By Juhi Bansal & Team CB
My love for natural products is not a secret anymore. Both Iy and I have turned natural completely as far as skin and hair care goes. However, over the last couple of years I have realized that it does take a lot of research and time and even belief to zero in on a product you will trust your skin and hair with. Here’s continuing with my efforts towards shortlisting a few from the plethora of natural brands available in the market. I and my lovely CB team tried over 120 products across 60 brands this year to come to the final list below. Some brands from last year that didn’t make it re-participated but largely most of the brands that we tried were first time entrants. That ofcourse says a lot about the natural products segment and a lot of brands seem to be trying to fill the gap.
This is my effort towards converting everyone who uses an HUL or P&G or any other popular brand in their day to day life without giving it a second thought. Your skin needs mindfulness as much as your stomach.
The below list of brands use ethical measures of production, are free from harmful additives (Mineral oil, Silicone, GMO, DEA, Phalates, Synthetic colour/ fragrance, parabens, SLS etc) and have natural preservatives to the extent possible. Essential oils are extracted through steam distillation and carrier oils through cold press method. Most of the products are good enough to eat!
However, please note the following:
- It is NOT a sponsored article meaning I am not getting paid to feature one brand over the other. You are welcome to cross check with the brands in question (or the ones that didn’t make it).
- This is not to say that the brands that didn’t make it are not good enough- just that probably the product/s that we tried didn’t catch our fancy.
- I only vouch for the products that I and my team have tried. If you would like to try another product by the same brand, while should ideally be alright, I would request you to use your own judgement before doing so.
- I have had extensive personal discussions with each owner/senior management of the brands mentioned below and unless I have felt a very high level of comfort and confidence they don’t feature here. However, please note that I haven’t personally visited any of their facilities.
- Always check for allergies because natural doesn’t mean allergy free.
- Do not expect magical results. Infact, natural products will take time to undo the effects of chemicals- laden products which we have blatantly used over the past several decades. I of course see a world of difference in my skin over a period of time and totally recommend the feeling!
- And lastly, nothing can replace the goodness of whipping up skin care products at home or growing your own vegetables so this article only makes sense for you if you can’t do the above.
Here goes my list for 2017 (in no particular order):
- Roots & Herbs
Kolkata based Akanksha Modi’s Roots & Herbs is 100% Vegan, 100% Halal, Natural and Ayurvedic. Their products are certified by AYUSH (Department of Ayurved, Yoga, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy of India). They promote ” women empowerment” – 70% of their staff is a bunch of independent & talented ladies!
Pomegranate Kaya Kalp Moisturizer: A gourmet blend of herbs and essential oils, this moisturizer is your everything- it acts as a sunscreen, serum, night cream and of course a moisturizer.
Brightening Nutmeg Undereye Tailam: Brightening Nutmeg Undereye Tailam. An Ayurvedic formulation with potent herbs that helps lighten the dark circles and nourish the under eye area.
Price Range: Rs. 500 to Rs. 1500
- Ma Earth Botanicals
It was founded by the Sukh family who bring a lot of professional experience and passion for sustainability and nature with Ma Earth Botanicals. Their product line uses pure Essential oils, potent botanicals and the natural blessings of Mother Earth.
Rose Facial Scrub: A luxurious powder scrub which is a blend of ground Rose petals, powdered nuts and plant extracts.
Rejuvinating Body Balm: A gourmet blend of Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Argan Oil, Neroli and Frankinsence essential oils- what’s not to love!
Price Range: Rs. 400 to Rs. 1500
Vishal Bhandari’s SoulTree is probably the oldest brand on the list today. Founded in the 1990s, the mission was to think about and cater to the way the world should be in 2000s. They are the only brand in India to receive BDIH Germany’s ‘Natural’ certification.
Pure Rose Toning Mist: Alcohol free and made of Pure Rose water this is perfect for your CTM routine!
Cleansing Lotion with Aloe, Rose Water and Licorice: The name says it all! Perfect for the CTM routine.
Price Range: Rs. 350 to Rs. 1500
- Elixir Shop
Mother daughter duo Seema & Nitika Anand’s Elixir Shop is a collection of exquisite blend of high quality, undiluted essential and carrier oils and nothing else! Their products are completely preservatives free and are hand-bottled! What’s more they are now AYUSH certified!
Zaria & Gold Elixir (2 different face oils): A beautiful blend of 8 essential oils and 24 K gold, they are perfect to prep your skin before you apply anything else after cleansing and toning.
Linus: A blend of Rosemary and Clary Sage oils you can simply mix in the shampoo and apply if you don’t have the time for your oiling regime. I have been using it for the last couple of months and the result is visible!
Price Range: Rs. 400 to Rs. 2100
Founders MALLYEKA & HIMANI use their Grandmothers recipes to formulate most of the products at Ayca and the range is luxurious!
Tea Tree Aloe Vera Gel: A very light composition for day wear especially if you have oily skin like mine.
Face Oil: perfect for night time CTM routine. Contains Jojoba and Grapeseed Essential Oils.
Price Range: Rs. 600 to Rs. 1650
Owners Pragati and Rohit Anand’s mission is to provide their customers with chemical free products & options that can fit into their daily skin care & personal care routines with ease and comfort as far as possible. The products are very reasonably priced too!
Anti- dandruff Hair Oil: The oil is a blend of Cedarwood, Tea Tree & Turmeric and quite effective even after 2-3 uses!
After Bath Oil: The oil is a blend of Cold Pressed Almond Oil and Liquorice Essential Oil and acts as a natural sun screen.
Price Range: Rs. 115 to Rs. 800
So, here’s my list of brands and products I am using (and recommending) in 2017. Please write to me should you have any questions. You will see a clear bias towards oils and oil based products in the article. I personally prefer them over cream and water based products because they do not need preservatives so are more natural than the other lines :).
Pics: Bhavya Rathore
A heartfelt thank you to each brand that believed in CB, participated and waited patiently while we took our time trying each product, calling, emailing and following up incessantly till our questions were answered satisfactorily.