ORGANIC, HERBAL FORMULATIONS AND MINERAL MAKE UP – Go for the alternatives! Part I

Hey, 

Apologies. Being too long since the previous blog. I had been down with flu and sneaked out for a mini vacation for a few days; hence couldn’t update my draft that has been lying here for quite a while now. Well putting that aside and coming back to what I have to write about. Yes, now that we know that those bottles and tubes promising us the beautification miracles are doing no good to us, are rather making it worse; I have few suggestions that i personally felt was sufficient enough for a start towards all natural products. 

First of all always check products that claim to be natural or contain herbal formulation or even organic for that matter. Not all products that claim themselves to be organic are organic. Shocked and annoyed? So was I. Because everywhere you turn to you find business minded and corporate who want to make money and do not really concentrate on giving you quality products. The products that contain herbal formulations may be entirely made up of herbal ingredients or may contain just a formulation with a chemical base. Also, the chemical base could be made up of harsh chemicals and preservatives or may be made of chemicals that are not harmful to our skin and health. CHECK the label. Make it a point no matter what entity you buy, check for the ingredients and find out more about the ingredients if you are not sure if they are mere chemicals or organic compounds whose chemical names have been mentioned. To help you with this I had posted a handy guide of the basic and common chemicals and preservatives with their effects. Refer it here.

Talking about organic, as I told you all the products that advertise about composed of organic ingredients may have parabens as preservatives, and that is a total let down. But there are brands both well acclaimed and small scale industries that don’t have green washed chemicals but are made up of herbs and organic ingredients. So do not fret. We have options and alternatives for the most essential sunscreen to blushes. Mineral based make ups are a big hit these days, it is particularly useful for professionals who use tons of make up everyday, this does not block or clog their skin pores with layers of primers and concealors; or atleast makes it less harmful. It is very important to carefully pick the mineral make up as they may also be formulated with harmful preservatives and fragrances. 

There are even DIY for Foundations to bronzers for a good clean finish that also provide SPF. If you have the patience to make them you can, or order on their shops to make it for you. The choice is yours. 🙂 I came across a few interesting DIYs. You could browse and find yours. I would thank each of such bloggers who share their DIYs with everyone so that all of us are benefited. I shall share the links or methods via my blogs as I touch upon each topic.

One of the main product that we can’t live without has universally being the lip balm. The demand for lip balms has increased so much so that we have every other cosmetic brand with either a chapstick or a small tub with lip butters and enhanced flavours and claim a lot of benefits too. As you know we are going green; and that means not only the ingredients are organic and healthy but also are free from being tested on animals. Isn’t that awesome? When in doubt of which lip balm to choose log on to EWG and list your product to know how safe it is to use. Also, refer to my basic guide for the names and effects of chemicals here. I am listing down a few suggestions that are available and are safe for use. Always read reviews and check for the ingredients before buying the ones I list too. Its always safe to double check. Most of the ones are not easily available in India but they can be ordered online. But, do not fret there are a lot of Indian options too. Our good own ayurvedic formulations never gets old. I am listing a few of the brands as I am targeting the Indian residents and for their ease.

1.  Pangea Organics Italian Red Mandarin with rose

Pangea Organics Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom

Available on online stores for Rs. 1599

2. Badger Lip balms and lip shimmers range

3. Burt’s bees lip balms

Available on online stores for Rs. 420

4. The body Shop Lip butters

Available online and at The Body Shop stores from Rs. 275 Onwards.

5. Forrest essential Lip balms

Available online and at specific stores for Rs 500 Onwards

6. Himalaya Lip care range

Available at all leading stores, drug stores and online too Starting from Rs. 30

7. VLCC Natural Sciences Lip Balms

    VLCC Lovable lips Ranges. Though a few reviews say its dry and doesn’t glide properly. Having used this product I can certainly say its pretty good for the tinted lip balm, its devoid of bee wax hence doesn’t glide; I use Himalaya Lip care before applying this.

Available at leading stores and online stores starting from Rs. 99

8. Shehnaz Hussain Lip balms

Available at leading stores and online for Rs. 310

9. Vaadi Herbals Lip Balm This is not one of the best. But good one for the price. Priced at Rs. 25 For 6 grams.

10. Nyah Lip Balms

Available on online stores for Rs. 160

11. Tvam Lip Balm

Available on online stores for Rs. 395

12. Nature’s Essence Lip Balm Range

Available at super markets starting from RS. 49

13. L’occitane Lip balm 

Prices start from Rs. 830

Check out the Online store to find more lip balms.

