Teas Please from Cape of Good soap

Hello everyone, I am enjoying the monsoon here and I have got some great products to keep me refreshed in this dull climate. Also I am thinking of writing a post on my favorite pocket friendly skincare products. Also let me know if you want to write about anything in particular or would like my humble opinion on any product before you spend on it.

So today’s review is about a wonderful cleanser that has really impressed me. Usually when I use handmade soaps I haven’t seen any particular change in my skin texture other than the fact that most of them cleanses well without drying out the skin. Also few are my favourites for its heavenly fragrance.

Teas please is a soap from the brand Cape of Good soap, that I had introduced to you earlier and also I had reviewed another of their soaps in a previous post.

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I am not a tea lover and hence the product as such didn’t fascinate me at first. But Manisha send me this keeping in mind my skin condition and requirements.

I have combination skin that turns oily in the T zone towards end of the day. This soap has been fantastic in keeping my face oil free even from the first use. Read on to know more.

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Price : Rs 275 for 120gm

Ingredients :Handpicked and hand crushed assorted tea leaves from Bhutan, Assam and Manipur, Tea tree essential oil, green tea essential oil, glycerine soap base.

Fragrance : Very pleasant and soothing green fragrance, as I would like to call it, from all the tea essential oils.

Texture : As you can see, this is a glycerine soap with crushed tea leaves scattered throughout. On using about quarter of the soap, one side became complete scrubby and the other side quite smooth as that of a glycerine soap.

My Experience with the product:

This is by far the best face cleanser in soap category that suits my combination skin. Even with the first use, my skin became completely oil free without dryness and it remained so for the entire day, when I was indoors. Being in dust and pollution is another matter, but that really impressed me, for a soap with very less and specific ingredients.

I like a scrubby particles in soap but I hadn’t mentioned that to Manisha, as I wanted to know what she thinks suits my skin. Now this one gets another point in that aspect and it is really scrubby. Not very gentle though, but for my dry skin at elbows and knees it does help. On other areas I just use the soap lather.

This has considerably reduced mild acne on my forehead and kept my face oil free overnight.

I wouldn’t suggest this to people this dry skin as this might further dry out the skin, but I strongly suggest this for those who has troubles with oily skin.

Verdict :

Very calming fragrance, good exfoliation and excellent in keeping oil at bay. As a facial cleanser it ticks all the boxes for me. Left my skin sldt, smooth and bright.

For my body, I have to moisturize it after bath as my legs tend to get dry patches. So rather I will stick to a more moisturising soap on body unless I crave for the exfoliation.

PS: I tried the rosewood and bergamot soap from the same brand that I had reviewed before on one side on my face and teas please on the other. After washing it off and pat drying, the teas please side looked a tad bit more brighter and much smoother on touch.

Aroma Essentials Onion Shampoo

Aroma Essentials is a pretty known name among natural skin care lovers. I have been following them for last one year but never felt like buying the products. I had read all the rave reviews about the products in different blogs and on their fb page, all about how effective and great each product is, but was really sceptical. Let me tell you why,

  1. The brand has huge following and apparently the sale is also great, still I couldn’t see any improvement in their packing or labels.
  2. Usually I follow a brand for pretty long and try to understand their products well before trying them out. In all the AE product reviews, customers clearly complaints about not seeing full product list on labels but still I couldn’t that getting addressed.
  3. Also in their fb page they claim,

All our products are freshly handmade in small batches using the finest natural ingredients.we do not use harsh chemicals like petroleum or mineral oil.the colour and scent of our products occur naturally from our ingredients and essential oils.no artificial colours and scents are added.”

But I could find their soaps in bright colours which I did not think was natural.

4. Also customer claims that they could see changes and effects with the first use made me wonder if the products was 100% natural as it claimed.

Anyway their was only one way to find out, use the products.

So I ordered a couple of their products for hair and a few for skin as well. The products came with a pamphlet on how to use them. Atleast the ingredient list could have been printed here.

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I have used shampoo bars and to be frank I am not a big fan, only because it weighs down the hair a bit and I get that oily feeling even when I wash twice. So I had asked in particular for a liquid/cream shampoo and Madhurima the sweet lady behind the brand, suggested the onion cream shampoo.

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I was intrigued as this is not a familiar ingredient in cleansers. Also I had heard a lot about the benefits of onion juice on hair. So I decided to try it out.

Price : Rs 200

Ingredients : Onion pulp , shea butter , rosemary , cedar wood, lavender e/os 

Packing : As you can see, the product comes in a white tub which has an inner lid. It is leak proof as the product is quite thick and not runny.  No complete list of ingredients on the label.

