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Organic Beauty: Busting Myths about Natural Personal Care Products

By Maitrai Agarwal | Mumbai

Published: 15 September, 2020 15:35 IST

Experts discuss chemical-free personal care products and debunk common myths

Organic can very well be the modern marketing equivalent of diamonds. We don’t know why we are drawn to shiny stones but someone told us they’re nice and now we desire them will all our hearts (and wallets). There is no shortage of brands peddling natural, organic, and handmade products, from lentils to lip balm and pasta to peas, leaving consumers in a pit of confusion. What does organic even mean anymore? Why do we need it?

We spoke to Nishantaini, Founder of Bon Organics, a USDA certified organic brand. Her family has been manufacturing personal care products for brands since 1997. Speaking about how most products are loaded with harmful additives, she said, “Many big brands would ask us to add artificial ingredients and were turned down by Dad. This led me to realize that everyone deserves to have genuine products because it is possible to avoid harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients.”

The mass-produced products which we consume in everyday life may be legal but are not necessarily the best alternative for our bodies and the environment. Growing awareness has made consumers make a beeline for the chemical-free. “Everything is genuinely 100 percent handmade with certified organic ingredients. Our ingredients have organic certifications to ensure that everything from the soil they are grown on to the water used is genuine without any adulteration anywhere along the whole process”, said Nishantaini.

We asked Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr. Malavika Kohli about the benefits of chemical-free personal care products, “Skincare products that are paraben-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and free of additives work great for sensitive skin. Similarly, shampoos which are sulphate-free and phosphate-free are especially useful for those with sensitive scalps.”

Chemical-free natural products are still a new concept for consumers who’ve always stuck to the legacy brands. We debunk the most common myths people have about natural personal care products:

Natural Products won’t Last Long- Expiry Date will be short in Absence of Chemical Additives

Mass-produced products have been diluted and filled with too many chemical preservatives to extend their lifespan. On the contrary, there are many natural ingredients that can be used as preservatives. They are made of plants and flowers. “The expiration date for most of our products is two years if unopened and 6-12 months after opening”, said Nishantaini.

Natural Products can be Made at Home DIY style

Even though we all whip something up at home, using household ingredients might not be the best idea.  Remember, not every natural product can be made at home owing to sophisticated processes. Proper know-how and research are also required before one starts making random formulations.

Handmade Means Unclean and Unhygienic

“Handmade products, made in small batches, are more hygienic as we can avoid any kind of bacteria with proper cleaning in the factory and ensuring the staff follows hygienic practices while cleaning a machine is more difficult,” said Nishantaini.

Natural Products can’t have an Allergic Reaction to Skin

People have a false belief that their skin is allergic to chemical products and that using natural cosmetics should not irritate or cause any allergic reactions.  However, the truth is that some of us can be allergic to natural ingredients (even if they are certified organic). This is completely normal. For example, some people are allergic to nuts. it’s the same for any other natural ingredient. So it’s important to read the ingredients list.

Lesser the Ingredients, Better the Product

Less may not always be more as skincare is complex. Nishantaini explained, “What’s more important than reading any ingredients list is, understanding it. You must always approach the brand to understand if anything is unclear.”

Effectiveness- Not Results Driven or Backed by Scientific Research

One of the most common myths surrounding organic skincare is that people believe it to be less effective. However, several organic brands continue to grow building on scientifically validated formulation and research.

Natural Products are Expensive

There are luxury organic brands but you can also find affordable organic brands. Some organic products may seem to be a little more expensive than commercial products but consumers must keep in mind that it is owing to the pure quality ingredients which are used in the formulations.

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