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Less is Better

Rumours often circulate about the harmful effects of certain products we use in our daily lives. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Rumours often circulate about the harmful effects of certain products we use in our daily lives. Some say that shampoos are not very good, perfumes are toxic, hair dye can cause cancer and creams can kill, while others deny these rumours and insist that the claims are nothing more than baseless gossip.

Short of launching into a full-fledged campaign to find out the truth, we can only be safe, rather than sorry. Ruchit Puri, a young investment banker, says, "I never wear perfume or apply anything artificial on my body. What's the point? These are all chemicals and one never really knows the effect they may have. It's better to be safe than sorry." 27-year-old Chitra Balasubramaniam also feels the same, but although she has not quit wearing perfume, she wears it just once a while. She also prefers applying the perfume to her clothes, and not to her body. "The scent lingers longer, and at least I'm not directly spraying any chemical on to my body."

Studies have also shown that children whose mothers wore certain brands of perfume that during pregnancy were born with more birth defects than mothers who wore other brands or no perfume. National Geographic news network informs us that a study conducted by researchers at the Stanford University showed that synthetic fragrances found in many scented products have been proved to be harmful to marine life, and are potentially harmful to humans as well.

So what should you do? Although you cannot completely empty your bathroom closet of all its creams and lotions, you could try and use as little of these as possible.

Shaving gel

Certain brands have been identified to be more harmful than others. Your best bet? Stay off shaving gel or creams. Simply use an electric razor on dry skin. Nothing can be simpler or quicker.


Stay off synthetic scented products as far as possible. There's no need to opt for scented tissue paper when regular will do. Similarly, use non-scented lotions, creams, soaps and detergents. The more basic your toiletries, the better it is.


You don't really need a mouthwash if you brush regularly, do you? Don't complicate your life and possibly compromise your health. Simply brush your teeth regularly, and floss. Flossing is possibly the least harmful since it doesn't erode the enamel and removes stubborn food items stuck between your teeth. Floss daily, and use toothpaste made from natural ingredients, as far as possible. You could also consider gargling daily with warm, salty water.

Moisturisers and make-up

We've already stressed the importance of using non-scented lotion. Use as basic a lotion as possible, like Vaseline. If possible, go one step further and apply natural oil to your body after taking a bath, on your damp skin. Then, towel off. The oil locks moisture inside your skin. Certain oils are more absorbent than others. Even simple safflower or coconut oils are great for your skin. You could continue with your regular, non-scented moisturizer and under-eye creams, or you could consider natural options such as curd, malai, haldi and honey for your face. Drink lots of water to moisturize your skin from the inside. Wear make-up only when out of the house, and wash off as soon as you return.

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