The buzzword in the beauty and cosmetics industry is “natural.” Natural beauty products are the hottest trend right now, and cosmetics that claim to be “au natural” made with plant-based extracts are selling like hotcakes.
But are they really natural? Let’s clear up the confusions behind natural beauty products once and for all, and learn how to switch to clean natural products for our beauty regime.
Statista reports that nearly 73% of women aged between 18 and 34 revealed that they look for labels like “natural” and “organic” while choosing beauty products. But, here’s the bitter truth – just because a product claims to be natural, it doesn’t mean it uses only natural ingredients.
For instance, a commercial hibiscus shampoo may contain only a tiny percentage of hibiscus extracts – and the rest is made up of other synthetic chemicals added for aroma, volume, to extend shelf life and a variety of other reasons.
Beauty Product Labels – A Quick Explanation
Let’s take a look at some of the common terms found on cosmetics and what they mean:
Natural or all-natural – The product is made from ingredients that are sourced from nature. However, it doesn’t mean it contains natural ingredients as it is without any processing.
Organic – The ingredients used are manufactured without harmful pesticides.
Naturally derived – Natural products that have undergone chemical processing.
Chemical-free – This is an ambiguous label, as all ingredients are basically chemicals.
Non-toxic – Made from products that aren’t harmful to humans.
Green or sustainable – The products used are eco-friendly.
Why should you Choose Natural Beauty Products?
Just like what you are is what you eat, what you wear on your skin impacts, not just your appearance but also your overall health.
The chemicals you apply to your skin harm our body externally and internally. The skin is a living organ, and any product you apply on the outside is absorbed getting into your bloodstream and your internal systems.
The body which is already overloaded with toxins – due to a poor lifestyle, wrong diets, chronic stress, and environmental pollution – gets further burdened with the toxins from our beauty products. This causes toxaemia, the root cause for all diseases ailing us.
Apart from changing your diet, and inculcating beneficial practices like sun-soaking, regular exercise, you need to switch to eco-friendly and natural products, to eliminate toxins from your system.
How to identify Natural or Organic Beauty Products on the market?
Unfortunately, identifying clean cosmetic brands and 100% natural beauty products is not a simple task. This is because there are no rules and regulations regarding the labels cosmetic and beauty brands can use. This brings us to the grey, murky area of advertising.
For instance, let’s say a face scrub uses less than 5% of dried lemon peels, and the rest is made of artificial ingredients. Is it natural, or is it synthetic?
As you can see, there’s plenty of wiggle room when it comes to beauty product labelling, and brands make use of natural terms like – organic, natural, real-extracts – to tempt customers in choosing their products.
Why are Chemicals added to Beauty Products?
For increasing shelf life – without preservatives, your beauty products will become a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Some of the common preservatives include parabens, formaldehyde, salicylic acid, benzyl alcohol, and EDTA.
For achieving the desired consistency – Thickeners are added to achieve the required consistency. Stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, aluminium silicate, silica, cetyl palmitate are some of the common thickeners.
For adding colour, fragrance, and foam
What are the Effects of Chemicals present in Beauty Products?
Visible impacts – These impacts can be identified easily. It includes headaches, hair fall, acne, skin allergies, skin and eye infections, skin discolouration, premature ageing, and more.
Not easily visible impacts – These are impacts that you are not likely to link with your beauty products. They cause long-term impacts like hormonal imbalance, infertility, and even cancer.
Remember that just because a particular cosmetic doesn’t trigger an immediate reaction/infection, it doesn’t mean it’s safe for you.
Common List of Chemicals to Avoid
It’s safer if you avoid all synthetic or chemical beauty products. If you cannot do it at once, then make sure that your beauty products do not contain at least these ten harmful (but commonly used ingredients): Parabens, artificial fragrance/perfumes, SLS/SLES, Toluene, phthalates, PEG, formaldehyde, oxy benzene, diethanolamine, and triclosan.
So, what’s the Alternative?
It requires a two-fold approach.
You can use natural products in your kitchen to boost your skin and hair health.
You need to make holistic lifestyle changes to boost your overall health as well as external appearance. Let’s take a closer look at both options.
1. Health and Beauty start in the Kitchen
Yes, our kitchens have plenty of wonderful natural ingredients that work great for skin and hair care. Here are a few simple recipes to make your beauty products at home.
2. Make Holistic Lifestyle Changes for a More Glowing & Radiant You
Remember, that irrespective of the number of external beauty products you use, real beauty starts from within. When you correct the other aspects of your life like – irregular sleep, sedentary lifestyle, lack of sun exposure, a diet full of processed foods and stress – you can see a significant improvement in your skin tone, hair and enjoy a glowing and radiant face.
Beauty is not just about external applications. When you make holistic lifestyle changes – getting closer to nature and adopting natural foods and natural living, your dependence on external beauty products will reduce.
3. Look for safe products from small-time players
Many home businesses started by enterprising women now sell natural beauty products like homemade soaps, body creams, hair wash products etc. using simple natural ingredients. Visit your local farmer’s market or attend the many organic and sustainable lifestyle exhibitions happening nowadays and you may be able to pick up some great products. Educate yourself about the different chemicals usually used in products based on this blog and ask the right questions. Talk to them and get to know how their products are made and you may find safe products to fit into your busy lifestyle.
Are you ready to switch to natural living and natural beauty?
Disclaimer: The health journeys, blogs, videos and all other content on Wellcure is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a ‘medical advice’ ‘prescription’ or a ‘cure’ for diseases. Any specific changes by users, in medication, food & lifestyle, must be done under the guidance of licensed health practitioners. The views expressed by the users are their personal views and Wellcure claims no responsibility for them.