Glow & Green 

your sustainable beauty blog 

Boss Series: Interview with Léo Co-founder of Ardolé

Ardolé is born on the simple idea of two French friends Dorian (on the left) and Léo (on the right), who decided to make the beauty industry cleaner and more transparent. They believe in responsible beauty. Ardolé is a clean beauty brand, but Léo and Dorian want to push this even further by being a responsible company. Responsible not only to their customers by providing them high-quality, efficient & safe skincare products, but also to the planet by reducing waste and plastic use, selecting organic ingredients, sourcing local & responsible suppliers. They aim at being responsible toward their employees and suppliers. So, we asked few questions to get know them little more. I came to know from them, when Léo approached me through our email sign up form. I immediately felt that you guys need to know about them. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to start your brand? I'm Léo Fredon, I'm 23 yo and I'm the co-founder of Ardolé, a clean Do-It-Yourself skincare brand. We started to work on this project with Dorian Janvier when we arrived in the United States last September. We came here as exchange students from France and some elements of the US beauty industry shocked us. First, we learned that the cosmetic industry in the US is very little (if at all) regulated compared to the European Union market! Therefore our objective was to promote transparency and responsibility in the skincare industry. Do It Yourself is a popular trend in France that see more and more adepts, we decided to bring it to the US because DIY is the highest level of transparency. Everything is showed, we can't hide anything or cheat with the quality of the natural ingredients we use. It is also a great way to educate our audience on the ingredients inside their products. We re-thought the way skincare was designed by getting rid of all the unnecessary to keep only the ingredients your skin needs. I am a certified skincare formulator and was able to develop minimalist and efficient recipes with only 6 natural and organic ingredients for a face moisturizer that people can make themselves at home. As a founder, what does your typical day look like? A s a founder, my typical day varies a lot. Building a brand from scratch as we did, leaves us the possibility to work on every aspect of the development of the brand. We handle formulation, marketing, preparation of the orders, supply chain, etc ourselves so my typical day is divided between these tasks. When you thought about this brand, what was your first “Aha moment”? We spent a lot of time researching the US market and looking at the DIY existing solutions here. Our first "Aha moment" was after my skincare formulator certification when we realized how easy it was to create professional products from home and how many possibilities natural products could give us to create problem solving recipes with a strong experiential concept. What does success mean to you? We tend to celebrate every success, launching the brand mid-June was a success, signing a retail agreement for distribution was a success too. And most of all, success to us means customer satisfaction with the product. We take the time to talk to every person that used our product to collect their feedback and improving. We have been blessed by all the positive feedback and this is success to us! How did You handle adversity and doubt? Specially when you started this brand. With support! Dorian and I are very good friends and we've known each other for a long time so we know how to support each other in these moments. The feedbacks and support from early testers and customers also confirmed us to continue in that direction! What were 3 things you wished someone had told you about being an entrepreneur? The first would be that you have to be patient. I wanted to be able to do everything as fast as possible but when you build a brand, you work with supplier and others who doesn't have the same flexibility and it can get frustrating. Especially because we developed and launched our brand during this COVID crisis and everything got slower, unfortunately. And the second thing, we knew that it was important to talk to our audience, and random people to get feedback and insights but I didn't realize how crucial it was. This is why now we are constantly talking to or customers, to our followers, etc... Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 5 years from now, I hope I would have developed Ardolé and our DIY concept, still be running it with Dorian and that we would have inspired a more simplistic and transparent change in the industry. One golden nuggest from you, what's one piece of advise you give who wants to start its own entrepreneurial journey? It's pretty generic advice but you have to give it your all and be 100% dedicated to what you are doing because nobody will do the work for you. Name 2 skincare/personal care products which you can live without!! My DIY Vitamin E nighttime moisturizer, that has done so much good to my skin and the honey cleanser!

2-Ingredient DIY Cleansing Oil with Emulsifier

I don't know about you but I am totally hooked when it comes to oil cleansing. I am a big fan of double cleansing method. The first step with oil takes all the dirt and makeup from my face and the second steps gives me nice the feeling of freshness on my skin. But how about having two-in-one cleanser? As a sustainable & green beauty advocate, I am all about reducing products in my beauty cabinet. For years I made my various versions of cleansers at home. And I gathered a bunch of DIY cleansing balms, form/gel cleanser, powdered cleanser and other DIY concoctions in my beauty cabinet, but I ended up buying store bought cleansers all the time. Since I am all about control and what goes into my skin, I decided to decode beauty products’ formulation. I made this an amazing replica of DIY cleansing oil to avoid store bought cleansers and having 2-in-1 effect. Today, I want to share with you a simple recipe of DIY emulsifying cleansing oil which acts as a form as well as oil cleanser. And good thing about this cleanser, it contains only two ingredients. I also feel that, this recipe is ideal for beginners who would like to start using emulsifiers in their DIY products. So, do you want to know, what's secret behind emulsifying effect on this cleansing oil? It's a natural, plant-based, traditionally used emulsifier called red turkey oil. This product will remove makeup in one step and you won't need another soap cleanser afterwards. If you are like me, who loves micellar water or cleansing soap in general, those products work well on skin surface only. It doesn't clean as deep as an oil cleanser. When I feel, my skin congested, I opt for deep cleansing method using oils. Also, when I buy cleansers from beauty stores, I often found that it contains water in most of their formula. I wanted to make some waterless formula for cleanser so that it’s more potent. But honestly, I was itching to make this DIY cleansing oil for quite sometime. So let’s start with benefits first. Benefits of this homemade cleansing oil Since it requires only two-ingredients, it is very affordable. It can save you tons of money on expensive brand name cleansers in the long run. As much as I like to splurge on my favorite store-bought cleansing oil, I don’t always want to pay hefty amount every month. Also, this cleansing oil recipe is really very customizable. Although I think, it might be more suitable for dry, flaky, sensitive, or combination skin. But, it works wonder in oily skin as well. Many times, my friends who has oily skin type worry that their skin will not feel as clean as store bought products. Or they often worry about breakouts. But don't worry, I will share with you few combination oils which can make your oily skin as fresh as store-bought products. Also, remember the thumb rule of chemistry, oil removes the oil. Now, before I reveal the recipe, I’d like to talk about what makes oil cleansers so beneficial for a variety of skin types. I also want to share basic skincare formula which you can use, because many experts recommend not to make your own cleansing oil. But if you replicate same formula in weight-based basis, you can definitely make an awesome emulsifying cleanser. So, first we are going to talk about skin types and oil cleansing but if you want to jump into recipe right away, then skip ahead. I love cleansing oil because 1) It lift excess sebum, the oil substance produced by glands on our skin. 2) It clear clogged pores like blackheads, whiteheads and congestion 3) It eliminates dead skin, free radicals and of course makeup. What is Cleansing Oil? Basically, cleansing oil is a type of cleanser which remove impurity and excess oil from the face and neck area. This type of cleanser contains oil as a main ingredient while gel or foam cleanser are filled with hydrosol or water. The combination of emulsifiers, lipid rich oils, sometimes exfoliants and water activated surfactants makes a perfect cleansing oil. A well-formulated oil cleanser also contains moisturizing ingredients, which leaves skin soft rather than tight or dry after cleansing. One more thing to add, cleansing oils contain surfactants, but they are not the most important part of the formulation - the oils are. Cleansing Oil for Oily/Acne-prone Skin Believe it or not, cleansing oils still work well, even though you have oily or acne-prone skin. When you apply cleansing oil on oily skin, it melts away all the excess oil. It is very important to use non-comedogenic oils while you make cleansing oil at home. Since we all know; blackheads and congestion triggers acne-prone skin, cleansing oil goes deep down into blackheads and congestion and remove it from roots. So, if you have oily skin, do not hesitate to apply cleansing oil on your face. Cleansing Oil for Dry/sensitive Skin When it comes to dry skin, cleansing oil is safe choice because it cleanses and moisturizes both. Sensitive skin is very vulnerable to unknown chemicals used in traditional gel or foam cleanser that’s why cleansing oil is the best as it only contains oils, and emulsifier only. Cleansing oil creates layer on your skin and locks the moisture. This helps prevent the dehydration from your skin so that you skin will not feel dry and itchy after cleansing process. Generally cleansing oils are very gentle but if store-bought cleansing oil is causing a tight, dry feeling after cleansing, it is better to check ingredients on that product. In general, if you have dry or sensitive skin it is better to give a try on our gentle, artificial fragrance-free cleansing oil. How to use cleansing oil on your face? For many people, when it comes to cleansing, it brings to mind foamy lather and rinsing the face in the water. But oil cleansing can be done two different way 1) my preferred way which I have explained below. 2) K-beauty (Korean Beauty way) apply cleansing oil first then foam cleanser. Here is my favorite way to apply cleansing oil: Cleansing oil can include both so no need to have foam cleanser. For the most part, it’s done with little bit of cleansing oil and rub it into damp face while it emulsified very gently. Once it forms mild milky lather, with a damp washcloth remove the cleanser from the face. Once you remove the cleanser from the face, you shouldn’t feel oily, sticky or dirty. If you buy store-bought cleanser and it makes you feel flaky, dry and itchy, you should better check the ingredient list of the products. That’s why I opt for DIY cleansing oil (and in particularly this recipe), as you know all the ingredients inside the bottle. Before you go ahead and apply your DIY oil cleanser, I highly recommend doing patch test. How to choose an oil for DIY cleansing oil? When you choose oil for cleansing, it is important to look for these two things, 1) the content of fatty acids especially linoleic acid and oleic acid, 2) comedogenic score of the oil. The balance of linoleic acid and oleic provides heaviness of the oil while comedogenic score tells you if the oil particles are going to clog your pores or not. If Oleic acid content is higher side than linoleic acid, that oil tends to have sticky feeling. Visa versa, if the linoleic acid content is higher, that oil will give you no-stickiness to your skin. This thumb rule is useful to determine skin absorbent capacity of the oil. For DIY, there is no harm to start with Argan oil or Hempseed oil. To give natural fragrance to the oil, it’s totally desirable to use macerated oil. The combination of olive oil and castor oil are very popular in DIY beauty world. For Dry and Sensitive Skin Types, you can use: Olive Oil Sunflower Oil Jojoba Oil Argan Oil Fractionated Coconut Oil Sweet Almond Oil (my personal favourite) Apricot Kernel Oil For Acne-prone and oily skin types: Grapeseed Oil Hemp Seed Oil Argon Oil Abyssinian Seed Oil Squalane Watermelon Seed Oil Blueberry Seed Oil Now we locked down, how to choose carrier oils, let’s talk about the recipe. 2-ingredient DIY Cleansing Oil with Emulsifier Key Ingredients: In this recipe, I want to use two types of oils: 1) Sunflower Oil (because it works well in terms of maceration, dry skin as well as oily skin types); 2) Red Turkey Castor Oil (This is one type of oil but it works as emulsifier in this formula) So without further due, let’s do into details of the ingredients: 1) Sunflower oil: Sunflower oil is food grade oil pressed from the seeds of sunflower. Sunflower oil is a great oil when it comes to cosmetic formulations. It acts as an emollient on your skin. Along with linoleic acid and oleic acid, sunflower oil contains Vitamin E and antioxidant. If you are planning to use this cleanser during night-time, the antioxidant will help you to fight against free radicals. Organic sunflower oil is cold pressed using the seeds from sunflower heads, whilst commercially produced sunflower oil is produced by solvent-based refining. This oil contains vitamins E and D as well as a number of different minerals. Sunflower oil is a light, moisturizing oil that is effective in massage blends or as the base for light creams. The oils come in different varieties - linoleic sunflower is the most common, but there is also a high oleic sunflower oil. Linoleic sunflower oil is high in Vitamin E, while the oleic version is very stable. This oil is going to be your base oil. Since this oil is so light-weight and trapes good aroma from dry herbs, I tried to submerged lavender into sunflower oil for 14 days. 2) Red Turkey Castor Oil Red Tukey Castor oil is one of the best kept secrets in Ayurveda. It is also called sulfated castor oil. Sulfated Castor oil is made by treating pure castor oil with an acid (sulfuric acid) in a process called Sulfonation. After this process, when this oil adds into water or oil-based formulations, it disperses in the water entirely. For centuries, this oil use it to emulsify fragrance and essential oils. This type of oil can prove an excellent humectant & moisturizing property. How to make Lavender Infused Sunflower Oil In one cup sunflower oil, add 2/3 cup of dried lavender. Pour it everything in mason jars and keep this jar near window where sun is shining for 14 days. Feel free to shake it every other day. After 14 days, filter the oil and discard all lavenders. Now use this oil for cleansing oil formulation. DIY Cleansing Oil Recipe 1 cup Lavender Infused Sunflower oil 2/3 cup Red Turkey Castor Oil First add lavender infused sunflower oil into mixing jar. Now add red turkey castor oil. Using emersion blender, mix both oils really well. If oil separates, then when you mix shake it well. Apply 2-3 drop of cleansing oil with damp hands on your face. It will give you milky feel when it will emulsify. If it doesn’t emulsify then, there is something wrong with formulation. Let me know what do you think about this. I would love here from us. Comment and share your thoughts.

