We all know how important drinking water and eating healthy is for your general wellness but equally important is taking care of your skin and hair. It becomes essential that you find products that suit your skin type and compliment each other in order to give you the most flawless appearance. Internal and external products both go hand in hand to make up the best regime for your skin and hair.
If you are big on giving your skin the nutrition it needs, then you’ve probably heard of the term paraben. But what does it really mean?
Parabens are basically a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Chemically they are a series of para-hydroxybenzoate or esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid. They are used in a varied number of products including shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals, suntan products, makeup, and toothpaste. They are even used as food additives.
So why parabens are bad for your skin you ask, let me break it down for you. There are certain studies that have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the cells of the body. Estrogen activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, parabens can be found in breast tumours. The easiest way to notice if there are parabens in your products is to read the ingredients on the pack. These ingredients mostly have the term “paraben” in their name—butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. But they can also be called Alkyl para hydroxy benzoates
Parabens are not just harmful to humans but they also have a serious negative impact on our environment. A scientific study reports that parabens have been found for the first time in the bodies of marine mammals. Researchers believe that these parabens have likely come from products we use, then get washed away in the sewage, and then get released into the environment, only to make our water bodies toxic and be consumed by aquatic animals. Even for men, parabens can be considered significantly harmful as they have been known to reduce sperm count. They are also linked to irritation of the skin and conditions like dermatitis and rosacea, it also causes allergic reactions in small children.
Now for your general wellness, we’ve listed skin, body and hair care products that are sulphate and paraben free. 'Coz you deserve the very best!
This is probably one of the most important steps in your skincare regime. Just like we wash our hands to get rid of germs and dirt before we eat, it is essential that we take the same care of our face, if not more. Our face is subjected to pollution all day and it is essential that we indulge in a good deep clean to remove the bacteria and dirt embedded into our pores. Chemical face washes get the job done but they also strip your skin of important oils.
The Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is specially designed and clinically formulated for everyday cleansing for the most sensitive of skins. It’s a soap-free formula which has minimal lathering properties and leaves the skin feeling cleansed without subjecting it to harsh chemicals that could be harmful to your skin. It has a non-irritating formulation that soothes and calms the skin. It is so gentle that even a baby’s skin will be able to use it. It can be used on all types of skins and is an effective yet healthy and simple way of looking after your skin.
Price: Rs. 237, Buy it here
Kama Ayurveda as a brand follows the nani ke nukse formulas and likes to keep it as organic as possible. The Kumkumadi brightening scrub is a mixture of 12 rare ingredients to help smooth fine lines, illuminate the skin colour and promote new cell growth. It's got a blend of saffron, sweet almond for Vitamin E and D which exfoliates and nourishes your skin.
Price: Rs. 1295, Buy it here
This is one product that people swear by. If you have oily skin or acne and your skin produces too much of sebum, then this is one product that you should definitely try. Himalaya as a herbal brand has been in the market for many years and has developed a strong and loyal customer base too. The neem pack has the goodness and healing properties of neem leaves and will leave your skin clean and clear.
Price: Rs. 130, Buy it here
It's Skin is a Korean skincare brand that focusses on natural ingredients to make your skin glow. The Snail Moisture mask is a sheet mask that is perfect for all skin types and is essential to re-hydrate your skin after a long day of exposing it to dirt and pollution. It gives you a beautiful sheen and is light on the skin so even people with oily or combination skin types can use it fuss-free. After a week of stress, give your skin the much-needed care and rest that it craves. It improves elasticity, surges vitamins and nutrients, smoothes wrinkles and fine lines, reduces pigmentation and brightens your glow!
Price: Rs. 150, Buy it here
Moisturising is actually one of the most important steps in your skincare regime. After stripping off the dirt and cleaning your skin thoroughly, it becomes essential to put some hydration and vitamins back into your skin. The skin can otherwise become very dry or extremely oily because it will then produce extra sebum to make up, leading to pimples and inflammation. Regular moisturising also helps skin regenerate and boosts cell growth to keep you looking youthful and wrinkle-free.
A lot of people miss out this step in their skin care regime, but trust the beauty gurus, a toner is super important. You must cleanse your skin thoroughly and then be ready to use the toner to calm down your skin. This Jeju Volcanic pore toner is perfect to wash away impurities clogging your skin, remove excess sebum, and give your face a flawless look. Put some on a cotton pad and gently deep clean your skin with it.
