4 Reasons why not to use chemical fertilizers



The lockdown made me think on a lot of aspects. It was also the time that I had delivered and I needed something to keep myself occupied and not get into PPD. That is when I stumbled upon kitchen garden.

Growing up I’ve always enjoyed watching Nigella Lawson use herbs in cooking from her kitchen. The sight of bright green tiny herbs that are brimming with freshness definitely could be felt even if I am watching it over television.

I did set up one in my balcony that had spinach, coriander, mint , chilli and mustard. I also did try and have some microgreens since I recently read about the benefits of consuming them, so I thought why not give it a try. I did and I succeeded. I had good yields but not for long. My plants needed something more.
What was it? Fertilizers. They help in boosting the growth of plants offering necessary nutrients to the soil. That is when I started my web search to understand more about fertilizers.

I also read about the harmful effects of pesticides and fertilizers that are being used to give quicker yields. The health hazards that are waiting to attack once you consume the yield made me think that if this is what we have been consuming all along.

These fertilizers though are being used to boost the growth to meet the rising food demand of the growing population. Though on one hand it is deemed to be a scientific evolution that fertilizers and GMOs can give you tremendous yield. The effects in long run on both the humans and on mother earth is definitely going to be of humungous amounts.

What are the effects on environment?

Poor quality of soil

Using too much of fertilizers can give you yield results in multiples but on the longer run the usage of the same oil will become a bigger question mark. On repeated usage of fertilizers the acid levels in the soil seem to be getting higher upon each yield. Acidic soil does not give any or much yields so in the longer run it would be of no use. So it is paving the way for slow depletion.

CHANGING WATER BODY BIOLOGY
The fertilizers used contain phosphates and nitrates which when combined in the sewers are released into the oceans. This results in increased growth of algae and decrease in oxygen levels. SO therefore we see a lot of destruction in marine life resulting in an imblance in the food chain.

HEALTH OF HUMANS

The nitrates and phosphates also contaminate ground water which the humans consume resulting in various health hazards. Not only ground water but also the vegetables and grains that are yielded with excessive use of fertilizers will lead to human body collapse involving the failure of multiple organs.

CLIMATIC CHANGE IN THE WORLD

The nitrates, phosphates, ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide have also contributed on a large scale to the emission of green house gases. The global warming and drastic weather changes are the end result of excessive fertilizer usage. So in order to satisfy the demand now we see to be digging ourselves and the world we live in into bigger problems.



Let’s take a look at using options at home that help make good fertilizers.

BANANA PEELS: Bananas are rich in potassium which make them the main reason for us to consume. The peels are rich in potassium as well. So they make great alternatives to potassium fertilizers. Simply burying them in the soil in a hole beside the plant gives you the needed benefit. This works best for roses. So as it grows you could bury on the layer at the top.

EGG SHELLS: Egg shells are great sources of calcium carbonate or lime as its commonly known. Its main benefit is to reduce the acidity of the soil. Plants do not grow in highly acidic soil. Next time don’t throw away the egg shells. Crush them and use it up.
COFFEE GROUNDS: Some plants like tomato only thrive in acidic soil. The use of coffee grounds is to increase the acidity in the soil. Or alternatively you could also pour in the decoction.

FALLEN LEAVES: Leaves which fall in have some trace minerals and also retain moisture and hold the soil tight. They also attract the earthworms which are known as the farmers friend.

KITCHEN SCRAPS: These include vegetable and fruit peels. You could add them to your compost
They release nutrients in a slow manner but yield good results. This does not require any application of fertilizer even up to a year. The compost also has moisture holding capability which is must needed for plants to make them thrive under the dry summer conditions.

WEEDS: Weeds are unwanted plants that grow alongside in the garden . Though they are deemed unwanted they are rich in nitrogen so its a reason to retain them to extract that benefit. So prepare a weed tea , by soaking the weeds in a bucket and fill up with water. After two weeks when it turns brown you could just use it on your garden.

Using these alternatives as fertilizers are small steps that we could take in order to bring in big changes.Lets hold hands and keep mother earth safe for future generations.

‘This post is part of #CauseAChatter with Blogchatter’.

Z’s which help in skincare

Z’s which help in skincare

The final alphabet, the final post for this season and the last of ingredients from this series of mine.
This was the most difficult alphabet for me to find ingredients, try out the DIYs and then put them out here.

So here they are, the Z’s which help in skincare.

Zucchini



Zucchini is a type of summer squash. This dark green vegetable also is rich in nutrients which help in maintaining good skin.



Zucchini is rich is water content and thereby it helps in maintaining great skin health.



Zucchini is rich in riboflavin which helps in maturing of collagen.


Synthesis of collagen is very essential for good skin health, hence the vitamin C in the squash that is present in abundance helps in collagen synthesis.



Collagen and elastin is very essential for radiant healthy looking skin. The production of latter is boosted by vitamin C which also helps in reducing cellular damage.



Collagen also helps in keeping skin firm and wrinkle free. So the vitamin from zucchini is very much essential.



Zucchini helps deal with summer heat and helps in hydration which is the reason it is known as summer squash.



The lutein in zucchini helps in dealing with inflammation. Thereby when inflammations are reduced, skin tends to be healthy. The damage to the skin from sun is minimized thereby the moisture barrier is left untouched. Which is the main reason to mention that zucchini helps in hydration.



