5 min read
It’s Deeper Than Skin™
It’s Deeper Than Skin™ is a compilation of interviews featuring diverse multicultural individuals each carrying unique aspirations and desires yet bound by a common passion to create a more joyful, diverse and inclusive space for us all. They inspire, empower and help transform the way we think and feel about beauty, culture, ancient traditions, diversity, mental health, societal standards and more. Through these multifaceted lenses, we learn to celebrate our uniqueness and are reminded once again that our beauty is deeper than skin.
Fiona’s (@fionas50life) is no stranger to the beauty industry after a 35-year long career in hairstyling. Initially starting her Instagram page just as a way to pass time, her unfiltered beauty reviews and advocacy for a positive outlook on life led to loyal and endearing support from the online skincare community. She uses her voice on social media to call out ageism and is unafraid to reveal her own unfiltered skin as she discusses her own skin concerns.
We spoke to Fiona as she shared her thoughts on well-ageing, minimal skincare, balanced representation in the beauty industry, and her go-to hairstyling tip.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Fiona and I'm from Sheffield in the UK. I'm 53 years old this year and definitely one of the more mature skincare Instagrammers, but that doesn't mean I can't be just as passionate about looking after my skin. I love to travel and I love my career as a hairstylist, even after 35 years!
What inspired you to join the online skincare community?
I initially started my Instagram many moons ago to pass some time while I lived by myself, not really knowing which direction it would go in. Being in the hair and beauty industry, I always had an interest (in the skincare community) but it started off with makeup. It was only when I started to connect with lovely like-minded people in the skincare community that I ended up steering towards the skincare path.
Tell us about your skin journey and how would you describe your current state of skin?
My skin has changed fairly dramatically ever since I started to read about new products and ingredients. As I slowly incorporated them into my routine, I started to notice small but definite differences. Introducing vitamin A, B, C, hydrating products, and a gentle acid over the course of a couple of years have really made a visible difference. I had a big patch of freckles over my top lip that always made me look grubby, then one day, I noticed it had gone. But I must say that the biggest difference I’ve achieved is from wearing SPF every day. I totally didn't know this was a thing, and even though I started out with a solid routine, I only wore sun protection when I went to the beach or on extremely hot days. In hindsight, that's just terrible but I was born in an era where there was barely any sunscreen around. