The World Inside of Miss Mediocre Hypocritta

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Highlights

-As women from relatively conservative households, some of us have to weave multiple stories to cover-up the secret life we live with our friends. This includes letting loose on the occasional ladies night, downing a few shots and having drunk sleepovers. -However, narrative of mainstream partying and its marketing online is largely problematic, as it objectifies women and capitalises on women's inebriation to drive sales among men. -As someone who was previously in the said marketing field, and a ladies night enthusiast- there was a conflict within me- er, Ms Mediocre Hypocritta.-This piece unveils a bit of hypocrisy, and is an attempt to call out problematic, misogynistic marketing, with the end goal of making the world a safer place for women.

A dress that matched the colour of her painted lips- blood red, they're both matte. Her hair is straightened but curled, her cleavage, covered up but exposed- she liked to be modest, but she also wanted good pictures. She slips into her fancy stockings to cover up hastily shaved legs (and mostly her insecurities). As for the final touch, she puts on her largest pair of sweat pants and the roomiest hoodie.

"It's just pizza and a movie. Only girls- I promise!"
"I'll call you when I reach and before I fall asleep and once before I leave for home tomorrow!" she adds hastily for the 19th time.
Her father says, "I trust you. I just don't trust the world."
"Yeah."
"Have fun."

She was to have the sleepover alright, but it would of course be in a state of drunken stupor after a night of dancing at the “Ladies Night.” A drunken stupor that would end with her equally drunk friends dragging each other into the house and passing out, but Appa didn't need to know that. Anyway, with such intricate cover ups, she zoomed in to party 'til she dropped!

Come Monday, she rode to work. The gushing years of youth rinsing her of all hangovers and aches, new ideas running through her head to market big brands and big names and cater to the right audience- in other words, her work was to make the rich, richer (also interesting to note is how her social media posts actively hated on the privileged and called out sexist, racist, homophobic, capitalist pigs).
 

There wasn't much to do, really. She knew the selling point: Women. Women clad in scanty outfits, the fun party sweat mixed with make up making their skin shine, drinks in hand, laughing lazy laughs, or dancing half drunk. It was either usually large groups of women by themselves or multiple women with one or two men (the females always, always out-numbered the males). There was also a formula: these flashy pictures foregrounded "Book now, the hype is real!"

Compact lines to create FOMO, to manipulate the masses of men into partying. They played with one's insecurities of not making Saturday nights "happening" enough. Of being single and forever alone (of dying virgins!) Especially on a Friday night. Now, why would one not want to be brushing shoulders with attractive, intoxicated women who apparently totally enjoy having said shoulders brushed?

Traffic generated, posts liked, commented on, shared, passes booked. People definitely wanted to party all the time. Or not. 

If her job was done well enough, a "happening" pub in town would see a large turn up of many, many men who paid to enter. They come to watch the DJ play, sure. But she knew, as much as we do, that they mostly come in anticipation of the women promised to brush shoulders with them. Drink and dance with them, probably go home with them. The women on the shiny ads that smiled manipulatively enough for them to book passes so as to not be alone on a Saturday night.

The women are there of course. The women who are admitted for free and poured free drinks. The women who receive special treatment because them being there, and them being there intoxicated, is good for business.

Yes, it’s the same women who dance in large, tight groups so strange men don't grind against their behinds. The women who give out fake phone numbers because the entitled, nice guy is too persistent. The woman who hides with her friends in the bathroom because the creep at the bar stares at her no matter what she does or what she wears. The woman who is supposed to be on innocent sleepovers with her girlfriends, the woman who hides nice little red dresses underneath big hoodies, the woman whose parents' trust her, but don’t trust the world.

"Women are easier on the eyes. Yes, I know it is sexist, but women are good for business."

Her feminist opinions are shrill. They bore her colleagues and friends. Nonetheless, she gets her mediocrely fat paycheck, and with such not so intricate cover-ups, Miss Mediocre was ready to party 'til she dropped!

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50 Ridiculous Things That Every Woman Has Heard

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Highlights
Ready for a Deja-vu? Its a compilation of the most ridiculous things you might have heard because you are a woman!

 

There are myths that sound like they could possibly be true and some that we tend to brush off in good humour. But most of these come as mind-altering statements that stick. Myths in gender differences arise as a result of nurture not nature. There’s a fine line between humour and mockery and it’s imperative to stand up to the latter. 

