Saturday, December 30, 2017

Microneedling: An Immense Contribution to the Beauty World!

Guest post by Vanessa Bywater

Have you ever wished for those pesky acne scars to go away?  And what about those stretch marks?  Everyone has something they wish would go away.  Thankfully, there is actually something that can get rid of most blemishes and scars.  The wonder solution is Microneedling, which sounds a lot worse than it really is.  Also known as Dermarolling, it is the procedure of using a device that literally rolls tiny needles across your face.  Or if you are using the Derma Pen which stamps the needles into your skin, which is not my preferred method because if not used right it will pose a greater risk of injury.  Microneedling feels more poky and scratchy, rather than that sharp pain person associates with needles.

It should be noted that due to this potential risk of injury if the device is used wrong, dermatologists recommend having the procedure done in their offices.  However, the average price of one procedure is around $150 which is not exactly cheap.  Thus, many choose to dermaroll at home which is not bad as long as it is done correctly and safely.  So, you are doing this is at your own risk.  Dermatologists also advise that if you want to do this at home then use a shorter needle to minimize the risk of injury and infection.  Cleanliness and safety are the keys here.

Since all of these sounds pretty scary, what are the benefits here?  Well, the benefits are actually pretty great which are as follows:
  • Microneedling stimulates the collagen and elastin production of your skin.
  • It improves the firmness and texture of the skin.
  • It can help in fading the appearance of stretch marks.
  • It's also proven to improve or even fade most scars except for keloid scars.
  • It helps in reducing hyperpigmentation by shedding the top layer of skin.
  • It will improve the appearance of rosacea by upping the production of collagen.
  • It can also minimize hair loss such as that caused by Alopecia.
  • Microneedling decreases pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles; and increases the skin absorption of serums, essences, and other treatments.

Aren't these benefits incredible?  I am still fascinated that such a small device can have such a tremendous beauty impact.  So, let's talk needle sizes because the size and amount of needles make a difference in what outcome you are hoping for.  For instance:
  • To combat hyperpigmentation, the ideal needle size is 0.25-1.0mm.
  • For fine lines, creases and wrinkles, you are looking for a 1.0-2.0mm size needle.
  • Scars and burns would require a 1.5-2.0mm needle.
  • Hair loss would greatly benefit from a 0.25-0.50mm needle.
  • And since the skin around the eyes is so delicate, you would want to stick to a needle in the range of 0.25-1.0mm.

Again, it should be reiterated that extreme caution needs to be practiced since with dermarolling you are essentially creating little injuries across your face which can turn into a larger injury if not done right.  And with a derma-pen, there is a higher chance for pinpoint bleeding since it is stamping onto the skin.

Let's discuss just what steps are involved to use a derma-roller/derma-pen:
  1. Soak all tools in an alcohol and water mixture, and be sure to rinse them under water before using them.
  2. Wash skin with your regular cleanser and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Apply a numbing cream across your face; there are several good ones such as this one with lidocaine in it from Amazon.  You are very brave if you skip this step.
  4. Leave the numbing cream on for about 20 min.
  5. Prep face by using astringent or another alcohol and water mixture to remove the numbing cream and ensure the face is 100% clean. Also, make sure that your hands are equally as clean.
  6. Starting on your cheek, if using a roller, run the derma-roller across in several strokes upwards and then in strokes across the skin.
  7. Then continue with upwards and across passes on the forehead, nose, and chin.
  8. Important:  Do not apply pressure to the skin with the device.
  9. After the procedure, soothe the micro-injuries on your skin with a sheet mask of your choosing. Leave this on for about 20 min.

It is easy to include in your Sunday night skincare routine since you only need to dermaroll every 4-6 weeks. It really shouldn't be done any sooner than that since you need to give your skin some time to heal and recover.

I hope you will find your best skin yet with microneedling!

About the Author
She is Vanessa Bywater from the "Mommy Needs Lattes" blog.  It is a website that represents the beauty addicts, the coffee enthusiasts, the fabulous, the adventure seekers and anyone who wants to be the best version of themselves.  There you will find posts about lifestyle, travel, recipes, parenting, beauty and so much more.
BlogMommy Needs Lattes

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Intoxication: From Fun to Death!

Hello Everyone,

If you are reading my blog regularly, then you might know that I am a Medical Language Specialist, I work on patient’s healthcare records.  I edit a lot of files on daily basis and come across a number of files of patients who are addicted to some or other substances.  Even I know few people in person, who smokes cigarettes, drink alcohol, use cannabis and hookah and are addicted to that.  I wonder why people don’t understand that it’s something that will ruin their lives; just for the sake of temporary fun and enjoyment, they put their lives at stake.  People think that consuming substance is a pride, but I believe, " it's not a pride, it's devastation” and education plays a vital role in preventing substance abuse.  So here I come with an article on substance abuse, what are they, their effects and preventions.  So, just read on.

