Our skin is an expression of the overall harmony of what's going on inside & most imbalances show up on our faces (this part we knew), but did you also know? Our skin,the body's largest organ, acts more like a sponge than a barrier, and absorbs close to 60 to 90% of all that we put on it! (think nicotine patches).
Over the last 50 years, tens of thousands of new chemicals have been developed, most of which have never been properly tested on humans. We absorb a huge array of these synthetic chemicals through our food, our toiletries (averaging 6-12 different skin products a day) and our immediate environment, and whilst we may not be able to avoid all of these chemicals, we believe it makes sense to do what we can to minimise contact wherever possible. We can begin with our skin.
Most of us love that hot shower because it relaxes and soothes those tired limbs, but did you know that in a 10 minute hot shower, your skin absorbs more chlorine than actually drinking 4 glasses of chlorine water? Or the fact that your favourite lotion that contains paraben (a known hormone disruptor) will show in your bloodstream and urine within 15 minutes! That's why we believe it's really important to know exactly what's in the products you use on your skin.
As a consumer, it can be really difficult to choose completely 'natural' products, what with all the 'green-washing' (aka brain-washing) going around!! Labels are misleading and companies are finding new and innovative ways to convince people of their false claims or rather exaggerated claims.
While developing Omved products our first aim was to get our products certified ORGANIC - this was not practical; since many botanical ingredients that are grown in the wild without pesticides are NOT available from regulated organic farm space. for eg Ayurvedic herbs and Indian spiceshing (asafoetida), jatamansi, etc.
We then looked for a NATURAL certification but none of the internationally recognised third-party companies operate in India.
However as we researched further and spoke to more and more people, we realised the biggest concern that people in fact have is - Is this SAFE for me to use?Since organic and natural were not always guaranteed to be non-toxic!
So we made it our resolve at Omved that we would get our products certified by the Environment Working Group's - The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics; a mammoth task since none of our Indian FDA certifications are accepted. (in fact in India until very recently, companies were not even required to list ALL their ingredients on their labels, just their actives!!)
We are very proud that Omved not only passed all their stringent criterias but was awarded the 'Innovator Status'! (one of the only 110 in the world!!) for our long commitment to organics, and for helping to show that making safer products and fully disclosing ingredients can be good for all. We are India's FIRST and ONLY company to be accepted!!
'100% SAFE' means to be free from any unnatural and toxic ingredient, harsh chemical preservatives, alcohol or unnatural stabilizers, parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals or petroleum by-products, phthalates, mineral oils, hydrogenated oils, synthetic chemical perfumes/fragrances, artificial colouring or preservatives, harsh detergents or any other unhealthy toxins.
DIRTY DOZEN - Ingredients to avoid
We have listed some of the common ingredients that you find in standard cosmetics that you must avoid because they are proven to be hazardous chemicals, highly toxic and potentially dangerous for your health. This is what we call the “Omved’s Dirty Dozen List”.
This is not a complete list, but a very good list of ingredients that you can learn to keep away from. In our actual ‘Non-acceptable Ingredients’ list there are hundreds of ingredients that we refrain from using in any of our products. Most have been proven to be toxic and some are still in the doubtful list. Our take is – even if there is a doubt of the safety of an ingredient why use it? Especially when wonderful effective natural safe ingredients are available!!
Also be aware that some of the chemicals are sometimes listed with different names on labels or can be contaminating other listed ingredients. It is time to realize that using organic, pure, non-toxic and natural products is a safer option.
Omved's Dirty Dozen List
- Sulfates (Sodium or Ammonium Layryl, Laureth, Myreth, Sulfate)
Sulfates are essentially synthetic ingredients that are used to create foam or to allow liquid to spread or absorb easily. Sulfates are commonly found in soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, toothpastes and shower gels. Sulfates can irritate the skin and in some cases cause eczema. Sometimes sulfates can be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane that can cause cancer.
What to watch out for on labels: SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), SLES and other ingredients with the letters "eth" (e.g., sodium laurethsulfate) on labels.
- Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Ethyl, Butyl)
Parabens are synthetic preservatives that are commonly used in products like gels, shampoos, lotions, deodorants, toners, sunscreens and antiperspirants. Synthetic parabens are known to have the potential to mimic estrogens which can result in reproductive abnormalities and breast cancer.What to watch out for on labels: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, butylparaben
Talc is a carcinogen mostly causes lung tumour. This is a base for most body powders, baby powders.
