.

My take on Suganda Reship Moisturiser:

The moisturiser has a light skin tone owing to the rosehip oil. The fragrance is also quite light and calming and imparted by essential oil mix. It feels watery as you massage it in and it barely takes any time to get absorbed. I really like this product and it is travel friendly as well. It suits the hot humid climate most of us live in.

But I feel my skin loved the white lotus moisturiser better, as the oil free formula feels very cooling and I find the combination of Rose Geranium, Patchouli, Sweet Orange essential oils relaxing.

Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm Review

I have been exploring many Korean skincare products recently, mostly for the interesting textures and ingredients they offer. Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm is a very popular cleansing product and it has gone through several upgrades over the course of time. Being a skincare enthusiast how can I not give this cult-favourite double cleanse product a try.

How is Banila Co Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm different from other cleansing products?

This is an emulsifying oil cleanser. But unlike the normal liquid oil cleansers or balms that melts into dripping oil form on contact with skin, the Clean It Zero Balm is a soft solid balm in tub which can be stopped out using a spatula. It turns into a light non-dripping oil (can’t really say oil because it doesn’t feel oily at all) when massaged on skin and emulsifies into an easy to wash off non-oily milk in contact with water.

Checkout the texture video snippet on my Insta highlights : TextureTuesday

In short this one product can wash off the dirt, grime, oil and makeup on its own and doesn’t leave any oily residue after wash.

Clean it Zero: Smooth soft texture

Ingredients

I have grouped similar ingredients together and is not in any particular order.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, PEG-10 Isostearate, Synthetic Wax, 1,2-Hexanediol : These are emollients and skin conditioning agents

Onsen-Sui : Japanese Spring Water,

Phenoxyethanol :  naturally derived from green tea to provide a fresh, rose scent. Ethylhexylglycerin: Used with Phenoxyethanol for preservation. Butylene Glycol : solvent and humectant,

Plant extracts: Lithospermum Erythrorhizon (a plant) Root Extract, Tocopheryl (Vit E) Acetate, Fragrance, (preservative), Water, Bambusa Vulgaris(bamboo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (red bush) Extract, Angelica Archangelica(wild celery) Root Extract, Malpighia Glabra (Acerola) Fruit Extract

Other ingredients: Polydiethyleneglycol Adipate/IPDI Copolymer, Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Acrylates/Methoxy PEG-15 Methacrylate Copolymer

Banila Co Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm Review

The balm comes in 100g and 180g tubs. The current version of the balm is free of mineral oil, paraben, sulphates, mineral oil, alcohol and artificial colouring. The Snow White coloured balm comes with a separate spill proof lid and tiny spatula. Also being a condensed solid, it is travel friendly even though the tub could be bulky.

Coming to the efficacy, this is my second favourite cleanser yet (The first being my bi-phase cleanser formulation just because it leaves my skin soft). But coming to convenience, this stands first since you don’t need any cotton or cloth to wipe off the residue. Scoop out a little product with the spatula and apply it on face. Massage gently for the soft smooth balm to turn into oil. Once the make up is broken down, splash water to emulsify the oil and wash it off easily.

This is a very gentle and very efficient product especially if you are in a hurry and wants efficient cleansing in minimal time. Being alcohol free, the balm doesn’t leave your skin dry and it doesn’t sting the eyes either. I also love the smell of this product.

Overall I found this a wonderful skincare product and I am sure it is going to last me a long time. (A similar sized tub of Goop Gtox salt scrub shampoo  has lasted me over a year).

I bought this with the Klairs freshly juiced Vit E mask from Yesstyle. They had an awesome offer running then, but it took them almost 2 months to ship it.

 

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E mask review

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E mask, What an interesting name! The Freshly Juiced Vitamin E mask is a cult favourite and I have been wanting to try it out for a long time.

Since Sokoglam doesn’t run any international shipping offers and Jolse doesn’t have Klairs, I decided to get it from Yesstyle when they had offers running. I got this and the Banila Co Clean it Zero cleanser at a great offer. I was mostly fascinated by the texture of the Vitamin E mask and all the positive reviews out there.

