Sunday, 15 July 2018

Wine Tasting - The SULA Riesling 2017

Moliere ,The famous French poet had once said ,“Great is the fortune of he who possesses a good bottle, a good book and a good friend.”

I guess then, I am definitely among the blessed and thank you God!

I was introduced to wine long back (when my Father was posted overseas) but have seriously started appreciating the taste and flavors of wine only recently. Turning another leaf in my wine tasting journey, today I shall be reviewing the “Sula Riesling” for my readers.
                                      
Sula Riesling (source -Sulawines.com)


Before I venture into the tasting, I am tempted to share a few wine facts first.


WINE DRINKING IN INDIA 

With evolving times drinking wine has become acceptable and fashionable in our society and the fairer sex is no exception to the trend but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that wine was a popular drink in India even centuries ago.

In the Rig- Veda we find mention of wine. Grog shops were in existence then. Wine or beer was stored up in leather vats for the use of the public.

Charaka says of wine ,'invigorator of mind and body, antidote to sleeplessness, sorrow and fatigue, producer of hunger, happiness and digestion.'
If taken as medicine, and not for intoxication, it acts as Amrita (ambrosia) it cures the natural flow of internal fluids of the body."

(Source - Wine in Ancient India, by D.K.Ghose).

HEALTH QUOTIENT OF WINE 

The Resveratrol and Polyphenols in wine (red wine has much more than white wine) have been proven to be good for health (of course if taken in moderation, like a glass a day). It has shown to lower the risk of Depression, Dementia,Cancer and Type -2 Diabetes when consumed in moderation like 1 glass a day for women and 1-2 glasses a day for men.

Excessive consumption regularly can lead to Alcohol dependence,Liver Cirrhosis, Increased risk of Depression and weight gain.

MORE WINE FACTS

Wine is an alcoholic drink made by crushing grapes and then fermenting the extract without adding sugars, acids, enzymes or water to it during the process of fermentation.

The final taste of wine depends on the delicacy of the techniques used by wine makers and needless to say also the variety of the grapes.Wine making involves the process of harvesting the seasoned and matured grapes,since “crushing” sounds a brutal word in context of something as delicate as wine, so I shall instead call it “juicing”, juicing is then followed up by fermentation, clarification, ageing and bottling. 


Wines can be broadly categorized in 5 varieties - Red, White, Rose, Sparkling and Orange based on the external appearance, these further have different flavor profiles depending upon the grapes used and methodology of wine making.The Sula Riesling that I shall review is a white wine.

SULA -THE BRAND

Sula Vineyards, was established way back in 1999 by Rajiv Suresh Samant ( the current C.E.O.) on his family farms in Nashik, Maharashtra .It was India’s very first winery and its success paved the way for the putting the Sula Vineyards of Nashik on the map as  India's Wine Capital.

The name "Sula" came from his mother's name - "Sulabha" - and symbolized the rich, Indian heritage of his wines. Today, Sula is India's leading wine company and is leading the charge of Indian wine across the wine world. They also conduct wine tasting workshops and annual wine fairs which are big crowd pullers.

We shall soon cover the Sula Wine fest in our later posts but let me now come to the tasting notes of Sula Riesling.
                                      
The Riesling grapes source 1


SULA RIESLING – It is the first Riesling (pronounced Rees-ling) wine of India.A Riesling wine is produced by using the white Riesling grape with high acidity and pronounced fruit flavors best suited for a sparkling white wine. and the wine thus produced can be sweet, semi- sweet or dry(the dry has the highest percentage of alcohol and thus feels a little dry to the taste buds ).

Price – Rs 850/- for 750 ml (and you thought all wine is expensive!)

Presentation – It comes in a hock shaped narrow-necked amber glass bottle with the characteristic indentation at the base and has a metal cap.
                                                             

TASTING NOTES

Sula's Riesling is a fruity aromatic wine with hints of green apples, grapefruit, peach & honey. Best enjoyed nicely chilled at 6-8 C.This is important because I noticed a great change in the crisp note and the finish with the temperature variation.

A Riesling is a versatile wine for pairing with food, because of its balance of sugar and acidity. Pairs well with Indian ,Thai and Chinese cuisine.

COLOUR - Very Pale Gold with a hint of green
NOSE       - Mostly fruity – I smelled more of green apples,apricots and some                                    aromatic notes too 
PALATE   - This dry, crisp wine with low acidity was delightful on the palate
FINISH     - Medium lasting finish ,tingling too !

