Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Which Oil should I use? {Hair Care}

Hey Everyone
Welcome to my most favorite month of the year and this year makes it even more special because of its perfect 4 week month. I like February because it is the shortest month and also because today is my birthday :) No birthday cakes yet!!! But, you can always courier one :D Just kidding. Anyways, let us get on with today's post.

Very often, while reading articles online, I have come across stories that "this oil doesn't do anything to my hair" and so which got me into thinking more about hair care. Ultimately, everything about your hair is dependent on how well you understand your hair. So, identifying hair type and hair texture is very important before starting on a hair care regimen. As you know that both rough and fine hair need different products, similarly, they need different oils.

Rough Hair
It is thick and damaged in a nutshell. So, it needs nourishing oils which help improve the hair structure from the inside. Generally, all the heavy nourishing oils like coconut, almond, mustard, groundnut and other oils do well on rough hair because rough hair absorbs them better and doesn't get weighed down. 

And, in the long run, these oils actually end up improving the hair structure also making the hair smoother and softer. Even shea butter and cocoa butter and other butters do real good to rough hair so if you are looking for smoothing out your hair, try out the butters.

Fine Hair
It gets weighed down very easily so the prominent need for this kind of hair is a light oil which can give it some texture. You do not really need to focus on nourishment because fine hair is generally healthy and you can not make your hair thick by using oils. The only need for this hair is hydration and texture and volume. Oil doesn’t give volume so we can rule that out.

Make sure you use light oils like jojoba, sesame oil, olive oil, rice bran oil or any oil available in the market is light enough because it has already been heavily refined. These light oils leave a fine sheen on the hair and keep it looking healthy.

Custom Oil Blend
You can also mix and match the oils according to your hair needs. For example, if you have curly fine hair which is less in volume, mix almond, castor and any light oil. Similarly, you can use a nourishing oil for scalp and a light oil for hair strands. So, use your own experience of your hair and create a personalized oil blend for yourself. I have found almond oil is more of an all-rounder and does well both on fine and rough hairs.

This post is an inspiration of the incident when the mustard oil and groundnut oil did not work for my hair. This need not be true for your hair but does open up a possibility. The long and short of it is that if you are using heavy oils on fine hair, your hair may end up being limp even after washing and if you are not using nourishing oils for rough hair, it will look more frizzy after being washed. So, use appropriate oils for your hair depending on your hair texture.

Do let me know your thoughts on this observation :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Do you prefer online shopping or physical shopping? {Your Opinion}

For me, I would say online shopping is far more easier but it doesn't really fulfill the need for a shopping therapy if you are looking out to destress yourself.

Pro's of Online Shopping
Easier, convenient, at the click of a finger, you really don't have to exert yourself, no need to carry the large shopping bags all the way to the car or your home, everything delivered on the door step just wrapped nicely giving a feeling of a gift, exciting to wait for 1-2 days for the delivery, secure enough now a days with the option of COD, no need to go to a shop when you feel damn lazy and you run out of a thing which you badly need for a party tonight (ok, may be it's not that quick yet)!!! 

Let us talk about the Con's 
I like the feel of seeing and holding the thing and deciding whether to buy it or not. This is not possible in the virtual shopping. And, consequently, it might be a little disappointing at times. Also, I can carry my goodies in the physical shopping immediately and enjoy them. You have gotta wait in the online shopping option. And, sometimes, the manufacturing of the product might have been too old for your liking. And, physical shopping is definitely funner when you have friends and family with you.

What do you think - which one is better for you?

Image Courtesy:wirelessduniya.com, my1stop.com.my

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How to deal with a dry skin patch? {Skin Care}

Did you ever suffer from a dry skin patch? I know they are very annoying as I have recently been afflicted of this malady. You might have heard me saying this often that my skin gets extremely dry in winters and due to the lack of proper diet, there was a really horrible dry patch around the mouth. So, I tried some of the things to bring my skin back to normal.
[Source: buzzle.com]
How can your products affect that annoying dry skin patch? 
Your products wouldn't definitely cause a dry skin patch unless they are so harsh and you are not really concentrating on your diet. But, your products can help the dry skin patch to remain just like it is or help a little towards healing it. Do not ever rely on your products to do the entire work but certainly, some expectations should be there. So, do not blame your products if your dry skin patches are not got rid of.

I Exfoliated!!!
Exfoliation is a very important ritual of healing a dry skin patch. It removes the dead skin cells accumulated on the patch and helps reveal the newer skin is which isn't exactly as dry!!! But, overdoing this can make the patch red and sensitive that it will stop reacting to any treatment. So, its best to use a very gentle scrub and leave it alone for next 2-3 days.

What I did? Used sugar body polish on the area (exclude salt from the recipe) once. And, another time, I used Vedic Line Papaya Scrub [review coming soon]. Both worked well.

And, what after exfoliation?
Well, we need to trap the moisture and feed the skin some real nutrients, right? So, I used Almond Oil - Very simple and very effective!!! I dabbed a little of almond oil around my mouth after applying toner and moisturizer for the night. The moisturizer I am currently using is Biotique Wheatgerm Cream which is awesome, btw and really effective [review coming soon] but then, nothing beats oils for me. And, the dry patches went away in a single night. And, my skin is healed as if it wasn't ever broken. But, it is always best to continue the treatment over a couple of days so I switched back to applying oils on my skin. They give me the Essential Fatty Acids which I am not feeding myself.