The water content in zucchini is 95%, which makes it great for consumption as well. So in way you are contributing to the hydration through food so it also helps the skin.



The antioxidants help in protecting against free radical damage.

DIYS:



Blend zucchini peels with overnight soaked masoor dal. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


Blend two tablespoons of zucchini paste with a teaspoon of oatmeal. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes. This is for oily skin.


Blend two tablespoons of zucchini paste with one teaspoon of olive oil and oats powder and a egg yolk.Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes. This is for dry skin.


Slice zucchini and place them over the eyes and face. This is for reducing dark circles and also providing natural glow.

ZINC:


Zinc is a very essential mineral to be included for a healthy body and is also great for skincare, especially in fighting against acne.



When we term it essential it means the body cannot prepare or produce zinc and it needs to be included in daily diet.



It’s known as trace mineral because it is needed only in minute quantities on a day to day basis



Zinc helps fight against viruses and bacteria. Zinc also has anti inflammatory properties which help in healing the redness and sensitivity caused by acne.



It could also help in making the scars disappear.



Zinc protects skin from sun damage and is a common ingredient in the topically applied sunscreens.





Zinc works as an antioxidant but not technically. It helps fight against free radical formation and protecting the cells which helps in formation of collagen.

How can you include zinc in diet?



By including below in your daily food

Beans, nuts, whole grains, poultry and dairy products.

On another note, the body finds it easier to absorb zinc from animal based food than plant based because the latter has phytates which inhibits the absorption of zinc. So in that case you could consult a doctor to take a supplement.

As one of the DIY I’m sharing a smoothie that is rich in zinc.


ZINC SMOOTHIE

Blend the below ingredients

Nut milk two cups

One tablespoon of hemp hearts, coconut oil and vanilla essence

Mixed nuts 1/3 cup

One frozen banana

2 dates deseeded

Protein powder two scoops

3 teaspoon cocoa

You could add in stevia in case you do not prefer bitterness.


This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

Y’s which help in skincare

Y’s which help in skincare

We’re almost at the tail end and yes its the day of the Y. So what could I think of for Y. I did manage to find some that would help you out and I hope all the ingredients mentioned from A-X and the DIYs were useful. Do let me know if you would want me to write about anything in particular.

Let’s get to the topics and take a look at the Y’s which help in skincare.

YOGURT

The always available ingredient in fridge is also the fountain of youth. Its a rich protein source. So protein be it when applied or if consumed helps in repairing skin cells. It makes the skin appear more radiant and youthful.

What protein does to the body when consumed like strengthen ,repair and nourish is what it does when applied topically over the skin.

The lactic acid in yogurt helps in shrinking pores and tightening skin thereby having an effect in reducing the fine lines and wrinkles.

It has great exfoliating properties and guarantees transformation of dry skin to smooth skin.

Rich in vitamin B it makes skin glow and also aids in skin cell growth and regeneration.

The probiotics present in yogurt help in healing inflammation due to sunburns.

The zinc content helps in regulation of oil secretion and keeping breakouts at bay due to which it is best suited for oily skin.

On the whole yogurt is an all round multitasker when it comes to beauty.

DIYS

1.Crush some rose petals and add in rose water. Mix in a teaspoon of yogurt and honey. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

REDUCE SUNBURN IRRITATION: Mix in few drops of chamomile oil to half a cup of yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

2.PIGMENTATION: Add in few drops of lemon juice to half a cup of yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

3.SLOW DOWN AGEING: Mix in a teaspoon of olive oil to 3 tablespoons of yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

4.Mix in a tablespoon of oats to 3 tablespoons of yogurt. Let it soak and mash. Apply on to face and do gentle circular motions of scrubbing before washing off.

5 MOISTURIZER: Mix in a tablespoon of cocoa and honey to 3 tablespoons of yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

6, ACNE AND DARK CIRCLE : Dab cotton pad in yogurt and apply on to affected area for acne. Similarly apply under the eyes for dark circles.

IRRITATED SKIN: Mix in a tablespoon of honey and aloe vera gel to 1/4 cup of yogurt. Apply on the specific area and wash off in cold water post 15 minutes.

OILY SKIN: Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of honey and turmeric powder to half a cup of yogurt. Apply on to skin and wash off after 15 minutes.

EYEBAGS AND DARK CIRCLE: Blend half a cucumber with half a cup of yogurt. Apply under the eyes and wash off after 15 minutes.

YOLK:

The egg yolks are rich in fatty acids which help in providing necessary hydration for the skin and helps in moisture lock.

The yolk is best suited ingredient for dry and dull skin.

Hydration, nourishment and moisturisation is what the egg yolk helps in providing the skin.

DIYs:



Mix in half a mashed avocado an egg yolk and a teaspoon of yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes. This is for skin glow.


Mix in a teaspoon of honey, almond oil to an egg yolk. Whisk it until it froths. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes. This is for acne.


Mash one ripe banana. Add in a teaspoon of olive oil and an egg yolk. Mix well and apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


Supple skin: Mix in an egg yolk, few drops of rose water, one tablespoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



Please be very careful to not get the yolk into the eyes, nostrils, ears and mouth to avoid salmonella infection.

YELLOW BELL PEPPER:


This beautiful vegetable in itself is a wonder ingredient for youthful skin. Yes it is, but not by applying it on skin. But by consuming the vegetable in itself it weaves a magic to keep skin looking younger and youthful.


