If you’re an avid beauty fan, it doesn’t take long to start picking up on the buzz words used to promote products—including green beauty products. What’s startling is that most of the language used by the clean beauty industry is anything but organic!
As we shift toward a movement of conscious consumerism, it is also time to take stock of the words we use to talk about beauty.
Look at the way media portrays aging. The message is disturbingly clear that aging is undesirable. We lap up promotional materials bearing the ubiquitous “anti-aging” term like cream to a hungry kitten. Serums that promise to reduce “unwanted wrinkles” fly off the shelves.
In actuality, isn’t there something completely unnatural about not having expression lines on the face? At the very least, why aren’t we spending more time valuing the aging process and paving the way for a radically redefined role? What happened to revering the older generation?
Why “anti” is a dirty word
If you ask what’s objectionable about using the term “anti-aging,” these words by Eckhart Tolle sum it up:
“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
One beauty founder vehemently agrees. A revolutionary in the green beauty movement, Josh Rosebrook takes a fresh approach to describing the results of his product line. While his eponymous line contains ample infusions of rejuvenating properties, he does not succumb to the mass marketing campaigns that turn us against the natural flow of aging.
Here is what he shared with me in an email about the topic.
From Josh Rosebrook
I have never liked the term anti-aging. Calling something anti-aging never really made sense to me. Like most people in the industry, I got caught up using the term for a little while, out of habit, because it was such a well-known, powerful, defining term of the benefits of a product or ingredient. I began rescinding the phrase from my descriptions of my products a few years ago because it just didn’t resonate as healthy or accurate.
I don’t like the phrase “youth promoting” or “enhancing” either, I think it’s just as destructive. There is enough youth obsession in our culture that needs to be assuaged and “youth” is defined as a teenager—that is an impossible promise and I think it’s emotionally manipulating.
When I’m sharing the truth about the results of my product line, I like to be honest about how it can improve, firm, smooth, brighten, and nourish the skin. I call my products effective, healing, and regenerating—because they are. Effective products can improve a complexion.
“Anti” also implies resistance. What you push against in life, on every level, only pushes back. Anti Aging is a resistance to age. If you are resistant to age, you are in for a painful struggle and you will never be fully happy with your appearance. If you use effective products and you’re interested in improving your skin as you age, you are set up to nurture a beautiful appearance and live very peacefully and happy.
I’m so tired of reading lofty idealistic, beauty platitude-like marketing claims. They are lies. Just make effective products and share the great results in an honest way.
Amen, my friend. Amen.
Let us be instruments of change and illuminate consciousness with beauty language that reflects acceptance and love.
What are other terms used in the beauty world that deserve a conscious edit?