Friday, September 30, 2011

My Skin Care Routine by Ansh {Guest Post}

Hello everyone, I’m Ansh from Vanity No Apologies and Swati has taken a back seat today :P I was quite confused when she asked to guest blog at her place since there were a gazillion topics in my mind but then I picked this one up since I’m a curious cat and like to know about other girls’ skin care routine. So I thought of letting you peep into my treasure of secrets.

For the record, I’ve combination/oily, acne prone and super sensitive skin. Yeah the worst kind imaginable! So, basically very few products suit me and I try not to mess up with my skin care because my skin rules me rather than other way round. Here I’ll share the very basic and natural things I use for my face and body.

Cleansing
I use honey and mix a few drops of lemon (2-3 max since I’ve sensitive skin) and use it to wash my face every morning. Honey is a great cleanser. I sometimes use raw milk and apply all over my face with a cotton wool and wash off after 15mins, regular usage has lightened my dark spots. As for the body, I use the masoor dal and turmeric pack whenever I’ve time. It has helped me with the tanning and reduced the elbow pigmentation.

Toning
We have all heard that rose water is a natural toner, so I tried using the Gulabari spray freshener and it was just HORRIBLE! It made my face red, blotchy and itchy. For a long time, I didn’t use any toner, simply because none of them would suit me and infact would give me allergic reactions. From lakme to aroma magic, I didn’t leave a single toner untried. So, now I resort to natural methods of toning my face. Most of the times I end up using over-the-counter products but keep in my mind to use a natural toner at-least before sleeping. I now use a home made green tea toner. For it, mix green tea leaves in hot water and add a few drops of tea tree oil and lemon. I agree its time consuming but worth the effort.

Moisturizing
I use aloe vera gel all over my face to moisturize. I’ve an aloe vera plant at home and get it direst from the leaf everyday and store the remaining in the fridge. If you don’t have it at your home, there are a lot of brands with aloe vera tubs to offer at great prices. I sometimes use the vitamin e capsules in the over-the-counter moisturizers. Other than that I use Liz Earle and Fab India. Instead of using a body lotion, I use olive oil + coconut oil on my body straight after a hot shower. It takes care of the dryness to a very great extent. Must for the coming winters.

Exfoliating
Take 2-3 tbsp of raw oats and mix it with honey and a few drops of tea tree oil. Regular usage of this scrub has shown a great improvement in my skin texture. I used the lemon and sugar scrub once and it was a disaster! So, this shows no matter how much natural and home made the tip might be, use your brains and go ahead only if it is meant for your skin type. I use St. Ives scrub too, so if don’t have much time then it is a good option as well. And I started using that clean & clear scrub but it’s of no use, save some bucks.

Face Packs 
Earlier I would apply face packs like a maniac..2 per day and then go on for months without even touching them once. No prizes for guessing that it never helped me. You need to keep your patience with the homemade things, don’t expect miracles overnight. Apply face packs atleast thrice a week according to your skin type. Applying a banana or curd pack to a very oily skin would only worsen the situation. So, keep your skin type in mind.
Papaya…yes that not-so-tasty (or the most yuck fruit if I’ve the liberty to say so!), yes that healthy papaya. I don’t even like the smell of it, so ripe and gross. But it does work wonders to your skin. Mash a ripe papaya and apply on your face. If you can’t bear the smell…then breath from your mouth silly and shut up your nose for those difficult 15 minutes!

You see how these mixtures use the ingredients which are very easily available. I agree they take a lot of time but you can do all of this while watching TV or something like that…time management! ;) Hope it helped you and I’m here to answer your queries, if any.

About the Author: Ansh is a Fashion and Beauty Blogger based in Delhi. Check out her blog at 'Vanity - No Apologies'. You will find everything from her dress hauls to her reflections on the products she has used on her blog. Her particular specialty, if I may say so, is in how to deal with sensitive problem-prone skin which is, of course, very useful for all of us as the experience is first-hand. And, don't forget to check out her Nano Style $50 Gift Card International Giveaway. I am sure you will enjoy her blog.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giveaway Reminder!!!

Hi everyone :) Well, this is just a reminder post to all those who have not yet entered the giveaway. Today is the last day to participate in the Yardley of London giveaway. So, enter now by clicking on this link and filling up the form.
  • 3 winners - each get a Yardley gift hamper
  • Ends at 11:59 PM today

September Haul {Beauty Products}

I thought it would be interesting to share my hauls with you so I decided to put up all my hauls into one post and publish it on the last day of the month. Hope you enjoy this series.

NewU Haul
an overdose of cleansing wipes, I must say!!!
needed a non-tinted lip balm so thought to give this one a try!!!
freebies, yay!!! an eyelash comb and a travel pedicure set
And, now the most interesting product of my haul. The story goes somewhat like this - 20th was the last day of member sale at TBS and I went to check out the products but, frankly, I couldn't bring myself to pay in the range of 600-700 for anything out there. So, entered the NewU shop adjoining it!!! And, there I found a lot of interesting products by the brand of Beauty Formulas. It is a UK brand, I checked out after coming home. And, since I saw the warming mineral mask at TBS and found somewhat similar product with this brand, I bought it out of curiosity!!! Frankly, I think TBS would have also costed me the same coz this one is 185 bucks for 3 treatments and TBS offers 100ml for 700 bucks near about. So, not a very intelligent bargain, though!!!
Of course, I used one treatment on the same night. And, it is a weird product (not in the bad sense at all)!!! It gets so warm (and I mean really warm for those who have never used warming mineral mask by TBS). Its a peculiar mask and I did like it but other than that, I am not sure if it really did anything for my skin. Anyways, I shall review it separately after using all the 3 treatments. And, btw, the good thing about this product is that it has Zeolite which is one of the best detox clays available to mankind. And, the product is listed number 2 in the ingredient list.

And, some random haul
Needed a body lotion so thought to give this a try
And, I finally got it!!! I have been waiting to get my hands on this since quite long :)
So, hope that I have got you interested in the haul series. And, I shall definitely be coming with the reviews during the next month!!! Keep a look out :)

PS: Oh, btw, did you enter the Yardley giveaway yet??? If you haven't, follow this link - Yardley Giveaway and submit the answer to the question asked and you are done!!!
 

