Skin saviours from my recent Indian trip. 

I got back from India 3 days ago, but I’ve been terribly jetlagged. My main issue is trying to fall asleep. I slept at 6:30am the first night, and while my sleep patterns are slowly returning back to normal (I managed to sleep at 3am last night), I still feel really lethargic. Also, I’m rarely hungry. I don’t usually get jetlagged so bad, I wonder if it’s just a sign that I’m getting old!

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the trip. Like all family reunions, there were lots of great moments and some awkward ones. I spent most of my time at my parents’ place in Kerala, South India. I grew up in Kerala, but I’d never really realised how vibrant the landscape was until I left Kerala. There are endless rows of coconut trees that cover the landscape in a blanket of green. The deep red of the soil stains everything it touches, and it is a contrast against the bright green paddy fields, which, in some places, seem to stretch forever. View Full Post

Powder cleansers/exfoliators are a relatively new category. They are very travel-friendly (no leaks or spills; no air travel regulations), and I love how easy it is to control how exfoliating you want them to be. I’m travelling to India next week, and I know the Rodin Cleanser will be travelling with me everywhere.

Here is my edit:

Rodin Olio Lusso Facial Cleansing Powder: Linda Rodin is always ahead of the pack. She brought out her cult face oil in 2007, way before facial oils became a ‘thing’ in the West. And hers was one of the first American brands to introduce a cleansing powder. Inspired by a cleanser she encountered in Japan, when mixed with water, these white granules transform into a soft, luxurious mousse. The bottle is very architectural (a homage to an art deco-era New York monument?) and impossibly chic. It looks very small, but you only need the tiniest amount to wash your face. Unlike the rest of the cleansing powders I’ll be reviewing below, this is more of a cleanser than an exfoliator. The granules dissolve fully in water and there is just a very mild exfoliating action. It foams well (without sulfates, of course) — so well that this is the sudsiest cleanser in my collection right now. I generally don’t like foaming cleansers, but I love this. It’s very gentle, non-drying and effective (it removes basic makeup, sunscreen etc., but heavy makeup will require a pre-cleanse with a balm/oil). In addition to being a great cleanser, it smells totally lush (jasmine and neroli, just like the face oil). Highly recommend.

Price and where to buy: US$45/A$66; Mecca Cosmetica (Australia), Rodin Website (US) View Full Post

I love a good weekly body scrub. I find it a great way to polish dull skin, stimulate circulation and prevent body breakouts. I use body scrubs all year-round, but I find them absolutely essential in summer, when I can no longer hide under layers of clothing. I use an exfoliating mitt (love the natural fibre mitt from Aspar) with my body cleansers (current fave: Botanique Wash from Mukti Organics) every single day, but I like to use an invigorating body scrub every 3 or 4 days for a more intense polish.

Here are my current top 5:

Ancient Preparations African Black Soap Caffeine Exfoliant:

This unassuming product has become my go-to scrub this summer. The clever combination of African black soap and crushed coffee beans provides an intense exfoliation without the mess. It doesn’t have much of a scent when you smell it in the jar, but it has a soothing earthy, coffee aroma when you rub it on wet skin. The African black soap base makes it an amazing option for skin conditions like body acne, eczema and psoriasis. Highly recommend. So glad I discovered this product thanks to Samantha of Be Naturally You! View Full Post