When we buy beauty products we rarely think about what is truly locked up in those pretty packages.
We read the labels and see words like: anti–wrinkle, hypoallergenic, shiny, beauty, smooth and glossy among other optimistic adjectives that lead us to believe that those products are truly going to do miracles on our exteriors.
We stock our bathroom cabinets with these “BEAUTY” products and use them everyday on our hair, skin, nails, and pretty much every inch of the exterior of our body.
Beauty products have existed since the beginning of human kind (in varying forms of course). The difference between our beauty products and those of people like the ancient Egyptians is that we pay a very high price for ours. That price is not paid for with our money but with a series of side effects and collateral damages that show the dark side of many beauty products, turning them into ugly purchases we still proudly wear.
You will be blown out when you read this, and not in a Brazilian way.
You probably didn’t know this but multiple beauty products have been linked to cancer.
As mentioned on the Breast Cancer Fund website, Dioxane is a petroleum-derived contaminant commonly found in shampoos, body wash, children’s bath products and other sudsing cosmetics. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has identified it as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.
Triclosan, a chemical found in deodorants, toothpaste and soaps known to affect the body’s hormonal system. Parabens, are also popular in many products, a compound commonly used in deodorants, ointments and lotions. These ingredients have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.
If you want to make sure your beauty products are safe to use you can find great quality products, certified by the USDA National Organic Program. These are free of those cancer-causing agents.
14 Animal Cruelty
Animals are considered collateral damage to the beauty industry. Monkeys, dogs, cats, and rabbits among other friendly animals are used for testing the ingredients of our beauty products.
More than 100 million animals are cruelly tortured and killed in the process of researching chemicals for beauty products.
Animal testing is not only cruel but also inefficient since animal biology is very different to human biology. Just because it’s safe for a monkey doesn’t mean it’s safe for a person.
If you want to make kinder purchases make sure your products have NOT been tested on animals, some companies will mislead you and post “This finish product was not tested on animals”. This means that the finished product wasn’t but the ingredients were.
When reading the labels make sure to look for the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) logo. PETA makes sure - before handing out the use of their logo, that the company didn’t use animal testing in the process of the product.
13 They Don’t Work As They Claim They Do.
You’re not alone when falling under the vicious claws of marketing. We’ve all seen countless beauty products that promise to turn back the clock and achieve the same effect of chemical injections like Botox.
We bought them, used them and then we looked in the mirror only to realize they didn’t have the same effect on us like they did on the model from the ad.
No! It’s not you. It’s the cream!
Those anti-wrinkle creams that promise to give you a plastic surgery effect but surgery free that will make you look 20 years younger are not real.
"The bottom line is that if these creams could accomplish the same thing as a medical procedure, they would be drugs and not cosmetics -- and that's what you have to keep in mind when deciding whether to try or buy," says Marsha Gordon, MD, vice chairman of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
12 They Lower Our Self-Esteem
Unlike other industries in the market that take advantage of our positive feelings to sell us something, the beauty industry takes advantage of low self esteem.
They rely on women’s low self-esteem to use it as a hook to sell their products. Thoughts like “if I buy this I’ll be more beautiful” are what they are aiming for.
Of course everything is perfectly air-brushed and Photoshopped to make an already beautiful woman into an impossible representation of beauty, one that women around the world look up to.
If it weren’t for beauty products that are constantly telling us that the wrinkles on our face are ugly, we probably wouldn’t see them as ugly. When we buy a beauty product, it’s not because we feel amazing, but because we want to feel amazing.
We need to remind ourselves that feeling beautiful comes from the inside and that there’s no beauty product that can give it to us.
11 Negative Environmental Impact
Effects on the environment when buying shampoo or nail polish is not something that jumps into our minds when shopping. However, every single thing you buy has an impact on our environment in different ways. From the packaging, to the ingredients, beauty products affect our environment in more ways than we can imagine.
