Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why are clay masks so important in skin care?

A few days back I had hosted a poll about what do you do when you get Breakouts. The choices were: Sit at home, hide with Make up, rely on home remedies or make a change in diet. Not many people voted. But, among those who did, most of them chose home remedies and the other popular option was hiding with make up. So, today, I would be talking about one home remedy which can be used to overcome the breakouts phase and that is using Clay Masks. They are also very useful for reducing the pimples.

Clay is a naturally occurring material which is formed over long periods of time by gradual weathering of the  rocks and they are rich in minerals especially silica. They have the property of hardening as they dry. They absorb all the toxins from the skin as they dry up. And, clean up the pores. They are more suited for oily skins. But, when we have breakouts, the basic reason is change in the skin texture. The skin is not able to eliminate the toxins from the body by its usual process of using the pores. Thus, the breakouts are a way of eliminating the toxins. So, using clay masks absorbs all these toxins and clean up our skin internally. And, the breakout phase gets over. But, for the people with dry skin, they should always moisturize properly after using a clay mask as the natural oils are also absorbed by the mask.
So, next time your skin breaks out, you know what to reach for.

A note: I am hosting polls to interact more with you all. So, it is my genuine request that please vote. It would give me an idea what should I write about next time. And, it would take just a second of your time. 

A luxurious treat to your body

Today, I would be sharing with you a body scrub which I tried out today. I am exploring cocoa in skin care these days. You might have already read about the Chocolate Mask. Now, comes the turn of a luxurious creamy body scrub which will leave you feeling intoxicated with cocoa aroma and your skin extremely smooth and silky.

Cocoa Powder
Milk Cream
Method: I mixed them both to form a consistent paste.
Application: Before going in the shower, I applied the paste on my face and neck as a mask and left for 30 minutes. Then, after going into the shower, I applied it as a scrub to my whole body. After that, I dipped a wash cloth into milk and used to it to finish my scrubbing. And, poured the remaining milk into the bath water.
My skin feels great. Its extremely smooth, silky and creamy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chocolate Mask for you skin care

Today, I would be sharing with you a recipe of chocolate face mask. Chocolate has been attributed to have been rich in anti-oxidants. The advantage of these anti-oxidants can be received by feasting on a dark chocolate from time to time. But, a regular feasting on the chocolate can be more harmful for your health and skin altogether. Do not distress. There is another way to get these anti-oxidants to your skin. A nourishing chocolate face mask.

Cocoa Powder
Method: Mix both chocolate powder and honey and make a smooth consistent paste. 
Apply it on your face in a thick creamy layer. Let it stay for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Removing it by scrubbing it off. And, wash your face. Your face would be soft, smooth and firm. The chocolate mask is a great anti-aging mask too. Apply it once and see the firmness in your skin. And, the mask is yummy too.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pep up your locks for that special event {DIY}

Today, I am going to share a tip with you to make your locks look great for that extra special event you are going to attend the next day.
Mix a shine serum with your deep conditioner in equal quantity and apply it on your hair the night before. Cover your head with a shower cap. And, put a hot towel on your head. This will ensure deeper conditioning treatment. Let it stay for 30 minutes. Wash off thoroughly with cold water to seal the cuticles. Voila, your hair will be shiny and healthy.

A tip: You can leave the conditioner on your head whole night. And, wash off the next day.

Home made Scrub to get rid of facial hair {DIY}

Today, I will be sharing with you an age old scrub used by Indians. It is pretty popular during the wedding season and suits every skin type. It actually balances the oil production in the skin.

Ingredients: (actually everything good for skin)
1. Chick Pea Flour (besan)
2. Green Gram Flour
3. Turmeric
4. Sandalwood Powder
5. Ground Orange Peels (dried)
6. Ground Lemon Peels (dried)
7. Ground Rose Petals (dried)

You can add other flowers too according to your choice like Jasmine, Marigold,, Lavender, Rosemary. Mix all the ingredients and store in an air-tight jar.
Scoop out a generous amount as you would be using it for whole of the body. Mix it with Yogurt, Honey, Glycerin, Rose water, Milk, floral water or any other ingredient of your choice. Apply it all over your body and leave for 5 minutes. Scrub it and wash off. Your skin would be soft, supple and clean. It also fades away any blemishes or dark spots on your skin. It can be used daily instead of a soap as it is completely natural.

You can also use it as a face scrub. If you are mixing the scrub with yogurt, wait till it dries off on your face. This could take a pretty long time. But, its worth the wait. And, scrub it in upward direction towards your forehead to help remove the facial hairs. If used consistently over a period, the scrub is useful to get rid of all the facial hair.

Using Turmeric for skin care {Ingredient}

Kasturi Turmeric is the kind used for body application. It is a special kind which is not used in cooking. It is longer, about a finger length, and considerably thinner than the normal turmeric sticks which are short and stout. It does not leave any color on the face or clothes so safe to use.

Home Remedies:
  • A pinch of Kasturi Turmeric mixed with milk can be used as a cleanser. Milk has lactic acid which does the cleansing job and turmeric acts as an antiseptic. It also gives an instant glow to the complexion.
  • To get rid of facial hair, you can apply powdered Kasturi Turmeric every day on your face for about 10-15 minutes. The results would be visible in a month. Preferably, mix the turmeric with chickpea flour or any other scrub which you find is good for your skin. This way you can be sure it would not leave any color on your face.
  • Kasturi Turmeric can also be used as an ingredient in various face packs and face masks preperation. A pinch would do the job.
  • Kasturi Turmeric can be included in body scrubs. If used regularly, it removes body hair over a period of time. Gives great results when you use it on babies.

Baby Skin Care Routine {Skin Care}

Today, I would be telling you about the baby skin care routine followed by many South Indians. Babies have very soft and delicate skin. So, you have to be extra cautious while taking care of their skin. And, they have under developed muscles and bones too.  Therefore, a general routine of their skin and health care is followed:
  • To give strength to their bones and muscles, the new-born are massaged with hot oil (preferably coconut oil) to give strength to their muscles. 
  • The babies should never be given long and hot baths. Always make sure that the water is lukewarm. And, do not give them a tub bath. The tub bath is very drying for their skin. 
  • Babies have very less hair on their bodies. And, even if they have hairs, do not worry much about them. The roots of the hairs are very weak and they go on getting strong as the baby grows. Therefore, use the chickpea (besan) flour or green gram dal (sunnipindi) flour to get rid of the unwanted hair on their body. Mix the flour with water or milk or apply it directly on the skin (baby) oiling the baby. And, scrub very gently. Do it daily to see results. Do not miss out underarms and the pubic area too. You can mix the flour with turmeric and sandalwood powder.
  • Mix turmeric and milk and apply on the baby from top to bottom after the oiling session. Let it dry. Then, remove with a soft wash cloth dipped in milk. And, give a bath to the baby. You do not have to use any soap or cleanser after this procedure as milk cleanses the skin. Your baby would grow to have very little or no hair.
  • Instead of applying any chemical, apply pure aloevera gel on the complete body, scalp included. Or, you can even apply oil on their bodies. Try to keep babies away from the beauty products as much as possible. I would not even advice you to use the baby products. Natural is always the best.
A word of Caution: The skin of a newborn is extremely delicate. So, please be extra gentle while scrubbing with the flour. Otherwise, you can go for the next alternative. You can use the milk and turmeric alternative till the baby is 1 or 2 years old and then, switch to the scrubbing as their skin is better suited for scrubbing now. Many people use the chickpea (or Green gram dal) flour instead of a soap even after growing up. It keeps your skin smooth and glowing skin and complexion.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lemon juice: drink a glass daily {Ingredient}

Today, I would be talking about the benefits of lemon juice for our body. We are all advised to drink a glass of water with lemon juice and honey mixed in it in the morning to lose weight. Right? Does it really work? Well, it did never work for me. But, I have found other benefits of doing the same. Or, probably a little different. Because, I am pretty lazy so I squeeze a half lemon into a glass of warm water and drink it. I do not bother to mix honey in it as I do not like to take much of sugar and am too lazy. And, guess what. It has done wonders for my skin and body.

