17 Aug 2019


Best Cruelty Free Charcoal Products : Head to Toe

Hello everyone,

Today I am going to write a much awaited collection. Everyone knows how amazing activated charcoal is. It was quite a rage some time back and everything from toothpaste to face wash claimed to have it in it. But what is so great about activate charcoal and how is even charcoal activated? Read on to know:

When carbon is treated with oxygen, the treatment results in highly porous charcoal. These tiny holes increases the surface area of the carbon, allowing liquids and gases to pass through and interact with exposed carbon. This carbon is capable of absorbing a wide range of impurities and contaminants. Thus the oxygenated carbon, also called activated charcoal or activated carbon is basically small, black, porous sponge. Non cosmetically and more popularly it is used in water filters, medicines that selectively remove toxins and in chemical purification process. It is also a substance given to poison victims to reduce the ill effects of poisoning.

Apart from that, charcoal has many more benefits. It helps whiten teeth, digestive cleansing, reduces gas and bloating, anti ageing and treats alcohol poisoning.

In this list, I have listed best charcoal products for all your needs. I have listed good, cruelty free and affordable hair cleansers, masks, body cleanser, face washes, face packs and even a tooth powder. This will be your go to list for all your charcoal needs.

Here we are with the best charcoal products that you can buy in a budget in India that are cruelty free:

A. Cleansers

1.  Aloeveda Activated Charcoal Face Wash: 
Brand Claims: This purifying face wash contains suspended activated charcoal, lemon essential oil, panthenol and niacinamide among other ingredients. This is a sulphate free face wash recommended for all skin types. It is paraben free and soap free formula.
Price: Rs. 210 for 100ml.
Cruelty Free: Yes, as per their website.
Availability: easily available online

2. Mamaearth Charcoal Face Wash: 
Brand Claims: Mamaearth’s SLS & Paraben free Charcoal Face Wash contains activated charcoal to gently draw out dirt, impurities, micro particles and make up, leaving skin clean and fresh. Clay deeply penetrates pores removing excess oil from skin without causing irritation. Coffee revitalizes the skin by removing dead skin cells. It is dermatologically tested and pH balanced. It leaves skin feeling soft and smooth and contains no harmful chemicals like SLES, sulfates, phthalates or artificial fragrance.
Price: Rs. 249 for 100ml.
Cruelty Free: Yes, as per their website.
Availability: Easily available online. Available in some offline stores too.

B. Scrub:

3. Tvakh Activated Charcoal Oil Control Exfoliating Scrub
Brand Claims: This oil control exfoliating scrub is designed with activated charcoal that gently exfoliated your skin, improves dull skin and reduces sebum. It is a mild sulfate free cleanser containing Calendula (Kills the Acne bacteria), Amla (Natural source of Vit C) and Orange peel (AHA Derivative) that exfoliates the skin deeply, leaving it smoother.
Price: Rs.425 for 100ml.
Cruelty Free: Yes. As per alternativecurator.com
Availability: Easily available online.

C. Face Masks: Mostly activated charcoal is used in face masks for its detoxifying properties. These are my picks from the huge list.

4. Raw Beauty Detox and Restore with Spirulina, Brahmi and Charcoal Mask
A clarifying mask which will keep acne at bay by unclogging your pores and creating unfriendly environment for bacteria. It sooths inflamed skin and nourishes skin with phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy skin. It rejuvenates and repairs skin and reverses sun damage. It reduces environmental stress and doesn't dehydrate skin. It is a multi utility product that can be used on your scalp too.
Price: Rs.700 for 85gms.
Cruelty Free: Totally cruelty free.
Availability: You need to DM raw beauty on instagram to order. COD not available.

5. R Zizhi Mother Earth Clay Mask
R Zizhi's mother earth clay mask tightens the pores, evens out the skin tone, detoxifies and remineralizes the skin. The main component is bentonite clay which is also knows as volcanic ash. Its detox capability helps you fight the summer heat. It comes with a set of instructions that has to be followed. After application you cannot apply or have any chemical based products.
Price: Rs.600 for 100gms.
Cruelty Free: Totally.
Availability: DM R Zizhi on instagram to buy.