How to do Sugar Wax like a Pro?

We, brown girls, are hairy. I still remember, when I was a teenager, I used to have a secrete sugar waxing session in my room with my cousin. The whole process of making sugar wax while no one home, in our kitchen, felt luxurious and exciting at that time. Even though it is a painful process, I always looked forward to doing it again every three months. After coming to the US, I started with salon wax as I lost my sugar wax buddy. But due to few bad experiences of waxing in-salon led me into Sugar Wax again. I learned to do it by myself after a few trial and error method. I felt, during the summertime, we all want those hairless legs and under-arms for our pool parties. Especially during long summer weekends, I am all about jumping into my pool. Due to COVID -19 situation, waxing spa spots in the bay area are still closed; that’s why I feel it’s the perfect time to implement zero waste, natural, and clean shaving methods. Out of all shaving and waxing way, I just adore sugarring or sugar wax a lot. It’s a simple yet effective process. The other good thing about sugar waxing or sugaring is: this process will rip your hair out by the root. It’s not thrilling, though; actually, it’s scary for many people, but your skin will glow after this process. This process is going to be your alternative to daily shaving. Forget those razors and wax burns. So why not face the fear, gathered up the ingredients, and gave it a try! And you know what? You will convert into a total fan of Sugar Wax. How to Make Sugar Wax at Home? Sugar is terrible for your health, but not for your skin! If you have a terrible experience with salon wax then, sugar wax is your cup of tea. Sugar wax has only four ingredients: Sugar, Honey, Lemon, and Water. Sugar wax is a paste made from these four ingredients All these ingredients you can find it in your kitchen pantry. Since this recipe is natural and free from toxins, people like me who would like to know all ingredients inside personal care products will love this idea. Regular wax applied directly to your skin while it’s hot. In the case of sugar wax, you need to make it paste first and then warming up a little bit before applying on your skin. That’s why there is less chance you will burn yourself. Plus, sugar wax is gentle and full of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). It will remove your hair more gently than regular wax. And if you worried about stickiness, don’t worry at all; it will not leave any stickiness on your skin. Now, let me be clear, making Sugar wax is more like making caramel sauce at home. It will be wrong a couple of times, but once you grasp it, you will love making it. The good thing about this recipe, it’s self-preserving wax thanks to honey. That’s why you might need to make one or two times a year. When we tucked into our kitchen and made sugar wax without elder supervision, it was a disaster. We didn’t have the internet to look for the instruction, but after 3 burned sugar, I could make this recipe. If you ever make caramel sauce at home, you guys know what I am talking about. Temperature and heat are essential in this recipe. For you, I strongly suggest you invest in a candy thermometer. Do not use a body thermometer if you don’t have a candy thermometer. Instead, just take your best judgment in terms of color, smell, and texture while you make the wax. Just don’t be harsh on yourself, you might need 1-2 trials. Make sure you don’t burn too much; it’s might catch fire. If it happens, just close the lid and take the vessel away from the heat. Later wash it off and drain the leftover liquid. Here is the video to see the texture and color: Once the wax is cold, pour into mason jars. It will be thick and brown colored paste. Thanks to honey, this wax is self-preserved for up to two months when you refrigerate. Before every use, heat sugar wax for 1-2 minutes. Using a butter knife or popsicles stick, apply a ¼ inch layer of warm wax in the direction of hair growth. Gently press onto skin. It is settled the wax for one minute or so, using one corner of wax strip, pull it very quickly against the direction of hair growth. Once the wax has cooled, scoop it out of the container and apply it with a butter knife, popsicle stick, or hands. You’ll want to apply a ¼ inch layer of wax in the direction of the hair and gently press it onto your skin. Let’s Make Sugar Wax at Home Ready to use, quick and inexpensive alternative when your spa is closed Ingredients you need: 2 cups white granulated sugar ¼ cup of lime or lemon juice One tablespoon Honey 1/3 cup of water The time you need: Prep time: 5 minutes Making time: 5 minutes Cooling time: 3 hours Total time: 3 hours 10 minutes Equipment you need: Medium Saucepan (use non-stick if you can) Food Grade or Candy Thermometer Method to use: 1. First, in a dry medium pan, add sugar, honey, and lime juice. Start the range or gas, and without stirring it up, add water. 2. Turn the heat to medium-high flame; you are not allowed to touch or stir in this recipe. If you start mixing, you will add air into the melting process. It will cause sugar to crystalize on the side of the pan. 3. In 2-3 minutes, sugar will start boiling. Gently from side swirl the pot to mix all the ingredients. 4. Once the mixture turns amber honey color, turn off the gas. The other way is to check the temperature using a candy or food-grade thermometer. Once temperature reaches 260 F, turn off the gas. 5. In this time, immediately remove the mixture from the heat and transfer it into mason jars. Make sure you use jars which is microwave safe. You might need to warm up the wax before the application. 6. The best way to test your sugar wax is: it should be stretchy and slightly sticky. If it’s too runny then, you might need to change the amounts of water, lemon juice, and sugar into the recipe. If it’s too hard then, add more water or lime juice. 7. Once the wax is warm enough, apply to the skin. Application of Sugar wax at home 1. First of all, you need to wash and dry the skin to be waxed. Make sure your skin is without any products (no lotion, sunscreen, or oil). 2. Using a butter knife or small spatula, test the temperature of the wax. Make sure it’s bearable to you. 3. Now using the same spatula, apply ¼ inch of the wax layer to the small area of skin you plan to wax. Make sure you spread the wax against the direction of the hair growth. 4. Place cotton fabric strip over the wax and press it very well. 5. Holding the skin-tight, from one corner of the fabric piece, pull off quickly in the direction of the hair growth. You can apply a sugar wax mixture without fabric too. I like fabric/cloth as it will give you control. 6. Repeat this process. The pull-off action requires more practice as you need to take a big breath and just ripped off the fabric from the skin. 7. Once you are done, refrigerate the leftover wax. Shelf life: 6 months refrigerated Benefits of Sugar Wax 1) It’s an excellent zero-waste and natural product Traditional wax contains several chemical ingredients that can create a harsh reaction on your skin. Sugar wax is made from all edible ingredients. Most sugar wax recipes include some sort of citric acid and honey. Both these ingredients help in preservation. 2) Do not burn your skin Burnt skin due to salon wax is no fun. It is really painful, and sometimes it leads to the scar. With sugar wax, you don’t need to worry as sugar wax can apply cold or warm. I generally prefer to have warm wax, but people who cannot tolerate heat, this type of waxing is such a boon. After this process, you will get no scar, redness just smooth skin. 3) Reduce unwanted hair growth and removes ingrown hair Once you start applying sugar wax at home regularly, after 3-4 times, you will see a significant difference in hair regrowth. Since it removes hair from the roots, it will reduce the time! 4) Easy to clean process Sugar wax is so easy to clean from your skin or cotton strips. This mixture is water-soluble, meaning, how long you keep the sugar wax on your skin, it will come out very clean! 5) Less Irritation after Sugar Wax If you are into gently removing unwanted body hair, due to food-grade ingredients, this is the safest recipe. You will not get any burn after this. Common Questions about Sugar Wax In our Instagram, I always come up with unusual topics of beauty and wellness. A month ago, I asked the question about the type of hair removal and process. During that time, many people mentioned that they like to do Sugar Wax but have tons of questions about making sugar wax, applying it, and so on! So here are commonly asked a question to @glowngreen What is the ideal temperature of sugar wax, while you make? Generally, I use a food-grade thermometer to measure the exact temperature the whole time. It is safe to turn off heat around 240 F to 260 F. What if my sugar wax comes out too hard or runny? If sugar wax comes out too hard, it is better just to throw it away. You can add lemon juice and continue boiling it, but I just throw it away and start the recipe from scratch. But if it’s too runny, one option is to cook a little longer. You can add honey or sugar if it is more like syrup. Can I use sugar wax without a cotton strip? Yes absolutely. What is the shelf life of Sugar Wax? Generally, it stays stable in a refrigerated environment, but I usually do not use it after six months. I made sugar wax 100+ time; it is never right? There are a couple of reasons for that. The climate you live in, the amount of sugar, honey, water, and the lemon ratio is heating up more or less. Making Sugar wax is more or less like baking. It’s science, and you need to make it right with the practice. When can I wax my hair? Do I need to let it grow first? Yes, for best result, it is necessary; you grow your hair up to ½ inch to ¾ inch. Hope you all like this blog post. Let me know if you have any other questions about this. I will be happy to answer in our comment section. Hope you all have a great 4th of July. Have a great long weekend.