Absolutely ridiculous things that women hear every day: 

1. Why do you need a second degree?

Women are supposedly “lucky” today because they can pursue higher studies and even get a job after. But a second degree suddenly feels like a lot of freedom given to girls according to your friendly neighbourhood Aunt. “All this studying is only going to get your wedding postponed beta, don’t waste your youth on insignificant degrees instead of colourful sarees” 

2. No one will get you married to their son if you’re seen outside with another guy

I don’t know of a single unmarried girl in India who hasn’t heard this at least once. Apparently, with no logical explanation, of course, going out with two boys is sometimes “less fishy” than going out with just one. “What will people think sweetheart?”

3. It’s okay to go out in groups only if it has girls 

This one has got to be right on top of this list. The “Logical Indian Dad” is never going to agree to send his daughter out on a trip (or even otherwise) with a group of just boys. Apparently the problem is not with the gender, the problem is with the lack of both genders that cancels your trip. If only our country’s employment policies thought the same way.

4. You have to get married before your brother

Old one, but still so prevalent. I have witnessed families who don’t mind their sons waiting until their hair is grey just so that their little sisters get married first. I’m sorry aunt Sunita, logic left the room when you walked in. 

5. Your bra strap is visible

I’m pretty sure if you’re a female and you’re reading this, you’ve been told to hide your bra strap or pull up your top because it’s too “deep” at least once. So we’re okay with men wearing boxers to supermarkets but a peep at my bra strap and you’re offended?

6. Don’t have sex before marriage, you will turn impure

The things that parents will say to their kids to prevent them from having sex is truly comical. Impure? Couldn’t they come up with better myths than this? 

7. You nag me all the time

I think it’s practically impossible to have not been addressed as a nag by the opposite gender at least once. It’s ridiculous how logic in a high-pitched voice can render a man speechless.

8. You will protect the reputation of this family

Women are often fed this from a very young age that boys build reputation and women are responsible for protecting it by staying in their  “limits”.

9You can enjoy this slim figure now, pregnancy will change everything

I could swear that most women who opt out of pregnancy do so because they’re fed with absolute rubbish like this. In reality, women are more than capable of getting back to their pre-pregnancy bodies with little effort and exercise. 

10. I’m not getting in a car with you

Whoever spread this rumour of women being bad drivers, fun fact: Men account for 73% of all worldwide road traffic deaths, three times the rate of women. (Mic drop)

11. You can’t change a tire

Umm, no Divesh, maybe I would just rather have you do it for me, ever thought of that? Women might have learnt to change tires, but it is unlikely for society to change their opinions.

12. Don’t lift too much, muscle is not for you

Muscle is important for the well-being of all humans. NO exceptions. But for some reason, women grow up fearing the weights section at a gym because all their life they’ve been told that muscle makes them look bulky. (?)

13. Don't sit like that 

Most women hear things like “Don't sit with your legs positioned apart”, “Don’t sit with one leg on the couch and the other leg on the floor” and “Sit upright”. Sitting a certain way is considered to be rude or “not female-like” behaviour as though our biological compositions were to define the way each gender must stick their posterior to the couch. 

14. You get too emotional in an argument

In the middle of a reasonable argument, it's not uncommon for women to come across these last (s)words that people save up to use at the end like “You get too emotional”, “I can't deal with your emotions” or “There are too many emotions in the room for me to think straight”. 

15. Are you PMSing? (In the middle of an argument) 

God forbid a woman showed signs of the least bid hunger, sugar cravings or stress, the general assumption is that she’s PMSing. Sure, these are natural symptoms of PMS but it is offensive to women to hear people draw these conclusions almost instantly because just anyone can be hungry or stressed, right? 

16. You can’t take a joke!

Inappropriate comments, highlighting insecurities comically and teasing - are all surprisingly let off easily in the name of a “joke”. Astonishingly, the famous “you can’t take a joke” only applies to the female gender (?) 

17. You’re living with him but not married? That’s Illegal 

As I said, the older gen has gotten excessively creative in drawing out lies around social stigmas. It’s preposterous how people will convince you that you’re defying the law and not just the lord if you so much as talk about a live-in relationship.

18. Divorce is not the solution

I’ve heard women say that they’re schooled about how divorce is not “ideal” even before they got married. The stigma around divorce is so large, that some will actually go to heights convincing a woman to stay in an unhealthy, stale equation rather than file for divorce. The point of fact is that divorce exists for a reason and it is perfectly normal to have not predicted the fall of a long term relationship. 

19. Keep your man happy

A lot of women hear this time and again as very sacred advice to a successful relationship/marriage. It’s awfully sad but it's true. 

20. Are you bothered because you're hungry? 

I could think of a million reasons for an individual to be bothered in a heated argument, but apparently everyone’s favourite assumption is “she must be hungry”. I could swear that there isn’t a single female who hasn’t been asked this at least once. 

