Saturday, December 29, 2012

Deep Cleansing Face Mask: with Fuller's earth(multani mitti)

Having managed to successfully kick myself into a skin care phase, a face mask was inevitable. For the first 3-4 days, This was my routine:
Morning: Wash with Cetaphil cleanser for sensitive skin. Alternate with Vicco foam wash. Tone with Acnes powder lotion if cetaphil used. Apply Lacto calamine or Vicco turmeric cream.

Evening/night: Wash with Cetaphil/Vicco foam wash on alternate days. Tone with Acnes if Cetaphil used. Apply Vicco turmeric cream.
On alternate days appy tretinoin acne medication after washing with cetaphil but without toning.

When I thought about my previous phase I remembered how important face masks were in my routines. Now, I am not an advocate of regular usage of face masks because a)they can stress the skin when used on a daily basis due to the pull caused when drying and because of the concentration of active ingredients and b) washing them off wastes water unless you like me have techniques.

Here's my mask washing technique:
Wet and soften the mask with water and then rub gently till it no longer adheres to skin. Take a bowl with about 2 cups of water and wash the mask into it by taking palmfuls of water and using it to slide mask off . I don't change the water until the mask is nearly off. Only then do I take clean water and remove what remains. I regulate my water usage with cups and I have noticed that my skin is completely clean with 3 more cups of water.
This method is a bit of trouble the first few times you do it but you get the hang of it very soon. I believe that water conservation is very important and that the earth shouldn't suffer for my vanity.
Most of us really waste a lot of water in the name of skincare but actually we need very little. You will notice this the moment you start measuring and using water.

To make masks more effective clean your face with a good cleanser before putting them on. This helps them penetrate more effectively and also increases their saturation limit.

So, here's the mask:
1 heaped tsp fuller's earth(multani mitti)
1/2 tsp kasturi turmeric( or ordinary turmeric if you can get rid of the stains)
1 tsp honey
milk or rosewater
Use the milk/rosewater to mix the mask to the desired consistency(not too runny).

Fuller's earth deep cleans and reduces the appearance of pores.It absorbs oil. turmeric is antibacterial and helps diminish acne, blemishes and scars. Honey moisturises and is anti-bacterial.

This mask is best used twice a week(once a week if you have very sensitive skin).

I liked the effect this mask had on my face and neck. My skin felt clean without being dry or stretchy.

For those of you who don't know, kasturi turmeric is a variety of turmeric which gives the same benefits but does not stain like normal turmeric. It is not eaten and is used for cosmetic purposes. Don't worry, unless you're allergic to it, it won't hurt you. Neither is it toxic. Its been used by Indians for centuries.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Truly Beautiful Skin

Hi you all!

So, I told you all about my phases of skin and hair care. Now, I'm trying to push myself into a phase of skin care because benign neglect benefits my hair the most. And what happened today might just make that easier.

Today, we went to meet an acquaintance of ours who had recently been sick. We met her mother there, who'd come down to look after the woman and boy, am I glad that I had the chance to meet her! This is one naturally sophisticated and beautiful old woman who has truly aged gracefully.

Not only was she gentle and sweet but physically beautiful as well. She must be around 76-80 but has absolutely gorgeous skin that can put celebrities that age to shame. She has no wrinkles! Yes none! Her skin is smooth and flawless, the only sign of aging being the loss of elasticity in the skin which is natural at that age.
She has folds at the corners of her eyes and lips, but only because of gravity and the afore-mentioned loss of elasticity. She has no lines on her forehead, no furrows....It was just amazing to look at her. Even more so after I learned that she had once burned a part of her face(it was mild but still left a mark which is now invisible).

Now, I know for a fact that she has had no cosmetic procedures done because she could not have afforded them and where I live, people of that generation frown upon such things ( unless medically necessary). So I complimented her on her skin and asked her for tips. She told me that she doesn't do anything special; she cleans her face with a solution of unboiled milk and sugar and then washes that off with plain water. Soap does not touch her skin as far as possible. She uses whatever cream she finds at hand as a moisturizer  which is usually Boroline or Ponds' cold cream or Nivea.
My mum then told me that my aunt who has gorgeous skin cleans her skin with a mix of plain flour and milk cream. The paste is applied, allowed to dry and then rubbed off vigorously with dry hands. It falls off, forming these eraser dust-like things. Some of you might wonder how it cleans but it is the concept of like dissolving like working here. Most dirt that sticks to our skin is non-polar, so it sticks onto the fat in the milk cream which is non-polar too. Then, a water-only bath is taken.

