Is Independence From Chemicals In Skincare Overrated?
Knowing the good chemicals from the bad ones while shopping for beauty or skincare products is better than falling prey to unsupported “Chemical Free” claims.
You might remember this from science lessons in junior school: Chemicals are all around us. Plants are made of chemicals called photochemicals and we ourselves are made up of chemicals.
Just because something has a chemical sounding name, doesn’t mean it is necessarily bad. Sodium Chloride, for example, may sound like a potentially harmful chemical to some but it is in fact the chemical name for table salt!
Both good chemicals (safe and beneficial) and bad (with potential side-effects and/or potentially detrimental to health) are used in beauty and personal care products.
However, knowing good chemicals from the bad ones is not easy for the average consumer. Not only do most of us have no background in chemistry but also sadly, Indian cosmetics companies are not regulated by law to expand the bases used in products: Ingredients are not fully disclosed on product labels, products are touted as organic with only a 3-4 key ingredients mentioned on the label and the rest of the ingredients are shown as “base qs” or “cleansing base.” Also, cleansing products marketed as natural often have controversial chemicals such as sodium laureth sulphate, parabens and mineral oil.
The result: Consumers are never sure if what they bought thinking organic and pure, is actually safe for them and their family.
So what is the way out? What should I do to make informed beauty choices?
For starts, flip the bottle and read the ingredient list. Many companies do not disclose ingredients in full with only the key ingredients listed. If you see terms such as ‘cleansing base’, ‘lotion base’ and ‘base qs’ mentioned – ask for the full ingredient list. These undisclosed ingredients may not be natural or nature-derived which is why companies feel the need to hide them from consumers.
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Common ingredients to avoid include Parabens (methyl, ethyl and propylparabens) due to the controversy around their potential health risks and sulphates ( SLS, SLES, ALS) in cleansing products as these are very harsh detergents and can trigger irritation in sensitive skin types.
Also, look for creams and lotions with vegetable oils such as jojoba, grapeseed safflower, almond apricot etc. in them. These not only provide nutrition but are also very close to natural oils of skin. If these are cold-pressed, that’s even better as that indicates higher nutritive value. However, the gold standard would be vegetable oils that are both cold-pressed and certified organic as these are superlative in their purity, absorption and nutritive value.
How we at Just Herbs Label our products:
We do the research so you don’t have to. Our products are between 98.2% (where natural alternatives are not available) – 100% natural and we publish this information on our official website here: www.justherbs.in/ingredients so consumers can research ingredients before they shop.
We follow our proprietary Just Herbs ingredients standard in all our formulations. This stipulates adherence to the following best practices: