All about Bengali Women.

Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

Sun-screne Cream

Fair Skin is very much valued by bengali women , but it comes at a price:-

Doctors are particularly worried about the abuse of creams that contain a potent steroid called clobetasol or a bleaching compound called hydroquinone.

 The steroid clobetasol is primarily used in treating inflammatory disorders, but one of its side effects is lightening the skin.

Creams with hydroquinone can lead to a condition called paradoxical hyperpigmentation — an effect of the compound that makes the skin appear darker than what it was.

Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.

Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.Even weak sunscreen  (SPF=8) block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease — by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.



Sindoor or vermilion holds lot of importance in Bengali society. The tradition of application of sindoor in the parting of hair by married Hindu women is considered extremely auspicious and is being carried on since centuries.

Application of sindoor is essentially a Hindu tradition. In the 19th century,Sufi leader Sharafuddin Maneri encouraged Muslim women to apply sindoor in Bangladesh was severely condemned by reformist movements

Symbolic of Married Hindu Woman
In traditional Hindu society, wearing sindoor is considered must for married Hindu women. It is a visible expression of their desire for their husbands’ longevity. Traditionally therefore, widows did not wear vermilion.

Sindoor is applied for the first time to a Hindu woman during the marriage ceremony when the bridegroom himself adorns her with it. The ceremony is called Sindoor-Dana and is very much in vogue even in present times.

The tradition of wearing Sindoor by married women has been explained with the help of mythology. Scholars say that red is the color of power while vermilion is a symbol of the female energy of Parvati and Sati. Hindu mythological legends regard Sati as the ideal wife who gave her life for her husband’s honor. Every Hindu wife is supposed to emulate her. Hindus believe that Goddess Parvati protects all those men whose wives apply vermilion to their parting of hair.

History of Sindoor
Tradition of wearing Sindoor or vermillion is said to have traveled through more than 5,000 years of Hindu culture. Female figurines excavated at Mehrgarh, Baluchistan, show that sindoor was applied to the partition of women’s hair even in early Harappan times. Besides, legends says that Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna, turned the kumkum into a flame like design on her forehead. In the famous epic Mahabharata, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, is believed to have wiped her sindoor in disgust and despair. Use of Sindoor has also been mentioned in The Puranas, Lalitha Sahasranamam and Soundarya Lahharis.

Adi Sankaracharya writes in Soundarya Lahari

Tanothu kshemam nas tava vadhana-saundarya lahari. Parivaha-sthrotah-saraniriva seemantha-saranih. Vahanti sinduram prabala-kabari-bhara-thimira-. Dvisham brindair bandi-krtham iva navin’arka kiranam

(Oh mother, let the line parting thine hairs, Which looks like a canal, Through which the rushing waves of your beauty ebbs, And which on both sides imprisons, Your Vermillion , which is like a rising sun, By using your hair which is dark like, The platoon of soldiers of the enemy, Protect us and give us peace)

Astrological Significance of Sindoor
According to Hindu astrology, Mesha Rashi or the House of Aries is on the forehead. The Lord of Mesha is Mars and his color is red. It is believed to be auspicious. This is why red sindoor is applied at the forehead and at the parting of the hair. Both are signs of saubhagya (good fortune). Sindoor is also considered to be the symbol of the female energy of Parvati and Sati.



Painting feminine toes in deep red Alta is a tradition of Bengal. Alta is red color dye which is used by Bengali women for decorating their feet specially during marriages and religious festivals. Adoration of foot is a glorifying and humble experience.

Traditionally an Bengali woman devotes as much attention to her feet as she does to her face and hair. Feet are bathed and rubbed with scrubbers to remove ingrained dirt and rough skin. They are massaged with scented oils for pleasure and relaxation as well as to maintain a healthy body.

Beauty of Bengali bride is incomplete without decorating her feet with Alta. Almost every Bengali woman applies Alta on her feet during Durga puja.

The make up kit of a Bengali woman is incomplete without Alta.

Traditionally Alta was made from beetles, but now its made from artificial colors.


In Bengal, two varieties of sandalwood are used for skin treatment. The white sandal is used for make-up and skin care. The red sandal has been widely acclaimed for its medicinal values and skin care abilities.