The chemicals in them don’t just wash down our sinks, they also remain in the rivers, lakes and even the oceans. These are harsh chemicals like Phthalates, and these forms of chemicals are not commonly labeled on beauty products even though they are abundant in hair sprays, nail polishes and perfumes.
The effect is not only the pollution of streams but also the negative effects that they have on wild life, and therefore are detrimental to the natural ecosystems in which we are a part of.
However, not everything is lost. You hold the power of making environmentally friendly purchases. ORGANIC! If there’s any ingredients you can’t pronounce drop it and walk away! Know what’s in your products.
10 They Promote a Negative Image of Women
If you ask a young girl “what is a beautiful woman supposed to look like?” she’ll probably describe a model from an ad. Thick lips, white skin, blue eyes, long eye lashes, clear youthful skin and of course, no cellulite! COME ON!!!!
Our perception of beauty and what a woman is supposed to represent has been sharply molded by marketing strategists (which is dominated by a male majority) that work for large corporations.
Unfortunately for us REAL women, this image is impossible to live up to, mostly because it’s not even real.
If this were not enough, it is the beauty industry that also promotes a weak image of women. Giving out the message that we are delicate, weak beings that require extensive and expensive grooming in order to live up to an unrealistic perception of perfection.
9 They’re Very Expensive
You probably know that those pretty jars of “bottled youth” don’t come cheap. But have you actually thought about how much you spend on beauty products?
U.S. women spend around 27 billion dollars on cosmetics each year. The average British woman will spend $220 thousand dollars in their lifetime on cosmetics and hair alone.
The truth of the matter is that beauty is a HUGE business, so it’s no surprise that women are encouraged to go out of their way to spend money on anything that involves physical beauty.
To every British woman out there, if you could have $220 thousand dollars in your bank account, would you spend it all on beauty products? I’m quite sure many would rather take that money and travel the world, or maybe buy a nice condo in Mexico.
8 They Destroy Your Skin (amongst other things)
Just because it’s shinny doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Even skin care products have been known to cause more problems than they fix. Not only because they don´t live up to their promises but because many ingredients in them have been known to cause allergies, infertility, migraines and behavioral problems among many other illnesses.
Makeup in particular has been known to be an abundant source of harmful chemicals and toxins that not only damage our skin but also our bodies. The long-term effect of wearing makeup is that you will need it even more to cover the damage it does to your skin.
To prevent further damage to your skin choose an aqua-based makeup. Oil-based make up can clot your pores and prevent your skin from breathing. Healthy alternatives to chemical skin care are in your kitchen cabinets like: raw honey, egg yolks or cucumber. This are great for your skin.
7 They Create an Emotional Dependency
Women have an addiction that is not commonly spoken about. No!! It’s not shoes, its makeup!
According to a study by the Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the Renfrew Center Foundation, 44% of women feel unattractive if they’re not wearing makeup.
One quarter of women interviewed for the study started wearing makeup at the tender age of 13. Makeup, as a teenager or pre-teen, is perceived as a tool that helps girls break away from childhood and into womanhood. However as the years go by the purpose of makeup shifts away from a transition period and into a security blanket, used to feed our emotional dependency for looking good.
Men on the other hand prefer women with less makeup. Dr Alex Jones, from Bangor University, a Welsh psychologist said people often misjudge what the opposite sex finds attractive and, in the majority of cases, men prefer women who wear up to 40 per cent fewer cosmetics.
6 Advertisement is Designed to Deceive Us
Marketing strategists will rely on the legal loopholes to indulge in misleading advertising. Of course, we all want hypoallergenic products, however….
There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term "hypoallergenic." The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean. Manufacturers of cosmetics who use labels such as hypoallergenic are not required to submit substantiation of their hypoallergenic claims to FDA. This is according to the FDA website. .
The same goes for the “natural” labeling. There is no specific definition to what it means “natural”. Lead or arsenic can be considered natural because they come from the earth, so even if they’re toxic, they’re still natural.
