Yummy and healthy salad and shake

The recipes I am going to give you takes less than 5 min preparation time and are very delicious and healthy. These also make for impressive light eat for guests.

Strawberry lettuce salad with delicious strawberry dressing.

Ingredients: Spinach/lettuce, strawberry, olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, paneer/feta cheese, salt and pepper.

The quantities can be based on your need. I used one bunch of iceberg lettuce, around 10 or more strawberries and 250 g paneer cut inti small cubes.

Sauté the paneer cubes in butter for about 2min in light flame. It should still be soft and shouldn’t change colour much. If you have feta cheese, just crumble it into small pieces.

For the dressing: In a mixer, blend the strawberries/ready made strawberry puree with 2 tablespoon olive oil, 3 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoon honey, salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust the ingredients to get a slightly sweet, thick dressing.

I used this fruit pulp for making the dressing instead of using strawberries. I find these ready made all natural fruit pulps very versatile. You can use these to make shakes, juices, jams, cheese cakes to name a few. There is no added sugar or preservatives in this.

Setting the salad: 

Cut the bigger leafs and place them on a bowl. On top of this you can place bite-able strawberry and paneer pieces.  Don’t add the dressing until the time you serve it. Drizzle it on top of the salad and give a good mix. Taste it to make sure the taste of the dressing comes through. Add more if needed and voila the salad is ready. You can also add juveniles of almond to garnish.

All natural super thick shake

Ingredients: Ripe guava, strawberries(strawberry pulp/ mango pulp), rock salt, milk/yogurt

Preparation: Just blend all the ingredients and add little milk/yogurt to looses the shake and bring it to the required consistency. Adding a pinch of rock salt really brings out the flavours. You can also add some paprika for a hot after taste.

Hope you liked these recipes. Comment below your favourite recipes.

Ancient Ayurveda Woodash Soaps

The man of the house has been demanding bath soap for a couple of days now (as I use herb powder from Krya currently, I don’t keep a tab of the soap stock). I had come across the Ancient Ayurveda brand in Amazon once and decided to give the soaps from this brand, a try.

What the brand calims:

Organic Soaps & Herbal Soaps Are Usually Filled With Colorants Which Are Created With Various Toxic Based Sub Ingredients That Is Hidden In There Description.Our Soaps On The Other Hand, Is Absolutely Free From All Synthetic Coloring Agents And Micas. Our In House Distilled Absolutes Ranges From Volatile Floral Oils All The Way Up To Steam Distilled Herbal Undiluted Extracts.

Impressive facts:
Unlike all the soap brands that prints only the ingredients used in making the soap (that too not always the complete list), they have printed a paragraph of chemical and harmful ingredients that they have not used in making these soaps.

Ancient Ayurveda Oleoresin Soap are absolutely Child Labour Free. These are not tested on animals and is handcrafted, hand-wrapped and hand-packed with 100% recycled paper.

I don’t think it gets anymore ethical this this.

Eventhough there are many combos available, I bought a set of these four soaps : Saffron Goatsmilk , Ashwagandha , Sheabutter Vco & Gotukola Woodash Soap and also the Indian red sandal soap separately.

Shop from : Amazon.in. This is also available in amazon.com.

Price: Since there was an introductory offer when I purchased this, I got them for a total of 525Rs for the combo and Rs281 for the sandalwood soap.

My Review:

The brand is so natural that, they use soy ink and recycled paper for packaging. The products are vegan and pure and is rich in ayurvedic oils (tailas) and herbs.
They have a herbal smell which is very mild and not overpowering at all. The red sandalwood soap has a beige color and is a perfect sphere, unlike the other soaps that are rectangular/oval in shape.

The soaps appear smooth at first but once I started using one, I found that one side of the soap has a layer scrubby herb particles. So infact one side of the soap can be used as a cleanser and the other side as a body scrub, which is very convenient.

The soap doesn’t lather heavily which is expected in the absence of lathering agents like sulphates. Eventhough you keep the soap in a dry dish, you will notice that a wet layer is formed on it. This is the seeping of the ingredient oils to the surface of the soap.

The best way to utilize this is to swipe off this oil layer from the surface of the soap with your hand, and massage it directly on the skin. This will help break down the dirt, sebum and any light makeup. You can then lather the soap with water and cleanse your face again, which will help to remove all the residues from your face.

