Last Friday I attended the launch of a new range of hair-care products by Garnier. It’s a range of 5 gorgeous, paraben-free blends…each blended with combinations of natural ingredients, both Indian and International.
To begin with… The 5 variants of Garnier Ultra Blends are “Royal Jelly & Lavender”, “Henna & Blackberry”, “Mythic Olive”, “Soy Milk & Almond” and “5 precious herbs – Lemon, henna, aloe, green tea and Eucalyptus.” Given that the entire beauty industry is soon realizing the rising consumer concern and need for ‘wellness’ over ‘cosmetics’, this range has been crafted by Garnier as a strategic move to enter into the wellness market with their purpose of ‘healthy beauty’, and will be one of the first brands in India to launch a mass market range of ‘paraben-free’ shampoos and conditioners.
Interestingly, the ‘Henna & Blackberry’ and the ‘soy milk and almond’ have specifically been created for the Indian market, given the Indian traditional belief in Henna and Almond for hair care.
My favorite however, is the Royal Jelly & Lavender. Why? Firstly, I simply love the idea of Royal Jelly. Royal jelly is a jelly-like secretion created by bees while making honey. Royal jelly is the first food that is fed to bee larve for the first 2-3 days of their life… and those baby bees which are continued to be fed royal jelly, end up becoming the ‘Queen Bees’! So cool, isn’t it! In fact, the Queen Bee only consumes royal jelly all her life… and hence, the name! And while the ingredient story is super-interesting, Royal Jelly is also packed with nutrients, and its benefits for hair care are even better!
‘The biotin in royal jelly helps produce keratin, the building block of hair and nails. Folic acid promotes healthy cell growth and skin regeneration, and with that comes hair regeneration or hair re-growth. Inositol is another vitamin considered vital for hair growth. Deficiencies in these three vitamins have been known to cause hair loss. Royal jelly is rich in all three, helping not only to grow hair but to prevent you from losing what you do have.’ (found this on http://www.superfoods.gr/holistic_life_en/2013/12/02/what-effect-does-royal-jelly-have-on-hair-growth/)
And while Royal jelly is all nutrition, lavender gives it that beautiful fragrance which leaves the bathroom feeling like a spa after you’ve washed your hair. (I actually found Mr.Wolf, who literally hates almost 99% perfumes in the market, tuck his nose into my hair saying “is that a new perfume? It’s awesome” lol!)
That aside, lavender oil also conditions the hair, keeping them shiny and dandruff-free.
Now let’s come to ‘Paraben-free’. It’s interesting to see how everyone gets excited by the products being ‘paraben-free’… most of us, without even knowing what parabens are or what they do! I too, got damn excited… yay! Chemical free… paraben-free.. woohoo! Until it suddenly struck me, do I even really know why parabens are bad?
So I did some amount of research… went back and checked up all the Backs-of-Packs of my favorite cosmetics… and realized that most of the body lotions, moisturizers, shampoos and sunscreens that are below a certain price range have parabens! The only few that don’t contain parabens are my moisturizers from Kiehl’s, Clinique and other brands of that stature!
So what are these parabens that have been in all our personal care products for so many years? They’re basically anti-fungal preservatives that help increase the shelf-life of our cosmetics, making sure they don’t get spoilt or develop moulds in them! Parabens are cheaper compared to other, more natural, alternatives and hence, most mass market brands tend to rely on them in order to keep the products effective and the cost low. Hence, it’s interesting that Garnier has, through ultra blends, managed to buck the trend and go into the market with a pocket-friendly, paraben free range!
Now there are several reports suggesting that parabens can be absorbed through the skin and can cause various health-issues including breast cancer. The media has obviously been going chaotic over the ill-effects of parabens. However, (as is the case with everything in this digital age) there are just as many counter- reports and articles saying that parabens, in the miniscule quantity used in cosmetics, are actually not harmful.
Now I really don’t know what’s true and what isn’t, (google can really confuse the daylights out of you at times), but given that there’s so much talk around the topic, there’s obviously a doubt that’s been seeded into our minds! And where there’s a doubt, there will be that slight bit of fear.
Hence, I have a sneaky feeling that much of the ‘paraben-free’ product innovations in cosmetics are actually more a result of consumer demand due to that fear, rather than actual ill-effects of paraben. But sub-counsciously, as a consumer, yes… I do feel nice using something that we consider ‘chemical free’ and ‘safe’. (Stupid and superficial maybe, but I did chuck away my Catwalk TIGI shampoo bottle coz I read methylparaben and butylparaben behind it after this Ultra Blends launch… :(…)
But then honestly, isn’t the whole beauty and cosmetics industry based on superficially pleasing that subconscious self… and don’t we all give in, in spite of ‘knowing it all’!? Think about it…. & do share your thoughts with me … 🙂
To conclude though… I really do think it’s a great range of products by Garnier… I’m quite lazy to actually be using natural stuff to cleanse my hair, and hence I loved the fact that this range has so many natural ingredients… it makes me feel less guilty 😉 And then reading a few lesser chemical formulae on the BOP, does make you feel somewhat nice as well 🙂
Hope you liked the post and the pics of the lovely displays at the launch event in Mumbai. Do try out Garnier Ultra Blends and let me know which one your favorite is!! 🙂
My own customized bottle of ‘Royal Jelly & Lavender’! 😀
Royal Jelly & Lavender
Henna & Blackberry!
5 Prescious Herbs – Lemon, Henna, Eucalyptus, aloe and green tea!
Soy milk and Almonds!
The insides of the Bottle… 😉