Substance abuse also known as drug abuse refers to the use or misuse of any substance for wrong and harmful purposes.  Tobacco and alcohol are two of such substances which are abused abundantly.  There are number of other substance, categorized as drugs, which are used for medicinal purposes.  These are cannabis (marijuana), nicotine (cigarettes, cigars, snuff, and tobacco), cocaine (crack), amphetamines, tranquilizers (sleeping pills), inhalants (aerosol, glue, paint thinner), opium, codeine, heroin, morphine, and LSD.

All the aforementioned drugs are psychoactive drugs and they are divided into four types i.e. depressants, stimulants, opiates, and hallucinogens.
* Alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, minor tranquilizers (benzodiazepines), and inhalants are examples of depressants.
* Nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine are examples of stimulants.
* Heroin, codeine, painkillers are examples of opiates.
* LSD and cannabis are examples of hallucinogens.

Amongst these, alcohol is drunk while cannabis is smoked.  Nicotine is also smoked and inhaled while opiates are taken orally except in case of heroin which is inhaled.  The fumes of cocaine are also inhaled after burning it.  Cocaine is injected into the bloodstream for quick effects.  Inhalants, as the name goes, are inhaled, while tranquilizers and LSD are swallowed.  On the other hand, amphetamines are injected, taken orally and inhaled too.

They are prescribed by physicians and the use of such prescriptions do a lot of good when taken in limits.  Nevertheless, deliberately or in-deliberately misuse of these drugs leads to very harmful effects and in many cases leads to addiction from which it’s quite difficult to withdraw yourself.  And most of the abuses begin in-deliberately due to lack of information or negligence.

    Related Post:  Dealing with Chronic Pain     

The individuals who consume these vary between the young and the old, educated and the illiterate, the male and the female, the urban and the rural.  Of course, all of them have their own different reasons for taking such substances at the initial stages, before addiction set in.

Some people use it to relax and forget the problem, other use it to relieve the stress.  Some use it for being accepted by their peers, other use it just for the enjoyment purpose and some are induced by people around them and some take it for making a bold statement in a conservative society.  Though, there is nothing bold in doing such things.  And in some cases, self-medication also leads to such drug addictions, which is also the very common cause.

Whether you have started using drugs without thinking about any harm to your body or thinking that it won’t become a problem as you are using it occasionally, however it may still affect your health or I would say mental health.  The more you take a drug, the more your body builds up a tolerance to its same effects and this can lead to the need of taking a large number of doses to obtain the effects of the drug.  And that is what known as dependence or excessive reliance on drugs.  Drug dependence can rapidly begin to affect your physical and psychological health, and can also affect your social and work life.

Different kinds of drugs affect your body in different ways.  You may feel differently, behave differently, and think differently if you have taken drugs.  And you may make efforts to control your actions and thoughts.

Effects of Drugs Abuse:

There are short-term and long-term effects that can occur when you take substance/drugs.  The effects related to drugs can vary from person to person.

1.  Depressants:
Short-term effects:  Slow brain function, poor concentration, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, lack of coordination, disorientation, depression, slowed pulse and breathing, lowered blood pressure, slurred speech, fever, sluggishness, visual disturbances, dilated pupils, and difficulty or inability to urinate.
Long-term effects:  Depression, chronic fatigue, breathing difficulties, sleep problems and sexual problems.
2.  Stimulants:
Short-term effects:  Intense feelings of happiness, relaxation, increased energy/sociability and self-esteem, improved attention, opened breathing passages/easier breathing, increased sexual desire and performance, and suppressed appetite.
Long-term effects:  Extreme weight loss, breathing problems, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular damage, cerebral hemorrhage, stroke, seizure, muscle deterioration, chronic exhaustion, and reduced sexual functioning.
3.  Opiates or narcotics:
Short-term effects:  Euphoria followed by lack of concern or interest, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, itching skin, slowed thinking and movements, attention problems, memory impairments, drowsiness, slurred speech, pinpoint pupils, and coma.
Long-term effects:  Severe constipation and related gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., bowel obstruction, bowel perforation), irregular menses in women, and sexual dysfunction.  Intravenous consequences:  Abscesses, Tuberculosis, HIV or hepatitis virus contraction, infection of the heart lining, cellulitis, peripheral edema, and track lines or puncture marks.  Intranasal effects:  Nasal bleeding, irritation of nasal lining, and perforation of nasal septum.
4.  Hallucinogens:
Short-term effects:  Euphoria, sense of relaxation and well-being, confusion and difficulty concentrating, thinking or maintaining attention, anxiety, agitation, blurred vision, disorganized thoughts, dizziness, loss of coordination, increased breathing rate, increased heart rate and blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and palpitations, nausea and vomiting,  increased body temperature and sweating (may alternate with chills and shivering), paranoia and feelings of panic, numbness, hallucinations and distorted perception including visual, auditory, body, time and space.
Long-term effects:  Flashbacks weeks, months, or even years after the drug use.  Flashbacks may be pleasant or a living nightmare.  Most flashbacks last a very short time, only a minute or two, decreased motivation, prolonged depression, increased panic, impaired memory and concentration, possible severe mental disturbances, psychosis, increased delusions, bad trips may last hours, weeks, and even months.

