The side effects and risks of all things artificially beautiful
11 March 2019 KAYA VOICES
By: Natasha Archary
What are you willing to pay to look and feel your best? Many women will tell you that there’s no budget when it comes to their daily beauty regime. Heck, we’ll probably hunt down a unicorn to use the glitter from their rainbow coloured mane in a face mask for glowing skin.
Not that this hasn’t been attempted. Isn’t that what the glitter charcoal, peel-off mask is made off? The point is we’re spending an incredible amount on products that are being promoted by influencers on social media. Whether they actually use these products is up for debate. With clever edits and cutaways, you’re led to believe that essence of dragon scale can stop your skin from breakouts.
One, no Khaleesi will most likely not allow you to touch her babies and two, really? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to tame a dragon let alone descale one?
We blindly follow these influencers on social platforms, wanting every product they endorse because they are undoubtedly flawless. Local influencer, Nadia Jaftha who is endorsed by a few brands, seems to swear by a particular brand of bath soap and shower gels.
“My skin has never felt this soft and nourished.”
She posts on her Instagram feed to her 280K odd following. In other posts she details how regular “vampire facials”, laser therapy and chemical peels are necessary to help her fragile skin from healing. The Cape Town based blogger, is one of millions of photogenically “perfect” influencers to endorse brands and products.
What many fail to realise is that influencers are often paid mega moola to advocate these products. I for one get a major allergic reaction from said bath brand’s shower gel range. Dermatologically tested or not, as influencers is it legal for them to be suggestive about a brand or product?
Side effects and risks
The Kardashians and more recently self-made youngest billionaire, Kylie Jenner spoke out about the reasons for launching their own brand of beauty products. Cash-cow plans aside, they claim to want products that they can proudly endorse because they want to know that every ingredient is safe.
Kim was diagnosed with psoriasis. Kourtney has ethical, all natural or nothing issues. Khloe, ugh, you get the point. But every cosmetic product under their labels have harsh chemicals that may cause a reaction. Jenner, has been vocal about fake lip-kits making their way onto the black market.
Read more: Beauty is pain
Due to the popularity of these celebs, everyone wants their hands on the products at a reduced price. The original lip-kits and makeup products can set you back hundreds of dollars. You don’t need rand to dollar conversion to know that it’s an unnecessary expense.
Allergic reactions to products include: Conjunctivitis, red inflamed skin, exacerbated eczema, breakouts, blisters and if that isn’t enough to put you off buying into everything they’re trying to sell you, angry rashes.
So natural is the way to go?
What is natural anymore anyway? Is the fruit we’re consuming even 100% organic as per the labels? A friend recently experienced the most painful reaction to an “all-natural” brand. It wasn’t until a month ago that she noticed a gradual increase in the number of reactions she was having as a result of the products.
An illuminating serum caused her eye-lids to be swollen shut. A natural clay mud mask, had her skin so sensitive for weeks that she was so insecure to even leave the house. The brand that maintains all products are 100% all natural and safe to eat, surely have some explaining to do.
Instagram heavyweight Farah Dukhai, who shares her ayurvedic beauty concoctions with the millions of women who follow her, stresses the importance of testing even natural treatments beforehand.
“You could be allergic to something as natural as lemon. So, remember to always test on a small area of skin first.”
When it comes to beauty products and treatments, don’t allow anyone to influence you to try something. None of the social influencers can be held accountable for leading you astray. You choose to follow their instruction and most have a disclaimer on the videos or captions anyway.
Find products that work for your skin type and stick to it. You don’t need to fork out your entire pay cheque on Riri’s Fenty line because, hello it’s Rihanna. These celebrities don’t need your money and yet they take it either way. Say no to the culture of consumerism they want to trap you in and stop putting vulnerable skin through this pain.