Price: Rs. 1600, Buy it here
Another brand which is very healthy for your skin and free of all added chemicals and laboratory made ingredients is Just Herbs. The Gotukola Indian Ginseng Rejuvenating Beauty elixir is a multitasking facial serum made up of a blend of some of the oldest and most treasured Indian herbs. It has cold pressed oils of rosehip, wheat germ, safflower and moringa seeds to give a boost of Vitamins A, C and E. There are also extracts of Indian Senna that are basically a natural alternative to Hyaluronic Acid which reduces fine lines and increases moisture. Licorice root and Nagkesar adds brightening and nourishing properties. So natural glow, youthfulness, calm and smooth skin, here you come! It's also extremely lightweight, non-greasy and a few drops go a long way!
Price: Rs. 1825, Buy it here
The Body Shop is a world-renowned beauty brand that is always promoting their image of doing good for society and for skincare by using healthy and natural ingredients. The Tea Tree range is one of the most iconic lines and has become a customer fave. The toner, facial wash, and even the soap are very effective but personally, it's the face oil that stands out. It has powerful skin purifying properties and is a potent and strong concentration that mattifies your skin. It is very good for seeing visible results for clearer-looking skin. It keeps skin clear and clean and reduces acne and blemishes. It also becomes important in your skin-care regime if you have acne scars and marks that you want to be reduced.
Price: Rs. 645, Buy it here
We're pretty sure you all know the benefits of aloe vera for your skin, if not, we'll tell you what a miraculous product it is. It is made up of around 96% water, amino acids, and Vitamin A, B, C, and E. This Forest Essentials aloe vera gel is one of the best in the market. Even though it is on the higher side cost-wise, the investment is totally worth it. You can use it just as is to calm down irritated skin, inflammation and redness. But the best part is how multi-purpose the gel is. Use it to treat dry skin by adding some turmeric, honey, milk and a few drops of rose water and leave it in for your skin to soak up. The high water content is needed to restore the balance in your skin. You can also use it as a scrub by adding sugar and lemon juice to get rid of dead skin. This gel is also great for acne if you add honey and blended walnuts.
Price: Rs. 1300, Buy it here
As you've already read above, Kama Ayurveda focusses on using only natural ingredients. The ayurvedic day cream moisturises and softens for clean and smooth skin. It is made with coconut milk and sesame oil and is obviously very helpful for dry skin as it is a boost of healthy hydration. The costus and cardamom are known for their ability to enhance skin texture and for smoothening the skin. It also contains aloe vera which has antiseptic properties, prevents acne, blemishes, fine lines and also gives enough sun protection. The moisturiser also contains olive oil and a blend of rose and jasmine, so hello, beautiful and purified skin which looks healthy.
This one is for you oily skin ladies, we've got a unique emulsion that'll help reduce sebum production in your skin. It is made of pure whole cream cow's ghee, sweet almond oil, virgin coconut oil and kokum butter to purify and brighten your skin. It is also infused with root and flower extracts. We understand moisturising can be scary when it comes to oily skin but if you ignore this essential step in your daily routine, then your skin will bear the brunt of it. The Tejasvi emulsion is hence one of the key natural products to brighten dull and tired skin and also control oil production and maintain a healthy balance.
Price: Rs. 1675, Buy it here
Now that we've been talking about skin hydration, we cannot miss out on body hydration. Your hands and legs can become extremely dry and flaky if not given the right amount of moisture and for that the Cetaphil lotion is ideal. It is lightweight and it restores the natural protective barrier that the skin generates and is non-greasy, non-irritating and non-comedogenic. It also gets absorbed fast and is fragrance-free and dermatologically tested.
Price: Rs. 347, Buy it here
Now we come to sulphates.
Have you noticed the thick lather of your shampoo, one that makes you like the shampoo in the first place? What you don’t realize is that it's actually made by the sodium lauryl sulfate present in the shampoo. It is a detergent and crystalline salt of sulfated lauryl alcohol. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant; a surfactant is a product that reduces surface tension between a liquid and a solid. And once the surface tension is reduced, the thick lather is formed and the barrier between your hair and the shampoo is eliminated, enabling the sodium lauryl sulfate to rid the hair of oil and dirt.
