Beneath The Surface: A conversation on embracing natural skin

Beneath the Surface: a Conversation on Embracing our Natural Skin – Editorial

The ‘Beneath the Surface: a Conversation on Embracing our Natural Skin’ editorials one of our online ISSUE segments, head to THE EMERSION ISSUE for the complete editorial

Editorial lensed by Yiannis Fragos

Healthy skin is in this summer. 

Despite the beauty industry constantly promoting a flawless, airbrushed look, the reality is that there’s no such thing as perfect skin. Acne, scars, wrinkles, dark under-eyes; they’re all normal. The need to attain perfect-looking skin has been a concern for years, as individuals invest countless hours attempting to either prevent skin marks or cover them up. As we find ourselves caught up in this exhausting cycle, the only thing we need reminding of is that healthy skin does not equal perfect skin. 

Beneath the Surface: a Conversation on Embracing our Natural Skin - Editorial

Perfect VS Healthy Skin

Perfection is an unattainable metric. Striving to achieve it only succeeds in forming insecurities, and adding layers of pressure and anxiety. Health, on the other hand, is a journey of self-love and acceptance; it should be focused on making yourself feel good. Our skin is a reflection of our health, and this editorial recognises that it differs from one person to another. A raw and unedited feel is expressed throughout the spread, with a neutral-tone colour palette. Clothing is absent and hair is kept simple, drawing complete focus on the face. Skin texture is celebrated, as scars, dark circles, and birthmarks are brought to the foreground. We are reminded that healthy skin is not a definite term, but rather that these marks act as an extension of our identity; they serve as part of our journey, each with their own story. The editorial explores a different outlook on standardised beauty ideals, encouraging individuals to focus on skin care which radiates health, embracing their insecurities without feeling the need to cover up. At its core, this spread encapsulates the meaning of self-love and acceptance.

Light Beauty Alternatives

Although we are all about going 100% natural this summer, where light coverage is desired, a BB or CC cream would be our ultimate recommendation. Layers of heavy foundation may leave the skin feeling oily and irritated. BB and CC creams offer a kinder alternative to the skin, allowing the individual to add a light layer of coverage without necessarily distorting their natural look. Considering the scorching summer heat, this alternative reassures the consumer that their skin will be left feeling healthy, moisturised and UV-protected all day long as they spend their time under the rays. 

Sheer coverage provided, individuals are able to maintain their natural look – this is what a minimal makeup look should be all about. The ‘no-makeup look’ has been favoured within the beauty community, which stands ironic in its name considering it would require numerous products and a meticulously planned routine to achieve it. Its aim is to create an airbrushed finish, alluding to the assumption that wearing no makeup should look a certain way. Rather than empowering makeup users, it encourages individuals to believe that natural skin is scar-free and acne-free, without any wrinkles or dark circles. Hence, they may feel as though their skin does not deserve to be makeup-free if its natural state does not fit the pre-conditioned ideal of what bare skin should look like.

The Editorial

This editorial highlights that associating seamless, airbrushed skin with a bare face and no makeup is quite far from reality. It underlines that the no-makeup look neither discourages the use of heavy makeup, nor encourages the acceptance of natural skin, because the connotations surrounding it allude to something unattainable. The dialogue around what healthy skin looks like should be deviating from narrow, standardised ideals such as the above concept; in understanding that natural looks different on each and every one of us, we will start embracing our skin as it is. Heat does not couple well with layers of heavy makeup; it cracks, feels cakey, and encourages oil build-up. Furthermore, it splits, seeps into your pores and might even completely melt away within hours of wear. Summer equals the beach, sun and sea. This reminds us of the impracticality of makeup during the season, as we find ourselves in and out the cool sea all summer long. It’s no question that the time has come to ditch makeup all in all and embrace our bare skin. 

The beauty world is a challenging industry to navigate. Representation within the community remains marginalised as consumers often find difficulty in relating to the role models on pedestals. Although there have recently been evident efforts of diversification within the fashion community, makeup mavens feel as though the beauty industry is falling short. It’s no doubt that the beauty world has made leaps in diversifying its accessibility to makeup for all skin tones. However, how much of this effort has been targeted specifically towards skin-type inclusivity? 

Representation

When it comes to breaking down barriers, ‘Blume’ has been one of few brands actively fighting for inclusivity. Their “Celebrate Skin” campaign only featured models with acne, reminding the consumer that acne is human and shouldn’t be treated like a taboo topic. Its raw, unmodified approach made the whole concept relatable, acting as a breath of fresh air for consumers struggling to feel seen. Winnie Harlow is proving society’s narrow standards wrong, by defying the rules as a model with vitiligo- an autoimmune condition causing depigmentation of the skin. She is redirecting the movement towards greater inclusivity and advocating for wider representation.

So, what is “Beauty”?

Beauty is not about meeting requirements and ticking boxes off. Rather, it’s about feeling good within and radiating that feeling to the surface; about being comfortable in your own skin, without feeling the need to conceal. This editorial encapsulates this exact aura of freedom, authenticity, and acceptance. It inspires individuals to let go of unattainable standards and accept their flaws. Embracing your true self takes strength, courage and patience, but the reward of being set free from these insecurities is unimaginable. As a newfound term for beauty emerges, trends contradicting outdated ideals surface simultaneously, with makeup maniacs accentuating their under eyes by opting for darker-toned concealers, or not applying any at all. On this note, a trend that kicked off on Tik Tok, motivated individuals to embrace their under-eye circles and refrain from covering up their insecurities. 

Slowly but surely, the beauty industry is adopting a more open mind; one in which everyone is welcome. A more expansive world is ready to host the meaning of beauty as it shifts from the ideals of a perfect image to a medium of freedom and expression.

Being unapologetically yourself can be a challenge in today’s day and age- authenticity is where your power is at.

Visit the ISSUE for the complete editorial and images

Written by Stella Georghiou

Team:

Photographer Yannis Fragos @yannisfragos
Assistant Photographer Giwrgos Papas @_35mm.exe
Creative Director Filippos Vogdanis @philip.vogdanis
Assistant Creative Director Konstantinos Tsagkaris @konstantinos.tsagkaris
Models Athina Avgitidou @a781na, Despoina Tsintsifou @dephient,
Giorgos Horemis @ckyehigh, Maria-Elena Anastasaki @mariaelena_anast, Thanos Papavlasopoulos @thann0ss, Valentinos Adrianos @levanonn
Beauty by Filippos Vogdanis @philip.vogdanis
Article by Stella Georghiou @sssstellss