I know wanting to be flawlessly beautiful can be toxic sometimes, but who doesn’t want to be perfect?
Almost all forms of media are saturated by advertisements on products that promise us to have that unrealistically good looking body, blemish-free skin, beautifully flowing straight hair, and healthy/ fit bodies if we buy their products. Modeling seems to be a very good business too as TV, billboards, magazines, newspapers and even the Internet are always flooded with commercial advertisements. These ads make us realize how much we need to cope to measure up with their unrealistic standards.
Maybe it’s because of the culture: most of the people are very unforgiving and very critical about people especially social status and appearance. It shouldn’t be the case but that’s how it has always been and that’s another story. Most jobs today require one to have pleasing personality (note: pleasing personality equates to good looks). If one isn’t very presentable physically, chances are people would look down on him/her. That’s why cosmetics is an all-time good business like food. The targets once pawned are hooked and they are mostly women (why? that’s yet another story).
Liposuction, breast augmentation, facial treatments and other cosmetic procedures is a very lucrative business to mention. I don’t know if my mind will change in the future but as of now, I think it’s grossly vain to undergo so* Though, I must admit I am very tempted to imagine how it will be like if I have like this, or that, or if ever I had this altered, or that removed. Now, better than before I’ve learned to be content with just the way I am, however blemished, flawed or imperfect I may be. If I have some zits, others have cysts. Other people have cleft palate, goiter, or deformities. If I have allergies and blotches, others have tumors. See, these physical blemishes look awful but they often heal and they are neither dangerous nor fatal.
But, I also acknowledge that I too am concerned with my appearance. Not very much, but I am a little bit vain too! In fact, I have been a loyal customer to some beauty products in which I discovered recently could have potential health hazards because of some of their active ingredients. Actually most of them are categorically over-the-counter hygienic items like bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, mouth wash, conditioner. And some not very needed items like facial wash, moisturizers, body scrub, make-up, lipstick, etc.
I was surprised that some of the trusted products that I use are labeled alarmingly high hazard (7-10) and some moderate (3-6) by the researchers at the environmental working group when I searched the skin deep cosmetic database. Some of the products that I used before that when I searched gave positive results meaning high and moderate hazard score were:
- Nivea (lotions, moisturizers, deodorants, sunblock)
- Unilever’s Pond’s (facial wash, scrub and cream)
- St. Ives (body scrub and cleanser)
- Unilever’s Suave (shampoo and conditioner)
- Unilever’s Vaseline (shampoo, petroleum jelly)
- Proctor and Gamble’s Safeguard (bath soap)
- Proctor and Gamble’s Pantene (shampoo, conditioner)
- Avon’s Skin-so-soft (lotion/moisturizer)
- Avon’s lip gloss, lipstick, pressed powder, blush on
- Johnson & Johnson’s Clean and Clear (cleanser, powder — I discontinued use after one try because I’m allergic to these)
- Johnson & Johnson’s baby lotion, baby shampoo, baby bath (for my nephew and niece)
- Johnson & Johnson’s milk lotion, milk bath, baby oil, baby cologne
- Off! (insect repellant lotion)
- Aquafresh/Colgate/Close-up/Sensodyne toothpaste
- Body Shop (perfume)
- Coppertone (sunblock)
- Listerine (mouthwash)
Other famous products that I havent used before but marked high in similar study were:
- Olay (moistorizer, cream, cleanser)
- L’oreal/Clarins/Revlon hair color, hair spray, mousse,
- Axe (body spray)
Well, it seems like the list is exhaustive so you can check the database yourself and see the products you use. I don’t know if the companies can sue me for writing their names here but I am only referring to the scientific reports I read from this site.This blog entry is just to support the campaign for safer consumer product use. I think I’ll still use the products myself, but at least with caution. Especially lipstick with large enough amounts of lead.
If you think the name of a specific product should be deleted from the list, then feel free to contact me using my email address.
***No offense meant to people who had it, with all due respect.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: A cross post in my other blog site.