This wine reminds me of green valleys and waterfalls.A tranquility but a hidden vibrancy too. Riesling is a versatile wine for pairing with food, because of a fine balance of sweetness and acidity and is quite apt to pair with yellow curries, such as kormas, tikka masalas and pasandas.

I rate it a 3.8/5.Recommended and quite good at this price!

That's all from me ,until next time - SWIRL ,SNIFF ,SIP ,SWALLOW and of course enjoy your wine !






Friday, 29 June 2018

Product Review - Kaya Soothing Cleansing Gel

Despite taking care of my skin I have been getting outbreaks of acne, I think it is the extreme heat of our Delhi city and pollution.
So I was on the lookout for a gentle face cleanser.

Kaya soothing cleansing gel is soap free and
cleans effectively and is gentle on the skin.
It does not irritate or make skin flaky
                                                       

I have already tried Cetaphil Gentle Skin cleanser and was quite happy with it but the human nature is such that one does not get satisfied easily and I wanted to try something different.Also the previous one is actually virtually soap free so one does not feel squeaky clean after use.It was leaving my skin soft but not matte and it was not efficient to take off the sunscreen or light make up.
So after doing a bit of research for a new face wash ,I settled on Kaya soothing cleansing Gel.

Price - Rs 540 for 200 ml ,but I got it at a great discount for Rs. 424/- only  here 

Product Description

This product is described as a soap free gel, deep cleansing formula and for regular use for all skin types
It is to be applied to wet face , massaged gently and then to be rinsed off with clean water.

The list of ingredients on Kaya Soothing and cleansing face wash
 shows it has no irritating or comedogenic ingredients 
                                             

PROS of  KAYA Soothing Cleansing Gel

1) Unlike Cetaphil cleanser ,this one foams a lot so I take very little quantity and build a lather in my hands then apply to face.

2) It leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean .

3)It gets rid of makeup and sunscreen too.I have tried using a make up remover wipe after washing the face with this face wash and it hardly showed any traces of make up !

4) The zinc lactate helps in soothing the skin ,calming irritation and reducing sebum and oiliness,in short skin looks matte and non greasy.

5) It has Vit B3 which has a soothing action on the skin and also helps in fading dark spots .

6) Fragrance free

7) Affordable price ,since it is very thick and foams a lot , I need very little and this bottle will easily last me at least a month with twice a day use.
                                                    
This is a thick ,clear and mild cleansing gel for all skin types 
CONS of KAYA Soothing and cleansing Gel

1)Some may find it expensive, but as very tiny amount is needed ,it lasts long and you can always look out for discounts online like I did.

2) The formula is very thick and even though it has been described as soap free, it lathers a lot and my skin does feel stretchy after use.The tightness lasts for about 10-15 minutes only though.
                                       
3) Immediately after starting this cleansing gel , my skin started to break out again.I had not changed my regimen at all except for this face-wash so I think this product was in some way responsible but I was also undergoing some stress so I gave it another week to see if I still will get more breakouts with regular use .
Thankfully new acne stopped after sometime ,so probably this face wash was not the reason for the break outs .

4) Has no effect on whiteheads/comedones or preventing new acne from forming .

An effective but gentle face cleanser for all skin types 
                                                 

FINAL VERDICT - I am quite happy with this one , it does not seem to get rid of white heads and formation of new acne but seems good in keeping my skin clean and matte and gets rid of light makeup or sunscreen, I might buy this again .

I rate it a 4/5 . 

What is your skin concern and which is your favourite go to cleanser ?
Comment below and let me know !

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Calvin Klein BEAUTY - Fragrance Review

Today I shall share my experience of a cult perfume by Calvin Klein - CK Beauty .

                                                   


Price - Rs 5475/- for 100 ml

                                                 
About the Fragrance - The perfume is described as White Floral, Musky and Woody fragrance with notes of  Ambrette seeds at the top, jasmine at the heart, and a cedar base.

                                                    
          

PRESENTATION - The fragrance was first launched in 2010 and is a classic.It comes in highly elegant flacons in three sizes - 30, 50 and 100 ml, along with accompanying products – 200 ml perfumed body lotion and 200 ml perfumed bath and shower cream.
                                                                        

CK Beauty comes in feminine and graceful, oval shaped clear glass bottle with a silver metal top. Easy to see how much product is left and looks good on the dressing table .

