What Is Your Beauty Worth to You?

Oh, beauty industry. Every time I interact with you, it’s because you’ve developed some new and exciting product that will supposedly revolutionize my life. Usually by solving a problem that I didn’t know existed. This week, I heard about the eyelash thickener Latisse when I saw an ad at the optometrist. The next day, I saw ads for the product on Hulu. Although the product has been around since 2009, I hadn't heard of it until now. The producer seems to be trying to raise its profile. With good reason: I wasn’t aware that eyelash thickness was a problem. I have never thought twice about my own or heard a friend complain about it. Definition around the eyes - isn’t that what mascara is for? But apparently, that’s not enough anymore. Your lashes aren’t truly satisfactory without a certain number of hairs per inch. Beauty doesn’t come without sacrifice, however. A number of side effects can occur:
  • Eye redness
  • Itchiness
  • Eye irritation or dryness
  • Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin)
  • Discoloration of the eyes
  • Lashes falling out
That’s right...one of the side effects of the product may involve doing the exact opposite of what you wanted it to do. With results like these, who wouldn’t want to use this product? Did I mention that the treatment is made by Allergan - the same company that produces Botox? It’s ridiculous to think that companies are out there making products to fill non-existent needs that create more problems than they are designed to solve. Latisse certainly seems to fall into this category. But then again, is this truly any crazier than most other beauty products on the market? It wasn’t long ago that women were using make-up made from lead and deadly nightshade. Today, standard mascara can cause eyelashes to thin all by itself. According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, other common reactions to cosmetics include eczema and oediema, blistering and stinging pain, swelling, allergic reactions, acne, and even anaphylactic shock. And chemicals used in some cosmetics can cause cancer. I’m not going to tell you to stop wearing make-up if you choose to do so. I’m a big fan of certain products myself. Cosmetics can make us feel more confident and less self-conscious. But we need to draw the line somewhere, to say that we are not going to be persuaded of yet another problem with a solution that only a new product can provide. This week, can we please draw the line before Latisse? I don’t know about you, but I can think of better ways to spend $120. And as for those other products - where do you think we should set our limits? Should we reduce our usage, or eliminate some products from our routines? Or do you think your beauty regime is worth the risk?

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