What Foods To Eat To Reduce Hair Loss

Hair-care Through Food

Hair woes seem larger than life when hair starts thinning, and greying. It is everyone’s crowning glory, and rightfully so. If there is one thing about us humans, that can make or mar looks dramatically, it’s the volume and style of our hair. Strong, shiny, healthy looking hair is a sign of beauty coveted by all.

But, caring for hair has become a challenge in today’s times. Have you often wondered, and envied the thick tresses and crops your grandparents sport, even in their ripe old age? Ask them, and they will in all their wisdom tell you, it’s a lifestyle thing. True so ! You may want to believe them, when you glance at the array of your hair products – oils, masks , shampoos and conditioners on your bathroom shelf, and yet you struggle to keep your hair healthy.

What Causes Hair Damage ?

It all begins with your genes – healthy and thick hair, or otherwise. But, you don’t have to blame it all on them and resign yourself to balding, or greying. Your genes can be tricked into reversing traits that have been encoded in them. Dr Steven Gundry, in his book “Diet Evolution”,  explains how the food that we eat can alleviate even degenerative diseases. So, eating right for hair health is what we are going to be looking at.

Other factors that cause hair damage are external – weather, sun, pollution, quality of water, and hair products. Internally, inflammation, diet, sleep, stress, hormonal imbalances, and medication have a direct bearing on hair health.

How To Get Healthy Hair Then?

While you may have to consult a dermatologist, or a trichologist to determine the root cause of hair thinning and greying, there is something you can do, all by yourself to keep hair-health at its best – eat right. But eating right is only a part of the solution ; healthy hair can be maintained with proper nutrition, but serious hair issues will need professional help.

Hair needs internal nourishment more than anything else to keep follicles healthy and strong , hair shaft smooth and shiny. Nutritional deficiency is the major culprit for most hair woes. Hence, nutrition is of paramount importance to healthy crops and tresses. Hair that has been strengthened from within, can withstand the onslaught of many external and internal factors. Healthy hair follicles, and a strong skin barrier can be your gateway to luscious hair.

A healthy scalp needs ample blood circulation to the area as well as, balanced sebum production, appropriate hydration, and robust skin cells leading to a strengthened skin barrier. We must remember that our scalp is an extension of our skin. So poor skin barrier translates to poor hair health.

Hair cells grow fast ; they are the 2nd fastest growing cells in the body, next only to intestinal cells. But, hair is a non-essential tissue and therefore, our body does not prioritise nutrient supply to hair, if there is a lack of it in the body.

Hair strands and hair shafts are supported by hair follicles and are a direct result of the health within them. Hair strands that retain moisture and shine are envied by all, and the secret to that lies in hair nourishment.

While eating a balanced diet is your best bet, there are still certain nutrients that play a key role in halting hair loss, greying, and may even boost hair growth. External nourishment in the form of hair oils will help, only if all is well within. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, proteins, and fatty acids are the building blocks we need for gorgeous hair.

A little science, before listing out the nutrients for healthier hair. Hair growth in hair follicles occurs in three phases, and ‘anagen’ is the first phase, characterised by active hair growth. Hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days at that time.

 Androgens are hormones that can reduce the anagen or hair growth phase, and cause baldness. Certain antioxidants, through specific chemical reactions, inhibit the action of androgens. This in turn, lengthens the anagen phase, increases hair production, and prevents hair loss.

Nutrients Essential For Hair Growth

Experts recommend the following nutrients for maintaining healthy and lustrous hair. Make sure you take in adequate amounts of the nutrients in your daily diet. Later in the blog, you will find foods that are nutrient-dense, but do make sure you eat seasonal and local produce. If need be, there are many good hair supplements in the form of powders, tablets and capsules. A word of caution here though – consult a professional before you take any supplement ; do not borrow diets and medications.

  1. Vitamin A – We need sebum to keep scalp moisturised, and hair healthy. Vitamin A helps promote the production of sebum.
  2. B-vitamins – Red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. B-vitamins help create abundant red blood cells.
  3. Vitamin C – Collagen is an important part of hair structure and its production wanes with age. Vitamin C aids collagen.
  4. Vitamin E – Vitamin E boosts blood circulation and helps strengthen hair follicles.
  5. Iron – Iron deficiency is a major cause of hair loss. Supplementing diet with iron boosts production of red blood cells.
  6. Zinc and selenium – These two nutrients protect the scalp from damage, and help in hair tissue growth.

Now for the foods that are good for hair.

  • Avocados – Rich in vitamin E and B-vitamins. Also a good source of potassium, omega-9, folic acid, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that aid hair growth.
  • Berries – Such as strawberries and others with their high level of vitamin C protect hair follicles from oxidative damage. Citrus fruits and peppers are other sources of vitamin C.
  • Eggs – Proteins are the building blocks of hair, and eggs are replete with protein. Eggs are also a source of vitamins A and D, carotenes, lutein, and zinc, all of which promote healthy hair.
  • Figs – A great source of iron in addition to providing potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, and E.
  • Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds and nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that nourish the hair and help thicken it. Flaxseeds are also rich in vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.
  • Kelp – A sea-weed that is an amazing source of iron, l-lysine, zinc, vitamins B2 and B5, folate, and magnesium.
  • Dark leafy greens – All leafy, and dark leafy greens are a rich source of iron – darker the leaves, higher the iron content. Leafy greens also provide vitamins A, C, and K, B-vitamins, potassium and folate.
  • Mangoes – Good news ! Mangoes contain silica, which helps strengthen hair strands. Vitamins A, B6, C, and folate are also found in mangoes.
  • Pumpkin seeds – Zinc is another key nutrient for healthy hair and pumpkin seeds are full of it – they prevent scalp dryness. They also contain iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, and protein, all of which promote hair growth.
  • Soybeans – Are a rich source of iron. They are known to inhibit the hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). An imbalance of DHT in the body is one of the main reasons for hair loss. Soybeans are abundant in omega-3, vitamin B2, and magnesium – all good for hair health.
  • Wild-caught fish— Wild-caught fish like salmon are high in omega-3 fats ; they decrease inflammation and support hair growth, and hair thickening.
  • Green tea — Green tea helps detoxify ; contains antioxidants that promote hair growth. It also may stop the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
  • Chia seeds — Being high in fiber and healthy fats, chia can help aid hair growth.
  • Bone Broth— Bone broth is the perfect food for healthy hair growth as it is high in protein, collagen, and amino acids.
  • Caffeine— Caffeine has been shown to spur hair growth (in moderation though). According to research, caffeine stimulates hair shafts and helps them grow faster, by damping down the effects of DHT, a substance that infamously slows hair growth.

What You Must Avoid

If the following are not good for overall health, they in excess are not good for our hair too. Remember this from the earlier part of the blog ? Hair that has been strengthened from within, can withstand the onslaught of many external and internal factors. Healthy hair follicles, and a strong skin barrier can be your gateway to luscious hair.

Diet soda, sugar, starchy whites, fast food, alcohol, smoking.

Foods to Avoid

Avoid these foods as much as possible:

  • Trans fatty acids — Unhealthy fats like trans fatty acids increase inflammation and production of DHT. Hydrogenated oils like corn oil and soybean oil are loaded with trans fats.
  • Sugar — Sugar spikes hormones-imbalances, insulin resistance, increases DHT and causes inflammation, and all of these can lead to hair loss.
  • Processed foods — Processed foods are loaded with unhealthy fats, sugar and sodium, which are detrimental to hair health.
  • Alcohol — Liver toxicity can cause hair loss and frequent intake of alcohol can increase inflammation in the body.. Similarly, smoking can lead to hair fall.
  • Caffeine — Coffee and tea in small amounts is tolerated and can even be beneficial, but too much caffeine can be counter-productive. It can dehydrate, spike hormone imbalances and even production of DHT.

Resolving hair issues becomes that much more simpler when you know the root cause of hair thinning/loss. Reiterating – consult a professional to resolve hair problems, but eat healthy all the same – with or without the hair concerns.

Sources :

Nutrients.news.

naturalnews.com

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Ten Tips On How Not To Handle Your Skin – Antiaging tips at your fingertips

Skincare is three-pronged.

