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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Elevating Skin care to Self-Care

Holy Grail fueled by a multi- billion dollar industry and hyped by Influencers & Social Media



Skin Care Quest


Skincare is a magical industry that promises beauty and extended youth. Perfection without blemishes, a culture getting entrenched in social media and injectables. Bordering on obsession, beauty standards are being consumed on a massive scale and being internalized, across the board by tweens, younger and mature adults. Skin care ought to be a holistic approach, embracing nutrition, healthy life style practices and common sense approach to beauty, but with the inundation of information overload, it is hard to maintain a sense of balance. Instead it calls for single – minded dedication that requires keeping abreast of the latest trends and almost mandatory visits to dermatologists and cosmetologists.


The art of feeling good has been elevated and marketed to dizzying heights. Beauty business is a multi billion dollar business and the stakes are very high. It feeds off the sense of personal inadequacies, promising perfection and higher baseline for each individual. The goal is to preserve, enhance and uplift skincare to include anti-aging, evening out skin tone and reduction of acne and scars. A covenant encapsulated in a numerous, stunning, enticing bottles, creams, lotions and serums.



Information Overload


Intuitive skincare is the order of the day. Terms like Skin fasting, skin devices, slugging are now inter – mingled with home remedies. Dermatology has reached new heights as looking good has become an obsession. Korean skincare is seen as the Holy Grail, while others watch Gua Sha massage tutorials and research every serum, hyaluronic acid on the market. The endless galaxy of influencer’s parade their opinions adding more in the mix. Skincare jargon is confusing as it is plentiful. There is Vitamin C & Vitamin E, the oils and the acids, but what is peptide and ceramide?


And in case that was not enough, we also need to be educated about ADAs and BHAs. AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid and BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid. AHAs are water soluble acids made from sugary fruits and help peel away the surface of the skin to reveal more evenly pigmented skin cells. AHAs are not recommended for sensitive skin. BHA on the other hand is oil soluble and can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. BHA is recommended for acne prone skin.


In skincare there is no one size fits all option and often less is more. Most importantly consistent routine and nutritious habits all impact skin care. Overall wellbeing is reflected on the largest organ of the body -our skin. Skin care is self-care. At the same time, it is essential to be aware that skin need not be perfect for us to feel good about ourselves. Skin has blemishes, bumps and breakouts – just like the human body is not perfectly symmetrical but it is still beautiful and should be cherished. We need to embrace our imperfections both internal and external as we continue to celebrate ourselves.


History of skincare


Skincare is not a modern obsession, there is evidence that it was practiced centuries ago. The first documented use of skincare is around 3000 BC with the ancient Egyptians. They used natural ingredients and remedies to enhance their skin such as milk, oils, berries, honey, yogurt and plant extract. The Qin dynasty in ancient China used rice water to brighten their faces, which is used even today as a skin cleanser. The word “Kosmetikos” meaning skilled in decorating or beautifying is a Greek word, so it is no surprise that they were pioneers in beauty treatments, such as body oils and lotions. Their legacy is olive oil.


The Ancient Romans used cosmetics to tackle aging, sun spots, flaky/dry skin with the use of natural ingredients such as honey, oils, vinegar, ashes as well as plant extracts. Increasingly through the medieval ages, the use of cosmetics is well documented as cleansers made with egg yolk and oatmeal were widely used. The obsession with fair skin was fairly common and lemon juice was used as a bleaching agent and with the onset of the 1800s, many iconic skincare products that we still use like Vaseline and baby powder had been invented.


As we stand on the threshold of the new era we need to remember that our blemishes are just one small part of the bigger picture, let us rise above and seek better versions of ourselves that go beyond the superficial.

 

 We are stronger together



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