It’s the newest trend to hit the world of beauty and glamour and everyone wants to be a part of it. Radiant and glowing skin is now on the ‘must-have’ list of everyone around. A picture-perfect, flawless skin is what we all desire. Some of us are born that way but for some it takes a little of bit of effort, and money! You could spend thousands on salon routines that may or may not give you the desired outcome. Or, you could become a fan of ‘Coconut oil’ – an easily available product that has a long list of beauty benefits.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
It’s a well-known fact that Coconut Oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. These properties make Coconut Oil a very healthy choice for several health conditions. The list is pretty exhaustive:
- Weight loss
- Improvement of Type II Diabetes
- Prevention of Gum Diseases and Tooth Decay
- Known to reduces symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
- Improves Digestion
- Improves Energy
- Improves Memory
- Boosts Immune System
- Reduces Inflammation
- Helps in balancing hormones
- Treatment of yeast infections
But, did you know that this amazing natural product is also your skin’s best friend? Coconut oil is a multi-talented oil and depending on your skin type – you can use it as a moisturizer, cleanser and even as a sunscreen. This oil protects your skin and helps in healing the skin because of the antioxidants present in it. Coconut oil also reduces inflammation as it contains fatty acids. Here are some of the ways in which coconut oil can be used in your daily beauty routine:
1. Face Wash: Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add 1 tbsp baking soda and 5 tbsp of any of your favourite essential oils suitable for application your face. Store this homemade face wash liquid in a jar.
2. Lip Balm: You can add a few drops of coconut to any of your lip balm or chapstick, this will help in making your lips moist and getting rid of dry lips.
3. Night Cream: Add a few drops of coconut oil to your moisturizer and apply it at night before sleeping if you are prone to face acne. If not, then you can apply the oil as it is on your face.
4. Sunburn Relief: The harsh rays of the sun can dry the delicate skin on your face and you look older. Coconut oil helps you to get rid of that redness and itching (if you experience it) as it rehydrates the skin.
5. Makeup Remover: Removing makeup is a major task. Instead of removing make up with other chemicals, remove it with coconut oil. This will make your skin hydrating and softer. Coconut oil will help in reducing wrinkles as well.
6. Insect Repellent: Mosquito bites really look horrible on the face. Don’t they? There’s an easy way to get rid of them, just mix some coconut oil with any of your favorite essential oil and apply this on the insect bite. Repeat this after a few hours.
7. Face Scrub: Mix coconut oil with coconut sugar and use this mixture as a scrub on your face for at least 2-3 times a week. This will give you a much smoother skin than ever before.
There is good and bad. There is 'what do you need', which may or may not be 'what do you want'. The dilemma of hair smoothening versus hair straightening also has these aspects, wherein, one is touted to be better than the other. However, the outcome that you want may only be obtained by that which is not good for you.Hair smoothening and hair straightening (permanent hair straightening) both are chemical processes, therefore, both have side effects. Yes, you read it right and this brings us to the question, which one is better? Chemically, smoothening is a better option than straightening. To know why, you must understand the processes:
What is Hair Smoothening?
Hair smoothening is a chemical process that involves saturating the hair with a formaldehyde solution, which is then dried out and locked in a straight position using a flat iron.
Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical and it needs expert supervision. The short-term side effects could include irritation of eyes, skin and upper respiratory track. In long-term various agencies have classified it as a suspected human carcinogen (substance capable of causing cancer)as it has been linked to nasal cancer and leukaemia.
However, proper execution of the process reduces these risks to an extremely safe extent. Ensure that the salon that you choose has well ventilated area and requisite amenities.
Brazilian Blowout and Keratin treatment:
Hair Smoothening is usually subdivided into two popular treatments: Brazilian Blowout and Keratin Treatment. Both treatments bond protein to the external stratum of the hair. In Brazilian Blowout, the solution is rinsed out while in Keratin Treatment solution it is left in the hair.
Hair smoothening is a comparatively short term solution than hair straightening.
What is Hair Straightening?
Hair straightening involves restructuring of the hair. The chemicals permanently break the bonds of the hair shaft and then they are restructured with application of heat. Finally, the newly formed bonds are sealed with more chemicals. Permanent hair straightening is also called as Japanese Hair Straightening (also Thermal Reconditioning).
There are no standard straighteners that fit all. All the straighteners are not equal; they have different compositions. There is no one size that fits all. You should have in-depth consultation to understand your hair's curl pattern, elasticity, permeability, texture, thickness throughout the length and general health before deciding which straightener is ideal.
As it is clear from the processes, stronger chemicals are used in hair straightening than hair smoothening, hence the latter is better considering the side effects.
How to Go About?