  • Internal – what you eat and drink to keep skin healthy and glowing.
  • External – topical – what you apply on skin’s surface.
  • Mechanical – how you use your fingers and palms when you handle your skin.

While the first two are sacrosanct to effective skincare, the third arm of treating your skin gently is in fact the art of upping your skincare routine and this blog is all about that. It is about anti-aging at your fingertips ! But before that, a look at the skin changes that come with age.

As we grow older, changes like these naturally occur:

  • Skin becomes rougher.
  • Skin becomes slack when it loses elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin and tends to hang loosely.
  • Skin becomes more transparent due to the thinning of the epidermis (surface layer of the skin).
  • Skin becomes more fragile when the area between the dermis and epidermis gets flattened
  • Skin becomes more easily bruised because with age blood vessel walls become thinner.

Face care has never been as important as it is today. The stress of life (blessed if any one can escape that), pollution, lifestyle habits (read smoking, alcohol, late nights), processed food, harsher sun (depleted ozone levels) and exposure to blue light from electronic gadgets damage our skin every moment of the day.

Another aspect that has fast caught up with all ages and genders is makeup which is loaded with chemicals. Peeps, can’t do without it……..guilty as charged ! Now this is where the subject of my blog becomes so relevant. As I got more and more into makeup, I realised how much more I was handling skin. From a mere CTM (cleansing, toning, moisturising) regime twice a day, the number of times my fingers moved over my skin went up ten fold !! And then comes the ‘makeup removal’ part where most of the damage happens, because makeup is stubborn and we have been told to take every iota of it off.

So, the daily cleansing, toning moisturising routine coupled with makeup application and removal can take a toll on the skin if not done properly. I have put together quite a few donts that we all should keep in mind so that we do not abuse our skin.

Do not try to move the skin

Skin ages everyday as a natural process and tends to lose elasticity. Elastin fibres become slack and skin tends to hang loose. As a thumb rule, do not attempt to move skin, for you will only be adding to the damage. Instead, massage gently after applying a layer of lotion, cream or oil on the skin. Do not rub on dry skin, EVER !

 Pat your skin dry, do not rub

After cleansing or just plain washing your face with water, avoid rubbing or wiping hard with a towel. Rubbing can irritate the skin. Years of tugging at the skin can add to skin losing its elasticity. Use a soft towel and gently dab it all over your face for the water to get absorbed. It is good to let your face remain damp in order for your serums and moisturizers to sink in better.

The skin-mantra

And while we are on the subject of towels, use a separate towel or napkin for your face. If that is not possible, begin by wiping face first and then go on to the rest of the body. Different micro-organisms live in different areas of your body and you certainly do not want facial skin to catch on any infection.

Do not rub your cleanser or moisturizer in

Skin has its own capacity to absorb moisture in its own time. Rubbing it in is not going to accelerate the process, you are only letting much of the product get wasted all over your palms. Instead, dab the product on to your face first and then use a tapping motion all over. You could also gently press your palms across your face and give it gentle care.

If you are using cleansing oils or balms like the Clinique Cleansing Balm (for makeup removal), apply and gently spread the across face and neck without applying pressure. Then move wet cotton pads in upward and outward strokes to wipe away the disintegrated makeup.

Stop frowning so often

Repeated facial movements like frowning and smiling are inevitable, however they do cause fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead, around the eyes and mouth. Skin cells get squeezed repeatedly due to facial expressions and as skin loses its firmness, wrinkles form where it has been squeezed. While smiling and laughing are healthy, frowning is not, both to your skin and to your mood. Likewise avoid squinting your eyes too often.

How to avoid sleep creases

Sleep creases are also unavoidable, they creep in by the way we position our head on the pillow. And as skin loses its elasticity, the creases become more prominent. But what you can do is to cultivate the habit of changing sides and not sleeping on one side most of the night, or all night long. Sleeping on your back is a solution, but how many of us can do it ? I can’t, myself !

Do not apply pressure on eye area

Skin is at its thinnest around the eye area and it needs extra care while handling it. Its one of the first regions of the face to show signs of ageing. Loss of fat around the eye area is a natural part of ageing and results in loose skin. Tugging and pulling at it can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes. Always employ movements and strokes that lift the skin, never drag it down.

Pulling on the skin aggressively while wearing contacts, applying or removing makeup can stress out collagen and elastin fibers, thereby causing visible lines and wrinkles.

Be gentle with your eye area whatever you do. Always apply eye serums and creams in a dabbing motion with your ring finger if possible (must).

Take extra care of your neck

The above principle of not tugging and pulling at the skin applies equally when it comes to the neck region.

Do not touch your face skin unnecessarily

The only time you should touch your face is when you are giving it gentle skincare or during and after makeup. At all other times, just let it be.

Most of us are in the habit of cupping our face in our palms when we are either sad, worried or stressed or even when we have to concentrate. Cupping soon turns to dragging it. We do that inadvertently and end up stressing our skin (even when you are smiling).

Remember what you read earlier on in the blog on the ill effects of pulling and tugging at the skin.

Do not forget to wear sunscreen, EVER

Sun damage, damage control and sun protection is my pet topic, but that probably needs a separate blog by itself. Till then, suffice it to say that rain, sun or shine, indoors or outdoors wear an appropriate sunscreen and stay safe. In fact, sun protection should be the number one anti-aging tip !!

Friends, while prevent, repair and reverse need some understanding of the dynamics and mechanics of face care, it is never too late to start. The idea is to preserve for as long as possible what nature has gifted us with. When the inevitable happens, that of ageing coupled with gravity, the best we can do is to offer nature a helping hand.

Share in the comments if you all have more suggestions on this subject.

Happy Skin to all !

Do Lips Need Special Care ?

Lips or eyes, which catch your attention when you first look at a person ? Eyes first, then lips I would say. The two of them together define the beauty of a face. Well shaped lips and eyes can pale facial imperfections if any. They also perform a subtle function – they give you a peek into one’s emotions. I can’t think of one emotion that is not expressed without one or both of them curling up or down.

They also tell stories, of our health, of how well we are nourished or otherwise. While I shall reserve eyecare for later, this blog post is about how to care for lips. But before that, a bit about lip facts.

 Surface anatomy of the human lips

Our lips are enclosed within the vermilion border. Now what is that ? It is the line where our lips meet the surrounding skin of the mouth. The reddish or pinkish area within that border is called the vermilion zone. Of-course, not all lips are red or pink. Genes and race largely influence the hue of our lips. External factors also add to it and we will come to that soon.

Image courtesy : AJH Cosmetics

  • The skin of the lip is very thin compared to the rest of the face.
  • There are no oil or sweat glands in the lips.
  • Lighter coloured lips contain fewer melanocytes (cells which produce melanin pigment)
  • Darker the skin, more the melanin content in the lips and hence darker lips.

The lip skin therefore is a lot more delicate due to all of the above and it does need special care. As we progress in age, lips lose some of the plumpness and start appearing thinner, thereby diminishing some of our beauty. Reason enough to begin the lip care routine.

 Why do lips dry out faster than the rest of the face and why do they chap ?

  • Because lip skin does not have sweat/oil glands and hair, it does not have the protective layer of sweat and body oils. Sweat and body oils keep skin smooth, inhibit pathogens and regulate warmth.
  • With minimal melanin in the lip area, sun damage can happen very quickly.
  • Prolonged periods in air-conditioned spaces, water sports, or rooms with room heaters can sap the lips of moisture.
  • The skin of the lips has a particularly high concentration of cold receptive cells. Hence, when temperatures drop, our lips suffer a setback.
  • Use of lipsticks. Chemicals like bromo acid present in long-lasting lipstick cause lips to dry.
  • Contrary to common belief, licking lips dries them out. Resist the temptation to do so, if your lips feel dry.

Darker shades of lip colours contain more lead and will darken lips. Avoid wearing dark shades on a daily basis, keep them for special occasions. And when you do wear them, remember to follow it up with healing lip care and that is what this blog post is about.

Do Men Need Lip Care Too ?

Yes, they do and for the same reasons as women do (minus the lipstick part in most cases). In fact, more men than women are out in the sun on two wheelers and they may need lip balms with an SPF.