The soap doesn’t dry out the skin and is great as a winter skincare product.

Also the most impressive part is that the brand works in association with Prajwala, the largest anti-human-sex-trafficking-shelter based in India.

How to increase the longevity of the soap:

This being a completely natural and oil rich soap, the chances of it melting are high. This makes it not very travel friendly, unless you cover it with a plastic wrap. You have to refrigerate the soaps that are not currently being used. I initially kept them in my shelf which is dark and cool. Yet the soaps melted a bit and the oils seeped out of the paper wrap. Also you can cut the soap into halves and use one part at a time.

Incase you buy the red sandalwood soap, don’t expect the sandalwood fragrance from it (which was a bit disappointing). It has a very mild fragrance compared to the other soaps and the fragrance doesn’t last on your skin after bath.

Overall this is a great soap for kids and adults.

You may also be interested in:

A divine chocolate soap you will fall in love with
Sultana of soaps
Butter Cream Whipped Soaps
Juicy Chemistry Hazelnut & Vanilla Latte Soap
Spicy Apple Pie anyone???
Skin Rehab Soap
Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap
Teas Please from Cape of Good soap
Bubbles and Squeak Soaps Review
CGH Pepper soap review and a little surprise

My favorites and not so favorites from Juicy Chemistry

Happy New year peeps!!!! Hope you all had a wonderful start of 2017. I am looking forward to introducing many more natural skincare products to you this year. Since I did not want to limit the post to a product review, I am listing out all my favorites from the brand Juicy Chemistry.

While reading reviews on natural skin care brands, I feel that rather than a constructive criticism and comparison, the posts usually just contain praises. Say you read the posts on body scrubs from these chemical free skin care brands, and every post says they are all good. So how do you choose. If all are good, how do you know which one suits your skin best? That is why you should know your skin well and know the skin type of the person who has written the post. Ask questions to bloggers and reviewers before getting a product.

Juicy Chemistry is a familiar name for my readers as well as natural skincare lovers. Based on Coimbatore,t he pure and totally chemical free products of this brand, provides effective skincare, in addition to making you smell so wonderful. Ohhh yeah, the fragrance of aroma oil blends in their products are so exotic.

I am not listing all the products I have used from them (yes there is a lot), but just a mini review of my favorites and not so favorites.

Moisturizers: Yay

I totally recommend body butters from JC, for normal to dry skin. They smell so decadent and pure. I even use it as a body pomade, for the fragrance is really wonderful. The ones I love are the Choco mint, Rose and Jasmine variants. The fragrance is not heady and the body butters melt to form oily films when applied on skin. Massage it well and the skin stays nourished throughout the day.

This one was my first buy, but they don’t make this variant anymore.Read detailed review Juicy Chemistry : Choco-Vanila Body Butter

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These are not for face or for people with acne prone/oily body skin.

Eye cream: Nay

The coffee and green tea eye cream from the brand is made of very impressive ingredients like green tea and coffee infused almond oil, mango butter, lavender essential oil etc. But this one failed to impress me. Can’t call it a cream, as it is in a condensed oil form.

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Take a bit and apply it under and around the eye area, and it makes the whole area very oily. So cannot use it if you are going to step out. Also if it goes in the eye (which is very likely as the oil spreads on massaging the eye area), it really stings. I used it regularly over a period, but it did not do anything for the fine lines under my eyes. I don’t have dark circles, so can’t comment on that.It can be very nourishing for the skin I feel, but somehow did not work for me.

Face masks: Yay

The two face masks I tried from the brand, Rose-sandalwood and Tea tree-Charcoal masks helps control the oiliness of oily-combination skin types. These masks are in powder form. The rose face masks feels warm on skin whereas the tea tree variant has cooling effect. These are made of essential oils and clays and doesn’t dry out the skin.

 

Read detailed review of the Rose- sandalwood mask here

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Eventhough it did not draw out any black heads from my nose, this really works in clearing out acne and scrubbing out dead skin. On making a paste of the powder, with water, the texture resembles that of paper pulp. It is soft and non gritty when wet. But on drying, this gets gritty and acts as a scrub. The cooling effect of the peppermint oil helps in calming the skin after a long tiring day in the sun.

