Gone are the days when women were expected to live up to impossible standards of beauty and behaviour (lol just kidding!). From looking a certain way to sitting in a proper manner, women are controlled about everything. Directly, or indirectly, they are pressured to look a certain way.
No surprise, the beauty industry is cashing in on the pressure, in fact adding to it with their incessant launches of crappy, useless makeup, skincare, and personal care products that are no good. If you’re looking to sidestep the sham, here are some of the most bizarre beauty products we want you to avoid.
Because, let’s admit it, we don’t need to change. Au naturel, baby!
Makeup and skincare products women don’t need
1. Butt softening cream
Did you know your butt isn’t as gorgeous as it is supposed to be? Well, fret not! There are butt softening creams on the market that will give you a softer, smoother butt in no time (or not!).
One of the most wasteful products ever, lotions and moisturisers for your butt are taking the market by storm. Brands have launched full-blown softening, brightening, and perking up ranges for women’s butts!
Your butt being darker than the rest of your body is absolutely normal. It can develop tiny bumps over time, but that is normal too. If that worries you, your dermatologist can suggest exfoliating washes that will help reduce the milia. But as far as your butt is concerned, it is as fabulous as it could get.
2. Vaginal tightening stick
Did you also know that your vagina is supposed to have the diameter that is prescribed by the ‘Chauvinists and Misogynists Society of India’? Because if your vagina isn’t tight enough, it’s almost as loose as your character.
What’s the cure? Vaginal tightening sticks! If used properly, these sticks can tighten your vagina, promote sexual wellness (because science what?), and make your orgasms more intense. Also, society will be happier.
For anyone not reading into the sarcasm-veiled-contempt, these sticks are garbage. Because first, nothing can change the anatomy of your vagina. Second, it can cause infections. Third, and most important, you don’t need to.
Leave it alone!
3. Breast enhancement oil
As much as they would like us to cover them up, the world is obsessed with bigger breasts. Films, magazines, advertisements, and social media only seem to advocate the cause of ‘bigger is better’. Since we’re here for self-love and acceptance, breast enhancement oils are a complete no.
The pharma industry is offering everything from enhancement oils to enlargement lotions that will make your saggy breasts perkier and bouncier. But the truth is, these formulas do nothing for you. They can be small or saggy, have stretch marks, look slightly different from each other, or might even be hairy, and they’ll still be perfectly normal.
If you’ve already ordered the shady oil, the only use it can be out to is oiling the hinges of the windows. Why waste, right?
4. Exfoliating scrubs
Thanks to indulgent graphics and dishonest claims about the magical powers of fruits to make your skin better overnight, we’ve all indulged in harsh scrubs for our skin. Meant to remove impurities and deep-seated dirt, these scrubs have thick particles that are expected to clean our skin (like we’re a dirty dish). Sorry to burst the bubble, but these scrubs are doing you more harm than good.
Not only do these scrubs do nothing, but they also aggravate skin damage by creating micro-tears and abrasions. The drying formulae often disturb the moisture barrier, leaving your face taut (which is actually an after-effect of dryness). If you’re looking to one-up your skincare, chemical exfoliation might be the way to go.
5. Intimate deodorant
If you’ve been told that your intimate areas need to be tighter or brighter or more beautiful, we’re sorry. And we’re sorry for what you’ll hear next.
The skincare industry has come up with something called intimate deodorant. So, you’re not even allowed to smell natural. If you’re convinced that the toxic-free ingredient list of these products will restore the natural flora and fauna of your intimates, consider this: What is disturbing the natural balance of your body? These very products.
Your intimate areas harbour good bacteria that protect you from infections and diseases. These bacteria have a characteristic smell, often confused with bad body odour. You don’t need a perfumed wash or deodorant or spray to make your intimates smell better. The only person these products would benefit is your doctor.
6. Pore strips and peel-off masks
If you’ve ever pulled out a pore strip, you know how satisfying they are. You’re cleaning your skin and you can watch all the grime you’re getting rid of. But pore strips might not be just as great as you think they are.
Pore strips and peel-offs work like an adhesive on your skin; they take everything out when pulled away. Yes, they remove the visible whiteheads, blackheads, sebaceous heads, and hairy filaments off your skin, but they do nothing to solve the problem. They strip your skin of its natural oils, often disturbing the moisture barrier, all the while leaving your pores open.
The next time you think of using a pore strip or peel-off charcoal mask, look at it like a temporary cosmetic fix. Honestly, you can do better!
7. Armpit lightening cream
Believe it or not, roll-ons infused with real pearls cannot lighten your dark armpits. Some parts of your body like your intimates, armpits, belly button, and crevices are naturally darker because of the higher concentration of melanin (a chemical that gives us our skin colour) in those areas. Not to forget that hormonal imbalance induced by PCOS and other similar conditions can result in hyperpigmentation too.
Skin lightening products like roll-ons, lotions, and body washes can do nothing to change the complexion of your skin. We understand that the pop culture magazines featuring actresses with brighter-than-moon underarms are not helping our cause. Well, we refuse to look that way.
If you’re really concerned about your darkened pits, consulting a dermatologist could help. Again, brightening and lightening formulas can’t help. Having said that, deodorants are still a yes!
8. De-tan packs
Basked in the sun all week and heading to the spa for some de-tan facial? Let us stop you right there!
While we’re all for weekend pampering at your favourite spa, de-tan facials and packs might not be a great idea. While brands might claim that their de-tan packs are loaded with the cleansing properties of papaya or the antioxidants of red wine, that is not the case. De-tan packs often have bleach mixed in to give you the illusion of brightened, clarified skin.
Since a lot of people might have skin that is sensitive to bleach, you might end up with rashes or redness. The best option is to try to prevent sun damage and tanning using chemical barriers like SPF (for the former) and physical barriers like sunglasses and scarves (for the latter). If the tan is too deep, consult a doctor.
9. Rainbow highlighter
While we’re talking about useless products, rainbow highlighters have to be summoned. While the launch of chunky, multi-coloured highlighters knocked the ball out of the park, they are basically pointless.
A highlighter is supposed to match the complexion of your skin so that it can give you a sun-kissed, wet glow. Pink, blue, green, or even orange highlighters are a far cry from helping us attain that look.
If you enjoy drawing swatches of your highlighter on your wrist, a rainbow highlighter is the ‘it product’ for you. But if you want one for your face, you might want to look for a more mature option.
We’ve all given into the fad of buying these bizarre products at some point. For some of us it was because our favourite influencer swore by the product; the rest of us just gave in to the insecurities that the world unloads on us. As women struggling to become an equal part of this world, we’re also striving to be accepted for who we really are. It’s a long journey, maybe let’s start with accepting ourselves first?
Fret not, we’re not asking for self-love. Just a little acceptance would do.
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