Beauty deception: The alarming secrets of skincare industry that you must know

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Aug 11, 2023 11:16 PM IST

Beauty experts spill the beans on the skincare ingredients that are ruining your skin's health

The beauty and skincare market is flooded with brands that offer products at cheaper prices but people are not aware that in order to sell the products at low prices such brands use ingredients that are harsh on the skin and harm the environment. The skincare products are loaded with ingredients that not only affect the skin but also the environment.

Beauty deception: The alarming secrets of skincare industry that you must know (Photo by Cherrydeck on Unsplash)
Beauty deception: The alarming secrets of skincare industry that you must know (Photo by Cherrydeck on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Akshay Batra, Managing Director at Dr. Batra Group of Companies, pointed out, “Harmful ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are found in many personal care products to create foam and lather. It can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing dryness and irritation. Oxybenzone is a chemical sunscreen ingredient found in many sunscreen creams and lotions, that has been linked to skin allergies and hormone disruption. In addition to this, some cosmetics contain preservatives such DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea and imidazolidinyl urea, which slowly release formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a recognised carcinogen that can cause skin irritation and allergies in humans.”

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Nitin Jain, Founder and Director at La Pink, shared, “ Microplastics are used as binding agents to enhance the viscosity (thickness) of all beauty products including creams, lotions, shampoos, conditioners. They are one of the most harmful and common ingredients found in 9 out of 10 beauty products that the consumers are totally unaware about. While the Indian market is fixated on sulfate and paraben-free products and even though consumers are wanting to be aware, microplastics are unfortunately being overlooked, since there is no awareness around it. These tiny particles may enter the skin through sweat glands, hair follicles, or open wounds and clog the skins’ pores.”

He revealed, “While some studies suggest that microplastics may affect inflammation, cellular survival, and metabolism in humans, in the long run, usage of such products can potentially lead to cancer, chronic inflammation and abnormalities of the skin like psoriasis and other skin related diseases. Microplastics are already banned to be used in personal care products in the UK and other European markets however, due to lack of knowledge on the part of the consumers they are still being aggressively used in India.”

Shreedha Singh, Co-Founder and CEO at The Ayurveda Company, insisted, “It's high time that Ayurvedic interventions should be made in the skincare industry. Ayurveda has been rooted in skincare in India since the times immemorial and it is scientifically proven that it brings back health and enhances the overall appearance of the skin. Ayurvedic ingredients like Kumkumadi deeply nourishes skin, Nalpamaradi provides a heavenly glow, Bakuchiol boosts collagen, Eladi contributes to skin protection against UV rays and much more. Ayurveda encourages ethical farming, leaves a lesser carbon footprint than chemical ingredients and approaches nature as a source of healing. Ayurveda is holistic, safe, long-lasting and kind to the environment and human beings.”

Harmeet Singh, VP - Marketing, Product and Digital at The Body Shop in South Asia, stressed, “Sulfates irritate the skin and eyes, parabens trigger allergic reactions in the skin, alcohol leaves the skin dry and flaky. Thus, as a consumer we should always peruse the ingredient list of the products. In this fast paced world, it is nearly impossible to live in a sustainable environment and lifestyle. However, there are still a few choices that we are blessed to make. It is very crucial to look for products that are vegan, cruelty-free, alcohol-free, sustainably sourced and come in a recyclable packaging. Such products would prevent the depletion of natural resources and the environmental impact.”

According to Dolly Kumar, Cosmetic Engineer and Founder of Skinella, adopting cruelty-free and vegan products is the need of the hour. She said, “Considering the mass awareness many brands have banned testing against animals, however, there is still a percentage that continue the practice. Thus, as a consumer, we should be mindful of our choices. Opting for vegan and cruelty-free brands is rewarding and authentic. It shows our solidarity against animal testing and in fact, has benefits as they reduce the aggravation of skin and strain on the environment. Products that contain superfoods should be added to daily skincare regimen, they work wonders on the skin by boosting collagen production, increasing moisture levels, reducing hyperpigmentation and redness.”

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