Collagen from vitamin C present in yellow bell peppers helps in keeping the skin firm and guards the cells from getting damaged. Bell peppers help in skin protection from free radical damage.


Antioxidants and the phytochemicals which are present in abundance help in making the skin appear youthful.



The antioxidants helps in reversing the signs of ageing. Making skin appear firmer and youthful by fighting against sun and free radical damage which involves no formation of fine lines or wrinkles.


Carrot and bell pepper combination is said to even out blemishes and improve skin tone.

This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

X’s which help in skincare

X’s which help in skincare

Today we talk about X’s which help in skincare. I chose to write about the two main processes which help in keeping skin clear and healthy. Of course , yes I’d also include ingredients at home that can be used in these processes.

DETOX

Skin detox


In the fast paced world we expose skin to dirt, pollution, makeup and chemical exposure. This in a way is a reason for clogged pores. We usually mention the term “DETOX” only for the body, but it’s time that the skin also needs to be included. Because the skin is your largest organ and needs to have a detox as well.



The skin helps protect against infection, excess water loss, production of vitamin D and helping in regulating the temperature of the body.


Swelling, itching, breakouts and redness are results of skin erupting because of not doing a detox. But on the other hand if detox is being done religiously and on a regular basis, you could reverse the adverse effects and in fact help in boosting skin health.

FACTORS:



STRESS: Stress often brings out its effects in the form of acne and inflammation.

SUGAR: If in take of sugar is more, it could result in breakouts and pimples.

LIFESTYLE: improper sleep cycle, inadequate hydration , drinking and smoking also have adverse effects on skin.

SIGNS THAT YOU BADLY NEED A DETOX:

  • Dry and dull skin.
  • Patches and blemishes
  • Wrinkles and sagging
  • Oily skin
  • Sensitive and dry skin

WAYS TO DETOX:



WORKOUT: Exercising indirectly contributes to skin detox. When you exercise you sweat it out and that helps in flushing out toxins.



FACIAL OR SPA: Taking up a facial at home or at a parlour or going for a spa actually helps in skin detox.



HYDRATE SKIN INSIDE OUT:
Hydration from inside involves drinking adequate water.
Hydration from outside is applying moisturizer or a serum that suits your skin type. Make sure to do it twice.
Also when you use a serum it not only helps in hydrating the skin but in a way it also helps in better absorption of other skincare products.



CLEANSING:
Cleansing is a great way to remove off dirt and make up form skin. Ensure to do a double cleansing and make it part of your daily skincare routine.



TONER:
Toners help in eliminate any residue oil from the cleanser, It prepares the skin for the products that follow. It helps in maintaining the pH of the skin. Also helps to shrink the pores.



EXFOLIATION:
Exfoliation is done to remove the dead skin cells and dirt. This is one of the secrets to glowing skin.



MAKE LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Give up on alcohol and smoking. Smoking causes the fastening of the ageing process.
Alcohol promotes dehydration . So both are a no-no if you want clear skin.



CUTTING DOWN ON SUGAR:

Sugar consumption in excess is one of the major reasons for breakouts and acne. Cutting down on sugar helps in a great way to maintain good skin. Fruits and dark chocolates would be great alternates for your sugar craving.

STEAM:

Going in for a hot steam helps to open pores and release the dirt and other residue.



BALANCED DIET: Eat a well balanced diet that include more of fruits and vegetables. Limit intake of carbohydrates, sugar loaded food and fried food.



PROPER SLEEP CYCLE:

Skin needs its repair time just like the body. Dark circles would first pop out indicating that the skin doesn’t have enough repair time and needs a detox badly.


DETOX BATHS:

You could also go in for detox baths like adding epsom salt, ACV, sea salt or coffee grounds to warm bath water and enjoy a relaxed bath.



SWITCH FROM CAFFEINE : Make a switch to eliminate caffeine and to include green tea. You will start noticing wonders.

DETOX DRINKS:


VITAMIN C: Squeeze in some lemon juice in two liters of water. Add in some pineapple, kiwi amnd let it infuse. Drink it the whole of the day.

ACV water: Mix two tablespoons of water to 2 liters of water. Not more than two tablespoons of ACV a day , keep that in mind.

TURMERIC WATER: Add 3-5 fresh turmeric slices in two cups of water and boil. Add some honey before drinking if needed.

EXFOLIATION:

Skin exfoliation


Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the external skin. It helps in brightening the skin by removing the dirt, boosting blood circulation and improving the appearance of the skin.



Types of exfoliation


MECHANICAL: Mechanical exfoliation involves removing the dead skin cells using a scrub, brush or a sponge.

CHEMICAL : This involves using acids like AHAs and BHAs.



More details on exfoliation here.

DIY Scrubs:

  • Blend a cup of strawberries, two drops of ACV, half a cup of yogurt and half a cup of almond powder. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.
  • Mix in half a teaspoon of lemon juice and water. Add one tablespoon of salt. Apply on to face and gently scrub and wash off.
  • Blend one kiwi, two tablespoons of brown sugar and add in a teaspoon of olive oil. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.
  • Mix three tablespoons of coffee grounds to a cup of yogurt. Add in some honey and apply on to face. Gently scrub and wash off after 15 minutes.
  • Mix in two teaspoons of tomato pulp, yogurt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

W’s which help in skincare

W’s which help in skincare

We’re almost at the final leg. Today’s post is on W. The same time last year, I went into labour last year as I was typing my post for W. Brings back nostalgic memories.



