The organic nature of the Organic is chemical hehehe (read this Nityananda stye 😀 )
I have something to prove it.
Not at all a makeup or cosmetic person. Only sun protection (SPF) cream for me or good old ‘fair & lovely’ (now renamed ‘glow & lovely’) for evenings out. At home its moisturizer with mild SPF. Rare vitamin C applications that I started last year along with under eye cream. This is my maintenance routine but my main skin care essential is desi coconut oil. I do switch between olive oil, argan oil and coconut oil in the Middle east because in winters sometimes coconut oil gets frozen. Anyday I prefer body oils to chemicals.
The one brand I have always favoured has been Bodyshop. Indian chain is not good enough. I get mine from Middle east. Although against age defying formula, I have loved their vitamin C and Drops of life. I use their body butters and scrubs and shampoos. Expensive but that is one luxury I have allowed myself over years over salon visits. In India i have no use for any of these as my skin returns to normal self. In middle east in ten days on landing I tan maximum and my skin dries out. Its like I am two different persons : one in middle east and one in India. We have extreme weather in middle east with summers soaring to 55 c and winters chilling to 4 c both of which impact adversely my skin. Whereas India is a beautiful pH balanced country that asks for zero maintenance. In India, my night balm is also the natural Kumkumadi Lepam that in my teens I used to get from Lalitha pharmacy (ayurvedic). Now with improvisations it is available nonsticky.
Last year I got this body scrub from Bodyshop. I prefer Bodyshop because they claim to be maximum organic (even they admit they can’t be 100% organic). Upto 75-80% they claim that their products contain natural ingredients. Theirs are plant based and are not lab tested on animals which is very important for me. For longer shelf life, naturally the preserving chemicals and additives and colours need to be blended in. Understandable. A high price also I thought perhaps meant the quality assured. The body scrub that I use for my hands and foot once a week, I put away with lid open before I left for India. I thought leaving the lid open might remind me to use it once more the next day before taking the flight out and that way I could avoid paying for a pedicure in a salon in Chennai! Later I remembered not closing the jar with the lid but made a mental note to remind my hubby about it. Then blissfully I forgot everything as you know, India consumes you totally!
My break in India got extended and I ended up spending three months June, July, August before returning to Doha by September. The first thing I noticed in the bath on my return was that, the cleaner who my hubby engaged once in 15 days to tidy up our place in my absence, had washed clean the bathrooms flooding the still open jar in the bathtub nook. Nobody bothered to replace the lid. I rued the loss of an expensive scrub. Even before unpacking I drained the standing water from the jar. God knows how long it remained that way. Beneath I found that the scrub layer holding good. Surprised that I found no fungus, i still took out the top layer and the sides and wiped clean the jar. I left the dry jar open for again a week. The scrub smelt heavenly after all the contamination and was usable that shocked me. I skimmed out one more layer from atop to rule out any seeping adulteration. None. Nothing. The bodyscrub held the forte solid and firm! Left the jar open more for a couple of days. Then everything was fine and settled. I could use the contents of the jar once again. The bodyscrub was as good as new. That if you think made me happy, you can’t get more out of focus. That actually made me think and I dropped Bodyshop from my list of shopping.
Our Indian Ayurvedic products easily get moldy with fungus even before the expiry date – which means, the ingredients still are natural. Products from India do not have an extended shelf life like those we shop for in dutyfree shops. Every big brand or designer brand is oozing chemical. You check Bodyshop: shelf life is three to four years on average. The more French/Italian your beauty routine is, the more you pack your skin with advanced complex chemical compounds. This is the truth. I shopped for Bodyshop because their products were mostly paraben free.
Some of these foreign brands capitalize on the organic label. Some sell for their European origin. Tell me what kind of body scrub won’t go foul with 3 month standing dirty water in it. Now whenever I use the scrub I wonder what are all chemicals I am rubbing into my skin. Nothing comes chemical free. I am wary of even olive oil and argan oil that emanate a mild scent. Only India seems to be producing virgin coconut oil besides others. How far the manufacturer/supplier is keeping his words, we are not sure. But virgin coconut oil smells good thought i can’t rule out paraffin addition.
As I live between countries, I am unable to stick with just the Indian Ayurvedic. I am forced to go for longer shelf life skincare. But one thing I consciously opted out of is: anti ageing. Just read the constituent chemical next time you go for an anti ageing skin routine. Too complex that scares me. Now with the last batch of last year’s skincare. Next time in India, I shall try to top up with desi Ayurvedic.
The other day I was picking oranges from a supermarket. Oranges are mostly from Pakistan or Morocco or Spain or Australia and rarely from India. The loose jackets that we call Kamala in India are the only locals I have come across. Seeded. No takers for our Kamala sad! The more expensive the oranges are, the seedless they come, and sweeter. The cheapest oranges are from Pakistan that come a bit sourer but are the only ones that still come with seeds. Its not for their price I buy them. Its for their not tampering with nature, i get them. Nothing saddens me than filling my grocery baskets with seedless grapes, seedless oranges, seedless this, seedless that. Only one fruit is not yet seedless in our bazars: the mango! And the day when we have a seedless mango will be the day of reckoning for entire humanity. One thing I would like to underscore: the seeded naturals don’t come very delicious like the seedless sweet tender fruits. Some seedless oranges are indeed organic!
Note: Get the difference between de-seeded and seedless. Dates can come deseeded.
What about pasteurized milk. In India milk without added vitamins etc., won’t last for more than 12-18 hours even with refrigeration whereas even in dry heat conditions of Middle east, pasteurized milk can last for days, even weeks. Fruits and vegetables too rot fast even if refrigerated, whereas they can stay fresh with refrigeration for weeks in advanced countries. One reason could be the power supply which may be at times erratic in India. The other chief factor could be the absence of strong preservatives in Indian pasteurization.
You know sometimes, decay is good. Daag achcha hai! Rotting is a blessing. Death is a blessing. It means everything is normal, natural the way things ought to be.