An Aromatherapy in Showers with DIY Shower Steamers

An Aromatherapy in Showers with DIY Shower Steamers Taking a bath in your bathtub is a luxurious self-care ritual. Not everyone can afford to do that regularly due to time constraints in our lives. Water accessibility comes into the equation, especially when you live in a state like California. Over here, water is always a high-valued commodity due to lack of rain, so in short, it’s not a practical thing to do for many people. When I lived in New York City during my 20s’, I never realized the value of water and time. Now in my 30s, living here in the bay area, I understand that taking luxurious baths in bathtub is once a month of ritual, not once in a week (I am talking about when we do not have drought year). So, I thought, why not have this same excellent experience while I am taking daily showers. And I found wonder bath frizz – Shower Steamers. Shower steamers are bath bombs of showers. Just make a batch of shower steamers, and turn daily showers into an aromatherapy spa. I started making these fantastic DIY recipes, and I loved it so much. The best thing is that all the ingredients in this recipe are in your kitchen pantry and entirely customizable. These shower bombs, aka shower steamers, are not only famous for your aromatherapy sessions. But it will be your rescue product if you have a headache, sinus or allergy. I adore this DIY as it’s easy to make and approachable. So, what’s go inside the shower steamers. The shower steamers consist with the delicious smell of essential oils, baking soda, and citric acid. If you like uplifted showers everyday morning, then give shower steamers a chance. Generally, I make shower steamers in different scents for different moods. I also add botanical powders, dry flowers, and some natural colors to add more therapeutic qualities. So here is my take on scents, I like to add chamomile when I feel anxious and looking for a calming feeling. When I want some extra moisturizing and energizing feeling, I add calendula and sweet orange essential oil. For a luxurious feel, I use lavender and rose essential oils. So, here are my favorite essential oils blends Soothing Blends • 10 drops of lavender • 5 drops Rose absolute • 10 drops of Ylang-Ylang Calming Blends • 15 drops of lavender • 15 drops German chamomile Anti-Anxiety Blends • 10 drops Sweet orange essential oil • 10 drops of Lime essential oil • 5 drops of Vetiver • 5 drops of Blue Tansy Oil Blend this while you have a stuffy nose • 15 drops Tea tree essential oil • 5 drops of Rosemary essential oil • 5 drops of Peppermint essential oil When these blends mix with the steam from hot showers, these oil blends will make you feel grounded, luxurious, and relaxed. These are a few blends, but you can mix and match anything. In this way, you can be a little creative and adventurous. How to use Shower Steamers? As I said earlier, shower steamers are bath bombs of showers. When it gets wet, they create frizz. This frizz will release the scent of oil blends and create a relaxing aroma in the bathroom. It’s more like a steam room in your bathroom. If you have a stuffy nose, give a try, and use shower steamers. When you start the shower water, wet your shower steamers first. Once the water starts running, throw the steamer tablet on your floor. Make sure you place the shower steamer tablet in the corner of your shower, where water splashes it periodically. If you put shower steamer directly, it will dissolve very quickly. While you take showers, make sure you breathe deeply to have an advantage of aroma. The good thing about this recipe is you can also use this recipe as a bath bomb. So, if you plan to take a bath in your bathtub, you can use steamer tablets instead of bath bombs. DIY Shower Steamers Equipment • Mixing Bowl • Soap molds or Ice Tray Things you need: 4 Cups Baking Soda 2 Cups Citric Acid 1 Cup Corn Starch 30 Drops of any essential oil blends Witch Hazel as needed (Always keep the ratio of baking soda: citric acid: corn starch 2:1:0.5) Method: Mix baking soda, citric acid and corn starch in the bowl. Make sure you remove all the lumps. If you are planning to add two or more essential oils, I recommend making a blend in a separate bowl and insert it into a baking soda mixture. Now, start spraying witch hazel and make sure it started creating fist on your hand. Now put this semi-damped mixture into soap molds and press it hard. It will harden in 12 hours or so. I generally keep it 18 hours in the soap mold. And voila, your bath steamers are ready to use.

Beginner's Guide to Chemical Peel

Not too long ago, I wrote about how to have a natural skincare routine on my blog. I also published a podcast episode(Listen here). During this blog post, I mentioned chemical and physical exfoliation. It can be one of the vital rituals in everyone's' life. Especially chemical exfoliation help sloughing off old dead skin to reveal newer looking skin underneath. Since summer is right around the corner and we all need to exfoliate our skin, I will go into details about chemical peels as an exfoliator. What is Chemical Peel? A chemical peel is higher strength exfoliant which will act on peeling away the uppermost layers of skin, which tends to have blemish discoloration, acne, and clogged particles. There are many types of chemical peels in the market. Predominantly, you will find chemical peels with Alpha Hydroxy Acids(AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA). The best chemical peel contains a pH of 2.0. Our skin's pH is between 4.5 to 6 rank; that's why when we apply chemical peel on our skin, we feel little stingy feeling. Due to this, chemical peel removed the bond between dead skin and the inner layer of the skin. When you go out and buy chemical peel, it is good to check on the pH of the product in addition to the ingredient list. Benefits of Chemical Peels It makes your skin and you sensual! Well, I am serious, you name the problem, and there is a solution in the form of chemical peel for you. So, few benefits are: Unclogged pore Reduce hyperpigmentation Holy grail solution of acne skin brightening agent Resolve the issue of sun damage Reduce the problem of wrinkle and acne scars Skin rejuvenator In a nutshell, It solves several problems. Type of Chemical Peels According to medicine.net, there are three types of chemical peels. These types are based on the intensity of chemical exfoliation. These types are superficial (lunchtime peel), medium, and deep. So let's dig dipper into all these three types. Superficial peel aka lunchtime peel: These peels are popular in the DIY beauty world as they are the most gentle form of chemical peels. It uses AHA and BHA, including lactic acid and salicylic acid, to exfoliate the skin's outer layer. These types of peels are quick. That's why it's called lunchtime peel as well. It requires no recovery time after application. You might feel little redness on your skin, but this can be hidden with makeup. When to use it: Uneven skin tone Skin brightening Rough skin Mild acne Blemishes Medium Peel: The medium peel contains a higher concentration of glycolic acid and trichloroacetic acid (TCA). These kinds of peels go more in-depth into the skin layer and cure skin problems of roots. Since this type of peel goes more inside to your skin, it causes more irritation and stingy feeling. This feeling can last up to an hour after applying the peel. Some people may feel swollen and itchy face for days. For some people, their faces may also look pinkish for up to six weeks after the application. When to use it: Sun damage Deeper layer wrinkle problems Uneven darker skin patches Age Spots Deep Peel: Deep Peel contains trichloroacetic acid (TCA) as a hero ingredient. These kinds of peels go to the root of the skin layer and spot the problem more efficiently. Since this type of peel goes the deepest layer of the skin, it causes uncomforted feelings to your skin. I strongly suggest this type of peel is better to perform under licensed estheticians as it may damage your skin permanently. When to use it: Sun damage Deep Scars Deep wrinkles Aging lines Now we know, benefits, types of chemical peels, and when to use it. Let me crackdown a few DIY Skincare recipes for you. All my DIY chemical peels are lunchtime peels or medium peels. Before you perform any DIY beauty recipes, I suggest you all patch taste. Also, it is desirable to buy pH strips from Amazon. These pH will help you determine the effectiveness of the peel. The 5 Best At-Home Chemical Peels Glycolic Acid Peel: Brown Sugar and Lemon Peel Brown sugar contains a high concentration of glycolic acid, while lemon contains citric acid. 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar (get Rapadura Sugar if you can, as this type of sugar contains finer and smoother granules) 2 tsp. Citric Acid In a small bowl, add brown sugar and lemon. Make a paste and apply on to your face. Do not apply on lips and under-eye. After 10 minutes, wash it off. Alpha-hydroxy Acid (AHAs) Peel: Apple Cider Vinegar Peel Apple cider vinegar is the source of Alpha-hydroxy Acids(AHAs). It is one kitchen staple, you can find in everyone's pantry. 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tsp. Apple Sauce Add both the ingredients into the bowl and make a paste. Apply on your skin daily. Beta-hydroxy Acid (BHAs) Peel: Acne Solution In natural DIY space, beta-hydroxy acids are found in willow bark powders and extracts. But at home, the best source of BHAs is aspirin pills. 10 Aspirin pills 1/2 tsp. Citric Acid Few drops of lemon to make a paste Place the aspirin pills and citric acid in a shallow dish. Sprinkle lemon juice on aspirin and citric acid. Use the backside of a spoon to crush the aspirin into the lemon juice, creating a thick paste. Use your fingers to spread the peel over your face, avoiding the eyes and lips. Let it sit until dry, about ten minutes, and then wipe it off with a cotton ball soaked with rose water. The frequency of this peel needs to be once a week. Lactic Acid Peel: Greek Yogurt and Tomato Peel Greek yogurt is a primary source of lactic acid. This peel is useful to reduce suntan and sun damage from your skin. 1 cup Green Yogurt 1/2 Tomato (grated) Mix both the things in a shallow dish and make a thick paste. Apply this thick paste on your face. After 10 minutes, wash it off. AHAs & BHAs: Papaya and Brown Sugar Peel Papaya and sugar are excellent sources of AHAs. We are adding aspirin to have BHA in the peel. This peel is 2-in-1 Peel for every skin problem 1/2 cup Papaya pulp 1/2 tbsp. Brown Sugar 8 Aspirin Pills Powder 1 tbsp. Greek Yogurt Lemon Juice as needed Mix brown sugar and aspirin pills powder. Now add papaya pulp and greek yogurt. Make a thick paste. Now add lemon juice and make an applicable paste. Apply this paste on your face for ten minutes. Use this peel twice a week. I hope you try these chemical peel recipes and found them useful. The best thing about at-home chemical peels is fully-controlled ingredients. Let me know if you guys have any questions. Till then, see you next week!

