“That’s one of the things I love about makeup. You can change your whole attitude by just doing your eyeliner or lipstick differently.” These are the words spoken by the famous American singer-songwriter Beyonce. No other artists have quite dedicated themselves to their own evolution in their career, their art, their performances, their community and their own personal style. Being an actress too, there is an unspoken compulsion to constantly look good and at this moment, beauty products work the best, quick and easy for the American singer too.
Evolution of Beauty Products
Beauty products have been playing a significant role through, civilizations though not always known to today’s advanced products, the purpose being in religious rituals, to magnify the beauty and promote good health. Cosmetics usage throughout history was for civilizations practical concerns, such as protection from the sun, an indication of class or conventions of beauty.
It all started in 10,000 BCE where beauty products were used for health and hygiene purposes in Egypt. Men and women used scented oils and ointments to clean and soften their skin and mask body odour and creams for sun protection. Lavender, lily, peppermint, aloe vera and rose were aimed to use for rituals. The application of lead and copper enhanced their colour and complexion. Kohl had its importance too. In 3000 BCE, the Chinese painted their nails to differentiate between the social classes utilizing bee wax, gum and egg.
In 1000 BCE, people got more and more conscious which made the Grecians whiten their complexion with white chalk. Coming to Common Era, it continued with Romans applying Barley flour and butter on their pimples, mud baths came into existence and the men dyed their hair blonde. Cosmetics in Middle Ages were when fragrances were exported to the Middle East through Europe.
Italy and France were the main cosmetic centres in 1400-1500 CE. Zinc oxide replaced the previous combination of lead and copper for facial purposes in the 1800s. It is in 1900 CE, that beauty product gained popularity, though not completely. A lot of importance was given to the fresh faces among the middle-aged women with the fact that the beauty parlours were entered from behind doors so that it was hidden from the society.
Research in Beauty Products
A lot of significant and recent research has shown that beauty products have affected consumers psychologically, physiologically and environmentally today. Beauty products are promoted through a lot of advertisements and hoardings, a tool to reach a large number of masses, especially if the images are creative enough to spark media attention.
Such images are further enhanced through Photoshop. What is Photoshop? Photoshop is a popular image changing software package that can alter or manipulate real images into unrealistic ones, indirectly affecting one’s self-confidence, self-esteem and leading to racing thoughts even in young children.
Advertisements are enhanced further with Brand Ambassadors, which provide the human aspect of marketing. The fact is we do not know how many of these brand ambassadors in actual use the products that they are promoting and are honest enough expressing their views. Their job is to turn people who are looking at your brand into customers even with fictitious statements.
How women are constantly reminded ‘what is beautiful’
Women are constantly being reminded of what is considered beautiful. Hundreds of beauty products rather the ‘MIRACLE PRODUCTS’ through these advertisements have a dramatic effect forcing the buyers to experiment on themselves to increase their attractiveness. Advertisements have built up impossible standards, which led to a feeling of inadequacy.
Cosmetic surgeries have augmented since 2007, but beauty products are the quickest and the easiest methods compared to such drastic measures of surgeries. They help in overcoming blemishes, smoothen the texture of the face, enhance eye colour and brighten up the features leading to more prestigious jobs and greater potential.
How beauty can be conscious and cruelty-free
Times have evolved so has the thinking of the people. Products should be produced not only with the attributes of taking care of our looks but taking precautions to avoid facial tremors and muscle paralysis. This can be taken care of by using natural ingredients and chemical-free. Including natural cosmetics becomes a part of core values and commitment not only to our well-being but to protecting the environment and biodiversity as well.
Conventional products are petroleum-based products that require considerable mining of petroleum, aluminium or lead which is a threat to soil and indirectly wild habitat in contrast to today’s organic farming and biodynamic agriculture.
Most of the companies prefer cultivating plants in their pre-owned land, coming mostly from the cultivation of plants and flowers protecting the biodiversity of wild habitat. This aids in protecting the plant species too. In addition, there is a post-consumer phase influencing the environment too. Many cosmetic products and personal care contain micro-beads, small non-biodegradable solid plastics particles that are exposed to the sea and lakes endangering the sea creatures. They would be added to a range of products since they are relatively cheap ingredients and help in increasing the shelf-life. They have a damaging effect on marine life, the environment and human health too.
Beauty brands that are good for our environment
Today we have a mindset to be conscious buyers while buying products. Besides every buying decision has the power to change the world a little.
Indian brands such as Soultree and Mamaearth are getting popular among the masses. They form less lather and have a different kind of fragrance; toxic-free products make a difference in the quality of our hair and skin.
A much-needed initiative by taking a small step such as Mamaearth making toxin-free natural products with a philosophy of animal cruelty-free products and plastic positivity has initiated the process of planting with the order of each customer on the website. It is Asia’s first MadeSafe certified brand planting 115,313 trees, hope to plant many more with our sensible choices and support.
Natural skincare products are better for the environment as they are grown without any pesticides and fertilizers. We should switch to products in recycled, recyclable and reusable packing. We could consider refillable options. We should also opt for products that aren’t tested on animals.
Contributor: Vinisha Sidhwani
About our Writing Program Student
Lover of Spanish Idioma, agradable (pleasant) and genial (funny). A homemaker who watching her 6th grader daughter learning a new language in school decided to pursue becoming a Spanish teacher. Cooking, listening to music and painting is her passion. “Quiero escrbir en español una autobiografía basada en la vida de una persona que creyó en mí y me ayudó a seguir mí pasión” ( I have a dream. Wish to write an autobiography based on the life of a person who believed in me and helped me follow my dreams.)