Preventative Measures:

It is really difficult to overcome the drug addiction, but there are few things that you can do in order to prevent yourself from falling into the grips of drugs that includes:
  • Balance your life and deal with its pressure.
  • Build strong bonds and surround yourself with support.
  • Develop hobbies that give satisfaction.
  • Choose your friends carefully.
  • Effectively deal with peer pressure.
  • Seek help for mental illness.
  • Examine the risk factors/warning signs.
  • Keep a well-balanced life.
  • Limit negative influences.
  • Set and work toward goals.
  • Learn about the consequences of drug use.
  • Abstain from going to places which are associated with substance use/abuse.
  • Take part in community anti-drug, tobacco and alcohol programs.

If you’re reading this because you are addicted or if you’re scared that you’re at risk of developing a substance use disorder or some other dependence/ addiction (to gambling, technology, or food, for example), following the aforementioned preventative measures will increase the feeling of self-worth and confidence and can do a lot to improve the odds and will help you to stay addiction-free.  However, if one feels a sense of addition then think it’s time to consider seeking treatment.  One must take immediate help of a family member, friend and then subsequently of a trained doctor in this area.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy..!! :-)

Disclaimer:  This website does not promote, recommend, or endorse drugs or related substances.  My interest is in the information about dangers coming from lack of knowledge, so this is solely for informational purpose.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Indian Wedding: Its Traditions and Customs

Hello Everyone,

How are you doing since you have visited my space last time?

I am sorry folks!  I could not make it possible to publish an article last week.  I have been quite busy and occupied in one of the family functions i.e. my cousin’s wedding.  Here in India, a festival/wedding season have already started and as I have recently attended a wedding so what can be the better topic for writing than this, the Indian wedding, its customs, and traditions.

Me (fourth from the right) with my siblings and cousins

In India, there are a number of States that speak different languages and has different religions with their own traditions and cultures, thus in every State, a wedding takes place differently.  Though the feeling and excitement of all the weddings are the same yet you will find differences in rituals, customs, and traditions in different parts of India.

Weddings are traditionally multi-day celebrations in India which involves many convoluted ceremonies that are performed with utmost care and in accordance with ancient practices.  In other words, weddings are not just the joyous event for the bride and groom but it’s a festive occasion for one and all.  It is always a family affair with each and everyone related being a part of it.  In maximum parts of India, the bride and groom remain separated in their own residences until the day of the wedding, each performing their own set of rituals.

In Hindu religion, weddings last for about 6-7 days.  Though, Hindu wedding ceremonies can vary depending on different regions and according to family traditions.  It is typically divided into three parts pre-wedding, main, and post-wedding which includes “bhajan, haldi, telmayan, mehndi, sangeet, barat, vidaai, Satyanarayan katha, reception, pagphere.

Bhajan (Hymn):

Weddings in Hindu religion consist of many pooja’s, a religious ritual that Hindus perform on a variety of occasions to pray or show respect to Gods/Goddesses.  Sacred Hymn plays a key role in the traditional Hindu wedding.  Bhajans are held on the first eve when the wedding starts.  Family and close relatives take part in this.

Haldi (Turmeric):

On this day, every Hindu community performs the ceremonies called “magarmati and dhandhareti.”  The magarmati is a ritual whereby a certain amount of earth from the front of the house needs to be gathered.  Only married women take part in the gathering of the sacred earth, but other people are allowed to watch.  After the gathering of earth, another ceremony is performed i.e. dhaandhareti in which a wooden pillar is dug at home and the gathered earth is kept over there.  After that, bride/groom are pasted with haldi (turmeric powder) while everyone partied.  Applying haldi on the bride/groom before their wedding has been a prominent ritual in the Indian culture and this is celebrated in every part of India irrespective of State and Caste, but when it comes to Hindu, it is a custom that this should be done at least 5-7 times.  It signifies the ritual purification of the new couple and serves as a blessing of fortune and prosperity.  Also, haldi is known to brighten the skin and has many substantial benefits when it comes to the skin.  The application of turmeric ensures that one has glowing and radiant skin on their wedding day.