Sandalwood skin care:

Sandalwood is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic remedy for many skin complaints and conditions. It is also known to cleanse and condition the skin, leaving it moisturized, free of germs and protected from the harmful rays of the sun. Application of the sandalwood paste on your body ensure a glowing skin to you.

Sandalwood & turmeric:

Make a paste to treat pimples with 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder with 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Add one teaspoon of water to make the paste, and apply to pimples before bed as a nighttime treatment. Add a small piece of camphor to the recipe for an added cooling effect. Your pimples will vanish without a scar within a very short period.

Sandalwood & Rosewater:

Sandalwood powder combined with rosewater can be used as a mask to treat acne. Combine 2 teaspoons of sandalwood with enough rosewater to make a spreadable mixture. Spread it evenly on your face and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. This is also a pleasantly cooling treatment for acne on the chest and back.

Sandalwood Oil:

Sandalwood powder combined with rosewater can be used as a mask to treat acne.

Sandalwood oil can be used for massage and as a moisturizer. Sandalwood’s cooling effect soothes the skin. If your skin suffers from hot and itchy symptoms, try sandalwood oil to cool them off. To make your own, add sandalwood powder to your favorite oil and let it sit overnight before use.

Sandalwood & Almond:

Mix 5 tablespoons of coconut oil with 2 teaspoons of almond oil. Add 4 teaspoons of sandalwood powder and apply the mixture to the overexposed areas. This sandalwood tone oil will keep your skin complexion even. It will also remove the suntan and will stimulate a fairer complexion.

The Harmful Ingredients in Your Hair Dye


Here are some of the harmful ingredients that you need to watch out for in your hair color.

Coal Tar

This ingredient is common in hair dyes that are deep and dark in color. In fact, according to a study, almost 71% of hair colors contain this hazardous ingredient. If there is one ingredient that surely irritates the skin of the scalp, it is coal tar because it is one of the many hair dye components that penetrate the skin. Furthermore, animal testing confirm that coal tar can also cause cancer in animals.

DMDM Hydantoin

This is a type of preservative that cannot only be seen in hair colors, but in many beauty products as well. Look at your favorite shampoo, conditioner or lotion and it is possible that you will see DMDM Hydantoin as one of the active ingredients.


Many people are familiar with this chemical because it is used to preserve cadavers. Various investigations have already confirmed that this preservative can cause cancer and reproductive problems. Women who are pregnant should never use any product that contains formaldehyde because it can cause problems detrimental to the healthy development of the fetus.

Phenyl methyl pyrazolone

This oxidizing agent can cause headache, cough, irritation, colds and even shortness of breath. Since this substance comes from coal tar, you can be sure that it is toxic and carcinogenic. Based on investigations, fetus exposed to this ingredient can have higher risk of learning difficulties. So pregnant women beware.

Your Cosmetics can contain very Toxic Ingredients

The following list of some of the harmful chemicals found in cosmetics

 Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate
Perhaps one of the most common chemical groups used in cosmetics, this sudsing agent gives liquid soaps and shampoos their foam-ability. Regardless of whether it’s derived from petroleum or coconut, isa  harsh skin irritant may also cause the skin to dry out as well as a host of other allergic reactions like rashes, eye irritation, and dandruff. These sudsers can be damaging to the immune system, and their residue can show up in the heart, liver, and lungs.
Diethanolamine (DEA) + Triethanolamine (TEA)
Long used in industrial strength lubricants and as surfactants (wetting agents that help products spread) in cosmetics, DEA and TEA are known eye, skin, nose, and throat irritants and can cause liver cancer in rats. “They can form nitrosamines, a carcinogen, when combined with other ingredients.
PVP/VA Copolymer
While much of the haircare industry continues to use polyvinylpyrrolidone, a petroleum-derived chemical, some studies suggest its toxicity. It’s particularly harmful when inhaled, which is a problem because of its use as an anti-static agent and a binder for styling products such as hair sprays.

Stearalkonium Chloride
First used by the fabric and paper industries as a softener and an anti-static agent, stearalkonium chloride is now commonly found in the cream rinses and conditioners used to soften our tresses. Yet the hard facts on this cationic surfactant show that it is a toxin known to set off allergic reactions. “Although it’s a proven irritant, many companies use it in hair conditioning products because it’s cheaper and easier to incorporate than proteins or herbals,” says Masters.