Preview : Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask {Beauty Products}

[Source: Liz Earle Website]
“Traditionally, cleansing masks are astringent and stripping, but this one isn’t. By using nurturing natural ingredients such as manuka honey and propolis, we have created a mask that purifies but also hydrates, so doesn’t upset the skin’s delicate balance.”
Liz Earle - Co-Founder
Deep Cleansing Mask is a highly concentrated clay and botanical formula that helps draw out impurities and excess sebum, leaving your complexion looking clear and clean. This purifying mask was developed in response to customer demand for help with more problematic, combination and oily areas.

Deep Cleansing Mask is a versatile treatment that can be used as and when skin needs a little extra help.  It can be applied all over the face or just to problem areas such as spots and blemishes. 
Apply after cleansing with Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, leave on for five to ten minutes and then wipe away residue with the sponge provided. Naturally active ingredients include:
  • Manuka Honey – bees forage on the Manuka bush resulting in this special honey.  Lots of research has been done that supports the healing properties of Manuka honey. It is also famous for its anti-bacterial qualities – the best quality grade has been used in Deep Cleansing Mask. 
  • Propolis – known as ‘nature’s penicillin’.  Like the Manuka Honey, this also has beneficial healing and anti-bacterial properties. 
  • Organic Aloe Vera – renowned throughout history to have extremely potent medicinal properties, it moisturises, soothes and heals the skin. 
  •  Green Kaolin Clay – helps eliminate impurities and absorbs excess sebum. 
  •  Geranium Essential Oil – luxurious, premium oil with a divine aroma. Its sweet rose and green notes help to balance and refresh.
PS: Information provided by the brand.

Order Skin Watchers Papaya Peeling Gel from this site!!!

Have you noticed the new link to "Shop with Perfect Skin Care for you" above? Yes, I have collaborated with Janet, the owner of Beauty Finest, to bring the Papaya Moisture Peeling Gel (which I reviewed sometime back) to you at a better bargain.

Features of the Product:
  • a very gentle exfoliant 
  • very effective
  • will suit acne skin 
What are we offering?
  • One Skin Factory Mask worth 4$ with every order
  • Skin Watchers Natural Herb Pore Mask free with every order of Papaya Peeling Gel. This offer lasts till September 30th. Only one day to avail this order.
All, the more reasons to avail this offer soon. So, if you are interested in buying it, fill up this form and send it across and I shall get back to you with further details.




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Marie Veronique Organics After Sun Body Oil {Product Review}

So, this is again one of the samples I received from MVO as I mentioned a few days back. And, I am just on the brink of finishing this. Surprising that so small a sample lasted me so many days!!!
Price: 55$ (Rs 3000 approx) for 120 ml (again, very expensive!!!)

What does MVO say about the product?
  • Soothes and hydrates overexposed skin with borage oil for anti-inflammation and moisture retention to reduce dry, flaky skin
  • Calms with aromatic lavender and imortelle essential oils
  • Repairs damage with carrot seed oil, high in beta carotene
  • Replenishes the lipid barrier compromised by sun exposure with essential fatty acids from jojoba oil
  • Seals in moisture and leaves the skin supple, smooth and more refined
Ingredients
No harmful chemicals, no synthetic fragrances, no waxes that can clog pores, no water that can evaporate and dry out your skin, and no nut oils that can go rancid with UV exposure.
100% vegan
Carthamus tinctorius (safflower oil), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil), Persea gratissima (avocado oil), Borago officinalis (borage oil), Squalene (vegetable squalene from olive oil), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary oleoresin), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Lavandula augustifolia (lavender essential oil), Helichrysum splendidum (helichrysum essential oil), Daucus carota (carrot seed essential oil)
I love the ingredients of this brand!!! Makes it worth the cost, at least. 

My Experience
I wouldn't talk about any recommendation because I have not experienced the product long enough to make my judgement on it. So, I will only share what I observed in this much time. Its a colorless oil and smells nice to bland. Has a hint of Lavender but I guess its Immortelle which is probably predominant, I am not sure though!!! In case you are wondering where is Immortelle in the ingredient list, Helichrysum splendidum is its scientific name.

The oil is colorless and extremely light but still its quiet moisturizing. I used the oil first on my face where I don't think I noticed any difference and then, I started using on my hands. I don't think I noticed any difference but once when my arms were completely dark in the sun, I applied the oil and next morning, the arms' color was a little back to normal and I think it does reverse tanning to a certain extent. Anyways, the oil gets absorbed very readily into the skin and is non-sticky so keeps the skin soft. 

If you ask me if I would try it again or want to try it again, I would say there are much more interesting things by MVO to try out so I would go for something different next time. I really would give preference to products I haven't tried and I have my eye on Sun Protective Oil which I so want to desperately even though its horribly expensive :)

PS: Oh, btw, did you enter the Yardley giveaway yet??? If you haven't, follow this link - Yardley Giveaway and submit the answer to the question asked and you are done!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nivea Fruity Shine Dragon Fruit vs Pomegranate {Product Review}

This post has been long in waiting. I really like Nivea lip balms and have used quiet a few of them but I don't in general like anything sitting on my lips coz it goes down with the water or anything I eat. But, sometime back, Nivea Pomegranate was all the craze and I wanted it badly so I went to hunt for it. In the first attempt, it wasn't available and I ended up buying the Dragon Fruit but the second attempt was successful and I was proud owner of Pomegranate. Ok, I don't remember the prices but both were somewhere near about Rs 125 - 150 range. And, I also don't have the ingredient list. So, lets get on directly with the experience. 

My Experience
Dragon Fruit is pink in color and hideous in fragrance. Of course, I have been using it since 2-3 months or may be more so now, it doesn't offend me at all. But, if you are new to the product, its disgustingly fruity!!! Otherwise, it gives a nice pink tint to the lips and stays on for 2 hours probably. I am not a good judge on staying power coz I keep on munching or eating something or the other and lip balms always disappear!!!
Swatches and excuse the non-waxed hands!!!
Pomegranate is reddish in its tint and gives a beautiful color to the lips. It smells sweet and is pleasanter than Dragon Fruit. It is more moisturizing than the latter one too and probably stays more too from what I have observed. The one thing I would like to include in the review is that the Pomegranate brings out the darker complexion in a beautiful way. It literally makes the skin glow even if you haven't put on any makeup. So, I would definitely recommend this to the darker complexioned people.

