One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic has been the increased interest and preference for skin and haircare products that have more natural and locally sourced ingredients.
According to pre-pandemic estimates, the Ayurveda market in the country was likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.06% by 2024, but given the increased interest in one of the oldest medical systems the number is likely to be higher. Small wonder then a number of brands are being launched with a strong focus on natural ingredients.
While products made using chemicals can offer quick results, they do come with their share of side effects. Natural options, on the other hand, offer results, albeit slowly, with hardly any side effects. That's why it's important to read labels closely and know what you are consuming.
Here's why you need to be careful when buying products:
There are several dangerous chemicals lurking in our skin and haircare products, which is why it is imperative that you look careful at the ingredients section. Parabens, for instance, are commonly found in beauty products, as they are cheap preservatives that keep bay bacteria, fungus and mold at bay. Research shows parabens are likely to get absorbed by our skin into the bloodstream, eventually disrupting the hormonal balance. Studies have even found a link between cancer and parabens. The other toxic chemicals include phthalates, triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate.
When we adopt natural products in our skincare regimen such harmful ingredients are, of course, replaced with botanically sourced herbs, plant extracts and minerals like carrot root extract, amla, aloe vera, Indian soapberry (reetha) and hazelnut. Such ingredients come with restorative benefits, have anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and enable increased collagen production. After all, there's a reason our grandmothers always encouraged us to use things found in the kitchen or the garden for skin and haircare purposes.
Be it shampoo, conditioner, hair colour, oil, lotion, soap, cream or any other skin or hair care product, make sure to see the label carefully and scan the ingredients closely.
Especially when you buy a hair care product, do not get misled by the ammonia-free tag. More often than not, products that flaunt the label might have skipped the alkaline chemical, but they do not refrain from using ammonia’s byproducts like ethanolamine, eiethanolamine and triethanolamine, which is, in fact, even more harmful.
Clelia Cecilia Angelon is the founder and chief executive of beauty brand Surya Brasil.
Also read: Can beauty lie in powder cleansers?