The Year of Conspiracy Theories
Right now, more popular than conspiracy theories themselves, are theories about why conspiracy theories are so popular. Due to 2020’s holiday travel restrictions, many of us will escape the sweaty, digestion-disrupting Thanksgiving debates about elections, pandemic information, and fantasy football. Also, many of us will miss out on beloved traditions, seeing favorite family members who live far away, and holiday parties with friends in which at least one person dances half naked on the table to vintage Prince before making snow angels in their underwear.
This is all to say, we’re bored. And, simultaneously, things feel out of control. We’re freaked out. The future is uncertain. And we’re fatigued by media-driven hysterics designed to spike our adrenals and keep us in a cortisol loop so that we watch and read, watch and read, hoping to find some resolve.
Cooped up with our pet/housemate/partner who, hopefully, shares some of our perspectives, we take to our devices to scratch our social itch. Out on the wild and wooly range of the Internet, one can find “evidence” to support, literally, anything. No idea or theory, regardless of how outrageous it sounds, goes unsubstantiated by a lack of search-engine hits. This does not make the results of our research legitimate or even fact-adjacent. Yet we live in a world where that seems to matter less and less.
All things considered (a pandemic, quarantine, economic crisis, political and civil unrest, devastating environmental catastrophes, and toilet paper shortages), conditions are ripe for stories to take ahold about nefarious alien lizards wielding DNA-altering vaccines whose endgame is to control all the resources on earth.
And this, friends, illustrates how and why we’ve all been under the conspiracy of the Beauty Industry for so long: the conditions have been favorable for the false information it disseminates to take ahold of our thoughts and turn us into obedient, if misguided, consumers.
The False Belief
It began with a lie started by advertisers and turned into the conspiracy you probably didn’t even realize you were a part of. It goes like this: blue is for boys and pink is for girls; one body shape and size is more beautiful than another; one skin color is preferable to another; one weight is more acceptable than another; one age is more relevant than another; it would be better if your body was different/improved/more like someone else’s.
While we all have authentic preferences, it’s safe to say that most of what we believe to be beautiful about bodies has been determined by advertisers (social media influencers) who are paid by companies to sell you their stuff. (If you don’t believe us, think back to what your bangs looked like in the 80s, or the Juicy Couture sweatpants you rocked in 2004.)
Just like the conspiracy theories that are flying around in 2020, the Beauty Industry Conspiracy feeds into our fears and capitalizes on our insecurities. Most of it is a lie, and there is enough truth mixed in to make it plausible.
Debunking the Beauty Industry Conspiracy
The Beauty Industry Conspiracy: You need to purchase things that will help you be more beautiful, desirable, worthy of love, and happy.
The Facts: Your true beauty and happiness exists outside of anything you buy. Also, there might be toxins in your beauty products that ultimately do the opposite of what you think they’re doing.
The Evidence: Terminology drives the success of the Beauty Industry’s conspiracy. Let’s unpack some of its most popular phrases and words to see how it has created a false reality.
Anti-Aging: Full disclosure, this is a term we use. So many people ask if our products are “anti-aging,” that we began to include it as a descriptor, because yes… by Beauty Industry standards, our products are definitely anti-aging. And by that we mean our ingredients optimize your health and youthful glow and slow visible signs of the aging process. In truth, there is no beauty product anywhere on the market that literally stops the body from aging.
It must be said that if we seek out an “anti-aging” product, it’s because we believe that getting old is a problem — which most of us do. But is it a problem, really? Or are we just conditioned to think it is? If we lived in a world that believed 60 year old bodies physically expressed the beauty ideal, would we buy something that claimed to be “anti-aging” in our 30s, 40s, or 50s?
How our skin ages is primarily a result of genes, diet, sun exposure, and lifestyle habits. And if you really want to look young, be happy.
Lather: The Beauty Industry has indoctrinated us to believe that soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are only effective if they produce lavish lather. Without big, rich suds, we have the sense of not truly getting clean. But is lather a reliable barometer for effectiveness?
Nope, not at all. While high quality Oils such as Coconut and Olive add subtle foam to soap, many conventional personal care products have a foaming agent added to them, which is the cause of the frothy lather we have come to expect. The most commonly used foaming agents are cocamide DEA, ethoxylate, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which are inexpensive chemical additives whose only purpose is to make soaps seem thick and foamy. Soap lather is artificially created because customers have come to expect it, not because it is needed for actual cleaning. The claim that more lather equals cleaner body parts is a lie perpetuated by the Beauty Industry and results in us putting more toxins on our bodies than is necessary or healthy, all because we believe it will make us cleaner.