Drinking lemon water in the morning has cleansed my body inside out. Lemon helps in the detoxification process of the body. And, it has helped to bring a glow in my complexion internally. Lemon has Vitamin C which is also responsible for building up collagen in our skin. Collagen is necessary to keep the skin firm and young. So, lemon is necessary to stay young. Forget Botox and surgeries. Stick to lemon and you will never really need any of them. Moreover, it is necessary to keep our digestive system in the right order and our metabolism high.

There are many other benefits of lemon juice apart from the above-stated.
  • Applying lemon juice to the skin helps in lightening the blemishes and any scars or dark spots. But, do not apply lemon juice alone. Mix it with honey or any face mask and then apply.
  • Lemon is good for bleaching the facial hair. Mix honey and lemon juice and apply it over the face and you would find in a month, the facial hair is no more. It actually does not go away but simply gets bleached and is not any more visible to the naked eye unless looked from very close.
  • Lemon juice when applied to hair helps in curing dandruff.
  • Lemon juice can be used as a last rinse to bring shine in the hair.
  • If you want to lighten your hair color, apply lemon juice on your hair and go and sit in sun. The heat will help lemon bleach your hair. If you do it pretty frequently, you might even end up with blond hair color.
  • Mix it in face masks. It helps bring a glow on your face by cleaning your skin right down to the pores.
  • Lemon peels can be infused in hair oil to get its benefit stated above in point no. 3 and 4.
  • You can grind the dried lemon peels and use it as a body scrub. They leave a refreshing scent on your body.
  • Pour lemon juice into the bath water to experience a refreshing bath.
Caution: Use lemon juice externally on the body only at night. It makes your skin photosensitive (sensitive to light). Exposure to sun would be extremely harmful so use sunscreen diligently after using lemon on your skin. 

And, if you know any more uses of lemon juice, please feel free to share them. I shall be glad to know more about it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Use milk to keep your skin moisturized all day long {DIY}

I will be posting today a tip to keep your skin moisturized all day long. How? MILK. I have already talked about how milk can be used to maintain a shiny hair. Now, lets see how it takes care of our skin.

Take some raw unboiled milk along with its cream. Dip a wash cloth in it and saturate well. Apply the milk on your face using the wash cloth. Let it stay for 5-15 minutes till it dries. Then, again dip the wash cloth in milk and saturate it. Start scrubbing your face gently with the wash cloth. Scrub for 3-5 minutes. Then, wash off. Your skin will be smooth and supple. It will look fresh and glowing. This routine will improve your skin's elasticity, its complexion, its water retaining capacity and will keep it looking fresh all day long.

You can use this routine for your complete body once in a while. It is a great treat for your body. Instead of putting milk in your bath water or tub, use a wash cloth and saturate it well before applying it on your body. Use a full cream milk or if you can, goat's milk. That's the best for skin care. Do not worry even if you have oily skin. It balances the oil secretion in your skin and your skin would not suffer breakouts. Instead, your skin might turn to a normal type. And, if you are consistent with this routine, you can notice results in as less as 3 days. Your skin would be considerably lighter and glowing. 

Caution: Do not follow this if you are allergic to any dairy products or are lactose-intolerant or even if suffering from acne.

Natural Shampoo-cum-Conditioner to increase hair growth {DIY}

Some days back, I had posted about the need of co-washes. Today, I am posting a recipe for a natural conditioner which can be used during a co-wash. Actually, it can also be used as a shampoo. We all know how good is hibiscus for our hair. Yes, you guessed it right. The natural shampoo-cum-conditioner is made from hibiscus flowers and leaves.

Method: Soak some hibiscus flowers and leaves (around 5 flowers and 15-20 leaves) in 2 liters of water overnight. Make sure that the leaves are thick and use the fresh flowers. Next morning or evening, boil the water till it remains half in quantity. The liquid would be green in color and thick in texture. Strain it in a bottle and store it in the fridge. Use this liquid while co-washing your hair. You can also substitute your shampoos with this natural shampoo. It can also remove a little oil in your hair. But, mind you, it can not remove a oil from a well-oiled hair. Then, you have to switch back to your own brand of shampoo. So, I prefer this natural shampoo for a co-wash. Prepare small batches of the shampoo and use it within a week or two.

It makes hair smooth and soft. It hydrates the hair well. You do not need to follow up with a conditioner. You can instead use a few drops of oil at the ends. It also helps in hair growth and reduces the risk of hair loss. You can use this shampoo to dilute your own shampoo too. This way, the chemicals in the shampoo would be less harsh on your hair.And, moreover, it controls the oil in your hair. If your hair is oily, it tries to neutralize it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunscreen: Role in anti-aging Skin Care {Sunscreen}

Aging is the biggest worry of everyone. No one really wants to be old. Even, I dread my birthdays though I wait for them whole year. I remember how I felt when I turned 18 and then, at 20 and now, I will be hitting 24. The clocks and years seem to be running. But, yes, you can turn the years back. Follow the tips I am going to talk about today and see the results for yourself in a month. 

No one can ever stop talking about its benefits for your skin. Sun is the biggest enemy of our skin. The hypes UVA and UVB are for real and their effects can range from simple skin disorders to skin cancer. So, do not take sun for granted. Apply sunscreen religiously and reapply after every 2 hours. Try to stay away from sun between 10 and 4. The rays are the strongest and at their worst.

If you are outside, stand in shade, put on a hat, cover yourself completely. Do not worry if you look like thief or a militant. Its really important. In any case you are concerned about being a fashion disaster, you can buy wide-brimmed stylish hats or learn to tie scarves in an elegant manner. And, wear well-fitting full-sleeved T-shirts or tops. They look elegant.

If at home, do not close windows and doors to stop the sunlight. Allow your house to be filled with as much natural light as possible. It is good for your health and very hygienic. The sunlight cleans our surroundings. But, remember that UVA comes theough windows also. So, never forget to wear a sunscreen while at home too.
Use a high-factor sunscreen like 30SPF. It is ideal for Indian climate. High-sunscreen factor gives you a better protection for a longer time. But, no matter what, you have to apply it after every 2 hours.

Speaking of sunscreen, there is a very important thing which has never been emphasized. Many people are sensitive to light and they do not  even realize it. They get certain skin disorders which are never diagnosed correctly. Recently, I went down with a skin disorder and consulted a dermatologist. She said that I am sensitive to light and am supposed to protect my skin from the light emanating from the tube lights and floroscent bulbs too. They also emit radiations which are harmful for our body. So, either switch to filament bulbs or cover your skin well under the lights. Do not let the direct light strike your skin. You can sit behind a curtain or some covering. And, sleep with your lights switched off.

Type of Sunscreens
Sunscreens are either physical or chemical.
Chemical Sunscreens are ones which you are supposed to apply 30 minutes  prior to going under the sun. They create a film on the skin and prevent the absorption of sun's rays into the body. So, they have to be applied a little prior to sun exposure and they should be applied as close to the body as possible. It is often best that only sunscreen is applied on the face. They have many compounds like Avobenzone, Benzophenone, Oxybenzone and many more.  These compounds get absorbed into the skin easily and affect the body internally. Read this article to know more about it.
Physical Sunscreens provide physical protection to the body. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are the compounds found in physical sunscreens. They can be applied just as moisturizers and you can immediately go in the sun. They do not have the dangers involved in chemical sunscreens. But, beware of the nano particles of titanium dioxide used in the products. They enter the blood stream and create havoc in the body. It is extremely toxic.
But, unfortunately, there is no natural sunscreen which can provide resistance from both UVA and UVB as effectively as the commercial sunscreens. Thus, my advise would be that you can buy a sunscreen whose key ingredient is zinc oxide. It would be the safest bet.

Foods you can eat to improve your body resistance to sun's rays
And, eat lot of tomatoes and spinach. Both of them have capacity to increase the body resistance against sun's rays. Do not forget other green leafy vegetables which also provide resistance against the sun. Increase your resistance internally and externally to sun.

Friday, January 22, 2010

How to do Hot Oil Treatment for faster hair growth? {Hair Care}

Today, I would be talking about how to do Hot Oil Treatment. You can also read the hair oil recipe for growing hair faster.

