Clinique 3 Step.


Well, I normally would not start a blog on a negative note but I have never been this disappointed before. I do not expect any product to give miraculous results or make my skin look like those of the models that advertise them, but I do expect an acceptable performance; to live up to at least a part of the claims.

Sadly, Clinique 3 Step did nothing for me but also gave me adverse skin reaction ( read ahead to see how). And don’t even ask me how much money I pumped into this!

Here is what the product claims to do :

  • “Immediately: Skin seems smoother, brighter when you get it totally clean, sweep away dulling flakes and balance skin’s moisture. If you see a pimple after a few days, don’t stop. You’re bringing up the deep-seated dirt that gets skin into trouble.
  • Week 1: The effects of getting skin on a good daily routine become apparent. Skin looks—and feels—healthier, fresher. You may also notice less flakiness and dullness, and a more even texture. Makeup goes on smoother, too.
  • Week 2: With consistent use, change accelerates. Skin looks more radiant as twice-daily exfoliation begins to regulate the natural cell-renewal process. You may also notice the moisture level of skin is more balanced.
  • Over Time: Drier skins feel more comfortable, and oilier skins are less prone to breakouts. You’ll also find that moisture sinks in faster, fine lines are softened, even treatments work better. The long-term payoff: skin in ideal condition is going to act—and look—better longer”.
    Clinically formulated. Allergy tested. 100% fragrance free.
    Here is a snap shot of the regime I was put on :

    My regime. Soap is missing here as I used it a hand wash.

    The SA examined my face under a magnifying glass like object and said that I have sensitive, oily skin which is true. She put me on the following:
    1. Soap/gel wash for oily skin. I picked the soap. It come is an elegant plastic container  tailor made for the soap.
    2.Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1.  Althought no.1 is generally for dry to very dry skin, it was suggested that due to my sensitive skin, I should use this only.
    3.Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel for combination oily-oily skin.

    THE SOAP :
    Comes with it’s own tailor made,
    beautiful sturdy case. I wish I had a picture to include here.
    -Soap does not crumble or melt under water into a gooey thing.
    -Lathers very well.
    -Cleans up all the muck and grime on the face without giving a feeling of dryness.
    -Lasts good for a long time. Mine lasted for around 3 months each.
    -No fragrance.

    Touted as the ”difference maker”, “exfoliating lotion”.

    -Essentially a alcohol based toner I reckon. The product smells strongly of alcohol.
    -Associated with a slight tingling sensation which is supposed to indicate that the product is working.

    Oil free , as per the package.

    -Comes in a pump mechanism bottle. Just one pump is sufficient for the whole face.
    -Looks oily on application initially but completely soaks up to a matt finish. Here are the pics:

    DURATION OF USAGE : Six months.

    I noticed no improvement in my skin. Not immediately, not after a week, not after 2 weeks.

    Here is what I noticed:
    -Aggravation of acne : The SA told me that it happens as the product tries to bring up the impurities and finally eliminates them. Understandable, does happen with exfoliants.
    -Urticarial rashes or as you may call them hives off and on; the itchy skin eruptions you have with mosquito bites.

    I eliminated everything from my skin care regime one by one to zero on the culprit.
    It turned out to be Clinique.
    What can I say, maybe I got unlucky and I hope was one of the isolated cases.

    I did a  lot of online research before I invested in Clinique 3 Step. It had mixed reviews with some people raving about it while some completely deriding it citing reasons from no effect to aggravated acne to allergic reactions. However, there was a significant percentage of people who loved 3 Step and thus my decision to make a purchase and stick by it for 6 months!!!

    So here is what I think…. This is definitely not for me.

    As for the rest of you ladies (or men) out there, I suggest you first try out the samples if they give them at the store or borrow some from your friend who is using it. If you must, start with the smallest size available at the store.

    If it you see it working for you….bingo!! If not, you still get out easy. Discontinue immediately if you believe it could be giving you an allergic reaction. For all its  claim about being allergy tested on so and so many thousand people, there are a significant number of people out there who have developed an allergic reaction to it.




Parachute Advansed Therapie Hair Fall Control with Root Healing Complex.


Here a product from the company that manufactures Parachute coconut hair oil. I am sure many of you like me have memories of Parachute coconut oil from our childhood days. My friends mom was such a fan of it that every Sunday would be spent sitting in the sun in winters or under shade of a tree on hot days and a hard-core session of application of the coconut oil would ensue. My friend now has beautiful dark hair. Thick, straight, full of shine. You would mistake it for chemically straightened hair, but no gals……it is au natural.

