With the increasing consciousness about body positivity and self-care, start-ups are encouraging healthy and toxin-free products. By Team Viva
It’s good to see how individuals have finally started believing in ‘what you load on your body really impacts your well-being’. With the increasing consciousness about body positivity and self-care, the idea behind the beauty and personal care industry is undergoing a paradigm shift. It now acknowledges that mindfulness and consideration towards consumer wellness must gain precedence over the look factor. This has fuelled a subsidiary start-up empire dedicated to holistic health and grooming.
Breaking out of societal standards: A positive change in consumer behaviour
So far, both men and women have been conforming to certain set standards. Dipali Mathur Dayal, co-founder of Super Smelly, says, “For decades, these standards have been dictating the ideal way men and women should look and carry themselves. Truth be told, there is no ‘ideal’ body type.” Fortunately, people are realising that beauty lies in loving your skin, being perfect in your imperfections and taking care of your health more than anything else. “Young customers no longer believe in the marvel of artificially glamorised photographs that make them look unnaturally beautiful and uncertain about their bodies,” she adds.
“People are becoming aware now more than ever and embracing natural, organic, and chemical-free products that have health benefits. Ayurveda is being accepted all around the globe as a healing science. Ayurvedic products are considered to be the ones that work on the root of the problem rather than covering it up,” says Parag Kaushik, Co-Founder, Upakarma Ayurveda.
With start-ups becoming torchbearers of this change, even big brands like Hindustan Unilever and Johnson & Johnson, which recently abandoned their “fairness” label to shed colour prejudice, followed suit.
How are they leading the change?
The new age, aware consumer, believes in buying toxin-free, cruelty-free, natural and safe products rather than picking up anything that doesn’t benefit the body but harms the planet instead. Many start-ups have come up with products that are environment-friendly, clean, vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable, toxin-free, and made with all-natural ingredients that have a positive impact on your health.
“The start-ups have brought about a boom in natural and chemical-free products and expanded the interest for natural and eco-friendly items. In contrast to synthetic items, natural offerings address further issues and help in cell reinforcement, pigmentation hindrance and antimicrobial action,” says Dipali.
“When you choose Ayurvedic products over the market-based ones that are filled with harmful chemicals, it can surprise you by the multiple benefits it exerts. When your body maintains a natural balance, life becomes healthier. It may prevent various health ailments, inflammation, support beautiful skin, may improve concentration and can also help to de-stress the mind in natural ways,” says Parag.
Beauty is no longer just skin deep but is about a healthy body, inner peace and sustainability. For personal care business visionaries, this niche market is set to develop exponentially. Simply because the urban millennnials and Gen Z will be powering and driving it. Many of these brands are also employing green manufacturing processes, such as solar power. “The eco-conscious packaging utilises everything from recyclable paper to compostable corn-based cellophane to help reduce our impact on the planet. And decrease the carbon footprint,” says Dipali.
Moving away from toxic labels
When buying a personal care product, it is critical to read the labels. Toxins can be hidden in the most commonly-used ingredients such as sulfates and parabens, which are cheap preservatives and hence used to prolong shelf life of the beauty product that you use. These chemicals have various harmful consequences on your body, skin and hair and can lead to permanent damage.The synthetic substances make the skin and hair lose their natural oils and leave them rough and destroyed condition. The continuous use of such toxin-laden products is extremely dangerous to one’s well being.
So it is important to look for labels that mention ‘sulfate-free’, ‘paraben-free’ and ‘environment-friendly’. Furthermore, new-age brands are also encouraging customers to look for labels like ‘Australia Certified Toxic Free’, ‘Not Tested On Animals’, ‘Made Safe’, IFRA- compliant. These international certifications and tests indicate that products are the safest for use and the best for your body.
While these certifications are important for personal care products for all ages, when it comes to Gen Z, they need to be even more careful about what they apply to their body. “Since this is the age when the skin undergoes a lot of changes due to puberty, hormonal changes, exposure to dust, dirt, swimming pools, playgrounds, toxin-laden products can wreak havoc on their skin,” says Dipali.
We are always just one step away from moving towards a big change and the start-ups have taken that foot forward to facilitate a world that is harmonious, sustainable, cruelty-free, natural and accommodative.