Ethics in the Cosmetic Industry

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  • Topic: Cosmetics, Sodium laureth sulfate, Perfume
  • Pages : 5 (1252 words )
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  • Published : December 19, 2008
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Ethics in the Cosmetic Industry


The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation Or
The principles of conduct governing an individual or a group

This definition is a general definition of ethics given in any dictionary.

Ethics according to me is doing what you are doing the right way and for the right reasons. It deals not only with morality but with character… How do you behave when the lights are out?

That portrays your true character and your true sense of ethics. Business ethics in its simplest definition is a portrayal of character of an organization or an individual when taking business decisions.

Cosmetic Industry:

Cosmetics are substances used to enhance or protect the appearance or odour of the human body. Cosmetics are meant to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on, or otherwise applied for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering appearance.

Cosmetics contain mineral or metallic and nonmetallic additives. The use and concentration of heavy metals play an important role in cosmetics production.

Like all processes producing goods that get ingested or can otherwise reach into human bodies the manufacturing of cosmetics is under strict regulations and legislations and thus needs continuous control and monitoring.

The question is… are these rules strict enough? Are the manufacturing companies adhering to them? And is the consumer aware of these rules & regulations?

Ethics in the Cosmetic Industry :-

Marketing plays an important role in promoting cosmetics. Marketing essentially means co-creation of consumer value. The organization and consumer walk hand-in-hand. It is the duty of organizations to improve lives, educate the customers and make them aware. Marketing a safe product is a company’s responsibility. However, the products that are marketed over promise and under deliver. The information provided to the customer is either misleading or simply withheld.

By withholding information, or by not saying what they know to be true, companies are only taking part in a mammoth global experiment in dishonesty! Worldwide, companies act based on how the information would impact sales and how it would influence consumer perception of the company. Acne curing creams are a great example. Perhaps, you believe that your cosmetics are proven acne products that can help you prevent or clear up your breakouts. At the very least, you may think that they won't actually cause your breakouts.

Unfortunately, the truth can be a lot more frightening.

Some skin and hair-care cosmetics can actually bring on outbreak of acne and even worsen the condition.

Portrayals of the product through advertisements usually play on the public weakness. They use a social stigma to sell their product.
Recently, my dark-skinned maid servant said “Didi kaash mein bhi gori aur sunder hoti….” and sighed long and hard. That after watching a commercial of Fair & Lovely!!

It saddened me to hear that. She associated being fair with being beautiful!

India's obsession with "fairness" is regrettably directed more at striving for lighter skin than egalitarianism. In recent years, the skin-tone issue has been fuelled by the global cosmetics industry, which ruthlessly exploits the insecurities, misconceptions and prejudices of millions of Indians.

The Fair and Lovely website proudly flashes the slogan, "Guaranteed Fairness. Guaranteed Fame." The ads typically show a depressed woman finding a boyfriend or getting a job thanks to the newfound beauty that the product gives her. These ads are discriminatory on the basis of the colour of skin," and "an affront to a woman's dignity. To top it all, it now comes with a fairness meter, a measure to gauge fairness!!

The consumption of this product in India is the highest in the world according to a survey conducted. A potentially dangerous consequence of this increase in use is that...
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