But here’s the Mail Carrier I got 99 problems but what people think about me ain’t one shirt besides I will buy this thing: Once I got clear skin—over two years later after undergoing an intensive course of Accutane treatment—I realized how difficult and nonsensical a beauty ideal it is. Routines positioned as “self-care” are more insidious than they initially appear. What does it say that during one of the most stressful periods of modern life, we’ve become obsessed with looking untouched by the world? “Skin is our interface between our inner and outer lives,” says Dr. Nancy Etcoff, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard who studies neuroaesthetics (think: “the science of pretty”). Etcoff has noticed a sharp increase in skincare lines and rituals around the skin over the last two or three decades. Historically, skincare ads targeted older women specifically with creams and soaps. The industry has now expanded its focus. Today, it is not uncommon to see American twentysomethings like myself with elaborate seven-step routines featuring curated products made in Korea and other far-flung locales. “We’re always being told there is something more we can do or chase when it comes to our skin now,” Etcoff says.
Mail Carrier I got 99 problems but what people think about me ain’t one shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
Clear skin—and the Mail Carrier I got 99 problems but what people think about me ain’t one shirt besides I will buy this endless pursuit of it—is “in” now more than ever. A 2019 study found that the skincare industry grew by 13% in one year, making it faster-growing than the makeup industry. Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, Madonna and other big names have launched their own hyped skincare lines, espousing the benefits of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, two ingredients that have gone from chemist jargon to influencer keywords overnight. And unlike traditional makeup, skincare is increasingly being marketed to all demographics—deftly taking advantage of growing conversations around gender and race inclusivity. Everyone can take part in this new obsession.