The sweet old lady also told me to drink plenty of water. She complained that most of my generation is dehydrated and that is why we have so many skin problems.
She has also never used makeup of any sort. Not that she would ever need it anyway- she is astoundingly lovely even at her age.

Until I met her, I always had doubts about skin care. What is the point of spending time on skin when eventually it would break down one day when we were old? Why cry about something that wasn't going to last anyway?
But now I have proof of the fact that good skin care can keep your skin beautiful even when you are old. I have seen a lot of people older than her who have the usual old-people skin but she is truly different.

This has renewed my passion for skin care once again.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Fact About Myself

This is something you all ought to know. It will explain why my entries are so sporadic and also I'm sure that a lot of you are this way.

My obsessions switch between skin and hair. 4 months a year I'm nuts about my skin and the rest of the year I'm nuts about my hair. When I obsess with my skin I absolutely neglect hair(it seems to help my hair though)
and vice versa(neglecting skin is bad for me).

Behavior when I'm on skin care mania:
1. Wash hair once a week unless working out (actually, washing hair less often is good for it and not dirty at all as long as you give it a good brushing or combing. I also do water-only washes a couple of times in a week)
2. Bundle it into a french roll secured with jaw clip.
3. Comb just once a day
4. Completely forget that I have hair on head on holidays

Behavior during hair care mania:
1. Force self to bathe
2 Use wet wipe to clean face and follow up with compact powder once a day
3. Forget about lotion for days on an end
4. barely remember deodorant (fortunately I do not suffer from BO problems-I barely sweat in normal stink zones)
Now that I have controlled acne neglect no longer poses a problem but I still have to be careful.

So right now I'm on a hair obsession.
So, why am I not writing some hair posts?
I have to find a routine or products that I'm completely happy with.

So, until I find something worth writing about.........

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Secret to Smooth Skin-Homemade body scrub

I was googling 'oil for smooth skin' when I came across this article:

Although Jillee used it as an aftershave exfoliant, I used this while bathing, after washing with soap. After I saw how amazed all the ladies commenting were by this scrub's effect, I just had to try it out.

But I thought the big grained sugar(which is all I have) would be too harsh and scratch my skin while salt which can also be used would seriously kill a couple of scratches that I have. So, I reinvented the scrub and i am bowled over by it. It is seriously amazing, much better than any OTC body scrub I have ever used( I can't remember which brand that was).

So, here's what I did:
I took 2 heaped tblsps of rice flour, 1 heaped tsp of sugar and salt each in a bowl and poured in sesame oil. I don't know how much oil I put in exactly; I stopped pouring the oil when it reached the consistency I wanted(semisolid-the oil shouldn't float on top). Then I added the juice of a quarter of lemon. I mixed it till the oil and juice were no longer 2 separate components.
This was sufficient for me; I still have some scrub left over( I'm 5 ft 3 inches tall). I rubbed it gently for a couple of minutes on wet skin and then rinsed it.

Because I didn't use any more soap after scrubbing there was a layer of oil on my skin(I don't mind that because I'm not going out anywhere). You can also use this scrub first and soap later if you don't want the oil layer.

It is tremendously moisturising and you will be amazed by how smooth your skin feels and this is just in one use. And I didn't even shave!

Depending on how sensitive your skin is you can adjust the amount of oil you put in. If you find sugar too harsh then plain rice flour alone will do as well coz its gentler.

If you are acne-prone don't use this scrub on your breakout zones aka face, back, shoulders.

This scrub really helps with dry skin as well. It can be used 2-3 times a week. Any more will chafe skin.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: Oriflame Body Lotion with Green tea

The weather is kind of dehydrating now where I live and my skin is seriously dry. Its really annoying having oily skin above the shoulders and dry below.