Lavender Myrrh and wild forest honey Night Cream : Nay

Well this thick yellow cream for dry skin, obviously did not suit my combination skin. But  I wanted to try out a night cream and this is one of my early purchases from JC.This is very oily and it did break out my skin. I am not a fan of the fragrance of this one and also this is something that suits dry to very dry skin types.

Hair care products : Yay

The lavender shampoo bar and argan mango butter hair masque suits all hair types. These are very nourishing and conditions the hair well. These are 2 products I have used up pretty fast as I really liked them. Read about hair care in my post All about hair cleansers

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Lip Balms: Yay and Nay

Love the orange candy lip balm but not the rosy rose one. The lip balms came in tubs (now they have them in tubes as well) and I really liked the consistency of the balms. The orange candy one really worked for me as it was moisturizing and the taste was not bad either.

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The lip balms melts on applying on lips and forms a thin oily layer that really helps moisturize dry skin. But the rose variant disappointed me, as it stings and I did not like its taste either.

Soaps : Yay

The brand has in stock, a wide range of cold pressed soaps, each for specific skin types or addressing specific skin problems. Eventhough these are really expensive (yes you will get a  hole in your pocket), these are made up of high quality ingredients and are very decadent.

Read detailed reviews of my favorite soaps here :

Skin Rehab Soap

Juicy Chemistry Hazelnut & Vanilla Latte Soap

Spicy Apple Pie anyone???

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Foot care : Yay yay yay

Love the citrus blast of the foot scrub and pepperminty cooling effect of the foot cream.

Read more:

Juicy Chemistry citrus and sage foot scrub

Happy Feet, Peppermint & Tea Tree Hand & Foot Cream

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Day serum: Well…

The Argan and Rose day serum is made with oils of raspberry seed and carrot seed, containing natural SPF. It has saffron, rose oil and other effective skin care oil blends as well. Well I neither love nor hate this one. I didnot see any visible effects of the serum on skin, though i like to believe that it protects my skin from pollutants and UV rays.

Buy JC products from here

I hope you liked this post. Let me know your JC favourites and the products that really worked for you.

CGH Pepper soap review and a little surprise

This post has a surprise. So keep reading till the end.

You must be familiar with the brand Cape of Good Soap, if you are a regular reader of my blog. I had previously reviewed products from this brand,Teas Please from Cape of Good soap , Cape of Good Soap : Rosewood and Mint soap , Look what came in my mail today!

They offer wide variety of soaps, that not only smells heavenly and looks like a painting in itself, but has very unique combination of ingredients to suit specific skin types.
When we think about ingredients in skin care we usually look forward to those with soothing aromas like floral, herbal fragrances or refreshing ones like citrusy, minty ones. But Manisha’s mind works in a different way. She makes products with ingredients that surprises us for it’s efficacy and unique aromas.So I was fairly surprised when she sent me the Black pepper & Bergamot soap to review.
peppersoap
PC : COGP
What the product claims:

 Black pepper works to detoxify your skin back to its natural state with all its nutrients. This soap will work as a mood uplifter after a long day relieving you of stress and anxiety.

Ingredients:
Crushed black peppercorn, bergamot extract powder, Black pepper & Bergamot essential oil, white soap base

Price: 275/- for 120g.

My take on the product:
As you know, the really liked the Tea’s please soap as it really helped in controlling acne. But this one I saved for the last, as I was not quite sure whether I would like a peppery smelling soap. But to my surprise, this one has a very mild, warm and soothing fragrance which has prominent notes of Bergamot than pepper.
You can see crushed pepper spread across the soap and this really sloughs away dead patches. Also this one, in my opinion, will suit all skin types as this is not drying and is quite mild on skin.
I couldn’t find any con as such, because this one does its job as a soap well :P.
But if I dig deep, maybe I prefer this for the body and not face as it doesn’t control oiliness as well as the green tea variant. But well different products does differ jobs, so no complaints.
Buy it here

So here’s the surprise. We are all familiar with the brands and products, but not always with the brains behind the brands. So here’s is a small interview with the brand owner (or rather artist, as her soaps looks amazing) of Cape of Good Soap, Manisha Dutta.

