By Maddie Zins
Superficial vanities of beauty and good looks, and the worries that arise from them are, I’m sorry to say, the topics of many a thought by college students. Most students do not know of or readily purchase products that are earth-friendly like the high quality natural alternatives to beauty products available thanks to companies like LUSH when they’re shopping for shampoos or the like.
Whether it’s to do with the nuisance of what seems to be ever-emerging acne, qualms arising from a bad enough hair day to warrant a hat or headband, or body image breakdowns, we think about how we look quite a lot. Some days it is easier to control the time we spend thinking about our appearances than others—who really takes the time to pick an outfit or do makeup the day of a final? Still, most days, it is a time-consuming struggle.
Looking at it from a natural perspective, this makes sense. The other side of the natural living coin, the one that pertains with the Earth, is often difficult to set in a harmonious equilibrium with the woes of appearance. I know I try take into account the issues of animal testing, resource and energy waste, and pollution which form as a result of creating the beauty products many of us use daily when I go shopping, but so many people do not. This is understandable; it’s not as if the bottles of shampoo have the information of how many preservatives are poured into its wasteful plastic curves printed right on the side.
It makes sense for college students specifically to be a bit blind to the natural alternatives for such products seeing as most of us don’t have the time or resources to scour for home remedies (using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to clean and condition hair is one that has been proven to work for prolonged use) or purchase high-end natural alternatives. If a product is not in the Bookstore, Walgreens, a package sent from home, or the fortitude of pharmaceuticals toted here at the beginning of the semester, most don’t really see it as an option.
For those of us, however, who run low on shampoos, conditioners, face washes, body washes, makeup, perfumes, hair products or whatever other beauty aids we could desire, and would like to have an alternative that isn’t as bad for the world, this is a great option that is close by. At the Annapolis Mall –which is only a shuttle-ride and a day trip away—near the entrance that the shuttle stops at by Nordstrom, right across from Teavana, is a store called LUSH.
LUSH sells products its own invention in minimal packaging. These products, in addition to the fact that many donate funds to charities, are made of fresh, organic, vegetarian, natural ingredients. Rather than animal testing, LUSH actually promotes other cosmetic companies to switch to their completely safe human volunteer alternative that is actually more reliable in the way of data than most animal testing.
I can personally recommend their face masks (try the cupcake type, I dare you not to taste it) and the gift package of “The Little Green Bag” which, in addition to having great soaps and shampoo combos, is a nice gift to help make a friend fall in love with this natural beauty sensation of a store.
As you can probably surmise from the products I’ve tried, I’m not much into the beauty sphere of these products—I buy the ones essential for hygienic purposes. I don’t generally spend much time on my appearance aside from showering and the little more than yearly haircut to donate whatever 10 inches I can come up with. I believe in a type of beauty that is more natural than any organic product you can purchase or create of your own accord: inner beauty. It is good to enjoy our outward beauty from time to time, as a reminder of our singing, soaring spirits within that are always beautiful, as Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” Live beautifully!