14. Khaadi Natural Lip Balms

Available on online and khaadi stores, prices start from Rs. 100

15. Soultree Lip Balms

My personal Favourite find. I will try these products for sure some time. India’s first all organic cosmetic range. Priced at Rs. 195.

16. Omved Lip Care

Priced at Rs. 390

17. Rustic Art Lip Balm Range

These can be bought online from here

18. Biotique Lip care 

Available at supermarkets and on online stores Prices start from Rs. 175.

18. The Nature’s Co lip balms

Available at leading stores and online stores for Rs. 295

That concludes with my personal suggestions of lip care ranges available. Go through the websites and see for all the information you desire. Many of the above listed ones have variants and flavours or shades. Do check the nearest stores or online stores. 🙂 The list definitely does not end here.There are many more available or that I have read about but I don’t have much information except for the name. I guess this is good for a start the more I find I shall keep sharing it with you all 🙂 The Thing about lip balms is some like chapsticks for hygiene reasons, some like small cute tubs, Some like to splurge on these ranges and some prefer economical ones. I have atleast two suggestions for each of such categories as listed above. Go on, find which one suits you, experiment with a few, find some new ones too and share it with us, so that all of us are benefitted. All the best 🙂 and please feel free to tell me how can I make these blogs better in the comments section.

Coming up next ——-> DIY Lip balms, Kaajal/Kohl brands suggestions to go green 🙂

Stay tuned

See you soon 🙂

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Beauty Treatments or Buying Diseases???

Hey,

Here I am providing you the continuum of the previous blog as I told you. And yes, it’s going to be series of blogs as well. This blog particularly emphasizes on the ingredients that go into your shampoos, face washes, lotions, make up etc. Remember the FDA’s initiative of making everyone reading the nutrition label on the packed foods so that they choose the right one and not blindly get swayed to the advertisements.? Why dint it occur to us to read the labels on products that get absorbed on our skin and ultimately is removed as waste products? Never mind, better late than never. It’s very simple, all you have to do is turn the product be it a bottle or its packaging to see the ingredients and read through it. We often do read it while we are shopping for a product or when we suddenly feel curious what exactly is the product made of, especially when you see the breakthrough technologies in cosmetic like capsule foundations or serum, nanotechnology induced packs and the list goes on; but even after reading them we obviously did not know the effects that it does to our skin and health. I would like to add that the information procured is from various websites and tests and hence I might not be entirely right, but not completely wrong as well. I can assure you that I have done a detailed analysis and multiple sites stated the same information after testings.

All the cosmetics contain both desirable, good ingredients and the harmful ones. Like the Kohl and lipstick enriched with Vitamins or the hot famous mineral make up range from all the leading cosmetic brands. The difference it makes is the amount of those harmful ingredients added and the effect it has upon us when we use it for over a period of time. We have repeatedly been told how important is the sunblock or the C-T-M routines. But we never tried to find out is the CTM routine really that necessary or could we go chemical free. Consult a good dermatologist to find out whats the best way for your skin and give you all the natural glow.  I actually pity actors and models who need to wear make up everyday; which means less time for the skin to breathe without those layers of concealers and foundations. They might absolutely require the CTM’s for taking the load off the face, to moisturize, to let it breathe. All said and done, there is a feeling of safety and happiness while switching to natural or organic wear make ups. Some of the perks of going natural or organic in terms of cosmetics and make up are:

  • We happen to use ingredients that are renewable and NOT those which are obtained from earth’s crust. (So environmental friendly)
  • They are mostly eco-friendly and biodegradable (Again for our mother earth)
  • Less or no chemical constituents go into our skin (win – win situation plus happiness of being beautiful naturally)

Now the ingredients that are used in almost all of the cosmetics and its effects. The following information has been mostly compiled from www.treehugger.com and few other websites whose web addresses I forgot to write down, had similar or same information. There are books available on price to get some more detail on the same too.

  1. 1-4 Dioxane: A known animal carcinogen and probable human carcinogen, according to the EPA. It’s also a byproduct of a petrochemical process known as “ethyoxlation,” which involves adding ethylene oxide (a toxin linked to breast cancer) to other chemicals to render them less harsh. More than 56 cosmetics ingredients are associated with 1,4-dioxane, including sodium laureth sulfate, sodium myreth sulfate, polyethylene glycol, and chemicals that end in “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.” The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found 1,4-dioxane in 57 percent of baby washes in the U.S. Avoid any ingredients containing the letters “eth.”
  2. Aluminium Chlorohydrate: An astringent used as a topical antiperspirant or topical body deodorant. Aluminum is a neurotoxin that alters the function of the blood-brain barrier, linking it to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
  3. Di Butyl Phthalate: Studies have shown that it causes birth defects and harms male reproductive organs. A chemical plasticizer found in nail polish and mascara that helps prevent cracking. DBP and other forms of phthalates are also frequently present in fragrances used in air fresheners, cleaning detergents, and hair sprays. A loophole in federal law allows phthalates to be included in fragrances without ever appearing on the product’s label, which means that phthalates are more ubiquitous than we realize.
  4. Ammonia: A compound used in hair dyes and bleaches. It releases a caustic, pungent gas that severely irritates the eyes and respiratory tract.
  5. Formaldehyde: A preservative and disinfectant classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen. Found in cosmetics such as nail polish, fake eyelash adhesives, mascara and eye shadows, formaldehyde can cause nausea, coughing, and asthma symptoms, as well as burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat.
  6. Lead Acetate: Its a banned chemical, but still found in dyes and bleaches. It is a neurotoxin.
  7. Hydroquinone: A skin-bleaching chemical, as well as a possible carcinogen, neurotoxin, and skin sensitizer. In high doses, Hydroquinone can cause a disfiguring skin disease called ochronosis, which results in irreversible black-blue lesions.
  8. Mercury: Used as a preservative and antibacterial agent in cosmetics such as mascara, where it can be listed under the name “thimersoal,” mercury can damage brain function even at low levels. Mercury can be found in eye drops and certain imported skin-lightening creams otherwise known as fairness creams. 
  9. Nanoparticles: Largely untested, these extremely minuscule particles are usually undeclared on product labels, even though they can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. You can find them in bronzers, eye shadows, sunscreens, and lotions.
  10. Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, isoparapben: The most common preservatives used in cosmetics to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which some studies show plays a role in the development breast cancer and urogenital abnormalities. (Ouch, I read it danger in capitals) 
  11. Triclosan: An antibacterial compound found in cleansers, deodorants and other cosmetic products that is classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen. Overuse could also result in strains of drug-resistant superbacteria.
  12. Toluene: A solvent and nervous-system toxin found in some nail polishes. High amounts can affect kidneys and cause birth defects. It’s also used to dissolve paint and as an octane booster in gasoline fuels used in internal combustion engines. Often hidden under fragrance.
  13. DEA/TEA/MEA: Suspected carcinogens used as emulsifiers and foaming agents for shampoos, body washes, soaps.
  14. Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.
  15. Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.
  16. Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.
  17. Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.
  18. Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.
  19. Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.
  20. Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.
  21. Talc: Similar to asbestos in composition, it’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, deodorant. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.
  22. Triclosan: Found in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants, it is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption.

However many of the above listed chemicals are banned in several countries across the globe but are still in to use to some extent. And if you thought if all good things are listed they could not harm you, Retinyl Palmitate is a form of  Vitamin A often used in sunscreens. Over use or ingestion of vitamins too cause toxicity. Need more resons to ditch your favourite make up?

This was a small guide to help you know the ill effects of the common chemicals that go in your cosmetics. After reading this you will have several questions. If all the products available easily in the market are harmful then what to use instead of my favorite make up range? Are organic products safe? Are there alternatives that can be made at home?

I completely understand your confusions. I was myself caught in this dilemma and was directionless. Now that I crossed that path I will be able to guide and suggest you options that could replace your chemical filled bottles with organic and safe constituents. But the ultimate choices of what to use and what not will be made by you. You could also give me suggestions and queries on the topics I have not touched upon in the comments section below. Thank you for the patient reading.

What’s next? Introducing you to organic and natural range of cosmetics and make up, Organic brands for all the commonly used cosmetics and essentials, how to go natural & much more 🙂

Stay tuned

For Further reading about the cosmetic ingredients I would suggest Paula’s Choice and FDA.

See you soon 🙂

BEAUTY IS SKIN DEEP; IT IS DEEPER THAN YOU ACTUALLY THINK!!

This blog marks my return to blogging. First and foremost let me tell you that I am just any other person with average vocabulary and grammar (Well, A little more than average I presume) 😛 😛

And I am not a very good blogger, hence please adjust with my silly mistakes (read it as blunders :D) here and there. I have come up with this piece in the style of reference articles. A lot of information I share here is collected from websites, laboratory testing’s and reviews. So, what is this blog all about? These are going to be a series of blogs wherein I am going to share what sorts of analysis and research I have being doing for quite some time now.