Today lets look at the ingredients in W that help maintaining great skin. For a bonus I’m also giving you all winter skincare DIYs from ingredients at home. Thank me later.

WATERMELON

Watermelon



High water content in watermelon can help in hydrating skin from within and make it smooth and supple. It’s a boon for people with dry and flaky skin.



Watermelon is a natural toner that can help in shrinking of body tissues.



The presence of antioxidants like lycopene , vitamin A and C help in fighting against free radical damage. Hence watermelon has great benefits for anti ageing.



Watermelon also encourages boosting production of collagen and elastin which help in making skin look young and firm.


Vitamin A in watermelon helps in shrinking pore size thereby reducing the oil storing capabilities. Hence this results in reduction of acne.



The lycopene and beta carotene help in protecting against sunburns.

DIYS:



ACNE PRONE SKIN: Mix a tablespoon of watermelon juice to one mashed banana. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



OILY SKIN:Blend half a cup of watermelon with a tablespoon of honey. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



DRY SKIN:
Blend a teaspoon of yogurt with 4-5 slices of watermelon. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



ANTI AGEING:
Mix in a tablespoon of watermelon juice to half a mashed avocado. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



BRIGHTENING PACK: Blend two tablespoons of curd with 4-5 slices of watermelon. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


GLOW MASK: Mix in a tablespoon of watermelon juice and raw milk. Dab a cotton pad in this mixture and apply on to face. Wash off after 15 minutes.

WATER



Adequate amount of water consumption is essential to maintain well hydrated healthy skin.


Only if enough water is consumed the essential nutrients get circulated around the body.


It will also help in improving skin elasticity and make it supple so you do not age prematurely.


Water helps in flushing out toxins and keep skin clear from any infection.Helps in keeping acne and breakouts at bay.



Drinking enough water helps in tightening the skin and therefore makes skin look more firm.



Water helps in maintaining the natural pH of the skin.


Water helps in reducing dehydration therefore makes eyes look sparkly and also reduce the puffiness around the eyes.


Intake of adequate water helps in maintaining healthy gut and thereby aids good digestion.

HOW TO INCLUDE WATER?



LEMON:You could squeeze in lemon juice on your salads or even infuse lemon in drinking water.



GINGER: Adding ginger to tea concoction can aid in digestion and reducing inflammation.


CINNAMON: Infuse cinnamon sticks in water. Helps cut down on sugar craving and also regulate blood sugar levels.



HONEY OR ACV: Adding few drops of honey or ACV will help in clearing out acne.



MINT: Mint aids digestion and is great for detox. Infuse few mint leaves in water overnight for a refreshing day ahead.


What kind of water for skin? It is always best to use lukewarm water on skin.

WINTER SKIN DIYS

Winter skincare




Winter is known to be harsh over the skin. And if you already have dry skin then winter is definitely a season that you don’t wish for.

DIYs

MILK AND ALMOND: Mix in 3 teaspoon of almond powder to two tablespoons of milk. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


YOGURT AND HONEY: Mix in a tablespoon of honey to half a cup of yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 10 minutes.


COCONUT OIL: Coconut oil is a great moisturizer. Apply a light layer to see smooth skin.


STRAWBERRY: Blend 2-4 strawberries with two teaspoon of fresh cream and a teaspoon of honey. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


BANANA AND MILK: Add in a tablespoon of milk to mashed banana. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


ALOE VERA AND SESAME OIL: Mix in a tablespoon of aloe vera gel to a teaspoon of sesame oil. Apply on to face and wash off after 10 minutes.


CARROT AND HONEY: Mix in a tablespoon of honey to one pureed carrot. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

V’s which help in skincare

V’s which help in skincare

I’ve already written a lot about ingredients be it spice, fruits or even condiments. So for V I decided to write about two of my favourite vegetables that help in maintaining good skin. Given that I’ve already stated benefits of tomato and cucumber let’s see what potato and carrot give us. There is also one surprise ingredient for which you will have to read till the end.

POTATO

Potatoes



Potatoes help in brightening and even out the skin. The catacholase enzyme in potato help in lightening the skin.



The above said is the very reason that potatoes help in reducing dark circles.



Potatoes also are beneficial to provide anti ageing effects.



Potatoes help in reducing inflammation.



Potatoes help fight against free radical damage.



Potato when made as juice is a hydrating ingredient for skincare and is best when used by people who have dry skin.

DIYS:



BRIGHTENING: Take two teaspoons of potato juice and mix with a teaspoon of honey. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



BUGBITE: Take a slice of potato and apply on affected area. After 3-5 minutes remove the slice. Repeat if needed. This would help in lessening itching.



REDUCE PUFFY EYES: Refrigerate potato slices. Apply on the eyes and take off after 10-15 minutes.


FOR ACNE: Mix a tablespoon of potato pulp, tomato pulp and honey. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



FOR PIGMENTATION: Mix in a teaspoon of potato juice, rice flour, honey and lemon juice. Apply on to face and leave to dry. Gently scrub and wash off.



