Hype. Garbage. Baloney, malarkey, rubbish, snake oil, hocus pocus, fads, processed crap. Whatever you want to call it, most commonly known as…
B u | | $ # ! T.
**disclaimer: I realize the views expressed here are not for everyone; like anything else, take what resonates and leave the rest.**
We can “buy” (literally and figuratively) into the most diverse market Earth has ever seen.
I started this article in 2018, and left it to die multiple times, reviving it here and there only to say nevermind again. The reason for that I suppose, there wasn’t any reason big enough to publish a little rant like mine…yet: Cue Covid19 pandemic and plenty of time to ruminate in my own madness. 🙃
My work falls into categories of beauty, anti-aging, wellness, alternatives and spa. I consider supplements a branch of that conglomeration, and they all stem from “The Wellness Industry”. As I wrote this, I tried my hardest not to jump into other topics, but it ain’t easy when you know everything connects.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, the most recent revenue statistics for this industry total $4.2 trillion annually! (Projected to grow!) Peep this graph guaranteed to raise your brow. I don’t know product versus service dollars, but I’m willing to bet both are excessive.
People are “buying” into a lot. [Undeniably the de$ired objective.]
Purchase equates support!
Let me not tangent into how pharmaceutical, agricultural and petroleum fit into the purchase = support model.
Marketing is relentless. Play and prey on image, strength, weakness, sickness, health, insecurity, vulnerability, emotion, loss, animals, children, you know… They want to get you[r money] any way they can.
Buzzwords on everything, an aim to sway your vote (with your dollar). We spend higher, expecting and believing in better performance, healthier alternatives, higher quality, but it’s just another sales pitch, adding to a LITTLE problem called “green washing“.
Unfortunately due to current affairs, this purchasing model is literally raking in your cash. They use fear driven marketing with emphasis on scarcity to drive your (over) consumption of hot commodity products. You automatically want more because supply is low and demand is high. Seeing it on the shelf and saying to yourself, that’s hard to come by, I should get another just in case. *cough cough, paper products, non-perishable provisions and purell.*
Next comes government mandated closures to the entire beauty industry, deemed non essential. As a skin person, let me remind all those who are reading: healthy skin with an intact barrier functions in immunity and is THE VERY FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT LINE OF DEFENSE FOR THE BODY when it comes to pathogenic invasion of any kind. All of this hyper cleansing and disinfecting is seriously detrimental to the skin’s health.
All feelings aside, most of this industry has resorted to online sales and consults, which when it comes to skin, in my humble opinion, has a much higher margin for errors, not to mention some of these at-home facial kits I’ve seen can produce somewhat scary results in a pair of idle hands. Did I mention less is more? Professional services with professional grade products are designed to be done in a professional environment, under professional supervision. Just like we are all getting a “mandatory time out from mother nature”, it is good to give your skin a break from all of the stuff we do to it as well.
Let me not get into over cleansing, over exfoliating and stripping the microbiomes etc. That’s another conversation altogether.
I know we are all missing our specialists, but when it comes to personal care, more specifically OTC products at major retailers, if you think you are buying something better just because of the brand-name, you are likely mistaken. Most are all the same, and their ingredient list will prove it.
Meet the family! This is an older graphic and I’m sure there are changes not accounted for.
The FDA does NOT have appropriate guidelines for cosmetic & skincare formulations (or dietary supplements); some are unregulated altogether! You can pretty much consider buzzwords advertisements. If FDA does make revisions, it will only be because Congress demands it. If and when, and starting small.
Let me put it this way, EVERYTHING HAS CHEMICALS, and as of right now we’re nearly a century (1938) behind updated ingredient safety screenings.
As a professional service provider with a very low tolerance for toxic $#!t, I have a huge problem with that! Then again, this mindset is still a minority. How is that possible when this topic is getting more attention now than ever before?? Even the New York Times was talking about it.
Food too. But again, another conversation. All else aside, it drives me MAD to see how many individuals are STILL heavily reliant on and recommending 😑 box store beauty. Please, I am begging at this point, chuck all your big-store bought stuff into the bin immediately. There is a reason states mandate professional licensure for skin and hair care. There is a reason professional grade products exist. But still, learn to read ingredients! I cannot stress how important this is becoming. You cant take any body or box’s word for it. Even the professional and medical grade stuff still hide their bullshit in the small print.
Do your due diligence as a consumer and educate yourself, or at the very least, seek out a professional who will educate you.
Education is not only for rich and privileged anymore. We all walk around with tiny computers in our pockets; Public (and private) information everywhere about every thing (if you care to find it) — some in our faces whether we want to learn or not.
Information Age or Misinformation Age? Fact check everything and hope for a reputable source.
To sum this all up, I’ll leave you with a radical POV for this industry.
Stop buying it!
All of it.
Clearly, things are changing. I know you all can see it. The metaphors of the problems we face revolve around excess. Too much, too many. It’s time to simplify things and make them more sustainable. I know I’m not the only one who thinks it. And it goes way beyond our skin and beauty and personal care products.
Do you really want to support the gigantic companies that poison the well with not-so hidden toxins in their formulations, food or otherwise (just to increase the shelf life aka profit margin)? Read the label, you can very clearly see which, if any of it, does your skin/body any good.
My rule I share is simple:
if you wouldn’t eat it, your skin shouldn’t either.
That list of ingredients is what you’re feeding your skin.
The flip side can be organic, all natural, hand made, small batch etc., and of course that would be the preferred alternative to commercial crap as I call it, but that comes with pros and cons too. Higher price points for sure (because high quality ingredients are not cheap), perhaps stronger more potent effects, but much less stable shelf lives with a larger margin for oxidation, susceptibility to bacterial growth, and other chemical reactions which will change the products efficacy and performance over time.
The truth is
less is more.
The only things that truly nourish your skin are Blood, Water, Oxygen, and Oils.
How convenient that our body provides all that for us so we don’t have to buy it at a store!!
I do promise these magical ingredients will be the most result-oriented and yield an amazing glow that no filter or cosmetic can mimic.
If you’re so tired of buying and trying all the things, this is exactly the change you’re looking for. I know it seems crazy to think you don’t need all the things you’re used to using. I know some people will read this and think I’m crazy, too. But to those of you who have yet to try it, you don’t know what you haven’t experienced! It does take some time to get used to it, and we have plenty right now.
I’m here if you have questions. Xoxo
Your Mad Aesthetician,