Btw, both the lip balms have spf 15 so protect lips from the sun too :)

My Recommendation
If you are warm toned and darker in complexion, I would strongly recommend Pomegranate as it brings out the color of the skin really well. Otherwise, you can go for Dragon Fruit if you are looking for pink. It will best suit on fair skin, though!!!

PS: Oh, btw, did you enter the Yardley giveaway yet??? If you haven't, follow this link - Yardley Giveaway and submit the answer to the question asked and you are done!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Parachute Advansed Cooling Oil {Product Review}

Well, since it is a cooling oil, it really cools.

Price: Rs 45 for 100 ml

Ingredients
Amla (135mg), Gandha Purva (135mg), Brahmi (54mg), Tail Patra (108mg), Nagar Motha (50mg), Chandan (50mg), Dalchini (100mg), Kaddu Seed (100mg), Bhringraj (100mg), Jatamansi (27mg), Kapur Katcheri (50mg), Loung (100mg), Khus (27mg), Sugandhibala (15mg), Rosemary (250mg), Kulanjan (27mg), Devdar (100mg), Menthol (3000mg), Tulsi (10mg), Camphor (500mg), Vach (54mg), Coconut Oil q.s
My Experience
green colored and smells awfully strong of something I am not able to put finger on!!!
It smells really strong. And, it is damn cooling from the moment you apply. That might actually get irritating after a while but 3000mg of Menthol does do the job well so it might be helpful in summers but do not think about using it in winters. It might just bring headaches or cold. It feels cold even when you pour warm water on your head while taking head bath. So, yup, a really good cooling oil. As a hair oil, it is fine. Nothing great but nothing bad either. Keeps hair soft.And, btw, it was this oil along which I got the head massager I reviewed long back. 

My Recommendation
Yes if you need a cooling oil.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Shelf is overfull - Skin Care {Beauty Products}

Ok, so last time, I cleaned my shelf, I came across a plethora of beauty products lying in my closet. So, I decided that I would do a series of my overflowing skin and hair care products and ask you if you know how should I get rid of them. And, if you ever let your things collect to such and extent and still keep adding to it. So, enjoy the snaps!!! And, you can see what reviews you can await and also read the ones I have done with.

Cleansing and Moisturing
starting with face washes (head to toe!!)
Products already reviewed:
Facial Oils
Products already reviewed:
face moisturizers
Products already reviewed:

    Toning
    [read the review here]
    Lip Care
    lip moisturizers
    Products already reviewed:
    Face Scrubs and Masks
    these are the scrubs I have and I forgot to add the Himjoli Walnut Scrub in the snap!!
    Products already reviewed:
    not so many masks but wait!!!
    Products already reviewed:
    see the poor baby!!! he is the only one in his category of 2-in-1
    and, I have no idea why I bought this!!
    Sunscreens
    wish I was so diligent of the protection too :D
    Products already reviewed:
    PS: Check back the next installment on body care.

      Papaya for skin complexion {Reader's Tip}

      So, this tip was posted by Manoj. So, this is what he says:
      Hi, I'm Manoj. I'm dark skinned. I have been trying some natural skin exfoliating things. From my experience, papaya is the best skin exfoliant. Here is what I did:
      1) Take a papaya fruit and make its pulp.
      2) Apply its directly on the skin about 1 cm thickness.
      3) Leave it until it starts getting dry, which would take 20 to 30 minutes.
      4) The result is instant.
      Your skin will get more lighter .

      I have tried lemon juice, curd, etc. and they are effective but they give results in 3 to 7 days where as papaya gives instant results.
      Thanks a lot for the tip, Manoj. Papayas are really beneficial in skin care and the reason it works best is that it has high levels of Alpha Hydroxy Acids and so caution should be used in using Papaya - do not use it more than once a week because AHA's can cause photo-sensitivity and irritate the skin of applied in high concentrations.

      Saturday, September 24, 2011

      Marie Veronique Organics Everyday Sheer Coverage {Product Review}

      I mentioned a while back that I had won the MVO giveaway and this product came as one of the samples. So, I finished the sample and wanted to share my experience. So, kindly don't take this as a proper review.

      Price: 50$ (Rs 2500 approx) for 60 ml (yeah, really expensive!!!)

      What does MVO say about the product? 
      • Provides essential every day UVA/UVB protection and defends against premature aging with a unique combination of natural humectants, emollients and anti-oxidants.
      • Evens skin tones and absorbs into the skin leaving a lovely matte finish
      • Provides anti aging support with beta glucans, glucosamine, and powerful anti-oxidants such as coffee fruit extract.
      • Prevents moisture loss from exposure to the elements with red raspberry seed oil and broccoli seed oils
      • Made with non-micronized zinc oxide, a physical sun block that reflects UV rays without releasing wrinkle and cancer-causing free radicals
      • For use every day, rain or shine.
      Available in Extra light, Light, Medium and Dark Tint. For Indian skin, light and medium tint would suit well.

      Shake well before use and keep in a cool place. Apply liberally and evenly before sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating or towel drying. Safe for all ages. If irritation develops discontinue use and consult a physician. 

      Ingredients
      No harmful chemicals, nanoparticles, parabens, fillers, waxes, or fragrances.
      Active ingredient: 16.6% non-nano zinc oxide
      Ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green & white tea), non-nano zinc oxide, vegetable glycerin, Brassica oleracea italica (broccoli seed oil), Prunus avium (cherry kernel seed oil), emu oil, Punica granatum (pomegranate seed oil), Rubus idaeus (red raspberry seed oil), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Calodendrum capense (yangu oil), Cosmocil CQ*, xanthan gum, n-acetyl glucosamine, lecithin, potassium sorbate, pearl powder, Rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary oleoresin), beta glucan, Coffea arabica (coffee fruit extract), Hydrolyzed silk (silk powder), Rosa centifolia (rose) essential oil, Citrus aurantium bigaradia (neroli) essential oil, Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum essential oil), Cistus incanus (cistus) essential oil, iron oxides
      Amazing Ingredients!!! I can't get enough of them :) Btw, MVO is an organic brand.

