Makeup enhances your natural beauty and can elevate your self-esteem and confidence. When you look better, you feel better most of the time. The cosmetics industry has remained a booming business throughout the ages and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, there are more beauty products on the market today than ever before, and online shopping has opened the doors for new brands to make themselves known.
Here are some things you may not already know about the cosmetics industry. Basically, it all comes down to buyer beware.
- Where It All Began
The cosmetics industry began in ancient Egypt, although the business as we know it today started in the 1920s. Egyptians considered daily regimes of cosmetic products as ceremonial and symbolic of their health. Their use of sunscreen and eyeshadow was esteemed across social classes and didn’t discriminate against gender.
Ancient Egyptians, like Cleopatra, valued cleanliness and appearance, and this became a symbol of luxury and power. Some claim Cleopatra soaked her ship’s sails in her perfume to announce her arrival. Egyptians began using breath mints, toothpaste, personal hygiene forms and makeup to improve their appearance.
Ancient Roman women began using belladonna, a toxic poison, for cosmetic purposes. These women put drops of belladonna in their eyes to dilate their pupils to make them appear larger and more appealing.
- Packaging of Products
Some cosmetic conglomerates prey on people’s insecurities and falsely claim what their ingredients can do. Most consumers are willing to pay top dollar for the best products to put on their skin to make them look and feel young. Does that make it OK for the beauty industry to target customers with their propaganda? How do you differentiate what is true from false?
Luxury brands are often seen as the better option. A higher price tag and a more prominent name means cleaner ingredients and better products, right? That assumption is plagued by marketing techniques that are not always correct.
Many affordable drugstore beauty products are equally as effective as their expensive counterparts. All it takes is a little research to find items that will suit your needs.
Most manufacturing of personal care products happens in warehouses and factories with quality packaging. Some brands have independent product formulas, so others cannot match them. Typically, one factory makes items for multiple brands.
- Play on Words
The cosmetics industry uses greenwashing marketing terms that are vague for ulterior motives. Every business aims to make a profit. However, some companies seek to make a quick buck from your naivety in believing their hype.
Hypoallergenic and organic are not all-encompassing — there are so many chemicals in beauty products. Unscented isn’t the same thing as fragrance-free. The industry uses fragrances to cover up the smell of chemicals in its products, so unless the label clearly states the product is free of scent, it is most likely not.
Cosmetics companies can claim products are dermatologist-approved without any legal backing. These businesses could involve one dermatologist in the trial or testing of a product and then make this statement. You cannot believe that a product is safe to use simply because it claims to get a doctor’s OK.
Marketing terms like nontoxic, clinically tested and natural are all part of a larger scheme to mislead consumers into buying their products. Do your due diligence and read labels thoroughly to know what you purchase. Don’t buy into the hype simply because of the claims. You might be surprised what you can find in some beauty products that are supposed to be safe and cruelty-free.
- Anti-Aging Products
Some products can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but anti-aging merchandise cannot turn back the clock and make your skin appear younger than it is. If they had this capability, they would need drug classification and a stamp of approval from the FDA.
Companies that market and sell products claiming to reverse or prevent aging are unrealistic. These items cannot change the structure of your skin. There isn’t sufficient evidence to back any of these claims.
There are so many product ingredients that it can be overwhelming and challenging to find what works best for you. Various skin types react to chemicals differently. Your best bet would be to check with your dermatologist to see what they can recommend for you.
Sunscreen is the best preventive measure you can use to protect your skin from the effects of aging. It has anti-aging properties that are essential for your skin, regardless of how old you are. Damage from the sun can accelerate skin damage.
Anti-aging products are typically targeted at older generations who should have been using them for years already to experience any effects or see any benefits.
- FDA-Approved Items
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates beauty products through the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). However, the FDA doesn’t have to approve cosmetics that don’t have color additives before they are put on the market.
Most beauty products are not FDA-approved and contain many harmful chemicals that you slather onto your skin, falsely thinking they’re safe. On the contrary, some European countries ban cosmetic companies from using over 1,000 toxic chemicals in their products.
It’s a shame that the U.S. doesn’t have the same regard for prioritizing what people use on their skin. It has to approve the food we consume, so why are skin products any different?
It doesn’t quite add up, but it is a leading reason why the cosmetic industry can use greenwashing marketing terms so freely. The ingredient labels on your beauty products are of utmost importance, and you should thoroughly read them before you purchase and use them.
On average, people apply hundreds of chemicals to their bodies daily. From shampoo to makeup to deodorant, they use many harmful things with no repercussions for the industry supplying them. Since these products don’t have to be approved by the FDA, there is no standard for holding companies accountable.