Menstrual Periods have long been looked down upon for all the taboos and all the pains related to it (pun intended). Mothers or grandmas are not so open to talk about it and girls are often left in the lurking, trying to figure out what hormonal changes are taking place in the body. And once you are accustomed to this monthly visitor, it is one factor that makes you so moody for the one week that it stays. Has it ever crossed your mind why?
Apart from all the judgmental opinions and random opinions, a major factor that keeps you at the edge of your patience is the process to deal with menstruation. Sanitary napkins, the itchy and wet feeling are all responsible for your mood to go haywire. Surprisingly, it is all psychological once you get rid of sanitary napkins; and you can check this for a fact, with women who are using menstrual cups.
The downside of sanitary napkins or tampons begins with the chemicals used in them which can be harmful for your body. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is being talked about all around and it is one issue you need to be aware of. It is caused by a bacteria that can be found due to certain types of highly absorbent tampons, in cases of menstruation, and ignored cases can lead to death.
Did you know? Sanitary pads and tampons take hundreds of years to decompose and on an average, one woman leaves behind 17,000 sanitary napkins on the planet. That’s a lot of non-degradable stuff that one woman is responsible for! If this is a fact that made you think about an eco-friendly way to go through periods, then your answer is menstrual cups.
Quick information about the cup:
➔ Menstrual cups are fast picking up pace as favourites in India, while they have been around for almost 10 years in other countries.
➔ The cup is made from absolutely body-friendly silicone that is used in cosmetic surgeries and hence, is safe to be inserted inside the body.
➔ The soft material of the cup is a factor that helps menstruation be easy and is also the reason why it is fairly simple to remove and insert the cup.
➔ It takes about 3-4 cycles to understand the insertion/removal method, to gauge when the cup is full and to get the cup into your period routine.
➔ Once inserted, the cup is safe to be kept inside the body for about 8-10 hours. Except on heavy flow days when you might need to empty it frequently.
All that you want to know about these little cups of joy, is right here. Complete with the pros and cons:
❏ First and foremost, this is the most eco-friendly way to go through menstruation without producing any toxic waste for the planet. Body friendly silicone used for these cups is reusable and can last up to years, unless lost or damaged.
❏ Based on personal experiences, the first change women world over noticed is how hygienic using cups is. No smell, no blood on the outside and no itching. Sterilising the cup before and after use makes sure everything is disinfected, unlike storing unused pads for a longer time and using them when required.
❏ Women also agreed that they got to understand their body better and their comfort level with their own bodies increased.
❏ Pocket-friendly! The cost of the cup is redeemed in one year of its use as it totals up to the money spent on sanitary napkins and tampons in a year. Plus, reusing it for years ahead is more than redeemed!
❏ Can be used while exercising, including swimming!
❏ Sterilising the cup in an emergency can be troublesome. Especially when you’re travelling.
❏ Some women find it uncomfortable to sterilise the cup, in the presence of the whole family.
❏ Some women might not be comfortable with inserting something inside their vagina.
We personally recommend trying to use menstrual cups at least once, and we can vouch for the fact that you wouldn’t want to go back to using sanitary napkins/tampons after that!
Cooking seems absolutely incomplete without the use of spices. Have you ever thought how bland food would be without them? The use of spices in daily life makes it easier to find it at home. And if you’re wondering where we are going with this, we are going to tell you secrets to better skin with spices that are sitting right there in that kitchen cabinet.
This aromatic spice has skin tightening properties, but needs to be used carefully on sensitive skin. Cinnamon has been used since ancient times to get glowing skin and for lightening wrinkles. It is used world over in scrubs since it acts as a good exfoliating agent, which is one of the keys to getting a younger looking skin. All said and done, cinnamon is a strong spice that can be harsh on sensitive skin and hence, it is always advisable to do a skin patch test first.
In India, turmeric tops the list when it comes to beauty. Be it weddings, festivals or grandma’s customised face masks, turmeric has made its presence felt. An antiseptic agent, it is believed to enhance your complexion and fight the signs of ageing. Because of its antiseptic properties, turmeric is also used to treat acne. Turmeric and gram flour mixed with milk or water has been a recipe for flawless skin since ages.
