Wake up, Gorgeous!

The Sleeping Girl, 1930 by Tamara De Lempicka
The Sleeping Girl, 1930 by Tamara De Lempicka

This writeup was a page on my earlier blog menu and since the layout is now refreshed, I will be removing it . But before I do that I wanted to share it as post. Because this is important. I beg-you-to-read important.

And I hope it wakes up anybody who needs to hear the alarm bells ring loud and clear.

It’s a pretty toxic cosmetic cocktail out there. Yeah, even in that hugely expensive, seductively packaged, celebrity-endorsed , to-die-for lipstick. Or moisturizer. Or kohl. Or bronzer. Or shampoo. Or… you get my drift. We are talking carcinogenic ingredients, toxic by-products, contaminants and icky additives, and that awesome ‘fragrance’. And using them day-in , day-out could lead to some serious health complications in the long run.

A couple of facts that got me started on the path to adopting natural beauty products

Firstly, our skin , the largest organ in the body absorbs unto 60% of products applied topically.

And Secondly, the average woman is using around 12 cosmetic preparations a day ( from that shampoo to the lipstick), leading to a mad hatter party of some 515 ingredients on & in our skin. Every day. And the party poopers includes names like – ‘Sodium Laureth Sulfate’, ‘1-4 Dioxane ( a carcinogenic byproduct, not ‘intentionally’ added)’ , ‘Retinyl Palmitate’ ,’Methyl Paraben’ and other unpronounceable gatecrashers. Sound like they could be friendly?


Practically, all the stuff out there touted to make us look gorgeous and irresistible is laced with chemicals, preservatives, contaminants and by-products that far from making us look good, do more damage in the long run. Pigmented skin , anyone? Allergic reactions? Patchy lips, maybe?

Quite shockingly, the cosmetic industry world over is largely unregulated which means the producers and marketers have a pretty much free run in putting anything out there for us to slather on. And we lap it up. That gorgeously bronzed look of the model , that nifty little glamorous packaging, that seductive fragrance – the hooks to reel us in. Here’s a must watch!

The more mature economies of the west – US,UK,Canada et al have had consumer groups, activists & researchers raising the heat on the big guns and pushing for tighter quality controls for some time now,though the battle for healthier alternatives still rages. In India, the first research of its kind recently revealed some startling information – Centre for Science & Environment, an independent regulatory body found Mercury ( banned for use in cosmetics) in 14 of the 32 fairness creams tested and carcinogenic heavy metals like Chromium in 15 of the 30 lipsticks and Nickel in 13 samples tested. And major international cosmetic brands with a few domestic ‘herbal’ ones were found guilty.

Some useful links if you want to deep dive into the subject of toxins in our products :

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

CSE India Cosmetic Report

No More Dirty Looks (Book Link)

Not Just a Pretty Face (Book link)

So what choice do we have ? While the jury is out on the long-term effects of such chemicals & regulations being put in place? I think the best strategy now is – ‘Better safe than sorry’. 

There are  alternatives.  Clean , chemical free products concocted with nourishing natural ingredients, promoting beauty & wellness. Also, there are innumerable DIY options straight from the kitchen or the garden. Inexpensive, effective , bursting with goodness and oh-so-clean.

Its time to wake up . To go back to basics – for a holistic sense of goodness in our beauty & health routines.

Stay safe & naturally lush.

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