Blackheads - The What, Whys and Hows?

Hello buddies! What's up? Hope you all are doing awesome!

Today's write-up is about blackheads. I know I have been writing a lot about skin care. But that's what I comes to my mind when it wants to blog! It's summers and I too have been taking a lot of care of my skin. So, I feel like talking about skin-care.

Do blackheads make you go bonkers?
Do you have tiny and stubborn blackheads on your nose and chin that just won't go away! They are like the tenants that occupy the area on your face and don't even pay rent! (ˆ▽ˆ) Just kidding!

So, let us take a look at what blackhead really are, why you get them and how to get rid of them.

What are Blackheads?

Blackheads are very tiny dots that appear on facial skin, especially on nose and chin. They appear black/gray in color. These are actually the skin pores that have been accumulating dead skin cells and dirt, which combine with the natural oil (sebum) that the skin secretes. This blocks the pores and appear as small dots on the skins.

What Causes Blackheads?

There are simple reasons why one gets blackheads, explained below.

Neglecting to Wash Your Face

Cleansing your face is of utmost importance. Some people fail to realize this simple fact that an unclean skin is the hot bed for bacteria. You can get acne or any other skin infection. The dirt and grime your collect on your face all day long needs to go down the drain. Otherwise, it will block the skin pores and give rise to blackheads.

Watch What You Eat

Sometimes, its the food we eat tends to cause blackheads. Sounds weird, right? But it's true. Foods that are high in starch and fats can give rise to blackheads. So, next time you hog on fries or chocolates, you might want to eat less.

Do You Drink Often?

If you are addicted to coffee or alcohol, odds are that you might be having nasty blackheads. These drinks mess up our sleep pattern and also affects the skin. Cut back on your caffeine or alcohol, or just cry over your dull skin.

Sleeping with Makeup On

Ladies, if you don't remove your makeup before going to bed, then you are total nuts! Sleeping with makeup still on is like the cardinal sin of skin care! The chemical crud blocks your pores and make way for blackheads.

Now, let me tell you how you can get rid of these nasty little bumps.


Scrubbing is a great way for getting rid of blackheads. It works just right for me. I had tried so many things in the past to get rid of blackheads. But they just won't go away. They were like a permanent residents of my face! So, instead of scrubbing once or twice a week, I do it every day. Use a walnut scrub and massage it onto your skin in gentle circular motions. You might want to do it for two to three minutes. If you think your skin is fine with daily scrubbing, go for it.

Rigorous scrubbing is not suitable for people with oily skin. But gentle exfoliation will do the trick.

Use a Toner

Using a toner post cleansing is good, especially for people who have large skin pores. I don't use toner though. It shrinks your skin pores overtime, which is a nice way to prevent getting blackheads. Toner also helps maintain the pH balance of your skin.

If you are interested in home remedies to remove blackheads, take a look at this amazing YouTube video.


Summers had taken a toll on my skin. Until last week my face felt like an old wall whose plaster is coming off. My skin was peeling and irritated. Scrubbing helped me get rid of dead cells but it also rendered my skin a little stretchy. A friend suggested that I should try Nivea's cold cream. It's non-sticky and does magic to the skin. I must say, of all the brands I have used, Nivea is by far the best cream for summers. If you don't like cold creams, you can always go for water based moisturizers.

Cover it Up

If possible, cover your face with a soft scarf. In my city, most college-goings girl, including me, and most working women have a collection of prettiest scarves. We use them to cover our face and head. It proves to be the best way to protect our skin from sunlight, pollution and dust.

This is all for today. I hope you enjoyed reading this write-up and will take good care of your skin. I will see you again with some more interesting stuff to read. Till then, bye! Have a nice week! J

Home Remedies for Oily Skin that Really Work

Do you have an oily skin and have been combating with associated skin problems? Are you one of those many women who have tried so many so-called oil control skin care products that make tall claims but are ineffective in the long run? You have landed at a right place, because today's write-up is about skin care tips for oily skin. These tips talk about the dos and don'ts as well as home remedies to incorporate in your skincare regimen.

Women with oily skin look younger than those with normal or dry skin. This is because the aging process of oily skin is comparatively slow. But oily skin continues to be one of the major concerns for most women. It brings along myriad of skin problems like enlarged pores, whiteheads, blackheads, acne and the resulting blemishes.

Google Images
To know more about effective home remedies for different conditions, please visit this link on YouTube --> Top 10 Home Remedies.

