I started my career as a beauty therapist in the 80s when beauty salons were all frilly curtains, walls a pale hue of apricot, and usually located close enough to the high street to remain accessible but still impossible to find.
As a budding young, soon-to-be beauty therapist, it wasn’t long before I came to accept I was a square peg trying to squeeze into a round hole. Painting nails, tinting eyelashes and waxing away body hair wasn’t for me.
Even so, I persisted until the day I found myself musing. Wouldn’t it be great if there were salons just for skin therapy?
It was 1985, and a business that only focussed on skin health? Unheard of, and yet today, it’s the norm.
Let’s venture back in time.
At 16, with my life in front of me, what to do with it was bewildering.
With my dream of a career as a prima ballerina ending at age six over a hair-curling tantrum, what would my path in life be?
Being the youngest in my class, leaving school came too soon and at 16, thrust into the world, career advice felt like a colour wheel of ideas spinning before me.
Did I know myself well enough to decide on my future? In 1976, young women didn’t dream of a career; they dreamt of marriage and children.
University degree or not, many of us end up in accidental careers and then ponder: How did I get here? And then, years later, the bigger question: How can I get out of here?
So I muddled along, dreaming other people’s dreams until I finally settled on the idea of becoming a beauty therapist, and even though it was not the life-altering career I hoped for, it was a start in a new direction.
And so I became a beauty therapist.
Off to beauty school, I went. My hopes were high for a career as a beauty therapist. I’d chosen well. A college that trained its therapists in the philosophies of Madame Ella Baché.
A woman who inspired me to move forward with a career in beauty even though I’d felt hemmed into the societal expectations of the time I was born. Ironically, Madame Ella Baché, a thoroughly modern woman who trailblazed through the 1930s in Paris, France, led me to where I am today.
During my time with Ella Baché, I learned that no two skins are alike. A philosophy that remains with me to this day. It was a way of looking at the skin individually through skin diagnosis. It seems commonplace now, but it was not always this way.
Madame Ella Baché
In 1936, Madame Baché, a revolutionary cosmetic chemist, started her self-named skincare range Ella Baché with less than a handful of skincare creams.
She was a modern, determined, intelligent and ambitious woman of her time in pre-war Europe.
Madame Baché believed improving the condition of a woman’s skin empowered her to feel and live more confidently.
Recognising that the traditional way skin types were categorised into dry, oil or normal was over-simplistic. She moved skincare into a new era, where skincare solutions were individually tailored based on the skin condition at a cellular level.
While in the 21st century, her original formulas would be controversial, they paved the way for what you now see on the shelves of beauty and skin clinics worldwide. The formulas Ella Baché created were well before their time.
You might think vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids in serums are modern skincare marvels; however, Madame Baché was using these ingredients topically long before mainstream skincare.
Over time, my career with Ella Baché took shape in what might seem an unlikely place: behind a beauty counter in a department store, where daily skin consultations with individuals like you. Eventually, this led to a career as a skin therapist educator to large audiences of postgraduate beauty therapists and skincare professionals across Australia, empowering them to discover their voices and share their knowledge.
I worked with Ella Baché skincare for 10+ years, and it was the foundation for everything else that came after.
Fast forward to today, The Beauty Issue encapsulates a 40-year career – an incredible but undeniably true milestone.
If you read my articles, you’ll find an authentic perspective centred on skincare, modern living, and a balanced mindset to navigate ageing without losing our minds or confidence.
In a world of hype, you deserve a balanced, informed perspective that guides you toward intelligent choices. Don’t you?
And now to my confession.
Here it is. I am not a fan of the beauty industry; perhaps more accurately, I have a love/hate relationship. I love the science, but the hyped-up promises of some skincare brands often leave me cold.
And while I write about the skincare industry, I refuse to inundate you with meaningless product reviews.
I prefer a minimalist approach to skincare, and although I occasionally subscribe to the idea of six or so steps in your daily regimen, I don’t care much for the constant search for the latest and greatest product or filling up my bathroom cabinet with more than my face can handle.
Unless the brand can back up its claims with scientific evidence, I remain unmoved, bordering on disinterested.
Am I a beauty addict?
I know many profess to be beauty or skincare addicts, but for me, as a professional skin therapist? Nope, not even close. Yet, I remain enthusiastic about discovering skincare solutions tailored to your needs.
When it comes to skin health, considering factors beyond your skincare routine, such as the food you eat and other lifestyle habits, can make or break any attempts for healthy skin.
So, while I will discuss brands that I think are worthy of your attention, I aim to equip you with sufficient knowledge to make informed choices without overwhelming you with endless product options.
What’s the secret to a great skin?
Great skin can come down to genetics, but a great skincare routine often depends on the advice you received before you commenced. If you’re ever left wondering why you can’t find a brand that works for you, it might be an incorrect skin diagnosis, the wrong products for your skin type and the skin conditions and concerns you want to resolve.
And finally? A great routine is one where you commit to the process.
Be like a ballet dancer. Have discipline. Audrey Hepburn
And now you.
So how about you? Are you fully committed to your skincare routine, or do you keep buying every new serum for fear of missing out?
Send me an email with your experiences in finding great skincare or the challenges you’ve faced. I’d love to hear all your stories: what worked, what didn’t?
What are your skincare challenges? Your insights will find their way into future articles. Let me know.
P.S. Products leave you wanting? You might like this article: Why your product may never work for you.
See you next time,