Have you noticed smokers’ lips ? Smoking is injurious to your looks too ! Smokers’ lips get dark and dry due to the tobacco and tar, cigarette heat, capillary rupture and lack of oxygen. The best way to minimise the damage is to quit smoking, but if you aren’t one of those to kick the habit, the least you can do is to take care of the lip skin. Exfoliate using a lip scrub and apply lip balms everyday. Women smokers have the advantage of concealing darkened lips with cosmetics, but men-folk you need to pick up the good habit of lip care today !

How To Take Care Of Lips ?

  • Eat healthy food.
  • Drink the proverbial 8 glasses of water.
  • Just like the rest of the skin, lips need exfoliation too.
  • Use a lip balm to keep lips moisturised.
  • Use lip balm before applying lipstick.
  • Use gentle natural cleansers to remove lipstick. You can use an oil based cleanser to do so.

What Products Are Good For Lip Care ?

Without a doubt, natural cleansers. Lip skin is delicate and tender. So, avoid using harsh chemical-laden cleansers to remove lipstick, which is already full of chemicals ! Why add more ?

Astrea has the following natural lip care products. They are safe, gentle and in fact, nourishing as they contain botanical extracts and essential oils. Even their lip tints have plant-based pigments and contain no artificial colouring.

Orange Blast Lip Scrub

astrea orange blast lip scrub brightens lips

Astrea Orange Blast lip scrub

Soft is how this lip scrub leaves you feeling. Enriched with orange oil, sugar, aloe vera and olive oil, it brightens the lips and helps lighten pigmentation.

How to use it ?

  1. There are two ways of using it. One is to regularly exfoliate lips once or twice (depending on how chapped your lips are) a week.
  2. The other is to use it to remove lipsticks.

In both cases, take a small amount on your fingertips or a tiny bowl. Gently rub the scrub in circular motions covering the entire lip area for about 30-40 seconds. Do not put pressure or scrub too hard (remember lip skin is delicate?). Wash with tepid or normal water.

Strawberry Bubblegum Lip Balm

astrea lip balm strawberry bubblegum

Astrea Strawberry Bubblegum lip balm

Lip balm is like manna from heaven to cracked lips. It smoothens out dry and chapped lips, heals and calms the lips after the onslaught of cosmetics and environmental toxins.

Apply lip balms as often as you think is required, but do choose those with natural ingredients. Lips need healing and nourishment and only natural lip care can provide you with both. If you do not have access to natural lip care, then buy those prescribed by your dermatologist, because they are safer than OTC ones.

Astrea’s Strawberry Bubblegum Lip Balm has beeswax, shea butter, jojoba oil, spearmint and berry extract. Looks like a perfect soothing balm to lips.

  • Beeswax is great at healing dry, cracked lips. Not only heals but prevents the condition too. It is also a great moisturiser.
  • Shea butter, like beeswax has healing properties too. It softens and repairs skin along with enhancing collagen.
  • Spearmint has calming, softening, toning and anti inflammatory effects on the skin. Its anti-microbial and antiseptic too !

Make it a ritual to apply lip balm before you go to bed after removing all makeup.

Senorita Lip Gloss

Astrea’s Senorita Lip Glosses come in two shades, red and brown. You can wear them on top of your lip colours or by themselves. Worn alone, they give a natural healthy look to lips, with just a hint of colour.

These days, liquid lipsticks have become popular for the sheer convenience of application, but they are drying at the same time as opposed to cylindrical creamy ones. Hence, carry this Senorita Lip Gloss in your bag and keep touching up your lips with the gloss – they kind of minimise the dryness and make lips feel comfortable.

They are enriched with jojoba oil, castor oil, beeswax, peppermint oil and natural colours.

Senorita Lip Tint

astrea lip tints pink brown

Astrea Senorita lip tints

In shades of brown and pink, these lip tints can be your go-to natural cosmetics when you do not want that heavily made up look. Or when your lips are dry and need some pampering. You can even wear them to the gym or a condolence meeting – they are that subtle !

I have been meaning to write a blog on lip care for long now, for I have noticed that many, even in these times when personal grooming is topping the list of lifestyle habits, still do not pay much attention to lip care. Came along Astrea in my skin care regime along with their lip products and the blog shaped up. Hope you all like the lip care facts and ways to keep your lips soft and lovable ! If you want any of the Astrea products, here are the details.

Astrea will be happy to customise lip care combo offers for you.

Astrea Official : +91 93846 65561

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Moisturise With Natural Ingredients For Glowing Skin – Astrea

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. From within and without. We have been told this so often that sometimes some of us skim over that. We tend to take oft-repeated things lightly. But, I am here to make a case for that very hydration, which is so very crucial for good health and skin.

Drink water to hydrate from within. But when we talk of external hydration, we call it moisturising in beauty and skin care language.

Why moisturise at all ? It sounds very basic, yes, but there are still some out there who do nothing to their skin, let alone moisturising. To them, my refrain is – to be blessed with good skin is a boon, but to maintain it that way is a choice ! To those who already have made that choice, natural skin care (moisturisers) is a few paragraphs away.

So, why moisturise at all ?

 The stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the skin has cells which overlap to form a protective barrier. Another layer, called the lipid bilayer, has free fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides. All these together help in retaining water in the epidermis. They also limit the loss of water through skin called the transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

Image courtesy : InterNet

Many lifestyle factors like cold weather, low temperatures, air conditioning, environmental pollution, makeup, room heaters, hot water showers, harsh cleansers, etc., strip the lipids from the skin and disrupt skin’s protective barrier. Result – loss of moisture.

Natural ageing is another important player in skin being unable to hold moisture within. So is genetics. Seasonal changes, hormonal defects and stress, which are unavoidable only add to the damage.

Second in point is the role of facial oils. Our faces secrete oil all the time. Again, the same factors like genetics, seasonal changes, use of incorrect products, hormonal changes and stress trigger excess oil production. Now, while the daily secretion of oil is fresh and good for the skin, some of this oil gets trapped within the pores, is exposed to outside air and gets oxidized.

Oxidised oils are not good news for the skin. They become the nest for bacteria and dirt, clogging your pores. These bad oils must be washed off. But how do we separate bad oils from good oils ? We don’t have a mechanism for that. Good oils get removed too when we deep cleanse our face. Result – loss of oil.

Loss of moisture and loss of oils, along with the skin producing less oil as we age hugely impacts the skin’s ability to stay hydrated. Result – skin loses its radiance and plumpness, becomes prone to wrinkling.

Step in moisturisers ! A good moisturiser helps replenish lost water and oils, thereby preventing the skin from becoming dry and flaky. It restores the youthful look and skin appears bright and healthy once again. It smoothens out some of the fine lines too.

When To Start Moisturising ?

 Sometimes very young people also need moisturising. That depends on genetics, your over all health and lifestyle. But rule of the thumb is start as soon as you feel your skin is getting dry. While no one can strictly prescribe an age to start the moisturising routine, people at the age of 25 years and an hour older definitely need one. And then it continues for life !

How To Choose Moisturisers ?

 First step would be to get your skin analysed and then choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type. You could get that done at your dermatologist’s or at Astrea. In todays times when we are riddled with toxins in our environment, food and lifestyle, I would suggest going in for natural skin care. Choose moisturisers that have no chemicals and are enriched with natural healing ingredients.

Astrea’s moisturisers are made from botanical extracts, essential oils and natural preservatives. With zero chemicals, they are formulated to heal and nourish skin and absolutely safe to use even on childrens’ tender skin.

Listing Astrea’s range of moisturisers. Choose one that suits you.

Morning Mist

morning mist day cream from astrea, mythoughtlane

Astrea Morning Mist day cream

Normal to dry skins, formulated to give you a soft natural glow, Morning Mist also serves as a good base for makeup. It helps those with dry acne too !

ENRICHED WITH : Cucumber extract, Aloe vera, Almond oil, Lavender oil, Rosemary oil and natural preservatives.

HOW IT HELPS :

  • Cucumber extract hydrates skin, and provides a good amount of Vitamin C. Cools and soothes the skin too.
  • Rosemary and Lavender oils have antibacterial effect, guarding your skin from infections.
  • Aloe vera and Almond oil nourish the skin.