21. You don’t know how to cook? That’s ridiculous 

The statement is ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing how to cook if you don’t have to. It is always good to know how to cook, it comes in handy, sure. But it’s silly of people to mandate their 13-year-old daughters to learn the art while their 2o-something-year-old sons get a free pass.

22. You drink whisky? (!) 

Even when people ask this in a surprisingly proud way, they’re still surprised. It’s as though women are fine with a glass of shiraz or a vodka cranberry, but a scotch on the rocks is like a bolt from the blue. Alcohol belongs to the one who’s paying for it, it doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender. Grow up, uncle Mahesh!

23. Motherhood is an unmatched experience and there is no greater joy 

Motherhood is an undoubtedly wonderful experience, but not one that has to be forced upon women nor is it the sole purpose of the female gender. So give women a break because there are a million joys in the world, and motherhood just happens to be one of them. An optional one, to be precise. 

24. If you want to colour your hair, do it after marriage

One of the most absurd things young girls are told is to hold back from doing permanent damage to their bodies before marriage. I’ve come across girls whose mothers are okay with hair colouring/perming only once they’re married. It's as if all of your beauty is meant to be spent on this one single day of your life. 

25. When are you getting married? 

“It’s about time we start looking for a boy for this beautiful princess, no?” and the worst one of them all - “You’re 30 and unmarried?” - make for the silliest intrusions in a woman’s life. This family function classic has got to stop. 

26. Do you want me to hold/carry that? 

First off, there’s a difference between offering help to someone who seems like they need it and asking someone if they need help just because they’re female. Offering to carry a woman’s shopping bags is just absurd. (Although chivalry can be nice sometimes, so this one is excused) 

27. Stop being dramatic

The common stereotype that men are more laid back than women is indirectly associating the characteristic (of being overly dramatic) to being a girl. Not only is this offensive to women, but it also contributes to less expressiveness in men and is cause for trouble. It’s 2020 and a lot of us still can't stop hearing this.

28. The way to people’s hearts is through their tummies 

While this might be true, most women hear this in the most nonsensical contexts. It is advised that they please people (their in-laws in particular) by learning the art of cooking delicious food. 

29. Have children, It’ll solve all of your marriage problems

Have you heard of this “statement of wisdom”  from the elderly when you go to them with a marriage problem? I sure have. It is rather farcical to assume that 3 people can cooperate together in harmony when 2 could simply not.

30. Girls shouldn’t smoke, it’s bad for your skin

This side-splitting piece of advice can only be giggled at. Smoking is injurious to health - no genders excluded

31. Are you one of those feminist-types? 

Say one aggressive thing about women’s equality and this question being thrown at you is a guarantee. It’s like you can’t have strong opinions without being positioned under a “Type” anymore. Oh, the catastrophe!

32. You’re too pretty to be single

Snoopers are everywhere but more about your dating life. The issue doesn’t stop at that. People have the most asinine things to say sometimes. How the factors “pretty” and “single” are logically co-dependent is beyond my comprehension, to be frank. 

33. You’re too precious to be dating 

Another series of silly comments consisting of reversed opinions as the previous, but equally pesky include things like “He’s not good enough for you”, “You are better off alone” and the most comical of them all “You’re too precious to be dating”. If this comes as advice from a close friend, these might still be valuable, but coming from an outsider with no context whatsoever? That’s ludicrous. 

34. You girls only like Romcoms

Another classic stereotype. Tell people you’re a horror/sci-fi fan and they look at you like you’re alien. Some women might love rom coms, but it's silly to make such an obnoxious generalisation. 

35.You look better with no makeup

To wear or not to wear (makeup) - that is the question, isn’t it? But the problem is you don’t even get the chance to answer this yourself because someone is always very enthusiastic to answer it for you.

36. Maybe you should try wearing some makeup

-yours truly, next-door neighbour aunt. This one is particularly annoying because it’s the kind of advice you’re least bothered to receive. “Haldi helps for dark skin beta”, “Try wearing some lipstick”. 

37. Why do you only have guy friends? 

It's not unusual for women to only have friends of the opposite gender. In fact, more often than not it’s absolutely coincidental and OK. There isn’t a rule of thumb dedicated to stating the ratio of male and female friends a woman must keep, although it seems as if (many) Indian parents have their undisclosed rulebook about the same. 

38. You take forever to get dressed

This is not entirely true, we take forever to undergo a process that includes essential skin care, picking out a suitable outfit and then getting dressed. In all this time, the typical male would only try and fix their hair.

39. Do you really need therapy or just new clothes

It's silly how this one usually comes from another female. Thank you for your analysis girlfriend, but maybe I do, in fact, need professional therapy instead of stuffy closet space. 