Do not heat the oil. Instead take a steam after oiling your hair. Partition your hair into various sections. Pour some oil into your hand and apply it on the scalp first. Cover the entire scalp. Massage oil well into the scalp for 5 minutes at each part. Then, start applying oil to the body of your hair and concentrate on the ends. Be generous with the amount of oil on your head. Do not worry about greasing your hair. Do it at evening time when you do not have any appointments and it would be great if you have a friend who can give you a nice head massage.

After applying the oil to your hair completely, massage your scalp for 15-30 minutes. You would feel the heat generating. Immediately, either steam your hair by placing your head about 1 feet over the steam machine or cover your head with a shower cap and place a very hot towel on your head. Heat opens the pores and allows the oil to get absorbed more and quick. When the towel gets cold, replace it with other hot towel and alternate this routine for 1 hour. You can continue with the shower cap routine even after taking steam. Then, tie a scarf tightly over the shower cap and go to sleep. Leave the oil overnight to work better. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo in the morning. Apply conditioner only to the ends. You will have very soft and shiny hair. And, a weekly hot oil treatment with any oil would stimulate more hair growth.

Update: Hot Oil Treatment gives best results if done one night before washing your hair. But, applying oil immediately and going to bed will not help anything except spoiling your bed linens. So, apply oil two hours before going to bed. That gives oil enough time to get soaked into your hair.

One more important thing to remember is that do not over apply your hair oil. Take little by little and apply on your hair. Stop when all your scalp and hair length is covered. Do not keep on splurging the oil like some product. That will finish your shampoo quickly, dry your hair and might even cause hair loss. So, apply only to coat your hair. Be a little generous with the ends. Extra layers of coating will not ensure your hair turns healthy sooner or any kind of such belief.

How many times do you give your hair this luxurious treatment?  Pin It

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Co-wash your hair instead of using shampoo everyday {Hair Care}

Today, I will be telling you about co-washing your hair.

What is a co-wash?
It is washing your hair with your conditioner instead of using a shampoo. It conditions your hair well and keeps it soft, shiny and manageable.

Why to co-wash?
Many people are used to washing their hair everyday or pretty frequently, even if their hair is not dirty. Using shampoo so many times in a week causes so many chemicals to be used on the hair. It makes hair dull and rough. So, instead of washing your hair everyday with shampoo, you can alternate it by co-washing. It will reduce the use of chemicals for your hair. And, give the benefits of conditioner too.

Now, you would ask me that even a conditioner is made up of chemicals. So, how come hair is exposed to less chemicals while using a co-wash?
True, commercial conditioners are made up of all sorts of chemicals. But, a shampoo is made up of all the harsh chemicals like SLS which have to clean the hair and are detergents, basically, in their property. A conditioner has the chemicals which make hair smooth and shiny. So, the summary, is that the chemicals present in the conditioner are less harmful than those in the shampoo. And, in case, you use a natural conditioner, you do not have to worry a bit about using it.

How to co-wash your hair?
You can follow many methods to co-wash your hair. You can also use the conditioner to provide intensive conditioning.
1. Apply conditioner on your hair at night and put on a shower cap. Tie a scarf and sleep. Wash your hair nicely in the morning. Need not use a conditioner again. This provides deep conditioning to your hair. You can also put a hot towel around your head for better absorption.
2. Apply conditioner 20-30 minutes before you take shower. Wash your hair well.
3. In the shower, wet your hair well. Apply conditioner. Leave on for 5 minutes. And, then wash off well.
Either of the methods make your hair smooth and shiny.
Note: You do not have to follow up again with conditioner. Do not apply conditioner to your roots. It blocks the hair follicles. Apply it only on the hair body and ends. Concentrate more on ends. You can follow your co-wash with any type of a hair rinse for a better result.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hair Growth Tips {Hair Care}

Hair acts as a mirror of our health. It is one of the first things which shows the deficiencies in our body. The health of hair is directly proportional to the nutrition we are in-taking. So, to grow a healthy mane and to maintain it in the same desirable way, one should eat nutritious and healthy food. Apart from nutrition, one must follow certain tips for a healthy growth of locks.
  • Care for your hair well. Not one day's negligence is pardonable. Love your hair.
  • If you have curly or oily hair, do not use brush. Brush only if your reacts nicely to it. If you lose more hair by brushing, do not brush. 
  • Moisturize your hair regularly. Either use a leave-in or rub few drops of any vegetable oil (preferably olive oil or jojoba oil mixed with lavender or rosemary essential oil) and finger comb your hair. Pay special attention to the ends.
  • Do not use too many hair products. More chemicals will damage your hair. Switch to natural products. But, choose wisely. 
  • Keep your hair and scalp completely clean. 
  • Go for regular trimming or do trimming at home. Once a month is ideal or if your growing your mane, once in 2 months is fine and remember to snip off only the ends. No need to cut more than an eight of an inch if you do regular trimming.   
  • Take 8-9 hours of sleep regularly. Hair grows maximum when you are asleep. 
  • Once in a while, let your hair get completely dirty. Then, wash your hair well. You will feel good about your hair.
  • Oil your hair regularly.
  • Do not wash your hair more than 3 times a week. It leaves your hair dry. If you have oily hair, you can use cornmeal or baby powder as a dry shampoo. 
  • Do not tease your hair.
  • Do regular exercise to improve blood circulation in the complete body. This will ensure that your scalp is getting essential nutrients for hair growth.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eat good food which includes a lots of green vegetables and fruits. Do not forget almonds, walnuts and raisins. Also, eat flax seeds. They provide hair growth and keep your skin smooth.
Follow all the above-stated tips and start on your way to long hair. 

    Baking Soda for Voluminous Hair {DIY}

    You can get a thick head of hair and increase hair volume by a very simple tip. Use baking soda (Eating Soda) in your conditioner. Mix your conditioner with a table spoon of baking soda and apply to your hair. Wait for 5 minutes and wash off. Your hair will be thick in matter of minutes. Do not worry about the texture of hair. Your hair will be soft and shiny. Baking soda creates a coating over the hair making it thick. But, baking soda does not harm the hair.

    You can also use baking soda while shampooing your hair. Mix a table spoon of baking soda in your shampoo. It will clean your hair and scalp well. It removes all the product build ups. You can use it once a while. You can even devote one day to washing your hair only with baking soda. It makes your hair soft and shiny. And, cleans your hair so well that your hair squeaks when touched. You do not even need to follow up with a conditioner afterward. So, get beautiful, shiny and thick hair with baking soda.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Take care of your skin and hair by drinking water {Health}

    Hey All.....
    Today, I am gonna talk about how to get a beautiful skin and hair by drinking right amount of water. Drinking water is very important for our body. It, not only, effects our body functioning, but also, how we look. I know I sound like a tape recorder. But, you would be surprised to know that lot of people know this fact, but do not take the pains to follow it. Even, I get lazy many times to get up and refill the bottle.

    Have you ever noticed your skin is dull when you have not had water the whole day or even for some hours. Yes, not drinking water, even for some hours, affects our body functions adversely. Our body is made 70% of water and the cells need water for every reaction they want to carry on. Thus, water is an essential ingredient. Try to increase your intake by one glass every day. It would help you look good, your hair would be healthy and your eyes will be bright. The water will eliminate all the toxins from your body.

    You can determine whether you are drinking enough water by the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow, you really need to perk on your system with water. You are drinking enough water when it is colorless. Still, no harm in increasing the quantity. Much of the water is lost through evaporation from the pores. So, do not worry about your numerous trips to the loo. They would be pretty less in summer. But, in winter, you have to bear the brunt of going to the loo a lot of times, if you really want your skin to look good. Because, the air in winter is dry and it takes moisture from your skin. Hence, the skin dries up and becomes dull.

    Not only skin, but even, our hair is made up 5% of water and 95% protein. So, to keep hair in a beautiful condition, you need to drink lots and lots of water. It will keep your hair alive and bouncy. Not only that, water stimulates hair growth. If you are facing hair loss, try adjusting the levels of water in your body and you may experience a miracle.

    Want to lose weight? Drink water. Yes, its true. It dissolves much of the fat of the body and eliminates it in form of toxins. If you do not like the bland taste of water, you can go for coconut water or fill your bottle with green tea. They both are equally good for your skin, hair and weight.