Did you ever get a dry skin patch?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Guide to using Essential Oils {Beauty Products}

So, as I promised to you all that I shall be spending the DIY series of this entire month on my exploits using Essential Oils, I thought it would be prudent and informative to give a little theoretical background on how should an EO be used. And, we shall have practicals from next week :)

Skin and Hair Care
Essential Oils are very concentrated so they have to be diluted to be used in the regular routines otherwise they can cause skin sensitivity and many such problems. So, what is right proportion to dilute the EO's when using them in your skin or hair care routines. 1-2% at max. Do not exceed this ratio at any costs. 

Well, personally, I used like way too much of EO in one of my oils and when I applied the oil on my face, my face burnt for a few minutes before it settled. So, beware of this and you really don't want to go through that. 

How does EO help the skin and hair?.
EO's gets absorbed very easily into the skin as compared to anything else because of their small molecular size. That's why concentrated doses are pretty harmful.
The Essential Oil Desk Reference, 4th Edition tells us that “essential oils are lipid soluble and can penetrate cell membranes bringing an increase of 21% oxygen to the cells within 20 minutes of application.” [Source]
Ok, yes, they increase the oxygen supply and improve the blood circulation consequently and that is why more nutrients are delivered to the cells. It also improves the absorption capacity of the nutrients. Not only that, they are rich in anti-oxidants and can fight the free radicals. And, the EO's can also prevent cancer. So, you see they are pretty much effective in their own way but then excess of everything is bad. 
And, now, the fun part begins - we shall make perfume next week :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Vedic Line Neem & Brahmi Disinfecting Face Wash {Product Review}

Price: Rs 110 for 120ml

Purified Water, Neem Oil, Brahmi, Tea Tree Oil, Camphor, SLES, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate

"In a nutshell"

  • Ingredient List is very impressive
  • Consistency is very thin so most of the face wash falls off my hands when I try to apply it on my face :(
Wish List (to the brand)
  • While you use Sodium Benzoate in place of parabens, why not use something else for SLES?? 
  • And, yes, packaging is not really catchy!!! Would love to see them packaged like some of the other products you have.

My Experience
As you can see in the pic, this is green in color. No color has been mentioned ont he ingredient list so I am assuming that brahmi and neem oil impart their color to the face wash. And, the smell of the face wash is herbal. And, before proceeding with the review, let me tell you that it is more suitable for an oily or combination skin and one which is prone to breakouts. And, since it is winters, my skin is not all that oily so I have no idea where it controls oil or not. And, similarly, I don't really break out a lot so I can't judge the face wash on those grounds either.

Anyways, the thing which actually bothered me a lot was the consistency of the product. It is very thin and it slips off easily even if you turn your hand a bit so while applying, the face wash does fall down and then, I have to take a little bit more of it. Ok, anyways, the product does foam very less even though it has SLES and I think there is not much of SLES either in the product as it is listed pretty low on the list. But, I have one more grouch with this face wash and that is that it leaves a film on my skin if not washed thoroughly and you really need lot of hot water to get rid of the film.

And, it does stretch out my skin a little but then in winters, my skin often dry without a moisturizer so I can't really blame the product for that because I used some other product too and faced almost same thing. And, these days, my skin is going through extra-dry period. But, I really think that this would be a great product in summers for me when the oil is more on my skin. Overall, I don't think I am the best judge for this face wash.

Online - UrbanTouch.com

So, have you ever heard of this brand? Well, I do have a few more interesting products coming in the subsequent weeks from this brand and they are really worth it :)

PS: Product sent by the brand for consideration.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How do Essential Oils affect our Health? {Health}

I have been interested in Essential Oils since quite a while though I had not an idea how could I lay my hands on good quality essential oils. More about that in some other post but I wanted to discuss today about how Essential Oils affect our health. 

What are Essential Oils? 
I have already discussed a bit about Essential Oils in one of my previous posts. So, when we think about EO's, the thing which automatically comes into our minds is fragrance or the aroma and its therapeutic effects on our health.

Essential Oils have a huge amount of impact on the health of a person not only the skin and hair. So, one can use essential oils for simple problems ranging from insomnia and migraines to beating cough and cold and bronchitis and some other respiratory problems. 

How Essential Oils affect our EQ?
Whatever else EO's may be good for, the main usage of essential oils comes to help you with your emotional quotient. Some EO's are great to relive stress, anxiety, some are great for improving confidence in person, some improve the energy levels in the body and some are great for depression treatment and many more. Why is this so?

It has more to do with the sense of "smell". Human beings have five senses - smells, taste, see, feel and hear. But, only one of these senses links to the brain directly and that is the "Smell". The sense of "Smell" directly goes to the emotional center of our brain and controls our emotions. The other side effects of this "Smell" are that the brains sends signal to another part of the brain which controls the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and all those physiological needs of the body. So, consequently, when you "Smell", not only it affects your emotions but also the physiological needs of the body. That is one of the main uses of perfumes as far as I can garner - to uplift the senses and the spirits.