HOW TO USE

After deep cleansing and toning, apply Morning Mist all over your face, including the under eyes in a thin layer. Pat your face gently to push the product into your skin. (Do not forget to apply sunscreen everyday).

Forever Young

Forever young anti ageing night cream, mythoughtlane

Astrea’s Forever Young Night Cream

Normal to dry skins benefit most from this amazing night cream that minimises blemishes and fine lines giving skin a plump and radiant look. Our customers love this cream. Extremely oily skins can avoid this.

ENRICHED WITH : Aloe vera, Cucumber extract, Olive oil, Lemon oil, Calendula oil and natural preservatives.

HOW IT HELPS

  • Aloe vera hydrates and heals.
  • Lemon oil brightens up skin.
  • Cucumber extract hydrates and supplies vitamin C.
  • Calendula promotes skin firmness and smoothness.
  • Olive oil is anti- ageing and hydrating. It repairs cells and improves cell turnover.

HOW TO USE

After deep cleansing and toning, apply the cream all over your face, including the under eyes in a thin layer. Pat your face gently to push the product into your skin.

Sparkling Eyes  

sparkling eyes under eye cream from astrea, mythoughtlane

Astrea’s Sparkling Eyes Under Eye Cream

 That delicate skin under your eyes needs extra attention. Our Sparkling Eyes is an effective under eye cream that minimises dark circles, dryness and puffiness.

ENRICHED WITH : Vitamin E, Aloe vera, Almond oil and natural preservatives.

HOW IT HELPS

  • Vitamin E acts as a moisturiser and helps reverse dry, dehydrated skin.
  • Almond oil targets dark circles and fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Aloe vera hydrates and soothes.

HOW TO USE

Use it at bedtime only please. Just before you use your night cream, apply Sparkling Eyes around your eye area gently with fingertips. Do not rub, just pat gently.

Even Tone Vita Gel

astrea even tone vita gel for oily skin

Astrea’s Even Tone Vita Gel

Even Tone Vita Gel is for oily and acne prone skin. Busting the myth that oily skin does not need moisturising. Every type of skin needs one. What matters is the right kind of moisturiser. Even Tone Vita Gel is the one if you have oily/acne prone/combination skin.

ENRICHED WITH : Lavender, Rose and Aloe Vera extracts.

 HOW IT HELPS

  • Lavender is anti-inflammatory and fights acne causing bacteria. It also tones and makes your skin firm as it boosts blood circulation.
  • Rose is anti-inflammatory too, reduces scars and calms the skin.
  • Aloe Vera is a go-to moisturiser for oily skin, reduces acne and scars.

HOW TO USE

After toning the face with Clarifying Toner, apply Even Tone Vita Gel all over your face and neck. Pat and let your skin drink it up. Use it morning and night and stay beautiful !

A well hydrated skin is a natural beauty essential, boosting confidence levels and a feel good mood. It becomes the canvas for any further enhancing that you would want, like makeup. You may have your own set of moisturisers, but if you really care for a poison free world, move over to natural skin care and cosmetics like Astrea’s.

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Clarifying Toner Works Wonders For Acne – Astrea

Being born with good skin is a blessing, but retaining its goodness in advanced years is a choice. My grandmother and my mother didn’t bother themselves with skin care regimes the way we obsessively do today. An ubtan once in a week for the body probably and kitchen ingredients like turmeric or honey for the face was all that was in their arsenal.

Times have changed, lifestyles have become complex. Environmental toxins, and stress at home and work are also taking a toll on our skin. But the quest for radiant, glowing skin tops the list for most of us. I have a few friends who say they don’t do anything for their skin, and are happy with what they have – good, bad or mediocre. But I belong to the community that loves good skin and I feel happier with glowing skin. It’s a choice, my choice !

Now let’s get down to business – of good skin. Average skin can be bettered and bad skin can be improved with some care. Good skin can continue to radiate beauty of course, but will need maintenance.

The ABC of good skin care begins with deep cleansing, followed by toning and moisturising. How important is toning in a good skin care regime ? Depends on what type of skin you have. But before that, how do toners help ?

  • Shrinks open pores
  • Refresh skin
  • Restore skin’s pH balance
  • Add a layer of protection by destroying bacteria
  • Some toners act as moisturisers

Astrea, the natural skin care brand has an amazing toner called the ‘Clarifying Toner’ has Witch Hazel as its star ingredient. Witch hazel is the only natural astringent derived from a plant and I am going to detail how it helps in the above listed areas.

clarifying toner in astrea skincare regime

Astrea Clarifying Toner

Other natural ingredients in the toner are apple cider vinegar, tea tree extract, lavender and rosemary.

Open Pores :

Witch hazel contains tannins, which are natural chemicals. They act as an astringent by causing tissues to contract, thereby shrinking open pores, giving skin a smoother appearance.

Refresh Skin :

Skin that has closed pores reflects more light and hence appears fresh and glowing. Clarifying Toner, helps remove any excess oils that may be sticking to the skin during deep cleansing, imparting a fresh look.

Restores Skin’s pH Balance :

Our skin is naturally acidic, with a pH balance ranging between 4.0 to 6.5, the ideal being 5.5. A lot of external factors like environment and internal ones like diet and lifestyle habits can alter this balance. Added to it are our makeup, cleansers etc.,. When we wash or cleanse our face, the pH balance gets disturbed and leave the skin irritated. While witch hazel and apple cider vinegar help restore the pH balance, lavender extract soothes the skin and calms it down.

Adds A Layer Of Protection :

By shrinking the open pores, Clarifying Toner acts like a shield and prevents bacteria from entering the pores. Witch hazel along with another ingredient tea tree oil have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes the Clarifying Toner ideal for acne and rosacea prone skin.

Working closely with Astrea has revealed that oily and acne prone skin benefit maximum with this toner, which is all natural and has zero chemicals, like all of Astrea’s products. In fact, it should be an important part of any good skin care regime.

People with dry skin can avoid this toner. Combination skin types can use it on the T-zone.

Product Details :

  • Name – Clarifying Toner.
  • Weight – 30 ml
  • Price – Rs 370

How To Use :

After deep cleansing, spray the toner on a cotton pad and gently swipe it all over your face. Those with combination skin can focus on their T-zone.

Toners must be chosen wisely as they can make or mar. In today’s times when our skins take a beating from several lifestyle choices and habits, its imperative that we use as less chemicals as possible. Chemicals in skin care and cosmetic products leech into our skin and enter the bloodstream, causing damage to internal organs like the liver. And that, trust me, starts showing up on our skins.

Time to move over to natural products, people are doing it the world over.. This Clarifying Toner works wonders for acne and oily skin related issues. Astrea has consultation sessions for general skin care as well as various skin issues. Their products are formulated to heal and not just treat the symptoms.

Astrea Official : +91 93846 65561

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Make Diwali Gifting Special with Astrea Hampers

Gift differently this Diwali ! Make it special for you and your loved ones by giving the festive spirit a beauty twist !

Sweets, chocolates and even dried fruits and nuts are passe now. People are thinking up new ways of gifting – gifts that make more sense, are utilitarian and spell class.

Diwali and Christmas are festivals that combine worship and socializing in equal measure. After rituals and prayers with family, it’s time to head out to private parties with a lot of singing, dancing and making merry. It’s also the time to carry gifts when invited to homes.

So much socializing also means new clothes, staying trendy and grooming. Check out the brimming shopping malls and beauty salons around you and you will agree with me. Offers and gift combos galore!

At this point in time when personal grooming is a priority for most people, why not think out of the box and gift them some beauty ? In the form of skin care, and ‘natural skin care’ at that ! Festive and party season also means fried food, alcohol, more makeup and less exercise. Skin can get dehydrated ! Increase in pollution due to the bursting of crackers and burgeoning traffic also means a lot of dirt getting embedded into the pores of our skin. Another reason gifting natural skin care will do all of us a lot of good.

I am about to suggest Astrea gift hampers, full of skin care products with natural ingredients and zero chemicals. Just the kind of products that will soothe and nourish skin. Take a look.

Assorted Body Scrub Diwali Gift Hamper

diwali gift hamper with three body scrubs from astrea

Astrea Assorted Body Scrub Diwali Gift Hamper

A set of three body scrubs to free your skin of all pollutants and dead skin cells.