    Lot of talk. Now, coming to the practical stuff, do not ever wait to feel thirsty. Drink water every half hour according to your limit.This will ensure your needs are satisfied. Now, I wanted to talk about situations when we really need to look good but can not drink water. It may be due to lack of water or lack of loos. Yes, people refrain from drinking water because there are no washrooms in the immediate vicinity. It happens to people who work all day on the fields. Not the farms or any crop field, but, I meant about those who do the ground work in their areas or during long travels in buses. For those days, you can carry a large spray bottle filled with floral water, lemon water or green tea and spray the water on your face in regular intervals. The floral water, lemon water or green tea rejuvenates your skin and will not spoil your make up too.
    You might be thinking that I did not advise you to use wipes. They are more portable. Yes, they are designed for travel. But, they are extremely drying for the skin. Alcohol is used as a preservative in them. And, they leave a film on the skin which is pretty sticky. And, beware it does not suit every one. So, use spraying water as an alternative.
    A tip: Mix moisturizer with 2-3 drops of filtered water and then, apply it on the face. Doing this would retain water content in the skin. And, keep it supple all day long.
    Feed lots and lots of water in every way you can to your body.

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    A recipe for faster hair growth and beautiful looking skin {DIY}

    Today, I will be talking about a drink or a hair conditioner which will encourage more hair growth and make your skin look beautiful all times. Yes, the recipe can be used as both a drink and a conditioner. And, it makes a fabulous conditioner. It makes your hair go glossy and so silky that you would want to touch it again and again.

    A blend of banana, yogurt and honey. Yes, I know it sounds yummy and it does taste yummy. And, works even more fabulously. Put it on your face, hair or mouth, you will get its effects any how. The blend is abundant with the nutrient 'Biotin' which is one of the most important vitamin needed to slow down hair loss and it might help in stimulating hair growth. All of the ingredients are individually good for skin and hair. It will make your skin glow with health all day long. You can apply it every day too. Drink it every day to improve your hair.You can add strawberries too. Its rich in anti-oxidants and Vitamin C. And, will help detox your body in a better way.

    So, hopefully, you are gonna go to your kitchen right now and blend this smoothie. Have a yummy drink. Note: Eating banana every day does not increase the weight. It only adds to our lack of exercise. So, do not forget to work out even if you are not on the biotin drink.

    A hair oil recipe for faster hair growth {DIY}

    Today, I am going to share with you all a unique hair oil which I use for my hair. This recipe has not been made in one go but has evolved over a considerable period of time. I hope it will be as beneficial for all of you as it has been to me.

    Oils: Coconut oil, Mustard oil, Castor oil, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Vitamin E oil, Almond oil, Evening Primrose oil
    Essential oils: Lavender, Rose, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Jasmine
    Flowers: Rose, Lavender, Marigold, Chamomile, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Rosemary
    Leaves: Sage, Neem, Curry, Hibiscus, Henna, Jasmine, Fenugreek
    Other herbs: Dried Indian Gooseberry (amla), fenugreek seeds, dried lemon peels, dried orange peels
    If you have Brahmi and Bhringraj leaves or oil, please add them to the recipe. They are really good for hair growth and its maintainence. Feel free to add any other ingredient which you think is good for hair. Do post the ingredients which you think should be added.

    • Dry 10 Indian Gooseberry under direct sunlight. Cut them into 4 pieces. Dry 5 lemon and orange peels under direct sunlight. Put these things into a huge glass jar. Pour 3 table spoons of fenugreek seeds. Then, fill the jar with leaves of 5 stems and 10 flowers of each type. Do not use any active herb which can turn bad while kept in the oil and turn the oil rancid. Feel free to change the quantities of herbs to be used according to the amount of oil you are making. The quantity stated above is for one litre oil.
    • Now, pour equal amounts of all the available oils in the jar except vitamin E oil. You may use a small bottle to pour the oils in the jar to maintain equal quantities of oils. Make sure all the oils are fresh.
    • Since Castor Oil is thick in consistency as compared to other oils, you can pour only 1/2 quantity of Castor oil as compared to other oils.
    • Close the jar tightly. Make sure it is an air-tight jar. Keeping oil too near to heat or open in the air causes the oil to oxidize, diminishes the nutritional quality and turns it rancid. Thus, you should never boil the oil. Always prefer to buy cold pressed oils.
    • Leave the jar in direct sunlight for a week or 10 days. Shake the jar daily to avoid settling the herbs at the bottom. After the stipulated period, strain the oil. Add 50 drops of each essential oil and Vitamin E oil. Your hair oil is ready. 
    • Make small batches of the oil so that you always get the benefits of the fresh oils. Every oil has a lifetime so be sure that you use the oils well before their expiry date or within six months, whichever is earlier.
    • You may avoid using the ingredients which you are not comfortable with. Many people do not get used to henna as it dries their hair. Similarly, lemon adds shine to hair and removes dandruff but can be drying for dry hair. Choose the ingredients wisely. Same is the case with oils. If your hair does not accept a particular oil, do not use the oil. 
    • You may infuse all the above-stated herbs in your favorite hair oil too. Combining all the oils is only done to get the benefits of various oils.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    How to make natural home-made deodorants? {DIY}

    One of the most effective deodorants are made from Baking Soda. You can dab baking soda on your underarms and leave for sometime. Then, remove the excess with a tissue paper. Wear on your clothes. You would be odor free through out the day. You can mix the baking powder with some essential oils of your choice. Do the mixing in small batches and finish the batch before making other.

    Another natural deodorant is Potash Alum (called 'phitkari' in Hindi). It is crystalline in nature and is, generally, colorless. It can be rubbed on the armpits and left. It reduces the body odor. Ammonium Alum can also be used as a natural deodorant.

    Pre-poos for hair care and hair growth {DIY}

    Enough of talk about what affects how? We are all here and you are all reading this because you want to go natural and are interested in various home remedies to take care of your skin and body. Today, I am going to talk about hair care treatments (pre-poos).

    What is a pre-poo?
    An intensive conditioning treatment given to your hair before washing it. It consists of all the natural ingredients available in your kitchen.

    First Recipe: 1 whole egg, 1 extremely ripe avocado, 1 table spoon of mayonnaise.
    Second Recipe: 1 extremely ripe banana, 1 cup honey, 1 cup yogurt.
    Third Recipe: 1 whole egg, 1 cup olive oil
    Fourth Recipe: 1 cup honey, 1 cup olive oil
    Fifth Recipe: 1 cup yogurt

    Method: Blend all the ingredients to make a smooth mixture. Wet your hair slightly by spraying water. Partition your hair into sections and start applying the mixture from the roots. Massage it nicely into the roots before proceeding towards the hair body. Do not massage more than 2 minutes. When finished with the roots, start applying on the hair body and then, concentrate on the ends. Cover all your hair with a shower cap and put a hot towel on your head. Remove the towel when it gets cold and replace it with another. Repeat this step for at least 1 hour. After one and half hour, wash your hair with a mild shampoo and apply a little conditioner on the ends. Let your hair air dry.

    Your hair would be smooth and glossy. The pre-poos should be done once in a week for normal or dry hair and once in a month for oily hair. They also help with the hair growth and take care of split ends.

    Should we use Deodorants? {Beauty Products}

    Today, I am going to tell you about why deodorants and antiperspirants are harmful for the body. Deodorants are a chemical formulation, which when applied to the body, reduces the body odor by killing the bacteria responsible for causing odor. Antiperspirants are applied to the underarms, where as, deodorants can be applied to the whole body.

    Why do we need Deodorants?
    I do not want to give a science lecture, but, it is vital to understand how a body odor is caused.
    Skin produces sweat which is, basically, odorless unless inhibited by bacteria. Bacteria is produced in hot and humid places and underarms is one of the warm parts of human body. Sweat glands produce moisture to lower the temperature of the body. But, when the armpits are washed by highly alkaline soaps, the pH of the skin increases and becomes alkaline, which is the right environment for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria feeds on the sweat, and dead hair and skin cells, and produces a chemical waste which is the main cause of body odor.