Coming back to the Hair Fall Control  variant of Parachute… is a snapshot :

Here is what the package has to say about hair fall and the product :

Kindly note that it says that ''Not for hereditary hair fall. Not for hairfall due to medical conditions".

Here are the INGREDIENTS :

I like how the products listed above are herbal.

PRICE:INR 190 (USD  ~4.28) for 190ml.

Was suffering from stress induced hair loss. Lots of hair coming out in clumps. With the market littered with so many anti hair fall products, I picked this because I trust the brand.


(The product come with a leaflet in the box with further details about the oil and method of usage. That insert is long-lost by me, but here is how I used this hair oil….)
It says to use thrice a week, overnight. I used it every alternate night before bed and washed off the next morning.

-The bottle comes with a transparent cap with ml markings on it with a leaflet that advises the amount (ml) of oil to be used depending on you hair length. I did well without this addition.



-The oil has a pleasant herbal fragrance, nothing repulsive. It has a light brown colour to it and occasional blackish residues pour out with the oil. The leaflet said that it is absolutely harmless and a part of the oil ingredient.

The caramel coloured oil may show some black deposits but it is a harmless component of the oil.

-Nothing special about the application. It is to be used like just any other hair oil, preferably well massaged into the scalp.

-I left the oil overnight as per the recommendation. Washed off well with my usual shampoo (Garnier Fructis Long and Strong) the next morning.

-Did not notice any change in the hair loss until after the second week when the hair loss gradually started to decrease. In a period of  around 2months, my hair fall stopped completely.

-The best thing about this product is that it not only rid me of my hair loss but also MARKEDLY IMPROVED THE TEXTURE OF MY HAIR. I had some botched up chemical hair treatment at the salon which had made my hair rough, brittle, split-ended. Use of this product got my hair back at its feet and gave strength and softness to my hair. Also, the split ends never came back! This is the reason why I continued to use the hair oil even after the hair fall stopped.

-I suffered from stress induced hair loss around 4-5months back. Again!!  I got this hair oil. Used it religiously for 3months until giving up. This second time somehow, it did not stop my hair loss. Don’t know why, don’t know how…..


Definitely. It worked beautifully the first time around. It not only stopped my hair loss,  but remarkably improved the hair quality. I hold no grouse that it did not work the second time around. Who know what could be the reason.
This is an effective and very cheap product with so many benefits. I have used Vichy  Dercos (cost a BOMB) which did nothing for my hair. I would really advice you to look into this product if  you are suffering from hair loss.

However, please keep in mind that, as stated in the product package, this product is NOT FOR HEREDITARY HAIR FALL. NOT FOR HAIR FALL DUE TO MEDICAL CONDITIONS.
So if you have male pattern baldness, you would do better with a hair transplant. If you have hair loss due to some fungal infection, see a dermatologist. Rest of you……join the fan club 🙂


Soapy Time with Anti Acne Soaps.


I am a sucker for anti-acne stuff. Being struck with acne at the age of 13 does that to you! I have tried so many lotions, potions, concoctions etc etc etc things that I could write volumes of books about it.

Needless to say, I get intrigued  whenever I see any anti-acne stuff. Like today when I went to the local pharmacy. I saw rows of soaps neatly lined up with the glass partition open as if sending me out an invite through the airwaves!

I do suffer from body acne every now and then, so these will do good I guess. I have also used medicated soaps  (not these and different formulations) in the past with mixed results. I use these medicated soaps on face as well; causes dryness post usage as expected, but nothing a good non-comedogenic moisturizer cannot handle.

I saw around 6 types of soaps for acne with different formulations. Two I did not purchase because they had only Triclosan as the main ingredient and I get resistant to it after about 2 weeks of continued usage.

I got 3 soaps and here they are :

From top to bottom:

1. ACNESTAR 2.5% soap containing 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide as the active agent.
INR43.50 (USD ~0.98) for a 75gms pack.
I am hoping that in spite of the cheesy name (acne-“star”….seriously!!) it works well. After all, Benzoyl Peroxide is something that   many acne sufferers swear by.

Contains a whole list of stuff (Triclosan, Zinc, Salicylic acid , Willow extract, Tea tree oil, Olive oil, Aloe, Glycerine etc)
INR 115 (USD ~2.59) for a 75gms pack.
The icy blue colour of the inner pack is appealing. I hope the soap is of the same cool colour!