So, I hope, I did clear out certain things about why Aromatherapy works? Looking forward o your opinions!!! And, yes, I am gonna bug you on the DIY Thursdays in February with some DIY's using Essential Oils. You have been forewarned :)

Dermalogica on Agneepath set

PS: PR Information

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Republic Day

Wish you all a very Happy Republic Day. Did you watch the parade? 

Image Courtesy: graphics18.com

Spicy spices for Acne {DIY}

Well, DIY's are not only floral. Look around your kitchen and you will find the most interesting ingredients for your DIY. So, today I bring you a spicy mixture which can be used as a face pack or in your body scrubs or even in your hair packs. So, let us start.
The final product is not as granular as its looking in the pic but still, you should make it as fine as possible!! Mine is little grittier so has to be milled into a fine powder.
  • Cinnamon (3 parts)
  • Nutmeg (1 part)
  • Cloves (1 part)

The ratio should be 3:1:1 in the order in which ingredients are listed. You can use the spices as such and mix them in a mixer or a food processor or blender to a powder and store in a clean glass jar. Or, you can directly mix the powdered versions of the spices but make sure that they are not adulterated and if organic, nothing could be better.  Since they are spices, they are not likely to go bad ever but make only that much which will last you a month. 
The spices are warm in nature so they will provide a nice and different experience than a regular face mask. And, it smells really warm of cloves and hint of cinnamon. 

Mix with Honey
Mixing the mixture with honey is especially recommended for acne skin and all other skin types too. I tried it out on my skin though I don't have acne or any breakouts and the result was that my skin was looking brighter and clearer immediately so I will highly recommend this face pack to all of you.

It also provides scrubbing effect as it is little gritty and be gentle and thorough in application. Make it a thick face pack and wait for 15-30 minutes. It will feel tingly in the start, may burn a very little bit for few seconds so add a good amount of honey. If diluted properly, it wouldn't so no need to worry on that score. While you have it on, it might feel a little warm at times. And, wash it off with cold water. It really makes the skin glow immediately.

Other Uses
  • mix with yogurt to give a good pep up to your skin - for oily skin
  • mix a table spoon or two in your henna hair pack to give your a deeper brownish tinge and a richer hair color

Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a very common spice which is great for adding taste to your dishes. But, it has more properties than that. It acts as an inflammatory on the skin and increases the blood circulation and plumps up the skin. It brings a natural glow to the face like you have put on a blush. And, it is also great for dry acne and reducing the scars and blemishes on the skin.

Benefits of Nutmeg
It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Because of these properties, it is great for acne and eczema too. It also helps clear out the skin when used regularly and has beneficial effects on acne. Caution: It should not be used on the skin alone so we make a mix of all the spices. It can burn your skin as it is very strong.

Benefits of Cloves
It is a great remedy for acne and scars. Caution: It is also irritating to the skin like nutmeg so it should not be used alone.
Hope you like it :) Pin It

How To Take Care Of Long Nails? {Guest Post}

[Source: widehelp123.com]
So you have ordered the best party supplies and are all set with your favorite dress and makeup but ever thought about your nails? Yeah, they are often neglected but long, healthy nails can go a long way in attracting him to you.

Everyone likes having nicely manicured nails and keeping them long is something of a style statement. However, maintaining long nails and keeping them strong is no ordinary feat and should never be judged as an easy task. Before you start reading about nail care, you must know about the things that form your nails. Nails are nothing but dead cells and compose of two parts – the nail plate and the cuticle. Both need to be taken care of and the following tips will help you maintain long and strong nails.

Yellowing Nails - To remove the yellow and pale color off your nails, get some baking powder and put it on the brush tip, then rub your nails with it. You can also brush your nails to whiten them by using strawberries and lemons as substitutes for toothpaste. But because these things will lead to dryness, moisturize properly after you are finished. 

Never cut your cuticles – The cuticle area is made up of two layers – the dead skin layer and the live skin layer. When you go to a professional, you can get your dead skin layer clipped down but trying it yourself can be really risky. It can also result in infections.

Oil Treatment – Many people are seen complaining about their nails being brittle and the skin cracking around the edges. You can simply massage your nails with Olive Oil every day. It will keep your skin moisturized and make your nails stronger. Jojoba Oil is great for cuticles and can be used to. In fact, you can use your choice of oil and dip your nails in it for some time regularly.

No Nail Paint – Remove your nail paint, at least twice a month because it helps your nails breathe. Also, for people who complain of having yellowing nails, this could be one of the problems. It also promotes fungal infections.

Filing Nails – Try to switch onto filing instead of clipping your nails if you have time. Also, filing should always be done in one direction. Doing it in both the directions give jagged edges and make the nails look ugly. It makes them brittle too.

Post Manicure – Usually after a manicure, hands are pat dried and them moisturizer is applied. You must never forget to moisturize your nails.

Diet – Nails are similar to your hair and they need you to give your body proper nutrition. Nails grow faster and become stronger if you increase your intake of proteins and vitamins. It is also good for your hair.

