Why We’re Anti “Anti-Ageing”

On August 14, American beauty magazine Allure did something kind of amazing. As a publication, they’ve decided to renounce the phrase ‘anti-ageing,’ and from now on you’ll see a much more considered, celebratory approach to the topic of getting older in their magazine. This is, frankly, a heroic stand, and it’s one that we at Glasshouse are massively on board with.

Here in the salon, as you know, our ethos is centred around natural beauty, and you don’t – for better or worse – get more natural than the ageing process. And while we believe that there are definitely steps you can take to help that process go as smoothly as possible, we also don’t really think that there’s any point in trying to stop it. Ageing, after all, is an inescapable part of life, and it doesn’t need to be viewed as a negative.

Explaining their decision, Allure say that the term “anti-ageing” is “subtly reinforcing the message that ageing is a condition we need to battle,” and they’re not wrong. There are many, many excellent things about getting older – knowing more about the world and your place in it, for example, as well as becoming more comfortable with yourself and who you are – and the way we talk about ageing never acknowledges those positives. Allure are hoping that their new direction will address this, and we think that’s admirable.

Because it’s a sad truth that the beauty and fashion industries fetishise youth, and the faces we see splayed across basically all our media tell us that youth is to be desired, while age and experience are treated as unfortunate inevitabilities. From huge billboards to the models wearing the clothes you’re putting in your online shopping basket, youth is everywhere and it’s unavoidable. But it’s only through changing the way we approach ageing both in media, and in practice, that anything will ever change. And ultimately, we agree with Allure that it’s much more exciting to welcome ageing than to try to fight it – we have done for a while.

In the past, we’ve talked on the journal about how liberating it can be to grow out your natural grey rather than scrambling to cover up your roots every four weeks, with an explanation of how best to do it, too. We also stock a number of beauty products specifically designed to flatter older skin, and we think that our approach of using natural, kind-to-skin cosmetics is a great way to embrace the changes that happen as you age.

For base, we love the Liquid Minerals foundation from Jane Iredale. A super lightweight and hydrating product that combines a plumping serum with pigment, Liquid Minerals has a luminous finish that still lets the natural texture of the skin shine through and won’t settle in lines like a powder might. The creamy formulas of RMS Beauty’s Lip2cheek pots are perfect for adding colour to mature skin thanks to a nourishing base of coconut oil - we like the shade Promise, a copper-undertoned salmon pink, and Illusive which is a matte burnt rose with a hint of plum. Ilia Beauty‘s buildable and moisturising tinted lip conditioners are another go-to, try In Paradise for a coral-hued pink or Bang Bang for a punchy red.

And while it’s true that ageing can be difficult to deal with for lots of reasons, we think that it’s the responsibility of the media – and of places like Glasshouse – to make the process a little less stressful for everyone who goes through it, by changing the way we approach it. Because like the rest of life, getting older should be enjoyed, and it’s important that there are some reminders that it doesn’t need to be constantly combatted with the latest cream, spray, gel, or £500 facial. You’re great as you are, and there aren’t enough media or hair and beauty industry voices that say that. We’d like to be one that does.

Words: Lauren O’Neill
Feature image: Gina Espo

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