Beauty Standards Are Changing During the Pandemic—How To Tell If Yours Have Shifted

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Suffice it to say that after a year in which so many people have spent so much time looking at their faces on Zoom, our relationships with our skin have shifted. "It's not shameful to have really strong feelings about your physical appearance and to want to appear a certain way," beauty reporter Jessica Defino put it in the latest episode of The Well+Good Podcast. But considering the beauty industry is a $463.5 trillion business that has been known to set impossible standards to sell loads and loads of product, the degree to which someone does (or doesn't want to participate) in the skin-care craze deserves a deeper dive.

Experts In This Article

In this new beauty-focused podcast episode, Well+Good's GM Kate Spies—who admits that she's been "a pretty big victim of those beauty standards"—chats with Defino; Carolyn Treasure, a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of the Botox studio Peachy; and Claudia Aguirre, PhD, a longevity-focused neuroscientist to better understand the role that beauty plays in our perception of ourselves... and of how others see us. And it's worth mentioning that while almost every one of the the guests acknowledges that skin care that makes you feel good is paramount, each of them also goes after that in a drastically different way.


Defino's golden rule of skin care, for instance is: "Leave your face the f**k alone". And while that's, no doubt, an opinion at one end of the spectrum that's become more and more popular, others champion doing what makes you feel good, whether that means buying a serum or seeing a dermatologist to relax fine lines. "What Botox does is prevent and minimize the physiologic aging component, and certainly for some people, prevention is not for them," says Treasure. "I think framing it as prevention and as part of a long-term self-care routine is how I personally use wrinkle relaxers for myself... but we never view aging as a bad thing, and for us, wrinkle prevention and treatment is so separate from aging." 

Ultimately, doing what makes you feel good is wellness 101, but in this episode, our experts challenge you to figure out where you fall on the spectrum of beauty standards. Ask yourself why certain skin-care steps or treatments have become so closely linked with self-care for yourself. Press play on the episode above to hear their arguments, and to take a deeper look at your relationship with your own regimen.

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