The beauty industry in the 2010’s focused on creating makeup enthusiasts and collectors; and in the 2020’s, it seems, it’s on a mission to create the same fanaticism for skincare.
With a new year ahead, many are seeking ways to take better care of themselves, but in an economy that is constantly chasing growth, it’s hard to decide which trends are useful additions to our routines, and which are fads or gimmicks riding the coattails of skincare’s (figurative) moment in the sun.
While inclusivity has come to the forefront of messaging in a lot of industries, the goal of turning a profit requires companies to create a sense of urgency in buyers. In the world of skincare, the obvious angle is the most effective: a race against the clock with the use of anti-aging products.
Tara Sutphin has been an esthetician in Orlando for over 25 years, and her own youthful glow is a testament to her skills. She has worked at and managed a few local spas over the years but started working for herself after the start of the pandemic and says it’s the best decision she’s ever made. She recently celebrated two years of running her business, Blue Zen Aesthetics, independently.
With her experience in the biz, Sutphin has certainly seen fads come and go, and recommends sticking to what has been proven to work.
“I look at it as, we need to preserve what we have. You know, never sleep in your makeup, wear your SPF. Take care of your skin and get facials. So, yeah, you don’t have to stand in front of the mirror and layer 7-10 things on your face. First, it won’t penetrate [the top layer of skin]. Second, you should keep it basic,” Sutphin says.
So, what would Sutphin prescribe as a ‘basic’ home routine?
“The main things are cleansing and moisturizing, and exfoliating, getting the dead cells off. But as far as anti-aging, a couple of times a week use a good retinol and use a good oil or a good cream that’s going to give you that moisture,” she says. “That can help soften those fine lines. Vitamin C serums are important, and antioxidants, especially when living in Florida. You know, the sun is just not our friend.”
What about all the skincare gadgets that have been making the rounds on social media in the last year or two? Sutphin says that while a lot of them are based on professional-grade technology that does work, the at-home equivalents won’t give the dramatic results they promise.
“You can’t just go buy an LED mask from Wish and think that it’s going to work because it’s not going to penetrate deep enough. You’re not going to see some miracles happen, and as far as microcurrent devices or, you know, these little handheld lasers, most of the time it’s just not going to be strong enough.”
Sutphin says that the most underrated approach to skincare is one that focuses on internal things that affect the skin’s appearance.
“The stimulation of massaging the skin and working out the muscles in the face for tightening and firming. There are exercises you can do; you can find videos online. On my way to work I do a little routine; I might look like a crazy woman in the car, but it works. And then on my way home, I do another routine. So, it’s like working out your body. If you go to the gym, you get results. And your diet has a lot to do with it; it all goes hand in hand,” she says.
So, if you’re looking to be fresh-faced in 2023, drop the excessive products and gadgetry, and go back to the basics – which includes being kind to yourself and your body. And remember, aging is natural and can be done with beauty and grace, without a hefty price tag attached.