The beauty industry is huge; huge enough to merit the tag Big Beauty.
Thanks to advertising fueled by celebrity endorsements promising all the glamor of Hollywood and using science-y sounding terms like ‘clinically proven’ and ‘detoxification’ the skin care industry alone is estimated to be worth $80 billion worldwide.
Add in all the other anti-aging products and you are looking at a $300 billion industry.
The perfect storm of aging Baby Boomers desperate to reclaim their youth – Gen-Xers anxious to retain it – a well-funded industry happy to sell them products and a celebrity-obsessed media allowing claims of efficacy with little or no scrutiny – has resulted in a glut of beauty products whose legitimacy is questionable at best.
We hear that Kate Middleton uses a bee venom facial to keep her face young and wrinkle-free with no evidence as to how that might be so.
Ditto when we read about Demi Moore using leeches or Katie Holmes using snails.
And there is the poster child of celebrity beauty tips – Gwyneth Paltrow, founder of alt-beauty and health website Goop.com and famous proponent of master cleanses detoxs and vaginal steams.
Paltrow reportedly spends $21,000 a month to keep up her beauty regimen.
Big Beauty is a master of using pseudoscientific terms and clinical ‘studies’ to validate its products.
The truth is there is next to no meaningful research out there on beauty products.
The studies that are cited are usually from researchers funded by the industry itself.
In place of real science we get testimonies and assurances from celebrities and paid spokesmodels.