I bought this lotion a few months ago when there was a discount in the catalogue. Now, that I've finished half of it I think I can review it.

I was happy with it in the summer. I use it everywhere below shoulders and it did moisturize well in the summer. But in the last one month, ever since it has been getting drier this lotion is insufficient for me.

This lotion is supposed to be for normal to dry skin. It costs Rs.590 for 400 ml so it is rather expensive but I got it in discount.

It claims to provide all day hydration and intensive moisturization.

So, does it live upto its claims?
Sort of. it does not hydrate my skin all day long but it keeps dry itchiness at bay in the summer. But, now as winter approaches(it is still really warm though) it lasts for only around 4 hours. It also does not leave your skin smooth. It forms a sort of layery powdery feel once it dries. It won't work on very dry skin.
The bottle has a flip cap. I am anyway never bothered by packaging as long as it doesn't leak.

It is a pretty good sealant for body oil, however.

Will I buy it again?
No, not for this price anyway.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Acne story- Update

I haven't been following my skin care routine the last two months because of exams. So, while my skin hasn't gone back to its pre-treated days it has gotten worse.

Now, I use my tretinoin cream on alternate nights after washing with cetaphil cleanser. On the night I don't use tretinoin I use Acnes powder lotion, leave it on for an hour and then follow up with an ayurvedic oil called Kumkumadi Thailam. I know you're all thinking, "oil" now, but kumkumadi thailam is formulated for people with acne and it hasn't broken me out yet.

In the morning I put on Lacto Calamine Classic after toning with Acnes.

My skin has improved hugely in 8 months. The redness from the scars is barely visible now and while the mild pits will I suppose never go, my skin is a lot smoother.

Retinol-An Anti-aging secret?

No one wants to age right? So, that has a created a multi-billion dollar industry for anti-aging skin care. But as we can all say from a lot of experience, how many of these creams actually work?

But it seems retinol actually does. This is a derivative of vitamin A and is used in acne medication.  It has shown evidence of working on wrinkles and some other signs of aging and therefore is used in a good number of products now. But  are these really effective?

For retinol to be absorbed and work it must be in a form that our cells can utilise, like tretinoin. But that's not how it is present in the over-the-counter(OTC) products. Neither is it present in sufficient quantities to make a major difference. Tretinoin creams are only available by prescription or through the internet.

But, many of you may have found some of these OTC creams and lotions working for you. This I would say might be the effect of a good regimen rather than the product itself. Usually when one starts with a new anti-aging product there is that urge to be thorough and follow  a new regimen faithfully which might consist of new cleansers, toners, moisturisers and also a new diet. We become so meticulous with this that we start thinking that its all the effect of the new product.

One of the medicines my dermatologist prescibed is a tretinoin cream. It has been very effective in reducing scars and acne and I also feel that my skin looks a lot smoother and fuller on the days that i use it.

It is inadvisable to use tretinoin creams without first consulting a doctor because they don't suit everyone. My derm had me do blood tests before he prescribed it. Also pregnant women should never use these.

On a parting note, don't be fooled by the claims big companies make. Do research the chemistry of the ingredients before spending a ton of money on any product.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Honey Cinnamon Nutmeg Mask

After seeing an article about korean beauties using a mask on their face everyday I decided to do the same. But from prior experience I know that one must be careful about choosing the mask. There was a period when I'd used Turmeric mask on my face everyday and ended up with burning skin as my skin is mildly sensitive.

So I decided to rotate masks(I'll tell you about that in another post).

The honey-cinnamon-nutmeg mask is supposed to help with acne scars(which is what I'm after).
To make it:
1-2tsp honey
1/2tsp cinnamon powder
1/2tsp nutmeg powder
should be mixed. Put more honey if necessary but do not make it too runny.

It should be spread all over the face and left on for 1/2 an hr to 45 mins depending on how sensitive your skin is. Wash it off after that.

Honey is an antibacterial agent while nutmeg and cinnamon improve blood circulation and the appearance of scars.

I've found it to be quite good for my scars. They definitely look lighter.

