We love our products, but this routine is almost entirely free of them and somehow that feels… blissful and exquisite. We can thank the resourceful Gayatri and her grandmother’s Ayurvedic wisdom for this one!
Age: 23 years
City: New Delhi
Weather: Delhi has two extremes – steaming summers and woeful winters. Currently, winter is rearing its chilly head.
Skin: Stubborn and flighty. My skin changes with seasons. I’m Vata and my skin is mostly dry, flaky and prone to premature ageing. During summers, it becomes quite oily for some days. It chills during monsoons in its usual dry state but winters, oh dear lord. My skin hates me during winters. My skin can also become extremely dull, and this happens in all seasons. It’s sallow, sad, miserable looking and more lackluster than the Joey-Rachel romance angle in Friends. But I still love my skin. When it wants to glow, it is luminescent. I don’t have blemishes, acne marks, nada. When I’m happy, it’s happy too.
Hair: Limp, fine and thin. Like my skin, when I’m happy, hair is happy but when I’m sad my hair is very very sad.
Star from the past: Maharani Gayatri Devi. Exquisite, just exquisite. And she was into heritage conservation.
Why did I go clean? Because I was tired. I was tired of wasting tons of money on products that didn’t work. I’m a consultant for a non-profit and earn quite well, but I can’t afford to either buy international brands or glitzy Ayurvedic brands like Forest Essentials for all my beauty products—mostly because I would rather use that money to buy books or be cheated at handicraft saree exhibitions. Very few Indian brands are completely clean. So, what could I do? I went back to my grandmother’s Ayurvedic secrets. I mostly put food on my face. It works brilliantly and is free (because I steal all my beauty supplies from when I visit my parents every weekend. I work for a non-profit. Stealing is allowed.) But I’m not a super-duper DIY-er. If I can’t put it in one jar and shake it up, I’m not making it.
In the morning…
I cleanse my face with raw milk and brush with a tooth powder from a brand called Nirvaaha. Actually, a twig from a Neem tree is supposed to be really good for cleaning teeth, but I’m too chicken for that. I’m mustering up the courage for oil pulling.
In the shower…
Sometimes, when I wake up early and have time, I do Abhyangha with either sesame or almond oil. During winters, I do it almost every day. I wash my body with an ubtan consisting of chickpea flour, wild turmeric, sandalwood, orange peel powder, mint powder, rice powder, neem powder, fuller’s earth and almond powder. This is an extremely gentle bath powder. Even natural soaps dry out my skin a lot and ubtan is super moisturizing when you mix it with milk. I wash my face with a mixture of oatmeal, neem powder, and almond powder. When I’m in the mood, I mix cane sugar, lemon juice, olive oil and exfoliate. On my lucky weekends, my mom gives me grated coconut. I eat half on my way back and the rest I use in a scrub.
My hair turns oily and limp very fast but I don’t want to shampoo it every morning so I clean it with an age-old recipe using amla, ritha and shikakai. If my hair feels dry, I mix in a little Vitamin E oil but otherwise I don’t really need to condition. I use boiled neem water as a hair rinse. I oil my hair at least twice a week and here’s where I have a problem. I can’t find a clean shampoo that lathers enough to remove the oil. I currently use Soultree’s Triphala shampoo but I need to wash my hair thrice to remove the oil. I really need recommendations for nice shampoos that lather. I don’t mind if it’s an expensive international brand because I save more than enough on beauty products. Sometimes I make a hair mask with hibiscus powder, brahmi, neem powder and mix it with yoghurt or egg. The egg stinks so make sure you don’t have a date that night.
Outside the shower…
I use rice water as a toner. During summer, I use coconut milk as a face and body moisturizer. In winters, I use milk cream on my face. It smells funny but it is the only thing that makes my skin fall back in love with me. And it gives an amazing glow. On my body, I use a mixture of oils—apricot kernel oil, rosehip seed oil and vitamin E oil. When I’m out, I use Forest Essentials Absolute Rose face mist. It’s my one indulgence. Did I tell you how puurtty the bottle is?
If my hair is frizzy, I use aloe vera gel to smooth it down. I buy Rustic Art’s Aloe Vera Gel which has green tea extracts and the packaging is so fancy. For my lips and eyes, I use ghee (clarified butter). It really has smoothed down the fine wrinkles I had and my lips are so soft. For dark circles, I dip cotton wool in rose water, cucumber juice and potato juice and use that as an eye mask. A traditional Ayurvedic mask I use includes saffron, majistha, lodhra, red sandalwood and licorice. I use egg white and tamarind pulp often. You may think that I’m smell like an Indian sweet shop but I don’t. I mix rose or lavender EO with all my concoctions so I smell more like a flowerbed. That’s what I think.
