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Read the label on any popular brand of cosmetics and you will come across the terms – Sulphates (SLS, SLES), Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, ...

... isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben, etc.), EDTA, Parfum, Emulsol etc.
Some of these are preservatives, others are emulsifiers, yet others are dyes and pigments, others are thickening agents, or bactericides and fungicides. Some are safe, but several have been implicated in studies on animals and humans.
For instance, parabens mimic estrogens, and are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. They are found in face/body washes, deodorants and shampoos.
Synthetic colorants are suspected to be involved in ADHD, can severely irritate skins, and are also thought to be carcinogenic.
Fragrances, or “Parfum”, so called because of their secret/proprietary nature, are unknown compounds, often synthesized in the laboratory. They have been associated with dermatitis, allergies, respiratory distress and potential interference with the human reproductive system. The issue here is the secrecy around the actual components that go into these fragrances. In natural blends, the labels carry the names of essetial oils clearly, so a user can avoid the ones he/she is allergic to.
Triclosan is an anti-bacterial additive that works against microbes. Unfortunately, it may also disrupt the human endocrine system, and impact the thyroid and reproductive hormones. It may make our body-resident bacteria even more antibiotic-resistant.
Other harmful additives – pthalates, formaldehyde, SLS, SLES, Toluene, Propylene Glycol, benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate – found in sunscreen products, conditioners, moisturizers, shampoos, hair sprays, nail polish, hair colorants, cleansers, eye shadows etc.
What drives the inclusion of these chemicals in our cosmetic (and food) products. Look and feel, color, smell, consistency, protection against fungal and bacterial growths, well-mixed ingredients – all great goals. A very important goal is the ‘keeping quality’ or shelf-life – which has two aspects – how long can the product stand unopened on a shelf; and after it is opened, how long does it weather the elements before going bad. In an era of frenetic international trade and huge megastores, it is important that a product makes it journey from one end of the earth to another, sits on shelves for months, and when it reaches the customer, it works as advertised for a reasonable period of time.
The problem is that the cosmetic industry does not have the kind of scrutiny that food and pharmaceutical industry has, and additives do not have to undergo as much testing. A chemical works well, and gets used. Before testing on animals got banned/restricted, thousands upon thousands of animals were tested, to evaluate the harmful effects of chemicals in cosmetics.
That begs the question, why add them at all? Why not make life simpler? More natural? Why not forego the long shelf life, the smooth consistency, the coloration? Or look at nature to source the preservatives, the emulsifiers, the solvents, the colorants, the fungicides and bactericides.
DwaarPe aims to do exactly that. Get close to nature and learn from it, draw from the wisdom from the east and west, from ancient times and modern, learn from folklore and from science, from Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, from Chinese herbology and the practices of the Mayans, the Amerindians and the Aztecs.
In our world, Turmeric sits pretty with Frankincense, Rose with Thyme, Neem with Myrrh, Neroli with Bergamot, multani mitti with shea butter, and Sea Buckthorn with Ashwagandha. We are willing to experiment with everything that works in a gentle and natural manner.
More Later!

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