Petroleum + Mineral Oil
Both of these petrolatum-derived products are prized by the cosmetic mainstream for their emollient properties.When you have mineral oil on your skin, nothing goes in and nothing can get out. Mineral oil in lotions forms a barrier when applied, so that skin can’t eliminate toxins. With repeated use, moisturizers that include either petroleum or mineral oil can clog pores, setting off skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis.
If you’ve noticed “paraben-free” stickers popping up on bottles of lotions and soaps, it might be linked to the Environmental Protection Agency’s classifying these antimicrobial preservatives as having hormone-disrupting effects.
Diazolidinyl/Imidazolidinyl Urea
Second in use only to parabens, ureas appear as preservatives in a wide range of products. They trigger contact dermatitis, headaches, fatigue, and depression.

Synthetic Colors
Sure, they make your favorite products look inviting, but synthetic tints can contain a host of unnamed, and unsafe, ingredients.

Synthetic Fragrances
The catchall terms “fragrance,” “parfum,” and “perfume” can conceal thousands of synthetic ingredients. Numerous reports have linked fragrance oils to such conditions as birth defects, cancer, brain damage, respiratory disorders, chronic skin reactions, and environmental damage through waste water. “Many constituents of synthetic fragrances, including phthalates, can be absorbed into the body through the skin, inhaled as fumes, and ingested when they’re in products like lipstick.

16 Shingarh



feet with alta
Feet with alta

The 16 shingars are as followings—


Here the bride’s body was messaged with perfumed oils- viz.–rose, jasmine, sandal etc.

2)Mangal Snan—

The bride to be was given bath with purified water mixed with milk or various oils such as almond oil during winter, mixed with rose petals and mixed with khus or marwah during the summer season. The paste of lodhra, bawchi, sitachini etc was used instead of soap.

3) Keshpash sugandhi karan—

The paste of Shikekai, nagarmoth,kachura was applied on well-oiled hair.It was kept for minutes. Then washed off with aritha. This served both purposes shampooing as well as conditioning of hair.

4)Angraag wilepan—

A thin paste of sandalwood was applied evenly on face, neck, bare shoulders etc.(just like foundation creame is applied now a days).

5)kajjal rekha deepan–

Eyes were lined with kohl or kaajal . In ancient India people strongly believed that the kohl protects eyes from harsh sunrays like that of umbrella, so I think applying kohl was customary.

6) Tilak prasadhan—

Bindi or Mangalya chinha was made on the forehead. Different coloured Bindis were made from the gorochana, hartal, kusumba etc. Even flower petals also were used to serve this purpose.

7) Mukha prasadhan—-

Face was decorated with the help of herbal blusher, gold or silver or pearl dust.

Then a beauty spot or small black mark of kohl was made to ward of an evil.

8 ) Kesha pash rachna—

This word means hairstyling. The main styles used in those days were Kundalakar (oval shaped or elongated role or bun), surpaakruti (snake shaped–may be a French role), folded in the wave like manner and the both typesof (i.e. high n low )bun.

9) Alakta niveshen–

This literally means applying lipstick. During those days herbal lipsticks were prepared using beeswax mixed with the kusumba flower’s petals.

10) Hasta sushobhita–

The hands were cleaned and decorated

11) Paad sushobhita–

The feet were cleaned and lined with Alitah.

12) maha vastra pridhan–

Then the  wedding dress was put on the bride, generally a bright coloured silken robe with gold border was used.

13) Pushpa dharanam—

The colourful, pretty and the sweet smelling flower garlands or gajjraas were worn on the hair, around the neck, as a armlet or around the wrist. Then the body was perfumed mildly.

14) Alankaar dharnam—

The bride was given various ornaments to look stunning. The most popular ornaments were mekahla or the chain worn around the waist, anklets, armlets, diferent types of chokers and also various sets of the very heavy bangles.Those ornaments were made up of precious metals like gold and silver,ivory,shells,beads and the precious-semiprecious stones.

15) Tambul sevan–

Tambulam or opum or paan was chewed .It served as mouth freshener.

16) Darpan vilokan

The bride used take a good  look at herself  in the mirror.Her make up used to be checked and rechecked.Some fine touches were given agan.