PROS of Calvin Klein BEAUTY  EDP

1. Cheaper than other high end fragrances .

2. I just love this delicate White floral, musky fragrance which is very suitable for summers and daytime .The white floral predominates and the musk is subdued which makes it a very beautiful fragrance .Confident but not too bold.Feminine but not overtly romantic.

3. Easily available online but beware of dupes, I got mine from Sephora shop.

4. Attractive packaging

5. The fragrance is not over powering and it is the Jasmine  that hit me first but in a delicate way not a sharp one.The Ambrette comes into play soon and after about 30  minutes the cedar surfaces but the jasmine stays for long on me .

                                                   
                                                    


CONS of  of Calvin Klein BEAUTY  EDP

1. Not much variation in the perfume , it does not keep developing much after wear .I wish it had a few more notes like a fresh note or a green note to make it little more intriguing .

2. Low Sillage - diffusing power ,but stayson the skin for 3-4 hours in hot weather too.

3. Low staying power , two sprays one on the decolletage and one on the wrists ,still does not last more that 2-3  hours which is not what you expect from an Eau de Parfum and a reputed brand like CK.

4. It is a medium ranged perfume, price wise, but the low staying power makes you reach out for the spray after a few hours and that means the bottle won't last long for me .

5. Since you need to reapply the perfume if you are going out for long hours , it would have been better if the bottle was more ergonomically designed and less bulky.





FINAL VERDICT

 I love CK Beauty, it is perfect for our Indian summers, not overpowering, feminine yet not girly.I like that it is not an out and out floral perfume and has a mature sweetness to it but I really wish it had a longer staying power .
This perfume can be a great gifting option too .

I rate it a 4/5.

Will I buy it again - Yes !

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Are You Happy With Your Body ?

Last week a mother brought in her son  X to me for acne and hair loss. I was gobsmacked as I took in the pubescent teenager sitting in front of me with rippling muscles and a heavy frame . He was just seventeen years of age and was heavily into gymming and taking some supplements (probably steroid laced ) to get a heavily muscled body.He was probably( I say probably because some teenagers can actually take grave risks to achieve their ideal looks ) unaware that the use of steroids and too many protein supplements can cause acne, high blood pressure,hair loss,skin darkening and kidney problems .

I asked the mother the reason for allowing such a young boy whose bone development is not yet complete, to go for such heavy duty exercises .
The mother then confided that X was an only child and the whole family pampered him a lot .Most of the pampering came through a constant supply of  junk food and that lead to the child becoming a grossly obese teenager .

That child gradually became the butt of jokes at school for being 'fat ' and started feeling depressed and angry .
X threatened his parents of quitting his school or committing suicide unless he was allowed to go to a gym.The anxious parents gave in and you know the story after that.

The reason I bring up this case is to highlight a medical issue that is being increasingly reported and recognized as 'Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)".
                                               




Sometimes we are not flawed - but it is our judgement that is flawed 

BDD is a mental disorder in which the affected person can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance — a flaw that, to others, is either minor or not observable. But the affected person  may feel so ashamed and anxious that he/she  may avoid many social situations or resort to drastic beautification procedures to correct the self perceived flaw.


The case I mentioned was of course not that of BDD but I  shared it to highlight how vulnerable our teens are to peer pressure and media idealisation of certain body types .

More and more people are seeking treatments for getting rids of scars,marks, hyper pigmentation,breast enhancement weight loss ,fairness ,hair fall etc etc.These are all actually non diseases or sometimes just signs of some underlying imbalance in the body's hormones. Even though they do not impair a person's physical abilities  they can affect a person's mental well being .

Role of MEDIA  and MEDICAL SCIENCE

Cosmetology is a flourishing industry reaping the benefits of media-portrayed Ideal body types.With Instagram and Facebook on most mobile phones ,suddenly how many people like and comment on your profile has become very important ,everyone now needs to look good .We get bombarded by images of perfect individuals (hence the popularity of beautification Apps)  which can lead to a constant comparison of the self with other individuals .The exercise ,diets, cosmetic surgery and digital enhancement that goes behind the making of these perfect models is hidden from our eyes.All we see is the perfect model beckoning us to try the miracle product they are endorsing.

As humans,as social animals, we do have the need to be validated in a group but how far we should go to achieve the validation and how do we know that any negative image of the self that we are harbouring is real or perceived is the question.
When it comes to youngsters it is even more important to recognise and understand the symptoms of negative body image so that they can be helped before they undertake any drastic measures .

Recognising a Negative body Image is the first step to fight it
                                               

Let us try to understand Body image ...

