Due to life shifting to the cities from the suburbs and villages and tremendous amounts of pollution thereafter, taking care of our skin has become a pretty important issue, with tonnes of cosmetic companies making gazillions of dollars on women worried about getting wrinkled faster. And why not- after all, our skin is the basic protective tissue of our body, not to mention that great skin can make you look younger and prettier! Hence, cosmetics have been used widely for a while now, but now there’s a new revolution in this field- natural cosmetics!
The skin is a miraculous tissue has been proven to absorb 60 per cent of whatever is applied on it into our circulatory system. This is what the cause of concern is- a lot of ingredients of the creams and balms we apply, may have harmful components that over a period of time, may accumulate in our blood streams and cause toxicity. A lot of such contents have been isolated from products that we use on a regular basis- soaps, shampoos, skin creams, deodorants… and the biggest surprise of all; even in baby lotions! A lot of products for little kids contain formaldehyde or dioxane, both of which are cancer causing agents. If even baby products contain these chemicals- imagine what the others do!
Normal cosmetics that are sold all over the shelves contain chemicals like toluene, phthalates, parabens, paraffin, formaldehyde, lead, artificial colours and fragrances, in most of our moisturizers, balms and other daily beauty products, which in small concentrations may not be harmful, but accumulated over a period of time could cause allergies, infections and even cancer. This is called the chemical cocktail effect– the amalgamation of all these toxic products in the blood stream over years of application.
Even seemingly harmless and in fact natural ingredients like tea tree oil and rosemary oil may cause complications over a period of time. Although government regulations in recent years have banned certain components which have led to their disappearance or some products which necessarily have to come with warning labels, there are still large varieties of “magic creams” that are harmful unknowingly.
This is why the new concept of natural make up and cosmetics has come about. They usually contain natural extracts and minerals which are not only beneficial for your skin, but spare your blood the horror of toxic components circulating within you. They also have less or no level of chemical additives, since they have plant oils and extracts, barks and spice extracts and mineral pigments that are a great replacement for their chemical counterparts and perform to the same extent. Along with organic food and farming, even organic make up is coming up rapidly, because they are light, healthy and do not feel cakey unlike the petrochemical series of products. Also, a lot of common skin problems including acne, dermatitis, skin irritation and rashes are done away with once synthetic components are eliminated from our circuits.
Another very important issue is that conventional products use often illegal animal or embryo extracts, like adrenaline, albumin, alanine, or animal hair and fat to make the cosmetic cheaper or give a better result. Animal cruelty for the sake of making a lipstick or a night cream is JUST not cool, right?
There is no doubt that organic products, since they are derived from nature, are a safer and better option than the cheaper but comparatively harmful synthetic ones. This is probably the reason why they are so “in” within the supermodels and Bollywood circuit, with top actors advertising fruit washes and aloe vera products for “natural and healthy looking skin”!
However, there are two sides of every coin. While a natural and organic product is definitely healthier for the skin, there are no legal standards for a product to be labelled “natural”. Many of the products which are advertised as being made from earthy mixtures may contain chemical additives and preservatives. Since there is no government-defined agenda of a product being labelled natural, it is often used just as a marketing strategy rather than an actual component description. Also, a lot of natural products can cause allergic reactions and hence should not be used, but are still advertised as “earthy” and hence misinterpreted to be great for the body. Not only are these products steeper on the pocket, but definitely are not worth the money and trust put in them!
The best solution would be to read the label of ingredients carefully. Being a critically aware and conscious customer could go a long way in helping you ensure that you not only use products that are best for you, but also help avoid splurging on fraud products. Most products have their components listed at the back, or even if they don’t, a consumer cell number is usually available. It may take a little extra time and effort, but better safe than sorry, right!
The one thing to remember is- nothing is a magic cure. There is no singular product that will turn you from an ugly duckling into a swan overnight, or help you find your prince charming by using the fairness cream advertised on television. Just taking regular care of your skin, especially by applying home-made packs and scrubs are the best gift you can give your skin. All in all, natural and organic products are definitely the way to go- just make sure that they ARE what they claim to be!