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A summary of the traditional skin care industry

En summering av den traditionella hudvårdsindustrin - 1753 SKINCARE

The first documented use of "skin care" is about 5000 years old. During this period, olive oil, ostrich eggs, dough and various herbs and plants were used to balance the skin.

In 1770, the world's first skin care company was founded. This company went by the name Yardley London Lavender Soap and mainly sold soap made from lavender. Yardley was also a brand that mainly used herbal substances to achieve results in the skin.

It was only in 1872 that the world's first "modern skin care company" was founded. This was a Japanese company that went by the name Shisedio. After that, the number of brands has exploded where Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, La Mer, Loreal, Chanel and others have dominated the market.

Despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of different descriptions of products and skin care concepts, the basic approach has been the same since 1872. Here is therefore a brief summary of what the "modern skin care industry" has tried to achieve over the past 150 years.

Step 1

Use a cleanser or peel that washes off the oils and dead skin cells that we naturally have on the skin.

Step 2

Use another cleanser to really make sure all the oil is gone.

Step 3
Replace the oils you just washed off with, often synthetic, external substances/oils.  

Step 4
Add a skin care product that loosens the skin's barrier function so that the oils/substances we added in step 3 can more easily penetrate the skin.

Step 5
Apply a skin care product with anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the immune response that occurs in the skin when adding these foreign substances.

In my opinion, this way of treating the skin is pure madness. What are the odds that after 1.9 million years of skin care evolution, we would achieve optimal skin health by washing away our skin's unique oils and then replacing them with synthetic substances?

This approach to the skin is, in my opinion, one of the main factors why our "modern/urban" skin health is collapsing. Today, 85% of young people (12–24 years) have acne, 39% of everyone in the Western world has sensitive or very sensitive skin and about 1 in 10 will get eczema at some point in their lives. Moreover, these numbers seem to increase, year after year.


They sell skin care that makes our skin sicker and then sell even more skin care to solve the problems we have just created.


You can then ask yourself the questions - "If it is like this, why is this madness allowed to continue? Why doesn't anyone say stop, it's enough now?”. The answer lies in the lack of incentive for anyone to go against this huge industry. No one makes money not selling skin care and since we live on an economic planet there is no incentive to go against this approach to how we treat skin.


This year (2023), the global skin care industry is estimated to have a turnover of SEK 1705 billion. This excludes makeup and skin care products sold by dermatologists and doctors.


So what is the solution to this massive public health problem? In short, we must start treating the skin as it is evolutionarily designed to be treated. We have to start taking care of the natural functions that the skin has and at the same time live a little more as hunter-gatherers. Instead of washing away the skin's oils, disrupting the skin's endocannabinoid system and killing the skin's microbes, we should favor all of these aspects. It is only when we recognize this fact that our collective skin health will improve. It won't be easy but I really believe that David can win over Goliath.


Since the skin care industry itself will not change, people like you and I need to spread knowledge about this topic. If you agree with me/us, you are therefore welcome to share this text and talk about it with your friends.


Many thanks in advance!




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