Clean beauty movement in India- How is clean beauty different from natural or organic beauty?






After Gwyneth Paltrow, a Hollywood actress and founder of Goop called out the toxic chemicals in our favourite mascara and highlighter, the clean beauty movement stirred up the beauty industry all over the world. You don’t need to have a closet full of expensive creams and face oils to care about the ingredients of your favourite makeup and skincare products. 

The pandemic has made everyone conscious about the products they use for personal care, be it a moisturizer, face serums or shampoos. The lockdown has made us re-evaluate our choices for personal care – why invest in an expensive luxury shower oil that is full of harmful chemicals and artificial fragrances? With consumers gaining awareness of the ingredients of the products they use; it becomes highly important for companies to adopt the Clean Beauty Movement.

So, what exactly is Clean Beauty?

You may have seen a lot of beauty brands claim that their products are ‘non-toxic’ and free of ‘parabens’ and ‘phthalates’. But is non-toxic the only criteria that need to be fulfilled for a product to be ‘clean’? Are all chemicals harmful to the body? Does a product have to be all-natural for it to be clean? 

Well, it is difficult to define what clean beauty exactly means as there are no strict laws or definitions concerning it in India. So, every brand has come up with its own definition of clean beauty. 

In general terms, Clean Beauty is defined as products that are mindfully created and produced without any proven or suspected toxic ingredients. It includes ingredients that are ethically sourced and are made keeping the health of the body and environment in mind. 

Clean Beauty V/S Natural and Organic Beauty

In India, we have a tendency to gravitate towards anything that claims to be ‘all-natural’ or is proven by ‘Ayurveda’. But does this mean that all-natural or organic products are ‘clean’? Should a clean beauty product not contain any chemicals whatsoever?

No, that is not what clean beauty is about. Yes, man-made ingredients are used as long as they are safe and non-toxic. Rather than focusing on ‘natural’ and ‘organic’, switching to clean beauty products focuses on eliminating as many toxins as possible from your daily products. 

As the beauty industry lacks regulations, it becomes the consumer’s responsibility to pay attention to the ingredients in their products and purchase more mindfully. 

Here are some common ingredients that are toxic and should be avoided if you are looking to take part in the Clean Beauty Movement:

Parabens – used as preservatives but linked to breast cancer, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, immune toxicity and skin irritation.

Phthalates – used in cosmetics to help the product penetrate the skin better, they are known to cause damage to reproductive systems of both genders.

Formaldehyde – a known preservative in nail polishes that is a carcinogen, skin irritant and can cause liver toxicity.

Clean beauty doesn’t have to be all-natural – all cosmetics should contain some form of safe preservation to maintain the stability of the formulation. Although organic ingredients have many benefits, clean beauty doesn’t have to be organic – non-organic ingredients can be just as beneficial.  

The bottom line – Clean Beauty in India

There’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to cosmetic formulas and what is considered ‘clean’. It, therefore, becomes the consumer’s responsibility to choose what’s best for them. 

As there are no strict laws regulating what ingredients go in beauty and personal care products, it becomes important to research about various ingredients and switch to clean beauty products and be a part of the Clean Beauty Movement in India. 

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