    What are Deodorants made of?
    Now, that, we have understood why we need deodorants, it is important to be aware of the ingredients or chemical composition of the Deodorants.
    Deodorants are chiefly made up of alcohol as it kills bacteria. It is combined with other compounds like Tricolsan or metal compounds to slow down bacterial growth. It contains perfurm or fragrances which mask the body odor. It is also combined with antiperspirant compounds which reduce the perspiration like Aluminum Chloride or other Aluminum compounds. Parabens are used as preservatives.

    Effects of the ingredients on the body
    We have already discussed the harmful effects of Alcohol, Tricolsan, Toluene, Propylene Glycol and Parabens. Please read them here. They are all common ingredients used in an antiperspirant or deodorants. Here, I am mentioning about other ingredients not mentioned before.
    Aluminum is highly toxic for the body in large doses, specially for the nervous system. There is supposed to be a link between Alzheimer's disease and toxicity of Aluminum. The ingredients of antiperspirants get absorbed into the blood stream and may get deposited in some part of your body, specially, the brain and breast tissue and may affect the respiratory system.
    Talc is considered to be cancer causing agent.
    Silica irritates the skin and may contain crystalline quartz which causes cancer.
    Steareth-n (n may be any number like say 100) is reacted with cancer causing agents.  
    Word of Caution: Many people may be allergic to aluminum and its compounds. Herbs listed on the list does not mean that they are natural. They may contain Parabens.

    What to do now?
    You can formulate your own natural home-made deodorants.

    Make it a habit to read the skin care and hair care product ingredients to choose your products {Beauty Products}

    Everyone loves to try all the new products in the block, especially, if it has been promoted with great packaging and awesome advertisements. But, many of these products are not suitable for our skin and many of the ingredients used in products are responsible for damage to our skin. So, it is always a good habit to read the product labels on the back to make sure what are the ingredients used and whether the product is good enough to be shelled money for.

    Quantity of ingredients in the product: The quantity of the labels used in the product decreases in order of its listing. The list is divided on the quantity used. The first 33% of the ingredients make up the maximum of the product, the next 33% are significant in quantity and the last 33% are minimal in quantity. Thus, you can read the labels and judge for yourself which product is good enough and find out if any of the product would be allergic to you.

    There are more than 5000 chemicals which are allowed to be used for skin care and hair care beauty products. Most of them are deemed harmful for the body. So, always make it a habit to choose your products after reading the ingredients.

    Following is a list of ingredients you should avoid:
    • Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate (SLS / SLES): extremely harsh on the skin, causes skin immune to disrupt and age quickly. Animals exposed to SLS or SLES experience eye damage, labored breathing, diarrhea, depression and sever skin irritation. 
    • Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, Ethyl): used as preservatives, allergic to the skin, hormone disruptors, found in breast cancer tumors and contribute to male sterility.
    • Petrolatum / Petroleum Jelly / Mineral Oil: clogs up the pores and is non-biodegradable.
    • Propylene Gycol, Butylene Glycol, Poly Ethylene Glycol(PEG) or any Alcohols (except Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetostearyl Glycol): dries up and irritates the skin, high levels of Dioxins present, extremely toxic, may cause abnormalities in brain, liver and kidney. 
    • Diethanolamine (DEA) / Monoethanolamine (MEA) / Triethanolamine (TEA): may be toxin for other organisms and its residues may react with other ingredients in products to form nitrosamines, which are potential carcinogens (substance that causes cancer), enters through skin and gets accumulated in the body.
    • Benzophenone-2 / Avobenzone / Oxybenzone / Ethoxycinnamate / PABA: used in chemical sun screen formulations, they enter the blood stream through the skin and interfere with hormone regulation, are free radical generators and may damage DNA and lead to cancer.
    • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) or any Phthalates: toxic to respiratory and immune systems, damage liver/kidneys, induce birth defects, reduce sperm count.
    • Benzoyl Peroxide: may promote cancer and irritant to eye, skin and respiratory system.
    • Tricolsan: is a pesticide and has grave risks for both human health and environment.
    • Dioxin: does not appear on the ingredient list. Contained in antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, PEGs and cleansers like Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Causes cancer, reduced immunity, nervous system disorders, miscarriages and birth deformity. Highly toxic to the body.
    • DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): preservatives which release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, cancer, skin reactions, allergies. 
    • FD&C Color & Pigments: colors which are derived from heavy metal salts and deposit toxins in the body, cancerous to animals.
    Following Fragrances should be avoided as they have grave health effects:
    • Acetic acid / Benzyl ester
    • Benzyl Alcohol
    • Diethyl Phthalate
    • Musk ketone / Musk Xylene
    • 6-Octen-1-ol, 3,7-dimethyl
    • Toluene
    • 4-Vinylphenol 
    • 2,6-Xylenol
    • Acetone
    • Benzaldehyde
    • Benzyl Acetate
    • Camphor
    • Ethanol
    • Ethyl Acetate
    • Limolene
    • Linalool:
    • Methylene Chloride
    • a-Pinene
    • g-Terpinene
    • a-Terpineol
    All the above ingredients cause irritation to skin, eyes, throat, mucous membranes, respiratory system; cause severe damage to the brain, liver, kidneys, bladders; are highly toxic for the body; may cause harm to the fetus; get deposited in the blood stream and brain; causes disorder in the nervous system, may cause cancer and harmful for the environment.

    Now, that you have read about the possible problems with the ingredients present in all our skin care and hair care products, hope you would choose your products more wisely.

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    Do you finish your skin care and hair care products to last bit? {Beauty Products}

    Today, I am going to talk about my habit of using the skin care or hair care products to their last drop. I am a fanatic and would love to try on all the products available in the market. And, have tried many since I have become independent. I have inherited this from my father. We both love to spend hours together looking at all the latest products launched. And, if we do buy any product, we make sure that we have squeezed out all the juice. I know it sounds crazy and weird. But, if you know that you are spending some 500 rupees or 10$ on a single product, who would not love the get the max out of it.

    I used to embarrassed about this habit of mine earlier but now, I do not mind writing about this now since I have come to know that this trend is followed by many people. I am no exception. Recently, I read a post on Vivawoman. It dealt with the same issue. The author stated that she cuts open the packaging to remove the quantity left in it. I tried it lately on the hair conditioner I was using and found that there was enough quantity left for one more conditioning treatment. Since then I have not yet finished any products. But, in case of body lotions or moisturizers, I do put very little of glycerin or rose water and shake the bottle nicely and apply it or pour it into another packaging of the same product. But, remember, do not ever mix two different products. They would do you no good. Same goes with shampoo. I shake the bottle with water and the liquid is enough to wash my hair once.
    Moral of the Story: Get the best out of your money.

    Increasing the size of the breasts {Breast Care}

    Last time, I talked about using fenugreek seeds to increase your hair volume. Today, I want to state another advantage of it. It helps in enlargement of your breast tissue. Pregnant mothers are advised to drink fenugreek water so that they can feed their baby properly.

    You can also massage your breasts regularly. Use your palm to knead the breasts just as you would knead a dough. This would help increasing their size. You can also rub some oil and then massage. It would keep the skin soft and prevent the area around the nipples from cracking and getting dry. Read this for the exercises to firm up your breasts.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Hair Rinses for healthy hair {Hair Care}

    You must follow your shampooing and conditioning routine by a last rinse which would provide shine to hair and make it even more softer. There are many natural ingredients which are very good to maintain hair. Some of the rinses are listed below:

