Dear Beauty & Makeup Lovers,
As a part of my old job, I would read IMBB everyday and secretly admire the efforts you put into looking good. Sometimes it would break my heart to see those efforts and money go to waste because of the mistruths perpetuated by the very companies I worked for.
My former company is a supplier of the ingredients that go into beauty products. I know exactly what lengths they can reach to sell these ingredients to the companies that manufacture the end products. And I’ve also seen enough of the strategies that these companies adopt to sell the product to you.
Now that I no longer work there, I think it’s time I bring some attention to the ingredients that go into the products we use in our day to day life.
Indian Law doesn’t require disclosure of ingredients in cosmetic products. As a result, cosmetic companies take full advantage of this fact and misrepresent the ingredients.
Reading the Ingredients Label on Cosmetics and Beauty Products
1. 100% Herbal/Natural– Please note this is absolute crap. For every hundred products claiming to be 100% herbal, about 3 actually are. And guess what? Those three are about as expensive as a black market kidney. So all those companies named after flowers or some variant of ayurveda are about as herbal as my woolen sweater.
2. Containing the natural goodness of blah blah blah– The goodness of blah? Why not include blah itself? Half the time the only thing blah-related that’s added is a cheaper alternative to mimic its benefits and the corresponding fragrance.
3. Containing real extracts of (magical plant/flower/vegetable/fruit that’s more powerful than superman on steroids)– real extract? As opposed to what, an artificial extract? What’s an extract really? It’s just a really intelligent way of saying that the magical ingredient has been mulched, squeezed, powdered till it reaches the stage where it can finally be chemically over-processed and added in its least magical (read: cheapest) form to the final product.
4. Hypoallergenic, Non-Comedogenic, etc: These characteristics are not an added benefit but actually need to exist in every product regardless of its function. Needless to say, they don’t. But that doesn’t stop them from claiming it. In India, all it takes for a company to call their product hypoallergenic is typing the word out when designing the product packaging. As for being non-comedogenic, absolutely no product should clog your pores, ever.
5. Not Tested on Animals/Cruelty free– Ya, of course, but only because somebody else has already done it in the past. New Ingredients are tested by the suppliers and then sold to these companies after showing all the test results. So are these ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetic companies doing it? NO. Are they propagating it? HELL YEAH.
6. SPF– This is the worst case of product fraud I’ve ever seen. Without regulation, these guys slap any number on the box. I have seen sunscreen formulations from some very popular Indian brands which don’t really contain any UV filters. And I know women who use these brands. I would recommend using only international brands as they usually have to meet some regulation standards. If you are using an Indian brand that is also exported, they are probably safe to use. But, this is one area where we as consumers have to be very careful.
7. Preservative-free– All I can say is ‘Beware of Fungus’. Between parabens and fungus; I choose parabens, thank you very much.
8. Surfactant-free– Aaaah I see, so there’s no ingredient in my shampoo/facewash/shower gel that will actually clean dirt???? No problem. Oh wait! Natural Cleansers, you say? Where is it on the ingredient list? Oh yeah, there’s no list.
(Did you know that water is the natural cleanser that many surfactant-free products depend on?)
I wish I could name some of the offending companies. I do value my freedom hence I will refrain from doing so. I hope you guys find this information of some use and that it helps you to become more aware consumers.
Precious Ingredients in Cosmetics
Homemade Body Scrub Recipes With Kitchen Ingredients
Know the Ingredients in your Skin Products
Key Ingredients to look for in Anti Aging Products
Budget Makeup Products for Teens- 1
Cheap and Best Makeup Products
Skin Whitening Products
Skin Products for Blemishes
Five Makeup and Beauty Products Under Rs.100
3 Beauty Products to Splurge On
Ayurvedic Beauty Regimen
Quotes on Women, Makeup and Beauty
15 Budget Beauty Tips
Does Beauty Breed Inferiority Complex?
The Meaning of Beauty