6. Juicy Chemistry Tea Tree, Charcoal & Bentonite Clay Organic Face Mask
A boon for troubled skin, this JC charcoal mask will draw out pore-clogging muck while tea-tree oil will act as an anti-septic. Peppermint oil rejuvenates your skin, and ground almonds exfoliate leaving your skin clean and trouble-free. Together all these ingredients will make your masking ritual fun and satisfying.
Price: Rs.450 for 25gms.
Cruelty Free: Yes.
Availability: Easily available offline.

7. Neemli Activated Charcoal Detox Face Mask
Neemli's Activated Charcoal Detox Face Mask is a deep pore detoxifying face mask which cleanses and brightens skin complexion along with balancing the skin’s excessive production thus relieving acne prone skin. The combination of Activated Charcoal and Multani Mitti helps draw impurities while gently hydrating skin. This face mask is hand pounded and is concentrated thus which requires very little at a time. The clay is sourced from different locations for their amazing and unique characteristics.
Price: Rs.725 for 75gm
Cruelty Free: Yes and 100% vegan.
Availability: Easily available online.

8. Greenie Mill Charcoal, Lavender and Rhassoul Clay Mask
This detoxifying and purifying face pack contains rhassoul clay, oats, aloe vera powder, kaolin clay, lavender buds, tea tree oil, sweet basil oil, thyme oil, lavender oil. It is a much raved product that will work hard to keep those acne at bay.
Price: Rs.215 for 50gms.
Cruelty Free: Yes
Availability: Easily available offline.

9. The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
This 100% vegan clay mask from The Body Shop will revive your skin and make it oh so soft. It contains green tea leaves, bamboo charcoal and organic tea tree oil as the main ingredients. It is devoid of parabens, mineral oil, paraffin and silicones. This invigorating mask redefines and refines pores and draws out impurities to bring out the healthy skin.
Price: Rs.1895 for 75ml tub.
Cruelty Free: Yes, leaping bunny certified.
Availability: Easily available online and offline.

10. Mamaearth C3 Face Mask
Mamaearth C3 face mask removes all the impurities from the skin and unmasks the glowing skin beneath. First 'C' Activated charcoal gets rids of excess oil. Second 'C' Coffee exfoliates dead skin cells. Third 'C' Kaolin clay attacks on acne and keep them away while bentonite clay, also called Volcanic Ash treats scars. It is dermatologically tested and free from sulfates, paraben, silicones, SLS, PEGs, animal derived ingredients and synthetic fragrances.
Price: Rs.599 for 100ml.
Cruelty Free: Yes, as per their website.
Availability: Easily available offline.

D. Hair Cleansers: Switching to shampoo bars is one of the best and easiest things you can do for the environment. Packaged without plastic, these shampoo bars are a must try.

11. Juicy Chemistry Plantain, Bamboo & Charcoal Organic Dry Shampoo
We all, especially us girls, know how difficult is to wash hair sometimes. When you are getting late for work, you need something which instantly refreshes your scalp and reduces the grease. Well. here is the solution to your needs. JC's Plantain & Bamboo Charcoal Dry Shampoo saves you from a bad hair day and also nourishes and manages your scalp health. It promotes hair growth, balances oil production and reduces itchiness. Say bye bye to dirty hair days.
Price: Rs.750 for 110gm.
Cruelty Free: Yes
Availability: Easily available offline.

