This Sweet Dream Encouraged Me To Blog And That’s How I Started

I got a dream one night, I was a child in it. I was at play and came in with my hands and feet muddied. When i entered my room after I had cleaned up, I saw my dad poised at my desk with some sheets of blank paper and pencils. I stopped in my tracks and stared blankly at him with my mind racing to figure out the why of his presence at my desk. Had I forgotten an assignment and had my school phoned him to complain about it? But no, I was a topper in my class and had a spotless record of being a responsible one at that. I had never till date delayed or missed submitting an assignment, neither had I ever let my marks drop from the best. So, what was it then?

He beckoned to me to sit by his side. I walked up to him, unsure but did all the same sit down close to him. He took my hand, wrapped my right palm-fingers around a pencil and made as if to guide me to write! I was stumped again and looked up at him silently. For heaven’s sake, I was in my fifth grade and what exactly was that? He was silent, but gestured with his eyes towards the paper to start writing. While I was still in my state of confusion, dad vanished because my dream ended abruptly!

I woke up and actually did look for my dad around, but realized was in my bed and turned to my side with a smile, happy to have got a glimpse of dad, for its years sine he has moved on to another realm. For all of the following day, my mind kept going back to the dream. I dismissed it as a random dream sometime close to the end of the day and while I drove to work the next day, I think I kind of put some meaning into it.

Dad aspired me to be if not a writer, at least to write. Write my thoughts, write my experiences, for that is how one begins, he would tell me when I entered my Grad. He saw the spark in me, he told me often. But youth had other attractions. I also had fallen in love then and all my energies were invested in the relationship. He sounded his disappointment quite often, but never gave up reminding me. I would say, “yes papa, soon”, but that soon got so delayed and he moved on…..

So I decided….this was it. It was yet another reminder, a silent one from another world this time. And so I took up pen and paper :), that’s just a way of saying – I opened my desktop and the first thing that came to mind was blogging. I had always been curious about blogs, but had not an iota of inkling about the how of it. Big Daddy Google led me to WordPress and in no time, I had registered and set up My Thought Lane.

Did I know what I was going to blog about? Kind of yes. Since the inspiration came from dad, it had to be sharing….sharing views, sharing information. I couldn’t be a poet or a storyteller, but facts and research I could write about. He wrote a few books himself, documenting people and places in and around Dharwad, the place we lived till I got married. It was then a quaint town, known for its musical and literary heritage. He was mighty proud of his town and has even penned a short poem on how he would like to be buried in his beloved birthplace. In it, he assumes that he would live on forever in spirit in the town. After I began my stint in blogging, I did translate that short poem into English from Kannada, as a tribute to him. Would you like to read it here?

That was just an attempt at reproducing a poem from a regional language to English in the form of a word song.

I took to blogging like a fish takes to water and read and researched, wrote and enjoyed doing so. I over-shared and I still do, because I love disseminating all that I learn and know every day. I am not a paid blogger, I am a blogger by passion and my areas of interest are wellness, fitness and beauty. I do review beauty products and the reason I provide links to them is to just let my readers access them easily. I am since March 2021 working with a natural skin care e-commerce company called Aardae, which retails In Singapore only at the moment. I am their Product Strategist and I so love my job, being a skincare addict or junkie, term it as you may. A few of my blogs are linked to businesses, but again, that’s just for awareness. I am currently reading up and locating a lot of Korean and Japanese beauty products and oh, its sheer pleasure to be learning more and more everyday. I still have a long way to go in learning how to blog better, how to connect better. I do find a lot of inspiration in the hundreds of bloggers that are a million times more passionate than me. WordPress is a great space to be in and this journey of a blogger feels great with you all as my co-travelers.

I hope my dad is looking from above, from wherever he is and has finally seen his daughter don the writer’s cap. Is he smiling? He must be.

A Complete Guide To Cleansing And Eight Cleansers For Every Skin Type

The first secret to glowing skin is effective cleansing, do you agree? We are now on the same page, and so here are eight options of face cleansers that are packed with beneficial natural ingredients. They are gentle, safe and score high on efficacy.

