This Dark Secret of the Makeup Industry Proves Child Exploitation is Not Just an Old Story


Darkest Secret of the Makeup Industry
Darkest Secret of the Makeup Industry
Photo : photo: pexels.com

The makeup industry is growing faster than ever. Almost every woman has one beauty product inside their bags. It became a necessity for the past decades and there is undeniably a wide range of varieties to choose from.

The worldwide value of cosmetic products is already at USD 532.43 billion in 2017. It is expected to reach the market value of USD 505.61 billion by year the 2023. There are many brands that became popular internationally because of its quality and ambassadors. But little did we know that these cosmetic product companies have their own dark secrets behind those lustrous beauties.

There is this one particular story in India that will make u look at your make up differently from hereon.

In a remote village in India, children are forced to labor because of poverty to bring the shimmer in your makeup.

Every morning, a girl named Pooja Bhurla wakes up very early. She and her family sleep together at an arm's distance from their small flock of goats. Most of the time, she and her father head to the "mines of mica".

Mica is a sparkly mineral used in making cosmetics by companies engaged in the makeup industry. Pooja Bhurla and her father followed the trail of mica crumbs that will lead their way. As they get closer to the mine, other kids are already there pouring out of holes in the ground. Their cheeks, hands, and clothes caked with glittery dust.

Pooja and her friends - ages from five years and up - usually spend the rest of the day shimmying into very small, man-made tunnels in ridges all around the area. The kids used ice picks, hammers, and baskets to chip the sides and backs of the small pits to loosen rock and dirt before carrying it out of the mine. After sifting the dust, a shimmery mineral composite will show that's been forming underground for hundreds of years.

If the kids are lucky, each of them can make 20 to 30 rupees for a day's work. It is converted roughly from 29 to 43 cents in US dollar. Every single day of risking their lives is not worth it. If the mine collapsed while the kids are inside it could leave the seriously injured or dead. There is an estimated 22,000 kids that work in mica mines in Jharkhand and Bihar.

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Mica mines' connection to child labor is often ignored throughout the makeup industry worldwide. Those which already took the high status of residency in eyeshadow palettes and even drugstore lipsticks are littering the issue. Mica also known as 'potassium aluminum silicate' and 'CI 77019" gives body lotion or eye cream a light glow. This also makes the toothpaste brighter and gives the BB cream a pinch of radiance.

Today, makeup industries prefer using mica rather than the chunky glitter made from plastic. Mica's delicate and gentle shimmer is one of the pillars of modern makeup but not for the kids who strive harder every day just to provide food on the table.

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