Inlight Beauty Superfood Mask

Only recently have I come across face masks that nourish and protect the skin instead of drying the hell out of it, like usually masks do, which is exactly what I need for my skin. Or for any skin, if you ask me. Drying clay masks do not serve any other purpose than sucking every bit of moisture away from your skin, which is bad for any skin type. I’m not saying ALL clay masks are drying – there are extremely good ones which hydrate and heal the skin whilst deeply cleansing it, such as Purearth’s Mitti Clay Mask, which is like the Rolls Royce of clay masks.

Inlight Beauty’s Superfood Mask is the most nourishing one I have used till date. Made with a base of Sesame oil, Beeswax, Coconut oil and Potato starch, it is a rich thick gloopy consistency, yet is extremely easy to spread across. It is an antioxidant mask, meaning it aims to de-stress, revitalize and nourish skin which has been exposed to pollution and environmental damage. The main antioxidant ingredient in the mask is spirulina powder, which is also present in other products from Inlight Beauty. In this mask, it is used in a higher proportion, and that’s what gives the mask the dark green colour and an almost overpowering scent of greens. It smells like a mix of ground up leaves, courtesy of the spirulina and other herbs used, Frankincense, which is quite strong too, and I swear I can smell the potato starch. It also contains barley leaf powder, which, according to Inlight Beauty’s website, is skin-reparative, cornstarch and baobab fruit powder, which give the mask a grittiness that is the perfect amount of exfoliation. According to the website: “This mask is ideal for skin which is tired, opaque and lacks radiance. The high antioxidant activity tackles blemishes and redness and will leave skin glowing, as if you have just been for a bracing walk along the Cornish cliffs!”

Nice way of putting, because that’s exactly the kind of glow and sense of calm your face gets after using this chlorophyll-rich mask. Unlike a traditional clay mask, you don’t need too much of the product. You only need a small amount which easily spreads across. This is very easy to get inside the beard area as well, and it’s good for your beard! I found the best results if I left it on for about 45 minutes. Since it’s not drying, you can easily leave it on longer than a clay mask. To remove it, you’d have to wipe it off with a warm damp face cloth. I can imagine some people disliking the leafy frankincense scent as it’s pretty strong- it even lingers after wiping off. I don’t mind it at all.

I don’t know how it does it, but it just reveals the most pampered, nourished and cleansed skin. It’s perfect to use after a tiring day, or before going to an event. Your glow will reign supreme throughout the evening.

The only downside is its size – you can maybe get upto six or seven uses out of the 25 ml pot, even though you need a small amount of the product per use, which is very less compared to other brands. In my opinion, Inlight should make the size at least 50 mls.

Ingredients: Sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, cera alba (beeswax), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, solanum tuberosum (potato) starch, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, hordeum vulgare (barley) leaf powder, zea mays (corn) starch, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, rosa rubiginosa (rose) seed oil, adansonia digitata (baobab) fruit powder, spirulina maxima (spirulina) powder, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) leaf/twig oil, oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract, hordeum vulgare (barley) leaf extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, boswellia spp (frankincense) oil, spirulina maxima (spirulina) extract. Linalool*, limonene*, geraniol*, citral*. *Natural constituent of essential oils.

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The Radiant Angels

The title may sound like I’m waxing poetic, but I think it is apt because of the helpless feeling of luxury and royalty you get when you use these two products. I’m reviewing Aika Wellness’ Radiance Elixir and Ranavat Botanics’ Radiant Rani serum. I’m writing about these two products together as they have similar inspiration and ingredients. Both the facial oils are inspired by the well-known glow-giving Ayurvedic concoction, Kumkumadi Tailam- although, these feel like high-end luxe versions of it. They do somewhat differ in the ingredients from the traditional Kumkumadi Tailam – the traditional preparation almost always uses goat’s milk, which is absent from both the oils. Aika uses organic cow’s milk in its place, and Ranavat Botanics has eliminated the milk element. I do not know what advantage goat’s milk may have over cow’s milk or its absence, but these two oils more than deliver.

