When Did We Stop Wanting To Look Like Ourselves?

Here at MV, we love the Buddhist saying ‘Perfection is the imperfection’. We think of it as a siren call for women to adopt a new approach to beauty and skincare – one that replaces a culture of flaws and cosmoceutical fixes with an attitude of gratitude, self-care and self-respect. An attitude that helps every woman feel empowered by the life and skin she’s in.

Filters, fillers and the cult of cosmetic interventions

Beauty trends come and go, but spend a few minutes today on social media and it’s clear the cult of camouflage make up and invasive cosmetic procedures pervades Western culture. Despite a recent backlash against the term ‘anti-ageing’ and greater focus and advocacy for inclusion and acceptance in the beauty industry, younger and younger women are altering their skin and features in an effort to look and feel ‘perfect’.

Trouble is, the commercial beauty industry thrives on this insecurity. It needs women to believe they should look a certain way, that their skin/face/life isn’t good enough, and that only more – and ever more powerful! – products and procedures can fix the problem.

After more than 20 years’ experience as a beauty therapist, I’ve seen the devastating effects of the commercial beauty industry and the havoc it can inflict on our skin and confidence.

Clients have come to me to treat persistent acne caused by the heavy, chemical-laden make-up they are using to hide it. Clients suffering congestion and breakouts because they’ve been taught to wear SPF daily to protect their skin from the damaging effects of the sun (even though they work inside an office all day).

Clients with hyperpigmentation and raw, damaged skin caused by dermabrasion facials and aggressive over-exfoliation with scrubs and peels. And the client who led to the creation of MV and our Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturiser after she called me following her hospitalisation from a severe cosmetic burn caused by the petrochemicals in an expensive moisturiser she’d bought from overseas. This wasn’t even the result of an outlandish or ‘harsh’ ingredient – petrochemicals and their derivatives were the most prolifically used ingredients at the time!

From anti-ageing to anti-you

Believe it or not, when I first started in the beauty industry my clients weren’t obsessed by their wrinkles. Sure, it is absolutely natural to notice the way our faces change throughout the years – and even to put effort into restoring it. But simply wanting to iron out a few creases, or regaining a youthful glow has well and truly transformed into something far, far, from reality. The beauty industry has tricked us, instead of stopping when we looked ‘younger’, we now continue pursuing evermore serious interventions that fundamentally change our actual features and the reflection we once knew. Would our friends from 10, or even 5 years ago still recognise us? When did that happen, and why are we not happy with looking like ourselves? Because insecurity sells, it always has and it always will. The beauty industry is relentless and will not stop until you do and buy more, more, more.

We hate that (as a collective) we don’t love our faces anymore, and as mothers it breaks our hearts to imagine our daughters being coerced into altering their faces, all in the name of a distorted and frankly cancerous ideal of beauty. The MV evolution from ‘skincare’ into ‘skintherapy’ is only part of my action plan to spread self-love and acceptance. Stepping away from the beauty industry by deidentifying as a skincare brand and realigning myself with holistic skin health practitioners is our way of showing solidarity to you, and your beautiful faces – perfect exactly as they are!

Feature image @priscilladupreez
Body images @melanie_kreutz @motoki

'I have the most unbelievably sensitive skin in the world, so I love the Rose Moisturiser.

It's extra hydrating and smells of roses - which is heaven.'

Emma Watson