Milk – Keeping your nails dipped in milk can be very beneficial for your nails and will act as the perfect manicure. This is because it will moisturize them and help prevent chipping.

Don’t revert to artificial nails. You can always follow these simple tips for having great natural nails.

About the Author: Salina Gomes is a beauty expert and an aspiring hairstylist. She loves makig different types of wigs for kids in her free time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Hair Diaries - January 2012

Technically, I should put up my hair snap but my camera conked out!! [Source:ayushveda.com]
Hopefully, you have read the "About Me" page I had put up a few days back and are aware of all my complaints with my hair. I was thinking that I shall maintain an online monthly journal entry in which I shall catalog my entire month's hair care routine - all products I use, all my DIY's related to hair and everything I do to my hair.

My Goal - " To keep my hair soft and making it more shiny and trying to keep it conditioned and hydrated as much as possible."

What did I do in January?
Hope this helps :) Pin It

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    Have you ever used a face wash as a body wash? {Your Opinion}

    I just wanted to ask you all if you had ever used face wash in place of a body wash? I have definitely done so on many occasions, the most being during my travel. If I am going to my relatives place or some where else, I always carry my face wash and use it for my body as well. This serves to lighten my travel kit and spares me the necessity of debating on the best body wash which can be easily carried. Also, I feel that face washes are supposed to be milder than the body wash (need not be so in all cases, though) so they keep the body skin softer and do not dry out the body as some soaps and body washes tend to.

    What do you think? Pin It

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Skin Care Essentials {Skin Care}

    [Source:Google Images]
    Last week, I discussed about how a man's skin differs from a woman. But, the skin care routine stays more or less the same for both the genders so let us discuss some points.

    Good Cleanser
    Using a good cleanser is very imperative to a clean skin. The cleanser should be mild and be able to clean out the dirt out of your pores. Using medicated cleansers presecribed by dermatologists is also an option.

    This is another carnal rule of skin care. You don’t want your pores to be clogged. So, exfoliate using gentle scrubbers which remove the dead skin easily and do not really tear the skin. Once a week is sufficient if you are using a really powerful scrubber but it can also be extended to twice a week depending on your usage of products and exposure to natural forces like pollution and sun.

    Sun Protection
    You don’t really want to look aged at any age, right? So, get a good sunscreen with adequate protection for yourself and slather it on before you venture out even if it is for 5 minutes or even for 2 minutes. Preferable, get a Zinc Oxide based sunscreen which is skin friendly and environment friendly too.

    Wear Shades
    Getting a good quality sun glasses which wrap around your eyes is a very good idea to protect your eyes from not only sun rays but also from letting the dirt and pollution inside the eyes. Don’t hitch to spend on a good quality shade.

    Protect Hands
    Hands again are important as they are continuously doing our work and come in contact with so many germs. So, it is our duty to keep them soft and healthy looking. Slather on a rich face moisturizer on your hands before you sleep. And, do not forget to use a moisturizer on hands after washing them every time.

    Lip Care
    Your lips are sensitive and do not have any sun protection. So, make sure you always slather on a good lip balm on your lips and it is even better if the lip balm comes with sun protection.

    Facial Moisturizer
    Again very important and easily ignored by many people, your skin needs a lot of moisture from outside as well. So, use a good moisturizer which suits your skin and keep it looking soft and healthy.

    How do you take care of your skin? Pin It

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Jojoba Oil {Ingredient}

    [Source: Google Images]
    Well, I was checking out Aroma Magic products and came across Jojoba oil so thought I would do a post on it. Now, do you remember my post on what hydrates our skin? Jojoba oil has a relation to that post so do go through the previous post if you want to understand the references.

    Jojoba Oil (pronounced as 'ho-ho-ba' oil not 'jo-jo-ba')
    It is not actually an oil but a liquid wax and its structure is the most similar to that of the sebum. Thus, it is believed to get absorbed very quickly. Jojoba oil is a stable oil and has a very long shelf life unlike other vegetable oils which get oxidized within a span of 6 months - 1 year without preservatives.

    Jojoba oil has fatty acids but it doesn't have triglycerides which are an important part of the skin lipid structure. Thus, jojoba oil doesn't get metabolized (broken down) in the human body when ingested. Since it is rich in fatty acids, it is useful for the skin. The oil keeps the skin soft and supple. And, since it gets absorbed quickly, it is very popular in the cosmetic industry. It creates a skin barrier, keeps the skin moisturized for long periods and is supposed to have a spf of 4.

    In fact, jojoba oil is not only useful for skin but also hair. It is supposed to provide moisturization to the hair just like it does to the skin. It helps increase the shine in the hair and also is great for people suffering from psoriasis and eczema. It helps in preventing early aging of the skin and delays wrinkles and fine lines. And, it is also great for people suffering from sensitivity of skin.

