At Natural Products Expo West in March I had the pleasure of meeting with Pratibha Sachdev, education and product manager of Organique by Himalaya. After 15 minutes of serenity, thanks to a soothing hand treatment on the show floor, I snapped back to reality (pen! need ... pen!) as she explained how personal care is a crucial, though often neglected, part of any cleansing program. "People forget that while you are doing a detox, if you are applying products that contain sulfates and parabens you are putting those toxins right back in your system," she says. "The first thing I tell them is if you are keeping your inside clean please also remember to keep external body clean." Start by making sure your products are free from parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, phthalates, and petroleum, and then opt for ingredients that have been in nature for thousands of years, like neem and turmeric. "Our body recognizes those ingredients. At some time or another we have ingested them, so when we use them on our body our body says 'I know this, I have ingested this and that’s why it works effectively,'" she says. Sachdev was kind enough to share more of her favorite traditional Indian ingredients that Organique by Himalaya now uses in modern and efficacious ways.
Organique by Himalaya's personal care products, including hair, body, and dental care, are free from chemicals, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances, which is why many have obtained the USDA organic certification–still very hard to find in the personal care aisle (organic certification for personal care still follows the same guidelines as organic certification for food) and why the entire line recently received the Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care certification. How does the company do it? By taking traditional, natural Indian ingredients and testing them against time and science. "Organique by Himalaya is all about ingredients that have been time tested it’s a beautiful marriage between ancient wisdom and modern science and technology," says Sachdev. Here are her top ingredient picks and why they work.
Neem: "This ingredient has been used for centuries in India. In the morning we would take the twigs of the neem tree, chew on it, make a fibrous brush and clean our teeth and tongue then dispose of it. That was nature’s first disposable toothpaste and toothbrush. If this ingredient has lasted for 6,000 years something must be right about it." With natural antibacterial properties you can now find it in toothpaste, skin care, and hair products.
Turmeric: "In India the bride is bathed in sandalwood and turmeric, which is used as a mask on the body for the radiance she develops on her skin; it's a ritual for the brides." Its potent antioxidant, curcumin, helps keep skin wrinkle free by fighting skin-damaging free radicals. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties make it a prime skin soother. Now find it in skin and body care. (Check out more spices used in skin and body care)
Holy basil: "Holy basil good for harmonizing and balancing but we also use it in some of our products for just aroma in some products for its oxygenating properties and in some we use a preservative so it’s the same holy basil performing different functions in our products." Now find it in hair, scalp, and skin care products.