      My Experience
      this is the medium tint
      One thing which I regret about this product is that it is just spf 20 and not enough for a tropical climate of India. I ordered the medium tint of the Moisturizing Face Screen so this also came in the same tint. The product is lighter in consistency and gets absorbed really quickly into the skin. Well, if I actually say, it gets absorbed too quickly so it is better to apply it as dots on the face and blend in as compared to rubbing on the hands and then applying. And, I think its anti-aging ingredients do work. I felt my face was a little firmer when I was using this. And, its Zinc Oxide is great at protecting from the sun. The only wish is if it had been spf 30. 

      little shinier than the other but gets absorbed quickly
      Another thing to note is that as I said in my previous post, physical sunscreen ingredients do leave a white cast on the skin. So, the tinted ones are available in the product. But, since Zinc Oxide is so high in concentration (24% is the maximum allowed concentration of Zinc Oxide by FDA rules and the product has 16% around), there is a little powdery texture to the product and it doesn't feel silky smooth as other sunscreens do. This makes the blending a little harder. But, when you get used to it, its not much of a concern. I have applied it directly on the skin without moisturizing and using various moisturizers and face oils too and I didn't face any problem of blending even once. And, since it has a tint, it also provides a decent coverage and evens out the complexion. But, of course, you can't use it as makeup as far as I understand (a doubtful point, don't believe me coz I know nothing about it!!!). It gives a matte finish but might also become semi-matte depending on your skin type. 

      For dry skin, it gets absorbed well and provides moisturization too. For oily and combination skins, it might be a little dewy and you might need a bit of powder to set it after some time depending on the oil on your face. But, its a score of times better than chemical sunscreens which make your skin look like having been dipped in oil. And, I have been there so I am thankful. It might give a shiny appearance for sometime but give it 2-3 minutes and it settles comfortably into the skin. One squirt of the product is enough for face and another squirt for neck and exposed chest. I would advise to apply it just like a foundation coz you want the sunscreen to sit evenly on your skin and protect your skin from sun's rays. Touching and tugging at the skin wouldn't help coz it might bring off the Zinc Oxide from the skin. 

      Regarding application, when you are staying indoors and during cloudy days when there is no sun and during winters when sun is again obscure, one application in the morning and another in the afternoon is probably enough. I surely didn't apply it every two hours as it is advised coz I was indoors most of the time. But, if you are outside in hot sun or sweating profusely or swimming, it is advisable to reapply the sunscreen in regular intervals (two hours is the general idea). Btw, did I mention that it prevents tanning of the skin which is a huge bonus!!! I didn't tan since I have been using it. And, of course, you need to double cleanse to remove the sunscreen whether its physical or chemical so don't forget that.

      Instead of making my recommendation because it was just a sample and I used it for very less time, I would conclude by saying that if I am to try it again, my preference would be a higher spf sun screen and I would love to use the Anti-aging oil instead at night to revive my skin. And, if this product would ever be changed to spf 30, then I might definitely prefer this over the Moisturizing Face Screen because I found it gives a better finish than that.

      PS: The comparison in this post is with MVO Moisturizing Face Screen.

      Fairness face packs with Pomegranate {Reader's Tip}

      So, this is sent by Lancy of Makeup and Beauty Tips. Please feel free to visit her blog for more such articles.
      FOR OILY SKIN
      1. Wash your face with lukewarm water.
      2. Mix the peel powder with lime juice and rose water.
      3. Apply this paste over your face and neck. Allow it to dry for 15 minutes.
      4. Wash it off with clean cold water and pat dry your skin.

      FOR DRY SKIN
      1. Gently wash your face with an hydrating face wash and warm water
      2. Mix pomegranate peel powder with honey and milk. Blend it well to form a paste.
      3. Apply this smooth cream evenly on your face and neck avoiding eye areas. Leave it for 20 minutes.
      4. Wash it off with clean water and apply a moisturizer.

      FOR NORMAL SKIN
      Follow the same procedures listed above as per your convenience. You can mix little fuller's earth and rose water with the pack for a relaxing and cooling effect.

      Friday, September 23, 2011

      Lemon and Coconut Oil for Dandruff {Reader's Tip}

      This is given by Monali. This is what she says:
      When I face dandruff, I use the mix of coconut oil and half a lemon's juice and leave it on my scalp and hair over night. And, in the morning, I wash it. Lemon is a bit drying that's why I use it with coconut oil to prevent the drying. I use it continuously for 3-4 days. Then, for 2-3 days I use it every other day. By then, my dandruff is gone and I am with happy hair once again :)

      Zinc Oxide vs Titanium Dioxide {Sunscreen}

      [Source:holistickid.com]
      So, we talked about physical and chemical sunscreens in this post. I explained that I do not prefer chemical sunscreens because they produce free radicals in the body. So, now, we come down to physical sunscreens. Now, there are only two ingredients which has the properties of being physical sunscreens - Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

      Now, do you remember my post on the sunscreen breakout problem?? It was posted quite long back. In that post, I had simply stated that a sunscreen with Zinc Oxide will solve the breakout problems. Why did I not state anything regarding Titanium Dioxide? Let's see if I can explain it.

      Zinc Oxide
      It is the best broad-spectrum UV filter known till now. And, it doesn't cause any allergic reactions on the skin too. In fact, Zinc Oxide is pretty good for acne skin because of its anti-bacterial property. It just sits and disperses the light falling on the skin without allowing it to get to the skin surface. It doesn't get absorbed by the skin. But, there are certain downsides to this ingredient. 

      Zinc Oxide is notorious for leaving a white cast on the skin. The Zinc Oxide sunscreens are thick and a little powdery in texture which might leave a powdery cast on the skin. These sunscreens do not blend on the skin very easily too. It takes a little getting used to the texture of the product. 