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Aika has developed the Radiance Elixir to address the ‘Tridosha’ element in a person – which consists of all three Ayurvedic concepts of energetic, functional elements which are present in everyone – Vatha, Pitta and Kafa – the understanding of which helps one identify the imbalances of the Doshas in one’s body. According to Ayurveda, an ideal state of body and mind is when all three Doshas are in balance. The radiance elixir is made keeping in mind all three Doshas, and hence, can be used by anyone, without having to worry about one’s skin type. According to Aika, this elixir is “the ultimate powerhouse of elixirs this ruby red headily aromatic Ayurvedic skin food is prescribed in the ancient texts for imparting incredible radiance and luminescence to your skin.” Aika claims that the elixir does a lot of good things to the skin – reduce pigmentation and blemishes, moisturise, nourish, repair, restore firmness, is an anti-inflammatory, lighten and brighten the skin. I can imagine the claim of lightening and brightening the skin drawing a lot of Indians (of course, including me :P), and rightly so – people may think that we have an obsession with lighter skin, but we know the struggle with uneven dark patches of tanned skin (the ubiquitous problem of our arms having two significant shades – creamy pale yellow from the shoulders to our biceps – and from there, brown, the shade of well-made toast), resulting from our overly-charged melanin which makes us look more burnt from sun-exposure than give us a sexy olive-tone. So, it is natural that we look for products which can reverse this sun damage. One may think that, after being bombarded with hundreds of ‘whitening’ or ‘lightening’ products in the Indian market, any such claim by a brand may sound far fetched, but you never know- nobody has used this particular elixir for more than a year to prove it. Most Ayurvedic concoctions take time to deliver results; they’re not over-night skin miracles. Besides, cow’s milk, which is a natural source of lactic acid, is known in Ayurveda to significantly lighten the skin. And as such, I would like to give it a good year’s time before I can attest to the ‘lightening’ claim. Now let’s talk about what I have seen in the course of two months that I have been using this elixir- nothing but goodness. My skin seems more brighter (not lighter, mind you), glowing, even-toned and it also helps with the occasional pimple. I did not have problematic skin before I started using this, and hence I cannot say how it performs on extremely sensitive, acne or congestion-prone, irritated, or skin with any concerns such as eczema or rosacea. But I am positive that this elixir can address all these concerns very well. Another thing that drew me to this serum is that it has saffron as the third ingredient – saffron is known for its brightening effects. It is made with a base of sesame oil, just like the traditional Kumkumadi Tailam, and cow’s milk, and has a long list of skin-friendly herbs, almost all of them well-known skin benefactors in India and Southeast Asia. About the scent- I was expecting a more robust saffron smell, as it is so high in the INCI list, and has given the product its gorgeous ruby hue, but the scent of saffron is muted- what I can smell is a mixture of grass, milk, vetivert, sesame, saffron and jasmine. The saffron plays around in the background – I couldn’t smell the rose and sandalwood though. The mixture of scents from all the high-quality natural and organic ingredients smells very earthy and natural – not one bit synthetic. I love it- it just gives me this sense of grounding and calm. The oil has a nice slip, and can be layered wonderfully after a treatment serum. It feels very luxurious putting this on- the consistency, the colour and the scent- you really do feel like royalty. So far, I’m loving the results, and I do not want to use any other oil until the bottle is over. Since you need a very small amount at once – two pumps at the most, it will last you a long time.

Ranavat Botanics offers a lighter, yet creamier oil – the base is made from sesame oil, rice bran oil and a coconut oil-derived emollient and dispersing agent. This gives the oil an almost lotiony consistency, and a milky creamy texture. Yet when you put in on the skin, it magically transforms into a light oil, giving you the most gorgeous glow instantly, without making you look greasy. I haven’t used this one as long as the Aika elixir, but the few times I have used it, it gave me an instant glow that was very satisfying. The scent of this is pure luxury- it smells like royalty in a bottle. You will instantly be greeted with a heady saffron aroma rounded with a good dose of sweet rose. The Ayurvedic herbs play in the background. Unlike the Aika elixir, the herbs don’t overpower the scent of the saffron, and obviously, I prefer the scent of this. You’d smell the intoxicating aroma of saffron and rose for quite some time on the skin, making you feel like you’re in the domain of a Rani (Queen) indeed. I love this for its scent and instant radiance that it gives.

Comparatively, both the serums have very similar, high quality, organic ingredients like sesame oil, saffron, liquorice, turmeric and other exotic ones like Flame of the Forest, Himalyan Cherry and Lotus Seed. All of Aika’s ingredients, across its range of products, are certified organic, except clays, wherever used. Ranavat Botanics uses mostly certified organic ingredients. I like Aika’s elixir because it looks and feels more natural and earthy, if you get what I mean.  I like Radiant Rani’s scent and the overnight results it delivers.  You can easily switch between the two, if you think Aika is out of your budget. If you prefer a better scent, then definitely choose Ranavat Botanics. I can see both of them delivering similar results.