A well-cleansed face provides the canvas for further skincare and makeup. Clean skin drinks up the nutrients from your serums, essences and moisturizers, giving you that ‘much-desired’ plump, glowy and dewy skin. 

When is the best time to cleanse your face?
Every type of skin…. even problem skin needs daily cleansing and twice a day at that! At bedtime, or after you get back home in the evening to dislodge the build-up of dirt, grime and makeup that sat on your face all day! And the first thing on waking up to remove residual oils from the night (read natural sebum plus bedtime skincare products).

How to cleanse effectively without drying the skin?
First and foremost, say no to harsh chemicals and choose gentle formulations from trusted brands. Opt for natural ingredients that target your skin concern.
But, before I take you to some hero face cleansers, just a few tips on how to give your skin a little TLC.

Do’s And Don’ts Of Face Cleansing

  • Properly remove all your makeup first – use a gentle makeup remover and a soft cotton pad to do so.
  • Use lukewarm water – extreme temperatures of water can harm your skin, and do no good.
  • Skip the washcloth – much touted it is on social media, but it can irritate skin due to rubbing.
  • Allow the face cleanser to sit on your face for a few seconds to dissolve and dislodge the impurities. Do not wash off immediately. Massage the product gently on your face and neck with your fingers.
  • Tools like face brushes and loofahs are not really essential. A good face cleanser applied using your finger tips will do the job.
  • Your neck is an extension of your face in the beauty world, so give it the same care as you would a face.
  • Pat your face dry gently with a soft towel and avoid rubbing it on.
  • Apart from washing your face twice a day, cleanse it additionally only if required (in cases of sweating) and use only the required amount of the product. Over-washing can dry up your skin.

When you are done cleansing, do remember to follow up with a toner/serum/moisturizer that suits your skin type and concern.
I have put together eight of the best facial cleansers to suit all skin types, and have you covered with natural ingredients – only after I have tried and tested them on myself and some members of a test team so that I recommend only the safest and the best. These products are available in India on the brand websites as well as at Aardae website in Singapore. I have provided links to the products in India at the end.

Aminu – the essentials AHA FACE WASH

aminu aha face wash for blemish clearing and brightening, aardae, singapore

A face wash to fall in love with, you certainly wouldn’t want to miss this. If its classy packaging draws you to it at first glance, prepare to be wowed by the gentle, soothing potion that leaves your skin smooth, radiant and fresh as dew. With five natural AHAs, natural sugars, antioxidants, botanicals and mild resurfacing ingredients, this face wash is a ‘multitasker’.

Skin Type – Dry, Normal, Combination, and Oily 

Skin Goals – De-Tanning, Spot-Correction, Blemish-Clearing, Brightening. Sensitive skin types can avoid this and opt for Aminu Cream Cleanser.

Earth Rhythm-Cleansing Balm With Propolis

earth rhythm cleansing balm with propolis

 If you love the ingredient ‘propolis’, this cleansing balm is for you. A face cleanser that not just gently cleans, but brightens up skin instantly, like none other. Keep this handy if you have an event to go to and you may shine the best. Plant-based fatty acids replenish, while the rest of the rich natural ingredients balance, heal and soothe skin.

Skin Type – Acne-prone, Dry & Problematic.

Skin Goals – SkinBalancing, Healing & Soothing, Retaining Moisture.  

Omorfee – Green Apple Face Wash

omorfee apple protein face wash for sebum balancing and acne

‘An apple protein to deep clean oily skin’ is its simplest description. Oily skin throws up many challenges when it comes to face washes and moisturisers. But this Omorfee green apple face wash, devoid of sulphate extricates all grime without disrupting the healthy skin mantle. Could be your best bet to taking care of oily/acne-prone skin and keeping it healthy.

Skin Type – Oily & Acne-prone.

Skin Goals – Sebum balancing, Clearing Pores, Controlling Acne.

Shankara Naturals – Hydrating Cleanser – Fine Line

shankara naturals hydrating face wash for fine lines

A good one for combination and dry skin types. It’s not often that products are formulated for combination skin, but this one is. A face wash that feels luxurious yet cleanses thoroughly, leaving skin soft and smooth. A perfect blend of highly potent natural ingredients that helps in protecting the natural acid mantle of the skin.