  • Green Tea Emulsified Body Scrub
  • Coffee Vanilla Body Scrub
  • Sweet Orange Body Scrub 

Price : INR 499

Beauty is about keeping the whole of you radiant and beautiful, and not just the face ! These body scrubs are gentle on the skin and leave your hands and legs hydrated. Whats more, they lend that subtle glow to the skin giving it a healthy radiance. But avoid using them for the face. Astrea has cleansing grains which help exfoliate  face and neck.

How To Use : In the shower or while in the bath, scoop out a tablespoonful of the product into a small bowl. Smear the scrub all over your body, massage gently and let the sugar granules emulsify. Rinse completely and do not use any soap or body wash soon after. The idea is to let a hint of the oils nourish your skin. Using a foaming cleanser will nullify its purpose, that of hydrating and nourishing. Use them once or twice a week, not everyday.

Diwali Gift Spa Kit

two scrubs and one spa bar in Astrea diwali gift hamper

Astrea Spa Kit Diwali Gift Hamper

 

Two body scrubs and a Spa Bar.

  • Sweet Orange Body Scrub
  • Green Tea Emulsified Body Scrub
  • Citrus Blast Spa  Bar

Price : INR 599

The Spa Bar is enriched with castile soap, lavender buds, orange peel and glycerine. Use the lavender bud embedded side to mildly exfoliate. Now turn it over and use the other side to moisturise and hydrate. Cooler months have set in all over the country and this seems to be the ideal time to gift some beauty, some spa options !

How To Use : Use it in the shower and do not soap yourself after that.

The Dewy Matt Look Diwali Gift Hamper

Astrea diwali gift hamper for a dewy matt daytime look

Astrea Dewy Matt Look Diwali Gift Hamper

And now for some glam the natural way. Astrea has made its foray into makeup and launched two new products, the Creme Blush and  Lip Tint. This Diwali gift hamper also contains a face mist and a moisturiser. The four products together lend a soft matt dewy look and is being touted as the Diwali daytime look. Isn’t it such a safe option ? Giving makeup lovers more reason to use less chemicals on their faces ? And nothing better for those who like makeup, but are concerned about skin being exposed to chemicals ?

If you want to get a tutorial on how to get the dewy matt look, you can call Astrea for instructions. Number provided at the bottom of the post.

  • Morning Mist Day Cream
  • Youth Elixir Face Mist
  • Ms Bombshell Creme Blush (in 2 shades)
  • Senorita Lip Tint (in 2 shades)

Price : INR 699

More customisable gifting options also are available. Here are my suggestions keeping in mind the season of festivities which means more makeup, more partying, hence more intense deep cleansing.

  • Combo of oil cleanser, foaming cleanser and cleansing grains (total deep cleansing)
  • Day cream, night cream and under eye cream (total moisturising care)
  • Body scrub, face scrub and lip scrub (total exfoliation)
  • Lip scrub, lip balm and lip tint (total lip care)
  • Body scrub and body butter (total body skin care)
  • Cleansing grains, face mask and day/night cream (total rejuvenation)

Astrea is more than happy to help you with customisable gift options. Set a budget and let them pack a bundle of natural skin care gifting for you this Diwali.

Astrea Official : +91 93846 65561

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How To Get Glowing Skin With Astrea Three Step Deep Cleansing

A glowing skin is everyone’s dream today. Men have joined the bandwagon too. Peoples’ bathroom cabinets are replete with bottles of skin care creams, lotions and gels. It’s a jungle out there and we are spoilt for choice. Thousands are spent every month  on various OTC and neutraceutical skin care products. There can be some hits and some misses. But most often, the success of any skin care ritual lies in its first step – cleansing. Not just cleansing, but deep cleansing !

The first secret to glowing skin is deep cleansing, and if it were to be effective, one round of water cleansing is never enough to draw out the deeply embedded impurities and sebum. Not many are aware of this fact and hence they pay less attention to it.

I have been on this deep cleansing regime for a while now and have seen extraordinary results. Compliments too ! I have been battling dry skin and uneven skin tone for years; have used several pharmaceutical products, but the results have been far from satisfactory. All that changed when I found ASTREA, a Chennai based natural skin care brand last year and since then, my skin has felt and looked the healthiest. And yes, I began with deep cleansing as the first solution to my skin issues.

astrea deep cleansing products

Astrea Deep Cleansing Trio

Astrea has developed a set of cleansers which leave the skin thoroughly cleansed and mildly exfoliated, thereby revealing radiant, glowing skin. Koreans whose skin care regime has become the holy grail world over, recommend double cleansing twice a day, every single day. Astrea is Chennai’s answer to K-beauty skin care regime for they believe in layering of cleansing, toning and moisturising.

What Is Deep Cleansing ?

Deep cleansing is nothing but double cleansing. It starts out with using an oil cleanser, followed by a foam cleanser. Yes, we need two different formulas to thoroughly cleanse the face. And at Astrea, they have added an almost magical formulation, the cleansing grains that ever so gently exfoliate, leaving the skin clearer, brighter and radiant. I do this regime twice a day, morning in the shower, and just before I go to bed at night.

Oil Cleanser – Step 1

The first tip to discovering a luminous, youthful look naturally, is to begin with oil cleansing. Yes, even for oily skin. Surprised ?

Why oil cleansers you ask ?

Because oil dissolves oil! Oils pre-exist in our skin, either as sebum or those from our makeup. No matter what type your skin is, cleansing oils mix with these ‘not-so-good’ oils and draw them out.  Something that water based cleansers cannot, because oil and water do not mix !

Secondly, oils in the cleansers bind to surface impurities, pulling out the dirt without clogging pores.

Third in point – oil cleansers help retain our skin’s natural pH balance, which again water based cleansers cannot.

It’s the Koreans who popularised oil cleansing, but it’s not really only their secret. It’s an age-old practice, which got diluted when pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies misled us by promoting surfactants laden cleansers to grow their businesses. For, the damage caused by chemicals allowed them to promote related products that they promised would replace the lost oils and balance the skin. Here, I am saying don’t lose the oils in the first place. Go the natural way. Be naturally you !

Foam Cleanser – Step 2

After the oil cleansing, we need to remove the residual oil on the skin and a foaming cleanser does exactly that. It also draws out water-based debris such as sweat and the dislodged dirt from the skin. A word of caution – choose your foam cleanser wisely, one that has as less chemicals as possible. Any product that lathers contains oodles of surfactants which dry up the skin by stripping it of natural oils. Squeaky clean is a myth; more foam the better is a myth ! I would recommend aiming for healthy clean instead – cleansing, without losing skin’s natural pH balance.

Cleansing Grains – Step 3

K-Beauty’s next step after oil and foam cleansing is the exfoliation, which staves away dead skin cells and debris from the skin. But Astrea, with their amazing formulation of cleansing grains has included them in the deep cleansing regime. Here is the why and how.

  • This product contains Kaolin clay, colloidal oats (powdered oats) and crushed rose petals. Kaolin clay and colloidal oats very gently exfoliate and relieve the skin of any dead skin cells that may be sticking to it despite the above described double cleansing. With every passing year, the quality and texture of our skin changes and loses its capacity to shed dead cells on its own. This is where cleansing grains step in.
  • Rose petals contain natural oils and sugars that lock moisture into dry skin cells and give them a rejuvenated look.
  • This product that doubles up as a daily face wash and an exfoliator can be used even twice a day every day since it contains zero chemicals and the grains are soft and mild. My day is incomplete without these cleansing grains.

So, this 3-step deep cleansing should be done morning and night.

To remove all the pollutants, makeup, dirt, sweat and sebum of the day use it just before you go to bed.

Here is why you should do it in the morning too. I am assuming that you all know the benefits of moisturising at bedtime in order to let skin heal and regenerate. We need to remove all traces of the residual oils of the night.

Some may not feel the need to use cleansing grains in the morning, but it is a personal preference for me as they leave the skin appearing brighter and fresher.

