Natural or Herbal products are gaining quite a lot of market in recent times with the emergence of Ramdev Baba’s Multi-Million Dollar enterprise Patanjali among Vicco, Lotus Herbals, Forest essentials, and countless others. Herbal products mainly constitute ingredients like Aloe Vera, Calendula, basil, sandalwood, turmeric, Amla, saffron, honey, Neem, etc. While the benefits of neem, saffron, honey, and amla aren’t unknown, from time immemorial grandmothers and mothers have pushed their children and pampered them silly with haldi, sandalwood, milk, as well as honey! So many rituals at important Indian and international festivities take place entirely for the pampering of oneself with exotic herbal ingredients!
Similarly, on the other side of this scenario is a synthetic cosmetic industry pumping in billions and trillions of dollars! Multi-National Corporations L’oreal, Revlon, Maybelline and (not the least) Lakme are brands of which young girls, as well as boys, have heard of from their childhood. These products are based on chemical ingredients, such as Silicone, Sodium xenylsulphate, glycerine among others.
According to experts, many chemical ingredients among the ones commonly used in cosmetics for these brands are toxic thereby harmful for our skin.
While silicone can make cosmetics feel richer and thicker, seemingly convincing us to believe that it is beautifying our skin, studies say otherwise. Silicone, in the long run, can harm our skin and become a gateway to many irritations and infections. It is also widely known that a huge number of lipsticks from these Multi-National Corporations or simply synthetic lipsticks are a carrier of chemicals like Lead and Arsenic. These travel into our digestive system (ultimately getting absorbed into our body) and can get accumulated there!
In a similar context, one cannot say that the herbal alternatives to these cosmetics are fool-proof. Many scientists repeatedly warn such consumers of not to self-medicate oneself with any kind of cosmetics, even if herbal, when they have skin diseases.
Herbal cosmetics do run into trouble if they do not follow the necessary standards or guidelines in maintaining safety and quality. Though, herbal ingredients may not inherently carry toxicity, their effectiveness may take a toll on ourselves if their sources aren’t regulated. Many genetically modified plants and organisms have begun to be used in the beauty industry.
Taking it for granted that herbs shall be beneficial, scores of individuals have cooked up concoctions actually harmful! It has also recently been revealed that Patanjali does not pass the standards set up by the FSSAI.
Thus one must keep an eye out for which kind of products one is using. Someone who uses cosmetics at a high frequency is advised to keep check with renowned medical journals and comments on experts working in this field.