2020 has been the year of a lot of things, with thanks going to that little green lurgy known as COVID-19.
The fancy matching tracksuits can stay, I say, while the decline in deodorant sales is troubling, and hopefully temporary.
And the bonafide boom in skincare sales is absolutely undeniable.
Women (and men, too), are purchasing and slathering on more creams and gels and serums and lotions than ever before.
Which is not surprising, really.
Watch: Here's how you self care, according to your horoscope. Post continues below.
The Lipstick Index is a theory, coined by Leonard Lauder of Estee Lauder fame, that marries an increase in the purchase of cosmetics with a downturn in the economy. It’s believed that in difficult times, people forgo a serious splurge (a car, a coat) for a more affordable luxury (a serum, a lipstick). It proves that people are still going to treat themselves, maybe even more so to cheer themselves up, during times of unrest - it’s just the ‘what’ that changes.
So why skincare? For a couple of reasons.
In terms of evolution of the human race (deep, I know) it’s believed that there’s a primal urge to preserve the species, meaning in times of worldwide crisis or unrest, women subconsciously primp and prime themselves to appear more attractive to the opposite sex in the name of survival of human beings as a whole. Interesting? Definitely. Far fetched? I don't know, I’m not an expert of historical psychology.
More relatably, it’s because it gives us some control. When the world feels topsy-turvy and what’s going to happen tomorrow is frighteningly unknown we turn to acts of self-care because they’re rituals that can help calm our anxieties. They make us feel like we’re ‘doing something’. A sheet mask isn't going to stop Trump being elected, but it sure is a nice way to escape the reality of 2020 for 10 minutes.
So that’s why we're all obsessed with skincare right now. And with that newfound focus, we naturally come to critically assess our own skin. We label it emotively as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and get upset with our face if it doesn't do what the goop in the bottle told it to do.