The Ugly Truth – 6 Horrifying Facts You Need to Know About the Beauty Industry


Given that its mission is supposed to be about looking and feeling good, the beauty industry has a lot of ugly aspects to it. There’s even a dark side to those custom promotional products beauty companies sell or give away when they partner with charities. Yet that’s only the start of the trail of destruction created by this deceptively pretty industry. Read on to discover six horrifying facts you need to know about the world of beauty: 

1. Beauty products can cause severe health problems

From rashes caused by body scrub ingredients to cancer caused by asbestos in makeup products containing talc, the beauty industry has been responsible for an endless (and needless) stream of health concerns both mild and horrific. Asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, and infertility are just a few of the more serious conditions that can arise from the toxic ingredients found in many makeup and personal care products. 

2. Charitable work isn’t so charitable in the beauty industry

Beauty companies are always the first to jump on board with pink ribbon promotional products supporting breast cancer research. However, these same brands are often responsible for putting ingredients in their products that have been linked to breast cancer diagnoses via research. Not only do they continue using these ingredients, but they also band together to fight laws that might compel them to disclose their use of chemicals that have been linked to cancer. 

3. The labeling on beauty products can be deceptive

Since consumers are becoming more aware of these problems and learning which ingredients they should be avoiding, beauty companies are adjusting their tactics. While some are changing their ingredients to ensure they’re providing non-harmful products, others simply adjust the way they list their ingredients. There are plenty of loopholes allowing brands to disguise chemicals under catchall terms like “fragrance,” “trace elements,” “or metal salts.” Even heavy metals like mercury and lead can be snuck in under such terms.  

4. Some brands have made it clear they don’t care about customer safety

You’d think there wouldn’t be any resistance to a campaign designed to phase out the use of ingredients linked to serious health problems by reputable scientific research. However, many beauty brands are fighting tooth and perfectly-manicured-nail to avoid just such a thing. The  Campaign for Safe Cosmetics wants beauty companies to commit to replacing all harmful ingredients with safer alternatives. Though they have had a lot of success, particularly with smaller beauty brands, many of the biggest names in the industry continue to resist. 

5. They use deceptive language

Words like “natural,” and “pure” may seem to be telling you something. However, they are unregulated, meaning anyone can slap them on their goods without having to prove anything. The same goes for products that claim to “support” or “promote” things like hair growth or healthy skin. Since these aren’t regulated terms, companies have no obligation to prove that they’re true. 

6. They pay for endorsements

Endorsements for beauty products are often bought. That’s not to say that all ticks of approval from celebrities, industry bodies, and nonprofits are bogus. However, in this day and age, you simply can’t trust ads and product labels. If you really want to be sure a product is legit, you need to hunt for the information yourself. 


Just as we use beauty products to conceal our imperfections, so too does the industry cover over its flaws to present a manicured image to the world. The difference is, your flaws are part of what makes you unique and beautiful, whereas the flaws in the beauty industry are the true definition of ugly. 

Leave a reply