I am not entirely sure what I thought would happen once I reached thirty when I was in my teenage years; So much of the discourse on ageing in the media is utterly negative, when you are very young and not very wise either, getting older sounds like stepping off a cliff in to the abyss. The reality of how I actually feel about ageing has been a pleasant surprise, last week I celebrated my thirty fifth birthday, at this point I am much closer to forty than I am to twenty and if I am honest the time has gone by in a bit of a whirlwind, but you rarely hear much discussion on the positives of getting older, of which there are many.
Like so many people, my entire life has been about working towards a series of goals. Whether it be getting the grades to go to university which was the focus of my late teens, trying to complete a degree whilst also working several jobs to survive, in my early twenties or the endless working hours and mostly unfulfilling jobs that seemed to take over my twenties. My thirties have been so far all about juggling motherhood and work, two roles that I love but that often clash. Unlike my twenties, I have been able in more recent months to catch a breath and think about what I haven’t achieved yet that I would like to, what brings real meaning and value to my life and how to move forward.
As time goes by, I have definitely become more sure of myself and less likely to care what others think, both important for getting on in life and being as happy as possible. I have also started to crave a sense of simplicity, I am less likely to be swayed by novelty and more likely to go with tried and tested options that work for me, whether that is generally in life or my skincare routine. The topic of anti-ageing in the beauty industry is one that can be controversial. Anti-ageing is a clinical term referring to the function of the product, on the one hand it can be useful to identify products that might help with specific skin concerns, but on the other a lack of representation of older women in the beauty industry and some brands using the term with a negative slant in their marketing, has led to a push back against this kind of terminology.
My personal approach to my skincare routine and ageing is that I want to take care of and nurture myself at all stages of my life. I am not interested in plastic surgery, fillers or more invasive procedures, but respect everyone’s choices to do what they feel is right for them. I also don’t tend use stronger actives that are often sold for anti-ageing such as retinol due to the side effects, although as some gentler botanically based options come on to the market I am tempted to try these in the future. I would love to see the industry embrace women at all stages of their life and not just to sell anti-wrinkle creams, but because women of all ages deserve to feel their best and beauty isn’t just one thing, it is many things.
With social media comes a two way conversation between brands and consumers and I hope brands will start to take some of the feedback on board and communicate differently about topics such as ageing. Women in their thirties and upwards might not be the target market for unicorn highlighters or neon eyeshadow anymore (although if you rock this look at any age, more power to you!) but we don’t stop being interested in beauty just because we reach a certain age. Brands who exclude, ignore or patronise us, are loosing a huge part of the market. Using twenty somethings for campaigns designed to reach women in their forties and fifties might have been something that brands have historically done, but it doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do going forward. It isn’t just about us as consumers of beauty either, the indie beauty scene is mostly led by women, who are all at different stages of their lives. It is an ideal opportunity for them to become more visible through their business and representing their brands in ways that wouldn’t be possible before.
How do you feel about anti-ageing skincare and the beauty industry?