Have you become used to these words ? – ‘Natural’ beauty; ‘Clean’ beauty; ‘Organic’ beauty. Well! Why not? Organic/Natural/Clean beauty market has exploded because we are scared of chemicals. Tons of beauty brands label their products as natural, non-toxic, green/clean because they are free from Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates, PEG compounds, Petrochemicals & Mineral Oils as well as Synthetic Fragrances & Dyes.
But let me tell you one thing, those terms don’t mean anything because they’re not regulated by the FDA. FDA only has minimal oversight of the beauty industry. For the most part, beauty companies regulate themselves with the help of third party certifications like (USDA, ECOCERT, MadeSafe etc).
Why are people so obsessed with natural & organic products?
The reason is people have become more health conscious and look for eating only healthy stuff while doing yoga’s and exercises. They just think their skincare the same way & fall into the marketing gimmicks of natural & healthy skincare products. My Gawwd!!!!
Whenever I find someone saying – “Don’t put something on your skin which you can’t eat”. I just hold my head & feel like burring it somewhere or isolate myself from such people.
The Truth about Organic/Natural Beauty
The belief that organic and natural ingredients are good for skin, has no factual basis or scientific justification. The sad truth is there are a lot of organic ingredients which are not safe for skin. But there are some really good natural ingredients which are beneficial too.
The only issue is our assumption which make us think that natural is better than synthetic. For ex: Synthetic fragrance oils are bad but natural fragrances of plant based oils are fine in skincare products. The worst reality is even natural fragrances of plant based ingredients can cause you allergic reactions. In short, either natural or synthetic, all fragrances causes issues or skin in a longer run.
The certification agencies like ECOCERT/USDA etc itself says that being organic doesn’t make an ingredient efficient or safer. They just assure that these are produced without use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers or antibiotics. They can’t really claim of its healthy nutrition or safety.
Myths about Organic/Natural Skincare Products
- Organic products do not cause allergies. Having a younger skin, you might not observe the sensitivity caused by essential oils on skin. But they can seriously trouble your skin in a longer run. I am 31 and I have faced allergic reactions with essential oils.
- Natural products are environmental friendly. Just because the brand has used environmental friendly packaging & has plant based ingredients doesn’t mean you are doing a bit for the environment. With increase in demand of organic products, there could be a shortage of land. This would lead brands to source their ingredients from heavy use of pesticides & chemical soil preparation.
- I will get a healthy skin with organic plant based products. Well, slathering plant based concentrated oils daily on your skin just because it is full of anti-oxidants, only going to clog your pores and lead to acne causing bacteria. Instead gulping a fruit daily from the same plant will surely be giving you a healthy skin & body.
- I use organic clean products as I support cruelty free. This is not an excuse anymore because a lot of other brands with non organic products too are going cruelty free. They test on humans at least to assure the safety of their products. Indian organic brands just don’t test anywhere & assume that it is safe for you.
- I use natural products because they are free from harmful chemicals. Clean brands normally name them as natural because they are free from paraben, sulphates etc. Parabens are required in water based products to prevent them from fungus & bacteria. There is no scientific proof of them being “endocrine disruptor”. The point is just to eliminate the use of parabens or making a preservative free product, many organic brands are selling cocktails of plant based oils in the form of serums (which doesn’t even penetrate into your skin & provide you any benefit). They just sit on your skin & make it more sensitive towards environment.
The truth about preservatives
Just some random studies published by researchers gave the tag of harmful to commonly used preservatives like paraben, SLS, folmaldehyde etc. The research is done using a high amount of product under testing which obviously shows harmful results. After all we know excess of everything is harmful. Even researchers says there is no conclusive data that these preservatives hurt us. Just because a paraben is found in a breast cancer tissue doesn’t mean it has caused the cancer. No one has tested presence of paraben in a healthy tissue.
A lot depends on the amount of dose brands use in their products. For eg: “the likelihood of formaldehyde causing cancer in humans at the dose that you’re exposed to from washing your hair is essentially zero.” But a doubt has been planted in our hearts & we started believing it. Brands started removing it from their products & marking them as natural/organic.
But does removing these preservatives actually make the end product harmless? Just because a product is paraben free doesn’t mean it is safe. It must be having any other preservatives (alternatives to paraben) which can also be irritating to your skin. Also, multiple preservatives (like organic acids, EO etc) are required to be added in order to preserve the product from both bacteria & fungi which can also irritate the skin.
Or you are thinking of preservative free products? That’s the most troubled thing for your skin. They tend to oxidize easily causing reactions on skin & you have to finish them in a month or two which is almost impossible.
Are all Organic/Natural Products bad?