5 They Are Toxic
You know all those words you can read but not pronounce, like: Phthalates, Polychlorinated biphenyls or Methylisothiazolinone among other words I can´t even write.
Well… all these are extremely toxic chemicals found in your every day grooming routine.
Methylisothiazolinone is found in shampoo to prevent bacteria from forming and it’s also found to cause detrimental effects to your nervous system.
Phthalates are usually under the very deceiving term of “fragrance.” Phthalates are commonly found in soaps, body wash, perfumes, lotions, makeup and many other products.
Multinational corporations that have merged a large amount of brands are the main users of these toxins. They are the “popular” brands which logos and slogans we know by hard.
You want ingredients you can pronounce and I can write like: baking soda, plant extracts, sea salt or coconut oil among other healthy, non-toxic ingredients.
Run away from anything you don’t understand. You don’t need to be a chemist to understand what you read. If you do, then it means it’s not good for you.
4 They Could Finance Slavery
I know! You probably didn’t see this one coming and neither did I, but it’s true.
Mineral ingredients have been booming in beauty products, because the industry is following what their customers want: more “natural” products. So mineral ingredients like mica have been on the rise to satisfy the increasing demand for “natural” products.
These minerals that are commonly found in beauty products like makeup and lotions have been bankrolling slavery in India - one of the main producers of the mineral mica. The unregulated exportation of this mineral gives way for the rise of slavery.
You can make sure your makeup or beauty routine is slavery free by reading more about the company you’re purchasing from, make sure the package of your product has the FARETRADE Mark.
There are fantastic fair trade companies that provide great quality products. Purchasing from them will make you even more beautiful, on the inside and the outside.
3 They Promote Racism
In countries where dark skin is predominant (such as Thailand, Nigeria or India), it’s rare to find beauty products that don´t claim to have whitening agents.
Once again the idea of beauty is being represented in a stereotype that is not equal to all races of the world. Models are clearly displayed in ads with clearer skin and suggest to the consumer that having a lighter colored skin is more beautiful.
It was even reported on a story in The Guardian, saying, “The cosmetics industry has traditionally relied on convincing people that they are incomplete without a particular product. Yet, unlike makeup or fake tan, skin-whitening creams base beauty on a racial hierarchy, fuelling intolerance and causing serious social harm.”
This is where we, women, need to boycott corporations that use racism as a form of advertising. Equality needs to be present when portraying a beautiful woman and beautiful women come in all colors, nationalities and backgrounds.
2 Your Baby Hates Them
If you’re pregnant then you have an even bigger reason to read this.
Many beauty products on your daily regime may affect your unborn baby, which is why you want to avoid a few beauty products, at least for 9 months.
Teeth whitening products, nail polish, hair spray and tanning sprays are top of the list. Why? Because of Phthalates!! This ugly chemical has been widely known to cause birth defects (among many other medical issues).
Pregnant women are beautiful as they are, they really don´t need anything else to shine. So if you think that you can´t live without Phthalates then please, at least try for 9 months. Your baby is worth it.
1 The Beauty Industry Doesn’t Care About You
Bottom line, beauty is a business. The beauty industry is a $160 billion-a-year global moneymaker.
It is clearly a very lucrative business, and they didn’t get to be so rich by helping women find inner beauty and a high self-esteem otherwise they’d go out of business.
You’re probably wondering what on earth will you buy now but don’t worry, there are still a few brands on the market that (even if they make a buck) also make good quality products.
It’s just a matter of researching what you’re buying, and READING THE LABELS. Now you know “fragrance” means Phthalates and that there is no such thing as hypoallergenic.
You can also help the environment and animals by making sure your products are not tested on animals and that they’re environmentally friendly.
But above all, please remember, you don’t need most of the things you use. You are smoking hot as you are. Don’t fall for the cheap propaganda designed to make you feel ugly, because the truly beautiful fact about beauty products is that women are beautiful without them.