What is BODY IMAGE ?

The term ‘body image’ incorporates themes of body perception (the extent to which an
individual has an accurate perception of their body size, shape and weight) and body satisfaction
(the extent to which an individual is satisfied with their body size, shape and weight).

When a person has low body satisfaction they often suffer from a negative body image, where they imagine their imperfections to be of a greater magnitude than what it is . A woman may think she has too large a nose or has tiny breasts or big hips . A man may think he is too scrawny or too hairy etc etc .

Can we measure BODY IMAGE  Perception ?

Most cases can be diagnosed by keen observation and talking to the affected person and relatives.
Though there is no fool proof method devised yet there are some tests like a Body Image Score that can give us a rough idea of how healthy is an individual's perception and satisfaction of his/her body image. These tests are based on Self Report Questionnaire, Figure drawings and Actual body weight and shape of the person.



WHAT can cause a Negative Body Image ?


Studies done so far have thrown up some potential causes of negative body image .These include

A. Being overweight or obese : As mentioned in my previous example, being actually overweight and Obese can make them have a negative body image as being fat is socially not desirable in most cultures and looked down upon.


B. Portrayal of Desirable Body Image by Media -Though Media has often been painted as the sole culprit yet not all who  are watching are affected by images of thin and attractive women, or men with well-defined muscles.
But individuals who already have low body satisfaction are more likely to be negatively affected by images of idealised body shapes whereas individuals who have high body satisfaction are unlikely to be affected by images of idealised body shapes.
The duration of exposure to such images also plays a role in affecting the perception of the person seeing them .

Parents as responsible in shaping our views from the very onset
                                         

C.The influence of family and peers -As parents we influence the body satisfaction of our children both positively and negatively.
Children in a good quality relationships with parents and peers have higher body satisfaction whereas children with poor quality relationships (facing Rejection,discrimination or bullying ) by parents or peers are relatively less satisfied with their bodies.
Mothers and fathers are able to influence body image in positive directions through words of encouragement and negative directions through criticism and also through being role models   Mothers who are concerned about their weight are more likely to have daughters who are dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to have both daughters and sons who try to control their weight.



D.Individual psychological factors - humans have a basic drive to evaluate their opinions and abilitiessuch as an increased tendency to compare yourself to others.
  Low body satisfaction is linked with low self-esteem and depression. Individuals who have low body satisfaction are more likely to also have low selfesteem or depression if they are female or overweight. People who have certain psychological patterns, such as believing they should have perfect bodies or an increased tendency to compare themselves to others, are more likely to have low body satisfact


The potential consequences of negative body image include low self esteem, depression, and the use of unhealthy weight control behaviours (such as crash dieting).Negative body image is linked to eating disorder symptoms, unhealthy weight control behaviours, and risky sexual practices like multiple sex
partners  and more likely to have had sex after drinking alcohol or using drug.

HOW  to combat Negative Body Image ?

There are some actions that can help in preventing and protecting a child from developing a negative body image.

1.Maintaining a healthy weight - A healthy weight for the age and height can help in creating an affirmative body image .

 2.Encouraging close relationships with parents and friends - Spending quality time with parents and frinds can improve your confidence and sense of well-being .

3.Avoid the practice to compare your child to others and discourage your child from comparing themselves  to others.

 4. Having healthy and positive attitude to your body will set forward a positive signal.If you follow a healthy lifestyle and have a positive body image, it helps your child in accepting their bodies better and following a healthy lifestyle

In case all fails , you may need to seek psychotherapeutic treatment with lifestyle changes .
                             
Love yourself !

Till then - Stay happy, stay healthy and love yourself !


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Eight Tips to Beautiful Hair in Summers



Our hair is exposed to and affected by many environmental pollutants every day. Apart from chemical treatments and chlorine water which cause harm to hair, sunlight and UV radiation also causes a lot of damage.

In summer, as the temperature rises, hair undergoes lot of changes due to UV radiation. Loss of hair pigment results in paler hair which appears dull and lacks the sheen. UV rays remove moisture content from the hair shaft making it dry, brittle and easily breakable. The protein content in the hair gets altered making it frizzy and easily breakable.

                                    

Hair that has been bleached, colored, straightened and chemically treated or exposed to chlorine is more susceptible to damage due to UV radiation. Both UVA and UVB can penetrate, absorb and change the structure of your hair permanently.

Other skin conditions such as Seborrheic Keratoses, moles etc. may appear on the scalp due to bad effects of chronic exposure to the sun.