The zesty ginger is packed with the punch of goodness for the skin. Its consumption and application are deemed to be useful for the skin. Ginger juice, overtime, helps fade scars and aids rejuvenation of skin due to its antioxidant properties. It is also the reason why radiant skin is acquired through the use of ginger. The common problem of acne can be fought with this spice that is sitting there in your refrigerator and apparently, this is a good solution especially for people with sensitive skin.
Yes, you read that right, we’re talking about pepper as in black pepper. The hot and spicy one is supposed to be a good scrubbing agent to remove blackheads. Isn’t that great? An inexpensive, homely and non-painful way to remove blackheads! The heat from pepper powder loosens pores on the skin which is why the ease. It is to be mixed with other ingredients and not to be applied on its own, please take note of that.
Fennel is both a spice and a herb used generally as a mouth freshener. Have you ever noticed how it has a cooling effect when you consume it? The cooling quality is what lowers skin irritations when fennel powder is applied on the skin. This powder, mixed with more ingredients, acts as a mask that is responsible for a toned, glowing and flexible skin. Apparently fennel has antioxidant and antiseptic properties that help fight acne and fade their scars too. For a wrinkle free, delicate skin, bring out that fennel from your shelf.
So when it comes to skincare, you now just have to head to the kitchen!
Image source: Wikipedia
Dandruff is an uninvited guest that nobody wants to entertain in any season. Flaky scalp and itchiness are mood spoilers and of course, bad for the hair too. Dandruff is caused by faster shedding of skin cells than what is normal. The causes can be various including psoriasis, stress, skin conditions and more. In most cases, it is none of these but simple ones like unsuitable hair products, dry skin, accumulated grease and the likes.
This is when you should resort to using organic, natural products to eliminate the chances of reactions due to chemicals. One step closer to nature is two steps closer to health, right? Rustic Art’s simple products and a hair care routine can help you deal with dandruff in a much better way. Here’s how:
1. Hair Therapy Gel
Rustic Art’s organic hair therapy gel has the goodness of aloe vera, tea tree, vitamin E and uses natural preservatives for a product that is completely organic and vegan. Aloe vera is known for its antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It also helps retain moisture and hence, proves useful in dandruff treatments. The gel is effective in preventing dandruff while also being able to treat itchy scalp due to the same; apart from being helpful in conditions like head lice, psoriasis, baldness and cradle cap. Our gel helps promote hair pigmentation, repairs clogged hair follicles and aids shiny-bouncy hair.
2. Nourishing Hair Oil
Traditional hair oil massage and leaving it overnight has been advised since many years by grandmothers and mothers alike. Fenugreek, henna, sesame oil, hibiscus, curry leaves, amla and bhringraj are just a few ingredients that have been applied for better hair since times immemorial. Our organic hair oil is an amalgam of these and a lot more ingredients with deep nourishing properties. This oil is suitable for all hair types and regular massages help cure dandruff overtime.
3. Herbal Shampoo
Cleaning your scalp is an essential when it comes to dandruff as accumulation of hair follicles can be one of the reasons for it. Rustic Art’s herbal shampoo helps clean the scalp well with ingredients like wheat protein and wild rose, that also strengthen your hair.
Deeply nourishing conditioner that helps hair stay healthy while providing strength to the roots. With favourable ingredients like avocado butter, coconut milk and green tea, this conditioner detangles and protects the hair against damage, making it bouncy and lustrous.
No more itchy scalp and greasy hair, dandruff prevention and control is now quite easy!
Often, we are confused as to what is the difference between natural and organic. Also, many of us do not understand if herbal and Ayurvedic products are same as natural products or are they something else?
We cannot easily differentiate between all these terms and it is even more confusing since their meaning often over laps. Below is a simplified classification of all of these categories of products so that you can make an informed choice and know what you are opting for!
What are they made of?
Herbal products are made of plant extracts, plant roots, leaves, etc and used as per their properties.
