CLASSIC SKINCARE STAPLES
The ’90s was not a time for complicated skincare routines or a large variety of products. In fact, well-known brands like Nivea, Olay, Vaseline reigned supreme when it came to simple hydrating skincare staples.
"But what about the standard person?" Dr. Ejikeme asked rhetorically. "What would they have in their cupboard? For most, a Nivea moisturizer in the 90’s meant you were doing quite well. There was also the shift in sunscreens, evidence really started getting popularized in sunscreens around the ’90s, I know Boots started their range of sunscreens around then."
Beauty journalist and podcaster Emma Guns added, "I remember going to Boots and spending 99 pence on skincare.”
"I used to buy my skincare at the local chemist," recalled facialist Abigail James.
BRAND COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY
Emma Guns raised an interesting point on the evolution of skincare marketing and consumer expectation in the 90s.
In the 90s I think, you were kind of buying ‘hope’...all brands found these naturally beautiful genetically blessed models and you were made to think these products could make you look like them. I spent the 90s being really dissatisfied with skincare – not getting the results. I think it began to change as we realized not only can you make these impressive changes but you can make it on a consumer-level.
THE EMERGENCE OF BOTOX
In addition to basic skincare, it was at this time that consumers were also introduced to minimally-invasive procedures. Licensed for use in 1997 by the FDA, the 1990s saw the emergence of Botox injections being popularized especially in the United States. This opened the door to cosmetic procedures in general, such as chemical peels:
Dr. Psomadakis explained:
Cosmetic procedures gained visibility in the 1990s to a certain extent. Botox had a license to be used and then we were seeing as we progressed through the 90s, early 2000s - those things being translated to what you could get at home, equivalent; chemical peels for instance done by actresses.
More on the cosmetic shift from Dr. Psomadakis:
From a Dermatology perspective, there was a big shift in adopting cosmetic dermatology as part of our remit...Dermatology as a speciality is relatively new. Initially they were dealing with skin disease and only probably from the 90s onwards did they encompass this area that overlaps with aesthetics.