Not really. There are a lot of natural ingredients like Honey, Olive, Glycerin, Aloe vera, pomegranate, Chamomile, Propolis, Oats, Soy, Shea butter, Carrier oils like Tamanu oil, Rosehip oil, Hemp seed oil, Jojoba oil, Black seed oil etc which have proven benefits for your skin. They provide positive effects to your skin without showing much negative results. Though they are not the only ones on which you can rely on. There are some really good synthetically derived alternatives of natural like AHA, BHA, Hyaluronic acid, Ceramides etc which works equally well for skin.
In short, neither all synthetic ingredients are bad nor all organic/natural ingredients are good. All you have to do is to choose what is beneficial for your skin without much side-effects in a longer run.
The bad natural ingredients for your sensitive skin
I want you to take through some really irritating natural ingredients which can cause problems for acne prone sensitive skins. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin but you never know if these ingredients on regular use can cause u irreversible sensitization. These ingredients might be beneficial but they could have equally negative impacts on your skin. So its better to avoid them.
- Citrus ingredients like bergamot, sweet orange or bitter orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin may interact with sun exposure leading to rashes and pigmentation.
- Mints such as peppermint oil, wintergreen, balm mint, pennyroyal, lemon balm etc can cause irritation on skin. They are only good to heal specific body ache.
- Irritating ingredients like lavendar, Fennel essential oil, Cypress, neroli, Basil, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Sage, Thyme essential oil, Coriander oil, Geranium EO, Witch Hazel, Clove, Ylang Ylang, Rose EO, Rosemary, Cottonseed oil are well known skin sensitizing ingredients with very less benefits. They are more harmful when used in concentrated oil forms.
- Comedogenic ingredients like Almond extract, Wheat germ oil, Algae extract, carrot seed oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Palm kernel oil, Cocoa butter, coconut butter etc can clog skin pores and thus acne prone skin should avoid using them.
Worst Indian organic/natural/Clean skincare products for sensitive/acne prone skin
Based on above apprehensions I have shared with you guys regarding Indian organic/natural skincare products available in beauty industry. I am sharing the list of worst organic Indian products you would ever try for your skin esp. sensitive skins or acne prone skin types. Leave in organic products can cause more harm than wash off ones & that’s why I will be focusing only on most potent harmful organic skincare products.
Please note that I have nothing against brands and this list is solely based on my experience with products or the ingredients list mentioned on the label.
Juicy Chemistry Facial Oils
All juicy chemistry facial oils (Helichrysum & Rosehip oil, Saffron & Red Raspberry oil, Kakadu plum & Pomegranate oil, Frankincense & Hemp oil ) claims to penetrate deep into skin & target skin concerns. I don’t know who in the world would believe that thick oils can penetrate deep into skin to address skin issues?
My second concern is the number of essential oils present in them. Each facial oil contains a blend of around 5-7 irritant/photo-sensitive EO like lavendar, neroli, clove, orange, lemon etc along with carrier oils. The frankinsence & hemp one contains a blend of 9 essential oils which can possibly create an irreversible sensitization to skin. I tried helichrysum one from JC in the past. Its such a thick oil & ended up in making my skin look dark & dull.
Vilvah face serums
Vilvah anti-acne serum is a blend of 8 essential oils which includes highly irritating lavendar, rosemary & peppermint essential oil also in a blend of 2 carrier oils (jojoba oil & argan oil). Now, can someone please tell me why this product is named as a serum given that it has 0% qualities of a serum. Even their Moringa beautifying serum is a facial oil with no benefits of addressing skin issues except preventing moisture loss from skin. But you never know what harm these potent blend of essential oils can do to your skin esp. if you are a sensitive or acne prone skin person.
If you are still confused about using essential oils in skincare is good or bad. Please refer this article from a renowned brand.
Suganda face serums
A brand which will forever remain in my heart not because I loved it but because the damage it did to my skin barrier. The brand claims that it’s products are suitable for sensitive skins but I just can’t agree to it. Its exfoliating serums are the worst products I have tried in my life. They just damaged my skin barrier & made my skin look so dark & dull. Their antioxidant serum becomes ineffective after 1 month of use & makes skin look dark.
After having a bad experience with their serums, I explored more products on their website. Every product contains irritant essential oils & that’s why they never impressed me.
Soulflower AHA Repair Serum
I just can’t believe that an essential oil can be used as a base in a facial product untill I saw the ingredient list of Soulflower AHA 30% Repair Serum which contains tea tree oil as the first ingredient. Apart from that there are around 8-9 citrus based fruit extracts; any of which can cause sensitivities to not so tolerant skin or allergic to any one particular fruit. I would never opt for such concentrated organic formulation for my acne prone skin.