40. You do the shopping 

It is a known fact that brides tend to have issues with their to-be partners before the wedding day because the general assumption seems to be that “women are better at shopping”. Time to discard this oldie, is it not? 

41. You’re a modern girl now

Anyone with a change in cities has to hear this from their older relatives at least once. Seemingly strange that of all things, driving oneself around and living alone makes you a “modern girl” - stuff that is usually considered to be the bare minimum for a male. 

42. Men don’t have to look good as long as they’re rich 

Another unsaid rule of thumb by which many Indian parents live by even today is that a girl must be her prettiest, most talented self but a boy is good as long as he has a great income. (Which is pressurising to both genders equally) Most traditional Indian arranged marriages act upon this age-old, imbecilic concept.

43. The more you cut your hair, the faster it grows

This is one hundred percent false. Your hair grows from the roots and hence a haircut doesn’t nearly affect its growth. A hair trim one in a while is still recommended though, because it helps get rid of dry, split ends. 

44. The earlier you get your period, the earlier you’re likely to go through menopause

Nuh-uh. In reality, the average age a woman hits menopause is around 51 years, and this has nothing to do with the age she attains puberty or the number of children she has. 

45. Try this diet

If you haven’t heard this at least once, you’re truly one of the spared lucky few. Eating healthy is a choice, but more often than not people will take responsibility for reminding you that some FAD diet could help you drop off some extra pounds. (Even when you don’t ask for it) 

46. Obesity is about willpower, not biology 

First things first: Everything in your body is about science. Even things like love and happiness are results of chemical reactions. It is inaccurate when people say that your weight is about your willpower. In reality, obesity happens to be a complex disorder with hundreds of contributing factors. 

47. You’re lucky to have landed this job/ You’re too young for a promotion

Every time someone of the female gender announces a promotion, it is inevitable that a few around would think of it as an extraordinary event. This one might not even be all that ridiculous, because stats say (according to a study conducted by TechRepublic) that women are 21% less likely to be promoted than their male coworkers in the same position.

48. It’s not mandatory to look pretty, but it sure does help

And not said with tongue in cheek. People are honestly convinced that women with an attractive exterior (conforming to societal beauty standards) have unfair advantages and can use this to climb several ladders in their lives. Farcical, isn’t it? 

49. It is odd for you to have multiple sexual partners 

The most ludicrous argument supporting this statement: “Men were meant to fertilize multiple women biologically, so they could help carry on the human species. Hence it is okay for men to have multiple sexual partners because it is what nature demanded”. But nature “demanded” this. Past tense. The continuation of species is hardly the purpose of a homo sapien today. Sex is more than a species multiplier, ask the condom manufacturing industry. 

50. You must have done something

The worst of them all - the blame game. If we could get a dollar for every time a woman was blamed for being “too nice” or “a tad bit provocative” or “leading on”, I swear we could fill that gap between male and female paychecks. 

Subtle cues about “manly” and “female-like behaviour” right from the time we’re born are so engraved inside of us, which has got to be the worst impact of these absurd statements. The next time you hear any of these questions or comments, put your foot down and toss an unforgettable answer - you’d be doing us all a solid. 


 

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Skin Care Tips For Women - All You Need To Know

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Coco Chanel once said, and I quote, “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty

One too many shades of concealer can make your skin look cakey and flawless for a girl’s night out, but only a dedicated skincare routine handing you the right skincare tips for your skin type can prevent the breakouts and open pores that follow the morning after. Like any other goal, you must incorporate a routine to achieve that flawless, no-makeup look and hold yourself accountable to follow through with it - every single step of it

Quite frankly, your everyday skincare routine doesn’t even have to be too elaborate. While many beauty bloggers swear by the 10/12-step Korean skincare mantra (Korean skin care routine) to achieve great looking skin, in reality, all you need to have healthy skin is a habit-forming attitude. Small things, but effective things that will add on each day to bring you that spot-free, glowing skin. Don’t be intimidated by what you see on social media. There's a wave of advances in the field of skincare but none of them is useful if you don't get your basics right. 

If you’re a beginner who’s new to the world of skin-care and don’t know just where to begin, mazel tov! You’re at the right place. This blog covers all that you need to know about finding your skin type, various products suitable to each skin type and essential products and tips that you’re going to have to incorporate in your routine to achieve your #skingoals. 

First things first. How to determine your skin type? 

Your skin happens to be your body’s largest organ so you'd best be treating it like a regularly-attended-to priority. Before you decide what products to use on your face, you need to know what's most suitable for your skin type. Different skin types have very different (almost contrasting) needs, so without this first step of determining your skin type, you may end up drawing out a routine that’s utterly useless if not detrimental to your skin. 