DIY Detox Charcoal Soap with Tea Tree

Recently My friend gave me a gift of charcoal soap from brand Herbivore Botanicals. Although I doubted myself using that charcoal soap because I have dehydrated skin. But now, I am addicted. I have become a total fan of the simple bar of soap. Now I understand why charcoal bar soaps are so popular. The star ingredient activated charcoal is an odorless, very lightweight black powder. Being a DIY addict myself, I decided to make a bar of soap out of it. This activated powder impressed me with those absorbing properties. Activated charcoal can work wonder if you want to clean and purify oily, blemish-prone, and combination skin. When I was researching for this DIY, I did not know the difference between activated charcoal and charcoal granules. But let me tell you one thing, activated charcoal is not what you would find in a chimney sweep or on burnt pieces of food. But, this powder is 100% food/cosmetic grade and perfect for bath and body products. Plus, melt and pour soap base is embarrassingly easy to use with the help of a microwave. You can not mess up with this recipe. Benefits of Activated Charcoal Not only beauty and wellness, but even the food industry is also using activated charcoal in a significant way. These days, food bloggers use food-grade activated charcoal internally to detox, in supplements and juices. I also read about activated charcoal lemonade somewhere. Last week, I wrote about Black salt scrub, which has activated charcoal in the form of lava. But what about hair and skin? So here are the benefits: Balances oily skin Oily skin? Access oil in your forehead? Activated charcoal is just the right ingredient for you. Whether you use in a cleanser or mask, activated charcoal can pull the unwanted excess oils from your skin, leaving it smooth. Activated charcoal tends to dry out skin, so make sure you do not use it more. ( I used this soap 1-2 times a week to make sure, my skin do not feel adverse effects) Cleanse the pores Are you familiar with free radicals? Free radicals contain those harmful toxins, and throughout the day, those toxins from the environment around us clog our pores. Free radicals are the culprits. If our clogs are not clear, then our skin will not look good. Activated charcoals are a great ingredient to use when you are into deep cleansing. It will pull up all the dirt from the pores. Treat acne When you use activated charcoal in the soap form, it is in gritty form. That's why it will provide much-needed exfoliation in a gentle way and counts as a good solution for treating acne. Activated charcoal also can use as a spot treatment. In that way, your skin will not dry out.–just think of it as a mini mask for your blemish. Remedy scalp conditions If you have a problem with dandruff, itchy scalp, then activated charcoal can be your go-to solution. Just adding one teaspoon of activated charcoal inside your shampoo or applying activated charcoal hair mask before you shower will cure all the problems. How to Make Detox Charcoal Soap? If you are like me, and very busy with your 9 to 5 job, melt and pour base is your best friend. That's the main reason why I love melt and pour soap. Besides, there are a ton of varieties for bases: plain glycerin, olive oil, goat milk, honey, oatmeal, etc. Here, I used an Aloe Vera base for an added dose of significant moisture. I wanted to make sure that my dehydrated and dry skin do not lose moisture. Along with Aloe Vera soap base, in this recipe, I also use tea tree oil, tamanu oil, and a little bit of almond oil. Tamanu oil and almond oil will help reduce fine lines and adds moisturizing quality. In malt and pour soap, I learned that more fats, you add, less lather it will generate. So for 1 lb of Aloe Vera soap base, I would suggest adding only one teaspoon of oil. Another tip is: when you melt soap base, make sure to cover the container with plastic wrap. In that way, your soap will not turn out to be drier side. So without further due, here is the recipe: DIY Detox Charcoal Soap Equipment you need: Microwave Soap mold Things you need: 1 lb Aloe Vera Soap Base 1/2 Tsp. Tamanu Oil 1/2 Tsp. Almond Oil 1/4 Tsp. Activated Charcoal 4 ml Tea Tree Essential Oil Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle Method: Cut the melt and pour soap base in small pieces and pour it in a microwave-proof bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and hit the soap base until it melts. Now in another bowl, mix tamanu and almond oil. Very gently pour activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is very lightweight. If you are not careful, it will be all over. Make a nice slurry with oil and charcoal. Add it inside the melt and pour soap. Mix it well. In the end, add tea tree essential oil. Pour this mixture into soap molds and spray rubbing alcohol on it. By doing this, you are removing all the air bubbles. Let the soap sit for four-six hours. Then, voila, soap is done. Shelf life: 6 months. Use this soap 2-3 times a week in your PM ritual. Try out this, and let me know what do you feel about this.

Black Beauty "Matters": Black Salt Body Scrub

Black Beauty "Matters": Black Salt Body Scrub It’s unfortunate to see what’s going on in the world right now. Since we are totally in support of “Black Life Matters” and all the protestors out there, we are here to share our view on this matter as well as some wellness wisdom. In this blogpost, our Glow & Green team decided to use black-colored skincare ingredients such as Black Salt in the DIY recipe. The ingredients like this, we love so much in our wellness and beauty world. By acknowledging the value of black-colored ingredients, we want to support and break the stigma around racism. The color of the skin doesn’t decide the qualities of the person. It is not at all tolerable act. If we follow the same analogy in our DIY beauty world, lava salt acts as an exfoliator the same way as other types of white salt. But in some scenarios, black lava salt is more beneficial than regular white salt. To make sure that voices are heard, and we act on this as well. We also pledge to be muted by our Instagram account (@glowngreen) and join the movement! We believe that the perception behind "the color black" needs to be changed, and we all should treat every skin tone equally. That’s why we came up with a simple, affordable, and effective body scrub recipe using “Black Salt.” This salt is also called Black Hawaiian Salt or
Lava salt. Lava salt is infused with activated charcoal. Thanks to activated charcoal, it assists the body in removing harmful impurities. It also contains essential minerals to help maintain the body’s normal functions. In this body scrub, we are also adding peppermint essential oil, vegetable glycerin, and some turkey castor oil. Peppermint essential oil will add therapeutic values in the recipe. In contrast, vegetable glycerin and turkey castor oil will act as your functional ingredients. Vegetable glycerin is a popular humectant in the DIY world. At the same time, turkey castor oil will provide those emulsified effects in the recipe. Now let’s talk benefits first: Benefits of Black Salt Natural Exfoliator This salt helps slough off dead skin cells and flakes, leaving you with fresh, revitalized skin. Soothes sore joints and muscles: Having a long, hot soak in lava salt water is a great way to relax, unwind, and soothe those aching joints and muscles. The substance in lava salt helps ease muscle cramps. In contrast, the anti-inflammatory and detoxifying agents help reduce joint swelling, soreness, and stiffness. Help fight off pro-aging free radicals: Many of the minerals in lava salt fights off oxidation in the skill cells by eliminating free radicals, helping your skin looking younger and more vibrant. It’s fibroblast-protecting and hydrating properties also help to keep the skin looking plump and refreshed. Purifies your pores: Lava salt has excellent antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. That helps cleanse and detoxify the pores by driving out oils, dirt, and other impurities. The infused activated charcoal helps to eliminate body acne. Prevents Hair Fall: Receding hairline is a common issue faced by both men and women of this era. Hair fall seems to be getting worse due to stress and pollution in the surroundings. Try using black lava salt to boost your hair growth. This recipe is not about hair, but I am sure this salt can be used in scalp scrub. Black Salt Body Scrub: 1 Cup Hawaiian Black Salt/Lava Salt (I bought mine from here) 0.5 Cup Turkey Castor Oil 2 Tbps Vegetable Glycerine 25 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (optional) Since essential oil is optional, here are my tips on that: Some essential oils can be highly irritating to the skin. That’s why direct skin contact with essential oils should be avoided. Do not use any undiluted essential oil directly on the surface, especially the skin of infants, children, or pets, unless directed by a healthcare practitioner. This recipe is for adults only. Method: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Store in a clean, airtight jar. If you want to use essential oils, it is best to store the scrub in a dark cabinet to prevent oxidation. We are not adding any preservatives in this formula that’s why I recommend making it a small batch. How to apply body scrub? Start by applying to hands and feet, then arms and legs, working with circular motions toward the heart. I talked about the massaging technique in our dry brushing blog post. After bathing/showering, follow with a moisturizer such as body butter or body-calming oil. If you have cut yourself, then, I will avoid using this body scrub. Shelf Life If no essential oil is inside the body scrub, then shelf life is over a year. If you add an essential oil then, I recommend using it within 3-6 months so that the oils don’t oxidize over time. Also, during the usage, make sure that water doesn’t go inside.

