Skincare Trends Past And Present | The 411 | PLT

Skincare Trends Past And Present

08 | 05 | 2019

Like fashion, the skincare industry is subject to change, shift and countless trends, whether it’s the Botox boom of the ’80s or today’s coveted 10-step Korean beauty regimes. While we layer toners, ampoules, serums, moisturisers and sun cream, in the early of the 20th century, most women relied on one or two products or food ingredients to keep their skin looking its best. We look at some of skincare’s most popular trends both past and present.

Skincare Trends Past And Present


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As innovative as the skincare industry is nowadays, we’ve always found ways to enhance our beauty. Cleopatra is said to of regularly bathed in donkey milk to maintain her complexion and while this may be considered unorthodox nowadays, the lactic acid content of milk was perfect for light chemical exfoliation, a firm fave in many of today’s skin care gurus routines.


While we won’t be milking a donkey for our usual bubble baths any time soon, we love The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid for sloughing dead skin cells and revealing more radiant skin.


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We all know the phrase “beauty is pain” but the renaissance era took this to a whole new level, using cosmetics with high levels of lead and mercury. Women were literally applying harmful substances for their face in the name of beauty.


In the early 20th century scientists discovered X-rays could remove excess body hair. Sounds neat right? Nope, while X-rays would cause your hair to fall out they also caused ulcerations, atrophy and later in life, cancer. And X-rays weren’t the only beautifying treatments that could have an impact on your overall health.


After Marie Curie discovered radium people went crazy for the deadly substance, cropping up in various beauty products claiming to improve signs of aging before a whole host of lawsuits abruptly put an end to the practice.


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Some of Hollywood’s greatest starlets had plenty of tricks up their sleeve to maintain their iconic looks. From Elizabeth Taylor bathing with olive oil to maintain glowing skin to Audrey Hepburn’s regular steam facials. Joan Crawford even went as far to splash her face with ice-cold water 25 times post-cleanse before finishing with a layer of coconut oil.


Back in the present day, we know coconut oil is great for body and hair but can clog pores when applied to the face. I prefer to rinse with lukewarm water (too hot will dry your skin, too cold will hurt) and pat in my favourite Skin & Tonic Beauty Oil, rich in antioxidants this is like superfood for your skin.


2018 brought us alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids, the rise of sheet masks and the 10-step K beauty routine but what does the future hold for the skincare industry? There’s a new exfoliating acid that might just have you putting down your go-to serum or scrub. Polyhydroxy acids are a game changer for sensitive skin, with a larger molecular structure when compared to AHA, meaning it’s gentler on skin.


Another development we’re sure to see are plant-based alternatives to retinol without the harsh, drying side effects; and with celebs throwing CBD themed baby showers and CBD shops popping up everywhere you can bet that you’ll find a lot more hemp and CBD-infused products lining the shelves.




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