The Vitamin C serum from Klairs is also a favourite from the brand and this and the Freshly Juiced Vitamin E mask is even recommended by Charlotte Cho of Sokoglam and many famous beauty bloggers.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E mask

Vit E is an anti oxidant and a wonderful ingredient that can be paired with Vit C to enhance and stabilise its efficacy. Vit E also has moisturising and strengthening properties. It can be used on nails, under eyes, hair and the Vit E generally available is a thick viscous liquid.

Now coming the the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E mask, this can be used as an over night mask or a  day time  moisturiser. All you need to adjust is the quantity you apply.

Texture:

The texture is quite impressive. I have not come across any other product that has the same feel to it. The unique bouncy texture is referred to as “shape memory cream”. It is jelly like when you scoop out, all jiggly but once you apply on skin it melts and gets a loose watery texture. The cream spreads quite well and gets absorbed easily if a thin layer is applied. You can see the video of the texture on my Insta Highlights.

Ingredients:

The three key ingredients advertised are Vit E, Niacinamide and Adenosine. All three are great for skin health and Niacinamide in particular is a very versatile and one of my favourite ingredients. Adenosine is known for its smoothening and anti ageing benefits and is derived from yeast.

Here is the full ingredients list:

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carrageenan, Gellan Gum, Betaine, Algin, Mannan, Ceramide NP, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Chlorphenesin, Arginine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Centella Asiatica Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Phragmites Communis Extract, Adenosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil

My take on the product:

To be frank, I am not at all impressed by this mask. I feel there are far better moisturisers by Indian chemical free skin care brands that gives better results.

Here are the reasons why the product did not work for me:

  1. Not a fan of the powdery synthetic fragrance. It is not strong or overpowering but still not a calming fragrance for a sleeping mask.
  2. If you apply a thin layer, it gets absorbed easily but the cream fails to nourish the skin. I have normal skin type that tends to have dry patches during summers in low humidity. But unlike moisturisers that keeps your skin soft, supple for long, this tends to do nothing but give temporary relief.
  3. You need to apply a thick layer for this to work as a sleeping mask. The cream feels sticky to touch and takes a long time to get absorbed. Can easily get transferred to pillows and sheets. So better to apply this a while before you sleep.
  4. Unlike what the brand claims, I did not find my skin to be soften the morning. Eventhough the dry patches around my cheeks feel better in the morning, the t zone gets oily. So make sure you apply thicker layer over dry patches but not so much in areas that tend to get oily.
  5. And lastly, for the price of the product and having to buy it from these sites that takes months to ship it to you, I don’t think it is worth trying out.

I think Korean brands like COSRx and Neogen has much impressive products that shows immediate results.

So overall I wouldn’t recommend this product since you can get great products for affordable prices in India.

You might also be interested in:

Suganda Skincare White Lotus Moisturiser Review

How to buy Korean skincare products in India

Pure Bubbles Soapery Propolis Sleeping Cream Review

 

Disguise Cosmetics Feather Light Matte Liquid Lip Cream Pretty Nude Review

I can confidently say that I found the best matte lipstick for dry lips. Disguise cosmetics makes safe cosmetics free of toxins. I have tried two of their feather light lipsticks and their latest product, kajal.

I have come across Disguise cosmetics lipsticks in few stores but I am not a fan of the smell of their bullet lipsticks. Vanity wagon is a website that usually runs offer on disguise cosmetics products and while an offer was going on, I decided to give the liquid lipsticks a try.

I chose the shades Pretty Nude and Naughty Magenta, one an everyday nude shade and the other, a festive dark shade.

Ingredients:

Isododecane (Solvent), Dimethicone (Emollient), Trisiloxane (Emollient), Diisostearyl Malate (Emollient), Polybutene (Texture), Hydrogenated Polycyclopentadiene (Emollient), Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate (Texture), Hydrophilic Fumed Silica (Mattifying), Trimethylsiloxysilicate (Mattifying), Mica (Pigment), Disteardimonium Hectorite (Mattifying), Propylene Carbonate (Film-Forming), Ozokerite (Texture), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Emollient), Stearyl Stearate (Emollient and Texture), Stearic Acid (Emollient, Texture and Skin Replenishing), Marula Seed Oil (Skin Repair), Sweet Almond Seed Oil (Skin Replenishing), Avocado Fruit Oil (Skin Soothing), Argan Kernel Oil (Antioxidant), Jojoba Seed Oil  (Skin Restoring and Anti-Inflammatory), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Antioxidant), Parfum.

