It’s a tale as old as time. All it takes is a few drops of a magical potion, and the protagonist / antagonist is granted eternal vitality and youth. In the case of Tangled’s Mother Gothel, she relies on Rapunzel’s magic hair to retain her ethereal beauty. Ursula from the Little Mermaid, on the other hand, opts for a self-made concoction to transform into beautiful Vanessa.
In reality, however, there is no special elixir that promises eternal youth and beauty. Instead, many of us find ourselves on the quest to slow down the natural process of ageing via detox smoothies, jade rollers, luxury spa treatments etc. Some even turn to extreme lengths, but are they really to blame?
Our society shuns wrinkles, loose skin, and any potential lumps or bumps on our bodies. For years, big corporations have capitalised on our insecurities - and we’ve been willingly buying their lies, emptying bottles and bottles of product, and our pockets, in hopes of some overnight miracle. Yet, the truth is ageing is inevitable - and whilst a good anti-wrinkle cream can certainly lessen the appearance of furrows and fine lines, there is no way to prevent them entirely.
Still, It’s hard to resist the promise of hydrated, glowy skin. If only it were that simple...
Admittedly, things are changing. Ironically, the prevalence of social media has, to a certain extent, taken off the filter. Activists have been presenting a more ‘real’ version of themselves and suddenly it’s become trendy to show our unkempt eyebrows, acne scars, cellulite, wrinkles, etc. – as if all of this is a newly discovered phenomenon! Major brands have also followed suit, leading to much more representation of the ‘average’ individual in mainstream media.
This has not stopped the consumer culture surrounding beauty products, though. In fact, at the moment, the market is completely flooded with a plethora of makeup and skincare options. It’s an ever-growing industry that generates billions of dollars annually. Practically every celebrity has a beauty or skincare line- Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Rihanna, and even Scarlett Johansson.
What has changed, however, is the marketing strategies used to convince the general public to buy these products. These days, it is all about self-care and empowerment. Having a 4-5 step skincare routine has become synonymous with taking care of your personal wellbeing and honestly, it isn’t completely false. Many of us like to end the day with a light cleanser, gentle exfoliator, some moisturiser and serum. It can be quite therapeutic.
Even so, in some ways, this increased accessibility of products brings about its own woes. Essentially, there is no excuse for having ‘bad skin’. With so many options on the market, everyone’s needs are catered for. Watching celebrities and ‘skinfluencers’ with flawless, pimple-free faces rave about their favourite products, makes it seem so easy to achieve - just buy what they use, right?
Well, in some cases it may work out, but it’s important to take into consideration different skin types. For example, those who have combination skin should use different products than those with dryer or oilier skin. Similarly, people with ethnic skin may have different skin care needs to others. It’s a matter of trial and error. Equally, we have to factor in diet, sleep and hormones, all of which contribute to having healthy skin.
Naturally, looking youthful is appealing but ageing is unavoidable. That's not to say there's anything wrong with using skincare or even botox to look younger- just remember to embrace the fine lines and looser skin as well.
Edited by Carlos Martinez
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