Most people believe that just because a product says ‘no harmful chemicals’ or ‘100% organic’, it means that it is safe for use. However, ayurvedic experts say otherwise.
When it comes to choosing skincare products, most people are beginning to wake up to the goodness of natural and ethically sourced ingredients. Many of us want to know whether the product we choose contains any toxic ingredients, asking questions like – Is it natural? Is it organic and if not what chemicals does it contain?
This is due to the rising awareness of the benefits obtained from nature’s bounty and of course, the gradual but steady return to our ayurvedic roots. But, one must be aware that brands and marketing companies also know this. According to research in 2018, the so-called natural skincare products accounted for about 25% of the skincare market. The reason? ‘Greenwashing’ – a marketing strategy that preys on the fear of people and their belief in natural, healthier and safer products.
According to Dr. Tarun Gupta, Senior Ayurvedic Consultant, it is important to understand that the term organic is an agricultural standard. This means the said ingredient was obtained from a product that was grown as per certain criteria and regulations. It has nothing to do with the cosmetic itself.
When choosing skin care products, one must ensure that they are paraben free – parabens being chemical preservatives – devoid of petroleum jelly or mineral oil. One must also check the ingredients thoroughly to detect any chemicals that have been added in ‘safe’ or ‘permitted’ quantities.
What We Recommend
Our recommendation, always, is to look within instead of without. The best beauty counter is your kitchen! There is no better way to avoid pesky chemicals and ‘permitted’ secretive, industry coded chemicals than to explore the shelves of your kitchen and prepare skincare products at home, from scratch.
Most of our kitchen ingredients make for time tested, simple and effective beauty aids. The uncomplicated besan and haldi ‘ubtan’ is the best solution to skin cleansing, exfoliation and baby hair removal. Even your grandma has some version of a recipe of this famous beauty concoction. Besan and milk also make an excellent body wash and sugar with a bit of lemon and rose water, can make a refreshing and smoothing body scrub. Bathing with neem water (neem leaves left in bath water for about 15 – 20 minutes, is an excellent skin purifier and rose water is a natural skin toner. Ingredients like ‘multani mitti’ (fuller’s earth), neem, malai, fruits also make up for various types of face packs suitable for different skin types. And let’s not forget, the magic ingredient found in most Indian homes, Aloe Vera. Use it as a hair mask, skin gel or drink it as a medicine, this powerhouse is nature’s own miracle.
The best way to go about it is to consult your ayurvedic practitioner, find out about your skin type and understand what natural, kitchen-sourced ingredients would be best suited for your skin type. Many ayurvedic practitioners have their own line of beauty products. At SKK Ayurveda, we do not mass produce medicinal or beauty products, however, for our patients, we do have authentic, ayurvedic solutions and products for their skin and hair problems, which we recommend to our patients, according to their specific needs.
Rediscovering our ayurvedic roots cannot be a process that leads us to chemical laden bottles labelled as ‘natural’. It means going back to the sustainable, natural ways in which our older generations took care of not only themselves, but the environment around them.
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