The beauty world is a very complex and competitive place. There are numerous counts of misconceptions and lies coming from big beauty brands that are used to boast marketing campaigns. Where the truth of the matter is, it’s just a lie and it’s taken a different perspective because of it.
As Joe mentions, it’s prevalent to see fear mongering and beauty brands deliberately using these misconceptions to their advantage. We’ll explore in this blog post why they’re employed and what the purpose is.
Safe and Unsafe Ingredients
I love to hear that things are natural and organic, who doesn’t? It means it’s good for you, wont harm your hair and certainly will help hair health. However, what you’re probably not seeing is that these cosmetic companies are inflating that fear factor surrounding chemicals and how they can be toxic. I’m not saying all companies are doing this, but more now than before. The reason why these beauty companies would make these chemicals seem more scary is so they can more effectively market their own brand as natural and organic.
Joe’s main point being:
Just because something is more naturally based doesn’t automatically mean it’s better.
There are regulations that cosmetic companies still need to comply with and this pertains to how they label their products. Mislabeling is prohibited and everything needs to be laid out. Companies are using this and redirecting the names of these ingredients towards a negative context. If companies can’t hide what’s in their products, they must change the way people view them.
For example – mineral oil has a bad reputation as being a pore clogging, potentially cancer causing nasty substance. However, it’s a very popular ingredient to use in skin care and hair products but why is that? Well, one reason is because mineral oil is super cheap.
But if you google mineral oil cosmetics there’s article after article that attempt to stir up fear around this ingredient. When cosmetic companies use mineral oil, they have to make sure that they are using a highly purified and highly refined version of mineral oil. In this highly purified state – the mineral oil in question shouldn’t be causing any short or long term damage. Now, do we live in a perfect world where everyone abides by every rule? No – but for the most part, these regulations are followed. It’s now the companies that are twisting what the ingredients do that appeal to the masses. Going back to the words natural and organic.
Dermatologists have stated that by using a highly refined mineral oil, which means removing toxins and impurities also takes care of the cancer causing concerns and in fact – mineral oil in cosmetics have never been proven too cause cancer. In this refined state it’s actually proven to be extremely moisturizing, in fact – sometimes so moisturizing that it can start feeling oily or greasy on your skin which is the only real downside. I gave mineral oil as an example but you can apply this same argument for pretty much any skin-care ingredient that people claim to be unsafe or toxic. Within reason of course.
Sulfates & Parabens
We’ve touched on these two ingredients before so I’ll cut to the main points of this area of discussion.
People love talking about cancer causing ingredients and this question extends to sulfates as well. As usual, there have been studies conducted and no proof to back up potential cancer causing claims. A legitimate issue that some people face with sulfates is dryness, itchiness and irritation in the scalp region – this is mostly for people that have sensitive skin. Creating a sulfate free alternative does not simply fall under marketing hype and misconceptions, but there are benefits to sulfate free shampoos.
Make sure that you do your research because some companies that switch out the sulfate ingredient simply replace it with something that’s just as harsh or something that’s even worse.
Parabens main purpose is to preserve your products and keep them fresh for longer – which is a good thing. The main concern? Once again linked to cancer. Parabens have been found in certain cancers so the question comes – are parabens cancer causing, or, are they simply found in cancers? This is a bit unknown at the moment and studies are still being done but regardless of that answer, the truth of the matter is that parabens are used in such small minute doses that they fall well below the safety regulation and are pretty much completely fine in your cosmetic ingredients. So when it comes to parabens, it’s simply another fear mongering tactic to make a product sound better by saying they don’t use them.
Man Made vs Natural
This is quite similar to what I had mentioned above with safe and unsafe ingredients. Purely labeling natural ingredients as healthy and man-made as chemicals is a misconception in itself. Are ingredients by themselves not classified as chemicals? For example, Shea butter aka Butyrospermum ParkII.
Something to think about is that these chemists would make man made ingredients in order to enhance the performance of products that are not achievable from just natural elements. They would also use these chemicals to bring the cost down from their products. In reality you get both good and bad in each category.