    Hair Conditioning Rinses
    • A cup of Honey dissolved in a mug full of water gives shine and restores its vitality. It improves the scalp condition.
    • The juice of one whole lemon in a mug full of water gives hair shine and removes dandruff. It also turns hair light so be cautious while using it.
    • Indian Gooseberry (amla) rinse. Boil couple of gooseberry's in a liter of water till water remains half of its original. Strain and store liquid. It will stay for a week. Use it for rinsing hair every time. It makes your hair smooth, conditions your hair and encourages hair growth. It also improves the hair texture and health. You can also use the liquid to dilute your shampoo. It improves the scalp health too.
    • Curry Leaves Rinse. Boil curry leaves in water. Strain and store and use it as a hair rinse. It imparts shine to your hair.
    • Rice Water Rinse.You can rinse your hair with the water which is left behind after boiling the rice. It makes an excellent hair rinse and conditions your hair well. It gives shine too.
    • Fenugreek rinse. It improves hair thickness and its health. It also conditions your hair. Use it to dilute your shampoo too.
    • Floral Water. It gives shine to your hair and improves its health.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with a mug full of water and pour it over your hair. Your hair will shine with health. The smell of vinegar dissipates in 15 minutes as your hair dries.
    Hair Dying Rinses
    • A cup of tea (herbal tea like green tea, black tea, etc.). Green Tea gives shine. Black Tea is used to darken hair color. You need to rinse with black tea many times following up every time you wash your hair. Your hair will darken over a matter of time.
    • A cup of coffee is also used to give color to hair. Similar to black tea, you need to follow it up every time you wash your hair. It gives a pretty brown shade to your hair with a gloss.
    • Sage rinse. Boil handful of sage leaves in a liter of water till it remains half of original and use it as a hair rinse and also to dilute the shampoo. It gives shine and darkens the hair color. You can use it to dye your hair naturally.
    • Henna Rinse. Boil henna leaves in water and use it as a rinse. It darkens your hair color and conditions your hair.Instead of applying henna mixture on head which is pretty messy, you can sue the hair rinses to get the same benefit.
    • Beetroot Rinse: One of the best colors. It gives an auburn tint to your hair which will shine as highlights in sun. Boil beetroot in water till it becomes half of the original volume and use it as a rinse.
    Dyeing your hair: You can keep the coffee, tea, sage, henna rinses on your hair for sometime to let the color settle on your hair. Fill your wash basin with the particular rinse and dip your hair completely into it. Use a cup or mug to pour the remaining rinse on to your hair and saturate your hair completely. Do this for 15-25 times. Let your hair stay in the rinse for 5 minutes and then, lift your head up and squeeze all the dipping rinse from your hair. Let your hair set for 20-30 minutes and then, wash off. The color will settle on your hair. The results would not be visible for a few weeks. Repeated rinses would show result in a month. 
    These are some the rinses I use generally. You can mix these rinses and enjoy them. Few drops of Essential Oils can be added to the rinses. Lavender, Rosemary, Rose, Chamomile, Sage are good for hair.
    If you have a different concoction, please share them with others.

    How to get undisturbed beauty sleep of 7-10 hours? {Health}

    Sleep is a naturally recurring state of relatively suspended sensory and motor activity, characterized by total or partial unconsciousness and the inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. (Macmillan Dictionary for Students Macmillan)
    It is a major misconception that our body is resting when we are asleep. It is, instead, performing the most basic functions of detoxification and rejuvenation so that we feel renewed when we get up from our sleep. According to this post, our body starts its detox process from 9 P.M and we are required not to perform any adrenalin raising activities from this time onwards. Instead, it is advised for us to rest from this time hence.
    • One of the basic rules of sleeping is having a very light dinner, probably some soup and salads. You can try to manage your weight by following this routine. Having cabbage soup is the best way to cut down your belly fat. Salads ensure the health of your teeth. They do not overload the stomach. You should eat your dinner two hours prior to sleeping. 
    • Do not take any fluids in the mean time. But, if you must drink a cup of green tea one hour before sleeping. Reduce your water intake at night. You can refill your system in the morning. Taking fluids just before sleeping will interrupt your sleep.
    • Take a warm and relaxing bath before having dinner, if you wish. It will also aid in good sleep. Finish your skin care routine during this time.
    • 9 P.M onwards relax and do not indulge in any physical activity. Instead, listen to music, read, do little stretch exercises or light yoga, massage your scalp and face. These activities will help you get quality sleep. Do not watch television or browse internet. Take break and think about pleasant thoughts which make you happy and lift your spirits. Do not think about work next day and get stressed.
    • Remember, your sleep should always be undisturbed at night. Exercise is one of the best ways to go for it. Make it a routine to exercise regularly. Half-hour a day is enough. Try to exercise in the early morning, instead of evening, as it freshens up your entire body inside out. You feel energized and eat more breakfast which goes well with the body.
    • Do not take any stimulants (chocolates, sweets, coffee), carbohydrates or alcohol after 5 in evening. It interrupts your sleep mechanism.
    • If you have to, take a half hour nap in afternoon at around 3. 2:30 - 3 P.M is the best time.
    • Try not to sleep in the evenings. Go for a walk or indulge in socializing. But, not for long. 
    • Most importantly, create a routine and follow it. Sleep at same time everyday and get up at same time. Let your body be habituated to the routine.
    If you do not feel sleepy, try out following remedies instead of lying on the bed:
    • Take a warm shower. It helps you relax. 
    • Drink a glass of warm milk. It induces sleep and cleans bowels well next day. You can add a pinch of turmeric in it.
    • Read a book. Not a novel, but a philosophical book which you can put down anytime.
    • Do some stretching exercises.
    • Listen to soft music at very low volume.
    • Get a good scalp and body massage. 
    • Switch off all lights in the house. Do not let even a bed lamp on. If there is a light, put on a sleep mask.

    How to massage your scalp? {Hair Care}

    Scalp massage increases blood circulation (blood carries nutrients vital for hair) to your scalp, relieves you of mental stress, reduces hair loss and aids in hair growth. If done everyday for 15 minutes, it can help the hair growth tremendously and relax your mind and prepare you for a good sleep. There is a technique of performing scalp massage.

    Spread your fingers on the scalp and use your finger balls (tips) to move the skin of your scalp gently. Do not use the nails as they may cause hair breakage. Do not move your fingers but the skin under them. Start from the middle of your hairline and proceed to the sides. Then, move your fingers a step back from hairline and repeat the same. Continue doing it till you feel hot or tingling sensation in your scalp. This means that blood is rushing to the scalp. You will definitely get a nice sleep.

    You can use a few drops of any cold pressed vegetable oil (coconut, almond, mustard, olive or any other of your choice) mixed with few drops of Lavender or Rosemary Essential oils and massage into your scalp. This will encourage healthy growth of hair.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    A simple tip for a glowing face {DIY}

    Mix running honey and some lemon juice. Apply on your face for as long as you can. Wash off. You will have a glowing face.

    Lemon juice bleaches your facial hair and cleans the pores. It also restores the capacity to renew skin. Honey acts as humectant and traps moisture. It makes you skin supple and soft.

    How to increase hair volume? {DIY}

    • Drink a glass of fenugreek (methi) soaked water everyday. It reduces hair loss.
    • Try to buy organic fenugreek (methi) seeds. 
    • Soak a tea spoon of seeds in boiling water at night. Let stay till morning. Drink it in morning. Instead of discarding the seeds, try to chew or just swallow them. If you can not do that, pour boiling water over the seeds and let stay till you go for bath. Use the liquid as a last rinse. 
    • The liquid stays for a day or two, if refrigerated. 
    • You can use it to dilute shampoo.
    Have you ever tried this? Pin It

      Instant glow for you {DIY}

      A mixture of a teaspoon each of honey, milk powder and lemon juice plus 1/2 teaspoon of almond oil should be applied on the face. Leave it for 10-15 minutes before washing it off. This will make the skin lighter and make it shine.

      How to make Floral Water {DIY}

      Floral water is nothing but water of the flowers. Instead of buying rose water or any other essential oil, you can make your own floral water of the flowers you have tended. In this way, you are sure that you are getting pure floral water without any insecticide or pesticides.

      - Flowers / Petals: Rose, Jasmine, Rosemary, Lavender, Chamomile, Marigold, Hibiscus. (either of them or a mix of all or any)
      - Boiling water

      Put the petals in a bowl and cover them with boiling water to immerse the petals. Let stand for whole night. Strain and use in the morning. The floral water will stay for a week, if refrigerated.
      Do not discard the petals. Use them as part of face packs or put them in bath water. If you do not want to use them, put them in the garden. They will turn into manure.
      You can use this floral water for any purpose like putting into bath water, as a hair rinse, to make face packs, to dilute dry scrubs, as a toner, as a face wash, for manicure or pedicure or whatever way you wish to use it.