1. How did you get inspired to start soap making and how did you learn to make skin care products?

I owe a lot of my handcraft to the craft lessons that we used to detest in school.  There are things for which we just rush to the aisles of the mart and pick them up without pondering that these two can be made at home. Like soaps, cosmetics or even Clothes. Most of us never think about it or resist the effort. I did too, but then seeing my own creation shaping up in different shapes, colors, fragrances and concepts is too big a thrill to be stashed away.  While I had learned about soap making way back in school, I got more comfortable experimenting it when i decided to make homemade bath products myself. Being a chemistry graduate, it came naturally to mix and experiment with different ingredients. I did a course to polish my skills before talking them to the clients.
 

2. Which is your favorite ingredient in skincare product(if any particular fragrance , oil or flavour you prefer)?

 I usually like all the ingredients that make the soap different from other handmade soaps that you get, now that there are many players in the market. My addition of choicest of herbs, dried flowers, spices etc. I actually like the natural aroma that come out of these. EO for their properties and fragrance are added, but these natural fragrance of spices and herbs that attract me to my soap.
 
 

3. Do you make the soaps from scratch(in relation to the soaps you sent). Are they cold processed?

I follow all the three processes- hot, cold and M&P made either by me or my trusted vendor, however, this depends on the order and the time available in hand to deliver it.  The soaps that were sent to you were M&P from the bars made by me as that allowed me to customize it for you at the shortest possible time, ensuring that i retain the quality and the ingredients. 
 

4. Where do you seek inspiration for designs?

All my designs are original and I would attribute them to the creative streak in me that has egged me always to  churn out something new and different every single time
 

5. How do you ensure the quality of products you use?

I purchase almost all the ingredients myself. They are handpicked from my travels in India and abroad or I ask my sister to ship them if I run out of some exotic ingredient that we don’t get here in India easily.
 
 

7. What are your future aspirations in this field?

There is a big project in the pipeline. i would love to tell you about it but allow me sometime before i can talk about it. 
 
I hope you all loved this post. Let me know what you would like me to write about next. Happy weekend 🙂

Skin Yoga Green Tea Face Mask Review

Hello everyone, so it has been a happening week with the Navrathri and related festivities around.  I went to Mysore and the sight of Mysore palace adorned with lights at night, was breath taking. You can view the picture at my Instagram page.

It has been a while since I did a single product review post. Mostly because it is easier to compare multiple products to understand them better. I received a sample pack of this skin yoga  face pack with #Smytten box, and this one is worked well for my combination skin.

About The Brand

SkinYoga is a 100% natural skincare brand owned by three sisters. They travel far and wide to get the best natural ingredients to formulate each product. All products have simple but effective ingredients and are not packed with goodness from ingredients we are all familiar with. The find the simplicity of formulations refreshing.

mix

Packing : The product comes in this cute little vintage looking wooden box with a yarn thread to keep the lid closed.The mask comes in a small glass bottle with a cork stopper. Also there is a jute nest inside the box, that acts as a protective package.

Price : Rs.1,750.00 fro 50gm. Yes I know, very very expensive.

Ingredients : Rice flour, Oat flour, and organic green tea

Texture : The mask is in a light green powder form. When mixed with warm water (as recommended), it becomes a smooth paste. Also just a quarter of teaspoon of powder, kind of increases in volume when wet and sufficient for face.

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About the product :

 Inspired from the ancient Japanese skincare regime, this green tea based, antioxidant rich face mask slows aging and wrinkles. This is a 100 percent natural acne control formula that removes toxins from your skin and gives you a more youthful appearance.  Organic Green Tea works as a very effective sun guard and acne control agent. Rice flour acts as a natural whitening agent and adds glow to the skin.
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My experience using the face mask:

I was familiar with the brand, as I make sure I keep updated on, all natural skin care brands. But I never felt like investing so much on a face pack that can be easily made at home with same ingredients. Anyway since I got this sample free with the subscribed box, I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised.

I was getting a lot of breakouts recently and my skin felt quite irritated, even though I don’t slather any chemical laden products on my skin. I mixed a small quantity of the powder with warm water and applied it to wet face. I kept it for 10 minutes and washed it off before it was completely dry. This is very important when ever you use face masks that tends to dry out skin.