Ethiko face serums
Ethiko is another brand which mimics juicy chemistry by only creating products full of carrier oils and essential oils. Again, another brand which calls a facial oil as serum and fool the audience. If you check the ingredient list of their face serums, almost all of them contain same 4 carrier oils having a blend of around different 6-9 EO in each product. By just adding a few different EO in same blend of carrier oils, they name their products as Age defying serum, Oil control serum, brightening serum blah blahh.. & what not?
No creative formulations!!! Only an organic brand with full of organic oils claiming to improve & address different skin concerns. Now, such brands get a preservative free tag & audience just fall into it. Why the hell they will be needing any preservatives as there is only oils in their so called organic products.
Bubble farm Cleansing balm & Face oil
Whenever I see a non-beneficial ingredient among first 3 ingredients on the list, I just feel like slathering the entire product on brand owner herself. Bubble farm different cleansing balms contain EO as the 2nd ingredient in the list. For eg: Jasmine EO is the 2nd ingredient in their gotu kola jasmine cleansing balm which will only perform cleansing activity. Jasmine EO doesn’t have any proven benefits for skin & its a major irritant for sensitive skins.
Bubble farm face glow oil contains a blend of all possible Essential oils one would ever think of applying on his skin. It contains around 13 EO out of which rose, jasmine, fennnel, lavendar etc are the top irritants. So, if you ask for more glow, indian organic brands gonna add the more EO to their products. 😀 Its other face oils (anti-acne, oil control & intense hydration) have a little less but still they too made it to my worst organic products list. Someone please tell them oils won’t help in keeping skin hydrated.
Sapphire Botanics Glow Night Elixir
Does adding lot of oils to a single product guarantee brightness on the skin? Well, I am not the one who believe in this shit because oil just can’t penetrate deeply into skin to show their effects. This night elixir oil from Sapphire is a blend of 9 carrier oils ( Rosehip, Baobab, Argan, Walnut, Tamanu, Blackseed, Apricot, Hemp, Flaxseed) and 5 EO ( Tea Tree, Bitter Orange, Lime, Lavender & Rose). If somehow you got an allergy from the product, how would you able to identify the culprit from such a big list of oils? Better to not risk your skin for this oil.
Qurez Bakuchiol – Revitalizing Facial Oil
Though I really appreciate the brand mentioning the % of oils used in their facial oil which most of the brands never care to reveal. But I will still ask sensitive skin people to stay away from using this bakuchiol facial oil which claims to give benefits of a retinol. The reason is product contains 4% blend of essential oils (Vetiver, Sweet lime, Lavendar, Peppermint & Turmeric) which can irritate the acne prone skins as their tolerance level is very low. The product contains highly irritating oils like lime, lavendar & peppermint.
Other Indian brands Face Serums/Moisturizers
I have recently came across St botanica through Amazon which have wide range of natural skincare. Its really disheartening that brand doesn’t mention the complete ingredient list used in their products. They make a good range of VitC, retinol and Hyaluronic acid based products but none of the products contain the information about the ingredient derivatives & the % of active concentration used in them.
Not only this brand, there are other famous Indian organic/natural/ayuvedic brands like Mamaearth, forest essentials, Dot& key, Organic harvest, Glamaroma, Indulgeo essentials, Deyga organics, Mcaffeine, Biotique, Roop mantra etc who doesn’t reveal the complete ingredients list used in their products on their websites. This makes me really skeptic about using their leave in products like serums/moisturizers.
The above mentioned worst organic skincare products list might have worked well for some of you but there are very high chances of these products not suiting you if you have a sensitive acne prone skin.
All I want to say that just the 2-3 famous tags like ayurvedic, organic, natural, clean etc etc doesn’t decide if a product is good enough for your skin. There is nothing like chemical free products & almost all brands contain preservatives in one or the other form which they don’t care to mention on their labels. That’s why its important to check complete ingredient list on every product available online/offline before buying such products.
Preservatives free organic brands does nothing but prepare a water free concentrated formula full of oils which can cause your skin serious allergies.
I would highly suggest you to avoid such potent blend of too many oils in a single product because you will end up harming it more (Tried and tested as per my experience). Also, if you won’t store those preservative free products carefully, they tend to oxidize more easily causing your skin more harm. I still appreciate these brands for mentioning complete ingredients list on their websites.
I too agree that every skin is different and what may not work for me might work for you. This post is all about creating awareness among people regarding organic, natural and clean beauty. It should be chosen intelligently by seeing the ingredient list and not just few eye satisfying labels like paraben free, natural botanics, non toxic, ayurvedic blah blah blah….
Leave a comment if you want me to do analysis on any organic/natural product which you feel is not worthy enough to put on your skin. I will add it to the worst skincare products list if it qualifies the ingredient list.
Follow me on IG @thespokenreviewer for crisp blunt reviews.