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No matter what century we’re in, nor the decade, society’s women have had an ever-changing list of skincare recommendations and secrets that we swear by. At first, it was only homemade connections of oils and fruits but over time as companies started inventing products to improve the skin, skincare evolved through the decades. 


During this decade, women aimed to have pale, smooth skin. They used cold cream, a cream made up of oils, to soften and ‘dissolve’ oils on the skin as well as bleaching cream to maintain a pale complexion.


The 1930s was when the first skincare product was developed. Sunscreen was invented to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays and promote youthful skin. This was also the decade when it became known that washing one’s face with water and soap was absolutely mandatory. Cold cream was still used, and tonics such as witch hazel or lemon juice were added to the mix.


This decade really empathized face washing (there were even classes dedicated to facial cleansing!). Double cleansing became big during this time, as well as massaging the face. Cold cream was still used and petroleum became incorporated into the skincare routine.


An explosion of skincare brands appeared during this decade such as Ponds, Clinique, Clearasil and Olay, and people switched from cold creams to a variety of different brands instead.


Since skincare was so big, many companies had to compete for sales. This is when skincare brands began to release skincare researched and tested for individual needs such as dry, oily or combination. This was the decade that skincare became multi-step as well.


As skincare companies evolved and expanded, the interest in skincare products further extended to people of differing ethnicities, young teenagers and men. Additionally, the introduction of organic ingredients to skincare products drew a lot of attention to the expansion of skincare. 


Anti-aging products were introduced during this decade to focus on preventing aging and a rise in all-natural skincare became big during this time. Murad and Burt’s Bees were introduced in this decade. Murad was the first doctor-invented skincare, and this brand’s beginnings paved the way for other dermatologist-founded skincare brands.


The introduction of chemical exfoliants became big in the 1990s. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) were introduced into the beauty industry to smoothen wrinkles and minimize dark spots as a gentler chemical peel compared to previous ingredients used. This decade also marked the turn of skincare towards vitamins and enzymes to support the skin. 


Organic skincare became mass-market in this decade and moisturizers that used hyaluronic acid became huge as companies moved from animal-derived ingredients towards organic ingredients.


And finally onto the decade that is almost over! Skincare has become bigger than ever, with thoroughly researched skincare products that involve more than ever.

It seemed skincare has evolved over the decades along with the demands for it. The fluctuations of beauty standards have shaped the standards of skincare all the way to today.

Images: 1, 2, 33

Belinda is currently a junior attending the University of Central Florida. She is studying Pre-Clinical Health Sciences and she aspires to be successful, her end goal is PA school. She is an absolute skincare fanatic, a lover of all things pastel, and a little bit of an adrenaline junkie and she's probably wondering around campus with her face buried in a book, out taking photos of food at a new restaurant like the foodie she is, or cramming for her classes. If you want a little peek into her life, you can follow her on instagram @belinndaaa
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