I don’t use a deodorant. I don’t sweat or stink much. Honestly. The EOs are more than well enough. But I do use a hair perfume. In a corner of one of Delhi’s prettiest markets, I found a lady who makes these cones with charcoal, myrhh, and essential oils of your choice. You light one of these cones and hold it under your hair and the smell is intoxicating. For sunscreen, I use Aroma Magic’s Sunblock SPF 30 PA+++.
I don’t use much makeup. I use Soultree’s kajal. I use beetroot juice as lip treatment so they’re a nice pink shade.
Thanks for sharing this inspiring routine, Gayatri! Have any of you tried similar Ayurvedic treatments? What are your favorites?
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
I then put on my cozy plaid robe and have some oatmeal and green tea while snuggling with my cat before doing my hair and makeup. It’s my time to relax before my hectic workday begins.
Thanks for sharing Ariel! Love the sound of the Midnight Honey Body Oil and cuddling with cats, too.
Burrrrr. Sounds cold up in Vermont. Warm up with this great routine from a lovely esthetician, Elizabeth. In addition to the Tata Harper products (Vermont love!), we’re intrigued by the other local items Elizabeth has found. Enjoy!
City: Montpelier, Vermont
Current Weather: Winter is setting in… below 30 degrees every day, windy, 5 in. of snow on the ground already
Skin: Combination, oily t-zone, dehydrated cheeks, sometimes hormonal breakouts, super sensitive!
Hair: Fine, straight, long…naturally ombre’d because I am growing out the bleach in the ends of my hair
Favorite Star: Cindy Crawford
Each Morning I begin each day by drinking as much water as I can. I fill up a 32oz glass milk bottle and carry it around with me while I get myself together for the day.
In the shower…
Generally, I shower in the morning but only wash my hair every few days. Every few washes I begin with a locally made, rose petal infused apple cider vinegar rinse that I pour through my wet hair and let sit for a few minutes to work it’s magic. This is clarifying, purifying and toning for the scalp…it also makes your shampoo work so much better! Next, I shampoo with either Phyto Volume Shampoo, Rahua Volumizing Shampoo or Pureology Volume Shampoo. When that is rinsed out I condition with either Pureology Hydrate Conditioner or John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Conditioner mixed with the John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler. My hair is very fine but because the ends were bleached, they still need a super hydrating conditioner. I then twist my conditioner-hair on top of my head and clip it while I go through the rest of my routine.
Next I wash my body with either Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Wash or Collective Well Being’s Charcoal Body Wash… and I ALWAYS use exfoliating gloves and scrub scrub scrub… I cannot seem to remember to use a body brush before showering, though I love the ritual, so instead I go to town with my exfoliating gloves! I rinse off, rinse out my conditioner, rinse my hands off and begin my facial cleanse. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Cream on most days, occasionally I use May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt for when it is very cold outside and I feel that my skin needs the circulatory boost from May’s product. If I am having a hormonal breakout I will use Arcona’s Raspberry Gommage. Though I rotate cleansers, I always treat my skin in the same way. I am an esthetician and believe that we should treat our skin as if it is silk. I never ever scrub my face, I press my cleanser into my skin beginning at the forehead and working my way down with very gentle pressure. This stimulates the lymphatic system to begin to flow, thus purifying your skin from the inside while on the outside your skin is being cleansed without being irritated. I rinse off my cleanser and my shower is done.
Outside the shower…
While my hair is wrapped in a towel, I spritz a facial toner on. I LOVE to experiment here. I use Dr. Hauschka’s Clarifying toner, Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence, a locally made Raw Honey toner or Arcona’s Mineral Magic. If I am having a breakout, I will dab on Arcona’s Tabula Rasa. Works wonders! While my face is still damp, I go for a facial oil. Oil is FANTASTIC for oily skin. My favorite’s are Dr. Hauschka’s Normalizing Day Oil, May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew and a locally made oil that is choc full of sea buckthorn, tamanu and so many floral essential oil’s it smells like you just stuck your head into a bouquet of jasmine blossoms. I apply a dab of Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum around my eyes… if I use it all over my face I tend to breakout but it’s an incredible eye cream on its own. Because the weather in VT is so harsh, I use a day cream over my facial oil. In the winter I use Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, amazing at soothing broken capillaries! In the summer I use Dr. Hauschka’s Melissa Day Cream (heavenly lemon balm scent) or Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturizer. For the body I use Dr. Hauschka’s Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil (great for toning!) and then I use Lunaroma’s Bergamot Vetiver Body Butter where I tend to get extra dry…so arms, knees, feet, hands. Then I toss on a robe and do my hair, I put on a robe so that my hair doesn’t fall into my lemongrass oil on my back. I spritz Rahua’s Volumizing Spray into my roots, followed by John Masters Sea Salt Spray. In the winter I HAVE to blow dry or my hair would be icicles when I went outside so I do but in the summer it’s a benefit of fine hair that you can roll your windows down in your car on the way to work and your hair is dry in minutes!