      Tuesday, January 12, 2010

      Softening your skin starts from your bath {DIY}

      Taking Bath is the best way to unwind yourself from a hectic schedule. You can turn your bathing experience into a invigorating one by adding certain ingredients which help your body to relax and also relaxes your mind. Some ingredients which can be added to your bath water and their effects:
      • Salt: Relaxes the tensed muscles, make your skin smooth, it detoxes the body, relaxes tired feet, improves circulation, prevents skin disorders, purifies the pores and toxins from skin. They are also good for exfoliation. Table salt would be a general choice but you can also go for rock salt.
      • Milk: Softens skin, cleans the pores, good for exfoliation, nourishes the skin, improves skin texture and appearance, removes body odor, prevents skin disorders.
      • Honey: soothes and nourishes the skin, makes skin silky and fragrant, prevents skin disorders, lightens scars and any marks on the skin and removes any bacteria present in the skin.
      • Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil: lightens complexion, moisturizes the skin, nourishes the skin and prevents skin disorders. You can also put a mix of these oils.
      • Oat meal: soothes and nourishes skin. Put some oat meal in a cheese cloth and put it under running water and then, use it for exfoliation. 
      • Lavender Essential Oil: soothes and softens skin, lightens scars and any marks on the skin, heals wounds and soothes tired muscles and skin.
      • Floral Water: You can definitely put many flowers into your bath for an aromatherapy. Rose,  Jasmine, Rosemary, Lavender, Chamomile, Marigold are some of the flowers which you can go for. They would relax your mind, elevate your senses and provide you the ultimate pleasure of relaxation. They soothe your complete body. You can also use the floral water.
      So, go ahead and try putting a combination of various ingredients and enjoy an invigorating bath.

      Get smooth and shiny hair {DIY}

      "Whatever can be put into your mouth can be put on your skin or hair."
      Honey smooth ens and softens your hair. It retains moisture in the hair. You can use honey in place of a conditioner. After shampooing your hair, let your hair air dry till it becomes just damp. Then, partition your hair into various sections and apply Running Honey on those sections concentrating on the ends. Let it stay for 30 minutes - 1 hour and then, wash off your hair. Your hair becomes more bouncy and lively.

      You can also use honey as last rinse. Mix a table spoon or two with water and them pour it on your hair as a last rinse. Do not wash off. Let it air dry.

      Monday, January 11, 2010

      Multani Mitti (Clay Mask) for Oily Hair {DIY}

      A great tip for reducing oil in your hair.

      Apply the clay mask (multani mitti) on the scalp and hair strands section by section. Let it stay for and hour or till it dries up completely and then wash off. You do not need to shampoo. Its up to you.

      The clay mask has the same effects on hair as it has on skin: it soaks in the oil, keeps the hair moisturized and soft. Another advantage is that it straightens your hair naturally.

      Soap nuts - Environment Friendly Detergent {Ingredient}

      Soap nut is a fruit available in India. The fruit is crushed to make soap. It has a component called Saponins which is a natural surfactant. It is used in washing and cleaning purposes. You can use soap nuts to wash, practically, everything.  
      • Soap nuts are good for hair washing. They make your hair silky and smooth.
      • You can put 4-5 soap nuts in a wash cloth and put it in the washing machine instead of a detergent. They would be enough for a 4-5 loads of clothes. 
      • They can be used for washing your utensils, jewelery, toilets, tiles and floors. 
      • You can clean your windows and furniture.
      • You can spray them on your plants. It would keep the pests and insects away eliminating the need of any insecticide or pesticide.
      Boil 5-10 soap nuts for an hour or two till they turn gray in color. Strain the liquid and store it. The liquid will stay for a week. You can pour the liquid in the washing machine with water. The left over soap nuts can be put in a muslin bag and used for laundry purposes. They would come into use for some 2-3 loads.The clothes come out really bright and clean and free of all the chemical deposits left behind by the commercial detergents.
      Using soap nuts, instead of detergents and chemical formulations, would help the environment also. And, save your money too.

      Sunday, January 10, 2010

      Eyes too need cleaning {Health}

      There is one ancient method used to clean the eyes which I would like to share. Put 1 drop of pure honey in each of the eyes. Caution: Eyes will sting badly for around 10-15 minutes. But, the procedure will clean your eyes and give the eyes a fresh look. This tip was told to me by one of my friend who does it occasionally. But, the after-effects were amazing. Eyes become really clean and bright.

      But, before trying it, make sure you are using pure good grade honey. Do not use the commercial ones. They contain additives which might irritate the eyes. I would suggest using a good grade Manuka Honey. It is the best quality of honey available and has many skin and health related benefits.

      Saturday, January 9, 2010

      Get a glow you deserve {DIY}

      I am posting here a recipe for a homemade face mask. It must be prepared fresh every time as it contains fruits and should not be stored.

      - 1 very ripe banana
      - 1 cup milk / yogurt / milk cream
      - 1 cup warm honey

      Mash the banana and blend all the ingredients to make a smooth puree. Apply the puree onto your face. You can apply some 5 layers. Make sure that the mask is thick and does not drip. Keep it on for 15-30 minutes. Remove the mask with help of a wash cloth. Wash your face number of times with water of varying temperature. Pat dry and moisturize. Your skin would be smooth, supple and glowing. You can add various other ingredients as per your choice.

      Recipe for a Body Scrub {DIY}

      A body scrub for a smooth and supple skin. Use for entire body.

      - grounded coffee beans
      - milk cream powder
      - salt
      - sugar (or brown sugar)
      - corn flour

      Pour all ingredients in a jar and use when needed. Take considerable amount as you would be using it for your entire body. Mix it with running honey or Floral Water. Use the scrub in shower. After bath, moisturize well. Your skin would feel silky and supple.

      Running Honey: Take some hot water and put the honey jar in the water. Let it stay for some time. After 5-10 minutes, you can pour out honey. It would be warm and less sticky. This way you will use less of honey and mixing would also be easier.
      Corn flour: is used to reduce the harshness of grounded coffee on skin.
      Do not forget to post your experience.

      Recipe for Lip Balm with Sunscreen factor {DIY}

      Lip Balm is very important for taking care of your lips. As you use lotion or moisturizer for body and cold cream for face, lips also need to be moisturized. Today, I am posting a recipe for lip balm with sunscreen properties.

      - Vaseline / Petroleum Jelly / Beeswax / Shea Butter / Cocoa Butter (can be used in combination also)
      - Coconut oil
      - Sesame oil
      - 2 Vitamin E capsules
      - Almond oil
      - Essential oil
      - Grated Chocolate / Honey

      • Melt Vaseline / Petroleum Jelly / Beeswax / Shea Butter / Cocoa Butter in a double broiler ( put a pan inside a pan). The butters or the waxes would melt and becomes liquid. At this point, remove the heat. The present heat would be enough to make the balm. (I used a 25ml vaseline jar so the measurements are according to that quantity. Vary them according to the quantity you are using.)
      • Pour 20 drops of  sesame oil and 10 drops of coconut oil. Sesame oil and coconut oil have sunscreen properties. Sesame oil blocks 60% UV and coconut oil blocks 20% UV. 
      • Pour 5 drops of almond oil. Almond oil keeps your lips soft and moisturized for a long duration.
      • Remove the container from the broiler or heat completely now.
      • Prick two capsules of vitamin E and empty the contents into the container.
      • Wait for three minutes (do not let it get too solid, just wait for it to cool down a little) and put 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. 
      • Stir all the ingredients together. It will begin to solidify in a matter of 5 minutes. Leave the mixture for  an hour to solidify properly and then scoop it out and store in a small glass jar.
      • Do not use food flavorings because they irritate the skin and cause dryness.
      • If your balm becomes too soft, add a bit more of vaseline / butters and if it is too hard, pour more of almond oil.
      • For chocolate flavored lip balm, melt grated chocolate in the broiler along with the butters or jelly. Remove from heat and add oils. Mix all ingredients and your chocolate flavored lip balm is ready.
      • You can put a tea spoon of honey into the mixture for a more glossy and sweet smelling balm. 
      Note: Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) is not good for skin as it blocks the pores. Try to use shea butter, cocoa butter or beeswax instead.