An experienced and qualified hair expert is the best person to test your hair and analyse what they need. However, as I said in the beginning, 'what you need' may not be 'what you want'. After the hair examination, once your expert tells you 'what you need', discuss with him, 'what you want'. A good expert should be able to do the cost to benefit analysis based on your discussion and you can go ahead with the recommendation.
The logical progression that you could follow:
1. Research about the salon: Choose a renowned and well equipped salon with experienced stylists. It's important to warrant that right mixture of chemicals is used.
2. Know your hair type: Your stylist can help in this. There are different sets of treatment for different kinds of hair. You should be sure before you embark the journey.
3. Be careful of low cost deals: These processes involve chemical products and if quality is maintained, they can't be offered below a certain cost. If you get an offer that is far below the normal rate, probably the chemical used are of low grade.
4. Know the products: Ask your stylist about the brands that are being used for the treatment. High quality brands are exclusively available with trusted and certified salons. You can evaluate standard of the salon based on the brands that they use.
5. Timeline: Hair Smoothening is short-term and hair straightening is a long-term solution. You can choose the treatment based on the timeline of revisits that you want.
6. Conflicts: Discussing your hair history with the stylist is vital. If your hair has already undergone some treatment in the past, consult your stylist of probable conflicts that could occur in getting the new treatment.
7. Post treatment care: It's extremely important to take special care of your hair post hair smoothening or hair straightening. Depending on the treatment, a qualified hair expert will give you the list of dos and don'ts. For best results always follow the advice.
Conclusion: It all depends on the results that you want and to accomplish those results your hair expert will suggest you the right process. Do ask your expert the pros and cons based on your hair type. Finally, ensure three 'R's': Right Expert, Right Product and Right Process.
Your skin goes through a rough time facing dirt and pollution daily. No matter how lucrative some beauty products may sound, natural ingredients and a home-made pack are still the best solutions. Ingredients like saffron, lemon, milk and sandalwood are known to be great for your skin. Although sandalwood (chandan) is popular as a beauty remedy, very few people know about the red sandalwood. Rakta Chandana or the red sandalwood is one of the finest ingredients for your skin.
The red sandalwood tree can be found mostly in the southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India. The tree is prized for the rich red color of its wood. Just like regular chandan, red sandalwood is also sold in powdered form but it is a bit more coarse. It is primarily used for skin care and beauty purposes. It is very effective in reducing blemishes and treating acne. It also helps in the removal of sun tan and dullness because of its cooling properties. Here are eight ways to use red sandalwood for beautiful and glowing skin.
1. Add few drops of coconut oil to red sandalwood powder and make a paste with it. This can be applied on dry areas for moisturizing them. Wash off after 10-15 minutes. Red sandalwood powder is known to provide nourishment to the skin cells.
2. Mix red sandalwood powder with lemon juice to prepare a mask for oily skin. Apply this paste all over your face and let it dry out. Once it does, wash it off with lukewarm water. It helps in regulating the secretion of sebum and makes the pores tight.
3. Acne and pimples happen to be common skin problems faced by most people. A rose water and red sandalwood face pack helps in the reduction of acne and acne scars and also the irritation caused by acne due to its cooling properties. You can even add a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric to the pack for better results.
4. A pack made with 1 tablespoon of red sandalwood and 2 tablespoons of mashed ripe papaya can help in exfoliation (removal of dead skin). This face pack helps you shed the dead skin and leaves your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
5. Use red sandalwood powder along with curd and milk to improve uneven skin tone. Mix 1 tablespoon of red sandalwood powder, half tablespoon of turmeric, 2 tablespoon of curd and milk each to make a face pack. Apply this all over and let it dry. Later wash it off with lukewarm water and enjoy radiant complexion.
6. It helps in removal of dark spots and reduces pigmentation. Prepare a simple pack with 2 tablespoons of red sandalwood and 2 tablespoon of milk and apply it everyday.
7. A pack with cucumber juice or curd with red sandalwood powder helps in removing sun tan. Mix 2 tablespoon of curd or cucumber juice with an equal amount of red sandalwood powder and apply it on the affected area. Let it dry and then wash off. You will see instant results.
8. Prepare a mask with 2 teaspoons of almond oil, 4 teaspoons of coconut oil and 4 teaspoons of red sandalwood powder. Use this regularly for soft and glowing skin.
Red sandalwood has many uses in your skin care routine, give it a permanent spot in your beauty cabinet. You'll find the best quality of red sandalwood in Kerala, so if you happen to visit it, you must buy it for yourself.
