Omved’s Alternatives for a green living – Part 2


Standard cosmetics often include synthetic and sometimes even animal-derived ingredients. When you use natural options for your skin, it is likely to help your skin feel and breathe better. We’ve listed some of the common ingredients that you can find on standard cosmetics and the options we have for you. This is the second part of our article.

4. Surface-active-agents or surfactants

Surface-active-agents are substances that are used to dissolve oil and hold dirt in suspension so that it can be rinsed with water.

Common synthetic surfactants: A serious problem with ethoxylated surfactants is that it can be contaminated with dioxane which is a potent carcinogen. A glance at the label will show you that these surfactants are listed on labels as ingredients that end with –eth (like laureth: Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl or Laureth Sulphate) or containing the phrase PEG (PolyEthylene Glycol) or PPG (PolyPropylene Glycol).

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium laurel sulphate, commonly listed as SLS is found in almost all cleaning agents. It is a preferred option because of its foamy and bubbly texture.  It causes irritation on contact with skin, eyes, and mucous membranes and can trigger allergies. Tests on lab animals indicate that a long-term exposure can cause mutagenic effects.

Amides are  another dangerous class of surfactants.  These are listed on labels as TriEthanolAmine (TEA), DiEthanolAmine (DEA) and MonoEthanolAmine (MEA).

What is it listed as?


What Omved offers

Omved offers natural surfactants such as the completely olive oil based castile soap, aritha (soapnuts) and shikakai or soapnuts which form the Saponin (natural foaming agents). These products are derived from plants have a long history of use as mild cleaning agents in Ayurveda. They gently cleanse the hair, skin and scalp without stripping it off the natural oils.

5. Preservatives

Skin products like any other product comes with an expiry date and it does not last forever. Just like food stays only for the mentioned duration with the help of preservatives, so is the case with skin care products. Synthetic and chemical preservatives provide a longer shelf life and are cheaper in comparison to natural preservatives or alternatives.

What is it listed as?

The most common synthetic ingredients are “parabens”-  Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben. Parabens are considered “food grade” preservatives and they are also found in products we consume.

Parabens help to inhibit the growth of microbes and also helps to extend the shelf life of products. Parabens are known to cause various allergic reactions and skin irritations and rashes.

 Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea: These are the second most preferred preservative after parabens. Prolonged exposure to this preservative can cause skin irritations. In addition, they release formaldehyde- a toxic chemical.  Neither of these is good at inhibiting the growth of fungus. They need to be combined with other preservatives to increase the shelf life, which just adds to the potential toxic load in a product.

What Omved offers

Omved natural preservatives are Tea tree and thyme essential oil, grapefruit seed extract and D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E). These preservatives are derived from natural sources and are permitted in certified natural cosmetics (for example, sodium benzoate, a preservative also used in food). Storing your natural skin care products in the fridge will also keep them fresh longer. A mild preservative is included only when there is no other way of properly conserving a product.

6. Synthetic colours

Synthetic colours are used in products to make them look attractive; they not have any other function beyond that. Synthetic colours are typically derived from petroleum or coal. They can be found in a wide variety of food products, pet foods, medicines, personal care products and cosmetics. Since most synthetic colours do not fade, it has an added advantage over the natural colouring agents. With prolonged exposure, most synthetic colours can cause some sort of adverse reaction.

What is it listed as?

Common synthetic colours are listed on the label as FD&C or D&C, along with a colour and number. (e.g. FD&C Yellow No. 7).

What Omved offers

Omved does not use any colouring in our products: natural or synthetic. The colour naturally comes from the extracts and essential oils in the formulations.

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