Friday night and you are getting ready to party. Your favourite part about the night? Your little black dress and your red lipstick. You are running late, your friends are blasting your phone and as you hurriedly put your lipstick in your purse, you fail to notice yet again that there are 22 different ingredients listed at the back of its box. Half of them you can’t even pronounce. And why bother to notice at all, why bother to ask what you are putting on your lips and also unintentionally eating it when the ad says it’s safe. Besides, Alia Bhatt says it’s great too.
In a hypothetical scenario, if you had taken a little bit of your time you would have noticed a few familiar names in the list of ingredients.
Polyethylene, Nylon, PEG, all of these are different forms of plastic. Isn’t that weird? That your lipstick has plastic?
Your lipstick has plastic, your moisturizer has it too, and it’s probably in your shower gel and toothpaste too. There are different kinds – Nylon-12, BIS-PEG-12. And when you remove your makeup, wash your face, these chemicals go into the ocean via drains. Who would have thought that throwing a plastic bottle in the ocean and removing your makeup are eerily similar?
Another common ingredient, Titanium dioxide, prevents phytoplankton from growing. Phytoplankton, algae found in the ocean, are the real lungs of this planet that contribute to more than 50% of oxygen in the atmosphere. Who would have thought that washing your makeup and burning the amazon isn’t that different either?
Maybe the environment can handle it. But what about you?
There are more names in the list – Laureth and Parabens. One google search and the terms like cancer, hormonal disorder, skin irritation pops right up at the top of the page. PEG (Polyethylene glycol), is made out of toxic products like dioxane, and if not processed properly it can be carcinogenic too.
As if environmental and health concerns weren’t enough, we have a new guest to think about – ethics.
You may spot the innocent looking ‘mica’ in the list. Don’t be duped. It isn’t. Mica is often illegally mined by Children.
And what gives your lipstick that attractive colour? You will find weird names like Red 7 Lake CI 15850. These artificially synthesized colours, may have heavy metals in them – like Aluminum, Cadmium, or even Lead.
But you don’t know all this. You never checked.
Most of your enquiry began and ended at – How much is it for?
Where is it coming from? What does it contain? Is it safe to use? What are the manufacturer’s ethics? No, you can’t ask these questions – your life is too hectic. You barely have enough time to breathe and check Instagram.
In this office to home, home to office and stay hammered during the weekend lifestyle, what place does “being responsible consumer” have? Perhaps it’s okay to stay ignorant, to be lazy, to be addicted to cost-effective convenience. It’s easy and smooth life after all.
Go ahead, you are late. Your friends are furious. The happy hour is ending. You look great in your little black dress and that blood-red lipstick. Your lips may be red but it’s the planet that’s bleeding. And maybe inside, you are too, maybe there’s a time bomb ticking waiting to explode just a tiny mutation away. Never mind though, have a great weekend.
- So what now?
Boycott the companies that don’t care. Explore the ones that do. To name a few, there are startups like Bare Necessities, Grinding Stone, Soultree and Rustic Art.
- Sorry for clickbaiting. We really wanted you to read this one before you stepped out for that party.