Let's try: Dry Brushing

Due to stay-at-home orders in my state and working from home all the time, my stagnant life required me to work on my blood circulations and toxic removal. So, I decided to give it a try on dry brushing. Yes, it’s now my new favorite self-care ritual to do before showers. So, after trying dry brushing myself for almost two months, I thought, let me share some golden nuggets on this! Believe it or not, but dry brushing was introduced to me in my childhood from my mom in some other form. At that time, we were not equipped with any fancy loofah or brushes. However, my mom taught me using rough cotton clothes and making a bowl from it, how to perform dry brushing before shower. She said that if you want subtle glow on skin, then massage your body before you take a shower. My mom and I didn’t know; it is called “dry brushing” at that time. But now, in this modern world, dry brushing becomes more prevalent in terms of “self-care.” Dry brushing is around since time immemorial. It was a well-known practice performed by many cultures for centuries, from ancient Greeks to Native Americans. Egyptian beauty history reminds us that they have used dry brushing techniques thousands of years back as well as exfoliating in sour milk and wine. In ancient Ayurveda, this practice is famous as the name “Gharshana” (which means friction by rubbing in Sanskrit). As per Ayurveda principals, this technique is well known to reduce “ama” (undigested food or emotions that manifest into a toxic and sticky substance that can extend to the gastrointestinal system and other parts of the body). In Greek culture too, strigil, a sort of metal scraper, was popular to remove dirt from the skin, which is similar to the dry brushing concept. While in Japanese culture, loofah is popular to dry brush your skin. As I said earlier, dry brushing is gaining popularity once again. Celebrities and supermodels such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle McPherson, and Miranda Kerr are all into dry brushing to help keep their skin and bodies in excellent condition. That being said, it is perfect time for me to write about dry brushing, its benefits, and before/after effects. What is Dry Brushing? For me, dry brushing is the juice cleanse and detox of beauty health. It is a technique to rub skin without any oil or lotion. As a rule of thumb, in dry brushing, the skin is typically brushed toward the heart, starting at the feet and hands and brushing toward the chest. It is generally performed before you take a shower using natural bristles of the brushes. This technique is genuinely detoxifying, circulation-stimulating, body-toning treatment without spending big bucks. If you are one of those who like to exfoliate the body with a gentle body scrub, or chemical peels, this one is gentler, and more natural form of exfoliation. All you need is a dry brush. While there are ample amount of options out there in terms of dry brushes in the market, it is vital to choose the one that is made of soft natural bristles, such as plant fibers, animal hair, or copper for this ritual. I don’t prefer synthetic bristles such as plastic, as it will be too stiff and harsh for your skin. They may even cause cuts and small wounds on your skin that could become infected. So natural bristle brushes are the way to go. Once you know the type of material of brush bristles, next comes the size and type of handles. The most common type is a handheld brush with a strap across it, allowing you to grip the brush. This brush will enable you to quickly and thoroughly access hard-to-reach spots in your body, like the back of your knees, elbows, and shoulders. It also gives you more control over the pressure you exert on the brush. The brush is the only investment, you will ever need in this technique. Benefits of Dry Brushing: There are not many formal studies on dry brushing available in the research arena. But spa experts swear by that dry brushing does have its benefits. In my personal view, I am performing dry brushing thrice a week ever since the lockdown started. And I loved my skin more than ever. Here are dry brushing benefits: Dry Brushing for Skin: Dry brushing for skin is all about exfoliating, increasing blood circulation, and invigorating and energizing experience. Gradual exfoliation on your skin will help to remove all toxins slowly. A mixture of dead skin cells, broken or ingrown hairs, environmental pollution, and sweat can clog your pores. Sometimes those regular daily showers may not be enough to clear these blockages fully. When this happens, the skin is not able to absorb vital nutrients and substances. Frequent dry brushing will help to make and open up the pores of the skin. Dry Brushing for Cellulite: If you see sagging skin surrounding your thigh highs, that means you are getting cellulite. Cellulite happens when pockets of body fat get pushed against the vertical connective tissue surrounding fat cells. That puts pressure on your connective tissue, which ultimately drives the fat against the top layers of the skin. Dry brushing those top layers helps reducing cellulite in your body. The technique of dry brushing helps promote circulation and lymphatic drainage. It can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the connective tissue – and in I return, it helps to minimize the appearance of cellulite. Dry Brushing for Weight Loss: Are you one of those who are snacking the whole day due to quarantine? Then, dry brushing can help on weight gain issue and reduce those unwanted pounds. Body brushing, particularly around the abdomen, stimulates the inner energy, removes unwanted hair and skin. At the same time, it supports the digestive system and rebalances the internal organs. Dry brushing is great for weight loss because it makes sure that your gut health is an excellent situation while you are taking care of yourself from outside. (Referenced: https://www.pranabrush.com/blogs/blog/all-you-need-to-know-about-dry-brushing) While benefits of dry brushing are not just limited to these three, but there are countless benefits of it. It also helps to enhance the lymphatic flow and provides excellent anti-aging treatment. Especially when you are in the 30s’ (like me), I would love to get into a cost-effective technique which can save me from Botox. How to do Dry Brushing? I heard that, dry brushing is not for everyone! But today, after sharing above benefits, it is essential to know the correct technique of dry brushing. The process and methodology are everything. So here are some rules and process points: It is suggested that you always brush towards the heart. Start at your feet and brush upwards towards the legs. This is believed to help stimulate the lymphatic system. Strokes ideally should be performed 2-4 minutes on each portion. Next, move on to your hands, elbows, and make upward sweeping strokes to your arms. Next, target the neck area. Working on one side of the jawline, start from the earlobe and sweep all the way to the chin. Repeat on the opposite side. Don’t dry brush on face ever. From the base of the back of the neck, sweep all the way to the collarbone. Start with one side, and afterward work on the other. Targeting your breast area, brush with light strokes towards the heart, starting from the collarbone. The pressure should be very light. Move to your belly and brush up towards the heart. Move on to your armpits and, with your arm extended overhead, brush down and towards the chest. Next, start from your hips and sweep upwards to your armpits. Start with one side and repeat on the other side afterward. Moving to your back, start from the tailbone sweeping up towards your head. Have someone help with the back for the places you can’t reach (For the back, it is good to use long handle brush). Dry Brushing Before and After Now, I talked about various benefits of dry brushing, let me talk about my experience on this. Since I was sitting on my couch practically the entire day, I started to feel slightly sluggish and tired all the time. I also felt that since there were no blood circulations in my feet, I experienced cramps occasionally. For blood circulation purpose, when I started doing dry brushing, I felt so good and energetic to myself. Most experts recommend dry-brushing in the morning rather than before bed. They believe that it has more energizing qualities and I totally vouched for this as well. I don’t put any oil on my brush when I do dry brushing, but I know that some people put a bit of body oil on the brush before they use it to prevent excess peeling. I also saw a difference in my skin in terms of softness. I see that my lumps and dumps are gone. I saw skin peeling for almost two weeks, but after two weeks, my inner layer became the outermost layer. I see my ingrown of my legs gone. In general, it was a good experience, and I will continue using it. Let me know if you are doing dry-brushing! I would love to hear your views on this. Meanwhile, follow us on Insta for fantastic beauty and wellness tips.

