Why Have People Gotten Interested in What is or isn’t in Their Beauty Products Now?  

Fair trade, vegan, non-irritating, fragrance-free, nut-free, cruelty-free, eco-friendly: I get emails often from some of the veteran nail specialists around the country saying WTF, why are clients asking if my products and services have these traits?

As most of us are already aware, there has been a consumer surge of interest to make better salon product and service purchasing decisions for themselves than there was 10 years ago. What’s the real reason for this though? Is it just a generational thing? Why should you care if a salon or client is interested in the products and services I review on this blog?

There are actually many reasons that have snowballed into a significant movement within the States and around the world, and it got a big push in 2006 from, of all things, dog food. But let’s look into how our society has changed from self interest only to self and surrounding interest to better understand why the beauty industry needs to catch up.


In the 1990’s, The Oprah Show helped a lot of people understand that emotional vulnerability was ok to express with others you love, whereas before people just bottled up everything and blew up at Thanksgiving dinner in front of everyone that wasn’t ready to hear it. We started to understand during that decade that we all have private struggles in common with each other, and we beat ourselves up a lot while trying to look cool to everyone else.

Crying in a closet holding a bottle of booze so that no one else would know how alone we felt used to be a common thing; now people share to the point of oversharing with those that are not emotionally equipped to handle that information…although at the same time, people have gotten MUCH better at seeing other people’s perspective when they haven’t directly experienced the same themselves, or being open to listening to them when the timing is correct. And at getting professional help for their problems. The stigma against seeing mental health has been lessened a great deal from decades past.

Add the instant gratification of social media and mainstreaming of personal webpages and blogs in the 2000’s, and you’ve got almost everyone’s opinion on everything everywhere, all the time.

And This Ties Into Dog Food HOW, Exactly?

Ok so after the 1990’s, people are more used to talking about our feelings even when they’re not happy ones before we reached a breaking point. Then in 2006-ish, a lot of our dogs start dying unexpectedly. And, if you don’t already know, YOU HAD BETTER NOT DO ANYTHING MEAN TO A DOG ON THE INTERNET. OMFG.

What was going on with our dogs??? Remember people screaming about rice gluten proteins being bad in  the dog food, and the rice getting sourced from China with videos of rice getting sprayed with pesticides? Oh yeah, that. People totally lost their shit.

All of a sudden, China was bad for being a poorly regulated food manufacturing source, and people started taking charge of what their dogs were eating.

  • RAW diets sprang up
  • Home cooked dog meals came along
  • Freeze dried kibble started getting carried in boutique dog stores
  • 100% meat jerkey for dogs became wildly popular

I know this because I was a dog trainer at the time, and everyone that came in wanted to know where a product was sourced from, as well as the ingredients. It was really sad that so many dogs died from a common food ingredient, but it was good in that people became much more educated consumers almost instantly. Progression and innovation usually are a result of necessity, and boy were people motivated to find ways to prevent their dogs from dying a preventable death.

With the ball rolling on people wanting more involvement in their dog’s food intake, they also started to get into wanting more information about what they could personally do to control what they were putting on and into their bodies.  Oprah spun off a show with Dr.OZ during those years, and it took off like crazy.

Since I have family in the medical field, I can safely tell you that The Dr.Oz Show is definitely a love/hate type relationship within the medical community.


On one hand, the Dr.Oz Show is a typical Hollywood show; you get healthy and lean quick by doing things that make no sense at all like eating nothing but grapefruits for two months.

On the Dr.Oz show, there is a lot of ‘eat this to fix your thyroid’ or whatever, when it doesn’t work in the amounts that people would be willing to eat. The research to support ingestion of a certain plant to change lab level results usually calls for gallons of that plant to be consumed everyday, and most people will do it for a couple days and then say “Bye Felicia”.

On the other hand, an average person that was totally not involved with their own health felt empowered by the show enough to ask their local physician about topics they saw on the show that they felt they could do to become more healthy.

Soft drink sales went through the toilet for the first time since their creation during this decade; organic foods, simpler ingredient lists, minimally processed food, cooking at home, and recycling became commonplace. People felt inspired and more in control over their lives through simple purchasing decisions compounded together to make a perceived big impact in their personal life.

So How Has This Trend Trickled Down to the Beauty Industry? 

The Oprah Show was part of a movement that made us more compassionate to the struggles of people around us, even when we were not directly part of the struggle. Her spinoff shows Dr.Phil and Dr.Oz (as much of a Hollywood circus as they are) helped the general public become more compassionate to people with physical and mental struggles different than themselves. Autism, food allergies, animals like beagles being subjected to cosmetic testing, and countless other topics that were always swept under the rug were now out in the open and discussed in social media, even to today.

People became interested in actually doing something to help change things by doing things or buying different things than they did before. They chose to buy food that was grown or raised in a certain manner that they felt it should be grown or raised, as opposed to how the industry usually did it.

They chose to buy things from stores that treated their employees better than the industry standard. In frustration, many decided to start making their own products and do their beauty care services themselves in order to have it executed in a way that they felt was ethical. And this trend continues to grow across nearly every industry around the world.

We as beauty professionals, as consumers ourselves, can chose to capture and retain clients that are participants in this movement towards more ethical products and business practices, all while continuing to provide the best performing products and services. The key is making sure a company that’s branded as ethical also performs, and that’s where a lot of us trip up.

If You Recall Recycled Paper in the 1990’s for Example, it was Totally Worthless to Use. More expensive Than Regular Paper; Mushy, Gray, and Tore Easily. 

However now it’s the same performing quality as regular paper; I use it for my business cards with absolutely no problem and the cost is only a little bit more than regular paper.

It doesn’t have to be expensive to opt into this movement. And it can capture a niche of mainstream culture here that your products and services currently do not attract. You just need to do a little homework, and like, I don’t know, subscribe to this blog and let me know products you’d like information on…since that’s what the whole purpose of me doing this blog is!