While India is the second largest consumer of cosmetics in the world, we look into it’s booming organic beauty and skin-care segment.
The burgeoning organic beauty and skin-care industry in India, which is slowly removing the veneer of reliability around regular skin care and cosmetic brands. The terms organic, natural, chemical free, have become a common selling point for marketers around the world. But is there anything such as 100% organic in terms of beauty and skin care? What proves the veracity of these tall claims made by organic beauty and skin-care brands?
“Nowdays people are all speaking about natural products without understanding it. They don’t question from where does a face wash get its foam or what gives an aloe vera gel it’s green colour? I mean you cannot squeeze a lemon and put it if you need citric acid, you have to add its chemical form” says Dr Ashwini Padmawar, a leading dermatologist from Navi Mumbai.
It seems that the industry has put more money into marketing products as green rather than actually spending money on formulating toxin-free products that are not harmful to the skin.
“We can call a product organic or chemical free only if it has a reliable certification from an authorised certification body such as the COSMOS category in France. A lot of products which aren’t organic, brand themselves that way,” says Pritesh Asher co-founder of Juicy Chemistry, a certified organic skin-care brand from India.
On the other hand a product automatically becomes expensive when the word organic is attached to it and dubious brands cash in on this loophole.
“The raw materials for organic beauty products are so expensive. To get certified organic raw materials manufacturers have to pay double and triple the price now and not everyone may be doing that,” says Rubeina Karachiwalla founder of Ruby’s Organic’s, India’s first organic make-up brand.
However even in the face of these developments, organic beauty is certainly the future, with a growing awareness and education around eco-friendly substances. People have also become a lot more conscious about what they are putting on their faces or ingesting.
“At the end of the day everything we put on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream. We use organic ingredients such as butter, beeswax, kaolin clay and vegetable oils to form the base of our products, and it’s tinted with naturally occurring ingredients such as iron oxide and mica,” adds Rubeina.
Organic can be good for your food, but when it comes to skin care - what people look for is it’s effectiveness, rather than organic or not.
“Makeup brands try to package their products as light and organic but the fact is they don’t give enough coverage to the face in terms of foundation. It’s usefull for a person with good skin, but a person who is looking to cover blemishes and a long lasting product, it wont work, says celebrity makeup artist Nishi Singh.
“There is no regulation to know whether the product is truly organic. So many companies use it as a marketing gimmick to sell products under label of pure, naturaland organic. On the other hand many organic products are great for skin, but that does not guarantee that you will not be allergic to any organic product ever,” says Dr Apratim Goel a leading dematologist from Bandra.
This facts only lay bare the hipocrisy behind the organic beauty industry. In the absence of stringent legal barriers any brand can be labelled as natural and organic.
It is therefore upon the customer to check for independently certified products, because everything that's green is clearly not organic.