Boss Series: Luvanya Beauty Founder: Alpa Patel

Let's talk about another boss lady today. Today, we are going to share some exciting details about Luvanya Beauty's CEO Alpa Patel. (We also interview Ancient Healing Harmony founders here) Luvanya Beauty Founder and CEO, Dr. Alpa Patel brings a unique perspective to the field of skincare. Due to severe health issues, and suffering from chronic illnesses, surgeries and treatments, she was forced to leave her thriving pediatric practice. The prescribed treatments were doing her more harm than good, not just internally but were even damaging to her skin. Dr. Alpa then turned to researching botanicals, natural oils and ayurvedic ingredients to treat herself, and after turning her skin back to life, she knew she had something to share with the world. Her biochemistry background allowed her to fully research each ingredient to create the most effective combinations; essentially combining Science + Nature for the most visible results. After seeing this amazing turnaround, her husband, Dr. Alkesh Patel and sister, Hema Shah decided to join her on this mission. Merrell Hollis, celebrity makeup artist to Wendy Williams and others, had a passion in creating safe, clean skincare since he firsthand sees how easily skin can be damaged from harmful products, from working with celebrities who wear makeup all day long. This winning combination brings you the most well-formulated, cost effective products for your everyday skin regimen! Glow & Green: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to start your brand? Alpa: Luvanya is the birth child of a family that came together in a crisis and in the midst of that crisis, created something beautiful. In seeking safe, everyday skincare solutions for ourselves and our families, we were able to create a brand to share with the world. Four years ago I was in Connecticut working as a Pediatrician in my own private practice. Unfortunately, I have also been battling severe chronic debilitating health issues that has lasted 18 years. Because of the years of testing and harsh treatments, I developed complications that further weakened my health and I was forced to close my practice and move my family to California where the weather was more conducive to healing. It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make and it broke my heart to leave my patients. I then started researching the medicinal effects of plant based, Ayurvedic and other holistic ingredients to restore my health and skin. Fortunately, my husband, an Internal Medicine doctor who continued his private medical practice in CT while traveling back and forth across country, began researching clean, safe holistic ingredients as well. With that new knowledge and insight, we started creating home made skincare solutions for ourselves and our families. This is where my background in biochemistry came in handy. It was when I was able to create a simple skincare solution for my 1 year old niece's red, itchy, irritated skin, that my sister, Hema Shah, a finance executive, encouraged us to share our clean skincare solutions and knowledge of skin health with the world. We were then introduced to celebrity makeup artist, Merrell Hollis, who was already searching for the right skincare brand to partner with. Once he learned of our mission to create clean skincare products that were truly nontoxic and effective, using only plant based ingredients and safe synthetics, he joined our team. This brand was created with an intense passion for healthy, naturally beautiful skin and an immense respect for ingredients given to us by Mother Earth! Glow & Green: As a founder, what does your typical day look like? I don't commit myself to a full daily schedule necessarily. I take each day as it comes and I listen very closely to my body and mind and what they need to stay healthy. I’m lucky I have great team of partners to help make this dream become a reality! But when I am feeling well and productive my day will look something like this: As a founder, my tasks for the days vary based on what is needed that day. I could be researching and testing ingredients one day, working on packaging options another day and working on marketing ideas a third day. So you have to be ready to go with the flow! Wake up naturally at 4:30-5 am. Start the day with positive affirmations and to create positive intentions for the day. Morning hygiene, self care and skincare 6:30 - 8 am Breakfast and get the kids to school if hubby is back east working. If he’s home, he takes care of the kids so I get more self care time. (He’s so sweet!) 8 -10 am Prayer (give gratitude for all my blessings!), meditation and yoga 10a - 1pm - focused tasks of the day - meetings, emails, etc. 1 - 2 pm - Break time (juice, music, go for walk or sit in sun) 2 - 4 pm - Creative tasks (blending ingredients, writing blogs and content, packaging designs, etc) 4 - 6 pm - spend time with the kids, help with homework, etc. 6 - 8 pm - Dinner time with the family 8 - 9 pm - Nighttime self care and skincare In bed by 9:30 pm with a book or podcast so I can get my beauty sleep! Glow & Green: When you thought about this brand, what was your first “Aha moment”? Alpa: Our first “Aha” moment was the first time we even thought to create a skincare brand. That was after I created a simple, safe solution for my infant niece to use for her irritated skin. As physicians, it was always our policy to only recommend to our patients in our medical practice only that which we would recommend for our own families. As a pediatrician, I felt that burden even more because I know that children have years and years of exposure to chemicals to endure if we are not careful starting from their childhood years. My niece was given topical options that contained harmful chemicals. Further examination of the topical skincare options marketed for infants and children at that time also contained ingredients that were potentially harmful when used over time on our young ones. That is when we realized that if we were not comfortable using these other choices for own families, how could we recommend them for others. We then felt it was our obligation to share what we had learned and create a better alternative for all families! Glow & Green: What does success mean to you? Alpa: Success to me means that we have created products that we can stand behind with confidence and pride, knowing that we are improving skin health while avoiding the use of harmful ingredients. It means creating a brand that is authentic, trustworthy and offers value to it's customers. I love it when customers reach out and tell me our products have given them beautiful, glowing skin that they can confidently wear without makeup! Glow & Green: How did you handle adversity and doubt? (Specially when you started this brand) Alpa: Dealing with doubt is a common deterent for many entrepreneurs but whenever I am feeling doubt around me, I turn inwards. I have learned to listen to my own intuition and make it a stronger force than all the doubt that surrounds me. Glow & Green: What were 3 things you wished someone had told you about being an entrepreneur? Alpa: 1. It's a marathon! Conserve your energy and your money because both can dwindle fast! 2. You need the right team around you. Find people that believe in your mission as much as you do and those with different strengths so togther you can really make the magic happen! 3. Learn to delegate! Most entrepreneurs like to be in total control (and I am so guilty of this!!) but sometimes you have to learn let go a little. Glow & Green: Since we are beauty blog, our readers will be interested to know, what's your morning & night time skincare rituals? Alpa: My daily skincare routine currently includes some products that are currently not on the market but will be available very soon! The Exfoliating Elixir and the High Performance Hydrator are both available to purchase now on our website and the others will be coming soon. Morning Skincare Routine - Luvanya’s Nourishing Gel Cleanser with botanicals, vitamins and glycolipids Luvanya’s Exfoliating Elixir - daily nighttime face serum with guava, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes and peptide - (NOTE: This Elixir is recommended for nighttime daily use but I use it twice a day for added benefit because my skin can handle it!) Luvanya’s High Performance Hydrator - daily hydrating moisturizer with guava, Kakadu plum, hyaluronic acid and peptides Luvanya’s Nourishing Face Oil with saffron, date and turmeric SPF Evening Skincare Routine - Luvanya’s Nourishing Gel Cleanser with botanicals, vitamins and glycolipids Luvanya’s Exfoliating Elixir - daily nighttime face serum with guava, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes and peptide Luvanya’s High Performance Hydrator - daily hydrating moisturizer with guava, Kakadu plum, hyaluronic acid and peptides Luvanya’s Nourishing Face Oil with saffron, date and turmeric. Our Gel Cleanser, and Face Oil are in its final phase of development however, the Elixir and Hydrator are available at www.luvanya.com now! Glow & Green: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Alpa: We are just getting started! In 5 years, my hope is that we have skincare lines specific for each generation easily available for purchase online and in major retail distributors. Our products will help individuals attain and maintain healthy, beautiful skin they can be confident in. By that time, the clean skincare movement will be in full swing and we will all be more conscious when choosing our personal care products. Luvanya will be a trusted source not only for healthy skincare options for all ages but also for skin health education. Glow & Green: One golden nuggest from you, what's one piece of advise you give who wants to start its own entrepreneurial journey? Alpa: Be Fearless!! Take your passion and run with it. The journey will be arduous and full of risk but nothing worth creating ever comes without risk! Glow & Green: Name 2 skincare/personal care products which you can live without!! Alpa: 1. Luvanya's Exfoliating Elixir - I use it every night so I can wake up to soft, smooth, glowing skin! 2. Luvanya's Nourishing Face Oil - we have not launched this product yet but will be soon!

