Cruelty-free Beauty

DSC_0653I feel that it is so incredibly essential to know where we put our money, and what exactly we are getting. When it comes to food, I think that it is so unnatural to buy something with a label that contains no word you can pronounce. You don’t actually know what it is, you don’t actually know how it’s made, where it’s extracted, where it comes from, and at the end, you put it in your body? Or some people automatically think that if it’s sold in stores, then it is safe and approved to be consumed so there’s nothing to worry about. It is up to you whether you buy these items or not, but I feel like it is your right and your responsibility to know exactly what is going in what you are buying. Sometimes when I go out for a quick snack to eat from a food place, I ask the workers for the ingredients inside their recipes, and they end up panicking asking each other for help because they don’t know what to tell me. They end up asking me if I’m allergic to anything, and I say “no, I just want to know the ingredients, I want to know what I’m buying”. They get surpised by my enquiry and I get surpised because by law, they have to know what they’re selling, they have to have a list of ingredients, and the customer should very easily attain them. I get surpised that this happens in a highly developed country, that customers cannot easily attain an ingredients list, let alone know what they’re buying.

That was a bit off topic from the heading of this post, but I want more people to take responsibility for where they are putting their money. I am very interested in beauty and definitely plan to develop the beauty section on this blog because it’s such a big part of my life and I’m very passionate about it. Because I usually turn to natural products, as part of my hair and body routine, that aspect is cruelty-free. However, in terms of make-up, I stayed away from two companies as I was aware they do animal testing, and I blindly thought that all other companies are okay. But after doing further research, I was surpised by the number of companies or parent companies that actually do animal testing and I feel that is is completely my responsibility to know exactly what I am buying, and what processes are done in creating these products, because I know I cannot physically fund animal testing, giving a company more money in order to carry out what they’re doing. Also, I learned that any company sold in China has to carry out animal testing since it’s required by law there. It just doesn’t make sense to me how some companies can make amazing products and be so successful and not carry out this crime. Just so we can look good. So, any further beauty or make-up products I may mention on this blog I will make sure it is cruelty free, and if you do not think it is, please let me know. It’s amazing how all these top multi-national corporations just abuse cheap labour, cheap land, and using all their resources to extreme utilitarian measures due to greed, possibly paying much cheaper tax, or even no tax at all. With all the crimes they’re committing, they still give you pretty advertisements, with the top celebrities using their products, and the amazing results you’re going to get, and it’s all just a lie. How much are you really chained to the lie? To the world? To the trends? Like it or not, to some extent you are, even subconsciously. I believe that it’s true freedom to be cut from all that.

Another thing I wanted to say, is that mainstream, commercial shampoo contains sulphates to strip the natural oils in your hair and dry it out. You are told the directions, you are told what to do “use this shampoo and follow with the conditioner for amazing silky hair, then use this moisturiser to seal in the hydration” and then people eventually start noticing their hair falling out, the health of their hair declining. So instead, they reach for natural sulphate -free alternatives, but not only that, but paraban-free and possibly mineral-oil free, because they find out that these chemicals are bad. Then those big multi-nationals start coming out with new products that are actually sulphate-free. It’s just ironic how they try to reverse the years of damage that they caused, to still try and get money off you. They obviously know that sulphates are bad for your hair prior to the studies or the media highlighting it. They know how bad and harmful the chemicals they put in the products can be. But they put it for maximum profit. For instant results, just like you see in that advertisement. What’s funny is, you don’t actually need sulphates to wash your hair, but it strips the oils in your hair purposely so you use conditioner, and thus giving more money and feeding that pattern of consumerism. There’s probably another chemical in their shampoo that’s harmful, and in a few years, it’s officially discovered that it’s harmful (even though they already know) then they release products without it, continuously getting money off you.

I just feel like it’s so important to be aware of these things. Not just with food, beauty products, but also the way the media one year claims that one year, fats are bad, and the next year, carbohydrates are bad. Directly having an impact on your diet. One year, it’s good to be skinny, and the next year, it’s good to have curly hair, and the next year it’s good to wear patterened trousers. Again, it’s all consumerism, but I feel like maybe people want to follow these trends because they subconsciously don’t want to “miss out”, they don’t want to feel like they’re missing out on something, the joys of something that they’re constantly surrounded with or budged into their eyes. But that also doesn’t go for trends, but it goes for life. You shouldn’t feel like you need to do something, you shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything, to “fit in” especially if you don’t know the purpose that you are doing it for. You don’t know what you are getting, you don’t know what you are buying from that possible invested time, energy,  money, that you are putting into something. Just like how you check the ingredients list make sure you know what’s in a product because it’s your responsibility to care for yourself and know what you’re actually paying for. So we need to research and educate ourselves about what is in the actual products we are buying, or ideas we are buying or a lifestyle we are following. So, when you come to do something, possibly due to peer-pressure (from any direction), or anything, make sure you know exactly what you are going to get out of it. Don’t follow blindly. You are a free human being and there’s no need to tie yourself down.

 

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What are you really putting on your skin?

1374It is important to realise what ingredients are contained in the cosmetics we use everyday. People usually assume that if a product is on sale at a supermarket or a drug store, it must be safe. However,  The Food and Drug Administration agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. Also, products labelled as “hypoallergenic” or “Natural”, can “mean anything or nothing at all,” according to the FDA.

I would recommend to visit www.ewg.org/skindeep/ which is the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database. You can search thousands of products to see how safe/dangerous they are from a rating of 1-10 and to also see what effects they have on the human body. If a product you are looking for is unavailable, you can simply ‘Build Your Own Report’ on the top left hand side of the screen. On the website you can also find a user’s guide, myths on cosmetic safety and shopping tips.

Some people would think that a lot of things we consume like over-processed foods or things we do in our everyday lives such as spending hours on mobile phones can cause harm, so why should we care about the cosmetics we use? Firstly, what goes onto your skin enters your body, just like what you put in your mouth enters your body and sources say that our skin absorbs 60% of the products we use. Secondly, further research into the topic of what are the actual ingredients involved will surprise you. Here are just some:

  • Placenta: Human and animal placenta help to condition hair and skin
  • Crushed Beetles: Used commonly in red lipstick and blusher. According to The New York Times, when they are full of cactus juice, the insects are boiled, dried out and crushed.
  • Infant foreskin: Full of antioxidants, natural growth factors and proteins, it is often used in anti-ageing products.
  • Whale vomit:  Often used in perfumes, and apparently present in Chanel perfumes
  • Dynamite is found in exfoliators, natural toothpastes, deodorants and powders
  • Bull semen is used in some European salons to condition hair
  • Rust:  Used for the colour pink in make-up
  • Wool wax: Produces lanolin which provides protection against chapped skin, and provides moisture
  • Fish scales: Gives shimmer and sheen to the product.
  • Chicken bone-marrow: Used in moisturisers for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Decaying animal fat by boiling animal carcasses to help in the production of  lipsticks, eye shadows and soaps.

It’s not just the ingredients that are used in products, it’s the lack of information contained on the label. I want to know what is in my products, choosing to use it or not is another choice.

Sources and useful websites: 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/13-surprising-and-gross-cosmetic-ingredients

http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/gross-ingredients-in-beauty-products

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4188/Chemicals-in-Your-Beauty-Products-Infographic.html