May contain nature-identical (lead free) mineral based pigments and lake pigments in varying concentrations as per the shade.

The nourishing ingredients include:
– Marula & Avocado oil (Healing oils)
– Almond oil, Argan oil & Jojoba oil (Nourishing oils)
– Shea butter (Moisturizer)
– Vitamin E (Natural Antioxidant)

The lipsticks are devoid of:
– Toxins
– Lead
– Parabens
– Alcohol
– Sulphates

My take on the product:

The product comes in a test tube like package and the quantity is just right. The feather light matte liquid lip cream, is very thin and water like on application. It doesn’t dry out immediately on application, like normal liquid matte lipsticks. So it gives you enough time to build up the intensity. It gives a nice flush of natural tone when you apply it once. The applicator carries minimal product which is great as you don’t end up applying more than required. The consistency is so light as the name suggests, and this makes it apt to use on cheeks as well.

Coming to the shade, I expected pretty nude to be more of a nude brown with slight pink tones, but on my lips it looks more like a peach brown. It is very similar to the shade Versatile from Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink. I love the colour and it is a great everyday wear.

Pretty Nude in shade

This liquid lipstick is extremely comfortable on the lips. I have extremely dry and flaky lips and even creamy matte lipsticks are generally very drying on my lips. Also after few hours, my lips will start to feel the stretch. But none of that with the disguise cosmetics lipsticks. It is the most comfortable matte liquid I have ever used (even compared to NYX soft matte ones).

Pretty Nude in light

The lipstick is satin matte and it transfers a bit on cups as you drink. But otherwise it doesn’t get removed from the inner part of the mouth like other lipsticks. It can be wiped off quite easily as well with miscellar water or any cleanser with an oil part.

Compared to the other toxin free lipsticks like the Organistick lipsticks I reviewed before, this one is much superior considering the staying power and texture. This one really impressed me and if you want an other mlbb shade suggestion, I would say go with Nostalgic Rose.

By the way I got these lipsticks from Vanity Wagon for much lesser price than the MRP. But considering how good these are, I wouldn’t mind spending full price on these either.

If you would like to see the Magenta shade swatches or the review of their latest gel Kajal, comment below.

Suganda Skincare White Lotus Moisturiser Review

Suganda is a skincare brand I explored recently.

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

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

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

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

Why are moisturisers important in skincare?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suganda White Lotus Moisturiser

Ingredients

White Lotus Moisturiser Ingredient List

My take on the Ingredients

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

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

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

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

White Lotus Moisturiser review

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

The perfect viscosity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final thoughts

Suganda white lotus moisturiser
Little bottle of potent ingredients

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

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

 

 

Amrutam Kuntal Care Hair Spa

A quick review of a new product I have been trying for the last couple of months.  Kuntal Care hair spa, from the brand Amrutam, is one of a kind hair care product. I also got few travel sized products along with it including a face cleanup liquid and body lotion..

Amrutam Kuntal Care Hair Spa

Ingredients

Bhangraj 500 mg, Amla 100 mg, Neel 100 mg, Brahmi 50 mg, Gudahal 50 mg, Balchhad 50 mg, Mehandi 50 mg, Nagar motha 50 mg, Nimbu chhilka 10 mg, Seeta fal 10 mg, Long oil 0.1 ml, Olive oil 0.1 ml, Eucalyptus oil 0.1 ml, Ghrit kumara and Excipient Q.S.

The full ingredient list is not mentioned in the label. When I checked, the brand replied that this is to prevent other brands from copying their recipes. I found it to be a lame reason and not being transparent to consumers about what ingredients are used, is definitely not a practise allowed in countries with stricter cosmetic laws. Every consumer has the right to know what they put on their body and even the luxury skicare brands of the country includes the full ingredient list in their labels.

I am sure this product has a preservative as it is has water content. But whether it is of natural or synthetic origin can be known only if the brand reveals the complete ingredient list. It is written as ‘Authentic ayurvedic formula’ in the label. Ayurvedic products are self preserving owing to the formulation method. If the product is genuinley ayurvedic, the brand shouldn’t have problems revealing the ingredients, as the formulation method is not something that can be copied easily.

So I have my doubts and I hope the brand addresses this.

On a side note, love the branding and their unique product labels.