My skin felt very refreshed and soft. The minor acne seems to have settled a bit and clearly my skin felt a bit brighter. Since this is a sample, I use it only when I see any new breakouts as I don’t want to finish it up fast.

Pros:

  • Controls oiliness of oily/combination skin
  • Makes skin soft and smooth
  • Fragrance is mild and completely natural
  • Settles mild acne and redness without drying out skin
  • Simple but effective ingredients
  • Mild brightening effect
  • Very pretty and eco-friendly packaging

Cons :

  • Extremely pricey for the quantity and ingredients
  • Not sure of its performance on highly acne prone skin
  • The brightening effect doesn’t last much long
  • Not travel friendly as full sized product comes in a bulky glass jar
  • Might not suit people with dry skin

I don’t think I will purchase this, as it is too expensive for a skin care product. Also you can easily make this product at home at very low cost.

All about hair cleansers

Hi you all 🙂

Hair care products play a very important role in the quality and health of hair, along with other controllable factors like protein rich food, keeping hydrated and having stress free life. I had thick long straight silky hair as a kid but once I moved to a different city to do my college, my bad hair days started. Because of the change in water (chlorine rich water), my hair started falling off a lot and became thin and dandruff prone in no time. I used to use commercial shampoos then and it made my hair dry and thin day by day.

Once I converted to natural skincare 🙂 , I concentrated more on getting back my hair quality. Even though my hair is now back to it’s former silky texture and has grown thicker, the hair fall still has not reduced much owing to the hard water from pipes. When I am back in my home town, my skin and hair problems vanishes as the quality of water is much better their.

Many of you have written to me asking about hair care products and shampoos for different hair types. I thought rather than reviewing each hair cleanser separately, I will combine it all in one, so that you can choose what suits best for you.

Before going to the reviews, let me tell you how I wash my hair. Hehee yeah with water, but I always wash my hair post oiling. So I oil my hair atleast 30min prior wash, then gather the hair forward and wet it well. Take a coin size amount of shampoo and mix it with water well. If I use shampoo bar, I lather it well with water. Apply the lather on scalp and massage gently towards hair tips. Rinse hair and repeat the shampooing incase you have oily hair like mine. Apply the conditioner only to hair and not on scalp and leave it for few minute before washing the hair thoroughly.

The products I am writing about here are:

1.Hair cleanser from Gia bath and body works

2.Lavender,chamomile shampoo bar from Juicy Chemistry

3. 8 in 1 root nourishing amla-neem shampoo from Just Herbs

4. Onion cream shampoo from Aroma essentials

5. Beer coconut milk shampoo bar from Soaps by Sangi

6. Dhathri herbal shampoo

Some of this has already been reviewed in detail before, so I will add the links to those.

  1. The Argan oil and silk protein enriched hair cleanser from Gia is my favorite of the lot. The reasons being:

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Price : Rs 290 for 200ml

  • It has same consistency as that of commercial shampoos but with none of its cons.
  • Thick consistency and creamy and silky texture.
  • A little quantity goes a long way and the bottle lasted me many many months.
  • Most economical comparing quality, quantity and cost out of the lot.
  • Lathers well
  • Makes my hair soft, silky, oil free and clean in a single wash.
  • Convenient sleek packaging that is travel friendly.

Cons :

  • Only that this came with a screw on cap and I need to shake it to get the product out.
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

Read detailed review here : My favorite hair cleanser from Gia

Buy it here.

2. The lavender and chamomile shampoo bar is a product I tried recently and it really impressed me. Reasons are:

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Price : I got it as a gift for a contest. But actual price is around 800Rs if I am not wrong.

  • Very impressive ingredients list
  • Heavenly fragrance
  • Removes oil and cleanses well in 2 washes
  • It doesn’t dry out the hair and makes hair soft and manageable.
  • No preservatives or chemicals.
  • Awesome packaging. The product came in this handmade pack that is so pretty and re-usable.
  • img_20160706_185606-01

Cons:

  • Very expensive.
  • Since it is a soap I don’t find it travel friendly unless packed well and kept dry.
  • Gets used up faster than liquid shampoo.
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

The product seems to be out of stock now. The brand has launched some new shampoo bars instead. You can write to them to know about availability.

Buy it here

3. 8 in 1 root nourishing shampoo from Just Herbs

I used it for a while and then stopped as I was not as impressed by this product as the other hair cleansers I was using.