I hope I have taken you through the nuances of deep cleansing and its now time to make informed choices. Like I said earlier, there is a plethora of choice out there and I hope to help you zero in on choosing the right natural face cleansers. Here is Astrea’s lineup of deep cleansing products. A blog post on the specifics of each cleanser in my next. Suffice it to say now that Astrea is a completely natural skin care brand with zero chemicals and natural preservatives.

OIL CLEANSERS

three oil cleansers from astrea

Astrea Oil Cleansers

  • Regenerating Oil Cleanser – For dry and mature skin
  • Refining Oil Cleanser – For oily and acne-prone skin
  • Nourishing Oil Cleanser – For normal and combination skin

FOAM CLEANSERS

foam cleansers form Astrea

Astrea Foam Cleansers

  • Berryluscious Foaming Cleanser – For normal to dry skin
  • Mount Carmel Foaming Cleanser – For normal to oily skin

CLEANSING GRAINS

Glow Facial Wash & Scrub – For all skin types

astrea cleansing grains for all skin types

Astrea Cleansing Grains GLOW

If you are looking for more details of the products immediately or wish to buy them, here are the contact details

Astrea Official : +91 93846 65561

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Exfoliation And Anti-ageing : Be Your Own Beautician With These DIY Tips

We Need Exfoliation However Young Or Beautiful We Be

Old replaces new is the universal law and that applies to our skin too. Yes, its exfoliation time and we are talking anti-ageing. Skin cells of the outermost layer of our skin the epidermis, or more specifically the ‘stratum corneum’ have a life span and after they have served their purpose need to be shed. This isn’t the first time you are reading that our body is gifted with a mechanism to do away with dead skin cells. Neither is the knowledge that dead skin cells are replaced by new ones foreign to any of us.

But what may have slipped the attention of some of you is that with age, cell turnover in our bodies slows down. Dead skin cells fail to fall off and start accumulating in thin layers, giving our skin a dull look and robbing us of that natural glow that every healthy skin is entitled to. Also a sign of ageing. Cell turnover that used to occur once every 15 days when we were younger, is brought down to once every 50 days when we reach our fifties. Our skin begins to tell certain tales that we would most like to hide, that of our age.

Time to take action, time to exfoliate and reveal fresh, glowing skin. To feel and look beautiful even after you step into your forties and march on into a couple of more decades, just as confident. We are taking our skin matters into our own hands and graduating to becoming our own beauticians. We are on the road to anti-ageing.

Its not just dead skin cells we scrub away when we exfoliate, we are also dislodging all the dirt, sebum and bacteria that get trapped in our pores. We live in a hot and humid tropical country, with most cities clouded by pollution. Hence, it’s absolutely imperative that we keep our skin squeaky clean. See what Ole Henriksen, the skin-care honcho has to say of exfoliation.

Did you know (superficial) exfoliation can start as early as the age of 15? Medical exfoliation is another story and can wait till the age of 18.

What Are The Exfoliation Solutions Available ?

  • OTC peels, scrubs and cleansers.
  • Salons and derma clinics with their mechanical and chemical peels and facials.
  • Home made DIY scrubs and face packs.
  • Face brushes to be used along with skin products.

Now exfoliation is a delicate job and needs a good understanding of when and how much is safe or good for our skin. We do not want to irritate our skin more than it is already, due to ageing and environmental factors. As Dr Jamuna Pai, India’s leading medical cosmetologist puts it, there is a certain hierarchy to exfoliation that is to be followed.

  • Superficial (mechanical/DIY) exfoliation
  • Medium Depth (salons ) exfoliation
  • Deep (medical) exfoliation.

Superficial, or mechanical exfoliation is the simplest of the three and can be carried out at home by us, using home-made exfoliation solutions, or OTC cleansers and scrubs. It removes the oldest and most superficial skin cells that cling to the epidermis. Most often, a superficial exfoliation suffices if we have been taking good care of our skin with a proper diet and a good amount of exercising. Salons and clinics can be reserved for treatments that need expertise and precision. Hence this blog post does not include medium depth and deep exfoliation.

Superficial exfoliation should be done once every 7-10 days if you have normal or combination skin and twice in the same time frame if you have oily skin.

All it takes is 10-15 minutes of your time from start to finish. A few kitchen ingredients and one or two mixing cups and bowls. It’s certainly a bit of work vis-a-vis picking up a vial off the shelf, but it is work that is fun and therapeutic. The satisfaction of having worked magic on your skin! No chemicals leaching into your system and no shelling out bills at the store counters. Environment-friendly and pocket-friendly! Anti-ageing at your fingertips. Is that enough reason for you to turn to home-made skin solutions? I have been using lemons and tomatoes extensively for their Vitamin C content, but more on that in another blog devoted to the benefits of Vit C.

And just in case you thought only your facial skin needs exfoliation, no ! Treat the rest of the skin on your body equally well. But do remember, facial skin is a lot more sensitive and thinner than the rest of your skin. It is also the first to show signs of ageing. So use scrubs that are particularly meant for the face and some others that can be used on the rest of the body. Elbows, knees and feet tend to be drier and darker than the rest of the body due to continuous surface contact friction and need an extra rub of exfoliation, but do not forget to moisturise the areas soon after.

Blanket Tips :

  • Moisten the skin always, never exfoliate dry skin. (Some on the internet will tell you that it is okay to do so, but pop that question to your dermatologist or beautician and they will gainsay it. Go with what your doctor says).
  • If you opt for OTC products, remember to go in for pharmaceutical products.
  • Having your own dermatologist to consult is as important as having a family physician.

How To Exfoliate ?

  • Moisten the skin.
  • Scoop out a good amount of the exfoliating product in your hand or in a cup and layer it all over the required skin area. Gently rub in circular motions for a few minutes. Leave it on if recommended, else wash it off with tepid water.
  • Pat dry with a soft towel.
  • Apply gentle pressure, just enough for the product to do its job.
  • Caution : Avoid exfoliation immediately before, or after any skin treatment.

There you go, you are now your own beautician, armed with the biggest tool of anti-ageing.

Facial Cleansing Brushes :

I  consulted Dr Vidya Ram Pradeep, an eminent dermatologist of Chennai before using one and got a go ahead signal to do so. But exercising caution while using a facial cleansing brush is of utmost importance as otherwise we are likely to cause damage to our skin. Specially those who have sensitive skin must use the brush sparingly or avoid it completely, she says.

Why Facial Cleansing Brush ?

  • Because it helps exfoliate a tad more efficiently. The soft gentle bristles of the facial brush scrape away any dead skin cells that may be clinging stubbornly to the skin.
  • An added benefit is the gentle massage a facial brush affords you, thereby improving blood circulation to the facial skin.
  • It is also known to aid collagen production due to its massaging action. My personal experience has been that of a newly found smoothness my skin acquired and yes, it felt good.
  • An extended benefit of using a facial brush is that when our skin is really clean, the serums and moisturisers get absorbed much better giving skin that dewy look.
  • A skin that looks radiant and healthy needs little makeup, do you agree? Can I let you in on a simple secret on what makes our skins glow? Light!! With dead skin cells on the surface, our skin does not reflect light. When we exfoliate, it’s a voila moment – our skin reflects light and pat comes that glow!

Men have started using facial cleansing brushes too, grooming is on the top of the list in todays’s evolved population. Anti-ageing is not just for women!

There are innumerable options in facial cleansing brushes. You can buy them at your neighbourhood cosmetics stores, or order them online. But do read up before you invest in one. Depending on your needs and skin type, you can spend a few hundreds to a few thousands. But it is wise to start small if you have never used one before. Buy an inexpensive good brand of facial cleansing brush for starters, and as you get the hang of it you could invest in one that is multi-functional – providing exfoliation as well as massaging. Many popular brands like Clinique and Sephora come with multiple attachments that include a massager. Here is one (Pixnor) that I use regularly and can be ordered online. It serves the purpose.

People with sensitive or problem skin can avoid facial cleansing brushes. Dr Vidya Ram Pradeep adds a word of caution while using them though. Hygiene must score highest, she says. Facial brushes are to be cleaned thoroughly after every use, dried and stored in a clean pouch or box.

She also advised on being careful while using facial cleansing brushes, or any kind of scrubs and peels on acne prone skin. Acne must be allowed to settle before resorting to any kind of scrub. We must let the skin heal before we peel !