Let us take a look at some home remedies that with soothe your oily skin, making you feel fresh for longer.

The Cool Cucumbers

Cucumbers are high in water content and full of freshness. Not to mention their easy availability. Extract some cucumber juice by squeezing the grated cucumber and apply it on your face and neck with a cotton ball. Let it stay for 10-15 minutes and then wash off with cool water. Try this amazing idea before putting on make-up to make it stay fresh and smudge-free for several hours.

The Sassy Strawberry

This remedy is my personal favorite since last 6-7 years. I too have an oily skin and I love to use strawberry on my face. Its fruity fragrance refreshes my senses. Strawberries are a powerful astringent. An astringent has a tendency to shrink the skin cells, which is beneficial for people with engorged skin pores. Regular application of fresh strawberry juice on your face will bring down the size of the pores and make your skin appear even. It also helps lighten the scars or marks that have been left by acne.

Honey- Yogurt Face Mask

Honey is well known for its medicinal and healing properties. Turns out, it works like a magic for the skin. Add a teaspoonful of honey to a spoonful of yogurt and mix well. Apply this mixture on your face and neck with your finger tips. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes and then wash your face with water. This combo will moisturize your skin and keep dullness at bay, making your face glow.

Grape Juice

Grapes are yet another favorite fruit of our skin. It works like cleanser and fights skin oiliness and acne. It is rich in vitamins and mineral and provides nourishment to your skin. Squeeze some juice from sweet, ripe grapes and use it apply it on your skin for 10 minutes.

Now let us talk about the dos and don't when you have oily skin.

  • Do not use facial scrub. They stimulate production of sebum, causing your skin to become oilier.
  • Use a gentle and natural exfoliating agent. Make a paste of powdered almonds with some milk and use it as for exfoliating the layer of dead skin cells.
  • Avoid washing your face too often, as it promotes production of oil in your skin.
  • Always wear a sun-block lotion with adequate SPF before stepping out in the sun.
I hope you found this write-up useful and will benefit from trying some of the remedies yourself.

What Does Your Tongue Say?

Have you ever got tiny red bumps on your tongue that are sore and sensitive? It feels like you might have burnt your tongue, but you don't remember to have sipped on hot coffee or bit into hot food. At such times, the red spots on your tongue might point towards other health conditions. Let us take a look at what your tongue is trying to tell you.

One article on the website of U.S. National Library of Medicine says that the red spots on the tongue can be caused due to reasons as simple as anemia or deficiency of Vitamin B12 . If that is the case, eating foods rich in iron and vitamin B12 will certainly solve the problem.

However, sometimes red spots on the tongue may point towards dreadful diseases like scarlet fever or Kawasaki Syndrome. Kawasaki syndrome is a disease that affects the circulatory system. Other symptoms during advanced stages usually include fever and swelling in hands and feet. Children affected with Kawasaki syndrome usually exhibit symptoms before they turn 5. It is therefore necessary to not ignore a sore tongue of your child, especially if they don't seem to have caused physical trauma to it. Scarlet fever needs immediate treatment with antibiotics. If you seem to have high fever accompanied with red tongue, it would be extremely wise of you to rush to your doctor before things get out of hand.

According to iVillage, excessive smoking is yet another reason to have a bumpy tongue. Simple habits that go unnoticed like clenching or grinding your teeth can hurt the sides of the tongue, causing it to develop painful bumps. The red spot on your tongue could be just a mouth ulcer. The exact cause behind emergence of mouth ulcers is still unclear. Nevertheless, the odds of one getting mouth ulcers are high if they are stressed out.

Although most episodes of sore tongue are trivial, some of them aren't. It is quite possible to get a lump in the tongue that might not hurt. If it lasts more than a week, it might be a symptom of oral cancer. Pain might not be a symptom during the initial stages of oral cancer.

The next concern is treating the red spots on the tongue. If you have scalded your tongue by biting into a slice of pizza that just cam out of the oven, you can experience the pain for a couple of days until the tissues heal. In such a scenario all you can do it wait. Also, try not to drink or eat hot stuff. Rubbing an ice cube on the tongue does provide temporary relief from the fiery sensation.

According to Speedy Remedies, a simple mouth ulcer can be treated in a day or two with the help of herbal mouth ulcer gels available at the pharmacies. The gel has a cooling effect and soothes the aching tongue. Other than that, treating the underlying medical condition is the only way to get rid of sore tongue.

