Natural V/S Chemical
* Citric acid is a chemical compound , how can you say that your products are natural and chemical free ?
* It has got Phenoxyethanol , isn't it a chemical ?
* Sorbic acid , sodium benzoate , Potassium Sorbate , Benzyl alcohol.....all are chemicals, so how can you claim your products to be natural ?
These and many such numerous questions keep popping up every now and then to me , which makes me smile and glad that I am dealing with such educated and aware customers, who not only support the usage of natural and herbal products, but are also aware and conscious of all the ingredients that goes into a making of a product.
My passion for all things green and natural has driven me on this path of creating healthy and non- toxic beauty products, and with this came a great responsibility. There has always been apprehensions , doubts and confusions regarding NATURAL based & CHEMICAL based products.
Let's differentiate between the two :
Natural is produced by nature without human intervention.
Chemical is synthetic , made by humans .
Now, comes the next one , Use of PRESERVATIVES in beauty products , and the common question is :
Why preservative are added ? And here it goes :-
They are added to increase the shelf-life of a product, to make it last longer , maintaining its properties and freshness, without getting it spoilt .
The word preservative itself explains , that which preserves , in its absence the product will get contaminated, develop a foul odor or become a breeding space for bacteria.
To simplify it, let's make this example:
A basic homemade pack made out of curd, turmeric and basin can be used just for a day or two, only if you refrigerate it, else it will become foul smelling, curd will leave its water and it will attract bacteria or become hard.
So, its pretty easy to understand that to make products work and last longer we need to add certain ingredients which will complement as well as enhance the longevity of the product.
Then comes the next big question which is of great significance....
Ain't preservatives chemicals?
And the answer to this will bring a clarity in this most debatable topic.
Lets' get into understanding the type of preservatives first, which are:
* Green preservatives (plant based)
* Chemical preservatives
When a product is formulated using natural resources, a certain amount of green preservatives has to be added to maintain its freshness for longer duration, so that it should last for a certain period of time. These green preservatives are derived from plant and naturally available resources, which when added in formulations will complement other ingredients, enhancing their potency and their natural character .
Water, honey, aloe vera, lemon, etc. These are all very simple, easily available natural resources, known to be harmless, but at the same time they are also chemicals or chemical compounds, and when mixed with other ingredients during formulations, they might act or react in different manner, depending on the ratio and character of other ingredients in which they are added to and here, comes the role of LAB TESTS. It is very vital to demonstrate lab tests before using any preservatives ,which provides us the correct knowledge of the exact ratio, favorable and unfavorable combinations and their effect on skin.
Being mindful, choosing the safe and effective preservatives, and in permissible limits is the key to create a remarkable product, keeping intact the essence of natural ingredients for maximum benefits.
* The most commonly used non-toxic and green preservatives are Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl alcohol, Citric acid, Potassium sorbate and sorbic acid.
* Natural herbs that act as preservatives are Rosemary, Oregano extract, Salt, Sugar, Hops, Diatomaceous earth, Alcohol, Vinegar and Castor oil. Using preservatives in herbal, natural or organic beauty products does not take away their authenticity, in fact they are there to maintain their authenticity for longer time.
*A good formulation will always take care of the pros and cons so each component therefore, creating a safe product.
To understand this further, let's take our food items, which also contain preservatives to prevent changes in color, texture and delay rancidity. It also protects food items from spoilage by bacteria, molds, fungus and yeast. They are absolutely safe when ingested, and we have been using since ages, so likewise its with beauty cosmetics.
Another notable factor that has to be regulated when using preservatives is the PH level one needs to understand the nitty gritties before judging a product on the basis of preservatives used.
Let's comprehend it briefly:
*The optimal ph level of skin on our face and body lies between 4.7 & 5.75.
*Ph 7 (that is of water) is considered neutral
*Anything below that is ACIDIC and above that is ALKALINE.
Therefore, skin's natural ph is mildly acidic.
Now coming to the ph level of products, the balanced ph level of facial skin and other body parts is 5.5, which can very depending on skin conditions.
The ideal ph level based on skin type is:
* Oily skin - 4.0 to 5.2
* Normal skin - 5.2 to 5.7
* Dry skin - 5.7 to 7.0
An easy and simple method to measure the Ph level of our cosmetic products, like creams, lotions and shampoos etc. Is to dilute the products in distilled water (1:10), blend and mix well, and then measure the ph. The results will help us to choose the appropriate product based on our skin type and conditions.
Ending this, I would like to impart my experience in this regard, that most of the surface level knowledge is gained through Google, wherein there are positive as well as negative aspects to everything, but what is important is to save us from taking half the knowledge.
And again, it's up to us, to each his/her own. we need to figure out what we are looking for and pick accordingly. There are pluses as well as minuses, and it all depends on what we are looking for.....
And the bottom-line is:
Natural beauty products do require green preservatives, in no way declining or lessening its natural essence. It is safe and will give desired results, for sure .This is a vast subject , and I can go on and on , explaining , that is equally important for my valuable buyers to know and understand what they are using on their skin , and for this I shall keep sharing more inputs on this in my upcoming blogs. In the mean while , go and get your pick and rest assured that they are safe and effective .