(Suvee Ranasignhe/The Foothill Dragon Press)
Downtown Magnets High School

Opinion: Let’s ‘make-up’ society — The harmful effects of the beauty industry

“If tomorrow women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business,” Dr. Gail Dines once said. I still remember reading this quote and thinking of all the celebrities people look up to.

There are fans who want to look like those influencers or celebrities (i.e. Kylie Jenner) and instead of loving their bare face, they try spending their money to look like someone they’re not. Some people could spend thousands of dollars on makeup but most people do not have that amount of money. Starters might have the impulse to buy the first cheapest or good looking thing they find without knowing much about the product. 

The beauty industries include businesses made to make people look their “best” and profit from that. Segments of these include makeup. Luxuries companies use advertisers like the label, packaging, and fragrance.

With these advertisers, harmful or not, they are able to double or triple the prices of their makeup products, according to a Money Crashers article. Because it is a business there is lots of competition for who has the best selling products. The beauty industry has made around $50 billion dollars from just cosmetics as of 2019, according to Statista

People who want to try out new makeup should stop buying products just because the company is famous. Rather, they should look up reviews or comments on what experts/testers have to say about the product you’re interested with. Most of the cosmetic products sold to women these days are not regulated by the FDA and can cause hazards in the long run for lots of women.

These products constantly result in women experiencing negative mental health issues. Some people might be unbothered by the production of makeup because it is one of the highest economic boosters in the world however even with so much money, lots of companies provide low quality products that can pollute our environment for hundreds of years to come. 

In conclusion, women should be more careful on their face about which product they decide to use so that it doesn’t affect them and the environment in the long run. 

Most of the cosmetic products sold to women these days are not regulated by the FDA and can cause hazards in the long run for lots of women. In order for some cosmetics to have more pigmentation, that it lasts long, or that it’s cheaper to make, some companies use chemicals that are harmful not immediately but after a long time (of a few weeks) of usage.

Also, it doesn’t matter how long you use it for but the amount you use.

An article on nonprofit Green America‘s site reads, “Two of the most toxic phthalates, DBP and DEHP, have been banned from cosmetics products sold in the European Union (EU) but remain unregulated in the US, although California has identified DEHP as a potential carcinogen.”

Even though the United States profits billions out of makeup, it’s always been taught to kids that safety is the number one rule, so why not use it on your citizens? Some products still contain harmful chemicals.

An article on nonprofit Green America‘s site reads “Without government surveys into chemical use in cosmetics, recent data is scarce, but [Environmental Working Group] found that Black women may be particularly at risk, with a 2016 analysis showing that less than 25% of products marketed for Black women have low levels of potentially hazardous chemicals.”

Makeup also can result in worsening people’s mental health issues. People expect too much of themselves, imagining themselves with features that are not part of their genetics. Now makeup seems to be the key of “confidence” in our society.

A 2012 study done in University of New Hampshire showed that women feel more attractive with makeup than without.

Many people feel that it’s a necessity to wear makeup at work as if their face is informal and unattractive. It’s as if every day we’re expected to have perfect red lips and colorful eyes.

The UNH study shows that women who wear makeup in six different situations most choose what they wear most likely or somewhat likely for work. As if work isn’t stressing enough people have to worry about what they look like or what to put on their faces in order to “fit in” or “look attractive” to society.

Work should make you feel confident, even if you’re a model, you shouldn’t feel down by what people say and rush to the store to buy new makeup products, makeup doesn’t define who you are it’s just a temporary mirage of yourself. 

Some people might be unbothered by the production of makeup because it is one of the highest economic boosters in the world. 

According to Statista, “the U.S. prestige beauty industry reached 18.8 billion U.S. dollars in sales in 2018 and 2019. As of 2020, it decreased to 16.1 billion U.S. dollars.”

More money for the U.S. means more jobs and more demands for makeup. Some people create new trends so the average person spends more money trying to reach the “popular” or “trendy” level of society but what has that done toward our environment?

The 2018 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report stated that nearly 6 billion peoples will suffer from clean water scarcity by 2050.

We are living in a risk of not having pure drinking water in just a few decades, so shouldn’t we take measures to solve this problem in every way? With so much money, shouldn’t make up companies create more sustainable products and packaging?

That’s not the case in our current world. A common ingredient in makeup products, titanium dioxide, can be found “in skin tints, mineral-based makeups and a wide range of other cosmetic products like sunscreens,” according to the Huffington Post. “Experiments have shown that in some shower gels, there is actually as much microbead plastic in the gel as there is plastic in the bottle container.”

This shows that even with so much money, many companies use cheap plastic containers that can be thrown into the ocean and pollute it for hundreds of years. People need to think of the type of packaging that they’re buying and what sort of materials are used to create the cosmetics they use daily.

Thus, lots of the make up people put on their face to look good on social media, at work, school, etc. could eventually kill marine life, wildlife, and even your relatives. 

In conclusion, most of the cosmetic products sold to women these days are not regulated by the FDA and can cause hazards in the long run for lots of women,  make up constantly gives women negative mental health issues, and lots of companies provide low quality products that can pollute our environment for hundreds of years to come which is why people should research make up product before buying them.

That is, if they want to continue relying on society’s opinion. If you’re one of the people who don’t use makeup for their own curiosity but rather to put up with criticism of society, there best solution is to think for yourself and learn to love what society calls “ugly” or what others think should be “insecurities” like dark spots under the eyes from low sleep or short eyelashes because they are on your genes.

Accepting yourself and building a better future can help increase your self worth, happiness, and the life of mother nature. If you’re just starting to wear make up for fun, it’s best for everyone to educate yourself about the products out there. This way we will live in a safe environment in the future, and who knows, you might even discover your favorite cosmetics online!