Ingredients That Are Proclaimed To Be Safe But Are Not: It’s remarkable that major cosmetic and skincare companies are still able to claim that certain ingredients are safe, when there is so much evidence that they are not. Among the worst offenders most commonly used are:
Mineral Oil - This petroleum by-product coats skin like plastic, clogs pores and interferes with the body’s ability to eliminate toxins.
Aluminum – A toxic metal that can have estrogen-like effects in our systems, which disrupts the endocrine system. (Note: Alpine Provisions’ plastic-free initiative uses aluminum bottles, which make fantastic packaging because they can be infinitely recycled. Our aluminum bottles have BPA-free lining, which protects the product from aluminum exposure.)
DMDM HYDANTOIN & UREA (Imidazolidinyl) – These are preservatives that often release formaldehyde, which is connected to joint pain, skin allergies, headaches, and insomnia.
Synthetic Fragrance - These are made up of hundreds to thousands of different ingredients not listed on the label, so you are never sure what you are actually being exposed to. They often contain hormone-disrupting and allergen-producing chemicals and are typically found in cosmetic and skincare products but also many conventional cleaning products. Synthetic fragrance is different from Essential Oils, and we’ll talk about this next.
These are just a few of the problematic ingredients still commonly used in conventional cosmetics and skincare. To research more about what to avoid, visit the Environmental Working Group.
Fragrance-Free: These days many skincare influencers are on the fragrance-free bandwagon. This post we published a few weeks ago talks about the difference between synthetic fragrance versus Essential Oils, and how Essential Oils don’t just contribute scent, when used correctly they may also contribute to the good health of your skin.
Diet: Eighty percent of skin health is related to what we eat. Rashes, acne, blotchiness, and eczema are usually directly connected to food allergies. Conventional, gmo-food often contains glyphosate, one of the ingredients in a conventional farming herbicide called Round Up. Glyphosate wears down the lining of the intestines, which creates nutritional deficiency, digestion issues, and, yes, food allergies.
To clear up skin concerns, there is something you can do that is more effective than any serum, cream, or potion: switch to a primarily organic, plant-based diet, eliminate common food allergens like corn, dairy, sugar, and wheat, and drink plenty of water. When we are able to absorb the nutrients in our food, our skin reflects it.
Self-Care: This phrase gets bandied about a lot. We use it sometimes, too. In truth, it doesn’t matter how many scented baths and facial masks you do, if you say mean and critical things to yourself when you look in the mirror, no actual self-care is happening.
The Beauty Industry Conspiracy wants you to think something is wrong with the way you look. It wants you to compare yourself with others. It wants you to strive to be your most youthful, rich, thin, and best self with the promise these things will make you lovable and happy.
Please question this, that’s all we’re saying. Our bodies are so intelligent. They respond to our internal messages, just like those plants in science experiments that flourish when addressed with love and appreciation, and wither when they are talked to with derision and criticism. With your loving, unconditional acceptance, your body will thrive and be beautiful and healthy and strong, and the products you use will have never mattered less. This is the true self-care hack the Beauty Industry doesn’t want you to know.
Do Your Own Research
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t believe everything we read, hear, or get tagged in on social media. In fact, you probably shouldn’t even believe everything you read in this article.
The great news is that, like us, there is a growing number of beauty brands who are changing the future of the Beauty Industry by empowering their customers with good information and positive images and messages. We do our best to give it to you straight, to keep it as real as possible, and to share information we think you’ll find valuable. And, yes, we also want to share our amazing products with you and legitimately believe they will improve the quality of your daily life.
Whether you use our products or not, please know that you have everything you need to live successfully through these wild times. You are beautiful, resilient, intuitive, and worthy of happiness, just as you are.
No matter what is happening in our world, we all have agency over our individual happiness. The most radical act we can commit is to never give that agency up. When someone is joyful, regardless of their outer circumstance, they are like a sun, radiating stability, inspiration, excellence, dignity, and peace. Besides compassion, these are the things we need most right now (and it’s hard to be happy without also being compassionate). In turbulent times, modeling happiness for one another is a gift. It is the true source of our beauty. If this is the only thing you believe about this article, we’re good with that. It’s definitely not a conspiracy theory.