What to watch out for on labels: Talcum powder, talc
- Petrochemicals (Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral oil and Paraffin
These are commonly found in lip balms, moisturisers for babies, shampoos and conditioners due to it being a moisturising ingredient and moisture barrier. Research has shown they potentially cause cancer, disrupt DNA and can cause birth defects.
What to watch out for on labels: Mineral oil, paraffin, Petrolatum
- Perfume/ Parfum / Synthetic fragrance (Phthalates)
These are widely used in almost any 'fragrant' product you can think of! Commonly found in perfumes, hair products, deodorants, nail polishes and body lotions, prolonged exposure to this ingredient can disrupt the DNA, cause cancer and can be linked to birth defects. Unfortunately Phthalates are NOT required to be listed on labels (as they are classified as proprietary).
What to watch out for on labels: Products that claim an ingredient such as 'fragrance' or 'perfume'.
- DEA/ MEA/TEA (diethanolamine, triethanolamine, monethanolamine)
They are almost always present in foaming products like shampoos, bubble baths, facial cleansers, body wash, etc. Prolonged exposure to this ingredient can cause mild to moderate eye and skin irritations. Research has shown that this ingredient can cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid.
What to watch out for on labels: Ingredients that begin or end in DEA,MEA,TEA - egCocamide DEA, TEA Lauryl Sulfate, etc
Polyethylene glycol (PEG), otherwise known as poly(oxyethylene) or poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) are commonly used in cosmetics as cleansing agents, emulsifiers, skin conditioners and surfactants. Impurities found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide; 1, 4-Dioxane; polycyclic aromatic compounds; and heavy metals such as lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. This causes skin irritation, fluctuates the pulse rates, causes headaches, nausea and dizziness.
What to watch out for on labels: propylene glycol, ingredients with 'eth' (e.g., polyethylene glycol)
This ingredient is used in antibacterial cosmetics like cleansers, toothpastes and deodorants. Suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
This is a skin bleaching chemical and a possible carcinogen, neurotoxin and skin sensitizer. Prolonged usage of this can cause ochronosis, a disfiguring skin disease that results in irreversible black-blue lesions.
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
These ingredients release small amounts of fomaldehyde that is a known carcinogen. Prolonged usage can cause breathlessness, asthma and a burning sensation of eyes, nose and throat
What to watch out for on labels: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15 on labels.
- Siloxanes (Methicones)
This ingredient is used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smoothen and moisten the skin. This is known to be a suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. With prolonged usage it can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system.
What to watch out for on labels: Look for ingredients ending in "siloxane" or "methicone.
Prolonged exposure can cause potential breast carcinogen.
So the next time you are buying cosmetics, keep a look out for the following:
- Does it contain toxins?
- How much of the content is actually natural/organic?
- Are all the listed ingredients natural or is it just a portion of ingredients that are natural?
- Are there any ingredients that are not available in organic forms?
- Are all the ingredients listed?
Some countries like India do not require all ingredients to be listed. Chances are that our Omved labels look long and exhausting because we have the complete ingredient list on it. But that’s because we want you to know exactly what we put in our bottles and you on yourself.
OUR NATURAL MANTRA - What Natural Means for Omved
Due to the lack of government regulation in the natural products industry, and the misuse of the word as a marketing term, we felt it was important to define what natural means to us.
- We use ingredients that are found in nature and are known to have a positive effect on our bodies. By “found in nature”, we refer to ingredients that can be used in their original form or ingredients that can be extracted from plants or minerals. (e.g. essential oils)
- We stay away from ingredients that can have any kind of adverse effect on the body or the environment. (e.g. mineral oil, talc)
- We do not use natural ingredients that have been either produced or extracted using environmentally harmful processes from their source materials. E.g. Sulfonation and Ethoxylation which can leave behind harmful contaminants like 1, 4-Dioxane.
- We do not use any ingredients that are synthesized or manufactured. Our ingredients are not made in test tubes but in Nature. We refrain from using such ingredients even if they are made from mineral ingredients or natural plants.
- We trust nature to provide the right mix. And we don’t just sprinkle in a dusting of natural ingredients; our formulas are packed with them. No fillers, no fluff, no false promises. If an ingredient doesn't have a function, it doesn’t make it into our formula!
We believe in Natural Pure Living; we feed your skin with the utmost in raw, organic, all natural and wild-crafted nutrition. We feed our skin with the beauty of nature!
Why include synthetic ingredients when there are healthy, safe and more effective alternatives? - Why go toxic when you can wear natural beauty?