My experience of the product

The texture of the Kuntal care spa is quite interesting. It has a non oily, thick, slurry like consistency. More like the consistency of left over rice water as it thickens up with time.  It is like a thickened kashayam. I am not a fan of the smell as it is quite strong and very herbal. But the consistency is great for a hair mask. Slippery enough to spread it from root to tips.

Kuntal hair spa is a great conditioning mask for hair and is very easy to wash off. Not using a hair cleanser can weigh down your hair if you have oily scalp. But if you have dry scalp, you can skip shampoo as well. I have thin, straight hair and I skip oil on the days I use this. I cleanse it off using a natural hair cleanser. Also I have not seen any significant changes in hair fall. Probably it will take prolonged use of the product to have a reduction in hair fall.

The mask conditions the hair well and leaves it soft and tangle free after wash.

Overall

This is a great starter product for haircare. But this is not an alternative for oiling. For the long term health of your scalp and hair, oiling is necessary.  This is a great travel companion as well and can be used on days you skip oiling.

Have you used this product? If so do share your experience in comments.

Formula Botanica Review : Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation Course

Formula Botanica

Hi folks. Today I will give you a brief idea about the Diploma in Organic Skincare Course by the online formulation institute, Formula Botanica. Many of you who follow natural skincare bloggers might already have come across this institute, but for those who doesn’t know, let me tell you about it.

Formula Botanica

This is an accredited online organic skincare school based in UK. The courses they offer are self paced and they have students from all over the world. The courses include Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma in streams like skincare, haircare, cosmetic preservation etc, to name a few.

Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation

This course is for beginners in formulation and is divided into 8 modules. Each module has two or three submodules. Apart from the course material, the website also provides a student librabry which has study resources and, an online classroom hosted in Facebook. This online classroom is where the students interact with other students and feature their products for suggestions. The course duration is 2 years and the final project has to be submitted within this time frame.

What does this course offer

Formula botanica provides a framework for us to get started, in the Diploma course. So don’t expect to be spoon fed on formulations. The course in itself is quite basic and simple. Each module needs to be unlocked by passing an online test of previous module. You get three attempts to pass this quiz. You can finish all these course material in no time. Each submodule has a basic formulation video, course notes, video notes and any additional info documents.

The real work starts when you start researching on ingredients and for mulations. Formula botanica facilitates the students to start exploring more on the topics. Google is the real guru here and the amount of information you research will be directly proportaional to the progress in the course.

The final test will be the only time you submit a formulation to the tutors and it will decide whether you pass the course and get the diploma certificate. The best students and their work will find a place in the Student Hall of Fame.

This course doesn’t give you the license to sell in shops and it doesn’t equip you to test the products yourself. It is all about how to approach natural skincare formulation, in a systematic manner.

Who should take this course:

If you are someone who is looking for DIY skincare recipes or want to take formulation as a hobby, I would suggest you check Youtube videos and blogs. There are so many recipes and information online that you can try successfully. You can also sign up for the Certificate courses offered by Formula Botanica or take up the course by School of Natural skincare.

But if you want to take it up as a profession you should definitely go for the course. Incase you are already a formualtor and would like to learn in depth, go for the Advanced diploma. But incase you like specifically to learn about product preservation, face mask formulation etc, they offer certificate courses.

Time, space and investment : These three factors are essential to successfully complete the course. Researching about ingredients and formulating, will require alot of time. Then you need to buy the raw materials and equipments, and as you know organic ingredients are expensive. Then you need to set up a small lab in your home and start your formulation experiments.

My experience with the course:

I went through many months of procastination before signing up for this course. I reached out to many students of Formula Botanica to get a better idea of the course. I have been into natural skincare for about 5 years now and I have been blogging for more than 3 years.  So for me, this feels like a natural progression. Having used natural skincare products of many many brands over the years, I know the existing gaps and I hope to fill them with high quality skincare products one day.

Since the course is self paced, I take it up over weekends mostly. Each student approaches the course differently, so there is no hard and fast way of learning. I have a full time job and family responsibilities. So I take it up mostly when I have enough time to spare.

Formulating a product is a tedious process. You end up wasting most of these expensive ingredients initially. A slight temperature change, measurement variation, pH variation can all affect the quality of the end product. Documenting all these observations is another task.

