Recently, clean beauty has become a really big trend. I am fascinated by this, because shouldn’t we always have had clean beauty? Shouldn’t companies always have put ingredients in our skincare products that would be safe for us? I think a big reason, companies were able to get away with not putting good ingredients is because we simply looked at our skin through the vanity lense.
We focused our attention on how we needed our skin to look perfect so we could get confirmation that we are physically attractive. As a result, we totally forgot about how our skin is an organ. Forgetting this and focusing on vanity, allowed companies to use ingredients that would make us prettier, but not necessarily be good for our bodies or the environment.
And so, we are here today, the era of clean beauty. Whilst I am happy that companies are making a more conscious effort, my question is does it need to be so pricey? Is clean beauty here to help us or a way to make more money? I believe it is the latter. Why?
Because whilst, the ingredients are better quality and so slightly more expensive, it is still very much focused on how much extra money can be made. As a business owner myself who is dedicated to clean ingredients and products, I can tell you, higher prices happen because of the middle man such as distributors or margins retailers require. > Here is another article that dives into how beauty products are priced. From what I understand, pricing really is about the marketing and the perception of the product, not about the ingredients. So, although, ingredients might be slightly pricier, it really comes down to how much extra money can be made.
You would think, in an era of ecommerce, where retail is slowly dying, prices would be more affordable. That is not the case. Companies, still keep that extra margin to themselves. Reading all of this made me ask myself, does this mean, that if I can’t afford it, I am not entitled to clean beauty? Is clean beauty only for the rich? It is a privilege? And the answer seems to be yes, with products sometimes over $50.
I am personally offended by this, for two reasons:
1) There is no clear definition of clean or natural. Since there is no definition, how do you know when you are buying something natural? How do you know this company, can command these higher prices? Truth, is we have no way of knowing, besides trusting the brand. That in itself can be hard to do at times, hence resulting in lawsuits over supposedly natural ingredients. Check out the three companies that recently got sued over natural claims: Honest Beauty, Credo and Babyganics. These are just a few. There are others. So, with no entity overseeing, with no official definition, it is a free for all, and we are paying higher prices for no reason.
2) At the start of the article, I talked about how skincare has really become about vanity and not taking care of the skin, which is really very simple.Hence, to me, clean beauty is simply promoting another high school competition, who is the prettiest. And also creating a system of inequality. That intention goes against clean. We are all humans. We all have skins and bones. So, the idea that the price of a product determines, how much more beautiful or better someone can be is just wrong.
One of the biggest reasons, I started Feather & Bone, was to give everyone access to good skincare products, so that their skin can perform its functions successfully. I wasn’t focused on vanity, because we are already beautiful. I want to give good products, so you can be the healthiest and happiest version of yourself, to make the world a better place. We are all entitled to having healthy and happy skin, irrespective of wealth. So I will always make good products and make it affordable, even if it means I make less money.
Shubhangini Prakash, Founder & CEO of personal care company Feather & Bone. Originally published at featherandboneco.com.
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