ANTI AGEING: 1. Blend one potato and two strawberries along with half a teaspoon of honey. Apply on to face and wash off in 15 minutes.
Mix 2/3 grated potato with yogurt. Adjust consistency and apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



SKIN TIGHTENING: Mix one eggs white with juice of half a potato. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



REDUCE SPOTS: Mix one tablespoon of multani mitti to two tablespoons of potato juice. Adjust consistency and apply on to face. Wash off after 15 minutes.

CARROT

Carrots



Carrots prove greatly beneficial to skin health. Vitamin C and beta carotene are the best of anti oxidants that can fight ageing skin.


Vitamin C helps protect against free radical damage. Beta carotene helps fight against harmful UV radiation.


Carrots are great for flushing out toxins from body when consumed. Carrots also have abundance of Vitamin A which help in flushing the free radicals.


Beta carotene in carrots also helps in healing scars and blemishes.


Including carrots in diet can help form a protective barrier against harmful UV rays and also help in hydrating dry skin.



Vitamin A in carrots is responsible for firmer and healthy skin. The beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.



The vitamin A that carrot offers helps in dealing with oily skin from inside out.

DIYS:



EXFOLIATION: Mix in equal quantities of carrot juice, egg white and yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



MOISTURE PACK: Mix in a teaspoon of milk cream, honey to two teaspoons of grated carrot and few drops of olive oil. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



FACE MIST: Mix in some orange juice to rose water which is the base. Fill in to spray bottle and use when you need to refresh skin.


OILY SKIN: Mix in a cup of orange juice and a tablespoon of curd, besan and lemon juice. Apply on to face and wash off after 30 minutes.



DRY SKIN: Mix two tablespoons of grated carrot to a teaspoon of honey and milk. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



Mix equal parts of carrot juice to aloe vera gel. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

VODKA

Vodka



This was the secret ingredient I was talking about. Vodka is generally prepared from potatoes, cereals and grapes upon fermentation. Contains 40% methanol and preferred more by women in social gatherings.

WHY VODKA?



Vodka is a great anti ageing serum that helps in skin tightening and reduces wrinkles.



Vodka works as an anti septic. Helps in reducing the acne spots and also reduce dark circles.


Vodka helps in reducing pores due to its astringent properties.


Vodka is a great ingredient to remove odour from feet.



Vodka makes it easy to remove blackheads and whiteheads.



Vodka as a cleansing agent is great for removing makeup.

DIYS

TONER: Mix in two to three teaspoons of vodka to two cups of water. Add lavendar or orange essential oil if needed two to three drops. Transfer to spray bottle.



CLEAR SKIN: Add in a teaspoon of vodka to freshly brewed green tea one cup. Apply this solution with a cotton pad and leave in for 5-10 minutes. Wash off.



MAKEUP REMOVER: Mix in a teaspoon of vodka to two teaspoons of water. Dab a cotton pad in this solution and apply on face. Wash off.


SMOOTH SHAVE: Immersing your razor in vodka helps to keep it rust free and keeps skin smooth after shave.

This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

U which helps in skincare

U’s which help in skincare

Almost all of us dream of flawless,clear and healthy skin. Taking care of skin in best possible manner is what we need to do to achieve. You needn’t shell out extra money from your expenses for it.

Knowing which ingredients works how is of utmost importance. Also you need to check if the ingredient suits your skin. Just because there is a home remedy available you cannot go try everything on your skin.

Your skin is not a laboratory to conduct experiments. Make sure you do patch tests before applying anything over the face.

Let’s take a look at the U ingredients.

Urad dhall

Urad dhall

The humble urad dhall not only helps in making fluffy idlis or crispy vadais, it also has benefits for skin.

Urad dhall helps in exfoliation. Helps to remove dirt, impurities and dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin.

The naturally present antiseptic properties helps urad dhall to fight against acne causing bacteria. It helps in controlling excess oil secretion and thereby reduces acne occurrence.

The nutrients help maintaining your skin. It is also a natural bleaching agent that upon continuous usage will yield radiant skin.

Urad dhall has cooling properties that helps in healing sunburn. It also helps in DETAN.

Urad dhall helps in skin regeneration and is a good ingredient for youthful skin. The anti ageing properties present in urad dhall helps in reducing age spots and fine lines.

DIYs

To reduce age spots and fine lines : Grind 1/4 cup overnight soaked urad dhall and mix in 1/2 rice flour and some lemon juice. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

Glow pack : Grind 1/4 cup overnight soaked urad dhall and 6-7 soaked almonds. Apply the paste on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

Exfoliate : Grind 1/4 cup overnight soaked urad dhall . Add in two teaspoons each of milk and ghee. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

Remove tan : Grind 1/4 cup overnight soaked urad dhall . Add in two teaspoons of yogurt. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

For acne prone skin : Grind 1/4 cup overnight soaked urad dhall. Mix in two teaspoons of rose water and almond oil. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

Ubtan for skin

Ubtan

An ancient skincare secret passed down generations and is now being incorporated by skincare brands to their products.

Each family has their own secret recipe. The ubtan is an ancient Ayurvedic mixture of ingredients that help the skin heal, exfoliate, detox and stay clear.

Benefits

Ubtan helps in bringing out the natural glow of skin from within.

It discourages growth of facial hair and ingrown hair.

Ubtan gives you youthful skin. It makes you look younger thanks to the presence of turmeric in ubtan which helps fight signs of ageing.