E. Body Cleansers: I love using handmade soaps and these are some of the best.

12. Nytarra Activated Charcoal and Dead Sea Mud Soap
This cold process soap contains a beautiful blend of Coconut Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Soya Bean Oil, Shea Butter & Castor Oil. It is suitable for acne prone or oily skin. Activated Charcoal’s anti-bacterial properties not only kills germs but also exfoliates your skin. Banish blemishes and toxins, and give your skin a smooth texture. This soap is great for an all over skin detox. The mud found around Dead Sea is actually therapeutic. Symptoms of skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema and acne can be controlled by using Dead Sea mud. Its rich mineral content accelerates natural exfoliation and restores your skin’s pH balance. The strong antibacterial properties of Tea Tree Oil can help to reduce the causes of swelling and irritation of the skin. It can help ease discomfort caused by psoriasis thanks to its anti-bacterial properties.⠀
Price: Rs.200 for a bar of 100gms.
Cruelty Free: Yes
Availability: DM Nytarra to buy.

13. Neemli Activated Charcoal Detox Bathing Bar
Activated charcoal has always been a critical ingredient in Ayurveda. Its high absorption makes it especially useful to draw impurities and toxins deeply from our pores. The soothing Rhassoul Clay nourishes and reduces breakouts by regulating oil production. The Anti Microbial Tea Tree Essential Oil fights acne and fungal infections. Each bar is handcrafted and cured for 28 days before they are ready to be used. No added fragrance, only pure essential oils. Each soap is made in small batched in India.
Price: Rs.425 for a bar of 75gms.
Cruelty Free: Yes, and 100% vegan.
Availability: Easily available offline.

14. Kaira Naturals Lavender and Charcoal Handmade Soap
Made with skin loving pure oils, this clarifying, nourishing and soothing soap is scented with pure essential oils. It lathers well and can be used by all skin types.
Price: Rs.595 for a bar of 110gms.
Cruelty Free: Yes
Availability: DM Kaira Naturams to place order. COD not available.

15. Juicy Chemistry Australian Sandalwood, Hemp & Charcoal – Organic Soap For Black Heads & Acne Prone Skin
This detoxifying face abd body cleanser is the perfect remedy for your pesky marks, blackheads and acne, including B(ack)acne. This is the perfect bath remedy for healthy and beautiful skin. Charcoal will draw out pore-clogging dirt from deep within while Neroli soothes and calms irritated skin. Frankincense helps regenerate skin cells, leaving your skin clean and  nourished.
Price: Rs. 600 for 90gms
Cruelty Free: Yes
Availability: Easily available online.

F. Tooth Powder: Though this is not a skincare product, but it is such a magical product that no list about activated charcoal can be complete without it.

16. Raw Beauty Chamkeela
This tooth powder is non abrasive, teeth whitening and removes stains and plaque. It reduces sensitivity and improves gum health. It is anti-bacterial and remineralizes the mouth. It contains himalayan rock salt, activated charcoal, turmeric, clove and cinnamon powder.
Price: Rs.390 for 100gms.
Cruelty Free: Absolutely
Availability: DM @rawbeauty2018 on instagram to order. COD not available.

What is your favorite charcoal product?

Disclaimer: The pictures have been taken from the brand's Instagram page or their website or from my Instagram page.

About the author
Meenal is a freelance content writer, skincare enthusiast, minimalist and a Chartered Accountant. She works in her CA Firm and also writes for her page tigersowl.wordpress.com. She is obsessed with skincare and is totally honest with her opinions.

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9 Aug 2019

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Forest Essentials Kashmiri Saffron and Neem Delicate Facial Cleanser Review

Forest Essentials is a luxury Ayurvedic brand, I always wanted to try out something from their range. They have really good range of ubtans, fragrances and bath products. When I was going through their products, Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser caught my attention. When I saw the smaller variant, I immediately bought it.

Each skin type is different and products work differently on different skin types. I would like to describe my skin type before jumping into the review. I have combination, acne prone and sensitive skin which turns out very dry during winters and oily during humid weather.

The Goodness
Forest Essentials Kashmiri Saffron and Neem Delicate Facial Cleanser has some really good botanical extracts like marigold flower, kumud flower, anatmool root, honey, rose and some more.
Glycerine, honey and rose play major role in providing adequate moisture to skin.
Neem, nagkesar and saffron have antibacterial properties. These natural ingredients not only purify the skin but make skin glow from within.