12 Anti-Stress Bath Soak During Quarantine

12 Anti-Stress Bath Soak During Quarantine Aren't we all into anti-stress remedy nowadays? The amount of stress and uncertainty exists in this world right now; we all need each other support. That's why today, I am sharing some simple bath recipes – that have some pretty incredible anti-stress benefits into it. I'm going to share my remedy for soothing away anxiety, with natural ingredients. I also call these recipes - deconstructed bath bombs. I was never a fan of baths. But if I am honest, bath time is a significant affair for me nowadays. Whoever thought suspending myself in warm water would prove to be a miracle stress-reliever, energy-rejuvenator, and even mind-opener. Having a glass of wine and lay down in my bathtub, it is my way to tackle anxiety and stress while I am quarantine. I have been quarantined for the last 4-weeks. In these 4-weeks, I decided to stir up some necessary ingredients from my kitchen. I made tons of bath soak variations for my night time regimen. Some of those variations are genuinely divine, nourished, and luxurious. I wonder why nobody taught me how to take a bath – like, correctly, from prep-work, to what to do in the bath itself, and how to deal with the aftermath of it all. This COVID-19 situation taught me to get a dip into having bathrooms in my bathtub more religiously. Nevertheless, as lovers of baths myself, I can vouch that all this hype is well worth it. If it is done right, you'll come to realize that a perfect, relaxing bath is truly one of life's greatest pleasures. To make this fantastic bath soak recipes, my childhood Ayurveda knowledge came handy to me. I used several different herbs in my recipe. In general, I compare this bath soak recipes like a smoothie bowl, burrito bowl, or quinoa bowls. Once I came up with the basic structure of the bath soak recipe, I started rotating "the herbs based" based on my requirement. This blogpost first, I will share with you an ultimate bath soak formula, herbs you can use inside bath soak and easy 10 bath soak recipes. An Ultimate Bath Soak Formula: My version of Bath Soak includes bath salts, vinegar, dry herbs, essential oils, carrier oil, and the list goes on. But the hero ingredient in this one is Bath salt. In my recipes, there are three elements 1) Bath Salt; 2) Herb Pouch; 3) Liquid Base. So let's tackle those ingredient ones by one. Bath Salt: So let's find out what is bath salts since Bath Soak prominently includes bath salts. Bath salts have long been used as an easy and inexpensive way to treat mental and physical health ailments. Bath salts, which are commonly made from magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) or sea salt, are easily dissolved in warm bath water and used for everything from stress relief to aches and pains. (Referenced). Herb Pouch: Although all the ingredients in these recipes are customizable, this part of the recipe where you can get more creative. Some excellent herbs I use in my herb pouch include lavender, rose, chamomile, Calendula, Peppermint, Rosemary, geranium, grapefruit, orange, fir, cleavers, oat tops, ginger, jasmine, and ylang-ylang. These herb pouches are not even significant to bring aroma, but it gives some wellness elements to your bath soak recipes. As I said, you can mix and match any herbs but I like to form a theme first when I start making different variations of bath soak. To hold these herbs, I am using spice pouches. These spice pouches will hold herbs and release all the good stuff into your bathwater. By using spice pouches, you are not clogging your drainage either. Most of these herbs are biodegradable so you can totally compose left over. Liquid Base: In liquid base, it all depends of theme of my bath soak again but I use vinegars, glycerin & oils. You can multiply benefits of liquid base by infusing oils, glycerin and vinegars. If you like to use essential oils, incorporating with oils are the best way to get benefits. The liquid base is also a fantastic way to add color as well. Who doesn't want to jump into the nicely pink bathtub, right? So once you understand the formula, let's dig down a little more in-depth in terms of herbal benefits. Few Anti-stress Herbs: Want to share more than obvious choices like Rose, Lavender & Chamomile for anti-stress. Ashwagandha Roots: In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha root is a helpful herb to have sleep aid. It used to balance various conditions that arise from 'Vata dosha' imbalances (and by the way, this is VATA dosha season). It is believed to encourage youth and vitality but it is considered a grounding and nourishing herb. This root is supportive to female well-being as well. Ashwagandha, also an adaptogen, can significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety, and has been shown to improve cortisol levels by resetting adrenal-associated stress, overall reducing your predisposition to anxiety. Rosemary Leaves or Tea: For many people, Rosemary is not the first choice because the smell of Rosemary can be a stimulating and energizing scent. But for me, I love Rosemary in my focaccia bread as well as a cleanser. However, some research suggests that it may improve cognitive function and decreased levels of stress hormones, which may help reduce anxiety in some situations. If you are feeling depressed due to COVID-19 or any other reason, put your rosemary tea bags into the bathtub. Passionflower: Okay!!! What can I tell about this herb? Passionflower is cooling to the body, calming to the mind, and soothing to the spirit. Aren't we getting mind, body & soul together in this? It quells disquietude, calms the ruminating mind, and can promote natural relaxation and stress reduction*. This plant is gentle yet profound. It can be administered as a soothing tea for children or the elderly and can help to calm a restless mind. Passionflower can be the wonderful herb for a calming bath soak. Turmeric Roots: I have written about Turmeric for Skincare here. But turmeric roots contain curcumin. Believe it or know, amazingly, curcumin has been found to reverse harmful brain changes induced by chronic stress. To incorporate turmeric roots into bath soak, I generally use fresh turmeric roots. These roots can be tucked into spice bags. It brings a beautiful yellow color to your bath. You can also buy turmeric roots from mountain rose herbs as well. Rooibos: Did you ever hear about having rooibos tea and call it a day? Because...rooibos is known to be a beverage that can provide relief after a hard day at work. Even though we all are working from home. So I thought, why not add tea and dump into bath cup? I meant to say bathtub. Lemon balm: Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic)(Reference). 12 Anti-Stress Bath Soak During Quarantine 1. Bath Soak for Calming 3 cups Pink Salt+Epsom Salt+Coconut Milk Powder(1:1:1) 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar Herb Pouch: Rose Buds+Lavender+Green Tea To make this milk bath, first, add bath salts, then pour apple cider vinegar & float herb pouch in water. Make sure water is warm enough to get the true effect. 2. Bath Soak for Nourishment 3 cups Black Salt + Coconut Milk PowderPin (50:50) 1/2 cup Vegetable Glycerin 1/2 cup Almond Oil (mixed with 25-30 drops of sandalwood essential oil) Herb Pouch: Butterfly Pea Flower (make 2-3 pouch as you might love the purple color of the bath soak) To make this milk bath, first, add both types of bath salts. Add glycerin and almond. oil. Glycerin will work as a humectant, and almond oil nourishes the body. Add 2-3 pouches of butterfly pea herb. Take a nourishing bath. 3. Bath Soak for Calming 3 cups Epsom Salt 1 cup Strawberry Infused White Vinegar Herb Pouch: Dried Lemon + Ashwagandha Powder or Roots To make this bath, first, add Epsom salt. Now add strawberry-infused white vinegar. To make strawberry infused white vinegar, submerged strawberry into white vinegar for 2 days. Drain it, and your vinegar is ready to use. Lastly, throw herb pouch. 4. Bath Soak for Relaxation 3 cups Pink Salt 1 cup Calendula infused olive oil 25 Drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil Herb Pouch: Lemon Balm Leaves Add Pink Salt into the bathtub and let it dissolve. Add Olive and lemongrass essential oil. Let good aroma going and now add lemon balm leave pouch floats for 2-5 min. Have a relaxing evening with a nice bath & of course a glass of wine. 5. Bath Soak for Anti-Anxiety 3 Cups of Bath Salt Mixture(Coconut Milk Powder + Pink Salt) 50:50 1 cup of Raspberry Infused White Vinegar 25-30 Drops of Rose Essential Oil Herb Pouch: Lavender + Rose Buds or Rose Patel + Chamomile ( I made 3 pouches because I wanted to go crazy, ha!) Like every other bath soak, soak your bathtub with pink salt and coconut milk powder mixture. Add raspberry-infused white vinegar to warm bath water & add essential oil inside running water. In that way, the aroma will mix well. Float herb pouches and make it infused in the bath. Have an amazing relaxed bath. 6. Bath Soak for Anti-Stress 3 cups of Bath Salt Mixture (Coconut Milk Powder + Epsom Salt + the Dead Sea Salt (1:1:1)) 1 cup of plant-based milk ( I added Pea Milk as that milk was available in my refrigerator) 30 Drops of Rosemary Essential Oil Herb Pouch: Turmeric Roots & Rosemary Tea Bags Add bath salt mixture first. Let it dissolve and add plant-based milk & essential oil. Float herb pouch for 6-8 minutes before you jump into your spa! 7. Herbal Bath Soak 3 Cups of Bath Salt ( Epsom Salt) 1 cup Goat Milk 15 Drops of Ginger Essential Oil 15 Drops of Turmeric Essential Oil Herb Pouch: Turmeric Roots (I used fresh one)+ Ginger Peels+ Rosemary 8. Moisturizing Bath Soak 3 cups Bath Salt ( Epsom Salt + Colloidal oatmeal (50:50)) 1 Cup Any Plant-Based Milk 1/4 Cup Avocado Oil or Moringa Oil 30 drops of Rose Essential Oil Herb Pouch: Simple Add Rose Patel Okay, officially, this bath soak is more like a milk bath. Add bath salt, milk & oil first while you are filling up the bathtub. Add 30 drops of Rose Essential Oil. Let aroma flow and now add herb pouch 5 minutes before you tucked into your bathtub. 9. Quick & Easy Bath Soak for Busy Work Day 3 cups Bath salt ( just Epsom bath salt) 1 cup Coconut Milk Powder 30 drops of Lavender Essential Oil Herb Pouch: Rooibos Tea Bags (10) This bath soak is in need while you are whole day working from home with lots of meetings. Sometimes you feel your work in the call center, and you need some quiet time. Just throw bath salt, milk powder & some essential oil. Add Rooibos tea bags directly & call it a day. 10. Bath Soak for Cool Down 3 Cups of Epsom Bath salt 1 A cup of Calendula Infused Olive Oil 30 Drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (it's a pricy essential oil, but someday you would like to splurge, you can also add Lavender Essential Oil) Herb Pouch: Dried Butterfly Pea Flower If you are having a bad day or bad thoughts about situations, you are in! Then yes, this is the right one for you. In running water, add salt and oils. Float the pouch for 5-10 minutes and let it calm your self. A glass of red wine will help too! 11. Bath Soak for Date Night 3 Cups of Pink Salt 2 A cup of Plant-Based Milk 1 Cup Coconut Milk Powder 30 Drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil Herb Pouch: Dried Orange Peels + Calendula Petals Since we all are quarantine, we need to make some night special with our loved ones. Having a candlelight bath is one of the most romantic things you can arrange in this social distancing world. Add salt, milk powder & milk first, while you are filling up tub add drops of sandalwood essential oil. Infused pouch of the herb for 5-10 minutes before you both jump into the bathtub. 12. Bath Soak for Children 3 Cups of Bath Salt ( Epsom Salt) 1 cup of plant-based milk 1 cup baby oil or almond oil Herb Pouch: Lavender Petals Add salt, milk, and oil first. Now infused lavender petals herb pouch for few minutes. Since this bath soak is for children and essential oil contains a sensitivity element, I wouldn't prefer to use it. Since it is a tough time for everyone, why not make it lighter by having simple DIY recipes. Love to hear how are you unwinding yourself every night? Comment below or share it on our social channels!

Body-Calming Oil

Body-Calming Oil I have a "Work from Home" situation for the last two weeks. And I realized while staying home, I just love making facial & body oils. With stressed and daunting feelings the whole time due to this situation, I decided to use tons of herbs and make excellent therapeutic oils for my body. It's entirely satisfactory to find tons of anti-stress properties in Ayurvedic herbs, which can be converted into awesome oils afterwords. After applying these oils over a week, I seriously feel less stress and calm. So, I switched from regular body moisturizer to body oil for good. This is one single ingredient I wanted in my life right now. When I was going through this change, I thought why not I shared some knowledge on this and really helped you to get through this tough time-with this simple concept, "Herbal Oil." Maybe, it will help you the same way. Herbal oils are popular full-body wellness products. It is not only benefiting the skin, softening and soothing, but also on a deeper level, bringing wellness within. Trust me, this article will save you not only physically but mentally as well. And lastly, who wants to go to the store while we can make these oils using simple 2-3 ingredients while keeping social distancing, right? So, let's just go into details first about what herbal oil is, how can you use it, and then some sample recipe. I also want to share a few combinations you can use if you are What is Herbal Body Oil? Herbal oils are actually marriage between plant solvent and oil. It can be achieved via the process of maceration or infusion. During the process of maceration, the herb's soluble element dissolves inside carrier oil. And carrier oil adopted the therapeutic quality of the oil. (I wrote about carrier oil here) And when you apply herbal oil to your body, your skin will absorb the herb's quality. Herbal oils are different than essential oil. You can not apply essential oil directly to your skin while herbal oil can. As both oils are useful to your skin, herbal oil is totally safe to apply on your skin. It's gentle and safe for daily use. Since every herb contains some kind of unique properties, you will get the benefit of that quality in your herbal oil as well. How do you use body oil? Body oil can work wonders to your skin, but there is a catch if it applies correctly. It is necessary to apply oil to damp skin straight out of the shower to moisturize your skin. Apply a small amount of oil all over to the body while the skin has some moisture. In that way, you can get gentle, dewy, and glowy skin. The other way you can use body oil by practicing herbal self-massage before the shower. In Ayurveda, it's called "Abhyanga." Just 5-minute massage practice is a transformative practice. I think it is really underrated in the wellness world. Especially when we are home all the time, it's good practice to circulate blood flow. It's always good to make such a positive difference. I still remember my mom used to give me carom seeds herbal oil massage when I feel sick or have good blood flow going. So, let's just find out what kind of herbs we can use? We want to make body-calming herbal oils. So let's get down into herb details. Top 5 Body Calming Herbs Lavender: Yes, this is my hero ingredient. It is something about this herb that gives me calmness. It takes away all my stress. Lavender flower and its extracts are popular in use, both internally and externally, for centuries as a treatment for anxiety and depression. Dry Lavender flowers retain the same properties. This herb works as a sedative element in your body oil. It increases relaxation and calmness, It interacts with neurotransmitter GABA to help quiet the brain and nervous system activity, reducing agitation, anger, aggression, and restlessness. Chamomile: This is my second favorite herb. There are two types of chamomile you can find: 1)Roman Chamomile 2) German Chamomile. Roman chamomile is traditionally considered to be an antiseptic, antibiotic, bactericidal, fungicidal plant. The main phenolic compounds found in Roman Anthemis Nobilis herbal material and in its decoction and infusion are flavonoids, phenolic acids, and derivatives. German chamomile, Matricaria recutita, extracts have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties and are used for many different skin conditions. This activity happens due to chamazulene, ?-bisabolol, and apigenin components.Bi-bisabolol has been reported to have anti-inflammatory properties. Both types of chamomiles are great for herbal infusions. Tulsi/Holy Basil: In Ayurveda, Tulsi, or Holy Basil, has been used for centuries to support immunity, stress response, anti-aging, and the body's natural detoxification process. Tulsi is a powerful "adaptogen," an intelligent herb that adapts to physical, emotional, and environmental stress, then works to normalize and balance the body. Stress is linked to many aspects of both physical and mental health, and healing and balance can only come about when the underlying stress is identified and addressed. Adaptogens reduce the intensity and negative impact of physical, emotional, and environmental stressors. (https://www.yogajournal.com)  So inevitably, I will get my Tulsi in your body oil. Ashwagandha Roots: This is another Ayurveda herb, I used a lot to make infusions. Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogen. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, exhaustion, lack of sleep. Well, the fragrance of the Ashwagandha is not as pleasant as lavender & chamomile (in my opinion). Still, it is a really beneficial herb when it comes to oil maceration. Rose Petals You can't go wrong with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Many times, rose flowers are reserved for special occasions, but how about enjoying those flowers every single day! Yes by infusing rose petal into carrier oil will help you achieve that. By including rose petals into carrier oil infusion, it provides natural soothing, nourishing to the skin. Elements in rose petals act as an antioxidant that fights free radicals. They are also very effective in reducing oil overproduction in fatty skin types. So without further due, here is my recipe of Body Calming Herbal Oil: Body-Calming Herbal Oil: Overall process To make this body-calming herbal oil, I am using Instant Pot, but you can use a slow cooker if you want. But in general, there are two types of oil infusion out there. 1) Cold Infusion, 2) Warm Infusion. If you are in a hurry, then, make the warm infusion. Cold immersion is more like a natural process. In general, to make any herbal oil, pour oil over herbs & infusion process starts. Think about making a tea, submerge herbs with oil entirely. To infuse an oil- you begin by filling a mason jar 2/3 of the way with dried herbs. I like my infusion a little bit stronger side, so I added 1/2 herbs & 1/2 oil. For "cold infusion," which is to let it sit for 4 weeks in dark space before straining the oil. Or, you can use the "warm infusion," which is to gently warm the oil, encouraging the extraction to happen quicker, in 10-12 hours using a slow cooker. Strain it and apply it; that's basically it. DIY Body Calming Herbal Oil 25 Gram Dried Lavender 25 Gram Chamomile 50 Gram Olive Oil Measure herbs and put it aside Sanitize your mason jars and keep it totally dry. Adding moisture into your herbal infusion is not at all good Now select your process, are you up for cold infusion process or warm? I showed two ways below for your understanding. Cold-Infusion Add measured herbs and olive oil into a mason jar and close it tight. Keep it in the dark space for 4 weeks. Make sure you shake the bottle so that all the herbs are mixed well with the oil. After 4 weeks, strain the oil using a coffee filter. And transfer into an airless pump bottle. That's it Warm-Infusion Once you measured oil & herbs, mix it in a mason jar & keep it aside. In your instant pot or slow cooker pot, fill some water and keep it in high mode (for slow cooker) or Sterilize mode (for instant pot ) for an hour. Don't put mason jar inside your instant pot or slow cooker yet. Once the temperature is hot, convert the mode into the "Keep Warm" mode. Now it's time to put your mason jar. Set the timer for 12 hours(I generally do overnight). After 12 hours, strain the oil using a coffee filter. Transfer filtered oil into an airless pump bottle. Apply this body oil before or after a shower. I used a coffee filter because I don't like any granular particles in my oil. Again, it can clog your pump bottle as well. I am sure this body oil will give you much-needed relaxation. It will keep you away from stress for sure. Make this beauty and let me know what do you think about these recipes. If you have any further questions in terms of which herbs should I use? Or How many herbs can I use? Feel free to email me: ruchita.acharya@gmail.com Meanwhile, please stay safe! Self-Isolation can be daunting, and it can affect your wellness. It is time to find self-love and provide community love! Xoxo, Glow & Green