I even get compliments about the glow on my skin nowadays!

I use this mask twice a week. Anymore than that might cause your skin to burn and peel.

I recommend that people with very sensitive skin not use this mask. Do a patch test and if it causes you unbearable burning then wash it off.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Lacto Calamine lotion-Classic

This is another product that has been around for years and is still one of the best in the market. My grandmum used this to help with chickenpox scars and this lotion had a reputation for it.

I always thought that it was a medicinal emergency thing but then I realised that it is used as a regular face lotion by a lot of people and that is also how piramal markets it these days. So I tried it and now I'm hooked. It has become my HG moisturiser.

It costs Rs 70 for 60ml.

This lotion is targeted towards people with oily to normal skins and it does work great as a moisturiser for em. But some might find it a bit drying in the winter months and I've found that a bit of Nivea soft creme under Lacto calamine does the trick.

The bottle says that it provides  skinsurance by giving protection, acne control, oil control n dead skin removal.
I don't know about the dead skin removal because I scrub regularly but it does the rest alright. It does not have an SPF rating but zinc oxide it one of the main ingredients which is the blocking ingredient in sunblocks so it will give sun protection enough unless you work in fields all day or are an athlete who practices under the sun all day. It controls oil for a good while until of course the skin starts making enough to open an oil factory. For me that is around 3-4 hours. It helps with mild acne but moderate to severe acne sufferers will need to go to a derm.

Also, it has never interfered with my acne medication. Its never made me break out yet.

Lacto calamine classic(purple cap) is also a good makeup base. I find that it works like a good bb cream minus the fantastic coverage.

The only problem is that you must be careful about the amount you use. If too much is used it can make you look like a white ghost. also dark-skinned people need to be extra careful about this point.

I recommend a trial period of a week or more with any new product. So stop if you find any problems. But not many find problems with LC.

Disclaimer: These reviews are based on my own experience and those of people I know. I have not been paid to do these reviews.

Review: Boroline Antiseptic Cream

This is one of the oldest antiseptic cream brands in India maybe even THE oldest. It monopolised the market for a very long time until Boroplus came in and stole the show. If you guys are interested you could even check out articles on how Boroplus beat Boroline. Just google it.

However, this cream beats Boroplus by far. Boroplus may have a snazzier packaging and bigger stars vouching for it but quality wise it'll never beat boroline.

Here are the pros and cons.

1) nice smell. I like it atleast. Some might find it strong but its fine for me.
2) It works fast. Faster than Boroplus does.
3)Its is a very old and trusted brand.
4) The composition hasn't changed. It is now a little thinner than it used to be but that is a good thing and apart from that its been the same for ages.
5) It is the world's best lip balm. Just a little on your lips and they become moist immediately. If you leave it on overnight it soothes chapped lips and you can feel the dead skin coming off the next day. Then you can remove the dead skin by pulling or scrubbing and you're lips will look like new. It can repair dry and cut lips overnight. Don't expect perfect lips in a day though. You have to follow up by keeping your lips moisturised throughout the day and use Boroline for atleast 3 days to see the perfect fashion model lips. But. it is the best lip soother ever.
6) It is the best crack cream for heels.
7) it is also the best night moisturiser for the face and any other part of your body.
8) it is the best remedy for chapped bleeding cuticles as well.
9) It is an antiseptic cream so its great for cuts, burns, wounds, rashes nearly any skin problem. I have used it for the aforementioned purposes and its like a miracle.

1) It is really oily so it won't do for daytime use. Also acne prone people had better not put this on their faces. but its works great everywhere else for all skin types.
2) It looks white on lips if applied a little heavily. but a light application is fine. It requires Practice i guess. But it won't interfere with lipstick if applied on top of it.

Thats all the cons I find. It costs 22 rupees for 20g.

This is one of my holy-grail products and I have very few fave products so this is truly great. My mom and her mom before her have used it for years and we're all very loyal to this brand.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Acne Story Contd..

OK, I changed my mind. I will tell you guys what ointments I was put on but not their names. I'll state the ingredients. But please do not use all this without consulting a dermatologist.