3. PAKNET Bar, Anti acne oil control formula.
Contains Sulphonated Surfactant Blend 6.38% as the key ingredient.
INR 69 (USD ~1.55) for 100gms.
I am really wondering what is the story behind the name of this soap!

I still have to finish Cetaphil face wash. Will start with these all one by one once I am done with Cetaphil.

Will use them for a decent period and then write about them.


Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam.


Leaflet I got at the Sebamed counter.

Sebamed is a relatively new entrant in the Indian market of skin care. 

It is dermatologist developed range ( as stated in the official Indian website).

It’s clinching tag is that its products are of pH5.5 which is the skins natural pH and thus (I quote) “work without altering your skins pH level”.


Coming to the product I am telling you about today :

This comes in a handy plastic pump bottle.

INR550 (USD ~12.40) for 150ml.


-The complete list is not given on the bottle.
-They have mentioned one “Montaline C40“, “coconut oil based antibacterial active ingredient” that “combats bacteria and prevents the formation of new pimple”.
-“Panthenol  supports the regeneration of the irritated and infected pores”.

DIRECTION OF USE as give  on the bottle :
“Use mornings and evenings. Dispense a small amount of foam with the pump applicator into the palm of your hand and massage gently into the skin, avoiding eye area. Allow foam to penetrate the skin for 5mins to combat bacteria before rinsing thoroughly with water”.

Was at the pharmacy for something else. The lady at the Sebamed counter showed me the range and since anything promising acne remedy gets me all dreamy-eyed, I chose this one.

MY EXPERIENCE with the product :
The bottle when shaken gives the feel of  a watery agent and the pump dispenser works very well and smoothly to dispense the foam. Just one pump of product gives out a significant amount of foaming when you wash your face.

The first time I used it, my skin felt sticky. I thought maybe the cleanser amount was insufficient for my oily skin and washed again, but the skin feeling persisted.

This sticky feel was a major kill-joy for me. After a few uses (four, to be precise), I gave it up. I cannot deal (psychologically) with products that give my oily acne prone skin a sticky feel. All you people out there with similar skin profile must be understanding how I felt 🙂

I personally cannot comment about its anti acne action as I did not use it long enough.

I gave away this product to a friend who has a combination skin profile with occasional breakouts. Here is what she experienced:
It worked very well for her (using it for 2 months now). She says that it cleans away the dirt and grime without drying out the skin.
-She has no sticky after feel.
-She is using only this face wash for her (minor) acne breakout of  inflamed variety and it is controlling her acne issue.
She is loving it and intends to buy it when this bottle gets over.

So, as you can see what worked for her did not work for me.  

I guess it does work for people with acne prone skin. I did not use it long enough to see its effect.

This is not for me. I cannot deal with the sticky feeling it gave me. But I guess, it can work (without sticky feel) for many people like it did for my friend. After all, different stroke for different folks. 🙂


Cetaphil Cleansing Lotion for Sensitive Skin.


The Cetaphil brand is from the stables of Galderma, a pharmaceutical company that has base in many parts of the world, including India. This seems to be a popular brand with dermatologists, with my derms adding at least one or at times more products from this company.

Here is a snap shot of the product :

And the list of INGREDIENTS :


Was on strong formulation topical retinoids for acne  for some time and the face wash I was using was very harsh for my skin. I had been prescribed this face wash before and went back to it.


– It is a light gel-cream consistency, no fragrance. Here is a picture of how the product looks like :

-Spreads very easily and has a very light foaming action. The size of a 50p coin is more than sufficient for my oily skin (I guess people with normal/dry skin will need even less)  except on days when it is very hot making my skin go on an over drive of oil production, when I have to use twice the amount for thorough cleansing.

– I had no burning or stinging sensation when I used this face wash (I used this face wash while I was on retinoids for acne).

-Cleans off beautifully with water or tissue. Left no sticky residue / feel on my face.

No dryness or stretchy feel post wash.

Removed all the grime and oil effectively. Can’t say about make up because I do not use any.

No flaring up of acne.


DURATION OF USAGE :  Approximately 3months.


COST: INR 125.90 (USD ~2.8) for 125ml.



Perfect for skin that is sensitive or has become sensitive due to chemical peels etc…

-Cost effective.

-No fragrance.


None really, if you ask me but I do wish it had some antibacterial agent in it.  I do have to use a lot of the product on hot humid days to clean off the oil and muck completely, but that does not really bother me. At the end of the day, it does a good a job and that is what I am looking for.