Our Top 10 Work from Home Tips

It's all about our top 10 work from home tips today! Covid_19 is affecting almost everyone in this world. Here in California, we are "sheltered-in-place" for the next 2-3 weeks. All our workplaces require us to do work from home. It sounds like a blessing in normal circumstances, many people (including me) felt that it is a punishment. Many times, we don't feel productive and inspiring. Not all jobs meant to have work from home. It is challenging, but for public health, it is vital to have social distancing. During this tough time, I thought let me write down my top 10 tips which can help all of us when it comes to "Work from Home". I work from home since last Monday. Last week, I learned so much about me when it comes to discipline and work commitments. It is scary to hear. When employers are encouraging or requiring people to work from home for an indeterminate amount of time. This will be our new routine for quite some time. And If you're new to the work-from-home lifestyle, whether due to coronavirus, you'll need to change some of your habits and routines to make working from home a success. So let's dig in!! Here are my top 10 Work from Home tips 1.Sleep Night Before in set time Think about you want to catch that 7.30 a.m. train so that you can be on your desk around 8.30 a.m. So, if that's your goal, you won't be watching Netflix till one in the morning. Initially, I am not a morning riser, and when I don't need to go to work, I often work a little bit late on "Glow & Green." I research more on beauty products, content ideas, and so on. But after working from home for a week taught me that if I don't set the alarm to go to bed, I will end up ruining my next day. I started setting up an alarm to go to bed by 11.00 p.m. I ended up reading a book for 10/15 mins and then switch off lights. I wanted no "blue light" meaning no phones or iPads. This gave me time to switch off and go for sound sleep. 2. Morning: Ditch those Sweats It really helps me to work with my morals. Frankly, first two days, I was so happy that I get to work in my sweatpants & shirts. I even thought of buying a few loungewear as we all know, we are in work from home for longggg time. But believe me, clothes make a difference. Get dressed in real clothes. By wearing loungewear and be on my sofa, I quickly learned it was a great way to feel like a depressed hermit. Again, when you are working from home, you don't need to put on a three-piece suit (although don't let me stop you!), but you should at least wear real clothes which make you feel better. Save your sweats for the weekend to help create a boundary between work and life. 3. Define Dedicated Workspace I frankly believe that, when it comes to working from home, self-disciplined comes into play. By having a dedicated workspace, you are disciplining yourself to work from home in that particular space instead of working from your bed or sofa. The best-case scenario is likely a dedicated home office with a door you can close. This allows you to closely approximate your actual work environment, with a desk and other typical office supplies. However, it is not possible for everyone. But having at least a decent chair helps a lot. Nothing wrong in having a laptop on your lap and work from the couch in your living room. But that is also an area that is likely to offer the most distractions during the day and will kill your posture. You can totally set up a small desk in the corner of your bedroom, or setting up in the dining room that you don't use very often. By having a semi-permanent location that you can identify your work area, it will help you to maintain that separation from the rest of your home. 4. Morning Rituals: Breakfast, Exercise & Makeup I am one of those people who likes to procrastinate about having a good breakfast and exercise daily. Believe me, I am still struggling with these two. But here I am, with my two cents. After a week of working from home and thinking about my struggle to be productive, I decided to have a decent morning ritual. This ritual can be different for different people. Such as it might be making a cup of coffee, it might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed etc. For me, having light makeup and good hair enlightens my day along with a 20-minute jog. I frankly hate wearing those hair buns. I don't feel motivated at all. This is me, but feel what best for you! A dedicated morning ritual can be more potent than a clock at helping you get started each day. 5. Keep a water bottle on your work desk Hydration is necessary whether you are working from home or not. Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is essential for overall good health because of water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption, and even excretion. Since we are at home all the time, and we don't move that much, digestion and constipation can become a problem for us. Some studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. (referenced) In a survey of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise reduced both mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches. To keep our self healthy, it is essential to have a bottle of water with us all the time! 6. Schedule Breaks One of the draw breaks of having work from home is not to go for coffee breaks with your office bestie! We totally get it. But every two hours, going for short walks, enjoying your patio/balcony or backyard is not at all bad things. Don't be locked in the room or corner all the time. For every two hours, you work, have a 5-10 minute break. Give your mind time to digest what it's just done, then come back. You'll improve the quality of what you produce a hundredfold. 7. Track your time So many of you know that, I work in public sector. For us, working from home is not a thing! We usually are not allowed to work from home. For that reason, I need to be very diligent about time I spent each day. In other cases, you might ended working more hours than you should in a day. None of these scenarios are good. To conquer both situations, again, self-discipline is the key to the self-isolation time. I know this app called gtimelog. I use this tool to enter what I've done when I've completed. It is very simple and stay out of your way. By end of the week, I can see a summary of work I did. It also allows me to break out work time vs. fun time in simple manner. 8. Be Social & FaceTime with your friends Well, due to Coronavirus pandemic, everyone is working from home. Human being social animal we need some social interactions. I felt tensed and bored at same time. I seriously needed some human interactions. Thanks to technology, we can do FaceTime or use hangouts! On Thursday evening & Friday evening, Kunal & I decided have FaceTime and host online happy hours! We ended up taking our drinks to backyard and chatted with our love ones for hours. 9. Incorporate Self-care & Self-love time Since we all are going towards some tough times, we need some extra pampering to ourselves. Before we burned out, I totally feel having self-care & self-love time is exceptionally vital. I love making my own DIY skincare recipes and applying to my own skin! We have so many easy recipes on our website, if you are interested in having some self-care & self-love time then check ours here! I made schedule for myself, Monday for Masking; Wednesday for Body Scrub & Friday day for mini facial. These kinds of little things can make life enjoyable. I would take positive spin on this situation and think about having some spa moments 3-times a week. 10. Be Positive, Be Kind and Be Helpful A positive & kind attitude is the key to have successful work from home situation. As I mentioned earlier, not all the jobs mean to be working from home. That's why many times, you do not have enough tools and programs which can make your work successful. In my case, I realized that since we do not allow us to do work from home, our IT infrastructure is the lack of enough VPN access. In this kind of situation, it is better to be helpful and kind. Since everyone is going through the same struggle as you. Also, it's not just technology problems, some time working with your partner is also challenging. If you are living with your roommate or partner, that's also very challenging. Especially you both have to conduct a meeting from home, having a great understanding and positive attitude towards each other will help. So these are my tips to make your work from home experience better. I would love to hear from all of you that what kind of lifestyle changes you have done to make your life normal. Stay home! & Stay Safe! Hope to have you soon here.

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