Ubtan helps in cleansing the skin deeply.

How to use

Oily skin : mix the powder with lemon juice and curd. This helps in controlling excess oil secretion.

Dry skin : mix the powder with milk to cream. This helps in moisturizing and hydrating the skin.

Ubtan recipes

Face: Mix one tablespoon each of sandal powder oats, half a tablespoon of fennel powder neem powder, three tablespoon of besan , a pinch of TURMERIC. Add overnight soaked and peeled grounded almond. Use rose water to make paste for oily skin and milk or cream for dry skin.

Body : mix in overnight soaked and peeled grounded almond powder to a teaspoon of neem powder , half a teaspoon of fennel powder, a cup of besan and half a cup of oats and a pinch of TURMERIC.

Ubtan is easy to make at home and ingredient are readily available doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. You could add more or reduce ingredients as per your convenience.

This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

T’s which help in skincare

T’s which help in skincare

Did you know that over usage of chemicals could be harsh on your skin? Do you do patch tests before you try out new products. Be it a product that uses extracts from natural ingredients it is always advisable to do a patch test.
If you have been following my posts or you are someone new reading this, I’d suggest you to do a patch test before you try any of the DIYs. Because what works for me might not work the same way for everyone, because every skin is different and every body is different.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients T which help in skincare.

TOMATO:

Tomato


Tomatoes cannot be claimed to be sunscreen replacements, but could offer sun protection due to the presence lycopene.


Tomato balances skin pH and also helps fight against acne causing bacteria.

Tomato helps in controlling excessive oil secretion which is a majorly concern for acne occurrence.


Enzymes present in tomatoes help in mild cleansing and exfoliation thereby removing the dirt from skin.
The vitamin B present in tomatoes helps fight signs of ageing.


The anti-inflammatory properties of tomatoes help in soothing skin from irritation and helps in providing cooling effect to skin.


The high potassium and vitamin C content in tomato helps in transforming dull skin to glowing skin.


Tomato helps in tightening the pores and gives skin a firm uplift.


Tomato helps in regulating excessive sebum secretion and helps combat formation of blackheads and whiteheads.


The lycopene in tomatoes help fight against free radical damage.


Tomato is a natural astringent that helps in preventing surface buildup of oils.


Tomatoes are great for detan. It also helps to combat dryness caused by sun tan.


Tomatoes help in collagen stimulation thereby enhancing the texture of the skin and also the elasticity.

DIYS:


TOMATO TONER: Blend one cucumber and tomato. Strain the juice to a spray bottle. Spray on to face when skin feels tired and lifeless.


ACNE SKIN: Mix one tablespoon of multani mutti to puree of one tomato. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


DETAN : Grate one potato and strain the juice. Mix with puree of one tomato. Make sure both these are of equal quantities. Apply on to face. Let it dry. Continue to apply about 3-4 times. Remove with wet cloth.

Mix in a teaspoon of honey to the pulp of one tomato. Apply on to face and wash off after 10 minutes.



GLOWING SKIN: Mix in a tablespoon of honey to puree of one tomato. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



DARK CIRCLE: Mix in a tablespoon of aloe vera gel to puree of one tomato. Blend well and apply over under eye area and wash off after 10 minutes.



OILY SKIN: Mix strained juice 1/2 tomato to 1/4 grated cucumber. Apply on to face and wash off in 15 minutes.



DRY SKIN: Mix a teaspoon of olive oil to puree of one tomato. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



PORE REDUCTION: Mix in two teaspoons of lemon juice to puree of one tomato. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


ANTI AGEING: Mix in pulp of one tomato with 1/3 of mashed avocado.Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.

Rub half a tomato directly on to skin to fight cellular damage and promote cell regeneration.



YOUTHFUL SKIN: Mix in a tablespoon of yogurt to pulp of one mashed tomato. Apply on to face and wash of 15 minutes.



SKIN RADIANCE: To the juice of one tomato mix in a teaspoon of turmeric and sandalwood powder. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



TOMATO SCRUB: Blend two tomatoes, mint leaves and two lemons including the peels. Add about three tablespoons of sugar and mix well. This scrub works well in terms of exfoliate, rejuvenate, detan and moisturize. Use this only for your body.


REDUCE SUNBURN IRRITATION: Mix in little buttermilk to tomato juice and apply on affected areas.
Wash off post 5 minutes.

TURMERIC

Turmeric




The orange yellow tint stick mostly available as powder for ease of use mainly has anti-inflammatory properties. Passed down by generations as secret to flawless beauty and is easily available for procurement.



The antioxidant properties that it possesses helps in giving the skin, the natural glow.



Turmeric helps in clearing out acne scars and prevent further acne formation.

DIYs:


DETAN: Mix in a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and two tablespoons of raw milk. Apply on to face and wash of after 15 minutes.



ANTI ACNE: Mix in two tablespoon of sandal powder to pinch of turmeric and milk. Adjust consistency. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


EXFOLIATION: Mix in a tablespoon of oats ,1/2 teaspoon of turmeric , one tablespoon of powdered masoor dal. Mix either with milk or rose water. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.



STRETCH MARKS: Mix in a tablespoon of lime juice to a pinch of turmeric and soaked saffron water. Apply on the marks and notice them getting lighter upon each usage.