    How to determine purity of Jojoba Oil?
    Jojoba oil is bright to light golden (depending on the jojoba seed plantation and harvest) in color if it is in the pure form but if it is highly processed or diluted, it loses the characteristic golden color and becomes colorless. 
    Did you ever use Jojoba Oil? Pin It

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    NaturalMantra.com - Shop for organic and natural products

    First of all, I would definitely say that I am very glad to have such a website which promotes natural and organic products. And, these are not only beauty products but you can also find foods, snacks, spices, clothes and a special column is devoted entirely to baby products. And, they also have natural hair colors from Vegetal which has definitely intrigued me. Do check out their website here and facebook fan page here. And, I am also looking forward to more brand additions on the site.

    About the Site and Services
    It is easy and simple so no worries out there. But, there is one thing that the offers on the site are not displayed or advertised properly. For example, they have a Soleo Orgaics physical sunscreen (it has 22.3% Zinc Oxide which is just amazing) Buy 1 Get 1 free (I would highly recommend you to make use of this offer) or 20% off on Rustic Art products but these have been put as a part of slide show on the website which can be easily missed!!! So, that's something. 

    And, another thing is they have free delivery only over Rs 1000 which I definitely feel is too high. Because, there are loads of site giving free shipping over Rs 300 - 500. And, then, they charge Rs 20 for COD which is again not really a plus point. But, they have loads of payment options right from credit cards to net banking so that relieves me but many others still prefer COD services. But, I am hoping that these charges would come down once the site grows in size and popularity.

    'Organic' is a fairly new concept in India and not many people really trust it either. I couldn't get my mom to listen. She simply says this person charges you three times or more the normal cost (of a certain generic product, let's say). So, yes, organic products are definitely costly. But, since I have used them and I can safely say that they taste better too. So, my interest or excitement for this website lies more in food products than skin care.

    Delivery and Packaging
    I placed my order on 16th January and I received it on 20th January. Well, that's ok for me but yeah, I was very desperately wanting to get my hands on the products ASAP. So, nothing special about the packaging. It is securely wrapped and I would say it can be improved to more environment friendly. Anyways, check out what I ordered. 
    everything was securely wrapped in a newspaper
    in case you are thinking they used only newspaper, the Tahini was securely wrapped in a bubble wrap and then covered with a newspaper and before I forget, the thing on the base of all the products with naturalmantra.com printed on it is the shopping bag of the website which I guess is complimentary for all orders and, the tea light candle was also complimentary and I love its smell already (without lighting it) and the Soloe Oranics sunscreen sachet which I am dying to try!!!
    And, this is the personalized message they sent on a hand made paper :)
    You can buy Auravedic products on this site. I would definitely reach out this website because there are many things which I would love to give a try!!! Pin It

    PS: I was given a discount voucher. 

    Check out Auravedic product reviews:
    Auravedic Reviving Body Cleanser
    Auravedic Pure Brightening Skin Polish Amla Tamarind
    Auravedic Facial Skin Repair Moisturizing Lotion

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Control your Craving for just 10 minutes {Health}

    Weight Loss has again become an iddue after all the binging during the Christmas and then, New Year and then, Lohri and Bogi and Pongal and Makar Sankranti so I have a simple tip for you today to keep a check on your weight and not go off the course to weight loss.

    Scientists have found that a craving for a certain food typically lasts for about 10 minutes. (Source:Yahoo Lifestyle)

    I don't remember where I have read this but the article said that if you are able to contain yourself for just 10 minutes without giving into your craving then you will no longer feel the craving. It is those crucial 10 minutes you just have to endure. So, whether it is a pizza, burger or any dessert you are craving, better take an apple or a banana at the same time and your craving will pass over.

    Another way to control the cravings is to increase the fiber content in your diet. Eat lots of fiber and it will make you feel full and you will really not feel like binging. 

    How do you control your cravings? Pin It

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    SOPA and PIPA danger to free information?

    SOPA and PIPA are two legislation acts which are likely being passed tomorrow or today in the US congress. What do I care? Well, ok, let us do some background check first. There is a lot of piracy and it is very easy to steal information online. So, there was a need to put some stringent copyright laws and protect information from being pirated. So, the consequence was SOPA and PIPA bills were introduced in the US Congress.

    SOPA is Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA is Personal Information Protection Act. But, what's is the problem? Everything sounds great till now. The problem is that this act can actually mean that international access of the sites would not be possible. Blogs would probably need to be shut down and it will affect advertising industry like crazy and you, obviously, know that internet runs on advertising. And, imagine you can't even post your videos if you are using some popular music tracks in them.

    You should really check out this post here because it discusses everything in detail. But, in a nutshell, I would say that these bills are likely to be hitting on our rights to information and knowledge. And, imagine what would happen if you can't access most of your favorite websites!! I have become so dependent on internet now that it is almost impossible. Btw, did you access Wikipedia, today or rather yesterday? Yes, Wikipedia is protesting this act by blacking out its contents for complete 24 hours. Other giants to join this group are Mozilla, Google and Wordpress as far as I know. 

    What do you think about SOPA and PIPA? Do you really want the sites to be blocked and the free information we can access today be stopped? Pin It

    PS: Btw, do you like the new layout??? Hoping that it doesn't hurt your eyes!!! If it does, do tell me. And, another thing was that don't forget to check out the "About Me" page :) And, don't forget to drop your comments!!!

