Research and Speculation into the Routine
history and future
push and pull of the problem
There has been a huge societal standard for people to have clear skin: otherwise, the perception is that the person is dirty, lazy, and unhygienic.
This shame has been perpetuated greatly to teens and young adults, though the shame rarely shows improvement. Much of this population feels obligated to hide their face due to this —whether it be from makeup, photo editing, or avoiding photos altogether — damaging their self-esteem greatly.
The cause of acne, specifically, is so varied and difficult to diagnose for different people. It can be hormones, diet, environment, genetics, skincare, or hygiene routine.
But to diagnose the problem is a large privilege as well. Many people simply do not have it in their budget to change their diet, purchase skincare products, or visit a dermatologist(when all else fails). Many people work in areas that are extremely drying to their skin, or even places that keep them sweaty and oily.
Thus there have been recent movements of body positivity, where different artists have stressed normalizing these “flaws” by portraying it in modern media, as Peter DeVito has(attached below), using his photography series.
east vs the west?
In relation to me specifically, I recalled moments in which eastern beauty standards have been pushed on me in my own household.
This juggling of two different societies is difficult and confusing at times: my parents have been, at times, critical of my sister’s sun tanned skin because she was “too dark” and it made her look “poor”, though she is very well off living in the west coast. I think, personally, I look better with a more fair skin tone, though I’m sure that was just an idea that was engraved into my head from a young age.
But these standards that my parents imposed on me also included the imperfections on my face. I was acne-prone from a young age, and it was blamed on me for having a poor diet and routine(even though, as a dependent, those factors rely entirely on my parents’ living conditions).
But these toxic views are extremely taxing to the individual, again.
The solution is not only limited to practicing self-acceptance and love, but also with diverse representation in media and acceptance within our own community. -Erika Vichi Lee
The intricacies and design of our community come into play here, where a support group is hugely important for all the individuals, as well as for shaping the beauty standard.
tools for perfection
Gua Sha as a practice has been around for many many years, and it has been questioned due to its lasting visual impact on the body.
This has been transformed to utilize in skincare, where the perfect material was handpicked to form into the perfect shape, in order to utilize it in an ideal way.
“Using a jade gua sha tool at home essentially gives your face a mini workout ― you are stimulating blood circulation, which increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, which can improve skin health” -Dr. Nyla Raja
Skincare has always been a grey area in my life. A lot of the reason why I do it is due to the pressure that's been ingrained into my head to have porcelain skin, but I have felt that it has been reclaimed into my life as a form of self-care, where I use this practice to separate my life from my relax time.
In addition, I feel accomplished in taking an effort to resolve the problems I see with myself. In purchasing a new tool to implement into my day for the sake of reducing some morning puffiness and waking myself up, I realize that this continuous practice is something I need to continue as long as I can keep myself sane from the hectic of everyday life.
There was a brainstorming period for me to push my ideas, perhaps into unrealistic areas.
I took these, and extracted 2 ideas, in particular, I wanted to expand on:
- currently present, but room for improvement, personalized skincare
- completely out of my mind: “skin transplants”
the future design of skincare
Skincare routines have been relevant in people’s lives for hundreds of years, with big progress in the formulation.
What then, is the future?
There exists scientists and specialists who work to still make skincare more efficient and effective. The recent change, and future design, is personalized skincare. Utilizing modern data collection and AI allows for personalized skincare formulas to be accessible and affordable, in which the design is industrialized.
“So the machine does the initial selection based on our proprietary algorithm and data science. Then the human experts (all licensed estheticians) jump in to talk to our users a bit more to learn more about her/his lifestyle, preference and what she/he wants to optimize for, and can make modifications accordingly.” -Siqi Mou co-founder of HelloAva
In this speculative design, though it is present in the current day, I believe that there will be massive improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, with massive improvements in customer service.
Science and research apart, what can also be done to make skincare more efficient?
In cases for burn victims(bear with me), one way to treat the burns was to apply fish skin, tilapia specifically(weak stomach warning for link), in order to hurry up the healing process and protect open wounds without impeding the ability of the wounds to breathe.
With this in mind, would there be a new invention for the future to perhaps apply some sort of imitation skin? In the application to our face, perhaps it would have healing effects to damaged skin while being able to cover our real skin’s discoloration while it is being healed(like some acne patches do).