The word herbal is derived from the mediaeval Latin liber herbalis (“book ofherbs”)
Are they completely natural?
Herbal products are free of chemicals. However, pesticides may have been used in their growing.
What are they made of?
Ayurveda is medicinal science which includes use of herbs as well as heavy metals like gold, silver, copper, tin, mercury, sulphur, animal extracts, etc.
Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit word Āyurveda which means ‘life-knowledge’;
Are they completely natural?
Ayurveda products may contain toxic levels of metals, etc.
Natural products are made from plants and minerals that occur in nature and have not been produced in a laboratory and are not man made. However, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc might have been used to enhance their growth.
Generally speaking, a product claiming to be natural is free of common chemicals such as artificial fragrances, colorants, preservatives, and other synthetic additives.
How to check?
To understand if a product is natural, check its detailed ingredient list.
What do certifications mean?
There is no regulation on the word ‘natural’. A product being claimed as natural may have as low as 1% natural ingredients.
Organic products are also made from natural ingredients but they are grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program, organic is “a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”
Generally, organic products do not contain any genetically modified ingredients or petrochemicals. Unless required by law, organic products do not undergo any animal testing and are minimallly processed.
How to check?
Check for certifications on the product to know if it’s organic.
What do certifications mean?
Labelled ‘made with organic ingredients’, it implies the product is made with at least 70% organic ingredients.
Very often, we hear from parents who are looking for ‘tear free’ soap for their baby. Their argument is – if your products are organic / natural, why do they hurt my baby’s eyes? This must imply that your products have chemicals.
While this might sound like a valid assumption, the truth is quite the opposite. We are addressing this issue here in a simple question answer format for your easy reference:
My kid’s eyes burn with your soap!Is it normal?
Burning in the eyes due to any ‘natural’ soap is normal because of its pH level. Eyes are sensitive to pH.
How does pH effect my baby?
The pH of eyes is close to 7. The pH of skin and hair is 4.5 to 6. pH balance in soap and shampoo implies pH matching the pH of baby’s skin and hair, that is 4.5 to 6 (which is the pH in Rustic Art baby products.)
Hence, when the soap/shampoo come in contact with the eyes, the eyes react to the difference in pH and the baby feels irritation.
How do other companies have a ‘no more tear’ formula?
Many companies claim that their products cause ‘zero irritation’ in eyes. Which essentially means that they add synthetic surfactants to mask the irritation. This also implies that these synthetic surfactants also come in contact with the baby’s skin, hair and more importantly – eyes. In fact, it is suggested that the babies use regular soaps and shampoos so that you know when the soap is getting into their eyes. A soap is not meant to come in contact with the eyes and if it does, you must wash it out with water. When a baby complains of irritation in the eye, you know that the soap has seeped into the eyes and you can rinse it immediately. With a ‘no more tear’ formula, you will never know if those synthetic soaps are sitting in your baby’s eyes. Incidentally – the pH of distilled water is 7 – same as that of eyes.
Yes! There’s a big difference between soap and bathing bar that is available in the market. Next time when you are visiting a super market, notice what’s written on most of the labels in the ‘bathing soap’ rack. Chances are, they will be called ‘beauty bars’, ‘bathing bars’, ‘moisturizing bar’, et al. Read here to find out how these products are different from a soap!
How many soaps are packaged as luxury bars or bathing bars or simple as a bar instead of being sold or marketed as a soap? Have you ever wondered at this discrepancy? Next time you go to a supermarket, check out the labeling of you favorite soaps. I remember one right now – Dove which is called a beauty bar.
What is a Soap?
Soap is a product which is formed by the process of ‘saponification’ which includes the reaction between an alkali and an oil. When this reaction takes place, glycerin is formed as a byproduct and is present in the soap itself and gives the soap its moisturizing property. So, the ultimate product called ‘soap’ is actually a salt. The alkali used in soap making is called lye or Sodium Hydroxide. Lye is reacted with either Coconut Oil (it makes for a hard and lathering soap) or Olive Oil (which makes a mild soap). Now, when a soap is made, it needs a month or two months time to ‘cure’ to complete the process of saponification after which the soap is ready to be used.