Types of skin

Broadly speaking, your skin type could fall under one of the four categories: 

  1. Normal 

  2. Dry

  3. Oily

  4. Combination 

In order to determine your skin type, you can use one of the two methods: 

The first way to test your skin type is to wash it thoroughly using a mild cleanser (nothing too harsh because this might disturb your skin’s natural PH levels). Wait for about 30 minutes and start observing your skin. If you notice an oily texture or a mild shine on your forehead, nose and chin - you most likely have normal or combination skin. Besides these regions, if you find that even your cheek region has turned greasy, you probably have oily skin. Wait for another 30 minutes in case none of the two happen. If your face feels parched, especially when you try to move your facial muscles around - then you have dry skin. 

The other and quicker way to do this is by using a blotting paper. Rub a piece of blotting paper across your forehead, nose and chin first. If you notice that the blotting paper is soaked with oil, repeat the procedure on your cheeks. If it gives you the same result, you most definitely have oily skin. If the paper has no oil, you have dry skin. And in case of excess oil only in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), you more likely have combination skin. 

Once you’ve established your skin type, you can go ahead and select products that are well-suited to your skin. But before we get into the details of what goes inside your shopping cart, here’s a list of basic things to bear in mind for each skin type: 

Skin Care Tips For You Depending On Your Skin Type:

Skin Care Tips For Dry Skin

Dry skin is generally a consequence of either aging, hormonal changes, or extreme weather conditions. It can also be caused as a result of certain ingredients in soaps/cosmetics, long hot showers (apologies to have burst your bubble, but someone had to say it) and even some medications. 

What helps:

  1. Shorter baths, preferably with lukewarm water if not cold. Avoid hot showers. 
  2. Avoid scrubbing while bathing
  3. Use gentle, mild soaps/cleansers. Nothing too fragrant-y 
  4. Dab on a rich moisturizer right after taking a bath
  5. Try not to get the temperature too hot while you’re indoors 

Skin Care Tips For Oily Skin 

Oily skin too can be caused by many factors, the most popular ones being: hormonal imbalances, puberty, stress or excess humidity. Oily skin is as bad as having dry skin as it leads to frequent breakouts, large pores and blackheads. 

What helps:

  1. Wash your face twice a day. (Not more)
  2. Again, it is recommended you use a gentle cleanser. Avoid scrubbing
  3. DO NOT pop/touch/squeeze a pimple. This increases the chances of your acne multiplying by spreading
  4. Use skin care products that have the word “noncomedogenic” in them. In simple terms, these won't clog pores.

Skin Care Tips For Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is easily triggered by external factors, so every product you use has to be tested beforehand on a patch so you know exactly what your triggers are and can avoid them. 

 The Most Effective Skin Guide For Sensitive Skin

Before drafting your skincare routine, here are 5 non-negotiable rules you MUST follow no matter what skin type you have if you want to look your best: 

  1. Sleep for 7-9 hours every day (they call it beauty sleep for a reason)
  2. Use sunblock every time you step out (one that blocks UVA and UVB rays)
  3. Stay hydrated throughout the day
  4. Always take your makeup off before going to bed
  5. Moisturize everyday

Without sticking to these 5 rules, all your efforts and massive bills spent on the best products available would, quite frankly, be in absolute vain. 

It is true that you are what you eat. But a more superior truth is that you look like what you eat, too. You’re probably aware either because of being told by a doctor/elderly or by experiencing it yourself, that when you eat a lot of certain food groups such as processed/fried foods, your skin starts to appear lifeless and in some cases also elevates acne. 

What to EAT and what to AVOID for healthy-looking skin?

Superfoods for your skin

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is known to be one of the healthiest fats available and does much to prevent any diseases that are associated with ageing.
  2. Organic tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that not only heals but leaves your skin glowing.
  3. Essential fats present in avocados, salmons and nuts help maintain a balance of good oils in your skin.
  4. Green tea is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidising properties and also helps protect collagen (the main protein in your skin)
  5. Vitamin C rich foods such as bell peppers and citrus fruits
  6. Eggs contain biotin, a substance that helps prevent and heal dry skin
  7. Legumes are known to repair damaged skin due to their high levels of protein
  8. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and other greens such as broccoli and brussel sprouts and rich in Vitamin K - a vitamin that helps improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation. I guess our mothers had a point when they insisted we ate our greens, didn’t they?
  9. Oatmeal, miso and artichokes (besides being gut-friendly) are rich in antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent acne breakouts.Superfoods for healthy and glowing skin

