Thanks to research studies trending in the news on the host of problems brought about by the unprecedented rise of man-made, synthetic chemicals invading almost every aspect of our lives, most of us are aware that ridding our environment of chemical toxins in favor of a more natural and organic lifestyle is a pathway to better health. Beginning and maintaining an organic way of life may seem overwhelming at first.., But when you learn how your body responds to external factors (through the Ayurvedic dosha system) and choose the right ingredients from nature, this will actually help you save time and money in the long run. Organic ingredients/products provide maximum benefits with no side effects.
What Does an Organic and Natural Lifestyle Entail?
Organic living means that you consciously choose and use products and ingredients that are grown, produced and made without the use of synthetic, artificial or man-made chemicals. Organic products are free from pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, chemicals , antibiotics and bioengineered /GMO components.
‘Natural’, ‘Healthy’ and ‘Sustainable’ are the three key words of living organic.
The Basic Steps of an Organic Lifestyle
1. Look for Local Ingredients, especially when it comes to food sources.
Nature knows best how our skin and body responds to environmental conditions. Genetically, our body is resistant to local allergens and thus, local produce and seasonal ingredients are generally more safe and healthy.
When it comes to Skin Care, we can be tempted via flashy advertising campaigns to try out the ‘Latest and Greatest’ “Miracle” product. But not every ingredient is made for every individual’s constitution. It is very important to always make an effort to choose organically sourced or wild-gathered ingredients that have been minimally altered (or non-GMO).
When a particular ingredient is beneficial despite being non-native, make sure it is obtained from genuine sources and is processed in a scientific manner for best results.
2. Start with a Detox Journey
For years, your body has accumulated chemicals and toxic products through food, cosmetics, skin and hair care products, cleaning agents and other pollutants, which can be difficult to get rid of. Luckily, the skin is the largest organ of elimination and one of best first efforts in this direction is detoxing the skin. Antioxidant enriched botanicals, organic oils, vitamins and minerals stimulate and cleanse the skin, leaving you with a smoother, natural detoxified skin.
3. Use Natural Skin Care Products
From Food to Skin, Hair & Personal care, it’s important to check what you put into and onto your body. Drug store Skin, Hair and Personal care products can contain up to 99% as toxic chemicals. These chemicals leach into our body through our porous skin where they make their way into our bloodstream, organs and are stored in our fat cells, all of which are enemies to our health. Some of these like alcohols, acid peels, silicones, artificial fragrances, etc.. can cause skin sensitivity, redness and allergic reactions, while others like Parabens, Oxybenzones (used in sunscreen), Mineral oil and other Xenoestrogens have a much more acute impact on our health, and cause environmental pollution as well.
Following the principles of Ayurveda and Western Skin Care, each product at Puraveda Organics is formulated with 100% natural ingredients.
4. Beware of Green Washing
Today, companies both large and small, are forced by the competitive marketplace to at least appear to be eco-conscious. Since truly natural ingredients that are sourced and processed correctly are far more costly, most of these brands are green washing their labels for customer appeasement. Greenwashing is a PR practice in which a product is hyped by the name of a popular natural ingredient on the front label, whereas the actual amount of the ingredient in the main formula is negligible, ie; too small to cause any positive effect. The rest of the product still uses the same old detrimental chemicals. Green washing can misdirect well-intentioned customers, and foil their efforts in following an organic lifestyle.
In order to protect yourself from these advertising gimmicks, make sure that the active ingredients are listed near the top of the ingredient list, and hopefully in a naturally (ie; steam distilled) concentrated form. The least amount of fillers, water or chemicals, the better the chances the product will be effective.
5. Don’t Completely Rely on Certifications
Certifications aren’t everything. Therapeutic organic/wild gathered ingredients are collected globally (and sustainably) and have been used traditionally for hundreds of years. FDA/USDA or even EcoCert, have not yet put in place guidelines for many of these ancient therapeutic botanicals. Also, it’s important to note that seals labelled with ‘Made with Organic Ingredients’ may contain only 70% of organic ingredients, while the remainder is still non-organic, non-agricultural ingredients.
The demands of organic ingredients are gaining popularity, especially in Europe and North America. To keep the highly competitive prices low, many local farmers avoid expensive and often arbitrary, and instead invest more on improve the quality of their botanicals, in order to keep product quality high and prices more reasonable. At Puraveda Organics, we advocate sustainable agriculture and acquire our raw material botanicals in dried form from the most reputable suppliers world-wide. It’s important to note that some small growers are exempted by the USDA from the process of certification.
Cruelty free certifications also do not tell the complete story (read more).
6. Look for Evidentiary Proof of Claims
Some organic products market baseless claims, with no actual proof or studies. When you start using a new product, it’s best to start small and follow a minimal regimen for an easier transition. You can even look for verified customer experiences, especially those that are backed by photo and video reviews.
7. Take Care of the Environment
One of the essential components of living organic is also about taking care of the environment. Sustainable organic ingredients are produced with much energy-efficiency than the non-sustainable ones.
Look for organic products that are plastic Micro-bead free and Reef safe to ensure that these chemicals do not leach into the soil and water bodies. Learn more about why reef-toxic sunscreens and micro-bead free exfoliation are a matter of concern and how you can help protect the environment with conscious skin care.
While living in an urban environment, it’s very easy to become disconnected from nature. An organic lifestyle is one great ways of reconnecting with Mother Nature and embracing our roots. This not only greatly impacts our health and immunity, but also naturally improves our appearance and helps keeps us sustained with positive energy.