Ever wonder why glycerin has long been a part of the skin care regimen of most women? Glycerine, alternatively known as glycerol, is a non-toxic substance that is derived from plants and animals. This water soluble ingredient is widely used by the food industry for its sweetening property, and by the pharmaceutical industry too. Glycerin is sourced from lipids, mostly triglycerides, found in animal tallow and plants like soybean or palm. Glycerol is also used as laxatives and in a number of beauty and cosmetic products like creams, gels, lotions, styling products among others.Glycerin is easily available in market and is commonly used by people as a skin care product. We spoke to a leading skincare and beauty expert to know more about glycerin and whether or not one should use it in regular skin care regimen.
"Glycerin is very important for your skin, especially in this weather when the skin is more likely to turn dull and dry. It is a stable compound which helps in moisturizing the skin inside-out." shared leading Delhi-based skin and beauty expert, Dr. Deepali Bharadwaj. Here are seven reasons to add glycerin to your skin care regime.
1. Battle dry skin
Glycerin may help battle dry skin
2. Protects skin from the adverse effects of pollution
"This year's pollution is going to add to skin allergies, rashes, irritation and issues like eczema. Just a thin coating of pure glycerin on your face before sleeping will nourish your skin and ensure that it is fortified to withstand the ravages of pollution and harsh weather. Owing to its light molecular weight it gets absorbed by the deeper layers of the skin," shared Dr. Deepali. Oils like almond, sesame and olive work on the superficial layer of the skin whereas glycerin penetrates deeper.
"Glycerin is available in the market at a very reasonable price. In my opinion, it is better than using almond oil on your face owing to its molecular size. It doesn't make your skin look greasy or feel oily," explained Dr. Bharadwaj.
4. Beneficial for all skin types
Glycerin can easily be used for all skin types as well as in your hair care routine. It helps nourish your hair, add sheen and render dazzling, lustrous texture. For hair, glycerin can actually be used like a leave-in conditioner or an after-wash serum.
For dry skin - You can take curd or milk and mix with glycerin and apply on the face. Leave for 20 minutes and wash off. Mix almond oil with glycerin and use as body lotion.
For oily skin - Mix some lemon juice with glycerin and apply on face. Lemon juice will act on excess oil and work with its antibacterial properties while glycerin will go deeper and nourish your skin.
Glycerin can act on acne very well. Take a drop of glycerin and a drop of lemon juice and apply on the affected area, wait for 5-10 minutes and wash off.
6. Get rid of dark circles
Mix glycerin with tomato juice and apply with a slice of potato on the affected area. "You can actually warm the potato and use it to apply under your eye," noted Dr. Bharadwaj.
7. Combat allergy
"Distilled form of glycerin may actually help some cases on skin allergies. Pure form of glycerin must not be used as it may make the skin more sensitive," concluded Dr. Deepali.
While glycerin can be an inexpensive tool in your regular beauty regime, the significance of a balanced diet in maintaining good skin must not be overlooked. Eat healthy and exercise regularly to shine of radiance.
Acne, or simply known as pimples, is a common skin problem that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog up your pores. It can happen any time and many reasons are attributed to the cause of acne such as stress, puberty, hormonal changes, menopause etc to name a few.
Acne can also be a genetic problem, occur due to hormonal imbalance or simply because of lifestyle issues.
Here are some simple tips you can try to keep acne at bay:
Remove all the makeup before going to bed.
One should wash face properly. It is recommended to clean your face twice a day and not more than that as it can leave your skin more oily.
Clean your face with an alcohol-free makeup remover followed by mild washing with a deep pore cleanser.
Eat a healthy balanced diet including fresh fruits, veggies, curd and sprouts.
Avoid junk foods, sugar-rich and starchy products like cakes, chocolates, white bread, fried food and sweets.
Drink lots of water as it flushes out toxins from the body and makes the skin look cleansed and hydrated.
Start practising yoga because breathing and stretching involved in the exercise ensures proper blood circulation in your body which makes the skin acne-free.
Do not use soaps as they can damage the skin by making it drier, rougher and more permeable to bacteria.
Always remember to apply sunblock as the sun has UVA and UVB rays which may worsen those pimples.
Besides following these tips, one can also prevent the skin problem by simple eating a healthy balanced diet.
Here are some foods that will help to get rid of acne:
Add green veggies like spinach in your daily diet to get rid of acne because it is rich in Vitamin A that acts as an anti-acne agent. It also helps cleanse bacteria and toxins from the digestive tract and blood stream.
Turmeric helps in curing acne as it fights inflammation and brightens the appearance of the skin. It also acts as a natural remedy against internal bacteria and toxins that lead to acne.
Eat lots of carrots daily because they are rich in Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene that work against acne.
Salmon contains high amount of omega 3 fats, protein that helps in getting rid of acne and boosts collagen in the skin. It also help fight inflammation.