In a nutshell, no matter how simple a condition may seem, if you have no apparent reason to get it, your doctor is the best person to guide you through it.

Note- The contents of this site (texts, images, and other material contained) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician  regarding a medical condition you may have. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

When Your Hair Catch Fire!

Last night as I tried to lull myself to sleep after a long day, I played this memory in my mind for the millionth time. This particular memory from my school days holds a special place in my heart. My best friend often brings this up and we end up laughing like absolute idiots every single time. I thought, why not put this dear memory of mine on the blog for you folks to read!

I am talking about the year 2005 when I was in the Tenth grade. As per the rules, I had to tie back my long hair in 2 braids/plaits. I did have one picture of myself all dolled up in school uniform. I tried finding it but now it's just not there where I kept it. Anyway, back to the story.

Our SSC examinations were to begin in March. One fine morning of January, our class teacher Miss L took the entire class to the Science Lab for revision. We were free to pick an experiment. I choose to conduct this small experiment again where we had to heat the alum in a tiny crucible over the spirit lamp until it loses its water of crystallization and turned amorphous. There was nothing fancy about it. It's just that I didn't get it right the first time. Hence given a chance, I chose to do it again.

I was a chatterbox during my school days. I couldn't sit quiet for a second. I would either talk, make faces, make eye expressions or giggle with my bestie all the time! That day my bestie was standing on my right side as I was setting up the apparatus for the experiment. I put the tripod stand in place and the wire gauge on top of it. I placed the crucible containing a crystal of alum over the wire gauge and then set the spirit lamp underneath it. I lighted the lamp as I was talking to a girl standing on the other side of the platform, conducting her experiment. I happened to lean in a bit to hear what she was saying better and I don't know how the end of my right plait got stuck in the wire gauge. The girl I was talking to let out a loud shriek with an expression so horrible that it scared the hell out of me. For a second, I was like WTF? I was looking at her amused at the same time!

The next moment she shouted, Manju your hair are on fire! I backed off involuntary in utter horror and the wire gauge got pulled off from its place, causing the tripod stand to collapse as it hit the spirit lamp. The lamp went rolling along the platform leaking spirit and setting it on fire. A classmate quickly got hold of the lamp and put it off. The crucible shattered into pieces as it hit the cold floor. The lump of alum was nowhere to be seen. As I was witnessing the horror with my frenzied eyes, my bestie was blowing over the fire engulfing the ends of my hair in an attempt to put it off. She finally used her hands and the fire was gone! So much to happen in just 10 seconds!

Everyone had quit what they were doing to gather around and witness my stupidity! Sixty pairs of eyes staring at me at the same time; most of them in shock while the rest in pure disgust. I had never garnered so much attention all my life! Miss L was so shocked and worried that she almost hugged me. I could sense terror in her trembling voice as she asked me if I was okay. My feet were shaking due to the adrenaline rush and my heart was almost in my mouth. But I managed to play it cool like nothing happened. I grinned and said to her "I am alright, don't worry! It's okay!" You know why I did that? Because I had a huge crush on this guy in my class and I didn't want him to think I was some kind of a dork! So much to handle for a 15-year-old me!

Our 10th Std Class Teacher Miss L on the Farewell Party in Feb 2005!
Miss L didn't let me near the apparatus again that day. She didn't let me perform the experiment. We all went back to the classroom after the revision session, where my bestie had to tolerate the weird fume-like smell coming from the charred ends of my hair all day long! She sat on the right side of the desk. She had put the fire off just in time. No wonder, I didn't even lose half the inch of my hair length.

A recent pic of my bestie and me. Sleepyheads!
Later on, we realized that while my hair were caught in the wire gauge, they weren't on fire. Had that girl not let out a horrifying shriek, I wouldn't have backed off violently. My backing off was the reason the fire touched the hair.

We don't know why we find this incident funny. I almost gave my class teacher a heart attack. The look on her face! Oh my! It was shockingly priceless! Not to mention I almost made a fool of myself in front of my crush. I mean, what kind of girl is so reckless that she accidentally sets her hair ablaze?? Bestie never forgets to tease me by saying "Thank God you were wearing a sweater that morning or you know how flimsy our shirts were". The sweater indeed was a lifesaver. Else there would have been a bigger embarrassment.

So, this is all for today! I got university exams from Monday! Wish me luck! 