DRY SKIN: Mix in a tablespoon of coconut oil and a pinch of turmeric. Apply on to affected area. Wash off after 15 minutes.



UNDER EYE BAG: Mix in a tablespoon of curd to two teaspoons of turmeric and some drops of lemon juice. Apply on affected area and remove with wet cloth.


This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

Beads that lead – Book review

Beads that lead

For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm.”

– Edwin Way Teale



There are a number of reasons for the human mind to be disturbed. It could be stress, peer pressure, the family’s financial state , problems in relationship or even something that involves kids or even making kids. So the list goes on but the only end result would be a disturbed mind.



The loss of a loved one is definitely a permanent scar that will keep ringing in the mind. No matter how hard you try it’s like the waves that keep hitting the shore. A minute thing be it physical or an emotional occurrence that brings a quick memory flash. It takes time to heal and get back. Days, months or even years.




“When we lose someone we must not learn to live without them, but to learn to live with the love they left behind.”





Harini had been trying hard to believe that the hands that she held while growing up is now no more.
Brothers and sisters are as close and hands and feet. And to believe that it is gone too soon was not something that happens overnight.


She wanted a change to move on. That is when Prashanth, her husband decides to sign her up for fair Anita travel program.



Fair Anita is asocial enterprise that supports women artisans from around the world. Most of these artisans are victims are domestic violence and support their livelihood with income from making exquisite handmade jewelry. Fair Anita has currently about 8000 women artisans who earn three times the minimum wage. This trade is the sustainable revenue opportunity for these women. Fair Anita was founded in 2009 by Joy McBrien in the light of supporting women and their dreams of economic independence.


Economic independence is of utmost importance to women in general I would say. Be it a normal or a strained relationship between man and woman, economic independence is something that I’d say is definitely a must for every woman. So if at all an untoward event occurs this give you the power to stand out instead of adjusting and tolerating abuse.



The travel program was unique that required women from around the world who would travel with the founder to meet the artisans. It required women to apply and then choose twelve people to accompany the founder. Harini wanted to go on this lone trip to regain what? Her wish to go beyond her comfort zone That is what the book is all about.



Like how she says in the prologue.
‘There are things we do with absolute clarity and things we do with absolute certainty’ . Harini here was certain about going on this journey but not clear not what would it yield. She had many questions on similar grounds piling up in mind looking for answers, which she wasn’t sure if the trip would hold answers. `

Beads that lead



The book has chapters which describes Harini’s journey of life that lead to reflection and self-discovery. A journey that sure did give her some friends for life, inspiration and answers to the ongoing questions in her mind.


The book begins where Harini boards the flight alongside women from different parts of the world boarding at the same time to meet and proceed with the journey of discovery.


Post her alone flying experience which brought back melancholic memories of the last time she had traveled , she finally landed in Lima , the capital of Peru to meet her fellow tribe.



Harini and the ten others stayed in Lima before they depart to Chimbote, a place where Fair Anita has it roots. Harini found her comfortable in the company of Mary Lind (ML) and Karin who made her tearful with their talks. And for the first time over a long period Harini wet her pillow with happy tears.



They reached Chimbote, the next day by bus from Lima. Chimbote is extremely poverty stricken and has striking similarity to a developing country that she could compare with some parts of India. She could definitely draw parallels to places where she has visited before and her homeland India on basis on social or physical structures and approach to family. Transport around the area had to be ensured to be safe for the group and it was taken care by Joy.



Every night these women get back to their base after dinner to have a reflection activity with their buddies who discuss their highs and lows of the day. I loved the fact that the activity was for intent of creating a space for safer conversations.



They were welcomed with colors all over and the houses around didn’t seem to reflect the conditions of people inside is what we’re told. Harini came across people from different situations that made her go into deeper thoughts.


She came across an old man who was left abandoned by his family after his paralysis and girl children who were left abandoned by the father and are now under the care of grandfather and had to share a bed because of poverty. The descriptions were so very painful for me to continue beyond that I had to take a break to get back to my senses.


Peru in general has varying topographies and is more prone to natural disasters which make the already worse conditions to live even bad. Th condition of people trying to get back to life post a disaster is also quite difficult in addition to their already existing woes.


Anita goes round their neighbourhood on a day to basis to identify the needs of the people and ways to help them out.

Harini also got to know about her tribe well and these women who would be her companions even beyond this trip. Events from one of her day also involved the group spending time to help around with houses to be build, conducting art classes for kids.


How does it feel to know that you indirectly sponsored to build someone a house and at the same time you also get to spend time physically to help setting it. Satisfactory? I’d say even beyond that for people like us who are always stuck to out digital treasure chest(I mean the laptop).


We’re also given accounts of the best place for Churros and lots of others places to visit like the beaches and temples. So for the travel buffs, you could make note of these.



The trip happened before the world reeled into the pandemic waves. Thankful that if not , we wouldn’t have got to read this book. The book also tells inspirational stories of some artisans which makes you feel powered and sad at the same time. These stories come out in the form of interviews of the artisans that the tribe did.


The tribe modelling for the artisans with some of their best collections was another beautiful moment that I loved reading over and over again.


AS they depart back to where they came from the author wished for a cheerful goodbye but turned out being tense situation. I leave it to you to go read what actually happened when they were departing.


