In our modern world, ‘being beautiful’ or rather, being perceived as beautiful by yourself and others comes at a cost. Apart from the monetary value (which we justify as ‘treating ourselves’ is important), there are other costs involved – a price that can be measured by reviewing the effects of these beauty products on our health and on our environment.
It isn’t a novel idea that what you use goes back into the environment. Although, truly beautiful must have been the days when we used the magic of pure nature to groom, heal, and sustain ourselves and the environment.
Fast forward a millennia, civilisation has progressed with its inevitable share of lab processes and fast-moving consumer goods that care little for us and even less for the environment. So the question to ask here would be – do we really need all that we use, and are these beauty products beautiful on the inside?
Here’s a breakdown of some beauty products we have learned to love, which, unfortunately, fail to love us back.
1. Something smells fishy
Ever wondered how the perfumes, scented body lotions, and scented soaps you use get their fragrance? If you haven’t, you might need to, because of the many concerns these fragrances have with regard to our health – including irritant dermatitis, phototoxicity, and photoallergy.
A total of 1,242 fragrance ingredients such as styrene, ethylene glycol, zinc oxide, hydrotreated heavy naphtha (petroleum), and more are included in one or more authoritative lists of chemicals of HIGH concern on our health, as well as the environments. Which is why we come across the ubiquitous warning signs on our skin products – ‘to visit a dermatologist if irritation persists’.
The fact is that most of the chemicals used to create the scent aren’t even listed in the ingredients section to hide their ill effects on our skin and health, according to a study carried out by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials Expert Panel (REXPAN).
If the movie Perfume, along with the above study, doesn’t make you averse to the idea of using beautifully fragrant skin products when you go for a party, we have another compelling case for you.
An experiment conducted by a Swiss zoologist, Claud Wedekind, proves that pheromones (chemical secretion by animals and in this instance, your body odour) might play a huge role in the workings of physical attraction between two people. You know how we feel an instant connection with someone we see across the room? Our eyes meet, and we somehow feelhe or she is the one. This experiment suggests that we smelt it rather than felt it!
So don’t sweat it, when it comes to your sweat. Some people won’t like it, but on the other hand, the right mate will come sniffing along. Wear your own personal UNIQUE brand of fragrance wherever you go. But don’t forget to take a bath!
2. “Stay natural y’all!” says the mirror on the wall
There is alarmingly increasing evidence that points to the health risks of being exposed to some of the harmful chemicals used in cosmetics, apart from the dreadful practice of animal testing that most companies undertake. No wonder we end up getting acne and rash from a night of wearing makeup. This ultimately leads to more frequent use to hide the problems that cosmetics caused in the first place.
“There are industry trade secrets and formulations that for industry reasons are kept from the consumer,” says Elizabeth Sword, Executive Director of the non-profit Children’s Health Environmental Coalition. “This prevents the consumer from making fully informed decisions.”
Now that we do have research on our hands, thanks to organisations working hard to inform us, what’s stopping us from putting these toxic beauty products away? Take inspiration from the no make-up trend that’s gaining popularity, and look beyond the image of beauty that is advertised to you.
And we want to tell you, you’re beautiful, flaws and all! Flowers bloom from within, and so do we. Develop beauty and confidence from within, and no makeup brand can ever tell you that you need their product to feel validated.
Ultimately, the choice is yours, and we know you’ll make a good one. We wish for you to indulge in self-care that actually cares for you and leaves you feeling rejuvenated and happy!