Skin-wrecker foods that you are better off avoiding

  1. Alcohol causes dehydration that in turn leads to dry, dull-looking skin and in extreme cases, even breakouts or rashes.
  2. Deep-fried food (although tastes amazing) is an absolute no-no for healthy skin. It induces excess oil and also tows with your skin complexion.
  3. Dairy products including cheese, butter, milk, chocolate are known to increase oil secretion that lead to breakouts and blackheads. 
  4. Caffeine, much like alcohol, causes dehydration and can lead to dry skin
  5. Sugary treats like doughnuts, cookies and croissants are high-glycemic foods. In simple terms, they’re responsible for early wrinkles and premature ageing. Remember this when you opt for a second serving of that birthday cake. 
  6. A majority of people are known to have a low-tolerance towards gluten and they aren’t even aware. So if you’re dealing with inflammation issues and have no idea why - it might be a smart decision to cut down on those white breads and pastas.
  7. Sodas are high in sugar and tend to be bad news for your skin. Try alternating your soda intake with tender coconut or a fruit juice
  8. Whey Protein (although it happens to be a great source of your daily protein requirement) are proven to raise insulin levels and spike acne. 

Establishing a skin-care routine (that’s personal to your skin type) 

You’ve found out your skin type. You’re fully aware of the best natural skin-care practices to incorporate in your lifestyle according to your skin type. You know the 5 golden rules, and you know how to eat right. So far, so good. Now you can successfully move on to decide the kind of products that are most suitable to you. 

6 key steps of a basic skin-care routine: (along with a list of natural products for skincare that are Indian-made and science-backed)

Step 1: Cleanse

It is important to thoroughly cleanse your face by washing it twice a day before applying anything on to it. You’re constantly in contact with a lot of dirt and pollution and you owe it to your skin to use a cleanser mild enough to maintain your skin's pH level yet effective enough to remove pollutants causing clogged pores, dullness and acne.  How to choose the right cleanser and facewash

 How to build a skincare routine

1. Dr.Sheth’s basic brightening daily cleanser 

2. Conscious Chemist Ritual Face Cleanser With Matcha Green Tea & Hemp Seed Oil

3. ENN Wipe Out Chlorophyll Facial Cleanser (Most suitable for acne-prone skin) 

Step 2: Tone

Toners are used right after cleansing your face and before putting anything on. Although traditionally people preferred to apply toner by saturating a cotton pad and swiping it across their face, beauty experts advise the application of a toner with clean hands. This ensures that you don't lose a lot of product in the process of application. 

Note: Although most toners can be used in the morning and at night, those with exfoliating acids should be used only at night. 

What do toners do? 

Toners happen to be one of the most underrated skincare products out there. Besides removing excess makeup and dirt, they tighten your pores, balance your skin’s pH level and add an extra layer of hydration to your skin. 

Different toners serve different purposes, so aim to incorporate one that caters to your needs specifically. While selecting the right toner for your skin, look for either of these ingredients: 

Alpha and beta hydroxy acids in case you’re looking for one that helps remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate damaged, dull skin

Hyaluronic acid

Rosewater or green tea if you happen to have sensitive skin since both these ingredients help calm any redness or irritation 

Vitamin E and C to prevent aging due to dust and pollution 

1. Khadi Natural Herbal Skin Toner Rose Water

2. Dr. Sheth's Gulab And Glycolic Toner

3. ENN Rice There Face Toner

4. Juicy Chemistry 100% Organic Bulgarian Rose Water Mist (For Normal To Oily Skin)

5. Neemli Naturals Witch Hazel & Vetiver Facial Toner

 

Step 3: Exfoliate (Optional) 

Although exfoliating your skin wouldn’t be considered a necessity every single day, (in fact too much exfoliation could prove to reap negative results) it’s good to get rid of dead skin cells by exfoliating your face 1-2 times a week in order to avoid clogged pores and allow your moisturizer to penetrate more deeply into the skin.

You could either choose to exfoliate your face with a scrub or use a liquid chemical exfoliant in case you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. To exfoliate mechanically with a scrub, gently apply some on your face with a finger and rub it in circular motions. Wash this off with cold or lukewarm water in a couple of minutes. 

In case of a chemical exfoliant, apply the liquid using a cotton pad or a washcloth but be sure to consult a dermatologist to know which of the two types of exfoliation is best suited for your skin type. 

