Deadly Beauty

We've talked a lot about how culture shapes our perceptions of beauty. Yet, not all beauty practices around the world are equal in terms of safety. Some are known to be harmful. For example, lead powder to whiten one's skin was used for hundreds of years to whiten the face. However, prolonged daily use would lead to hair loss, rotting teeth, and skin discoloration, as shown by Queen Elizabeth I, who famously used lead powder to hide her smallpox scars. Advanced understanding of toxic ingredients and harmful behaviors has helped us move away from harmful beauty practices. There are times when advancements in science and a growing understanding of healthful behaviors clash with archaic ideas of beauty—and that is a good thing.

Your cart is empty.