Because ultimately, what matters are results and ingredients:

Aika Radiance Elixir Ingredients List: Sesame indicum (sesame oil), Cow’s milk, Crocus sativus (saffron), Vettivera zizanoides (vetiver root), Rubia cordifolia (manjista), Glycyrhhiza glabra (liquorice), Cinnamomum Tamala (Indian bark), Prunus cerasides (Himalayan cherry), Nuciferra nelumbo (sacred lotus), Santalum album (white sandalwood), Curcuma longa (turmeric), Burberris aristata (Indian barberry), Mesua ferra (Indian rose chestnut), Beutea monosperma (flame of the forest), Ficus religiosa (holy bodhi fig), Jasminum officianale (jasmine), Alphinia galangal (galangal), Acorus calamus (sweet flag), Cera alba (beeswax), Santalum spicata (sandalwood oil), Rose damascena (rose otto), Jasminum officianale (jasmine).

Ranavat Botanics Radiant Rani Illuminating Botanical Serum ingredients: Sesame Oil (Sesamum Indicum)*, Rice Bran Oil (Oryza Sativa), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides**, Manjishta (Rubia Cordifolia)*, Saffron ( Crocus Sativus, Lodh Tree Bark (Symplocos Racemosa)*, Nutgrass (Cyperus Rotundus)*, Vetiver (Vetiveria Zizanoides)*, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)*, Bay Leaf (Cinnamomum Tamala)*, Himalayan Cherry (Prunus Cerasoides), Lotus Seed (Nelumbo Nucifera), Pushkarmool (Inula Racemosa), Turmeric(Curcuma Longa)*, Indian Barberry (Berberis Aristata)*, Cobra Saffron (Mesua Ferrea)*, Flame Of The Forest (Butea Menosperma)*, Priyangu (Callicarpa Macrophylla)*, Banyan (Ficus Bengalensis), Mustard (Brassica Campestris)*, Tocopherol+, Rose Essential Oil (Rosa Damascena). *Certified Organic, **Vegetable derived, +Derived from non-GMO soy.

 

Uses of Hemp Oil

In today’s world of cannabis revolution, hemp oil has emerged as a significant ingredient in the skincare industry. In this post, you can read about four reasons to use hemp oil. I am sharing an article which was originally published on madebyhemp.com.

4 Key Reasons to Use Hemp Oil on Your Skin

 

Hemp oil is an incredibly beneficial skin-care ingredient that packs powerful, long-lasting hydration! It’s amazing for all skin types. Here are 4 key reasons why you should start using hemp oil for skin care today.

 

1. Acts as a skin moisturizer

If you experience problems of dry and dehydrated skin, hemp oil may be all that you have been missing to nourish your skin and keep it looking rejuvenated. Hemp oil contains fats or lipids that are similar to those occurring naturally in our skin. This makes it an effective moisturizer and protector of the skin. It increases the skin elasticity hence bringing to life dehydrated and tired-looking skin.

 

2. Helping skin from the inside out

Taking hemp oil as a nutritional supplement help to promote overall wellness. There are compounds found in hemp oil (known as phytocannabinoids) that interact with our endocannabinoid system. For this reason, hemp oil is a powerful tool for inner and outer beauty.

Hemp oil is a perfect skin care product ingredient for everyone. It moisturizes the skin and brings more oxygen to it, great for dehydrated, itchy skin. Hemp oil is especially ideal for sensitive skin because it is a natural product with no known negative side-effects.

Hemp oil absorbs quickly into the skin, doesn’t block skin pores, and actually helps the skin to balance oil production.

 

3. It is rich in supplements vital for healthy skin

Hemp oil contains a wide array of supplements necessary for healthy living such as Vitamins A and E, as well as minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium. Although these essential body minerals are in trace amounts, ingesting hemp oil is great for overall wellness. Hemp oil also has plenty of antioxidants. Because of this property, many users of the oil believe that it helps slow skin aging.

 

4. Used in lotions and other cosmetics

Hemp oil is a common ingredient in shampoos, lotions, sunscreens and other products for skin care. Why? Because hemp’s moisturizing properties are incredible. Plus it adds vitamin D to the skin; necessary for keeping it smooth and soft throughout.

 

All in all, whether applied directly to the skin or consumed as a supplement, hemp oil offers your skin plenty of nourishment, keeping it looking healthy, fresh and attractive!

madebyhemp.com also retails some good hemp-based skincare products which you can check out on their site.