For makeup I generally just curl my eyelashes with Trish McEvoy’s eyelash curler…its my absolute favorite! And then I use a few coats of Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara. If I’m feeling fancy I will use Dr. Hauschka’s translucent bronze concentrate as an actual bronzer and swirl it onto cheekbones, forehead, nose, chin and neck with a stippling brush. I will follow with RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Smile on both lips and cheeks…and if I’m REALLY going for it I will use RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Seduce and Dr. Hauschka’s eyeliner pencil in 04 (charcoal brown)…smudging it right up into the upper lash line to make my eyelashes look super thick and dark.
Once all this is done, I try really hard to drink a green smoothie or a green juice. It’s incredible what it can do for your skin, especially if you are consistent! But if I don’t have the time, I’ll finish my morning routine with a giant cup of Teacup Botanicals’ Nourish vitamin and mineral tea. So delicious, so good for you and keeps me warm when I have to brave the blustery weather outside my door!
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Meet Jessica! Her mention of the Konjac Sponge is kismet. (See yesterday’s post.) Plus, fall is around the corner and we feel like talking about makeup. This routine has it all.
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada but on vacation in PEI
Current weather: sunny but cool… perfect summer weather
Hair: slightly wavy, fine and super thick
Skin: very pale, oily skin with some blemishes but mostly clear
Favourite star or icon from the past: Elizabeth Taylor
In the shower…
I’ve been slowly cleaning up my beauty regimen for the past 2 years and have only started using organic hair products for about 9 months. I have only used Dr. Jones organic shampoo and conditioner and am quite satisfied (I try not to wash my hair more than twice a week). I use an epilator instead of shaving, for water conservation, and regularly get my eyebrows threaded. I just finished a less than entirely clean body wash that I could not resist, as I picked it up at Kualoa Ranch on my travels to Oahu in May. I am only now looking into some really clean but delicious smelling body washes that won’t break the bank. Any suggestions?
Outside the shower…
I cleanse my face every morning with my awesome Konjac charcoal bamboo sponge and with Graydon The Cleanser at night; using May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt every other day before my shower.
I really hate tying up my hair since it gives me severe headaches (curse of super thick hair), but I also hate drying my hair with a blow drier since it damages it. I have started using John Masters citrus detangler to protect my hair from heat damage and when air drying, I love to add some argan oil to my ends. I do not use any other hair product since I really like keeping things simple and minimal. As for my face routine, all I can say is that my Konjac Sponge is the best thing in the world. I have managed to balance my oily skin by cleansing with my Konjac, along with using orange blossom hydrosol as a toner (wanting to now try Stark’s White Willow toner). After toning in the morning, I use Graydon’s The Serum after applying Nurish Organics’ See Spot Run, but if I feel that I need more moisture I use Nurish Organics’ Rejuven-eight Day Cream.
At night, I opt to use argan oil over See Spot Run and One Love Organics’ Skin Savior waterless beauty balm around my eyes for extra moisturization. To cap off my night routine, as lip protection I use Dr. Bronner’s naked lip balm as it stays on all night. Sometimes I also like to treat myself
with manuka honey masks when I feel my skin needs a little change in the routine.
I LOVE makeup and adore trying different things. However, I am very picky about the ingredients I use on my skin as I am allergic to peppermint oil. I normally do not wear much makeup (lip balm and concealer), except for when I go out for something significant or special. When I do doll up, I use Gabriel’s black mascara, Lilly Lolo’s brown eye pencil, Vapour Organics illuminist concealer, Vapour Organics Mesmerize eye colours, Ferro cosmetics mineral foundation and 3X blush (which can be also used to give color to lips) and Dr. Bronner’s naked lip balm. For a dramatic color on my lips I have Korres’ lip butter in a reddish pink, but am looking to finish it up as quickly as possible since I do not find it to be as clean as I would like it to be. I also have Inica’s lip crayon in Blossom, but I do not like the texture on my lips. I would love to get my hands on some Kjaer Weis products, especially the lip tints as I’ve heard really great reviews. I also highlight some key areas of my face with Vapour Organics Halo in Brilliance. I top everything off with Erbaviva’s Jasmine grapefruit deodorant and Tallulah Jane’s Helona mist. I am still looking for the perfect deodorant, but am having some difficulty as I cannot use baking soda and as for perfume, I would love to find something that is more tropical for the summer, yet still affordable!
I am a huge skin care and makeup junky; loving trying out all the new products I can! Living in Canada, however, limits the brands I get to try as I refuse to pay over-the-top prices for shipping for any products. I really really want to try some stuff by Savvy Boheme, Jiva Apoha, La Bella Figura, and Kjaer Weis… I believe that changing up your beauty routine is always a good thing as skin becomes immune to products and stops being so effective over time. I hope you’ve enjoyed my morning/beauty routine!