Texture and Fragrance
Forest Essentials Kashmiri Saffron and Neem Delicate Facial Cleanser has amazing calming fragrance. FE is famous for its cult fragrances. This cleanser has saffron infused sweet fragrance which I absolutely love. It is a treat to your skin. It has a nice pale orange colour and the texture is on runny side.

My Experience
I take 2-3 drops of Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser in my palm, take a few drops of water and make lather in my palms. I then use this soft lather on my wet face. I massage it for a while and rinse it off. I used it in following conditions and here is what I found out:

Summer/Monsoon/Humid weather
Morning - Perfect as a morning cleanser. It leaves my skin clean and soft without stripping off any moisture.
Night - I find it very mild and not effective in taking off remaining residue of first cleanser – which is emulsifying cleansing oil

Strips off moisture from skin and makes it dry in either of the morning/night routines

It doesn’t lather much and a little goes long way. 2-3 drops are enough to to make lather which covers face and neck. I have been using it as a morning cleanser currently and so far enjoying it. I love its fragrance more than anything. In any case, I did not feel any irritation. It is a gentle cleanser.

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser comes in a sturdy plastic bottle with the classic golden screw cap. There is a hole inside so you can dispense the desired amount of cleanser. It is leak proof and travel friendly.
Please note that packaging of full size version is different. The full size version comes with pump dispenser.

Brand Claims and Ingredients
Forest Essentials gives a list of key ingredients only not the full list.
Forest Essentials claims that this cleanser cleanses the skin without stripping moisture, purifies and adds natural glow to skin.

Price, Availability, Shelf Life
325 INR for 50ml | 1250 INR for 200ml, easily available on Forest Essentials online/offline store, amazon and on other shopping portals. 12 months after opening, 2 years shelf life

Does it fulfil the claims?
In any condition, I did not notice any glow to skin. Also, it is not effective in taking off excess oil or impurities from skin. It works same as any gel/liquid cleanser works, nothing go special except the delicate scent. Forest Essentials Kashmiri Saffron and Neem Delicate Facial Cleanser does not irritate the skin in any condition which is a big plus.

Forest Essentials Delicate Facial Cleanser - Kashmiri Saffron & Neem variant is a good option for normal to combination skin as a morning cleanser. If you are using it as a night time cleanser or second or stand alone cleanser, I would not recommend it as I find it very mild. If you want to try out anything from Forest Essentials, I would highly recommend you to visit the FE store and get pampered. The staff is very cooperative in giving you live demo of products. Why not to experience the products before purchasing! I hope you liked this review. Have you tried anything from Forest Essentials or are eyeing anything? I would love to know those in below comments.

Author bio
Hiral is a crazy skincare enthusiast. She loves finding and supporting sustainable and effective skincare products especially the small businesses owned by women. She runs her own blog Pepilio where she shares every bit of her skincare love.
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4 Aug 2019

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Juicy Chemistry Frankincense and Hemp Seed Oil Review

I’ve been wanting to try out Juicy Chemistry products for the longest time but never got around to it because I didn’t know what to get from their huge range. A fellow blogger recommended this facial oil when I messaged her about how much I was suffering from breakouts and acne scars. So, today, I’m going to be reviewing the Juicy Chemistry Frankincense and Hemp Seed Oil.

Juicy Chemistry Frankincense and Hemp Seed Oil

This 10ml bottle retails for ₹650. They also offer a 30ml bottle for ₹1650. The product claims to prevent acne, fight acne, heal and rejuvenate the skin. It is suitable for acne prone, combination, oily and normal skin types according to their website. As an added bonus, all products from Juicy Chemistry are vegan, cruelty-free and certified organic. You can purchase their products from the Juicy Chemistry website, Nykaa, Purplle and Myntra.

The ingredients include Frankincense essential oil, Hemp Seed oil, Argan oil, Sacha Inchi oil, Safflower oil and Tea-Tree essential oil among others.