Texture : Not very happy with the texture as it is not creamy. As you can see, the product is ivory coloured and is very thick in consistency. On scooping it out, we get scattered soap like pieces that has to be softened up in hand before applying to scalp.

Fragrance : Now this remains true to its ingredients. It has strong mixed smell of onions and the other ingredients. It is not pleasant and it stays in hair after wash. Still not that bad either as this wears out after a while.

Buy from : here

My experience using the product :

This is a gentle cleanser and very natural for sure. The product barely lathers but cleanses the scalp well. I need to wash my hair twice or thrice with the product to completely wash off the oil. Hair needs to be really wet for the product to spread well and cleanse. So scoop out some product, mix with a bit of water and rub it in hands to soften it as well as to lather.Spread it in the scalp and massage well. Wash it off and repeat until the oiliness is completely gone.

I have short hair, shoulder length. Still I need quite a bit of product for that completely cleansed feel.

This cleanser doesn’t make the hair dry and hence is apt for daily use. I wash my hair in the evening, so I don’t mind the smell. Even if you use a pleasant smelling conditioner after, the onion smell remains, as it is quite strong. I don’t mind this at all though.

Verdict :

This is a good gentle hair cleanser for daily use but I would like to try out other hair cleanser varieties, the brand has to offer. In comparison, I still prefer the Gia shampoo though as it is as good as the commercial ones in texture and fragrance, with no non sense ingredients.

PS : So I asked Madhurima about the missing ingredient list and she said since she had to rush from work to design labels and because of space problem, the complete list couldn’t be provided. But in the face book posts she mentions the ingredients. She gave the ingredient list of all products, when asked.

Also regarding the ingredient color, she said the colors used are FDA approved food grade colors.

She is also working on better packing. My main issue is with the products that comes in bottle, like oils, serums etc. So if that could be improved with better labeling, it would be great.

 

Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap

I had introduced the brand CAPE OF GOOD SOAP in a previous post. In Manisha’s words,

While, the products are organic and pro-nature, the USP of my line of products is customisation or personalisation as the products are created keeping the shoppers need/s in mind. This is one of its kind in India as I make every single product keeping the desired result in mind. 

Now the name is quite catchy and nice. I have been following their product line for a while and when I showed interest, Manisha was kind enough to send me few products.

In this post I am reviewing the rosewood and mint soap. Now all the 3 soaps she sent me have very interesting ingredients, some of which are new to me. For instance rose wood essential oil. Rosewood oil is used chiefly as a fragrance and flavouring ingredient. It is known for its uplifting and antiseptic nature.

Also this particular soap was suggested considering the oily nature of my t zone and dry patches on my knees.

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Price : 310 Rs for 120gm

Ingredients : Himalayan Clay, Shea Butter, Hand crushed mint leaves, rosewood and mint essential oil, white glycerine base.

So this batch is not made by cold processing but from pre made soap base by Manisha.

Fragrance : The oil distilled from rosewood is recommended for taking care of dry, sensitive skin. This oil has a warm, sweetish woody aroma. Slight notes of mint also adds to the uplifting fragrance.

Texture : This is a solid bar of soap and is not pliable under strong hold, which I like about it. There is crushed mint leaves scattered on the soap but it is not scrubby or harsh.

Buy from here

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My experience with the product :

The product looks really pretty with swirls and mint leaves on top with pretty pink colour. The soap lather is not heavy or creamy but quite light and frothy. It cleanses the skin pretty well. I stopped using all other cleansers and products on skin, except for my moisturiser so that I get to know the effects of the soap well.

This removes all hints of oiliness (himalayan clay plays its part well) and dirt from skin and leaves my face well cleansed without drying or stretching the skin. It remains oil free for quite long and face remains soft and smooth. Fragrance is also very different and uplifting. It is a relief after long day’s work. Also since the larger is light it gets washed off easily when used on face and hence doesn’t trouble the eyes.

It is not a creamy moisturising kind of soap but the kind that cleanses, clarifies and keeps oil at bay. Easy to cleanse off as well as there are no soft pieces falling off or sticking to skin.

One great thing is, it doesn’t melt easily and doesn’t just soften up and go mushy under hot/cold water. So products remains for longer keeping its shape.

Why I feel it is worth the price is, the soap stays for long. I have tried out decadent soaps that are rich but just gets used up so fast, because of its texture. This one even though bleeds the oils as I see in the monsoon now, is a solid piece of soap.