    Green Tea Hair Spray {DIY}

    I have been dying to make a hair spray at home because of many many reasons. First, it is free of chemicals and I can use anything I want which will improve the shine, impart a beautiful fragrance and help in its growth. And, I did give this a try. I am not really sure of the results but if not good, they wouldn't turn out to be bad, that's for sure. Green Tea is a versatile ingredient with amazing benefits for hair, skin and health. So, this can double up as a toner too :)

    • 2 tablespoon Green Tea Leaves
    • Distilled Water
    • 1 tablespoon Glycerin
    • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
    • 25 drops Rosemary Essential Oil (EO)
    • Prepare green tea and set it aside to cool down
    • In a spray bottle (100ml), add glycerin and ACV
    • Add the Rosemary EO
    • Pour the green tea in spray bottle to fill it (I used the Body Shop Aqua Lily Body Mist bottle)
    • Voila!!! Your hair spray is ready and you can use it as a toner too as all the ingredients in it are skin-friendly
    What do you think? Pin It

    PS: Btw, do you like the new layout??? Hoping that it doesn't hurt your eyes!!! If it does, do tell me. And, another thing was that don't forget to check out the "About Me" page :) And, don't forget to drop your comments!!!

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Hair Grows more if tied up? {Hair Care}

    Statement: Hair grows faster if you keep it it braided or styled and not simply left open.
    Well, what is the fact behind this statement? Does hair really grow just because you braid it up. If you keep it tied all the time, doesn't it put pressure on the hair? So, what are the answers to these questions??

    Yes and no The statement is true in one sense but it can prove much stressful for the hair if over done. When you tie your hair, you are putting some pressure on your hair. If this pressure is less than the tensile strength (weight the hair can bear) of the hair, it will help your hair to grow a bit. But, if the pressure becomes too much for the hair strands to handle, the result is hair fall and breakage. So, keeping your hair tied up is a good thing but when done in the most comfortable way. You should not feel any pressure anywhere on the scalp or the hair while your hair is tied up. 

    Another reason why tying up the hair is recommended is that it prevents the hair from being left loose and open and this way, they will lose less of their moisture and turn dry. If you have observed, the more you leave your hair open, the more dry they become. If the ends of the hair are well-secured, your hair will look beautiful int he long run but avoid putting pressure on the roots. And, always keep on changing your hair style - make it a braid sometimes, pony tails can be high, low or in the center or even on the sides, create a bun. The focus is to make the hair pull down but make sure that you are not rough with your hair and when you keep on changing your styling of the hair, it distributes the pressure on the hair equally on all the hair strands because of which there is a uniform growth.

    And, don't forget to leave your hair open for sometime everyday. Hair too needs to relax but always make sure to braid or tie your hair while going to bed because that is the time when it loses most of its moisture.

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Did you know about Himalaya Herbals Organique? {Your Opinion}

    Well, this came as a surprise that Himalaya has actually got an organic brand line of itself and that is probably not available in India. I came across this review on one of the blogs on the Neem face wash and the walnut scrub and apparently this product line is available in Malaysia too and many other places abroad. And, their products are almost the same as available in India. The only difference is their ingredient list. Apparently, the brand uses organic products. Check out their website here and below I have an interesting comparison between the ingredients list of the same products - one of the Organique line and one available in India. 
    The ingredient list is of the walnut scrub. [Image Courtesy: My Women Stuff.com]
    And, this is the ingredient list of the same product available in India
    Have you seen this line in India anywhere? I do wish they bring this to India too and no idea why they didn't till now. Pin It

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    How does a man's skin differ from a woman's? {Skin Care}

    Last week, I spoke a bit about tips to shave. That made me thinking about how different is a man's skin as compared to that of a woman's? So, I shall share a bit about that today and hopefully, that should convince your better-halves and "boys" to take care of their skin. Technically speaking, there is not much of a structural difference in a man or woman's skin. But, there are some significant points to think about. 

    Rough Skin
    Men have really rough skin. Why? For one, they have 25% thicker skin than women (Source). The top layer of their skin is naturally thicker. Secondly, they have to shave everyday or on alternate days. That removes the lipids from the surface of their skin. Then, they have more facial hair and also suffer from ingrown hair because of improper shaving routine.

    Having said that they have thicker skin, I would also add that their skin loses its thickness with age where as the thickness of a woman's skin remains constant till her menopause stage.

    Oily Skin and Sebaceous Glands
    You would be surprised to know that they have lesser number of sebaceous glands which produce sebum which makes the skin oily. But, their secretion of sebum is more than women and consequently, the skin of a man is 15% oilier than that of a woman. And, because of that reason, they are more prone to acne and blackheads. Also, their pore size is bigger than a woman counterpart. 

    Exposure to Environment
    Men are generally more exposed to the natural forces like sun, wind, rain, dirt and pollution and they do not really take care of their skin because of which their skin is more sensitive. And, their skin is more dirty and there is more chance that their pores can get blocked resulting in more acne and blackheads. 

    Also, the amount of anti-oxidants in a man are far less than that of a woman so they are more likely to suffer from cancer. And, they are also not very devoted to sunscreen which increases the risk.

