Introducing the first adjustable powder facial cleanser. It's called Bindi Herbal Powder and it contains all-natural stuff with names like elder flower, calamus root, comfrey, etc. When water's added, these and other far-flung ingredients turn into a paste that cleans, exfoliates, and promotes healing. The extra-oily days, add a couple of drops of lemon juice to the water. And on days when your skin is more sensitive or dry, mix the powder with calming, soothing milk instead of water.
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The Herbal Approach: Botanical ingredients are often used for their gentle cleansing and pH-balancing properties, as well as the blissful hint of scent they send out. A key step Pratima Raichur at Tej, NYC, uses in her all-herbal technique: an "Ayurveda" (ancient Indian) facial massage with essential oils targeted to your skin type. Dry complexions might be treated to rose and sandalwood oils; acne or oily skin might benefit from lavender, geranium and rosemary.
NEW HAIR TREATS
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For Pratima Raichur, the use of botanicals goes back a lot further than the sixties. At her Tej Salon in New York City, Raichur uses the principles of Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old Indian science of health and healing, to beautify hair and skin. Her new shampoo, Bindi Herbal Hair Wash, contains "only natural herbal powder-no chemicals, no preservatives," she says. It's sold in specialty and health food stores.
Raichur warns against being fooled by some so-called natural shampoos that "have the same ingredients as the others, but then they add 5 percent natural extracts." She firmly believes that "we need more nourishing things in this country, because of the harsh climate as well as all the chemicals and blow dryers people use."
Made with Indian herbs such as ritha and neem, the dry powder shampoo is mixed with warm water and massaged into the scalp. There's no foamy white lather, but Raichur insists that soapy lather has nothing to do with clean, healthy hair. "Most shampoos on the market right now contain sudsing agents like sodium lauryl and ammonium sulfates because we think we need lather to clean the hair," she explains. "The sudsing chemicals destroy hair's natural protein coating and leave the scalp dry. Then people use conditioner to counteract the dryness, which leaves an oily residue that stays on top of the hair and attracts dirt. So by the second day, you have to start over again." To avoid the vicious cycle of stripping hair, coating it with oil, and then having to strip it again, Raichur recommends using her Bindi Herbal Hair Wash; twice a week is often enough for most hair types, she says.
BODY MIND AND SPIRIT
Bindi Facial Skin Care products are based on the principles of Ayurveda, the original healing science of India, which uses curative herbs, roots, flowers and minerals to encourage the body to restore its natural vitality and beauty. The Bindi skin care regimen consists of 3 synergistically balanced herbal products applied in a specific sequence: The Herbal Cleanser, The Essential Oil, and the Moisturizing cream.