More on scrubs

Me : Are traditional, home-made scrubs better than OTC packaged or pharmaceutical scrubs ?

Dr Vidya : It is more a case of being safe rather than being termed better. Home made scrubs put together from kitchen ingredients work well, but you always run the risk of breakouts if you have sensitive skin and if hygiene is not maintained. A lot of research goes into pharmaceutical products, hence there are lesser chances of your skin reacting adversely to the products. However, if you do not have problem skin and are careful, home made scrubs are all time favourites of all beauty enthusiasts.

Some Home-made Scrubs

Oats, sugar granules, gram flour (besan) and Fuller’s earth (multani mitti) are some kitchen ingredients that are easily available in most homes. Lime and tomato juices, honey, turmeric, rose-water, milk powder, egg yolk, egg white and yogurt are options that you can mix with the former to make a scrubbing paste, depending on your skin type.

Reveal plumper, younger skin with these home-made scrubs :

Normal Skin : 1 tbsp crushed oats, 1 tbsp rose-water, 1/2 tsp honey. Make a smooth paste of these, apply and rub gently, leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash off with cool water and pat dry.

Dry Skin : 2 tbsps honey, 2 tbsps castor oil, 1 tbsp crushed oats. Make a smooth paste of these, apply and rub very gently. Leave it on for 5-7 minutes, wash off with cool water and pat dry.

Oily skin : Cut a medium size tomato into half, dip the cut side into a small dish of sugar, rub on wet skin for 5 minutes. You may have to dip the tomato into the sugar dish a couple of times to complete the scrubbing. Splash face with cool water and pat dry. Tomato is full of an anti-oxidant called lycopene. The sugar granules get the tomato to release more lycopene into the skin to work wonders.

Make a paste of 1/2 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp sugar, 1-1/2 tsps milk powder or Fuller’s earth. Apply, rub gently, leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off with cool water. Pat dry.

Add 1/2 tsp turmeric to 1 tbsp honey, mix well, apply, rub gently and wash off with cool water. Pat dry.

Combination Skin : Combination skin needs a little extra attention as you are likely to have two zones on your face, one oily (nose, chin and forehead) and the other slightly dry (cheeks). Mix 1 tsp fine sugar with 1 tsp oats and a little water. Scrub your face, concentrating on the T zone. Leave it on for 10-12 minutes. Wash it off with cool water. Dab the skin then with rose-water or an oil-free moisturiser.

This blog post would run into pages if I were to list all the recipes that I have with me, hence have jotted just a few. If you need more specific ones, leave behind a note and your email ID in the comments and I shall forward them to you.

Here are a few body scrubs  from Astrea that are home-made with natural ingredients. I met the entrepreneur of this enterprise at an organic growers meet and tried out these products, purely because they do not contain any synthetic components. Skin felt smooth and supple for days after the scrub.

Sweet Orange Sugar Scrub
astrea sweet orange sugar body scrub, my thought lane

Sweet Orange Sugar Body Scrub from Astrea

While orange oil has a plethora of uses and benefits, when added in scrubs, creams and lotions, it stimulates the lymphatic system and helps detoxify the skin. It helps improve blood circulation, is a natural anti-bacterial, decreases wrinkles and improves the complexion. The scrub is a happy combination of sweet orange essential oil, almond oil, sugar and natural preservatives. It can be a boon to the relatively drier areas of knees and elbows – an extra scrub will still be safe.

Coffee Vanilla Body Scrub :
astrea coffee vanilla body scrub, my thought lane

Coffee Vanilla Body Scrub by Astrea

Coffee seems to be a boon to the skin, with its anti-inflammatory, skin tightening, skin brightening, skin softening and exfoliating properties coupled with cellulite reduction and treating dark under eye circles. While we have many products for skin smoothing et al, I picked up this scrub for coffee’s ability to dehydrate fatty cells thereby causing the cellulite to appear diminished. Coffee granules, almond oil, sugar, vanilla extract and natural preservatives have gone into this scrub to make it a wonder product. The recommended period for using a scrub is 7-10 days, but if it is cellulite you are working on, you could use it twice a week just on the affected area.

astrea peppermint sugar body scrub

Peppermint Sugar Body Scrub by Astrea

Peppermint Sugar Body Scrub :

Like coffee, peppermint is on the top of the essential oils list, but the one thing that drew me to this body scrub is its pain killing and muscle relaxant properties. It is known to soothe sore muscles and relieve headaches. A study shows that peppermint oil applied topically alleviates Fibromyalgia and Myofascial pain Syndrome. To top it all, it elevates your moods and that makes it a super scrub. Guess it does wonders to use this after a killer workout at the gym ! Smells good and feels good.

You know something? Exfoliation can remain your beauty secret, no one will know whats behind the glow on your face. Really, its most effective, yet absolutely subtle, carried out in the privacy of your bathroom. Even your partner need not know about it. Just smile and take it if people compliment you on your healthy fresh skin. You have just exfoliated and you been your own beautician !  And yes, with the onslaught of pollution and lifestyle stresses, we got to take anti-ageing seriously.

Leave behind a comment if you have seen stunning results with exfoliation.

Anti-ageing Tips : How To Slow Down Ageing

Show your skin some love

If you are 25 and even an hour older, you need to read this article and start paying attention to skin care. Ageing of the skin takes baby steps and sets in at 25. Wait……no panic yet, but most people are unaware of this skin fact. They wait till the 30s to even start noticing changes in their skin. Having established this research backed fact, I wish to suggest small ways of slowing down ageing in a series of articles on anti-ageing. Very often, we get loaded with far too much information on such topics and tend to miss out or forget some tips. Hence, I am dealing with one important anti-ageing DIY tip in each article. Anti-ageing products and procedures are galore and using them is a personal choice, but there is something in our power even when adopting them that can help make the effort worthwhile and get better results.

How To Apply Serums And Creams The Right Way

I have seen many rub their skin while applying any topical solution. ‘That is a mistake‘ we have been told repeatedly, yet we forget the words of caution – rub and scrub, especially when we are in a hurry. Time to stop doing that folks. Time to pamper your skin the right way. Time to take anti-ageing into your hands !

  • Take the required quantity of the topical application you are using in your palm, or the back of your hand, be it a cleanser, a serum, a lotion or a cream.
  • Dip your fingertips into it and dab it on the surface of your skin. With gentle, upward strokes spread it all over your face or whichever part of the body you are applying it on. Now the natural tendency of many, is to rub it in, especially when they are in a hurry. Your skin may be crying for mercy, not to pull and push so much, to be treated with a little more care. So….
  • Slow down….instead, pat the product gently and repeatedly all over your face. Cup your face with your palms and gently act like you are pushing the product into your skin, till all of it is absorbed. Did you see some happy skin there? You just did some anti-ageing act! You showed your skin some love♥.

Watch this quick video on the technique by Chennai’s leading makeup artist Akriti Sachdev of Mesmereyes Makeup, created specially for My Thought Lane

Most Important : Serum, Under Eye Cream, Moisturizer and Sunscreen in that order. Apply your first topical application quickly after you tap dry your face and while the skin is still moist. It will help seal in the moisture in the epidermis (topmost layer of skin) and lend a soft glow to your face.

Why Pat And Not Rub :

While those in their late 20s can still take it easy, once the 30s set in skin starts losing its firmness, tone and elasticity.  Very fine lines make their appearance giving you an indication that skin is losing its toning and you better wake up to it. With natural ageing and the aggression of external factors like the sun and the weather, collagen and elastin production in the skin (the backbone of a firm skin) slows down, resulting in loss of firmness. And do not forget that gravity never fights shy of doing it s job ! Added to all of this, if you were to rub or pull your skin, you are playing host to sagging skin for sure. Think anti-ageing ! Even if you were to sweat like a pig during, or after your walks and workouts, still pat your face with a soft napkin and never rub.

Why Pat Or Tap Cream Into The Skin:

We all of course know that ageing alters blood circulation within the body. Poor blood supply means lesser oxygen. Patting and tapping can alleviate that to some extent by increasing blood circulation to those areas, thereby lending better health to your skin.