Table with types of exfoliation (based on skin type)

1. Mamaearth CoCo Face Scrub with Coffee & Cocoa for Rich Exfoliation

2. Ilana Organics Energizing Face Scrub Walnut + Plum

3.  Pahadi Local Gutti Khal (Apricot Meal) Scrub

Step 4: Moisturize 

The one product that doctors recommend for every skin type and one that all beauticians, celebrities and make-up artists swear by is using a moisturizer. Our skin gradually loses its ability to retain moisture as we age, and it's very important to prevent this loss of water by using a suitable moisturizer that hydrates and softens the skin (amongst other things). 

How to pick a suitable moisturizer for your skin 

  1.  Dr. Sheth's Basic Brightening Vitamin Glotion (for all skin types)

  2. Khadi Natural Rose & Honey Herbal Moisturizer - Paraben Free (Best suited for dry skin) 

  3. Khadi Natural Almond Saffron Herbal Moisturizers (Best suited for sensitive skin) 

  4. Khadi Natural Peach And Avocado Herbal Moisturizer (All skin types) 

  5.  Khadi Natural After Sun Aloe Vera Moisturiser (Best suited for oily skin) 

  6. Conscious Chemist Indulge Facial Cream With Matcha Green Tea & Hemp Seed Oil 

  7.  Mamaearth Oil-Free Face Moisturizer With Apple Cider Vinegar (For Acne-Prone/Oily Skin)

 

Step 5: Protect (SPF) 

With the lives we lead, moisturising alone does little to protect our delicate skin from external damage caused by the sun and other pollutants. Enter the last step of your skincare routine: Application of sunblock. The daily application of sunscreen resolves imperfect textures, fine line and wrinkles and is the secret to young-looking skin. 

A few things to bear in mind:

i) Pick a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

ii) Doctors advocate using a sunscreen that contains a combination of both physical (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) and chemical (such as oxybenzone and octinoxate) blocking components. This will protect your skin against both - UVA and UVB rays and won't leave any visible residue. 

iii) Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before being exposed to sunlight 

iv) Re-apply every two hours

  1. Dr. Sheth's Basic Brightening Daily Sunscreen SPF 30 PA+++ 

  2.  Khadi Natural Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 UVB PA++

  3.  Mamaearth Ultra Light India Sunscreen SPF50 PA+++ With Turmeric & Carrot Seed

   Acne- prone skin care routine 

Besides these 5 golden steps, if you wish to go that extra mile to see remarkable results for your skin, incorporating essential oils are a great (and natural) way to elevate your skincare game and take it to a whole new level. 

Best essential oils for skincare (based on your skin type) 

Essential Oils For Normal Skin

Although normal skin does perfectly well with most essential oils without causing any harm, some suggested oils for this blessed lot are:

1.Rose Oil

The numerous benefits of rose water are already known to most Indian women. Just like rose water, rose oil has the potential to nourish, heal and hydrate your skin and also reverse ageing in the process if used regularly. 

2. Ylang Ylang Oil

Not a popular name today, but Ylang Ylang helps moisturise and enhance your already healthy-skin making it one of the most suitable essential oils for ones who fall under the normal skin type category.  

Essential Oils For Dry skin

1. Argan Oil

Rich in essential vitamins and antioxidants, pure argan oil is a must-have product to incorporate in your daily skincare regime. Not only does this timeless miracle nourish and hydrate your skin, but it also helps you age backwards by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. A combination of vitamin E and fatty acids creates a noticeable difference in your skin almost instantly. 

2. Chamomile Oil

Another revitalising harvest for dry skin, chamomile oil (diluted with coconut/jasmine) helps hydrate your skin and is especially recommended for those with rather sensitive skin instead of using it as is. 

3. Marula Oil 

Rich in essential proteins and omega 3 fatty acids, marula oil is most suitable if you’re suffering from dry skin. It feels light on application while simultaneously providing ample moisture to your skin. 

Essential Oils For Acne-prone skin 

1. Cedarwood Organic Oil

If you’ve been dealing with stubborn acne for a while now, chances are you’ve been advised to stay away from the application of any kind of oil on your face. Applying oil leads to excess secretion of oil and hence increases acne is a myth you’re going to have to toss into the trash today. Cedarwood oil has an acne-fighting formula that can help you get rid of the most stubborn spots. 

2. Tea Tree Oil

Fun Fact: Meghan Markle in a magazine interview once claimed that tea-tree oil was her “little cure-all”. The fact that this miraculous antimicrobial formula fights acne, fungus, dandruff and is royally-approved? There’s a beauty hack that has me sold!

3. Neroli Essential Oil

Another antimicrobial and antifungal wand, neroli essential oil is the safest pick when it comes to acne-prone skin. Besides having anti-oxidising properties, it also has a rich fruity scent that will leave your skin feeling soft and smelling great too! 

