Did you know over 6,000 years ago, the first skincare products were invented and began a worldwide phenomenon. History class would be tons more fun if they talked about how the skincare regimens we use every day evolved. Get a free history lesson on why skincare is targeted toward women and the past/present/ future of skincare. Take good notes as you might be quizzed on this topic later.
Where skincare began
A question that is on everyone's mind is, why is skincare targeted toward women? The simple answer is since ancient history society has told women they need to be beautiful - perfect even. If you are not beautiful, you will have a hard time fitting into society. Women have been put on a pedestal for show and feel the need to buy skincare to be beautiful. That could not be more wrong! Skincare is more than appearances, it gives women confidence and makes them feel secure in their skin. Men don't seem to care as much about beauty or their skin as it is not a priority for them. Although there has been a subtle increase in male skincare since the covid-19 pandemic.
The evolution of skincare over the decades
The earliest evidence of skin care dates back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians wanted to preserve their youthfulness, a recurring theme in Egyptian culture. They started experimenting with different oils such as caster, moringa, and sesame. A few notable skincare creations the Egyptians used were olive oil and clay mixture to create a soap paste that would cleanse the body and heal the skin. Additionally, they would mix milk and honey to create a moisturizing face mask that would hydrate the skin. Queen Cleopatra would use dead sea salt to exfoliate her skin to get rid of the dead cells.
There were three main ingredients that the ancient Greeks would use for skincare: honey, olive oil, and yogurt. The ancient Greeks used natural ingredients to create the base for their skincare. Along with these three ingredients, they would also use fresh berries and milk for pigmentation and other properties. Altogether, these ingredients are combined into a paste on the face. This paste contained anti-aging properties and moisturizer.
By the 1800s, skincare was a privilege, and only people of a high class could actively participate. Skincare was demanding, expensive, and ever so popular. Back then, skincare was held in the highest regard, and if you could afford it you were automatically considered beautiful. Lightening the skin was also common as people used harsh cleansers, egg yolks, oatmeal, and lemon juice. Lemon juice was the most natural way to lighten the skin as it has bleaching properties. During this time, the invention of baby powder, Chapstick, and Vaseline were used as skin care regimen.
Modern day skincare
Since the 1800s, skincare has greatly evolved! Dermatologists have determined four types of skin health: combination, dry, normal, and oily. Now people can better understand their skin type and shop for products that will help them and not harm them. There are over 25,000 skincare brands worldwide that have a variety of products and prices. If you are looking for cheap but effective products, grocery stores and pharmacies carry different lines of drug store brands.
The current demographic for skincare are ages 18-24, also known as Generation Z. Since the pandemic skincare, there has been a large growth in the demand for skin care and beauty products. Since there was nowhere to go, people started focusing on taking care of their skin as this was the perfect opportunity. According to an at-home beauty survey, 78% of people surveyed said they upgraded their beauty routine since the lockdown. Notably, 70% of all the beauty sales in China in the year 2021 were skincare products. Since the pandemic, one of the most searched online trends was for men's skincare. This is great for skin care brands as many have found it difficult to attract male customers.
The future of skincare
The future of skincare is fast approaching! The majority of skincare brands are switching to zero waste and sustainable resources. Since 1950, humans have produced over 8 billion tons of plastic annually, and the worst part is not all of the plastic is recyclable or able to decompose. If a company does not value our environment, then they are not worth your time or money.
At Uzza Skincare, when using natural ingredients compromises sustainability, we don't go natural. One of the most important things to remember about natural ingredients is that there is a finite amount of resources, especially when we consider the industrial scale said natural ingredients would be needed. The labor, transportation, and packaging to possess mass amounts of natural ingredients can have more of a negative impact on the environment than synthetic material.
Not only is the way skincare is being formulated changing, but the target audience. Skincare's primary demographic is females ages 18-24 however that is about to change. Since the rise of social media, companies have been using influencers to partner with or sponsor their products to attract different audiences. Companies who want to target a male audience will create subtle or simple ads that will not scare male viewers away or seem difficult to comprehend. Some skincare brands are targeting a younger market who are just starting their skincare journey by having young and popular influencers be the face of the campaign.
Who thought history could be so much fun? The funny thing about history is that it is always repeating itself. Over 6000 years ago, skincare was invented to preserve youth and beauty, and now with all this technology, we are still using skincare for that same goal. Although history does not always have to be repeating itself, we as a community can change the face of skincare to be more inclusive of all ages and genders. It will take time, but Rome was not built in a day. We can make a huge difference in who skincare is for and how sustainable the products are for our planet. Let us be the change skincare needs and rewrite the course of history!