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What ingredients to avoid in your clean skincare routine

Learning what’s in your beauty and skincare products can help achieve long-term health

Glycerin is a glorified ingredient in moisturisers, but it actually dries out the skin in the long run.
Glycerin is a glorified ingredient in moisturisers, but it actually dries out the skin in the long run. (Unsplash)

The beauty industry, long painted with brushes of glamour and artifice, is undergoing a shift. Clean beauty, as a movement, is rewriting the narrative, challenging conventional formulations with a potent blend of nature's wisdom and conscious practices. In India, with its rich Ayurvedic heritage and growing awareness, this transition resonates deeply, shaping the way consumers engage with their beauty choices.

The mindful movement extends beyond simply eliminating harmful ingredients, embracing ethical sourcing, eco-friendly practices, and minimalist packaging. Indian consumers are seeking brands that align with their values, prioritising transparency in ingredients, fair trade practices, and a deep respect for the environment. This informed demand is pushing the industry to innovate, not just in formulations but also in ethical sourcing and sustainable practices. The clean beauty wave has also given rise to a thriving ecosystem of homegrown Indian brands that are not only harnessing the country's natural bounty but also crafting products that cater to the specific needs and preferences of Indian consumers. 

Also read: A glitter that might not be bad for the environment

Some natural ingredients that are good for the skin include malai, curd, dal, besan, turmeric, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. These help in keeping the skin nourished and hydrated. Before you use them though, do speak with a dermatologist. 

If you are keen on using clean skincare products, make sure the items don't include the following ingredients.

SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate): SLS is responsible for the foam in your face wash, but more foam doesn't equate to better cleaning, contrary to popular belief. Instead, SLS can be harmful in multiple ways, from causing skin irritation and drying, to even hurting the environment. Other surfactants like sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), and sodium pareth sulfate are often chosen for their cost-effectiveness, yet they pose similar risks in terms of harm to skin and the environment.

Glycerin: Glycerin is a glorified ingredient in moisturisers. It actually dries out the skin in the long run. Its use can also result in weak collagen fibres. Some of the better natural alternatives are aloe vera, honey, shea butter, and jojoba oil.

Paraffin wax: Paraffin wax in lip products, derived from petroleum and other by-products, is non-biodegradable, contributing to environmental concerns during production and disposal. Beyond its ecological impact, it lacks additional nutrients or benefits for the skin. A more environmentally friendly alternative is beeswax, which not only provides similar protective and moisturising benefits but also supports a greener approach.

Swagatika Das is co-founder of Nat Habit

Also read: A skincare routine that soothes the skin and mind





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