Not fair that the first signs of ageing appear on that part of the body that we treasure most, the face. Even more unfair that the best part of our face, the eyes take the brunt of ageing first. We cannot fight nature, but we certainly can take anti-ageing into our own hands and slow it down.

Do You Believe In The Healing Power Of Your Hands ?

Adding a layer here to the benefits of patting the product into your skin : Three or four days into this practice, I realised I was feeling good and revelled in the way my skin responded to my hands, with all the patting and tapping. My skin appeared a tad plumped, probably from the pampering it received. Yes, when someone feels loved, they glow ! Go ahead, you try this out too, accept your skin and love it. I would call this anti-ageing at a higher plane.

The contour of the eye has lesser amount of collagen, elastin and lipids and ages faster than the rest of the face. The skin and muscles around the eyes are fragile, it is made so because it does the most muscular work – 10,000 blinks per day !! Had there been tougher skin and muscle, so many blinks would have been an impossibility leading to other eye related issues. If that’s how nature meant it to be, it has also taught us that there is something we can do to slow down the ageing.


Improve blood circulation like we said above.


  • Apply your serum, cream or lotion with your ring finger or the little finger and tap lightly along the eye contour.
  • Press EVER SO GENTLY till the topical application gets absorbed into the skin.
  • Continue tapping lightly on the eye-socket area, along the cheekbone and extend it to the eyebrow bone in a gentle circle.
  • Always from the outer corner of the eye to the inner.

The blood circulation tip given by Dr Vidya Ram Pradeep of Krishna’s Skin Cosmetology & Medical Centre, Chennai is something that we can all practice everyday and anytime of the day. To keep a radiant skin, not just  the under eye area but the rest of the face too.

Do not forget your neck, decolletage and palms, they show signs of ageing next only to the under eye area. Treat them to a gentle application of your serum, or cream and pat and tap like you would your face.

Apply the same technique if you are going to be pampering the rest of your body with oils, creams, or lotions.

Anti-ageing In The Shower

pat dont rub skin mantra

The skin-mantra

 

Oh yes, anti-ageing has become a part of your life now. So, while you cleanse your face with a face wash and your body with a shower gel, use circular motions for application and once you are rinsed, remember to pat yourself dry all over with a soft absorbent towel. If you are one of those that cannot do without rubbing yourself dry (it’s just a habit, you can grow out of it) or are in a rush, just remember to run your towel ever so gently in upward strokes and never down. We are not lending a hand to gravity in letting our skin sag !

Additional tip : Apply your face wash on wet skin gently and in circular motions, massage your skin (without rubbing) with the product for 10 secs or more. Give the product enough time to work on your skin and do its job. Opt for a pharmaceutical product that suits your skin, consult a dermatologist. If you are looking for a good face wash, refer to my earlier post on Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel

Video Credits : Thank you Akriti Sachdev

There is beauty in wellness and ageing gracefully with minimum damage to the skin requires an effort, the results of which will stay with you much into older years. So lets make anti-ageing and slowing it down fun. So feedback time, like it if you did and share a view or two.

Ciao till the next anti-ageing tip…….

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel With Natural Ingredients

A good face wash is the first step in good skin care – fresh, clean skin then becomes a canvas for the nourishing ritual either through face packs and moisturising, or dabbing a little colour on to beautify the face. But every time we splash water on our faces, they veer towards dryness and to compound it, if we do not use a good face wash, the damage is double-fold.

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel is my latest trusted find in skincare. I have earlier reviewed a few face washes, AhaGlow, Tone N Glow and Lanopearl but have now moved over to Glogeous, which is an advanced version of AhaGlow.

glogeous advanced face wash gel packaging and dispenser, my thought lane

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel packaging and dispenser

I am a stickler for pharmaceutical products when it comes to skin care and Glogeous was prescribed by my dermatologist. I absolutely love it and the reasons being

  • It has lightened my pigmentation
  • Reduced fine lines on my face
  • Brightened my complexion
  • Improved the skin texture.
  • My son’s acne prone skin has cleared considerably.

Natural Ingredients

‘Made from natural ingredients’ tagline on the packaging drew my attention first. Aren’t we all leaning towards most things natural or organic? So, whats so good about Glogeous ? One, it’s a face wash and it does a jolly good job of it.

Two, does it dry the skin as most regular face washes are wont to? No, it doesn’t. Skin feels fresh and smooth and here are the ingredients that ensure it does.

natural ingredients list of glogeous advanced face wash gel, my thought lane

Ingredients of Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel

Aloe Vera is the proverbial manna from heaven for the homo-sapiens and is most often used in drugs and cosmetics. With an abundance of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, aloe vera has that magical healing, hydrating and soothing properties.

Fresh Cells (Pumpkin) Pumpkin will no longer be viewed as just a vegetable after you read this. It’s certainly not the new kid on the block of beauty and wellness ; the benefits of eating pumpkin have been documented in Ayurveda. Just that we havent seen that ingredient enough in skin care products. Glogeous contains Fresh Cells (Pumpkin). Pumpkin is rich in important essential vitamins and nutrients that nourish the skin and make it radiant. Shahnaz Husain and many other beauty experts recommend pumpkin packs, peels and moisturizers for glowing skin since the vegetable is enriched with vitamins A and C. Pumpkin seeds are on the top of nutritionists’ charts as they are a major source of anti-oxidants. It is one of the vegetables containing the highest anti-oxidising carotene content which gives it its unique orange colour and more specifically the beta-carotene.

Glycolic acid, a naturally occurring acid is a major anti-ageing aid. It reacts with the upper layer of the epidermis and sloughs off dead skin (exfoliation) and exposes live skin cells, thereby lending a fresh healthy glow to the skin. This is where it helps in healing acne scars. Many users and dermatologists have reported a considerable reduction in acne issues.

Propanediol (and) Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, got from the Wu-Zhu-Yu fruit is an active ingredient that targets and boosts the microcirculation process, which in turn lends luminosity to the skin and helps even out complexion.

Vitamin E acetate in the Glogeous face wash plays a protective role along with possessing anti-inflammatory properties.. It prevents damage done to the skin by free radicals and UV rays from the sun. Topical application of Vitamin E is essential as certain specific Vitamin E forms may not be derived from our diets.

Three , Glogeous face wash is pH friendly.

Image courtesy : Healthy Skin Solutions

How important is this ? Very. The ability of our skin to fight infection and environmental stresses is derived from our skin’s pH level. A thin layer, called the acid mantle protects the surface of our skin. It is made of sebum, produced by the sebaceous glands of our skin. The sebum mixes with lactic acid and amino acids from our sweat and creates a skin pH level that ideally should be 5.5. Now this crucial pH level can get disturbed due to internal (health) and external (environmental) factors. Glogeous face wash helps in maintaining and restoring the skin’s pH level.

Benefits of using Glogeous Advanced Face Wash Gel

  • Deep cleansing along with nourishing the skin
  • Natural ingredients leave the skin fresh and radiant
  • Does not cause dryness after the wash
  • Maintains skin’s pH level

Directions for use

Price : Is it value for money ?

A 100 g (net weight) bottle costs INR 749. I would say yes, it is value for money. For one, it lasts for months. Two, it cleanses without drying the skin. Three, it works well for all skin types. It helps exfoliate , unblock pores, lighten certain pigmentations, reduce fine wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.

Points to remember :

  • Glogeous does not cause extra dryness, but sensible skin care will always demand moisturising and sun protection. While plain water can rob your skin of its natural oils, a formulated cleanser is certainly likely to do more. Do consult your dermatologist before using any skin care product, that’s my mantra. Investing in a trusted and good dermatologist will save you struggling with skin issues now or later in life.
  • Glycolic acid is an exfoliator, a sugarcane derivative. To know more read here. You could begin with using Glogeous once a day ; once your skin gets accustomed to glycolic acid, you can use it twice a day. If there is a small amount of tingling due to glycolic acid, just soothe it with a moisturizer after the wash.

Availability :

Glogeous is a pharmaceutical product of Torrent Pharmaceuticals, a trusted pharma name and is available at most medical stores, online and at dermatologists’ clinics.

This blog is informative in nature and by no means diagnostic or prescriptive.

Glogeous Advanced Face Wash has rarely affected anyone adversely, however it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist before using any skin or hair care product.