Of course, there was a time when using hand-made bath and beauty products was better because it was the only choice we had. I am not arguing that all hand-made bath and beauty products are better – they are an important addition to our choices and often better. The twentieth century saw us mesmerized by the miracles of science and industry and we understandably placed our trust in the discovery of endless solutions.
We embraced newfangled chemically complex products that worked to clean, deodorize and lubricate our world and our bodies. Understandably, we started to think industrialization could improve anything. We assumed that products made with the benefit of technology and science would always be better. In hindsight, we’ve learned that while science and technology did improve products and helped us with many everyday problems there were serious drawbacks
Drawbacks of Technological Solutions
In America, corporations are the main funding for technology in the bath and beauty industry. And corporations only have one priority, to make money. Which means that most research and innovation is made for the sole purpose of making money and protecting profits.
This is neither bad or good, it just is. Corporations wouldn’t exist for any other reason. They might wrap their intentions in a nice ribbon. They do this only to make them more money or protect the money they are already making. No matter how good a person is at a corporation, from the CEO to the Environmental Safety Manager, each has a duty to the shareholders to make money and/or protect profits.
Corporate employees do not owe us the best products, the safest products, the most environmentally sound products or the truth about the products. They only owe the company their efforts to make sure the company is as profitable as possible.
What is Takes to Make a Bath and Beauty Corporation Profitable.
Unfortunately, what makes a company profitable is more about public perception than quality. This leads corporations to make decisions based only on improving profitability. The list of ways they do this is extensive and not necessarily publicly known. I’ve noticed so much about the ways they increase profitability without regard to quality. For instance companies hide their preservatives in words like “Parfum”, they label products as natural when they are clearly not natural, they find legal ways to hide ingredients, they use cheap unsustainable ingredients, they use unnecessary chemicals for the sole reason of increasing profits.
Corporations can’t be upfront and honest about these practices of course. It would be in conflict with their first and only priority – make and keep money. In fact, Shape Magazine discusses a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing tellingly entitled “82 Percent of Cosmetic Advertising Claims are Bogus” .
People Pay the Price
And people pay the price. Not just those who buy products but the employees of the corporations. I remember when we thought computers and robots would do all the tedious tasks for us. We thought we’d be free from doing the boring things. I didn’t for a second think about how this would play out. It wasn’t all men who would benefit, it was those rich enough to build and own the machines.
I’m all for cutting out really boring tasks and automating them but I’d like it to result in better wagers and treatment of employees? Unfortunately, the corporations are automating tasks, letting go of employees and keeping all the money.
By the time we realized that technology was driven by forces that had no concern for what was best for people and the environment, we’d already lost trust in our own hand-made products and the knowledge of how to make them.
So Why is Using Hand-made Bath and Beauty Products Better?
Many of us get involved in making bath and beauty products because we love it. Most of us are motivated by our enjoyment of making products more than money. After all, starting your own Bath and Beauty business isn’t the best money making plan.
So when you purchase a Hand-made bath and beauty product, you are purchasing something that represents someone’s joy. It is a good bet there is something about the product that brings the maker joy, whether it is its beauty, effectiveness, quality of ingredients or the care with which it is made.
Purchasing hand-made products allows you direct access to the maker. You can often meet the person or talk with them directly. You can ask questions about the product, you can get a sense of who the maker is and therefore know whether you trust the maker.
Chances are that this direct face-to-face interactions makes a big difference to the quality of the product too. I know I don’t ever want to look someone in the eye and tell them I use inferior ingredients.
Higher Quality Ingredients
Makers often use better quality ingredients that are fresher. We use our ingredients quickly and often choose to use high quality ingredients. Also, we use these products ourselves and we have a much more personal interaction with our ingredients. We can see it, smell it and tell the difference between good and bad. We can afford good ingredients because we’re able to cut out middle-men.
The money I make from selling products goes directly into the community, to employees and not to corporate shareholders.
Makers are often in tune with folk medicines and the old ways. We often have memories of our grandparent remedies. We can make unusual things without the approval of uncomprehending board members from big cities. Our products are often unique and enjoy traditional and personal wisdom.
Striking a Balance Between Technology and Hand-made
Technology is very helpful and makers are extremely lucky to have access to some of the research and innovations that have been made public through the internet. Makers are not often able to compete with the slick, long lasting products corporations produce. We also aren’t able to satisfy FDA requirements or patent protection laws. We are limited but also somewhat free. It is my belief that there is a very necessary spot for hand-made bath and beauty products that we as a society must protect.