Price: Rs 525 for 200ml

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Pros:

  • Like all Just Herbs products, this one has a pleasant and nice fragrance
  • It is quite mild and lathers decently on wet hair
  • Doesn’t dry the hair
  • Impressive ingredients. Contains certified organic Gooseberry (Amla), Neem, Hibiscus and Henna
  • Can be bought from their website and shipping is free

Cons :

  • The consistency is very thin and I need to use a lot of product to wash away all the oiliness (my hair is short and straight). So the product, even though 200ml, gets used up very fast.
  • Expensive
  • The bottle did not come with a dispenser, even though they show one in site. So I have to just pour it on hand directly which is not convenient.

Buy it here

My only issue with this one is the texture. It is not exactly in cream form and the onion smell can be strong for sensitive nose. Also I need to wash hair multiple times with this one to completely remove oiliness.

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Buy it here

5. Beer coconut milk shampoo bar from Soaps by Sangi  : This was my first shampoo bar buy and I got it about one and half years back. This was just a solid bar of soap with no frills. Not pretty looking and no added fragrance, but it was a good buy.

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PC : Soaps by Sangi

Price : Rs 220-240 for 80-90gm bar

  • The product has excellent hair nourishing ingredients like beer and coconut milk and it cleansed the scalp extremely well leaving it soft and nourished.
  • Did not dry out my hair.
  • No strong fragrance
  • Mild on hair and can be used for all hair types

Cons :

  • Not travel friendly as it might melt.
  • My hair remained a bit oily even after 2 washes
  • Availability needs to be checked with the owner on their fb page

I bought almost 2000Rs worth items from them but this, a clay based soap and a detergent bar were the only ones that I liked. The body butters, gels and lotion bars didnot suit my skin at all and I did not like their consistency.

Buy here

6. Dhathri Herbal Shampoo : The most widely available herbal shampoo that you can find in any super market. This was my go to shampoo during my childhood and throughout college years. I have done a detailed review of this here, Dhathri Herbal Shampoos.

Pros: Easy availability, pocket friendly, chemical free.

Cons : Strong fragrance, Lime variant can be drying.

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I hope this post was helpful. Do let me know your feedback and also let me know names of any other hair cleanser that is worth mentioning.

 

 

 

Juicy Chemistry citrus and sage foot scrub

I won a couple of products from JC for a photo contest. I chose the products and this one was one of them. I have never used a scrub dedicated to feet as such. I usually use a pumice stone or a body scrub to exfoliate my feet.

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Exfoliation is an important step in skin care and very important for feet. Eventhough our feet does so much everyday, most of us doesn’t give the care it needs. Simply slathering foot creams won’t help, unless the dead skin is scrubbed away first. Regular exfoliation also helps in controlling skin tan and prevents cracks.

Now let’s see if this product met my expectations.

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Price : Rs 200 for 35 gm

Ingredients : Himalayan Rock Salt, Epsom Salt, Organic Demerara Sugar, Organic White Sugar, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin-E), Olea europea (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Cocos nucifera (Virgin Coconut Oil), Mentha spicata (Spearmint Essential Oil), Citrus bergamia (Bergamot Essential Oil), Citrus paradisi (Grapefruit Essential Oil), Citrus limon (Lemon Essential Oil), Citrus sinensis (Orange Essential Oil), Salvia officinalia (Sage)

My take on the product:

Oh my God, the burst of citrusy, lemony fragrance of this one!!! Trust me, not the artificial floor cleaner fragrance but the natural lime leaf fragrance. Earlier JC had floored me with the fragrance of choco-vanilla and rose-coconut body butters. After that i was disappointed with the fragrances of rose lip balm, rose sandal face pack and soaps from them. This one just got me wishing they incorporate this fragrance in other products as well.

The first time I used this product, I felt that the particles are not scrubby enough for the hard skin of feet. Especially because, the sugar and salt particles used up fast on massaging, unlike other natural exfoliants like shell powders. I did not mix this with water as the particles might get dissolved fast. just wet your feet and massage it with a wee spoon full of the scrub.

So for the next use, I soaked my feet in warm water with the Gia peppermint bath salts for a while. Then I took my pumice stone, spread this scrub on it and scrubbed of the dead skin from the feet effectively with the combined action of both.