But this did not help with the dry patches on my knees even though it is perfect for my combination skin on face. Then again I don’t expect a soap to act as moisturiser.

I wouldn’t suggest this for people with dry skin.

Verdict :

I am very happy with the first product from the lot. This is a great soap for men and women, especially in summers. It gives a different experience than the usual herbal, chocolatey or floral/fruity soaps, owing to its unique ingredients. I feel this soap has a unisex fragrance that is perfect to relax after a long day. Mild and perfect as a facial soap for oily/combination skin types.

The brand offers customizations according to skin types and needs. So do check out their fb page(link given above).

The brand has sent the product as review sample but that has not affected my opinions in anyway and this is an honest review on the effectiveness of the product on my skin.

 

 

 

 

How to choose the right skincare product

There is a plethora of products out in the market and they all claim to be natural or herbal or organic. How do you choose the right skincare product then?

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

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.

2.Try to understand the ingredients in the product and how it suits your skin. Read the label carefully and understand the ingredients and what it does.

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

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

5. Not all natural ingredients are safe : Natural ingredients doesn’t mean it is mild or safe. Essential oils for eg, are very potent and if not used in right quantity with right combination of ingredients. it can trouble your skin.

7.  Ask questions. Clear out your concerns. You have every information you need in your finger tip.

8. Always do a patch test before applying the product all over your skin.

9. 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.

10. Give it time. Most of the time when you switch to natural skincare, our skin will take some time to get used to it. For eg: On switching to natural hair cleanser, the hair will go through a bad phase mostly where it got  overly oily, in my case. This is because the hair is subjected to years of chemical abuse where it is stripped of natural oils and now on making this switch, it will take some time to get rid of the toxins and find a balance.

11. The quality of product depends on the quality of ingredients. Don’t judge a product based on it’s complexity. Some products might have a lot of exotic ingredients, but may not deliver results as it could be of poor quality ingredients or might not suit a certain climate. Sometimes the simplest of ingredients can deliver great results if it is sourced correctly and is of high quality.

13. Skincare is not just about the product but also on the way you apply products, consistency of sticking to a simple regime and understanding the skin’s needs. Just spending an extra minute on cleaning the face well before sleep, will do more wonders than using a luxury cream. If you don’t know how to apply each product or layer them correctly, you might never find the right product for you.

14. Your skin’s requirement will change over time. It could change with age, with climate changes, with lifestyle changes. So change your products accordingly if necessary. A heavy moisturizer might work in a less humid region in winter but not in a humid region. This is not because the product is bad.

15. Don’t choose products that are not transparent about their ingredients. if you find only few active products in ingredient list and the rest are hidden under terms like ‘qa base’ or base, it means that the brand has not revealed the complete ingredients. QA base could be fragrance, preservatives, thickening agents etc. Ethical brands will list out all the ingredients and there are many of them in market. So don’t go for namesake natural brands.

16. You don’t always need to follow the trend. Maybe face oils are not for your skin type or maybe chemical exfoliation might case sensitivity issues or matte lipsticks are parching your lips. Stick to what works for you and use natural alternatives. Concentrate on your gut health instead. Happy gut will give you happy skin.

17.  You don’t need multiple products for each step of skincare, trust me. For eg: If you are someone who uses a face oil as moisturizer, say Jojoba oil; you can use the same as a first step in double cleanse. You don’t need a separate cleanser. You can remove your makeup with a face oil and even use it as lip moisturizer. If you have say, rose petal powder; you can mix it with face wash or moisturizer to use as a scrub, mix it with curd to use it as a face pack, boil in water to make toner (eventhough steam distilled rose water retains all its goodness), aloevera gel for hair mask, moisturizer, face mask…anyway you get the gist. Don’t fall prey to marketing and keep hoarding products. Set a budget and buy just what you want.

Skincare is relative and very personal. How a product works on you will depend on your lifestyle, climate, food habits, exposure to pollutants, quality of water and many more. So make sure your self care approach is holistic and not just limited to skin care. Cleansing the body will automatically cleanse the skin. So make sure what you eat and drink is a conscious choice and you do it right.

If you would like to understand more about how to choose products, what ingredients to avoid in products, how to understand toxic ingredients, how to read a label, detoxifying gut etc, join our mail list. We assure you, we won’t spam your mail. You can give your email id in the right menu bar and click Subscribe. We tend to make healthy transitions when we do it as a community than alone. So join our skincare community.

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.