Some people also referred it to “Tel Baan.”  On the auspicious occasion of wedding, there is a custom of remembering and inviting ancestors and for that purpose, a pooja is held in Telmayan.  After the completion of this ritual, oil is applied to bride/groom.  Oil is applied by the means of brushes made of grass.  Female members of the family and close relatives take these grass brushes, dip them in the oil, and apply it symbolically to their feet, knees, hands, shoulders, and head three times from bottom to top.  In addition to this “application of oil” ceremony, Banna (groom) Banni (bride) is made to wear fresh flower jewelry.  This is accompanied by the singing of some Banna-Banni folk songs.  People start shaking their legs, be it kids, girls, boys, aunties or uncles; it seems like they’re just waiting for the music to start and lost themselves in the tunes and rhythms of drums played with utter enthusiasm by the band.

My cousins


Mehndi:  The mehendi (henna) function is where the bride's/groom’s hands and legs are decorated with beautiful mehendi designs, often inscribed with their to-be spouse’s name.  All the women in the family also decorate their hands with mehendi.  In the Indian culture, it is said that the darker the color of the mehendi, the more love and appreciation she will receive from her husband and in-laws.

Sangeet:  If there's one ceremony which is secular, this one would be it. From families enjoying songs and dance performances, the idea is to meet and mix in a light-hearted manner.  At some part of India, these functions including Telmayan are celebrated on the same day and on the other hand, some celebrate these separately.

Wedding Barat (Main wedding day):

Weddings are steeped in tradition.  On the main day of the wedding, you will find various customs and rituals going on and on and on.  Earlier, most of the weddings took place during the night hours.  But, nowadays people start performing this during the day.  Though the wedding that I have attended took place at night.  Barat came at 7 p.m. and the marriage function, customs, rituals along with dinner ended next morning, like by 6 a.m.

Maang bharai
On the day of the wedding, the bride and groom are required to fast.  “Barat” procession persons go to the bride’s place with the bridegroom where the wedding is performed.  The actual wedding service is fascinating because the parents and close relatives of the couple also participate.  Varmala:  One of the main rituals is the varmala i.e exchange of garlands.  Kanyadaan:  Another important step in the wedding is the kanyadaan, which involves the bride's father giving her hand to the groom’s hand.  The bride's left hand is placed on top of her to-be husband's right hand.  Mangalsutra:   Groom knots the mangalasutra around the bride’s neck.  It is a cord of gold pendants to symbolize the bonding of the two souls.  Maang bharai:  This is the ceremony in which groom put sindoor (vermilion) on the bride's hairline.  This sindoor (vermilion) and mangalsutra (necklace) let others know that the girl is married.  Bhanvar:  It is also called as sath pheras (seven vows) or mangal pheras.  Any Hindu marriage is incomplete without these vows.  This is when the bride and the groom circle the sacred fire seven times.
Sath pheras
There is another ritual after the wedding takes place and that is known as stealing the groom’s shoes.  Bride’s sisters and brothers (including cousins/friends) steal the groom’s shoes for fun and the groom must pay them to get his shoes back.  Vidaai:  The bride leaves for the groom’s home, it is kind of an emotional send-off by her family and she throws three handfuls of rice and coins over her head.

Grihapravesh, satyanarayan katha and reception:

Grihapravesh:  As the barat returns at the groom’s place, the mother welcomes the newlyweds with a traditional aarti.  The bride enters her new home and is supposed to gently push the kalash or a pot filled with rice with her right foot to signify wealth and prosperity. The bride then puts her feet in a tray or plate which has a paste of vermilion and water and walks in, leaving footprints behind.  They consider these footsteps as of Goddess Laxmi and signify her arrival in form of the bride.

Satyanarayan katha and reception:  In addition to grihapravesh, satyanarayan katha takes place.  The Satyanarayan pooja is a religious worship of the Hindu god “Vishnu”.  Satya means “truth” and narayana means, “The highest being” so Satyanarayan means “The highest being who is an embodiment of Truth”.  This pooja is accompanied by the reception at the groom’s place which celebrates the union of the couple with the motive of the two greeting and meeting all their family and friends while receiving blessings and gifts.