Even sulphates aren’t good for your hair, they can cause dryness, irritation, flaky scalp and even hair loss. They are really good at getting rid of the buildup in your hair and the muck that collects on the scalp but what it also does is take away the natural oils and leave your hair rough and dry. Studies have also found that sulphates cause eye damage and blindness in young children, which is why it becomes imperative to use sulphate free shampoos on babies and infants. However, just because a product is sulfate-free, doesn’t mean you still won’t run into these problems. Many beauty companies have swapped out sulfates for other chemicals, which can sometimes be even worse. To ensure that sulfate-free products won’t further damage your hair, look for products that use fruit or vegetable-based cleansing ingredients.
This OGX coconut milk shampoo is ideal for people with dry and rough hair. It has a mixture of egg whites and coconut milk to add nourishment, elasticity and protein to your hair. It will smoothen it out and the creamy, hydrating and foaming consistency will leave it clean, glowing and soft without being greasy and oily.
Price: Rs. 625, Buy it here
Exposing your hair to everyday pollution and dirt can leave it dull, listless and lifeless. This organic shampoo is made with pure, unfiltered and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, sweet almond and argan oil. It detoxifies hair and scalp by clearing build-up caused by dust and dead cells and styling products. It also reduces dandruff so clean and clear hair and scalp has more breathing capacity.
Price: Rs. 499, Buy it here
Made with rich ingredients, the Hairmac shampoo is good for all hair types. It provides natural solutions to all hair and scalp problems and leaves your mane smooth, shiny and frizz free. It also protects your scalp from harmful UV rays and strengthens chemically treated hair.
Price: Rs. 630, Buy it here
This shampoo has gained a lot of popularity since the it was launched. Like most of the body shop products, this one delivers the best results as well. It is silicone, paraben, colorant and sulphate free which makes it just right to use. Also, it contains conditioning oils that helps to add moisture and shine to the hair. Thus, it is highly recommended for people with rough and dry hair.
Price: Rs. 3,190, Buy it here
It is a brilliant organic shampoo from Organix that is suitable for dry, damaged, and frizzy hair. This shampoo lathers really quickly and keeps the hair moisturized as it contains coconut oil, avocado oil, macadamia, and aloe.
Price: Rs. 2,298, Buy it here
Now that we've given you a run-down of paraben and sulphate free skin and hair care, we're sure your beauty regime is going to be revamped. So say hello to natural ingredients and bye bye to harmful chemicals that are causing more damage.
1. What should I include in my hair care routine after using an organic shampoo?
Answer- To improve your hair care routine, you can start using a conditioner, but make sure it is chemical free just like the organic shampoo you use. You can make hair conditioner with food products like honey, egg, olive oil, coconut oil etc or you can buy organic hair conditioners that are easily available in the market.
2. In this highly polluted life can organic shampoos work as good as any normal shampoo that rinses all the muck accumulated on the scalp in one go?
Answer- Yes! An organic shampoo can easily remove all the muck accumulated on the scalp. In fact, organic shampoos are much better as they give the positive effects of what a chemical-filled shampoo do, also it adds extra nutrition to your hair with its natural benefits and keeps you away from harmful chemicals at the same time.
3. Will my hair grow if I start using sulphate and paraben free shampoo?
Answer- Once you start using shampoos that are sulphate and paraben free, i.e. organic shampoos then the condition of your hair will eventually get better. And as the hair texture becomes better and roots become healthy, your hair will eventually start growing. But if you’ll keep using chemical filled shampoos then the hair health will keep getting unhealthy with every wash as it shows only temporary results.
4. Will organic shampoo help me to get rid of split ends?
Answer- There are several reasons for getting split ends like, Combing, brushing, over-washing, using excessive shampoos, genetics, blow drying, hair colouring, chemicals, rebonding, and excessive heat.
Most of these conditions are caused because we use chemical filled shampoos. Thus, if you’ll start using an organic shampoo, then most the causes of split ends will get resolved and you will eventually get beautiful and split-end free hair.
Also Read: Sulphate Free Shampoos and Conditioners
Also Read: Tips To Add Volume To Thin Hair
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This story was updated in January 2019.