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Ethical Manufacturing in the Beauty Industry

February 14, 2013

Now, more than ever, ethics have come to play a pivotal part of the beauty industry.

But are you, as a player in this multi-billion industry, actually paying heed to ethical aspects of operating in this space? In fact, are you even aware of the various ethics related arguments, debates, stands which are being vehemently taken in the beauty industry?

This blog post takes up such issues and more, so read on…


What are ethics?

Ethics per se are unwritten but very widely accepted norms which guide us towards that which is good, correct and acceptable. Therefore, as a corollary, that which is bad, incorrect and unacceptable would accordingly be considered as unethical.


Ethics in the context of the beauty industry

Ethics have come to play a major part in the beauty industry, globally. So irrespective of which part of the world beauty companies may be operating in, it becomes quintessential that they focus on ethics and ensure a clean and transparent image at all times.

This is all the more true, thanks to an absolute explosion in Television and Online media wherein customers, both existing as well as prospective ones, are privy to the ethical – or unethical, as the case may be, practices which are followed by beauty companies.

And anyway, thanks to globalization, we increasingly find that there are select players which invariably have a worldwide presence today, more than ever, which means that they follow ethical practices, all the more stringently.


Advertising and Tall Claims – A Key Component of Ethics in the Beauty Industry

We increasingly find that beauty companies go to just about any extent to advertise and promote their products, making a barrage of claims along the way which may or may not be grounded in any form of reality.

Take for instance:

  • Beauty products that claim fairer skin, especially marketed across many parts of Asia, where fairer skin is valued very highly. Do these products really work? Can such fairness creams, lotions, etc. really make skin tone lighter?
  • Anti-aging is another aspect which is stressed upon by beauty companies, pretty much globally. Yes, after a certain point in our lives, we vehemently dislike the prospect of growing old and would likely do anything to look young, if not actually be so. But can these beauty products actually help is making us look young?

There are many such instances and beauty companies really need to tread a very fine line as far as remaining truthful and ethical on one hand is concerned, while at the same time, ensuring that they actually sell their products.


Environmental Degradation & Destruction – And the Role Played by the Beauty Industry in it

No doubt, many companies across diverse industries play an unfortunate part in destroying or at least harming our ecology, polluting it or somehow doing damage to it. As an instance, oil companies are infamous for harming the environment around places where they carry out their E&P activities in particular.

Unfortunately, the same goes for the beauty industry as well.

A case in point would be the usage of palm oil in the industry, which is extensive, and for which, there are vast tracts of protected rain forests across various parts of countries like Indonesia and Malaysia which have been particularly laid bare, causing unrelenting harm to the entire ecosystem in these places since animals are affected badly which in turn affects human lives too, in so many different ways.

The beauty industry really needs to look into the ways and means by which it procures the ingredients or raw materials for its products. Not only that, it continuously needs to research on products which are more viable and non-destructive to the environment and ecology, vis-à-vis those which actually are.


Quality of Ingredients – Key to Ethics being maintained in the Beauty Industry

The fact that beauty products use all sorts of chemicals is of course well known. But what about the actual effect on our skin? Sure, they may make us look good and more appealing, but perhaps there is long term damage which is taking place to our skin – or any other parts of our bodies where we may be applying or using them?

Remember that in the course of using these items over time, there is always the prospect of oral ingestion as well, however minor. This could have unimaginable repercussions if the products used happen to be ones which can cause immense harm from within.



Ethics are an absolutely pivotal part of the beauty industry. Today, ethics hold an all the more important role, thanks to the fact that end consumers have themselves begun to give ethics so much importance. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative that steps are taken by all players and stakeholders in the beauty industry to abide by ethical standards at all times.