                               
seborreic keratosis - a wart like growth on
the skin (source-dermquest.com)

TEN SIGNS THAT YOUR SCALP AND HAIR IS ALREADY SUN- DAMAGED
                                   
1) Dry and brittle hair 
2) Dull hair which looks lighter than before
3) Loss of hair
4) Split ends
5) Prematurely grey hair
6) Growths on the scalp and near hairline
7) Frizzy hair
8) Flaky, itchy skin on scalp.
9)  Hair that doesn’t grow much in length
10) Hair that tangles easily and is difficult to comb


EIGHT TIPS to keep your scalp and hair healthy and shiny in summers 
                                           
1. WASH - Regular hair washes with mild shampoo, making sure you rinse off well, applying a conditioning agent suitable for the hair type.Avoid harsh chemical-based shampoos that contain harmful Parabens and Sulphates which zap the moisture from the hair. Avoid chemical hair colours as it causes itchy skin and pigmentary issues. Hair follicle infection or folliculitis can occur if hygiene is not maintained, especially in those who sweat a lot as excessive sweat and oil encourages  bacterial growth.
                                   
Livon Moroccan Silk Serum With Suncreen and MutliVitamins

Washing the hair and scalp at least 3 to 4 times a week also helps rid of lice and dandruff which worsen hair fall.
Post hair wash, you can use a hair serum with multivitamins and sunscreens.

                                        

2. NO to BLOW DRY - Drying of hair with a dryer is not advisable as it produces air bubbles inside the hair shaft due to the heat which makes it break easily. 

                                       

3. OIL - Oiling hair once in a while acts as great conditioning agent. Cold pressed Coconut oil has a wonderful role in conditioning hair and protecting it from chlorinated water and UV radiation. Apart from applying oil, rinsing the scalp and hair of all chlorine from the swimming pool and applying sunscreens go a long way in protecting hair.
                                      
4. FOLLOW RAJINIKANTH - Cool shades is synonymous with Rajinikanth and summer is the perfect season to “do a Rajinikanth” if we may say for your hair.

Confused?
Don’t be.
You need to protect and shade your hair from the sun with all its glory as this summer it’s out to get your beautiful mane.
                                             
 
                                                            (source -http://pdwallpaper.blogspot.in)
Covering the hair while outdoors with a scarf or a hat and applying sun-protective sprays and gels help to prevent the UV-related damage.  A little known fact is that sun burns can occur on scalp too especially where hair distribution is thin. Sunscreens are now available for the hair too as sprays and this can protect one from harmful rays.

When choosing the right sunscreen, the points to look for a good UVB and UVA protection  and a physical block. Just an SPF indicator of the UVB protection does not determine the  overall effectiveness of the sunscreen.
                                              
                                           

5. COLOUR WITH CAUTION - When coloring hair, take precautions to choose the right  one, especially if the scalp and skin is sensitive. The best way to find out is to do a test patch on the skin and then apply on scalp.
                                            

6. GORGE on healthy foods - Eating healthy plays a great role on health of hair and scalp.  Food groups rich in vitamins and minerals like green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains,  and proteins; food groups rich in omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, salmon, fish and  almonds are good.

                                           

7.GLUG - Consuming a good amount of water according to body weight, is a good way to  re  hydrate internally. Physiologist Sharon E. Griffin suggests that you drink a half ounce of  fluid  per day for every pound of body weight which is roughly 36 ml per Kg body weight.

                                           

 8.CONSULT A DOCTOR - Our scalp often indicates our health. When it gets oily too often  can be an indicator of hormonal imbalance, when dry and flaky, it is indicative of fungal  infections. Dry brown and brittle hair can indicate hemoglobin deficiency and other  nutritional deficiencies.Loss of hair can be due to various reasons for which a consultation with a doctor can bring  forth the causes and treatment options available.


Article published with inputs from Dr. Tina Ramachander 
(M.B.B.S.,M.D. Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, FRGUHS, Dermatologist and Cosmetologist)

Dr. Tina Ramachander, Medical Director at Dr. Tina's Skin Solutions is a Consultant Dermatologist, Medical Cosmetologist, Laser and Dermatosurgeon, practicing in Bangalore. She completed her masters in Dermatology from JJM Medical College in Karnataka, Dr. Ramachander has a Fellowship in Dermatosurgery from the prestigious Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute and a Fellowship in Dermatosurgery and Lasers from the state of the art National Skin Center, Singapore.