These soaps are actually full of fatty acids and the cleansing action is that some of the molecules repel dirt and some molecules get attracted to dirt and that’s how the soap separates and cleanses. So, the molecules which attract dirt get washed off and molecules which repel dirt stay on our bodies and keep it moisturized. If you have ever used a soap which is made of lye, it is extremely gentle on the skin, doesn’t let your skin dry out and keeps your skin smooth and soft. These are some characteristics of soap which you do not generally find the counter-products sold as soaps.
Are the Bars available in the market Soaps?
Well, actually no. For one, I hardly remember any soap having Sodium Hydroxide in their ingredients list. Well, I do read my ingredients list and when I had read about this soap making, I had checked out many soaps in the market to find one true soap. No success there. And, second, I have read somewhere that the companies remove the glycerin content of their soaps or manufacture their soaps through some other method and that is why the soaps have SLS and such surfactants as their ingredients. And, finally , do you think it will be profitable for companies to keep soaps for 2 months on the shelf to let them ‘cure’?
So what you you like to pick the next time you are buying bathing accessories – a soap or a beauty bar?!
– This post was originally published on Perfect Skin Care for You, a popular blog on beauty and skin care by Swati Murti.
You might wonder why organic products are expensive when they are free of artificial ingredients and any chemicals. There are various factors (organic certification, taxes at par with mass produced goods, eco-packing, etc etc) that have pushed the price high but at the same time the utility and usability of the products has increased too (We have used our bio-laundry soap as a bathing soap and results were ‘glowing’!)
It’s the irony of life that to live a life how nature intended us to, we have to pay a price. But we want you to get rid of that thought and make the best use of organic products for your benefit.
Organic Soaps: Our organic soaps contain ingredients such as Corn Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Pungama Oil, Jojoba Oil, D Aloe Vera, essential oils, etc and natural glycerin. The presence of natural glycerin makes the soap moisturizing and also very solvent. Hence, they need to be kept away from water as much as possible. If used in the right way by one person everyday, it can last for as long as 45 to 60 days.
How to use?: While using Organic Bathing Soaps, rub your wet palm over the bar and then apply on skin instead of rubbing the bar on the skin. It lathers sufficiently and lasts longer. Keep away from water and store in a cool dry place.
Shampoo: Our shampoos are free of preservatives such as midazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl, isothiazolinone and sodium benzoate and also free of surfactants such as SLS, SLeS. Thus, when you take a coin size quantity of our shampoo (which is much thicker in consistency than regular shampoos), it is concentrated ‘shampoo’ that is sufficient to clean your hair completely. What’s more – you don’t need a conditioner after using it.
How to use?: Just take a coin size quantity on wet palm, mix it with some water, and massage on hair. It will lather sufficiently and cleanse properly. If hair is oiled, you might repeat, depending on your hair type. For excessively dry hair, add a few drops of coconut oil in the shampoo and water mixture before application. For oily hair, replace oil with a few drops of lemon juice.
Body Lotions: Our various lotions are based on Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Vegetable Glycerin Blended Essential Oil, etc. These are all naturally moisturizing elements that your skin loves! Thus a small quantity of our lotions is concentrated moisturizer that is thick in consistency. They are packed in a convenient pump bottle.
How to use? Just three sprays are enough for hands and legs. They keep your skin moisturized for an entire day. If you skin is excessively dry, you may apply twice in a day.
Laundry Powder: Our laundry range is highly concentrated pH balanced detergent with lemon and neem extracts. They are free of fillers, foam boosters, chemical whiteners, bleachers, etc. These additives form 50% of the quantity in regular laundry powders. Thus, you need only half the quantity when using natural, concentrated detergents.
How to use? Use half the quantity that you use of regular detergents for a given number of clothes.
Similarly, all natural, handmade and organic products are to be used in lesser quantities to extract the most out of them.
If you have any specific questions regarding use of any of our products, please feel free to mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org