      Titanium Dioxide
      So, you might have heard the debate whether Titanium Dioxide is poisonous or harmful to the skin or not. Ok, so let me first say, this is the second best ingredients for sunscreen but it doesn't give a broad-spectrum protection. It lacks UVA spectrum protection. And, it is also known to be allergic to the sensitive skin. Well, Titanium Dioxide is one of regularly used ingredients in mineral makeup and if mineral makeup breaks you out, Titanium Dioxide allergy might be one of the factors. Even Titanium Dioxide leaves a white cast like Zinc Oxide.

      So, let us first say how this ingredient protects from sun's rays. It uses both absorption and dispersion methods. So, yup, you might ask me if it doesn't produce free radicals? Well, I have been trying to hunt down for that answer and this is what I found: http://personalcaretruth.com/2011/01/does-titanium-dioxide-cause-free-radical-damage. Well, check out the article for detailed explanation. 

      Does Titanium Dioxide produce free radicals?
      Well, there are two types of Titanium Dioxide which can be used in the products - Rutile and Anatase. These are the polymorphs of original Titanium Dioxide and thus, differ in certain properties. So, as it comes out, rutile is less photoreactive than anatase form because it has highest refractive index of all the known minerals and it also has high dispersion properties which means that rutile Titanium Dioxide reflects the UV light more than absorbing it. 

      Now, you need to be concerned about which form is present in your product. So, the answer given is that generally it is the rutile form which is more commonly used but in case of doubt, the manufacturer of the product should be contacted. Not a very good answer but the summary is that you need not be bothered about the absorption because it is very less likely to damage the skin.

      What would I choose?
      Well, my answer would be Zinc Oxide as it is broad-spectrum and more effective but I definitely wouldn't mind Titanium Dioxide in mineral makeup. That would add some sun protection to the makeup you are using.

      Thursday, September 22, 2011

      Best Facial Treatment {Reader's Tip}

      Mix curd, turmeric and honey together on face and apply on the face. Leave till it dries. It is the best facial treatment your face can get.

      Is my sunscreen working? {Reader's Query}

      Well, this question was asked by Monali - how should I know if my sunscreen is working? Answer is that you might never know so put your faith in good products. I will also try to put some guidelines which might help.
      Also Remember
      • Sunscreen doesn't prevent tanning, though Zinc Oxide based sunscreens do tend to prevent tanning as much as I have surmised.
      • Sunscreen doesn't protect you from sun completely. It just tries to block some of the radiations (at max 98-99%) so keeping away from sun is the best solution. Try to use protective clothing while in sun and don't forget to reapply.
      • Take Care of your skin well afterward. Always double cleanse to remove sunscreen and use ice cubes to soothe the skin everyday. It acts in two ways -  helps to remove tanning and also calms down the skin after a day in sun. 
      • Applying sunscreen doesn't mean your skin is not getting Vitamin D. It is a huge misconception. 
      I think I have addressed all points but if you think something is left out, please do let me know. 

        Wednesday, September 21, 2011

        Some Remedies for Dandruff {Reader's Tip}

        This was posted by Ramesh very kindly as a comment but instead I am choosing to make it a post. This for people who are suffering from dandruff. 
        • apply onion juice on the scalp 2 times a week
        • drinking 4-5 liters of water everyday
        • taking a balanced diet and not indulging in junk foods
        • taking biotin tablets
        Well, drinking 4-5 liters of water everyday is something of a feat to achieve rather apart from the fact that it will make you feel bloated but I guess drinking more than adequate water (around 3-3.5 liters a day) would answer. A good start anyway!!! And, the difference, according to him, would be visible in 15 days.

        Surfaces and Radiations {Sunscreen}

        Yesterday, I talked about what UV radiations actually are and I mentioned in a small point that the intensity of UVB varies from place to place.So, how do the places and altitudes affect the UV radiations. 
        UV levels increase about 4% for every 1,000 foot gain in altitude as a rule of thumb.
        The reason is because of the thinner atmosphere as you go up and not because sun is closer to you because 1000 feet doesn't really count when the distance is in light years, right?? So, consequently, you should use stronger sunblocks or sunscreens and reapply often to save the skin from damage. So, you live on hills or going there for a vacation, a sunscreen wouldn't make your backpack too heavy!!!
        Also, we were discussing about various surfaces. So, as a matter of fact, snow and ice are the biggest reflectors of sunlight!!! Snow or Ice can reflect up to 80% of the UV radiations. And, I remember I went at 12000 ft altitude without any sunblock and was having snow all around me :( Well, that's not recommended at all!!! Other surfaces like water also reflects sunlight so you should be covered up with sunscreens before you go to the beach. 

        Yardley of London Contest {Giveaway} [Closed]

        [Source: Yardley Website]
        Hey All!!! I am so happy to collaborate with Yardley and bring you this opportunity to win Yardley Gift Hampers. So, just fill in the form and you are done. Just a few rules to take care:
        • The contest is open till 11:59 PM on 30th September, 2011
        • To answer the question, please revert to the ad which was unveiled yesterday on the blog.
        • Finally, 3 winners would be chosen randomly from all the entries. 
        • The winners would be announced on 1st October, 2011.
        • Just to ensure, none of the data would be leaked out and would only be used to contact you. 
        • And, of course, I would be very happy if you spread the word about this contest.  
        • Giveaway open in India
        So, hop on. 

        PS: The giveaway is closed.

        Carrot and Bottle Guard Mask {Reader's Tip}

        This is one tip which was posted as a comment on an earlier post yesterday. I thought it was a really good one so sharing it all with you. This is what the reader shares:
        I tried having carrot and bottle gourd juice every morning (empty stomach). Also i apply crushed carrot and bottle gourd on my face after cleansing for 30 mins everyday. My pores have visibly reduced in size from day 1 and my skin tone is improving as well.

