Cosmetics + Allergies

So, I know that I promised to get back in the game and post more often, and my only honest excuse is that motivation and inspiration are hard things for me to come by organically. However, sometimes things happen in life that are (or in this case, aren’t) great that make me realize having a blog is one place that I can put out my thoughts out there when I do get inspiration and motivation organically. Even if that sometimes means sporadic postings.

This brings me to a topic that I know I have touched on before, but it is one that I feels bears repeating. Having allergies, whether environmental or food based, play a major part in someone’s life and often in a lot of uncontrollable ways.

I can recall trying to shop for bug repellant spray a couple years back, and for whatever reason it be (hiding their secret formulas or lack of federal requirements) it is near impossible to pick up a bottle and read a conclusive list of product ingredients. Some natural products do proudly list out their ingredients, but, almost all of them also rely heavily on soybean oil – which frankly won’t do for this soy-allergy gal. Long story short, if you want the ingredients of bug repellant, your doctor must write a note to the company listing the concerning allergies, and they will respond if they are present in the product; this is all the while not considering the fact that soybean oil is not required to be listed as a soy allergen, and may not even be flagged as such but still be present in the product.

Bottom line being that allergens can manifest themselves ways in so many ways other than just the obvious.

So now for an incident that I experienced today; one that just happened to be annoying enough I had that spark of motivation to write about it.

Today was #NationalLipstickDay and as a lover of makeup and trying new products, I had heard rumors that MAC Cosmetics was giving away free lipstick. Now, knowing enough about makeup brands I knew that this was a chance to try a $20+ lipstick without causing my budget app to blow up my phone with notifications about overspending on makeup for the third month in a row.

In true cosmetic-fanatic fashion, I woke up extra early and hopped in line with at least a hundred other girls jumping at the chance for a free lipstick. We had our Starbucks coffees, our makeup on point (because, you know you’re getting in line with other makeup nerds, you can’t show up with sloppy brows or a weak highlighter game), and our phones out looking up the lip color swatches that will be available for us to choose from. Personally, I don’t love the look of matte lips on myself so being limited in glossier options, I was going to settle with a darker red that would work alright for a girl’s night out.

Now, out of habit I always look for ingredient lists online, I wouldn’t dare buy a product without knowing for sure that it was safe (I’ve made that mistake before, and as a result pawned a lot of products off on coworkers and family members that were unsafe for me). And, of course MAC decides to be one of those brands who’s ingredients aren’t listed, and are not readily accessible via a google search. No big deal, it’s a free lipstick, and they seemed like an extremely inclusive company that I wasn’t really concerned about it.

Flash forward to me sitting in my car, beautiful MAC bag sitting next to me, taking out the lipstick I sat in line for, and anxiously opening to try on. But, check the labels first. That’s just a reality for someone with allergies. And there it was… soy.

I can only say that not only was I extremely disappointed that I woke up early, waited in line, and even got a little excited to try one of their products (albeit expensive, I’ll spend money on products if they’re worth it), but that I couldn’t believe we are still at a point where major product companies use top allergens in their products. There are so many more sustainable and safe options, and for a company to boast about inclusivity but then ignore the fact that millions of adults who have common allergies are completely unable to use their products, just seems off.

So, with whatever minuscule blip of attention I can gain with my blog, maybe someone somewhere who has influence in a company’s product ingredients will hear this plea:

STOP USING TOP ALLERGENS IN YOUR PRODUCTS.

People threw a fit about testing products on animals and now it’s a staple for conscious companies to refuse to carry out animal testing and even label their products to boast it.

So, can we please do that with allergens next? There are so many alternatives and why wouldn’t you want to make your products available to as many potential customers as possible? Sorry MAC, but you’ve definitely lost a future customer today, and I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I want to support companies that make great products that look great, and I think MAC does that; but, I won’t support a company that can’t take it’s goal to be inclusive to every aspect of their products. I know there are others like me who will pay top dollar to know they are using safe, allergen-free products.

To those fellow readers who have allergies like myself, hold companies responsible and demand for allergy-friendly products. This isn’t a new struggle, and judging by how many more continue to learn about their own allergies every day, it’s not a struggle that’s going to end anytime soon. So, let’s make it known that we have a problem and we want a change made.

And to any brands reading, YOU CANNOT CONSIDER YOURSELF AN INCLUSIVE BRAND OR PREACH ABOUT INCLUSIVITY WHILE EXCLUDING EVERYONE WITH ALLERGIES FROM YOUR PRODUCTS. That’s just a simple truth of what being “inclusive” means. #sorrynotsorry

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