Let’s talk about my experience.
About 4-5 months ago, I realized I was suffering from hormonal acne and because I just couldn’t stop picking at it, it would spread all over my face and I had to go through this ‘crazy acne phase’ for about 2 months before I got a chance to try this out. Nothing was working and I was desperately hoping this would be a solution. I only use a single drop and spot treat the active acne and with whatever is left over, apply all over my face during my night time skincare routine. The first week or so, I noticed a couple of bumps in new areas on my face. I was hoping this was just my skin adjusting to the product and it was! It was uphill from the second week, I noticed the huge pimples reduce size and new ones that appeared were gone pretty much the next day. I forgot to pack this on my trip to Dubai, and I regretted it so much!

The serum smells like turmeric and applies like a light oil. It does tingle sometimes, but it goes away pretty quickly. It does not feel greasy or sticky. It not only tackles acne but overall just makes the skin look radiant and minimizes large pores. I don’t think it helps much with acne scarring as much as it does with its prevention. It’s a very user-friendly serum and I am so glad I tried this. I am in love with this product and I probably will get the bigger size next time around.

I would highly recommend this product with anyone suffering from acne or acne prone, oily-combo skin. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for someone with sensitive skin. It’s not terribly expensive for what it offers, in my opinion and one bottle will last you for a long time. So next time when you’re looking for an acne control product, look no further!

That’s it! I hope this was informative, let me know in the comments below! <3

Hrithika Sathish is a content creator primarily on Instagram and YouTube but also runs her blog thehdose. She is currently pursuing a degree in Business Economics while also creating beauty, fashion and makeup related photo and video content. Her love for photography inspired her to start her Instagram (@thehdose) where she features some of her food and nature photography too. She is also an advocate for body positivity and inclusivity.
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3 Aug 2019

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7 Best Oatmeal Face Mask Recipes To Try Out Now

Oatmeal is known as a popular breakfast option whereas many also know it as one of the favorite ingredients being used in skincare DIYs. Oatmeal face mask or a cleanser can not only help curb acne for oily skin but also soothe and cure a dry or irritated skin. Such versatility of the oatmeal is due to the saponins contained in them which has immense Cleansing properties. Along with it's protein and lipids rich content, oatmeal has great emollient properties too. If you have sensitive skin then finely powdered oatmeal can only be the blessing in disguise to be used as an exfoliator.

Now that we are aware of the benefits and versatility of the oatmeal let's check Oatmeal Face Mask Recipes. Except the last three recipes , all other recipes can be used by all skin types including sensitive skin.

Oatmeal Rose Face Mask

Rose petals powder has soothing and brightening properties. So when Oatmeal is coupled with rose petals powder as a face mask one can just expect the results to be stupendous and super hydrating.

  • 1 part oatmeal fine powder
  • 1 part rose petals powder
  • Rose water/milk/curd for mixing

Oatmeal Soothing Face Mask

Oatmeal in itself is soothing for the skin. However sensitive skin can sometimes even demand more than that. So you can make a face mask out of Chamomile and Lavender flowers.

1 part oatmeal fine powder
1/2 tbsp lavender flowers finely grounded
1/2 tbsp chamomile flowers finely grounded
Plain water to mix

Oatmeal Almond Face Mask

Oatmeal in itself isn't drying but some may feel the need for a moisturizing face mask. The oatmeal almond face mask is perfect as a moisturizing face mask for dry skin.

  • 1 part each oatmeal and almond fine powder mixed with lukewarm water.

Oatmeal Brightening Face Mask

What's better then coupling the soothing properties of oatmeal with the brightening effects of wild turmeric? Wild turmeric has amazing lightening as well as brightening properties so they help reduce acne marks or pigmentation when used regularly.

  • 1 part each oatmeal and almond fine powder 
  • 1 pinch of wild turmeric
  • Mix with lukewarm water

Oatmeal Charcoal Face Mask

Nothing can beat this ultimate mask for oily and acne prone skin. Charcoal has adsorbent properties whereas as tea tree add in the mask helps beat the zits.