This scrub is really refreshing and loaded with awesome ingredients. It can alone bufff away dry skin, in case the callus is not very hard.

If not you will need to file away all the dead skin with a pumice stone or metallic scrubber before buffing the extras with this powder.

NOTE TO JC : Please make more and more products with such awesome fragrances.

 

 

How I got rid of forehead acne in 3 days

My skin hasn’t been behaving well this monsoon.Big painful acne pops up one after the other on forehead and cheeks mostly and I who always had clear, spot free skin, was really concerned about the sudden outbreak.

Similar issue happened last year, when I was in US. I had dressed up for Halloween and had used face paints from my nieces. I had a very bad allergic reaction later and rashes and acne started spreading on my face. I had to really take good care of my skin for few months before I could get rid of them.

Anyway this time, I was well equipped to fight acne as I had researched a bit about the reasons for acne and ways to control it.

DO NOT SQUEEZE THE PIMPLE. Popping a pimple can cause scarring and make your acne spread further.

  1. Understand the reason for acne

Now you would have always had acne growing up or you might have had a sudden acne outbreak on skin. The first one might be hereditary, hormonal or may be because of your lifestyle or environmental problems. If it is the latter, you need to figure out what changed in your lifestyle or eating habits in the immediate past. Probably you started using new skin care products or eating lots of oily food, exposed to sun for most part of day, excessive sweating or eating lot of chocolates. May be it is time to change the pillow covers, face towels, you tried a new makeup product or you are exposed to pollution more. The reasons could be many, but try to understand what might have been the cause.

For me I realized that my hair is getting too oily recently and the fringes are falling a lot to forehead. Also I started having dandruff as well. No wonder acne was just on the forehead.

2. How I fought the acne

When the first pimple was up, I did not think much about it and left it to heal by itself. But as soon as the first one disappeared (leaving a mark behind), the second one popped up. That is when I took it seriously and started with the new skin care regime.

  1. I started combing my hair back without letting it fall to my forehead.
  2. Every other day, when I felt my hair was getting oily, I washed it well with my favourite Gia shampoo  (Review)that took away all the oiliness from my hair without leaving it dry and frizzy.IMG_20160503_204359
  3. I made sure I washed my face well thrice a day, in the morning, evening (after office) and before bed, using tea cleanser from Cape of good soap (read review here). I gave special attention to my T-zone, keeping the product there for a while, before washing it off. This particular soap, is great for combination to oily skin, as it keeps oil at bay for a long time. Also I was careful not to touch my face, without washing the hands thoroughly with soap. (Remember bacteria is one of the leading causes of acne, along with excessive oil and dead skin cells.)1468589403856
  4. I used clay based face masks every day for 3 days after office, applying a thick coat on the problem areas. I did not use a face scrub on these days, as this can irritate the skin and cause further break outs. The masks I used were the Gia french green clay mask (read review here) and Juicy chemistry black head buster mask.

Clay based masks helps in absorbing the oiliness and detoxifies the skin by pulling out dirt and clearing the pores. These two masks are excellent and did a great job in clearing my skin off all impurities.

acnemask

5. I used Kama vetiver toner  (Kama Ayurveda haul post) pray after the mask, which helped tighten the skin and provide just enough splash of moisture. I did not apply moisturizer to my acne areas and left them alone for most part of the day.

6. At night after cleansing the skin well, I took Listerine (yes the mouth wash) in a cotton swab and rubbed the acne area with it. I had read some where that mouth wash has ingredients that can kill acne causing bacteria and can dry up the pimple.

listerine

A word of caution, this can also make the area irritated, dry or scaly for some people who are has sensitive skin. So do a patch test and try this only if you are sure, your skin won’t respond badly to this.

Anyway this worked well for me and it really shrinked the pimples overnight. Please do patch tests before trying something new as all skin types won’t respond in a similar way.

7. If you do not want to try the Listerine step you can use dilute apple cider vinegar after patch test. Also, try getting facial steam with few drops of tea tree essential oil or basil essential oil in water.

Three days of these steps, and the acne was gone. But yeah it left a spot that is getting lighter with my daily skincare routine. (read about daily skin care regime here)

Let me know if this helped and your effective skincare methods to fight acne.

