Guest Blog: Facial Then & Now – Wendy Hinchliffe

by Customer Care

Our approach to skin care and anti-ageing has certainly come a long way since many of us began our career in the ‘80’s.

I thought I’d reflect on then compared to now. I hope you enjoy the read.

During the ’80’s skincare, facials and Beauty Therapy were beginning to become a more mainstream interest and career. We had more & more colleges available to teach the skills of Beauty Therapy, then known as a Certificate in Beauty Therapy, as the demand for skincare & body care treatments grew. Today we have Certificates, Diplomas together with Advanced Dermal Therapy degrees available to a growing number of people interested in skin & body care.

The ’80s saw more women than ever working and therefore with disposable incomes, but many would give up their skincare & treatments once they were either married or started having families. The extent of that change that we can see now is phenomenal, more recently you will see a woman continue making her ongoing forward appointments as she is waddling out the door at 39.5 weeks pregnant!

Facials in the ’80s were more commonly seen as a “luxury” or “pampering session, that followed with a common procedure which included: cleanse, exfoliation, massage & mask. They were often specifically for an “occasion” or perhaps, at the most, part of a cyclical 6 weekly session. Currently we see a considerable amount more planning going into conditioning of the skin, moving through programs that will treat Acne, scarring, pigmentation, skin tightening etc – all using various modalities to achieve specific end points, such as Collagen induction therapy, RF (Radio Frequency skin tightening) LED, Laser, IPL, skin needling, Dermabrasion, Oxygen to name just a few. The results with this sort of planning can be extraordinarily successful.


Women began getting more interested in cleansing their skin during the ’80s than ever before.  This had always been part of maintaining healthy, beautiful skin.  It took a turn when new technology emerged in more recent years seeing the introduction of cleansers with AHAs, BHAs and active ingredients to help more effectively with the Cleansing and Anti-ageing process.


Exfoliating the skin was a vital component to maintaining the skin.  Exfoliation removes the dead skin from the face and body, leaving behind soft, fresh skin. Often exfoliation methods of the ’80s were rough scrub methods, which would leave the skin damaged and torn.  Since that was the only method women knew of during this time, it was just a normal “side effect” of the process. How times have changed…Since the ’80s the emergence of Alpha Hydroxy Acid containing facial peels together with Enzyme based peels has seen an exciting step forward in the effectiveness and thoroughness of the exfoliation process.


Before & during the ’80s many women were dutifully cleansing, toning & moisturising their skin on a regular “twice per day” basis.  In the late ’80s however, new advances in skincare with more active ingredients brought about a surplus of products from companies determined to change the way women used skincare.  Moisturising the skin became even more important than ever before, although it was nothing like it is today thanks to even more advanced technology.  Nowadays we still advocate moisturising our skin twice per day but we can choose to include different products. We can include our trusty moisturiser but we have also introduced Hydrating mists, lubricating & nourishing oils together with a system of layering serums beneath our moisturisers.  These are jam packed intensive skin treatments full of potent anti-ageing actives such as Retinols, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, anti-oxidants, AHAs BHAs, peptides, Hyaluronic acid and many more that all have the ability and potential to turn back the clock.


Sunblock during the ’80s was something that a proportion of people thought we had to apply to our skin when it was sunny.  Now we know that it is a given…. We apply it 365 days per year – sun rain and hail.  It is reported to be the best anti-ageing product that we have at our fingertips.


Other advances we have made and changed since the ’80s is regarding the hygiene of our facials.  We commonly used reusable sponges, linen was changed when it looked a bit grubby, brush machines were in every salon procedure for a facial, we decanted from professional sized jars haphazardly.  Everything we use now is disposable – Fibrella, cotton circles, cotton buds, headbands, towels the list goes on and on.  Autoclaves for sterilising are used daily in all good salons currently, but during the ’80s these were barely, if every heard of!


As you can see, we have enjoyed an enormous learning curve regarding our skincare products and the plethora of modalities that we have to help with the Anti-Ageing equation that we are continually trying to solve.  It is an exciting time to be part of the Beauty Industry and l look forward to seeing what is to come.


Wendy Hinchliffe

Beauty Therapist


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