        Tuesday, September 20, 2011

        What are UV Radiations? {Sunscreen}

        Ok, so I have never really discussed what exactly are UV radiations and how are they harmful for us even though I have done many articles on sunscreens. So, for those who are not aware, the UV radiations are the ones emitted by the sun and these are extremely harmful for the skin. These radiations are known to cause various type of skin cancers, affect the immune system and of course, regular skin disorders like sunburns, wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. Now, there are two types of radiations which are most harmful and penetrate the Earth's atmosphere - UVA and UVB. In case  you are thinking that there are no other radiations emitted by sun, they are all (UVC and other radiations from the sun and other stars) absorbed by the ozone. That again is very important reason why we should help reduce global warming otherwise more radiations would penetrate Earth's atmosphere and harm the human beings. Even UVA and UVB do get blocked to a lot of extent but our wearing out the ozone layer is causing some havoc.

        UVA is mainly responsible for aging of the skin. It is the dominant of the radiations and penetrates the skin more deeply causing the wrinkling and damaging the skin. It also results in the tanning of the skin. And, may also initiate skin cancers. And, UVB results in the skin reddening and sunburns. It contributes to tanning and aging but mainly plays a key role in development of skin cancer. UVB is intense in the time from 10AM - 4PM all the year round and is more intense on reflective surfaces like snow and ice. It doesn't penetrate the glass much. UVA rays penetrate glass, though, even the tinted ones!!!

        Now, one more damage which the UV rays can do is damage to the eyes. So, it is advised to get shades or make your glasses with photo-chromatic lenses so that they are able to deflect the sun rays. And, do not forget to wear sunscreen even if you are staying inside. Both UVA and UVB can penetrate through open windows.

        Now, in this post, I mentioned a small point that spf factors block UVB radiations. Well, yes. They do not in general block UVA radiations. There is a star system which determines the sunscreen's efficiency in blocking the UVA rays so basically, you are only protecting yourself from UVB. Currently, I do not think there is any sunscreen in India with star ratings. That's a downside of getting even the best sunscreens.

        Unveiling the new ad of Yardley of London featuring Katrina Kaif !!!

        I was invited by Yardley to view the latest ad of Yardley featuring Katrina Kaif on youtube. So, here is the video. Hope you enjoy it :)



        Monday, September 19, 2011

        What Sunscreen should I buy? {Sunscreen}

        So, yesterday, I did a very long post on the ingredients of sunscreen. So, the reason I did that post was because I wanted to do this following post in which that knowledge would be helpful. By the way, I do not claim whatever I had written yesterday is complete.

        Now, what are the important factors in deciding sunscreen?
        • SPF : Yes. But, as I mentioned in this post, anything above 30 doesn't really provide extra protection so spf 30 products are enough. And, still, if you want to aim for high, anything beyond 50 is worthless. 
        • Labeling : Always buy a 'broad-spectrum' sunscreen. The label should be there on the product. Btw, most of the Indian products do not have such labeling conformations which is pretty sad.
        • Ingredients : You would want to ensure you are getting adequate protection so look for the ingredients I mentioned in the chart
        • Manufacturing : Buy as latest sunscreen as possible because the composition of the sunscreen may break down if kept unused for long. 
        • Brand : Always get a trusted and established brand which has proper research facilities. I would definitely add here that do not get herbal sunscreens as they do not have any of the sunscreen ingredients. They might prevent tanning but there is no saying as to they can protect skin from UV radiations. And, I would definitely put my trust in chemical products than sticking to herbal in such cases. 
        Anything I might have forgotten which you think should be included in this list?

        Sunday, September 18, 2011

        Sunscreen Ingredients {Sunscreen}

        Now, I am not sure but have you ever come across the term 'Sunblock'. Well, let me then tell you that this word doesn't hold good at all. The reason being FDA (US federal drug administration) has passed out some guidelines regarding the labeling of sunscreens in which it makes it clear that the term 'Sunblock' is misleading and can't be used anymore. Now, if you guys remember, I had done a very old post, my first post on sunscreens in which I had explained two types of sunscreen - chemical and physical sunscreens. So, yup, that's the only classification which holds.

        Sunscreen (Chemical Sunscreen)
        • applied half hour before going out
        • absorbs the sun rays to prevent damage to the skin
        • has to be as close to skin as possible for maximum protection
        • has to be reapplied to ensure effectiveness
        Sunblock (Physical Sunscreen)
        • has to be applied immediately before going into sun
        • the ingredients deflect sunlight from the skin instead of absorbing
        • should be the top most layer of products applied so as to deflect the rays
        • has to be reapplied only if one is perspiring or during swimming or when it is raining or in any case where there is a likelihood of the product being washed away

        Approved Sunscreen Ingredients Chart from September 2006 given out by FDA
        So, if you are buying sunscreen, make sure your sunscreen has any or some of these ingredients listed above. Generally you will find avobezone and oxybenzone are most used in products like Lotus, Lakme and even in the dermatologist prescribed sunscreens. Now, from the chart, you can easily infer that though most of the ingredients provide adequate UVB protection, there are very few ones good at providing UVA protection.

        What is Helioplex?
        Helioplex is a patented technology of Neutrogena. As I mentioned above, avobenzone and oxybenzone are the most commonly used ingredients.

        Avobenzone is a UVA blocker and Oxybenzone is UVB blocker but both ingredients are highly unstable, especially Avobenzone which breaks down pretty quickly (within half hour) when exposed to sunlight. So, Helioplex is a stabilizing formula developed by Neutrogena which harnesses the potent characteristics of Avobenzone and Oxybenzone to provide a broad-spectrum sunscreen which is stable.

        What is Mexoryl?
        Have you come across this term? Well, it was all in rage till very recently as the new 'sunscreen'. So, referring back to the chart, check out the ingredient called 'Ecamsule'. This ingredient is marketed by the name of 'Mexoryl' and the very reason it might have become very popular would be attributed to its characteristic of being a very good filter of UVA but unfortunately, it doesn't give the broad-spectrum protection. This is a patent of Loreal. Check out this post by Sesame on better comparison of Helioplex and Mexoryl.

