Cosmetic procedures such as double eyelid surgery, nose jobs and even body lifts have become more common as beauty standards have changed over time and cosmetic procedures have become less taboo. With the recent emergence of the glass-skin trend, it is no surprise that girls have been going to extreme lengths to acquire this quality. Unlike standards such as the hourglass body and doll-like face, what makes the newly emerging ideal of glass skin different is that it provides a gentler and more available means for girls to try and strive for this “perfect skin” through skincare. As a girl who has struggled with acne myself, those exact qualities of accessibility and lack of invasive procedures was what drew me to the field initially as well. Unfortunately, what started off as a healthy motivation for self-betterment and nourishing your skin eventually became tainted with misinformation and the promotion of the perfect skin. Despite what others may say, the truth remains as it has for the other beauty standards: it is impossible to obtain the perfect glass skin.
For a long time, one of my biggest concerns was the red, annoying acne that would scatter across my skin and cause me both physical and mental pain. What seemed like such a trivial thing eventually grew to become one of my biggest insecurities and caused a significant change in the quality of my life. I became self-conscious of my appearance and began to have trouble with my self-image because of my acne. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the world of skincare through dermatologists that I was able to eliminate my skin concerns and most importantly regain my self-confidence. So, yes, for me, skincare was a source of positivity. But what makes my experience different to many young girls trying out skincare on the internet right now is that I was never promised nor did I expect flawless skin. I went into skincare with the intent to fade my active acne and acne scarring and despite having marks and the occasional pimple, I was able to be content with my progress. That was it. I knew that there would be no flawless end result.
Unfortunately, internet influencers fail to disclose such truths to their young, impressionable audience and continue to promise “holy grail” products that will magically address any and all skin concerns with no scientific analysis of the actual ingredients. These assurances only succeed in giving young girls false hope and leaving many with disappointment and even more stress. Each time a product fails to reach this unattainable perfection, young girls feel the need to buy more products. It’s a bottomless cycle of constant consumerism and despondency, where time and money are needlessly squandered away.
After a while of failing to attain this unattainable glass skin, it may seem futile to try and address your skin concerns. However, I can assure you that although you may not achieve glass skin, it does not mean that skincare does not have a multitude of benefits to the health of your skin. The problem with social media and its approach to promoting skincare is that it is heavily reliant on trend cycles. To combat that, I encourage you to be more critical of skin care promises. Ask yourself whether a product is effective or simply a result of a successful marketing campaign. One of the easiest ways to do that is to look at the ingredients that the product has. Different ingredients target varying skin concerns and these base elements are very clear in their results. Once you identify which you need the most, it becomes much easier to narrow down which product will have the best chance of working for you. Second, instead of spending money on different products, try and invest in a trip to the dermatologist. Even though an appointment may be costly, going to the dermatologist is one of the most effective ways to target blemishes and will save both time and money compared to blindly buying any product on the market. Finally, know what specific skin condition you have. Even with acne, there are multiple kinds and the methods to treat them are vastly different therefore, before attempting to do anything know for certain what the problem is to not waste time trying to fix what is not broken. Most importantly, change your perspective on skincare. You may never achieve that glass skin on social media. Accept that. But that does not mean that skin care will not help you with preventing skin cancer, protects your skin from harmful pollutants and again, generally improves the health of your largest organ: your skin.
Although skincare becoming more accessible through the internet is a gift in that it allows for more information to become available to people who may not have had such access before, it has also become a curse as more availability eventually leads to a tendency for exaggerations and false information. Unfortunately, skincare has become morphed to another marketing strategy setting an unattainable goal and targeting people’s inability to reach such an ideal to promote products. Therefore, it is important to do your own research and find out what works for you rather than getting swept up with the trends. Most importantly, remember that imperfections are an unavoidable aspect of human life and must be regarded as a celebration of life rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. Thus, while I encourage you to try and fix those blemishes, do so for the purpose of health rather than solely for an aesthetic motive.