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Beauty Deception: The Alarming Secrets of the Skincare Industry You Must Know

The beauty and skincare market is saturated with brands that offer products at lower prices, but what many people are unaware of is that these products often contain ingredients that are harsh on the skin and harmful to the environment. These skincare products are loaded with harmful ingredients that not only affect the skin but also have a negative impact on the environment.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Akshay Batra, Managing Director at Dr. Batra Group of Companies, sheds light on some of these harmful ingredients. He highlights that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can be found in many personal care products to create foam and lather. However, these chemicals can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Another concerning ingredient is Oxybenzone, a chemical sunscreen ingredient found in many sunscreen creams and lotions. It has been linked to skin allergies and hormone disruption. Additionally, some cosmetics contain preservatives such as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, and imidazolidinyl urea, which slowly release formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a recognized carcinogen that can cause skin irritation and allergies in humans.

Nitin Jain, Founder and Director at La Pink, brings attention to the use of microplastics in beauty products. Microplastics are used as binding agents to enhance the viscosity of various beauty products, including creams, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners. Shockingly, these harmful particles can be found in 9 out of 10 beauty products, yet many consumers are unaware of their presence. Microplastics can enter the skin through sweat glands, hair follicles, or open wounds, ultimately clogging the pores. While some studies suggest that microplastics may affect inflammation, cellular survival, and metabolism in humans, their long-term usage can potentially lead to cancer, chronic inflammation, and skin abnormalities like psoriasis and other related diseases. Despite being banned in personal care products in the UK and other European markets, microplastics are still being aggressively used in India due to a lack of consumer knowledge.

Shreedha Singh, Co-Founder, and CEO at The Ayurveda Company, emphasizes the need for Ayurvedic interventions in the skincare industry. Ayurveda has been deeply rooted in skincare in India for centuries, and scientific evidence supports its effectiveness in restoring skin health and enhancing overall appearance. Ayurvedic ingredients such as Kumkumadi deeply nourish the skin, Nalpamaradi provide a heavenly glow, Bakuchiol boosts collagen, and Eladi contributes to skin protection against UV rays, among many other benefits. Ayurveda promotes ethical farming practices, has a lesser carbon footprint compared to chemical ingredients, and approaches nature as a source of healing. It is a holistic, safe, and environmentally-friendly approach to skincare.

Harmeet Singh, VP – Marketing, Product, and Digital at The Body Shop in South Asia, focuses on the importance of scrutinizing ingredient lists. Ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and alcohol can irritate the skin, trigger allergic reactions, and leave the skin dry and flaky. In this fast-paced world, living in a completely sustainable environment may seem impossible, but we can still make conscious choices. It is crucial to opt for products that are vegan, cruelty-free, alcohol-free, sustainably sourced, and packaged in recyclable materials. Choosing such products helps prevent the depletion of natural resources and minimizes environmental impact.

Dolly Kumar, Cosmetic Engineer and Founder of Skinella, advocates for the adoption of cruelty-free and vegan products. While some brands have chosen to ban animal testing, others still engage in this practice. As consumers, it is important to be mindful of our choices and opt for brands that are vegan and cruelty-free. Using these products not only shows solidarity against animal testing but also benefits the skin and the environment. Products containing superfoods should also be incorporated into daily skincare regimens, as they work wonders by boosting collagen production, increasing moisture levels, and reducing hyperpigmentation and redness.

Understanding the alarming secrets of the skincare industry is crucial for making informed choices as consumers. By being aware of the harmful ingredients commonly used and the environmental impact of certain products, you can prioritize your health, wellbeing, and the sustainability of our planet. Choose wisely and embrace skincare options that are safe, ethical, and environmentally-friendly.

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