Essential Oils For Oily Skin

Again, contrary to the popular belief, people with oily skin need sufficient moisturization too. Some oils work wonders to fix oily skin problems, leaving them soft yet non-greasy. 

1. Grapefruit Oil

Anything that has the word citrus attached to it is most likely going to benefit you if you have oily skin. Besides working wonders to revitalise dull-looking skin, grapefruit oil also helps heal acne. 

2. Organic Orange Oil

Known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, sweet orange oil gives your skin a vitamin-C boost making your skin brighten almost instantly. Its light moisture is just about enough to make it perfect for someone with oily skin. 

FAQs 

1. BB and CC Creams: What's the Difference? 

A BB or “blemish balm” cream is a great multi-tasker in the sense that it acts as a moisturiser, foundation and sometimes even a sunscreen - all in one. So it’s a great alternative if you wish to incorporate the benefits of 3 different products in a single bottle or simply don't want the feel of foundation on your face but still want to look good nonetheless. 

CC, on the other hand, stands for “colour correcting” and is a product used to address issues such as redness or uneven skin tone. While BB creams are lightweight in texture, CC creams tend to be more cakey and opaque. Although the two are marketed to be very different products serving dissimilar purposes, they’re both pretty much the same. 

2. Is Double Cleansing Necessary?

If you want all that gunk and grime completely off your face after a long day’s work, double cleansing works great. As the name suggests, it involves cleansing of your face twice - once with an oil-based cleanser and again with a water-based cleanser. The first one helps take off any makeup, excess oil or dirt from the day and clean your face. The second will cater to your particular skin type and would have ingredients to fight acne, hydrate or exfoliate your skin. (depending on your needs)

3. Does a Cell Phone’s Blue Light Hurt Your Skin?

The long-term exposure to your phone’s blue light can cause skin damage in the form of pigmentation, inflammation or worse - long-term effects like ageing and weakening of the skin.

4. What Is Cleansing Oil?

The whole cleansing oil craze is not unknown to women thanks to social media influencers and all the hype around it. Cleansing oil uses all the “good oils” in your skin to remove the bad ones. The oils present in your skin can be sebum (naturally produced) or ones that come from makeup and other products. After rising if off, the “good oil” takes away the “bad oil” with it. Oil cleansers also contain ample antioxidants and anti-ageing ingredients that amplify the appearance of your skin. The good news is, they can be used by all skin types. 

5. How to Keep Your Face Clean Before and After Your Gym Workout?

A gymnasium is a pretty gross place to be at if you take into consideration all the minute details such as combined sweat and germs of hundreds of people(barf). This makes it important to take extra care of your delicate skin to ensure that no harm is caused. 

Pre Workout

1. Do not wear makeup to the gym. Makeup mixes with sweat and creates an unwanted pore-clogging situation that you’re better off avoiding. 

2. Make sure your hair is tied up and not in your face. Sweat + hair during a workout will only lead to more bad oil clogging the pores on your skin.

Post Workout

1. Wash your face immediately after your workout to remove any sweat residue/bacteria accumulated during the workout. Preferably carry a cleanser to do so. If not, wash your face thoroughly using cold water. 

2. Carry toner pads to wipe off any excess oil or dirt from your skin after washing it.

3. Use a gym towel that doesn’t have many nooks for bacteria to hold on to. New brands have emerged with silver induced towels, specifically for people who workout. These towels possess antimicrobial properties that make it fit for reuse. 

 

6. Does a vegan diet benefit my skin? 

Veganism is a diet that promotes abstinence from any animal product such as meat, dairy or eggs. Going vegan may be beneficial for your skin for the simple reason that restriction of dairy means lesser breakouts and consumption of foods high in antioxidants such as vegetables and fruits will make your skin more radiant.

7. What are some skin care tips to calm redness? 

First off, discontinue every product you’re currently using. (skincare or makeup). Look for lotions with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Licorice extract, Allantoin, Boswellia serrata, Beta-glucan, Centella Asiatica, Salicylic acid and only use these for a while. Stay away from dairy, alcohol and caffeine completely. 

8. Why are fragrance-free products best for everyone? 

It is a matter of concern to many people (or should be) that manufacturers of skincare products can hide a lot of synthetic chemicals in the name of “fragrance” under ingredients. Thousands of chemicals are being ingested and absorbed every single day due to these cover-ups and have resulted in the most number of adverse skin reactions. 

While many fragrances are made to mask the scent of skincare ingredients that don't smell so pleasant, the negative effect of these chemicals outweigh the advantages of natural ingredients. It is hence the best option to select fragrance-free products that your future self will thank you for. 









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