Skin Type – All

Skin Goals – Skin acid mantle protection, Soothe skin and keep it moist, Remove makeup gently & effectively.

Detoxie – Anti-pollution & De-tan Refreshing Face Wash

detoxie face wash to combat pollution and tanning

Made for city life, made for you! City life is riddled with pollution and many environmental stressors, which in turn stresses our insides too, resulting in inflammation, damaged skin barrier, acne and pigmentation. Detoxie face wash has been designed to combat just that. It’s enriched with potent nutrients like Japanese Matcha, Peach Extract, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Witch Hazel Extract, Alpha Arbutin & Jojoba Ester. Together they help in cleansing pores to the core, minimizing blemishes and all that without drying the skin.

Skin Type – All

Skin Goals – Cleansing of all pollutants, Brightening of Skin, Clearing Pores.

Juicy Chemistry – Saffron, Marula and Ylang Ylang Face Wash

juicy chemistry face wash for improving skin texture and plumping

This face wash is a boon to dry and mature skin. Enriched with antioxidants, phenols, plant vitamins, fatty acids and terpenes, this Marula and Saffron face wash cleanses without drying mature skin further, and reverses free radical damage. Women who have used have reported smoothening of skin texture too! So that’s a big plus.

Skin Type – Normal to Dry

Skin Goals – Nourishing dry skin, Enhancing Tone & Texture, Plumping.

Soul Tree – Indian Rose Face Wash

soul tree face wash to enhance elasticity

Absolutely wonderful on normal to dry skin. Dry skin particularly is always under threat of losing its plumpness and elasticity. Potent extracts of Indian Rose and Turmeric are super beneficial to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Forest Honey and Aloe Vera together leave skin refreshed and hydrated.

Skin Type – All

Skin Goals – Retain elasticity, Keep skin blemish-free, nourished and hydrated.

Brillare – Oil Away Face Wash

brillare face wash for oily and acne prone skin, aardae, singapore

Oily skin can be tricky, one is never sure of what face wash and moisturiser to use. But, here is one product that puts your fear to rest. Brillare’s Oil Away Face Wash cleanses pores deep enough to clear it of the residual sebum, thereby leaving no room for microbes. Leaves skin non-greasy and fresh.

Skin Type – Oily & Acne-prone

Skin Goals – Oil balancing, Clear Pore

So those are some top-notch recommendations for high-performance face cleansers with pure and natural ingredients.

Bonus Tip :
Foods containing preservatives and artificial ingredients may irritate skin and cause breakouts even in the healthiest of skins. For eg, foods high in trans fats, such as margarine, processed food, and fast food. Foods high in sugar may also trigger eczema flare-ups. Sugar causes your insulin levels to spike, which can result in inflammation.

All products at Aardae are free from harsh chemicals, are not tested on animals and are eco-friendly. With natural ingredients sourced ethically from across the globe.
See you soon again. Till then, stay beautiful, naturally!

Aminu AHA Face Wash : https://aminu.life/Item/23/products/AHA-Face-Wash

Earth Rhythm Cleansing Balm : https://www.earthrhythm.com/collections/propolis/products/healing-cleansing-balm-with-propolis

Omorfee Green Apple Face Wash : https://www.omorfee.in/products/green-apple-face-wash

Hydrating Cleanser Shankara Naturals : https://www.shankara.in/products/hydrating-cleanser-fine-line

Detoxie Anti Pollution Face Wash : https://detoxie.in/products/anti-pollution-de-tan-refreshing-face-wash

Juicy Chemistry Face Wash : https://juicychemistry.com/products/saffron-marula-ylang-ylang-organic-face-wash

Indian Rose Face Wash Soul Tree : https://www.soultree.in/products/natural-indian-rose-face-wash-1

Oil Away Face Wash Brillare : https://www.brillare.co.in/products/oil-away-facewash-for-oily-acne-prone-skin

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.

Astrea Official : +91 93846 65561

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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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