Hypocritical Beauty Product Marketing?
Walking past the pharmacy in Tauranga Hospital, I was (rather easily) enticed off my path and into the store when I noticed the pretty stand of NATIO cosmetics. A relatively new brand, NATIO is a reasonably priced “bridge-brand”; designed to fill the gap between supermarket and department store brands.
Natio’s tagline is “Natural Australian Beauty”, although in the FAQ on their website you can read the following:
Q: Are Natio products 100% natural?
A: Natio creates skincare and cosmetics that combine the best of nature and science. We use botanical extracts instead of mineral oils, and pure essential oils to fragrance the products. We also avoid animal testing and ingredients derived from animals. However, we do use the best compounded stabilizers to ensure that our products reaches you without contamination and remains pure until your very last drop.
In other words, the answer is ‘no.’ But that’s OK! ‘Natural’ doesn’t equal ‘better’ or ‘safer’. So let’s see what stabilisers they are refering to here…
What they refer to here as ‘stabilisers’ are chemical preservatives they use in their products, predominantly from the group of chemicals called parabens. Parabens have gotten a bad rap in recent years-but most of it without conclusive scientific evidence – so as far as we know, they’re not all bad. In fact, if a product isn’t preserved somehow, it would last as long as a forgotten banana in the staffroom fridge, become susceptible to bacteria, fungus and mould and make you sick.
Read what ‘the Cosmetics Cop’, Paula Begoun, has to say on parabens. She explains the fears and the reality in this article.
So why then does the display for their mineral loose powder foundation say:
NATIO Mineral Loose Foundation.
No parabens, No talc…
See!??! No Parabens!
So I go around the counter to the shelves of skin care, pick up a night time moisturiser, quickly scan the label and find methylparaben and a couple of other parabens listed in the ingredients. The same is found to be true for the eye cream and other products.
WHY, Oh, WHY would they make a ‘no paraben’ claim a selling point for their foundation, when they add parabens to their skincare products?
Marketing products like this is simply hypocritical.
The way they advertise this product is unethical as it plays on the consumer’s prejudice against and misunderstanding of parabens and leads the customer to assume that if NATIO says “paraben-free = pure”, then the entire range would be paraben-free, which is not the case.
So, if you come across the NATIO range, have a play with their makeup; enjoy the gorgeous lip colours and shimmery eye shadows, but don’t be fooled by their ‘natural’ greenwashing. It’s an attempt to take the moral high-ground which, in this case, is unnecessary AND untrue.
Do you have questions about other brands or products? Add a Makeup Bag Makeover to any makeup service with me for just $77 and get your own pressing product questions answered. See the Makeup Bag Makeover here.