"You can please some people some of the time, but you can't please all people all of the time"
This quotation seems so relatable with today's topic, and the practicality of these words can be experienced when we talk about PARABENS, FRAGRANCE, SILICON & SULPHATE......
Today's topic is the most talked about in current skincare scenario.
As i have discussed before about use of fragrances in one of my previous blogs, it became imperative to take up this topic of usage of such other ingredients like Parabens, Silicons, Fragrances and Sulphates etc. in skincare products.
Offlately, Chemical-free, Paraben-free, Sulphate-free are the buzz words, leading to a great amount of know-how, raising questions on their usage and effects on skin and body.With new researches and developments came forth new theories wherein some of the ingredients, which, till now were given approval and conferred to be applicable to be used in skincare products formulations, were now termed as objectionable and unsafe.
These days one can see innumerable skincare and cosmetic brands that claim to be completely Chemical-free, Sulphate-free, or no-parabens, no-sulphate and so on and so forth.....
But the question is how can one make sure that the product is inclusive or non-inclusive of whatever is being written on the label ?
The fact of the matter is that the formulations and some of the integral ingredients used in creating skincare products are so intricately connected and no matter what, in one way or the other, proves to be a requisite for the final product. For eg - a paraben-free label never make a product chemical-free. It may still contain some preservatives.
As a consumer, it's our duty to do our homework and check the quantity of parabens in products one is using and try to keep it as low as possible to be safe. A paraben-free product being marketed as natural alternative, may contain other synthetic ingredients that can cause harm or irritation to the skin.
First of all, it is very important to learn and understand that why these ingredients were added in skincare products at the first place. Like, say, parabens are used in personal care products to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing in products, increasing the shelf-life, therefore it acts as a preservative.
Similarly, fragrances are added to ward of the unpleasant and foul natural odour of certain herbs and ingredients, which otherwise will make it unbearable to use or apply on skin.
For eg. When Kumkumadi is being created, it leaves a pungent smell, which then has to be neutralized with sandalwood oil.
And then this form is being added in products, such as PBP Glow Serum.
Silicons play a role of smoothening any rough patches and locks-in the moisture. They make for easy application and lend a velvety texture, only thing to be considered is the right amount and method to be used, when added in the formulations.
For eg.- In PBP Hair Serum, a very minimal amount of a silicon form is present, carefully taking in consideration the quantity, quality and the way it is being added while formulating, and here's what one needs to know about it,
The Cyclosiloxanes commonly known as cyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and cyclopentasiloxane (D5) are used for their anti-static, emollient, humectant, solvent, viscosity-controlling and hair conditioning properties in cosmetic products.
It is a silicone derivative, which prevents water loss and is an excellent lubricant and is also used to enhance spreadability of a product, but mostly evaporates within a day, and is easily washed out with a sulfate-free shampoo. When it comes to Parabens, FDA has stated that there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens.
Because of the changing trends and surviving in the current beauty and skincare market, a great amount of mere "greenwashing" is taking place, in the name of going natural, and marketing as Paraben-free or Chemical-free has become the norm. And the wise thing is to never take at face value.
To make it more simple and easy to understand, the best one can do is to go by one's own skin requirements, based on personal skin condition. Which means, not following the crowd blindly.
Each person has their own skin type and in many cases certain skin conditions.
The best way to see if a particular ingredient is suitable or not, is by using and analysing it's effects on your skin. Something which is suitable for one, can be unsuitable for another.Some might get an allergic reaction with a particular ingredient, and some might recieve a healthy and beautiful skin from the same.
When it comes to using the right kind of products, the best advice is to BE YOUR OWN JUDGE, have your own understanding of the ingredients and identify what's good for you.
A sensitive skin's needs are definitely going to be different from a person having normal skin, hence keeping in mind the nature of your skin, one should stay away from any such ingredient which may aggravate any given skin condition, like acne, clogged pores, rashes and redness, eczema etc etc. Anything in excess is always harmful, a simple thing like having sugar in our diet gives this insight.
For a patient suffering from diabetes, excess sugar is harmful, but to a person not having diabetes, same sugar might not be as harmful. But the bottom-line is, diabetes or no diabetes, taking sugar in proportion, within limits, is definitely not going to give any bad results to either.Same goes for our skin and body care, if there is any underlying skin condition, it might not accept a particular ingredient, and the point to understand here is that the issue is with skin, wherein, the same ingredient can give perfect results to a person having normal skin.
So, it is upto us to define our own good or bad.
And it is the moral and ethical responsibility of the skincare brands to use each and every ingredient of good quality, in correct method and right proportions, for the benefit of both.
And now time to wind up, with this quote :
"THE ART OF BEING WISE IS KNOWING WHAT TO OVERLOOK."
Have a happy Sunday....