P.S. : I would strongly recommend this product to people with sensitive skin issues. Also people with dry to normal skin are bound to love it.


Scrunchie Time!!


Well, this is not exactly what I would blog about but these scrunchies are so cute that I have to show them off   🙂

And the best part is, I got them dirt cheap. And who does not love a good deal??

Here goes the story…….

I was at the local market and went to one of those small roadside stalls run by aunties and uncles that sell a dazzling array of  mind numbing baubles for girls like hair clips, hair bands, bindis, bangles, custom jewellery etc. I got a boring black clutch for my hair, paid the lady and was walking away when suddenly one of the crowded storage paper boxes caught my eyes. I could see something purple shining through a plastic wrapper that was twice folded on itself and tucked away semi-hidden in one of the corners of the paper box.

The curious cat in me had her claws on that plastic and lo and behold, out pops the cutest scrunchies I have ever seen!

Bright yellow polka dot scrunchie with bunny splattered with golden-yellow sequins and topped up with a yellow satin bow.

Purple polka dot scrunchie with two layered heart trimmed with petal motif and flower print, topped up with a purple satin bow.

I have seen similar stuff in the upmarket shops like Westside, Shoppers Stop etc but the undeserving price tag of INR99 to 199 for something that is essentially a mix of cheap plastic and nylon glued together was scandalising and I never bought any.

But these two, I got  for INR 15 each!!

Believe it or not!

I don’t think I will ever use them. They are too cute!!


Clinique Pore Minimizer – thermal active skin refiner.




Whether clogged with debris, enlarged by oiliness or weakened by time, all pores can be noticeably smaller. 

-Clinique’s pore minimizing team helps shrink the look of pores.

-Instantly refines skin texture.

-So you can watch the pore go small, smaller smallest.


The “dislodges pore clogging debris” statement got me in because that is one of the reasons why acne results.


I am a person who has a super oily skin plagued with acne (blackheads and whiteheads). Combine that with the heat, humidity and pollution of Delhi… have an infallible recipe for disaster.

As expected I have large pores on my face (cheek area) and wanted a remedy for that.


Five months approx. I had to discontinue it after I started using topical retinoids to control my comedones which made my skin ultra sensitive.


(The product comes with a package insert that details the usage method. I discarded that long time back and what I am stating now is the way I used the product)
-Wet your face, take a small amount of product on your finger and gently massage on to your face for a few minutes. The cream heats up on contact with water.  Rinse off or rub off with a tissue. Not to be used in the eye area.


-The first time I used it, it freaked me out because it felt like my face was on fire!! I have a sensitive skin and that may account for the ‘fire’. I immediately rinsed it off. A search on the internet revealed that I am not the only one and the way to get around this is to first wet the cream on your hand and then apply to the face. This formula worked for me. By using it in this manner, the fire was extinguished and all that was left behind was a feeling of pleasant warmth 😛

-From the first use on immediatly, I did notice my skin smoother to look and to feel. It felt really good.

-Pore size decreased significantly in a span of 2weeks.

-On online research, I found that some use it as a way to keep blackheads and white heads at bay and it has worked very well for them. As for me, I did notice less comedones for the first few days only. I soon had to shift to topical retinoids for the same and thus had to discontinue this wonderful product as my skin had become all the more sensitive.


Sorry, but I lost the invoice and do not remember the exact amount, but it was in the range of  INR 1500 to 2000.

Lives up to its claims of  decreasing the por
e size and immediate refinement of skin texture.


-Price may be a prohibitive factor for some , but in my opinion, it is worth the price.

-People with sensitive skin may have issues with it as the heat that comes out on contact with water may be unbearable.

-Not to be used when you are using any regime/product that involves skin peeling like retinoids, AHA’s, chemical peelings etc…

-It is a chore to squeeze out the product from the tube. The product is almost semi-solid and one has to squeeze real hard to get anything out. See the pic below; I have squeezed out a good 1cm of the cream out of the tube and instead of collapsing like a normal cream should, it is sticking out with no signs of bending. To get this thing out of the tube……did I mention how hard it is?

It does not spread easy. Be prepared to lose a few dollops of the costly cream in the sink in the initial stages of usage ,while you are attempting to spread the cream on your  face!


Yes, but only when I am not using any other product that has peeling agent in it. I think if you are using any peeling product, it is best to avoid this.