We all like to look good. Put it in another way we all have to look good due to a number of reasons. Having said that, not all of us are blessed with a good, clear and supple skin. Hence we choose products or cosmetics that will help us enhance our beauty or at least make us look presentable. What we do not realize or have been ignoring is what all ingredients goes into it. Being in a very competitive world, skin care products and make up essentials have deviated from their origin and produce mere blend of harmful chemicals that do no good to you and your skin. Starting from soaps, shampoos, creams, lotions, foundations, shadows, blushes, lipsticks and glosses; everything are just cutely packed, yummy looking disease causing agents. BEWARE!

The idea of doing a deep analysis occurred to me when I started reading articles about high amount of lead in lipsticks, mercury in moisturizing creams etc. Being a big fan of Maybelline products, these articles were a big blow on my head. Out of curiosity I landed up here wherein I learnt to read the labels of products and choosing the right ones. In my view we don’t really need much of cosmetics, if we really trust nature there are lot of alternatives to moisturizers, shampoos or face packs. What I find essential is a broad spectrum sunscreen for an everyday use to save you from those harmful rays and some foundation or tinted moisturizer, eye shadows, lipstick which you might need for special occasions. Even the actresses on TV and big screens prefer no makeup and de glam looks these days. Natural is in and its going to stay in forever now. I walked this path and I know it’s for good. And from here there is no turning back, which is completely unnecessary of course 😀

We all are aware of the harmful effects that these so called beauty products to. But, we all came to a conclusion that we are left with no better option or consider it’s not really as harmful as hyped about. Let me warn you, it is indeed harmful not just to your skin but to your health too. Now it’s time that we all switch to being all organic and natural; it’s time we start following all the grandma remedies and homemade beauty products. while you might think in your busy lives and chaos of work, home and other things it’s very difficult to use remedies from your kitchen cabinets, here is where our very own organic cosmetics and make up products come into play. And for those parties, weddings and night outs where you have to flaunt your smoky eyes or fire engine red lipstick, these organic and natural make up come to your rescue.

I have a list of brands available globally both Indian and international that aids in natural or organic or use of organic ingredients for our everyday requirements. We Indians have very little in the name of make up or cosmetics we walk out with a sunscreen, a glide of kaajal/kohl and a hint of tinted lip balm. I found, I couldn’t do without a lip balm and that is what led me to find out about alternatives to live a chemical free life.

The succeeding blogs will cover about the ingredients that go in cosmetics, organic skin care products and its availability, a few home remedies and DIY for lipbalms and lotions and much more. So stay tuned. A lot is coming this way.  🙂

Sneak Peak à what is next?

I am going to make you all techie about the ingredients and what it does to your body.

See you soon

 🙂

My first blog here – Our own hair flicking pluto girl!

Being an ardent fan of Bigg Boss, I have been following this particular season very keenly, what better blog to start with as my first blog. 😉 Here is our own hair flicking pluto girl Sonali Raut from BB season 8. The most unusual and Bindaas person ever! This unique name was given by ex contestant Vindu Dara Singh, who supported Sonali throughout her stint. What makes her out of the box individual is her carefree attitude and that I don’t give a damn nature. She came across as a sweet, innocent and simple girl, never went into planning – plotting in the game show. She has been very amusing and amazing who entertained the audiences with her “sweeping” styles, hair flicking, that famous walk and those epic one liners.

Talking about one liners who will forget when she said to Renee “jab main jhadoo karti hoon toh, main nahi, camera meri taraf ghoomta hai”, when Upen said she always hangs out with Gautam in the garden she replies “Haan mera dil garden garden ho gaya hai”, When Praneet says “main sabko apni captaincy main aage le jaaonga” she says “mujhe kahin nahi jaana”, When she is teased with Upen saying there is a lipstick mark and stuff she says “Main toh iss ghar ki emraan hashmi ban gayi hoon” to name a few. These and many more have left the audiences in splits!

Weekand ka vaar becomes all the more entertaining with Salman Khan constantly showing how sport and genuine she is by taking all the jokes on her. The most unforgettable WKW had to be the one she was questioned about her captaincy. I  literally went ROFL. From doing a bhangda in midst of arguments to rating herself 10/10 for captaincy! She thoroughly had fun and entertain us too!

Did I forget her best friends, No I am talking about BB housemates but Riya and Chotu. The way she freaked out everyone out there, and even scared the hell out of Gautam in the last few days of her stay! Who else has the guts to sit on a Finale with night suit and no make up, this girl pulled that up so gracefully! This girl definitely has a long way to go. All the best sonali, on behalf of all your fans and supporters. 🙂