You can find my formulations on our Insta . I also share easy formulations with the blog subscribers.

So far the tutors have conducted two video live sessions. In these sessions we interact with other students, all over the world and share our views on certain ingredients, formulations or products.

Coming to starting a business, from what I understand getting a license is a costly affair. Some people go for it and some of these licensed formulators even demotivate other home based formulators from selling their products. So this path obviosuly comes with hurdles, but there is also a strong community that supports you when in need.

Some things I learned:

  • If a product is hydrous(containing water), preservation is essential for the safety of the consumer.
  • An unpreserved natural skincare product containing water content, pose safety issues to the user. Preservation is essential for product stability and shelf life.
  • The formulation process can alter the characteristics of ingredients. The benefits of ingredients might not be transferred to the end product. Hence the claims by skincare brands may not hold true for the end product, if the right formulation method, temperature requirements are not followed.
  • No skincare brand in the market is supposed to make claims of their products having healing effects.
  • These days most products, lists the ingredients not present in the product, to attract customers. ‘No parabens’, ‘No fragrance’ etc are common in Indian market. This is banned in EU, which has one of the most stringent laws on cosmetics. Brands should rather be transparant about the ingredients present in the product and as customers, we should read the label and avoid the ones that doesn’t display all ingredients.
  • A transparent brand claiming to be natural will disclose full ingredient list including the list of allergens in the Essential oils (if present in the stated proportions) and not just the active ingredients.
  • Essential oils are not to be messed with. They can do more harm than good, if used directly on skin and not within the dermal limits. This varies for each essential oil.
Now let me answer some questions you folks sent me in Insta about the course:
  • I did their sample class, didn’t find it intriguing. So is the course worth it.

The community feeling and the exposure to all the wonderful formulators around the world, is the best part of the course. As I said, the course material is pretty simple and straight forward. The video classes are going to be similar to the sample class. So it is upto you to decide, what you are looking for and choose accordingly.

  • Are ingredients and equipments easily available in India?

Again, it is upto you to decide what ingredients and equipments to work with. Basic ingredients used in the course material like oil, hydrosol, waxes etc are available in Amazon and with many other suppliers. Incase the ingredients you are looking for are not available, you can get it imported from some other place.

  • How is the level of diffculty in teaching method? Can someone with no experience in formulation actually formulate with this course?

As I mentioned, the course is very simple and apt for a beginner. Yes, this course is especially designed keeping beginners in mind.

Formulation is not an easy task. Many successful products in the market are a result of years of experiments and lab tests. The consumer safety should be given utmost priority. Your interest, patience and effort is what matters to successfully complete the course.

Incase you have any further doubts, please comment below and I shall reply soon.

Homemade grape wine in 3 days

Grape wine recipe

Make wine at home

It’s the season of grapes here and what better way to enjoy grapes than make wine out of it. The traditional wine preparation method takes months and extensive processes throughout. The recipe I tried takes just 3 days of preparation and the wine gets stronger with each passing day.

Grape wine recipe
Homemade grape wine

Recipe

Black/pink seedless grapes – 1kg

Sugar – ½ to ¾ kg

Clove – 4

Cinnamon – 1 small piece

Cardamom – 3 pods

Water – 1 litre

Yeast – 1 tsp

How to prepare the grapes

Soak the grapes in water overnight with a tspn of vinegar.

Wash it well and strain.

Boil about 1.25 litres of water and keep it closed until it reaches room temperature.

Preparation

In a pressure cooker, add the grapes, water, sugar and spices.

NOTE : If grapes I sweet you can reduce sugar to half kg or less as per taste

Do not put the weight on the cooker. Keep in medium flame until it steams. Turn off heat. Open it only after 24 hours.

Next day same time, open the lid and add 1 tsp yeast. Stir it once and close and keep for another 24 hours.

Open it next day and strain it in a big sieve or muslin cloth. Mash the grapes with spoon or hand and make sure the pulp passes through the sieve.

Strain it again in a muslin cloth and pour the wine in a well dried glass or ceramic jar with tight lid. Keep it in a cool dark place.

The wine will not be very strong at this point. So it is suitable for kids and people who likes the sweetness. The more days you keep it, the stronger it gets.

NOTE: Don’t shake it before you open.

You will get around 2 litres of wine with this measurement. I added cane sugar instead of regular sugar.