“Beauty will save the world.” No one seems absolutely certain about what Fyodor Dostoevsky meant by this expression all those years ago. But to me, it sums up to this: The constant effort to make ourselves look beautiful or experience beautiful things is an embodiment of some quality within us that ultimately makes us better people.
Whether it’s by being motivated to work for it or manifesting the beauty already within us to induce improvement in our daily environments, beauty just might end up saving the world.
I asked Dr. Nina Bal, a cosmetic dental surgeon and facial aesthetics doctor, to help me explain this, and I’ve used her insight throughout the article to show how beauty is contributing to the health and wellbeing of the world.
“It’s encouraging to see that the choice is no longer between beauty and health,” says Dr. Bal who’s been in the facial aesthetics industry for more than ten years.
From scientists to corporations, health is an equally important aspect when it comes to beauty and beauty products. The consumers, too, have taken note of their wellbeing and they aren’t going to compromise that with an unhealthy product.
With these push and pull forces in place, here are ways through which beauty is helping to improve the world today:
Most health conditions that affect the way you look will usually have an emotional impact too, says Dr. Bal. Learning to successfully manage and live with those conditions and their symptoms can be a big boost to physical and psychological recovery.
Beyond beauty applications, some beauty products are also designed to help a patient heal faster. And it has a lot to do with the emotional state.
If you’re thinking face masks and bath bombs can give you a boost, you’re right. But taking care of yourself goes much deeper. It’s about avoiding dangerous products that can cause you any harm from dandruff to skin cancer.
Additionally, if you come across as many people as Dr. Bal does, you’ve interacted with people living with similar conditions and they’ve shared how beauty helps them manage their situation.
2. Inspiring informed consumers
Like any other consumer industry, beauty is awash with products claiming to do more than they really can. From the aisles at the store to doctors’ offices, the consumer knows, for instance, that not all proclamations of “natural” or “clean” fulfill their promises.
Since beauty is very personal in terms of choice, the consumer has had to learn to identify the real and fake deals. They have learnt to look beyond things like the “natural” tag. And this has resulted in a smarter and more informed consumer, not just of beauty but all products.
“We make it very clear to our patients that whatever they decide to put on their face is a personal choice,” says Dr. Bal explaining that “natural” doesn’t always mean “gentle” or “safe”. “There are lots of lab-made ingredients out there that are very effective and safe. Whatever they choose, our goal is to provide the consumer with enough information to make their own sound decisions,” she says.
3. Holistic health
The term “holistic” has traditionally been associated with naturopathic philosophy, protocols, and treatments which call for an adoptive lifestyle that fosters complete balance and harmony in life.
Some holistic health and beauty practices that were practiced in ancient times have suddenly become common in the 21st century.
Have you heard of oil pulling? What of tongue scraping and eye palming?
If you have, these are probably the hot new treatments that leave you with a radiant skin and a gleaming smile. However, these are millennia-old ayurvedic practices, dating back 3,000 years.
Holistic health and beauty ideas have just resurged. And they have gained mainstream adoption. From juice cleanses to meditation, these ancient beauty practices have found favor with many including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey.
Since the ‘80s, the beauty world has used the term “anti-aging” to promote lotions, serums, creams, etc.
However, critics argue that the term seems outdated now that women are focused on more than just looking younger. The tide, they argue, is shifting towards overall wellness.
Like Victoria Hall argues in the Telegraph, consumers want “honest, hardworking, affordable products that are quick and easy to use, and make [them] look healthy, radiant and less tired.”
Anti-aging medicine not only treats the symptoms but also addresses the cause of illness. Advanced scientific and medical technologies allow for early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related disorders, diseases and dysfunction.
There’s no telling how far beauty will go to save the world. But what’s already happening in the industry is commendable.