It is one of the most important post-wedding ceremonies that are followed in all types of Indian weddings.  It is the ceremony in which the bride is taken back to her parental home from the in-laws' house where she stays for about two-three days.  Earlier, brides used to stay for weeks, sometimes for a month, but over time this has stopped and now brides only stay for few days.

Being a part of such a wonderful cultural event is surely an experience that I want to remember for a long time to come.

Have you ever been to an Indian wedding? How is your experience? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy..!! :-)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pond’s – Triple Vitamin Moisturizing Lotion Review

Hello Everyone,

Hope you all are doing well!

Winter has knocked our doors and this is the season known for its cold winds and condensation.  They tend to make our skin dry, flaky, itchy, and lifeless; and we all hate that.   Thus, it’s time to bring out the hydrating lotions and moisturizers.  We all know that we can’t even imagine our winters without body lotions.  Of course, one needs to keep the skin hydrated in all climates, but winter is the time when one needs to take special care of their skin as winter steals away all the moisture from the skin.  In winters, our body lotion is chosen wisely because the requirements of the body changes according to the season.  So it’s essential to have some winter-care products in our collection and one of such product is body lotion.  Today, I am going to review the body lotion from one of my favorite brands “Pond’s” and the product is named as “Pond’s Triple Vitamin Moisturizing Lotion.”  Pond’s is a well-known brand in India known for its various beauty and healthcare products.

Let’s get right into the review.

Product Description:

What it claims?
Pond’s Triple Vitamin Moisturizing Lotion claims to have soft, smooth and radiant skin that leaves you feeling beautiful all over.

How it is used?
Pond’s Triple Vitamin Moisturizing Lotion is easy to use.  Squeeze out the lotion and apply it generously all over.  Massage lightly on the skin with fingertips until completely absorbed.  Use twice a day as a part of skincare regime.

Key ingredients:  It is enriched with Vitamin B3, E, and C.
Water, Mineral Oil, Glycerine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Sodium Cetostearyl Sulphate, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Paraffin, Perfume, Microcrystalline Wax, Cellulose Gum, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzophenone-3, BHT, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Simethicone, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methypropional, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Eugenol.

First Look:
The lotion comes in opaque plastic bottle packaging which is white in color with a pink colored flip up cap that shuts snugly.  Its packaging is not changed for many years now.

The lotion is milky in color with a creamy texture and consistency which is neither too thick nor too runny.  It spreads quite well on skin and the application of the lotion is essentially hassle-free.

My Take:
I have remained faithful to Pond’s since ages.  I love picking up their products, be it a day cream, BB cream, talc or a lotion which are available almost everywhere.  I have used Pond’s Triple Vitamin Moisturizing lotion so many times that I must have bought more or less 25 bottles till today.  As the name goes, it is enriched with triple vitamin i.e. Vitamin B3, E and C.  As stated, it has creamy texture and consistency along with pleasant fragrance which lasts for hours after application.  I use this twice a day as directed.  I gently massage it on the skin until it completely absorbed.  It easily and quickly absorbs and leaves no greasiness behind.  Massaging of this lotion leads to give a healthy skin.  It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.  As the product claims, it gives smooth and supple skin instantly.  It also keeps the skin hydrated for 6-7 hours.  I have never experienced any side effects with this product.  No breakouts at all.

Pond’s Triple Vitamin Moisturizing lotion is enriched with vitamin E, B3, and C which is an all round the year solution to the dehydrated skin.  Its price and availability make it the choice of many people and it suits all skin types at all ages.

Pros of Pond’s – Triple Vitamin Moisturizing Lotion:
  • Contains the goodness vitamins B3,  E, and C.
  • Nourishes the skin.
  • Mild and gentle.
  • Does not feel greasy.
  • Did not irritate my skin or break it out
  • Suits all skin types at all ages.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Easily available.
  • Comes in different sizes.

Cons of Pond’s – Triple Vitamin Moisturizing Lotion:
  • No SPF.

Will I purchase it again?
Yes, I will!  I have used more or less 25 bottles so far.

Will I recommend it?
Yes, I do!  It’s a ”Go, Grab It” thing.  My family uses this too and they are happy with this product.  If you are planning to get this one, then definitely go ahead and grab it for yourself.  It comes in various sizes so you can opt any of your choices.

It retails for Rs. 230 for 300 ml.

Shelf Life:
2 years.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy..!! :-)

Thick, Curvy, or Thin: A Healthy Woman Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

I wanted to write on this topic for long, but couldn’t make it possible for some reasons.  And now I thought this is the time when I sho...