‘Just a Spoonful of Sugar… Friday, Aug 12 2011 

… will make the rough skin go away.’

Alright, alright! I’ll leave the skill of song writing to the experts and stick to things I have a little knowledge about.

So, for the skin you need pure brown sugar and not just any sugar; many brands use pure brown sugar as their base in face and body scrubs.  A face scrub is a ‘must’ in your bathroom cabinet, right next to your face cleanser!  Using a scrub to exfoliate your skin is not a spring cleaning process that needs to happen once a year; instead you must exfoliate your skin at least once a week.  This helps keep pores clear and gets rid of dry rough patches.

I tend to be a little bit of a nag when it comes to my friends and skin care; I like to blame my South Asian genes for that.  South Asians, and sometime Asians, do not have a filter and (at least the older generation) are not sensitive to how the other person might feel, but let me assure you it comes from a good place.

My best friend was a recent victim to this – I have been pestering her to get a facial for a while, as I thought her skin needed some pampering.  Then one day, out of the blue, she tells me she has booked herself facial at the Aveda salon.  Even though I would like to take credit for my nagging skills, it was not I who was the reason for this decision.  It was her nail stylist.

She was getting her nails done at her usual place and all of a sudden the nail stylist goes, ‘Hmmph! …’  My friend asks if everything is alright and nail stylist gives her a sharp look and says, ‘You need facial! Pores very clogged!’  Of course my friend was way too mortified to say anything but immediately made an appointment thereafter.

Anyway, if you want to avoid getting disparaged by your nail stylist about your skin, make sure you unclog those pores by exfoliating your skin regularly.

My favorite face scrub is the ‘Sugar Face Polish’ by Fresh.  This exfoliating mask has brown sugar, antioxidant-rich wild strawberries along with hydrating seed oils that nourish and brighten the skin.

  • Gently massage your (cleansed) face with the scrub and wash off with warm water

(I would like to stress on the word ‘gentle’ because another friend (yes, I have fascinating friends) told me that she does not use a scrub because she has sensitive skin and ends up with scratches.  Ladies, please do not scrub your face, or for that matter any part of your body, like you would the kitchen floor.  Please be gentle with your skin!)

The results are absolutely amazing!

Happy skin care,

-Nusrat Shariff 

The Day I Fell in Love… Monday, Mar 7 2011 

… with ‘f r e s h’!

Have you tried out www.spaweek.com? If you have not, then I suggest you subscribe to it asap!  The concept of Spa Week is basically like Restaurant Week where in a particular month you can tryout participating spa services for a reduced rate; this is a great way evaluate spas in your area.

I had heard a lot about fresh products but never got around to trying it out.  A few years back when fresh was offering facials during Spa Week (in New York City), my sister booked both of us an appointment.  The moment the Soy Face Cleanser touched my face, I turned into a devotee and there has been no turning back since.

I was never a big fan of perfumed cleansers and had been using the Clinique cleanser; this would leave my skin a little dry and I had to apply a lot of moisturizer.  The Soy Face Cleanser is a clear (no lather) cleanser that leaves the skin feeling, true to its name, refreshed and well-balanced.  The cucumber in the cleanser wakens your skin with a nice smooth feel to it.  This is definitely one of my favorite products by fresh!

Having used fresh products for quite some time now, I have not wanted to try anything else.  If you are in the market for a new cleanser, my suggestion would be to go to a Sephora or a fresh store and ask them for a sample.  You will not see any immediate effects of the product but will get a feel for it and see if it suits your skin.

And be prepared to hear more about other fresh products that I have fallen for…

Happy skin care,

-Nusrat Shariff