Introducing Chantel: Shaking Up Your Cosmetics
I first met Chantel Vieritz when she did my makeup for a photo shoot. We resonated in our pursuit of ‘good’ in the personal care world – good for us, good for others, good for our world. I have invited Chantel to bring her heart, mind and skill to the Organicise table. In the future her posts will address specific items in the makeup bag – your lippy, mascara, those eye shadows and more.
Read Chantel's introductory post below on the world of cosmetics.
Luxurious, flawless, glowing skin has become an undying trend since the dawn of the selfie-era. Youtube and Instagram are overflowing with makeup tutorials and product recommendations, so why would you budget for expensive foundation when your favourite vlogger achieves the same result with discount dupes you could grab at the supermarket? After ten years as a cosmetics consultant, I am still posed with this question daily by overwhelmed and unaware consumers.
Aside from prettier packaging and advertising, luxury cosmetic brands invest in extensive research to perfect their product formulas with high-quality ingredients sourced from all over the world, which elevates the cost but achieves better results. Their partnerships with the fashion industry, runway designers and celebrities spark trends which are then reproduced by cheaper cosmetic brands piggybacking off their ingenuity. Even though these cheaper brands may feature the same fantastic star ingredient as the original, they won’t use the same precise concentration required to achieve the intended result as it would either push the product out of their price bracket, or take too much time and money to test for long-term efficacy. Whether it claims to be moisturising, anti-aging, antioxidant or otherwise, the concentration of high-quality ingredients is always reflected in the price. In most cases, the financial impact of sourcing such ingredients needs to be cushioned throughout the rest of the product by using cheap fillers and preservatives such as talc and parabens, which is where the lack of regulation in cosmetics production becomes as dangerous as the lack of product education in consumers.
As these common ingredients are currently only listed as ‘probable’ carcinogens and ‘likely’ skin irritants, they are still allowed into cosmetics in low concentrations. It is so difficult for scientists to establish the dosage and exposure that classifies a chemical as a known carcinogenic, cancer groups usually just advise to avoid probable carcinogens to minimise future health risks. Although most cosmetics may contain such chemicals in miniscule doses, it is the long-term prolonged exposure which is theorised to disrupt hormone cells in humans. Thankfully, the general public are becoming increasingly aware of their exposure to harmful chemicals through dermal absorption, and organic cosmetics are becoming more widely available, but consumers still seem reluctant to spend in the short-term to preserve their long-term health. There is still widespread conjecture that organic brands charge more for no reason.
While organic cosmetic companies must still invest in research to ensure their products are effective in their purpose and achieve flawless skin for their customer, the methods of producing and preserving organic products to prolong their shelf-life also contribute to expense, which is then reflected in the retail value. This is also a great way to identify products posing as natural, with ‘green-washing’ becoming such an commonplace advertising ploy. While natural alternatives to preservatives do exist, they are not yet as advanced as traditional chemicals, so truly natural products usually have a shelf-life under 12 months unless the company has specially-designed its packaging to dispense product without exposing the remainder to air.
With the natural, glowing skin trend continuing on into 2017, organic skincare is more popular than ever for its wholistic benefits, as well as its emphasis on enhancing natural beauty, rather than covering it. This has allowed organic cosmetic companies to continue developing their products, making them more competitive in quality and price with non-organic brands. Organic makeup bloggers and natural makeup tutorials are also becoming more common so there’s no excuse not to shake up your cosmetic routines.