The science of beauty is perhaps as old as civilisation itself. From the stunning painted bust of Nefertiti to the glamorous court of Marie Antoinette to the inimitable style of Coco Chanel, we’ve long been fascinated by the beautiful.
Across the millennia, we’ve been searching for the tools to enhance our beauty, tools to help us reach our fullest potential. For centuries, we’ve used paints and powders, unguents and ointments to bring out the goddess that had always lurked within.
The beauty industry, even before it became an “industry” per se, has always been married to science. Today, however, as we move into the second decade of a new millennium, the partnership between science and beauty has never been stronger.
Even more importantly, beauty consumers have never had more access to information or more choice when selecting the latest and greatest scientifically tested and approved products to add to their beauty regimen.
The Power Of The Beauty Influencer
Perhaps one of the most important beauty trends to emerge in recent years isn’t a cosmetic, a skincare product, or an aesthetic procedure at all. Rather, it’s in the rise of the online beauty influencer.
In 2021, the authority of the influencer is likely only to grow, and it is not at all difficult to understand why. Today’s influencers aren’t just successful professionals in the media or the beauty industries. Many bring with them some pretty impressive credentials in some pretty formidable fields such as chemistry, microbiology, and even the medical and environmental sciences.
Now more than ever, we’re turning to science beauty influencers to help us understand the science behind our favourite products and procedures and to introduce us to promising new advancements on the horizon. The particular importance of these science influencers is that they are uniquely qualified to speak with depth and to provide empirical evidence on everything from product ingredients and sourcing to processing and use.
Best of all, because many of these influencers have their own careers, they’re often not on the payroll of the companies whose products they review. That means you can breathe easier knowing that what you’re getting is far more likely to be both objective and trustworthy than a company-produced advertisement or a paid endorsement.
The Power Of The Consumer
Of course, today’s beauty influencers wouldn’t be rocketing into the social media stratosphere if there weren’t a lot of exciting new products reaching the market every day. In the past, some distressingly dubious practices have been adopted by history’s most celebrated divas to help them cultivate their storied looks.
From the consumption of arsenic to achieve the pallor so prized by the Victorians to the use of lead-based cosmetics, or the application of Belladonna to dilate the pupils of the eye, the thought behind some of history’s most infamous beauty trends has been doubtful at best and dangerous at worst.
Thankfully, today we have far more resources and far greater scientific knowledge at our disposal. And that is only serving to grow an already expansive market of products deeply rooted in cutting-edge science and designed to meet the particular needs, interests, and expectations of a diverse consumer base.
Take, for example, the increasing demand for environmentally-friendly, organic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and even CBD-based options. Whatever the consumer demand, beauty scientists are working to meet it, using evidence-based approaches to develop new products and modify existing ones to meet evolving market demands.
Likewise, if you’re experiencing a particular issue or concern, finding evidence-based information is a snap, provided you know where and how to look, including evaluating the data that underlies the information provided and checking — and confirming — the author’s credentials.
For instance, medical researchers are increasingly recognising the role of vascular health in the appearance of the skin. Varicose veins, for example, are now understood to be a leading cause not only of skin blemishes but also of ulcers on the legs. Fortunately, there are plenty of credible medical resources available to help you treat, and prevent, varicose veins non-invasively and with minimal expense or effort.
And that means, no matter what your particular interests or requirements for your beauty regimen, odds are you have a litany of great products and invaluable science-based resources to choose from!
Even better, however, is the fact that beauty scientists are increasingly seeking to develop tools and products that can bring such product customisation to the next level. For instance, extensive research is currently underway into the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies to help consumers define their individual beauty needs, identify products and procedures that can meet them.
Beauty, at its heart, has always been a fascinating combination of art and science. Never is that more apparent than today. In 2021, beauty science is increasingly grounded in technology, in cutting-edge research, and the needs and interests of the consumer above all.
Piercings have long been the most common and socially accepted form of body modification. There have certainly been times in recent history when anything other than an ear-piercing was considered to be rather shocking. However, sometimes it takes a shift in culture or a celebrity adoption to open the door. A depiction of Alicia Silverstone getting a navel piercing in the video for Aerosmith’s Cryin’ in 1993 helped to spark a trend for body piercing in the mainstream.
As with any fashion, body modifications tend to reflect the times. We can’t ignore the fact that one of the defining characteristics of our present era is ubiquitous and often wearable technology. Subsequently, we are starting to see the worlds of body modification and smart gadgets collide.
Body modification has been a part of our culture throughout history. Today, we see piercing and tattoos as fashionable aspects of our everyday lives. New modifications, such as those used in biohacking, are quickly joining them as ways for us to enhance our bodies for aesthetic and practical reasons.