Did you know that most of our conventional personal care and beauty products are laced with harsh chemicals such as lead, mercury, aluminum etc.? Many such harmful ingredients are sourced through extensive mining which causes pollution, destroys miles of land, kills the beautiful flora and fauna and causes more damage than good to our skin. Mona Punjabi suggests choosing eco-friendly and organic make-up.
Thankfully, the natural and organic beauty market has grown leaps and bounds. Here’s a rundown on everything you need to know before you dive in, skin first.
Times have evolved!
Gone are the days when we had only a handful of cosmetic products to choose from. These days, simply stroll down a cosmetic store and you can get easily confused, as you look through the vast variety of natural and organic beauty products available on display. Also, with the ubiquity of the Internet and social media, the advertising and marketing of these natural products is also fairly convincing and widespread. So, how does one choose the right product?
Natural vs. Organic make-up
Natural beauty products are ones that are manufactured using ingredients that ‘grow naturally’. These products are primarily free of artificial fragrances, artificial colorants or other synthetic additives. They also lack parabens and sulfates and are typically produced using minimal to no processing.
However, since they aren’t regulated by any governing body, many product brands use the word ‘natural’ on their packaging as a marketing gimmick even if their products are laden with synthetic chemicals. Therefore, to prevent you from falling into this trap, make it a regular practice to turn the product bottle upside down and glance through the ingredients’ list.
Sometimes, the scientific names of some of these natural ingredients may sound synthetic to your ears. In such cases, a bit of research or expert advice definitely helps in making an informed buying decision.
Organic beauty products, on the other hand, are made using ingredients that are cultivated or grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or any genetically modified organisms. The raw materials of these products also undergo less/natural processing so they more or less retain their original goodness.
It is also important to keep in mind that what’s natural may not necessarily be organic. For example, a DeTan cream containing tomatoes may be a natural product to use but the tomatoes may be sprayed with a pesticide which makes them natural but not purely organic.
From farms to beauty aisles
It’s extremely pivotal to be watchful on this front because our skin absorbs everything that it comes in touch with and anything harmful that it is subject to directly ventures into our bloodstream. The most trusted and reputed natural and organic cosmetic companies invest heavily in technology and innovation to ensure that their products are 100 per cent natural, safe, and pure.
Let’s talk benefits
Along with being a blessing to the environment, natural and organic make-up products offer other benefits. Many organic and natural beauty products come loaded with superfoods. Check the packaging and you are bound to see extracts of green tea, aloe vera gel, honey, etc. as common occurrences with each having its own advantages. For example, green tea is a powerful antioxidant and helps to slow down the ageing process; aloe vera gel gives you an instant boost of hydration; and honey acts like a gentle exfoliator and gives the skin a nice radiant glow.
“Natural products are rich in essential skin nutrients and antioxidants which help in revitalising and repairing the skin. They also have less chances of doing any harm to the skin, as they are nature derived. Moreover, they ensure providing nutritional benefits to the skin from its ingredients. Therefore, my vision and mantra has always been ‘What we apply should be as healing and natural as what we eat’,” reiterates Dr Blossom Kochhar, Chairperson, Blossom Kochhar Group of Companies and an industry pioneer with over 35 years of experience in holistic beauty and aromatherapy.
The sustainability factor
Mother Nature has given us abundantly and it’s high time we return Her favours. It’s good to see that many companies these days are committed towards their responsibility to protect the environment and strive hard to reduce their carbon footprint across various spheres of their businesses. This is especially true and relevant in case of cosmetic companies who are active consumers of palm oil. Excessive palm oil production has resulted in deforestation and also releases millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the environment, not to forget the biodiversity loss and habitat destruction that it causes.
Therefore, now many cosmetic brands have their manufacturing and distribution facilities up and running with 100 per cent renewable energy; many also use recyclable or biodegradable packaging for their products.
It’s great to see that sustainability is slowly making its presence felt in the cosmetic industry. The best part is that along with the brands today’s intelligent customer is also making a valuable contribution by choosing eco-friendly products!