Skincare Revisited

Everyone online is talking about skincare! Actually they already were, but last week a skincare-critical article in The Outline brought it to the forefront and also led outlets who already publish stories about skincare on a daily basis to exclaim “everyone is into skincare?!”

Like most of my millennial skincare enthusiast peers, I wasn’t a fan of the Outline piece. I didn’t appreciate the assumption that those of us who choose to be passionate about skincare are somehow being duped or fooled. It got some things right, mainly “Within the current paradigm, a blemish seems like a referendum on who you are as a person.” Skincare-as-moral coding is something I’ve long read into the marketing of certain brands like Glossier (still buy their makeup) and many “clean beauty” lines. About my own skin anxiety I wrote, “My face is something I can’t hide, and if I can’t present something close to perfect to the world, then I’ve failed at self-management.” Skincare can be exhausting. It can bring on a new wave of stress when I’m struggling with self-harm and the chasm between the now and the ideal seems wider than ever. And because skincare is a huge industry like any other, it can be hard not to cave to the pressure to try every new trend and wonder if the routine you’ve locked down is good enough, expensive enough, or Holy Grail enough.

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12 Steps to Purity

6a00d83451ccbc69e201b8d1035f7e970cTeens going to great lengths to get Kylie Jenner lips has popped in and out of the beauty blog circuit in the past few years, but full lips is not a new trend. When I was finally old enough to wear makeup and take notice of what features I was supposed to be accentuating, plump lips a la Angelina Jolie were the top priority. Then, to my relief (thanks for the genes, Mom), long lashes were the hot ticket. Then it was brows. We’ve moved past the age of 1,000 thick brow trend pieces, and lips and lashes have become a natural part of many beauty routines. We are now living in the skincare moment, and this is both awesome and crippling.

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