For the first month I had a course of a tablet whose name I can't recall and a gel having clindamycin phosphate and nicotinamide(please don't buy this stuff without consulting a dermatologist). I had to use it morning and night.

I have been very irregular in my medication and visits for a long time so my progress has not been as good as it should have but its still great.

The next time I went I was given a benzoyl peroxide cream to use in the evenings in addition to the gel. the next month I was given a clindamycin and adapalene gel to alternate the benzoyl peroxide cream with. That was primarily for blackheads. All this while I also had to take an iron supplement in the mornings.

This went on for a while and now on my latest visit because I'd had no new pimples for a while the doc told me to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer at night and in the morn over a scar gel that I have been using all this while and continue with benz cream and clin gel alternate evenings. No more tablets.

I won't deny that all these treatments had severely dried out my skin. There was also a lot of peeling. The doc had warned me that this would happen and i had a moisturizer a month in between called Ictyane.

This might sound like a lot and scare you guys but let me tell you all that had I been more regular half of it wouldn't have been needed. And it really has been working like nothing else has. The best part is that I've had no new acne.

That s why I say that goin to a doc is the best solution if you have severe acne or acne that leaves scars.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Acne Story

Yes I have been an acne sufferer. I'm recovering quite well so I can sympathize and share with you guys some tips that will actually help.

I've tried every home remedy there is from turmeric to toothpaste very religiously and I can assure you that none of them worked for me in case you think I didn't try hard enough. The pimples kept coming and leaving scars and nothing I did helped. I've also tried several drugstore products like Garnier and Clean & Clear and what not(not Proactiv though so I can't talk about that) and they were useless as well. Finally my father decided that he wouldn't waste any more money and had my mom take me to a dermatologist 6 months ago.

And that is what finally worked. when I told the doc that nothing had worked, he said, "why do you think we are here if those work? why do you think there is so much research on acne drugs if other stuff worked?"
I was put on a course of a drug I won't name here (because with drugs like this you can't buy them without consulting a doc) and a supplement along with a cream.
Within a month all my acne stopped popping up although my skin peeled like he'd warned. When I went back after a month he put me on gels for my blackheads and I'm very nearly blackhead free now.

I've read about how many people complain that docs are the worst because the treatments give them dry skin and stuff but I think the problem is that they don't have patience or that they never go back to the doc after that.
When my dry skin got bad he gave me a suitable moisturizer. Persistence is the key and my skin is so much better now than it was.

Therefore, I suggest that if you want to spend money on acne treatments it is better to do it on a doc's prescription than an over-the-counter product.

Himalaya Lip Butter Review

Hi, everyone! This is the very first time I'm trying to review anything, so please go easy on me :p
Comments and suggestions are welcome. I'm not a person who is very into makeup and neither do I buy a hundred different products at the same time, so you won't see a huge number of reviews here. But, i will share with you all that goes on with my skin.

So, the Himalaya lip butter. I researched a lot of brands and reviews before I decided to settle for this one(it was actually a last moment buy...i was actually going to walk out of the store without buying anything...but i grabbed this). And i'm not sorry I did.

It is priced at Rs 125 for 10g which I think is a bit expensive seeing as how 4 years ago one could buy a lot of Nivea lip balm for rs 20. It claims to have no petro jelly or artificial preservatives which is great.

It claims to moisturise, soften, minimise lip wrinkles and prevent chapping. I don't know about the wrinkles part but it sure does everything else it claims. It is very moisturising and hydrating without that awful waxy feel that so many lip balms have. My lips got soft within a few seconds of putting it on and it just feels lovely on the lips and the smell may I add is just so yummy.

The only cons are that after a while there is a pale whitish cast on the lips although that is very faint and can be easily taken care of by a bit of gloss and that it comes in tub packaging which isn't as hygienic as a tube.

So, will I buy it again? Not if I can find anything cheaper. Otherwise this is great for moisturising.

I plan to try out a tube of this lipbalm called LIPZ the next time I go balm shopping. It is cheaper than himalaya lip butter and if I remember accurately better as well.

I haven't got photos I'm sorry because my card reader and cards are all broken down.