By Heidi Gibbon, Aesthetician
“I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.” (Ps 139)
There are two main influencers in general in the beauty industry, the French (European) and the American. Their perspective on what beauty is and what beauty treatments look like are radically different!
My original training is French and over the last 20 years, I’ve seen the American influence taking over our beauty culture. I do believe we need to hold onto a little more of the European influence in our beauty regimes and ideals. I will explain why in this article.
In Europe, both women and skin care professionals believe that when it comes to your skin and features, you should accept what you’ve been given. Meaning accept what God gave you! Your lips, your eyebrows, your nose, your chin, your unique beauty! In general, French women work with what they have and are confident in their own skin.
In the spa industry, they have perfected relaxation. When you visit a European spa, the experience evokes maximum tranquility and relaxation. A skincare treatment usually includes gentle exfoliation, hydration, lots of massage and glowing skin. Their skincare products are very respectful to the skins barrier and do not provoke much reaction. They feel luxurious and comforting on the skin.
While many Americans will have a similar philosophy to that of the French, to look younger, they will do the complete opposite and alter their image in whatever way they can.
Some are obsessed with beauty to the point of undergoing excessive cosmetic procedures that may or may not make them look better. Younger, yes, but better? Maybe not.
The spa experience is also completely opposite. The American trend is to visit doctors’ offices and opt for more radical treatments to change the skin. These treatments usually come with a certain amount of discomfort and downtime. They include the use of expensive machines with technology like dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, radio-frequency, micro needling (vampire facial), IPL and ultrasound. In the instant world we now live in, the beauty industry has produced lots of quick fixes that can become addictive, and if overdone, they will change the features that God gave us.
With the rise of social media and reality TV shows, our youth have been bombarded and have become obsessed with looking at images of women and men sometimes with wrinkle free skin, picture perfect eyebrows, pouty lips, and cat eyes —some created with filters, others with actual surgery or the use of Botox, fillers, and tattoos.
We used to enhance our features with a little makeup. The beauty industry is finding permanent ways to create “a perfect face”. Women as young as in their mid-twenties are turning to Botox to prevent the onset of wrinkles!
Delaying wrinkles on your face is 100 per cent possible with good skin care and avoidance of the sun. If you are beginning to see the first signs of wrinkles on your face, please visit an aesthetician before you go to a doctor!
With the Americans in pursuit of defying age, we have seen the birth in recent times of amazing clinical skin care products that contain actives that are effective in changing your skin.
For example, if you have acne or skin pigmentation issues like sun damage or melasma, you will solve these issues much quicker and effectively than you would with a French skincare line. Some of the common actives include Retinoid/Retinol, Hydroquinone, Vitamin C and AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids).
Similar to how French women feel about ageing, I too believe that ageing gracefully is all about working with what you have, and enhancing, not altering it. Our bodies unfortunately age and this imperfection created by age really does help prepare us to focus on what is important in life.
If we focus on looking like we are 25, we will not be able to mature as human beings.
Good skincare and ageing gracefully does not have to be unreachable. I would recommend protecting yourself from the sun.
A hat and using sunblock should always be considered your best beauty buddies. Be sure to include collagen-building beauty treatments and products with peptides to keep your skin youthful and healthy.
I would love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for product suggestions. You can also find me on Instagram at mysalontt