Overall it also comes to light that gender equality is not something that is as simple as we say it. The author also goes by the same thoughts. The trip enlightened a lot of experiences in terms of culture and learning.Harini also emphasizes that with only her thinking on gender equality will not have much impact in the vast ocean of thinking of human race. But instead of staying idle an action speaks a lot. Though she might be a drop, it makes an ocean only when there are countless drops.



So it is equally important to raise responsible men when we say raise a responsible girl child.



Harini’s writings are clear , crisp and no beating around the bush.Her account of events make you visualize them without any inhibition. The description of the topographies, the physical state of people living in Chimbote was brought live to me through her writing.


I really loved the way how each chapter began with a quote that had some relation with what the chapter would be about.


I’d like to thank the author, for giving me this opportunity on her debut book. I’m really glad and honored at the same time to let know I echo the same thoughts on gender inequality and I’m sure most women could relate to. You could count me in as another drop into this mighty ocean.

S’s which help in skincare

S’s which help in skincare

Its always believed that smallest things have bigger worth. This is true in case of the ingredients that are being discussed today.

Saffron

Saffron


Saffron, the tiny red spice originated in Greece but now known worldwide for its benefits in enhancing food flavors, reducing pain and also in cosmetics.
Most expensive ingredient even though small in size has innumerable benefits for skin , health and food flavor enhancing.


Saffron is beneficial for all skin types but in particular has more benefits for sensitive skin.



Since it has to be handpicked and also available for harvest for only two weeks in the entire year, this is the reason that the spice is priced real high.



Saffron is rich in antioxidants like the vitamin C and also possesses anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties due to which it can help in protecting against the harmful UV radiation and free radical damage.



Saffron helps in making the skin tone even. It helps in reducing the production of melanin thereby reducing the darkness and enhancing the radiant glow.


Saffron is enriched with minerals and carotenoids that help in fighting the oxidative stress.



Since it has anti inflammatory properties it helps in calming down skin irritations and works great for sensitive skin.



Due to its healing capabilities it increases cell production that is responsible to heal wounds and cuts.


Because it is rich in antioxidants it also plays a vital role in delaying premature ageing and yes can be confidently mentioned as ingredient that possesses anti ageing properties.

DIYS:


SAFFRON FACE MASK:
Crush three strands of saffron in pestle and mortar. Add in a tablespoon of honey. Mix and apply on to face. Wash off after 10 minutes.of after 15 minutes.


Mix in a tablespoon of sandalwood powder, 2-3 strands of crushed saffron and milk to make a paste. Apply on to face and wash .


Soak saffron strands say 3-4 in milk for about two hours. Dip cotton ball in this milk and dab over face. Let the milk get absorbed. Wash off after 10 minutes to discover glowing skin.



SAFFRON GEL: Crush three strands of saffron in pestle and mortar. Add in a tablespoon of aloe vera gel and a teaspoon of rose water. Apply on to skin and massage until it gets absorbed.



SAFFRON TONER: Add 3-4 strands of crushed saffron to rose water in spray bottle. Let it infuse for a while. Start spraying in place of regular toner .



ANTI ACNE MASK: Blend 3-4 soaked saffron strands with 5-6 basil leaves. Apply the paste on to face and wash off after 15 minutes. Basil helps eliminate acne causing bacteria.


SAFFRON EXFOLIATE MASK: Soak saffron strands overnight in water. To this add milk and coconut or olive oil. Dip a bread in this mixture and apply on to face. Wash off after 15 minutes.

SUNFLOWER OIL

Sunflower oil


Sunflower oil is rich in linoleic acid which is an essential fatty acid that is very much essential to protect the skin barrier.



Its anti inflammatory properties help in making it best suited for sensitive skin.



Epidermal water loss is the main reason for skin drying out and sunflower oil helps in forming a protective barrier thereby reducing the chances for moisture loss.



The vitamin E present in the oil also helps in trapping moisture for the same moisture lock benefit.


Rich in Vitamin A, D, C and E it helps fight acne by helping prevent acne causing bacteria entry. It helps in cell regeneration as well.



Beta carotene that can be converted to vitamin A is present in abundance and helps in maintaining overall appearance of the skin.



The antioxidant vitamin E also helps fight against sun damage and provides protection against harmful UV radiation.



Collagen and elastin in skin are protected by the vitamin E in sunflower oil when applied topically and thereby help in reducing the appearance of ageing signs like dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines.



The anti inflammatory properties helps in healing irritated skin and also provides ability to regenerate new cells.



It has a therapeutic effect on eczema when applied topically on the skin.



The oil is non comedogenic and does not clog the pores when applied topically. It also helps in exfoliation by removing dead skin cells and creates a rejuvenated appearance.

DIY:



ANTI AGEING MASK:Mix in a tablespoon of sunflower oil to three tablespoons of yogurt and few drops of lemon juice. Apply on to face and wash off after 15 minutes.


UNDER EYE TREATMENT: Its light texture and being less potent makes it a great ingredient to treat under eye pigments and eye bags. Dab a cotton ball into the oil and massage gently.


TONER: Sunflower oil can be used as a toner by dabbing a cotton ball in the oil and applying gently all over the face.


MOISTURIZER FOR ACNE PRONE SKIN: Sunflower oil helps in soothing acne prone skin and helps in preventing further acne formation by fighting against acne causing bacteria. Simply dab a cotton ball with oil and massage gently like a moisturizer .

This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.