    Collagen Density
    So far, the above factors have been looking disadvantageous. so, let us talk a bit about why they still look younger as compared to a woman. That is because their collagen density is intrinsically much higher than that of a woman. Collagen maintains the elasticity in the skin and helps you look young. The age difference just by looks can go up to 15 years between a man and a woman of the same age (whoa!!! I am jealous). 

    And, the loss of collagen is more in woman as compared to a man because of the menopause stage. Otherwise, per year, both men and women lose up to 1% of collagen every year (Source). 

    Hydration Levels
    Having said that regular shaving removes the lipids which hydrate the skin, a man's skin is naturally hydrated as compare to that of a woman. During puberty, hormonal changes in a main lead to secretion of sweat which contains lactic acid which is a natural humectant and makes the skin look more hydrated. As a rule, men sweat twice more than women. And, their natural ph balance is acidic due to the presence of lactic acid in the sweat as compared to a woman. 

    Less prone to Pain
    A man's skin has lesser nerve fibers and consequently, they feel less amount of pain as compared to a woman. So, don't let your men think they are too macho :D It's naturally endowed to them. And, still, we bear all the pain :(

    What do you say - a man's skin is better or a woman's? Pin It

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    Happy Makar Sankranti

    [Source: festivals.iloveindia.com]
    Wish you all a very Happy Makar Sankranti.

    Fun Fact: Today is the day of kites, as you all are aware. Do you fly kites? I did the previous two years. Not exactly fly them but be a part of it and it was fun!!! I would definitely say that one should never miss this in their life. It's an amazing experience. Happy kite flying :)

    Difference between Soap and Bathing Bars {Beauty Products}

    [Source: thisnext.com]
    How many soaps are packaged as luxury bars or bathing bars or simple as a bar instead of being sold or marketed as a soap? Have you ever wondered at this discrepancy? Next time you go to a supermarket, check out the labeling of you favorite soaps. I remember one right now - Dove which is called a beauty bar.

    What is a Soap? 
    Soap is a product which is formed by the process of 'saponification' which includes the reaction between an alkali and an oil. When this reaction takes place, glycerin is formed as a byproduct and is present in the soap itself and gives the soap its moisturizing property. So, the ultimate product called 'soap' is actually a salt. The alkali used in soap making is called lye or Sodium Hydroxide. Lye is reacted with either Coconut Oil (it makes for a hard and lathering soap) or Olive Oil (which makes a mild soap). Now, when a soap is made, it needs a month or two months time to 'cure' to complete the process of saponification after which the soap is ready to be used. 

    These soaps are actually full of fatty acids and the cleansing action is that some of the molecules repel dirt and some molecules get attracted to dirt and that's how the soap separates and cleanses. So, the molecules which attract dirt get washed off and molecules which repel dirt stay on our bodies and keep it moisturized. If you have ever used a soap which is made of lye, it is extremely gentle on the skin, doesn't let your skin dry out and keeps your skin smooth and soft. These are some characteristics of soap which you do not generally find the counter-products sold as soaps.

    Are the Bars available in the market Soaps? 
    Well, actually no. For one, I hardly remember any soap having Sodium Hydroxide in their ingredients list. Well, I do read my ingredients list and when I had read about this soap making, I had checked out many soaps in the market to find one true soap. No success there. And, second, I have read somewhere that the companies remove the glycerin content of their soaps or manufacture their soaps through some other method and that is why the soaps have SLS and such surfactants as their ingredients.  And, finally , do you think it will be profitable for companies to keep soaps for 2 months on the shelf to let them 'cure'??? 

    Well, last year or before that, I had suddenly developed an awful amount of interest in soap making and I thought I would give it a try but I had to abandon the project because you need Lye to make soap and lye has to be used very very carefully otherwise one can end up burning themselves. And, then, these ingredients have to be used in proper measurements otherwise the whole soap gets ruined for which you need a food measurement scale. You know it's a lot of pre-prep!!! But, some day, I might, who knows??? That was when I came across this hoard of info and I am sharing this with you because of the upcoming product review so I thought I would better leave you a background of how to determine the true soap.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Happy Pongal

    Wish you all a very Happy Pongal. 

    Fun Fact: If you don't know, Pongal is also the name of a dish which is prepared today. It is prepared with rice and is generally bland and not spicy. The funny thing is that I used to hate this dish till a two to three years back and now, I am not definitely in love with it but it tastes really good if I put a whole lot of pure ghee. So, if you have not had this dish, you should definitely try it out.

    Lass Cosmetics Lavender & Ylang Ylang Soap {Product Review}

    Lass Cosmetics product reviews at Perfect Skin Care for you
    Price: Rs 65 for 125gms

    Lass Cosmetics product reviews at Perfect Skin Care for you
    Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Cotton Seed Oil, Rose Water, Sugar, Aloe vera, Lavender Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil - its full of oils!!!

    My Experience
    This smells really lavender and ylang ylang have been mixed and it smells strong of that but it doesn't really hurt your nose. It fills the bathroom with its smell and it will instantly refresh and relax you. And, I am loving the ingredients. They are all natural and the soap doesn't really foam a lot but it does only when you have added hot water to it. In hard water, it doesn't lather well. 

