“Don’t forget to apply Ubtan to remove tanning,” is a line that we have all heard from our grandmothers! Ubtan, which is a blend of chickpea flour, turmeric and sandalwood, is a ubiquitous part of Indian culture.
The ideal beauty rituals in India have ranged from Ayurvedic treatments, DIY skincare recipe secrets to now, modern scientific solutions. Indian skincare and cosmetic companies of today are pushing the envelope of innovation and sustainability.
Clean & clear products
The rise of informed consumers is driving the growth of local skincare companies. Take for instance, Disguise Cosmetics which is India’s first 100% vegan and cruelty-free brand. They do not use ingredients derived from animal sources nor do they test their products on animals.
Did you know that Squalene, a sought after moisturising ingredient, is found in shark livers? Unfortunately, sharks are now an endangered species as a result of human activities. Squalane — derived from plants like olives or sugar cane — can be used as an alternative to Squalene.
Mica is a mineral used in cosmetics for its shimmering or illuminating properties. Over 70% of mica produced in India comes from illegal mines which employ child labour in Bihar and Jharkhand.
Skincare is no longer about the individual products, but the overall ethics of a brand including their packaging and marketing. An initiative called “Empties4Good” by Plum encourages customers to recycle plastic. One can also consider ‘upcycling’ (reusing) their empty skincare containers to be vases, pots, storage for small items or even jewellery boxes! The possibilities are endless.
Be vocal for local!
Buying local and organic products means supporting local businesses and farmers. It also means that the ingredients used in skincare products are authentic. According to Juicy Chemistry, who are India’s first brand to be certified by ECOCERT (France), “a product is only as good as the ingredients used to create them.”
Parabens and sulfates are commonly found chemicals in skincare or haircare. Parabens are preservatives while sulphates create the lathering effect in cleansing products. While the former is known to pollute the marine ecosystem and cause breast cancer/reproductive health problems in women, the latter can cause allergic reactions and strip the skin of its natural oils.
Not surprisingly, there is now an understanding that conscious skincare offers quality over quantity. Organic products also have a shorter shelf-life. But despite this, the wide variety of products and price points available in the skincare market caters to everyone’s needs.
You glow, girl…
Indian skin is unique in terms of the diversity of skin tones (dark to light) and types (oily, dry, combination and sensitive). Some of the major problems faced by Indian skin are pigmentation, exposure to pollution, harsh sunlight and sweat.
A dermatologist-formulated skincare brand called Dr. Sheth’s makes the point that Indian skin has different biology due to the harsh environment and lifestyle diseases like PCOS and diabetes. Therefore, Indian skincare should be formulated with potent ingredients, keeping in mind these factors.
The concept of ‘superfoods’ by Pulp to breathe life into the skin with masks, serums and scrubs is one way to care for Indian skin. The nutritious ingredients added into Pulp products range from tea tree, turmeric, chickpea flour, gotu kola, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B5, tremella mushroom extracts to name a few.
Is beauty only skin deep?
While paying homage to Ayurvedic principles, new-age Indian skincare is stylish and impressive. As the times change, so do skincare habits.
The standard of beauty is constantly evolving within personal and cultural contexts. True beauty is caring for the Earth and living sustainably.
This article is contributed by Godavari Kollati!
Author bio: Godavari Kollati is a MA History graduate and freelance content writer. When she isn’t writing, she’s got her nose in a novel. And when she hasn’t got her nose in a… well, you get the gist. Her interests include educating people about menstrual hygiene, maintaining an elaborate skincare routine (is it obvious?), nail art, debating why coffee is better than tea and blogging. Yes, she’s got a book review blog! Join 66 other followers.
Menstrual hygiene: https://unipads.in/author/godavari/