  • 1 tablespoon oatmeal powder
  • 1 pinch of activated charcoal powder
  • 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
  • Mix all the ingredients well and add water to make a mask.

Oatmeal Antibacterial Face Mask

Oily or combination acne prone skin needs extra care so as not to dry the skin while drying out the acne. Neem and basil both have amazing anti bacterial properties which help in curbing the acne as well as providing tender loving care.

  • 1 teaspoon oatmeal finely powdered
  • 1/4 teaspoon neem powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil powder
  • Mix with lukewarm water and apply as a mask

Oatmeal Clay Cleanser Cum Face Mask

Clay has amazing detoxifying and clarifying properties. Rhassoul Clay works best for blackheads too. So combining the oatmeal as well as rhassoul clay is a dream cleanser for oily skin.

  • One part each oatmeal finely powdered and rhassoul clay. 
  • You can add any of your favorite carrier oil such as Jojoba (few drops) or any essential oil (one drop). Mix in water and apply as a mask and wash off after 15 minutes.
So that's all for the post of today. Do let us know if you have any queries regarding the recipes or let us know if you try out any of them.
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1 Aug 2019

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Dot and Key Zit Zapping Skin Clarifying Serum Review

Today am going to review the Dot and Key Zit Zapping Skin Clarifying Serum which I had received in the first week of July. As stated in my previous blog posts, I haven't experienced cystic acne in the month of June and July. All I was experiencing was small zits here and there, no specific area, anywhere forehead or chin. As soon as I thought of testing theses new serums launched by Dot and Key, my skin was like let me help you a bit 😭. I experienced two cystic acne on my left cheek and then I started testing the Dot and Key Zit Zapping Skin Clarifying Serum. Let's see the details of the review

Brand Claims and Ingredients

Packaging, Texture and Fragrance 
The serum is housed in a green, opaque, thick plastic bottle with a white dropper. The bottle has an inner rubber lining. The consistency of the product is a little thick but non runny. The product has a sharp note of clary sage and the fragrance isn't bothering to the nose as it is extremely non lingering. I don't understand the addition of Parfum to the product when the brand claims to be a clean brand.

My experience
The serum has an opaque, thick yet slimy texture as stated before. As soon as you apply it on the skin it gets absorbed really quick neither with a greasy feeling nor a watery feeling. I really like the absorbing quality of the serum. It sinks into the skin like there is no tomorrow. After some seconds you won't even feel like you have applied something and yet get smooth and plump skin ( dream come true, right?)

Now coming to the efficiency, I had two cystic acne on my left cheek, one was under the skin and yet to develop and another one was half way through up the skin. I applied the serum for two days (twice a day) and the one under the skin didn't even get a chance to come up through the skin. The cystic acne flattened without leaving a considerable mark. The other one had little effect on it and was flattened a bit with regular usage as a spot treatment for one week.

Initially I applied the serum to the whole face when I had two cystic acne, but now a days am using it a spot treatment as and when zits appear. The reason for this is the price tag of the product, the quantity offered and the amount I end up using each time. I have already finished 1/3 of my serum and if I use it regularly (given that I use a lot of amount for one use) the serum will finish off in one month.

I am surprised at the effects the serum had on my under the skin cystic acne. Although I do get one or two zits here and there and they were visibly flattened with spot treatment rather than a full face treatment. So overall speaking the serum is a good option to tackle under the skin cystic acne and small zits.

Price, Shelf Life and Availability - 895 INR for 30 ml with a shelf life of 3 years. Dot and Key Zit Zapping Skin Clarifying Serum is available on Dot and Key website, Amazon.in, Nykaa.com

I would recommend the Dot and Key Zit Zapping Skin Clarifying Serum as a good option to tackle under the skin cystic acne and small zits. However it takes a lot to time to reduce the size of already matured cystic acne and some big to moderate size ones. Also I use it as a spot treatment keeping in mind the quantity and cost of the product. However if you are ok with splurging some bucks then the product already gives good results as a full face treatment and you can go ahead and flatten your cystic acne sooner than thought.
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