 

 

Aroma essentials multiple product review- part 1

Almost everyone who is crazy about chemical free skin care products will have heard about Aroma essentials. I have previously reviewed their onion cream shampoo. Check out that review, to know more about the brand.

This post is a review of the other products I got from them. Some are my favorites and some did not work out for me. This post has those that i really liked. So let us start with the best of the lot.

My haul mostly had hair care products

haul

Orange Vanilla Lip Balm:

Of all the Indian lip balms I have tried so far (trust me there is a long list), this is the only one that does so much with so little ingredients. You all know I love Burt’s bes peppermint lip balm and that works the best for my dry, chapped lips. Also I have not tried any Indian peppermint lip balms. But even without peppermint, this one with its very small list of ingredients, gives a burst of hydration to the lips. BEST INDIAN LIP BALM I HAVE TRIED SO FAR.

lipbalm

Price : 175Rs

Ingredients : mango butter, vanilla and orange oils,  vit e. No cocoa or shea butter like normal lip balms. Still the best.

Packing : Comes in a transparent tube unlike other natural lip balms. They have tub versions as well but most handmade lip balms comes in tub which is very unhygienic. I love the fact that even though this one is really soft and smooth, it holds its shape in the tube.

Yay points: Gives instant hydration to lips. Soft and smooth. Not oily or heavy on lips. I am sure it will suit almost all lip conditions. Comes with the added benefits of spf.

Nay point : For extremely dry, cracked lips like mine, this wouldn’t be sufficient. This doesn’t sink in fast and therefore doesn’t have that matte feeling, Burt’s bees gives.

But c’mon give it a break, this comes from a homemade, handmade, all natural brand for such a pocket friendly price, considering its efficacy. I can only say AWESOME. Also the brand offers lip balms in other flavours.

Madhurima (band owner), please make a mint based lip balm that would heal my chapped lips along with hydrating it.

Mint Mask :

mint

This came as complimentary gift from the brand.

Price : Rs 350

Ingredients :aloe gel, mint , vitamin b3

Packing: Product comes in a small white tub.

Texture : This is a gel with bright blue color. Something like basil seeds are scattered across the gel.

Yay points : Best cooling mask for summers. This is light and gets absorbed by the skin. Can be mixed with other powder masks, replacing rose water. Great for all ksin types as this doesn’t stretch the skin.

Nay points : Nothing much as there are no big claims by the product. This is not a necessary product in your kit but would really refresh your skin after a long day.

Eye corrector gel :

undereye

PC: Aroma essentials

Price : Rs 175 for about 15ml

Ingredients : curd water , saffron , German chamomile and English lavender

Texture : A yellow colored gel with saffron strands in it.

Yay points : The under eye cream or rather oil from Juicy chemistry I used before used to sting my eyes if it goes in while massaging the eye area. Also I was not a  big fan of oily texture. This one comes in gel form and I refrigerate it. Hence it is very cooling and relaxes the eye area instantly. It sinks in fast and takes away all oiliness from the applied area. Also you get a warm feeling when the gel is absorbed. This will be a good base for eye shadows or kajal, if you have oily lids.

Nay Points : Did not help with the under eye darkness. I don’t have any distinct darkness under the eyes, It’s more of few veins popping when I don’t sleep well or spend too much time infront of computer.

Can make the skin feel a bit tacky.

Chocolate Massage candle:

choco

PC : Aroma essentials

Price : Rs 450

Ingredients : cocoa butter , bees wax , sheabutter

Packing : Comes in a plastic cup. I am not a fan of the packing side of the brand, as I feel for the price, they can do a better job.

How to apply: I wanted to try this as I was intrigued by the idea of a candle as moisturizer. The candle wax is not hard as it is all natural. I got the chocolate variant and it smells like cocoa. I light the candle and let it melt the wax for a few minutes. I then put out the wick and apply the molten wax on dry areas like knees and elbows.

Yay points : Smells really good and it moisturizes the dry areas for a while.

Nay points : I feel this is quite expensive for the quantity and efficacy. I need to reapply this after few hours as this doesn’t moisturize my skin for long. Considering that, I would rather go for a body butter to minimize the efforts.

Buy the products from here

Let me know your yay and nay products from the brand.

 

 

 

 

 

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.