        P vs C 
        Now I come to the most important part of the post. Referring back to the chart, you would find the fourth column very interesting. Most of the ingredients are chemical and only two are physical ingredients - Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Now, what makes physical ingredients different from chemical ingredients? 
        • Chemical Ingredients absorb the UV rays, as I mentioned above. So, where do this absorbed energy go? Inside our bodies. And, they becomes manifested as something which you would be familiar with 'free radicals'. Yup, the very thing which makes us age. 
                  Physical Ingredients just sit on the skin and deflect the sun's rays.
        • Chemical Ingredients are highly unstable and breakdown in the sun very easily. That is why one is supposed to apply the sunscreen frequently. 
               Physical Ingredients do not break down in sunlight and need not be reapplied frequently as frequently as the chemical sunscreens.
        • Chemical Ingredients do not leave any white cast on the skin. 
                  Physical Ingredients do. A disadvantage.

        Saturday, September 17, 2011

        Use sunscreen 365 days a year {Sunscreen}

        Ok, so this is a sincere advise to people who love to skip on sunscreen. Yes, even I do that!!! Or, rather used to do that and now I have become diligent and force myself to apply the sunscreen everyday as soon as I moisturize my face. The reason is that it helps to keep you young by counteracting the effects of sun rays on skin. And, I have kept my resolve on and off since May so I can safely say that this happens to be true. Daily usage of sunscreen does keep you younger for a longer time or rather prevent wrinkles and age spots which tend to appear as you age. I know it is difficult to find a good sunscreen but for those who haven't tried, you can go for Neutrogena Ultra Sheer or if you have the dough to spend, I would definitely advise MVO Moisturizing Face Screen or Everyday Sheer Coverage. MVO has physical sunscreens and they definitely work!!! Better than chemical ones and you don' have to keep on reapplying them all day!!! And, of course, you should apply adequate amount of sunscreen for proper protection. That is very very important. And, do not skip on sunscreen even for a single day.

        Full strength sunscreen in summers is a must but many people tend to forgo it in rainy seasons or cloudy days or even in the winters. But, on cloudy days, there might be a possibility that UV radiations increase so it is always safe to apply a full strength sunscreen. The reason is that though clouds are handy in deflecting the UV rays passing through them, they also reflect the UV rays if the sun is out and not obscured by the clouds. So, don't be fooled by clouds and leave the sunscreen at home. And, regarding winters, yeah you can go little less on the strength that is the spf factor if you wish to. But, forgoing it not at all a good idea. The UVA rays specially remain strongest during the daylight hours all the year round.

        spf 15 - filters 93.3% UVB
        spf 30 - filters 96.7% UVB
        spf > 30 - filters around 97% UVB 
        So, clearly any sunscreen having spf more than 30 is not very helpful and efficient. These are mainly marketing tactics so you can protect your skin as well with spf 30 as you will with spf 100. 
        I would recommend going for spf 30 in general all round the year because it provides the best protection. It is proven through research that factors higher than 30 do not in anyway provide extra protection as compared to spf 30 so it is better to stick with spf 30 and make sure to reapply it regularly. And, clothing is very important to protect from the sun's rays. So, do take care that you are amply covered.  

        Friday, September 16, 2011

        Reminiscing Life through Beauty Products {Beauty Products}

        Remember the post in which I shared that probably skin behaves better when we stick to just one product instead of hopping on to different, Monali shared about how her mom is also addicted to same products after all these years and she asked me about about my HG products. So, I have been thinking and thinking and still thinking!!! Yeah, since last 4 years and, especially, since the time I have started blogging, I have been really hopping on various products without sticking to one which is extremely bad. But, I will still recount some of my favorite (or may not be so favorite) products which have worked for me and I know will work for me if I return to them. 
        • Face Wash : My first face wash was in the first year of my Engineering and it was the classic Garnier face wash which I truly love to bits. It never made my face dry and I had stuck to it for a very long time. 
        • Soap : Yardley soaps are my favorite. I have used only one bar till today but they are the best. Sorry to say but even better than Lush. So, yeah, I will end up going back to it. I am just waiting for my stock to get finished. Speaking of which, I am yearning to share my stock of beauty products with you all and I have clicked pics. Just have to edit and put them up. But, if I go back in time, I was addicted to Pears. Ok, not at all a good choice coz it used to make my skin horribly dry but I never understood that then.
        • Moisturizer and Body Lotion : Nivea ever since I can remember. I am in love with Nivea and nothing can change my mind about the brand. And yeah, it helped me during one of the worst times of my life and you wouldn't really believe it of Nivea coz its supposed to be so thick and sticky. I came to Vizag to give EAMCET in the really hot and rather disgusting weather of April and I had come from Simla so you can very well imagine what I would have roasted into. There were boils all over my hands and face - a really strange allergic reaction which Nivea calmed down instantly. And, that too the dry skin lotion. Since then, I had been using the body lotion for quite long.
        • Hands and Feet and pretty much everywhere else : Vaseline. Yeah, much is said about petroleum jelly today but trust me, braving the horrible winters of Simla when your skin is literally cracking is not simple and that was the only thing that worked.
        • Hair Oil : Bajaj Almond Drops worked for me. Yeah, that was even before Rogan Badam so that would be my HG though even Rogan Badam is awesome!!! And, then Keo Karpin worked well but I discontinued it coz of the smell. It started giving me headaches. Parachute and Vatika were discontinued coz they froze in the autumn of Simla leave the winters :D
        • Shampoo : Pantene has always worked for me and it works beautifully. Yeah, I discontinued that too but I have been loyal to Pantene for quite long.And, strictly speaking, Sunsilk (the older ones) and Nyle have been disastrous for my hair. If you remember Chic shampoos, they also worked great for me but I guess they were discontinued.
        Can't pretty much remember anything else though so I don't think it is worth remembering. Do share your products throughout your life. And, thanks to Monali that she asked me about my HG products, otherwise I would never have done such a post. It was fun :)

        Thursday, September 15, 2011

        Himjoli Apricot Scrub {Product Review}

        I had ordered this scrub online.Check out the Himjoli products page. They are a free trade market devoted to help the women of Uttaranchal. I had ordered this scrub from talash.com which sells the scrub 3 times its actual price which I came to know later but then I had an offer so I had to use it up!!! But, there are many brands which are coming in the market with such products which look and feel the same.

