Perverted is such a nasty word and Care a decided one. For Webster, care is defined as close attention; heed a liking or regard for, CUSTODY; PROTECTION, RESPONSIBILITY, to feel concern.
Attached to the backside of any word, care exudes an element of comfort and devotion to self. Personal care emits the sense we’re shielding ourselves from the detriment of our daily sins,’—stress, junk food, UV rays, cigarettes, too much sugar, binge-watching Netflix for 48 hours.
I guess it was only right to assert the personal care industry custodian over our redemptive intimacies. The absoluteness of trust, comfort, and authority that oozes from three words, (Personal Care Industry) is blinding.
So blinding that the industry has unapologetically adulterated care, and our health, is its collateral damage, and many of us are oblivious to the real cost.
In 2004, the EWG tested the umbilical cord blood from newborns and 287 synthetic chemicals, including 180 chemicals known to cause cancer in humans and animals were detected. Deodorants, shampoos, tampons, lotions, are pumping our bodies with carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, allergens, and DNA altering chemicals.
The Responsibility of Knowing
And the truth is, we let them because flipping the dang bottle over and reading the formulation forcibly pushes us from ignorance and towards the weight of knowing.
And with this enlightenment comes responsibility. Or at least…WTF is oxybenzone? And some of us just aren’t ready to care that much.
Maybe I am wrong. Perhaps we do care. But about what or whom?
Status, exclusiveness, the likes, making our face presentable to a world that hacks away at any meaningful concept of beauty? Maybe.
Let’s be uncomfortably honest—choosing health over whatever temporary fix a bottle of chemical misfortunes brings, for many of us, it’s not worth the harshness of the withdrawal.
And there lies a deeper problem beyond the scope of this article.
The industry has managed to disassociate, even quiet the science. Hair dye is only quietly linked to cancer and 74% of women who suffer from fibroids are labeled completely normal.
We are only buzzing and well within the confines (limits) of our indoor voices. We are walking a straight line, giving the personal care industry seldom eye contact as we follow Kylie Jenner off a cliff.
Then we blame the detriment of our health on the fate of the unlucky draw.
So how do you avoid falling into the perversion care and hold the word to its original standard? Simple.
Care is minimal if the insides are optimal.
Focus on your inside condition for a permanent solution. Scrubs, serums, lotions, potions, all promise a solution to the eruptions on our faces. We can’t resolve the plague with an 8.00 acne scrub.
The industry would be out of business if permanence was that effortless. The truth is we would rather forgo the external evidence of our bodies screaming for change.
So we opt for “Silence please” and slather on a dermatologist-recommended scrub hoping to quiet the inevitable truth: Our insides are F****.
Change is difficult. It’s work, it’s uncomfortable, it takes time, and often, the results appear worse before any hint of tranquility emerges. Trust me, I know. The greatest change I ever made in my wellness journey was relieving my life of chemical shit tricks.
But you can start with relieving your refrigerator and pantry of food-like products. Identifying the root problem is the most uncomplicated and satisfying route towards healing.
“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. Leo Babauta
We complicate personal care wellness with stubborn determination. So much so that those complicated mash-ups of ingredients, is for some, a strange and perverted measure of a product’s legitimacy.
We should ask ourselves, is the lack of pronunciation, the ignorance of definition, the combinations of letters and numbers a hazing into an exclusive club?
If not, we’re at least in a nightclub, because the industry darn well knows to type these 8 syllable words in google or engaging in pronunciation warfare with Alexa would burn too many calories.
And yes, although consumers are more informed than two decades ago, the onboarding of changing buying habits is a slow drip.
On a recently commissioned poll, only 22% of women opt for purchasing paraben-free products and only 18% say synthetic fragrances deter them from buying a product. And 11% avoid products with mineral oil even though it’s in essence, motor oil.
Why do we compromise our health in the name of CARE? Why does a stamp of natural and organic makes all well with our souls? This leads to my next point. Social media.
Beauty Now Belongs To Social Media, Not The Beholder
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves…it is not wise.”
The comparison culture that exists on social media platforms has pushed us far beyond Elle, Glamour, or Redbook’s narrow definition of beauty.
Welcome to the age of Beauty at All Cost.
Celebrities, influencers, and the social-media elite are submerging us with their paid sponsorships duties. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found that 75% of marketers employ influencer marketing activities.
We worship the highlight reel of their carefully positioned life, and like Jack Nickolson, we draw one conclusion,
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
Who knew the click of a buy now button garnered the power to shrink the disparity between our reality and their staged reality.
Even Our Self-talk is elevated and we think “Maybe I am somebody.”
I suggest we remove Social Media platforms from our phones. Studies contest that social media use can lead to body image issues. It’s time to deal with the underlying cause of our acne.
Scrolling through social media wishing to morph into someone else’s adulterated reality, hoping to mimic their personal care portfolio, is not the answer.
Instead, let’s object to slathering toxic chemical formulation onto our bodies in the name of identity aspiration. It’s careless.
Our Obsession With Fragrance Has Led To A Breach
“Perfume is the most intense form of memory.” Jean Paul Guerlain
The word fragrance is deemed innocent. Parfum even more holy because after all, it’s French. But over 3000 synthetic chemicals hide behind the word fragrance. Fragrances are exempt from labeling requirements because they’re considered “trade secrets” and therefore it’s composition, protected by law.
Therefore harmful ingredients such as Phthalates, proven hormone disruptors, can be neatly tucked away without you and me ever knowing the true danger.
And Let’s not get giddy about the “Fragrance-Free” options either. manufacturers can legally add unidentified ingredients (fragrances ) to mask foul toxic odors ( from other chemicals) and still label the product fragrance Free.
A lab analysis in 2002 tested seventy-two products, ranging from perfumes to hairs, deodorants, and body lotion found three-quarters contained unlabeled phthalates.
I suggest, avoiding products with fragrance in their formulation. Instead, Pure unadulterated essential oils are a substitute for fragrance. Their long history in the realm of aromatic, religious, and medicinal uses are widely documented. The basics of Essential Oils are simple to learn and the benefits are multifaceted.
We Don’t Know Where to Start
To reinstate the definition of care back into our personal care regimen many items must be expelled. But first, acquire simple tools that make this effort more practical.
THINK DIRTY is a simple app that puts us back in control of our personal care regimen. The app allows anyone to scan a product’s barcode and results in an overall safety rating. Think Dirty also provides information about each ingredient worthy of major side-eye along with individual product safety rating on each.
As we lye in ignorance, is it really bliss or a cherry-blossom scented death?
Has the personal care industry bamboozled us into believing our personal care products and accompanying rituals are therapeutic?
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,”