In Fiore Calm Complexe Review

In Fiore is a brand I stumbled across when I was new to the world of green beauty, and was digging deeper and deeper for the best brands and products. In Fiore is an eco-luxe skincare brand which, unlike many such brands that tend to be a little blase about aesthetics and attention-to-detail regarding packaging and bottling, though never compromising on the quality of their products, pays close attention to its impressively majestic designs of its luscious crimson bottles of oils and serums. Another quality that sets this brand apart in the green beauty world is the founder, Julie Elliot’s creations that are not only effective, but highly pleasing to the olfactory senses – if you have been lucky enough to have tried any of her products, you would know that Julie doesn’t cut cornersshareImage_1545298231shareImage_1545298263shareImage_1545298310when it comes to scents of her products. She uses high-quality, highly effective oils and flower essences in insanely delectable blends that show how ingenious she is and passionate about her brand. Starting the brand with just a body balm, she was pushed by customer demand to create products for the face, and today, In Fiore makes some of the best facial oils and serums on the market.

What intrigued me most about the brand was its use of minimal floral oils and extracts in its facial oils, blending them to create some of the most unique and aromatic experiences one can get, at the same time making them very effective. I have tried three so far, and none of them were a let-down. In this post, I will be reviewing the Calm Complexe facial oil, which is meant for sensitive skins.

Like all In Fiore oils, this comes in a spectacularly designed red glass bottle which looks uber- luxurious and decadent.

Although I do not particularly have sensitive skin, I love using products designed for this skin type as they contain minimal, yet highly nourishing ingredients. The Calm Complexe is a mixture of ylang ylang, rose and chamomile oils, which are renowned for their nourishing and soothing properties. Chamomile is long-known for its calming and soothing properties, and this face oil uses two types of chamomile – the Roman Chamomile and the German Chamomile to amplify its effects. The carrier oils used are grape seed and rosehip seed oils – grape seed is light and excellent for all skin types as it contains vitamin E, an effective anti-oxidant for the skin; and rosehip oil, rich in natural Vitamin A and anti-oxidants, is beneficial for mature and aging skin, reversing the signs of UV damage and providing nourishment. It also contains anti-oxidant rich rosemary extract, which features in almost all of In Fiore’s products. The scent is very calming on the mind – for me, it smells mostly of roses and chamomile – a sweet, not cloyingly sweet, and mellow scent that makes whirling thoughts stop in an instant and makes you feel the world is a better place. I love rubbing it my palms and inhaling it for a few seconds before applying on the face. This is meant to be used soon after cleansing and toning, and it is best used when the face is still a little damp from the toner, as it aids in spreading and absorption of the oil. It’s very light, and sinks into your skin without leaving it feeling greasy. A little goes a long way – 4-5 drops are sufficient for the face, a couple of drops more if you’re doing your neck too. On warm evenings this is all I need to feel moisturized, though when it is cooler, given my dry skin, I layer it with a moisturizer. I love pairing it with Purearth’s Wild Rose & Seabuck Face cream – beside the scents of these products complimenting each other very well, to me they seem to work synergistically to amply calm and hydrate my skin.

Talking about the oil’s main function of calming the skin if it is dry, irritated or inflamed – it delivers this with a bang. My skin gets irritated and itchy with little red patches after a long journey or a road trip, when exposed to too much dusty winds. This oil is a blessing after such a journey – it immediately calms my skin, alleviates redness and makes it feel nourished and comfortable.

I love this facial oil, specially when my skin is feeling irritated, tight or dehydrated. I also love using this at bedtime, as the scent is fantastically soothing on the senses; to me, this oil is comfort in a bottle.

Full list of ingredients:

Grape Seed Oil, Roship Seed Oil, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (German Chamomile) Flower Extract, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Eugenol*, Citral*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Citronellol*, Farnesol*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Isoeugenol*. *Naturally occurs in essential oils.

Forest Essentials Night Treatment Cream Sandalwood and Orange Peel

My skin type is dry- prone to tightness and flaky patches after cleansing. Without any moisturiser, it stays this way and I don’t like the tight feeling. I remember a time during my high-school days when I never bothered about moisturisers, and how my skin became overly dry, pigmented, uneven and dull. I cannot do without moisturising my skin everyday – I need a rich nourishing moisturiser, be it morning, evening or night. I use a moisturiser with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) during day-times which tend to be lighter (reviews coming up later), and a more nourishing one during the night.

In this post I am reviewing the Sandalwood and Orange Peel Night Treatment Cream by my current favourite brand, Forest Essentials. This cream is categorized under the men’s range of products offered by the brand, though of course it can be used by females as well.

