Do you realise how we read the words, “natural” and “organic” as “safe” in our heads? Each day we are exposed to products which contain harmful chemicals we don’t know of and can’t spell. The list of ingredients is long, confusing and exhausting. So eventually, we stop looking at the labels, and choose to live in denial, at the risk of our health.
But deep down, our ignorance and continual use of lab-processed products pinch us every now and again. And it should! Most of us try to adopt newer, more natural methods but end up neither here, nor there; unable to make a complete switch.
Conventional Products and Their Impact: “Feel Good”
We consume chemicals from the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. We add to the pile by using beauty products that contain harmful ingredients that can affect our skin and hair. Research on how far some of these chemicals can really affect us is still under way. So what do we do when we don’t know? We stay away.
Apart from the occasional rash, irritation or tingling that chemically-processed products can cause, let’s take a glimpse at how deep they go. We keep hearing advice on using “Paraben-free” products but you might not know how they impact our body. Parabens are commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics products and essentially are a group of chemicals that are known to cause hormonal imbalance, which adversely affects fertility in men and women. They are basically endocrine disruptors. This is just one of the long list of ingredients we need to avoid. Potential carcinogens, allergens, and several toxic compounds can make changes in our bodies on a cellular level.
While these products are cheaper and claim to give immediate results, more often than not, they do more harm than good in the long run. The feel-good factor doesn’t always translate into positive results. This is not to scare you, but to open your eyes and mind to the healthier, safer choices out there, and boy, there are plenty! Organic skin care today has grown into a full-fledged industry in itself. You only need to make more informed decisions, and there are tonnes of resources available to help you do just that.
Natural, Organic Products: “Do Good”
Whether you’re a minimalist when it comes to skin care, or an enthusiast, waiting to try every new product that comes out in the market, make an enlightened choice and opt for plant-based, natural skin care.
When you look for cleansers, moisturisers, toners, serums, face scrubs and masks, lip balms, sun screens or oils, keep an eye out for terms like, “chemical-free,” “nontoxic,” “Paraben-free,” “certified organic,” “100% natural,” “plant-based,” “vegan,” “no animal testing,” or “against animal cruelty.” Browse through the ingredient list; it will normally contain names that you can easily understand, like different fruit pulps, plant and vegetable extracts, oils, vitamins, fruit acids or natural and essential oils instead of synthetics and harsh chemicals.
Also, check for any certifications that the company has received, to solidify your conviction and trust in the brand. Many companies claim to be natural and organic, this is known as greenwashing but their products are filled with compounds to make you cringe! The terms “natural” and “organic” are vague, unregulated and often used loosely in the industry so when the alarm bells ring in your head, do your homework on what you put on your skin and don’t hush away the sceptic in you.
An Easy Start to an Organic Skin Care Routine
You don’t need to throw out every product on your vanity and spend a fortune on organic skin care items, to replace every essential you need. Take baby steps. Make the transition easy on your skin and your wallet. Begin by replacing 1 or 2 products at a time and purge slowly as you go.
Let’s take a brief, organic tour through our basic, daily skin care routines to find out how you can cross the bridge towards healthy, sustainable and eco-friendly products.
Depending on your skin type, look for products with combinations of some of these ingredients.
Cleanse: Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil
Exfoliate: Lemon, Chamomile, Raw Honey, Sea Salt, Sugar
Tone: Cucumber, Rose Water, Bergamot, Sandalwood
Moisturise: Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Raw Honey, Olive Oil
Essential Oils: Rosehip, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Orange, Lavender
These are just a few of all the natural ingredients out there. A plethora of rich vitamins, minerals and oils are extracted from different parts of plants and used in their original form for skin care products.
Choose wisely, and take the leap towards refreshed, healthy skin. Remember, healthy beauty is the only one that lasts.