        Price: 100 INR for 100gms

        Ingredients
        Apricot kernels

        My Experience
        As you can see in the pic, the scrub is more like a powder. Basically, this product is hand pounded apricots. And, I think even if we pound apricots at home, something like this would result. Now, whenever I mix it with some liquid, it becomes absolutely mushy and no longer stays like a scrub. When applied, its like a paste which you are applying to your face and its more of a face pack than a scrub. You can mix it with any liquid and the scrubbing action is really less so it can be used daily too. It makes the skin really soft though I wouldn't really say one gets any glow if used alone but if combined with proper liquid, the results are better. It is definitely a good product for daily use and really gentle on the skin and completely unlike the apricot scrubs commercially available which are generally pointed and harsh.

        My Recommendation
        Yes, absolutely!!! If you are residing in Dehradun, they have a store there. And, for Mumbai and Delhi, they have provided contact numbers on the base of their website which is suppose for the wholesale purposes.

        PS: If you like the post, please click on the +1 button above. Thanks a lot :)

        Wednesday, September 14, 2011

        Secret of perfect skin {Skin Care}

        Ok, sorry for that heading!!! I couldn't think of anything else. There is one thing which I have observed and would like to share. One of the habits of people who are older and having beautiful skin and hair is that they swear by their products or remedies they use. And, they do not change their products. I know its something which seems very simple for them because they never had so many products to choose from or neither were there so many temptations in their time. But, their faithfulness to one type of product keeps their skin in its best condition. I came across one post in which the girl was raving about her mom's skin (I forgot the post otherwise I would have linked it) and her mom had been using a Lotus Herbals product for many years now. Similarly, my mom has remained faithful to her moisturizer for more than 15 years and her skin is awesome!!! I do agree that newer skin care ranges provide more benefits but probably changing the brands quickly does take a toll on the skin. That's something to think about!!!

        Tuesday, September 13, 2011

        Skin Watchers Papaya Moisture Peeling Gel {Product Review}

        It is a Korean product from Beauty Finest and I am loving it till now.

        Price: 32 SGD (approx. Rs 1300) (Singapore dollars) for 150ml

        Ingredients
        There is no list mentioned on the product so I am just pasting the information given on the website.
        Suitable for all skin types but especially beneficially for Acne skin! Natural & Paraben Free. Skin Watchers Papaya Moisture Peeling Gel is a gentle exfoliating gel that exfoliates and peels off dirt and dead skin cells. It is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin. Natural, paraben-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free & colorant-free. A basic skincare must-have to prevent skin problems such as enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, blemish & dull skin tone. It contains Papaya extracts, an effective natural exfoliating and whitening ingredients that removes dead and old skin cells making your skin soft, supple, smooth, brighter and refreshed. It also contains Ma Chi Xian extract and Phyto ingredients. Ma Chi Xian is a Chinese Herb that nourishes your skin. It is loaded with Omega-3 acids, beta carotene, fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C (which can be found in the stems) and other minerals. Skin Watchers Papaya Moisture Peeling Gel contains Arginine that effectively conditions heals and protects the skin. It has Hiaruron Acid that boosts the ability of moisturizing and absorption of oxygen.
        I asked Janet to provide me with the ingredient list in the meanwhile so here it goes:
        Water, PEG-400, Cellulose, Polyethylene, Glycerin, Arginine, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Carbomer, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Algin, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Extensin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Perfume
        Ok, so ingredients are entirely unknown to me to comment anything on it. 

        How to use?
        Use on dry face. Massage face very GENTLY in a circular motion. Do not use too much force as it may cause redness. Great for removing dead skin on neck, armpit, elbow, knee and back too. Safe to use on alternate days or as & when necessary.
        1) Remove all makeup, wash your face and towel dry well.
        2) Pump a small amount of Papaya Peeling Gel onto your fingertips.
        3) In a circular motion, massage gel onto your face or the area of concern where you want to remove the dead skin
        4) Once the dead skin cells have come off, rinse with water and continue with regular skincare routine
        5) Just massage gel gently onto the skin, do not use too much force as it may cause redness.
        6) The gel will be liquid when used, please be careful when applying around your eyes area.

        My Experience
        Ok, so, let me admit. I was very apprehensive of the word peeling but I wanted to try it out so when I got the package, I was very excited. The gel is somewhat of the texture of what I think would be used while doing microdermabrasion. Very minutely abrasive. The product smells of nothing in particular and is white in color as you can see.

        So, when I used it, I washed my face and cleansed it thoroughly to remove all the impurities and then let it dry completely. A word of warning is that this product doesn't work on wet skin. I tried that. So, to make the most of the product, its best to use on clean dry skin. I placed the product in dots all over my face and rubbed it in gently in circular motion like one would massage the face. I was particularly gentle lest the product damages my skin. But, to my surprise, the product is very very gentle and doesn't harm the skin at all but you can instantly see all the dead skin peeling off. The massage should be continued till the skin stops peeling which takes 5 minutes at max. And, that's it.
        don't worry the skin doesn't peel and in fact, it doesn't sting at all...just the skin comes off!!!
        and, that's after 2-3 minutes of massage when the dead skin cells come off
        and that's my hand: radiant and glowing and not dry at all!!!! Ok, the brightening is pretty much apparent and there was a dryness before I used it on my hand which is not there, instead, my hand also looks young :)
        The results of the product are overwhelming. The skin is brightened immediately and is so soft and looks supple. It definitely stays well-hydrated for at least a day after using the exfoliant and I have also noticed that the skin looks younger instantly. I loved this exfoliant more than any I have ever used!!! I have used it 4 times on my skin till now and not once did the product sting me even a bit. I would definitely say that this product shouldn't be used on sensitive skins and areas like nape of the neck. When I used it, I thought it was better not to use it there again but I did use it on my neck (front) and it worked admirably there too. I avoid using this exfoliant near the eyes fearing the sensitiveness and thinness of the skin around the eyes. I space 4 days in between my uses so as not to overdo it. You don't need to use a lot of the product and the exfoliation is very gentle and the best part is that with regular usage, you see that next time you have less of dead skin peeling off.

        My Recommendation
        I would definitely recommend the product for everyone except people with sensitive skin. 

        PS: Thanks to Janet for sending me two 15ml tubes of the gel as a part of a giveaway held on the facebook fan page of Beauty Finest.
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