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Key Ingredients List

IMG-9208 I was using the Sandalwood and Saffron Night Treatment Cream by the same brand for some time, and it just didn’t moisturise or hydrate my skin enough. After much thought and apprehension of buying another night cream from the same brand which could turn out to have the same effect, I went ahead and bought it because I thought it had more nourishing ingredients, and man was I right! Forest Essentials doesn’t list out all the ingredients on their products, but just the Key Ingredients, which are also available for viewing on the website. This is a little confusing, because just by looking at the key ingredients, you wouldn’t know how much emulsifier is used in the product as it isn’t listed; from my experience, the higher the emulsifier is on the list, the lighter the moisturiser is. I still do not know how low the emulsifier is on the ingredients list in this cream, but judging from its moisturising properties, it is definitely not as high as the Sandalwood and Saffron cream, in which it is the third ingredient.

The Sandalwood and Orange Peel Night Treatment Cream has a variety of impressive oils and butters in the ingredients list, as seen in the picture of the back label. It has a high content of Marigold Oil, which is renowned for its skin soothing properties; besides being nourishing and soothing, it’s also known for its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes an excellent addition in a moisturiser. The cream also contains carrot seed oil, which is rich in Vitamin A and is known for healing dry skin and balancing the moisture levels of the skin. Kokum butter, which is used extensively by Forest Essentials in most of their products, is excellent for moisturising dry skin and also promoting regeneration of skin cells. Apart from the splendid mix of oils and butters, the cream also has extracts of beneficial and illustrious herbs and plants, including Turmeric, Sandalwood, Indian Lotus, Holy Basil (Tulsi), and Orange Peel extracts.

I don’t want to write too much about its packaging- it looks petite, luxurious and different from the typical gold-lidded bottles of Forest Essentials.

The cream smells strong upon opening the lid- a scent of orange peel in the forefront, which then pleasantly mingles with sandalwood, and a mixture of tulsi and other herbs in the background. The scent lasts for a while on the skin, more if you have a beard like me; it isn’t overpowering at all, and you feel refreshed and calm whenever you get a whiff of it.

Coming to its effects on the skin, I found that using this cream after cleansing and toning (toning IS important, guys!) gave me instant moisturisation and lasting hydration. This was exactly what I was looking for- a cream that takes away all the dryness, makes the skin very soft, and leaves it feeling hydrated and plump for hours. I love to use this not only as a night cream but also during evenings before heading out, when it keeps your skin supple despite cold winds. It gives a dewy finish to the skin, which makes it appear plumped and healthy. It hasn’t caused any breakouts (I’m rarely prone to breakouts) and doesn’t feel too greasy. Used as a night cream, it effectively hydrates the skin overnight and you wake up with a radiant and bright skin.

I whole-heartedly recommend this cream, not just to use as a night cream, but as a general moisturiser too, whenever you want your skin to feel properly hydrated and nourished.

You can use it alone after toning, or use it after applying a little Light Hydrating Facial Gel Pure Rose Water from the same brand, which adds to the hydration effect.

Men’s Skincare

Clear skin is something anybody would want, and even men do things to a certain extent to achieve it. Signs of neglected skin start showing when you’re in your 20s, sometimes even before that. Open pores, pigmentation, blackheads, dark circles and sun-tan are the harbinger of damaged skin, and the conditions only worsen if you neglect them. Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated (it can be, if you so choose, with such arduous methods as the Korean seven-step routine), it can be as simple as drinking a good amount of water and eating clean, healthy food to keep your skin hydrated and your hair lustrous. I stress on healthy eating and regular exercise for good skin (you see any guy who is athletic doesn’t have bad skin) However, more often than not, despite a healthy diet and regular workouts, external elements such as the weather, the sun and pollution damage the skin, and the effects do not look good- not just on the face, but on the body too; let’s be honest, none of us like the way our arms look – plain white bread starting from the top, till the biceps, and brown bread thereafter.

 

I am going to be talking about skincare products which I have used- which ones actually work and also about the ones don’t work, in my opinion. I like to use products made mostly with natural ingredients like plant and fruit extracts, as they always have a sense of historical appeal to me; Indians, in the ancient times, were known for their even, smooth skin, and they achieved this by elaborate skincare rituals which included ingredients from the nature – oils of sesame and coconut, turmeric, sandalwood, saffron, fuller’s earth, to name just a few. These are time-tested ingredients, and when included in your skincare routine, are rewarding. Of course you can always opt for the modern skincare products which contain various chemicals for specific skincare needs, and which are known to show faster results, but I choose to stay close to nature.