McDonald's New Grilled Chicken Royale Burger - Review

Hello buddies. Hope you are doing great. Lately, I have been really irregular with the blogging because of studies and workload. So, today I got some time off and here I am! I have been thinking to quit blogging altogether since I am unable to do justice to my blogs. The thought has hit my mind several times, and I just keep bouncing back to this place after several weeks. I guess you are not going to get rid of me any sooner :p

Okay, so today I am writing a review on McDonald's Grilled Chicken Royale Burger that was launched in my city on 27th March, 2014. Given all the hype about the burger, I definitely wanted to try it ASAP. You see, I am a frequent visitor to McDonald's. There are several reasons for that. Firstly, I love burgers and there is no other place in my town that serves decent burgers. McDonald's is just across the street from my college, and so are Pizza Hut, KFC and Domino's. But it's not just about food. It's about the way I link to McD. The atmosphere is lively and jazzy. I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life at McD and so I feel connected to the place.

McD's menu has always been very limited, especially the burgers. However, in last couple of years it did introduce the spicy range of burgers and wraps, one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian of each. I had tried out their McSpicy Paneer burger. But I wasn't quite impressed. Since I was following vegetarianism way back in 2011, I didn't try the McSpicy Chicken then. However, I resumed the non-vegetarian diet in 2012, but I forgot to try out the McSpicy Chicken burger. I know it sounds funny.

Last year, in May came up the new Chicken Masala Grill Burger. But again, nothing extraordinary about it. The spicy sauce was a new addition while the chicken patty was the same old one they use in all other chicken burgers. I have sensitive taste buds, and if something were significantly new about it, I could tell.

Since then, I was waiting for something exciting to come up on McDonald's menu. And last month I thought it was time! I entered the McD to order something from the usual stuff but then a huge ad placed near the entrance caught my eye. It featured an insanely delicious looking burger, where all the ingredients were perfectly stacked in layers one upon the another. It said, there were two chicken patties, two chicken cold cuts, lots of salad leaves, a couple of fresh tomato slices, topped with mayo and packed between two cornmeal dusted buns. So, I just went for it.

I wish I could take pictures, but I was unaware of the ways of my mind and that it would abruptly feel like putting up a review here. Hence, no picture. But I did manage to get one from the McDonald India's site for you to look at. Nevertheless, don't let the good looks deceive you. The burger was nothing like what it looks in the picture. The patties weren't so chunky. They were pretty thin. Almost as thin as you what you get in Chicken Maharaja Mac. The chicken cold cuts were a brilliant addition though. I had never had cold cuts before, so I kind of liked it. It did have a smokey flavor and tasted good enough. There were indeed lots of salad leaves, a couple of tomato slices and an ungenerous dash of plain white mayo.

Picture Source - McDonald India

The first bite I took did give me a momentary nirvana. The hot patty and cold cuts lent an amazing combo of texture and taste due to the extreme temperature variation. The hot and cold chicken did feel good for a while. The cornmeal dusted buns were nice and fluffy. But you do need other things on a burger to make it a good one, which Chiken Royale clearly lacked. There was no cheese slice and the plain mayo could do nothing to amplify the taste. Again, I was kind of let down. Because it was a whopping INR 135 (Taxes extra) that I just spent on a below-average burger. I finished my meal halfheartedly and the burger didn't even leave a sour taste in my mouth. Pun intended!

Later on I went to at the counter just to inquire if they replace they plain mayo with some spicier sauce. They said they do, and they charge INR 16 just to replace the sauce. I mean why charge extra? We want the sauce "replaced" and not an extra sauce added. So, that seemed unjustified to me.

Here is the verdict!

The Good
  • The fluffy cornmeal dusted buns. I think they are better than the regular sesame buns.
  • The chicken cold cuts lent a good texture and slight (very slight) smokiness.
  • The salad leaves gave a nice crunch to the burger.
The Bad
  • Chicken patties were too thin. Nothing like what the pic says. I mean really thin.
  • The chicken patty has no new flavors. It's just the ones you get in McD's other chicken burgers which are less pricey.
  • Plain mayo does no good.
  • Lacks cheese.
  • Costs a fortune.

Rating - 2 out of 5

For me, Chicken Maharaja Mac still wins. I would rate it 3 out of 5. It has the same old chicken patty but there is a third slice of bread, a tangy tartar sauce and a cheese slice to make up for the drabness. And it comes at INR 99 (Taxes extra).

That's all for today. Hope to see you guys again! Till then, I am signing off! Have a great week ahead.

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