Last updated: February 2017
Cosmetics and Toiletries
A cosmetic product – as defined by the EU Cosmetic Regulation – is “any substance intended to be applied to external parts of the body with a view to changing [a person’s] appearance.”
These products are often described in wonderful terms by companies, such as “helping you achieve beauty” or reducing “the look of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes and dark spots.”
In 2015, cosmetics companies in the UK spent over £50 million on advertising. While wearing make-up is a personal choice, the ambition of companies to sell their products has received criticism for claiming unrealistic expectations of their products and leading women to feel less attractive if they do not wear make-up. More worryingly, this has had an effect on how young girls view themselves.
In 2013, a study revealed that approximately 20% of girls between 8 and 18 who wear make-up felt “unappealing, undesirable and simply not confident when they are not wearing make-up.” Simon Birch discusses cosmetic marketing and the impact this has on young girls on our blog.
We have focused on three major issues that crop up in this industry; the use of palm oil, toxic chemicals, and animal testing. You can read more on these issues by clicking on the links below.