2020

Toxic Cosmetics: Exposing the Ugly Truth of the Beauty Industry

Presenter: Mary Carolonza

Research Category: Social Sciences, Business, and Law

This paper examines the use of toxic ingredients in common cosmetic products sold in the United States as a result of a lack of strict regulation in the United States beauty industry. It analyzes how a health campaign called The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics attempts to inform consumers about the potential health risks of these toxins, which have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems, and advocate for stricter beauty industry regulation. Scientific studies are referenced to support the campaign’s message about toxins in cosmetics, and communication theories are presented as potential methods to disseminate this information to make it easily understood by the audience. Data suggests that since the campaign’s start, the beauty industry has adopted stricter regulations and that fewer toxins are being used in products. Non-toxic alternatives are mentioned to increase the audience’s self-efficacy and encourage them to use safer cosmetic products. It can be inferred that analyzing this health campaign will contribute to a greater understanding of successful communication strategies to make the United States beauty industry safer, which can result in healthier consumers.

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