    It cleanses the skin well and doesn't really leave it feeling stretched. And, I went without moisturizer for an entire day after using the soap in winters which is a thumbs up for a soap. Of course, you do need a moisturizer after using this, though. I will not recommend you to pass the moisturizer on though I do it many times because I am too lazy. I did like this soap and the best part is that the soap doesn't just melt off. It does stay on for a month if used by a single person. 

    Have you tried anything from this brand? Pin It

    PS: I have bought the product but I was also given a percentage of discount. And, the brand definitely looks promising.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Happy Lohri

    Image Courtesy: Orkutjunks.com 
    Wish you all a very very Happy and fun filled Lohri.

    Healthy Cooking Oils {Health}

    Oils are not entirely bad and you can not cut down on oils completely. So, it is essential to be aware of the healthiest oils which are safe to use and do good to your bodies. 

    Refined Vegetable Oil
    These oils are available under various brand names and are supposed to be extremely healthy and cholesterol controlling and many other benefits. But, in a nutshell, all these oils are processed in industrial conditions under high heat and pressure and refined to a lot of extent. Now, I have said again and again that cold processed oils are the best otherwise they lose their nutrients. And, in the industrial environment, the oils undergo a process called hydrogenation. 

    In this process, hydrogen molecules are added to the unsaturated fatty acids of the oils to convert them to saturated fatty acids. While the oils with saturated fatty acids are healthiest and stablest of the cooking oils, in practice this process of hydrogenation is not taken to its completion. Because of this, the oils are partially hydrogenated. Partially Hydrogenated oils have molecules which are inflammatory in nature and are main reasons for diseases of heart and cause burning sensation in the body. 

    What is termed as a 'Healthy Cooking Oil'? 
    So, now the question is what is healthy? As I said above, saturated fat oils are healthiest as they are stable and generally have a high smoke point. You do not want to have an oil which burns and turns to smoke very soon because frying brings the oil to a very high temperature. And, if the oil reaches its smoke point, the oil loses its nutrients and its chemical bonds undergo changes on its own because of which oil may become entirely unhealthy. 

    Now, coconut oil has the highest amount of unsaturated fats which is why it is an extremely healthy cooking oil. But, excess consumption of coconut oil in a day leads to high calories in the body. But, coconut oil has a high smoke point because of which it is a good oil. Similarly, safflower oil, pure ghee (made at home and not from animal fat), groundnut oil, mustard oil, rice bran oil and sesame oil are healthy cooking oils. 

    Olive Oil
    If you love olive oil to the core, you must be infuriated that how come it has not made it to the list? Well, actually, it does. But, there are certain points regarding olive oil which I wanted to clarify. It is an monounsaturated oil. 

    Now, I have seen it often and have personally also probably recommended that Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) should be used. But, that is not true. EVOO is actually very delicate oil whose, if subjected to high heat, chemical structure changes rendering the oil useless and unhealthy. So, use EVOO only for salads and cooking at low temperatures. Virgin Olive Oil should be used for cooking at high heat as it is more heat resistant but it is little less nutrient when compared to EVOO. And, Pomace is the grade of olive oil which is actually suitable for Indian Cooking as it's structure doesn't get altered with high temperatures.

    Which oil do you use? I personally like Sesame and Mustard oil.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Homemade Vanilla Oil {DIY}

    Vanilla Pods
    So, I have a very interesting DIY today :) And, this one is making me pretty happy. I just hope the results turn out as good. I was on a trip to Kerela last year and I got vanilla pods from there (only 6)!! I was entirely unsure of how to use them. And, then, I decided to make some toner or some skin care product but discarded the idea. Then, I checked out online and I needed Vodka to make a perfume from that so I decided on this finally. I infused the oil with vanilla pods. 

    • Vanilla Pods
    • Carrier Oil (I preferred almond oil though apricot oil is better, I read somewhere)
    • Knife
    Split the vanilla bean pods length wise and cut them into small pieces
    Put them in a clean glass jar (preferably sterilized and entirely dry)
    Pour oil over the pods. Store it in a dark warm place for a month or two. Occasionally, take it out and shake to maximize the infusion.
    My Notes
    The color of the oil is already dark in just half a day of infusion. Compare with the second snap above.
    • I did this yesterday night so the results will be out in one or two months when I shall put up a post to tell you about how it went. 
    • While you are infusing, you have two choices - either put the glass jar in a dark place or in sunlight. I wasn't sure which one to choose so I chose dark place as I don't really get much of direct sunlight here. 
    • One more thing I goofed up on was to use almond oil. Actually, I read somewhere that apricot oil is good at absorbing plant essences so if you are making infusions, use apricot oil instead. And, I do have apricot oil. I forgot all about that and remembered it the moment I finished pouring almond oil. Anyways, I shall remember this the next time.  
    • I am so excited about it that I have shaken it 2-3 times till now :D
    • The smell is divine. I can't explain it. And, we are talking about real vanilla smell, not the food flavorings.
    What do you think?
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