A brief exposure of the beauty industry

Some facts

  • Magazine models have a detrimental effect on women’s self esteem and body image (2)  leading us to believe that work on our beauty is a work in progress, never complete.


  • These insecurities lead to British women spending £300 billion a year on cosmetics and over a lifetime spending £40,000 on their hair and £100,000 on cosmetics (1).
  • Not only are these products burning a hole in our pockets, they aren’t that great for our bodies either. Some of the chemicals used are carcinogenic and cause reproductive and kidney damage. It is not uncommon for traces of mercury, flame retardants, triclosan and lead to be found in our bodies from products like these. Even babies are being born with traces of these chemicals because of our consumption (4).


  • Many ‘natural’ beauty products are not all that they seem….

Take for example a ‘Simple’ toner:

What it is allowed to ‘claim’ it contains:

Skin loving ingredients

What it actually contains (3):

Aqua, Sodium PCA, Allantoin, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Methylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Hamamelis Virginiana Distillate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol,Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Pantolactone, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Niacinamide

  • These chemicals were introduced in the 1950’s when the world was swept up in a ‘better living through chemistry’  mindset. These views are now totally outdated but the beauty industry doesn’t seem to be catching up quickly enough.
  • The industry is slowly realising that we want more natural products for our skin and is using marketing to mislead us in thinking that products such as below are ‘natural’. In reality they contain very few natural ingredients and still a whole load of unnatural ingredients.

* If you have to check a label, be sure the product is not ‘natural’

Did you know:

  • Beauty products need to contain 1% of organic material to be labelled as organic. ‘Herbal’ and ‘Natural’ labels have no legal definition and can therefore be misused.
  • The FDA doesn’t access the safety of personal care products or their ingredients (4). This means we do not know the long term affects of using them.
  • The beauty industry set up its own committee to self police their products. But compliance  by manufacturers is voluntary (4).
The fox guarding the hen house


The message sent by these big beauty companies through marketing and the ingredients they use are toxic to both our bodies and minds.

More and more people are looking towards a healthier, purer way to live by buying from independent sellers and smaller shops that only use pure natural ingredients. Alternatively you can do your own research, find some recipes you like and have a go yourself for a fraction of the price! It’s easy and fun. See here for some simple recipes using only 3 kitchen ingredients!

Untitled 9Note: if you really cannot go without shop-bought products, at least take a look at these lists to make sure your products aren’t tested on animals:







1: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/news/the-staggering-average-lifetime-spend-on-cosmetics-and-grooming-revealed-9709654.html

2. http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~jpiliavi/357/body-image.htm

3.  http://www.simpleskincare.com/our-products/product/soothing-facial-toner.html

4. http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-cosmetics/

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