      Exercise for firming breasts {Health}

      Couple of simple exercises can firm up your breasts and keep them in shape for rest of your life. Do them on a daily basis.
      • Stand against the wall at one arm distance placing both your palms on the wall in a horizontal position. Your arms should be parallel to the ground. Now, bend your elbows towards the wall and move only your upper body towards the wall without bending your back like doing push ups against the wall. You will feel the tension near the diaphragm. Now, release your elbows and move back into the original position. Repeat the exercise for 50 times daily.  
      • Stand straight in an attention position. Rotate the shoulders in a backward motion without moving any part of the body for 100 times daily. You should feel the movement in the breasts.

      Friday, January 8, 2010

      Natural Sunscreen for Hair {DIY}

      If you are like me who does not believe in dumping all kinds of products on your skin and hair and believe in being natural, you can rub 4-5 drops of sesame oil (known as Gingelly oil in India) on your palms and finger comb your hair. Pay more attention on the ends. Sesame oil, not only blocks sun rays, but also keeps your hair smooth and shiny. You can also mix sesame oil with some coconut oil and lavender (or rosemary) essential oils. It will ensure healthy growth of hair.

      Millk for Shiny hair {DIY}

      Immerse your hair completely in a wash stand full of milk and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash off. Your hair would become shiny instantly. You can use a cup of milk as a last rinse also.

      Wednesday, January 6, 2010

      Honey: Elexir for Hair and Skin {Ingredient}

      Honey is a natural humectant. It traps moisture and keeps your skin supple. It is anti-bacterial and prevents the skin breakouts. Many of the skin care and hair care products swear by the goodness of honey. The home remedies have their stock full of goodness of honey.
      • put on a thick layer of honey on your face for 30 minutes and wash off.
      • to remove scars, blemishes, even out complexion or any other marks on skin, apply honey on it.
      • use it as an ingredients of various face masks.
      • use it to clean your eyes
      • use it as a hair conditioner (wash off or leave-in)
      • use it as a last rinse for shine
      • pour a table spoon of honey in bath water for a silky smooth skin

      Prevent stretch marks {DIY}

      An after-effect of pregnancy is always the ugly stretch marks. You might follow any number of cures but they never seem to go. The reason for their occurrence is that the skin is not elastic enough that it can take that change easily which occurs during pregnancy. So, the cure lies in increasing the elasticity of the skin which has to be followed from a long time before pregnancy or since you have become pregnant. Some home remedies to avoid stretch marks:
      • Mix turmeric and milk cream in equal proportions and apply to your belly. Start this application as soon as to know about your pregnancy or better, as soon as you think about conceiving. The mixture increases the elasticity of the skin.
      • While taking shower, make it a habit to change the water temperature many times. Pour hot water then switch to cold then to warm and so on. The more you make changes in the temperature, the more the elasticity of skin would improve. Always end you shower with cold water. Set the temperature of water to hot and cold according to your tolerance. Do not use ice cold or too hot water. This treatment increases the elasticity of the skin.

      Tuesday, January 5, 2010

      Tomato for Shiny Hair {DIY}

      Well, Tomato is the answer for shiny and smooth hair. It also repairs the damage done to your hair by sun and dust.

      If you do not want to utilize a tomato for your hair, you can squeeze out the tomato juice and use it for cooking purposes. And, instead of discarding the pulp, rub the pulp onto your scalp and hair gently. Or, You can directly use the tomato juice on to your hair also. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes. Shampoo as usual. Your hair would be smooth and shiny and bouncy. Regular application improves hair texture and repairs the damage caused by sun and dust. It restores the vitality and health of your hair.

      Sunday, January 3, 2010

      Reducing Belly Fat {Health}

      Exercises are important part of our regimen. But, there are some parts of the body where if fat gets accumulated, it becomes difficult to cut down by regular exercise. I am  talking, here, about belly fat which affects many people and they find it difficult to remove. There are some yoga postures which, if practiced daily, would help in reducing belly fat and also in reducing the body weight:
      • Yogamudra: Sit with legs crossed. Reach your arms backwards and hold your left wrist with your right hand behind your back. Then, bend forward, bringing your forehead and nose in contact with the floor. Breathe out during the process. Maintain this state for 8 seconds and then rise, breathing in. Practice 8 times. This is one of the essential asanas for women. It should be practiced everyday.
                Benefits: Strengthens Digestive System, relieves constipation, helps with menstrual problems, strengthens heart and removes belly fat.
      • Bellows Posture: Lie on your back. While breathing out, bend your right leg and bring the thigh close to your chest. Hold your right leg firmly with your both hands. Maintain this position for 8 seconds, holding the breathe. Lower your right leg while breathing in. Repeat with your left leg and then with both legs together. This comprises one round. Practice 8 rounds. 
                Benefits: Strengthens digestive system, relieves constipation, helps remove gas and reduces belly fat.
      • Hare Posture: Kneel down and hold both heels firmly with your hands. While exhaling, bring the crown of the head into contact with the floor in a posture of bowing down. The forehead should touch the knees. Maintain this posture for 8 seconds, holding the breathe. Breathe in while rising. Practice 8 times.
                Benefits: Improves memory and concentration, good for meditation, helps in throat and thyroid problems and reduces belly fat.
      • Bird Posture: Stand up straight. Keeping your left leg standing straight and firm in the floor, stretch your right leg as far back as possible. Extend your left arm forward and right arm backward, keeping both arms parallel to the ground. Reach out your right hand hand towards your right toes as if to touch your toes. Keep your back straight. The right leg may be bent slightly upwards. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat this posture with your left leg stretched backwards. This completes one round. Practice 4 rounds.
               Benefits: Develops perfect balance, strengthens nerves in arms and legs and helps reduce body weight. 

        Saturday, January 2, 2010

        Aloevera: A Miracle Plant {Ingredient}

        Egyptians called Aloevera a 'miracle plant'. It has been an integral part of the history from Greeks to Indians and has been used for various purposes by many people. Aloevera has anti-bacterial properties, is a natural humectant, has regeneration and anti-aging properties which makes it lucrative for cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.

        If Aloevera juice is taken on a daily basis, it can cure stomach disorders, improve skin condition, stimulate hair growth, strengthens the immune system of the body and slows down the aging process. Aloevera juice is also helpful for diabetics. Following home remedies are concocted using Aloevera:
        • can be used as a leave-in hair conditioner
        • can be used as a night time moisturizer 
        • while making homemade soaps, aloevera can be mixed with the soap base before pouring into the molds
        • can be used as a ingredient while concocting homemade moisturizers for skin
        • can be used as one of the ingredient for face masks, hair masks or body scrubs
        • can be used to heal sunburn or any cuts and scars
        • can heal acne

        Friday, January 1, 2010

        Turmeric: One of the Nature's most powerful healers {Ingredient}

        Turmeric is an Indian spice which grows in the forests of South-East Asia. It belongs to the family of ginger and is used in the powdered form. It is one of the main ingredients of the Indian, Persian, Thai and Malay dishes. It is also used to impart a rich yellow color to the dishes.

        Turmeric has many medicinal properties. It helps prevent cancer and cures skin disorders. It has many benefits for health:
        • performs complete body detoxification
        • has abundant anti-oxidants
        • ease joint pains and inflammation associated with arthritis
        • prevents premature aging
        • prevents cancer
        • protects liver health
        • protects against heart attacks and strokes
        • improves digestion power
        • may prevent cataract and bacterial infections
        • protects against severe cold
        Apart from the above mentioned health benefits, it also has benefits for the skin:
        • fights aging
        • prevents skin disorders
        • improves the skin complexion
        • gets rid of facial or body hair
        Home Remedies for Health care:
        • A pinch of edible turmeric taken with milk every day provides the health benefits of turmeric. Alternatively, a turmeric stick can be boiled in milk and taken every night.
        • Turmeric is also used as an antiseptic over cuts and wounds.
        • If you have severe swelling due to sprain or any internal injury, you can mix turmeric with any  bearably hot vegetable oil (preferably mustard oil) and apply over the swelled area and tie the area securely with a bandage. The swelling would come down in a day or two.
        • If you have cold, you can put a pinch of turmeric in hot boiling water and inhale steam for at least 10 minutes.
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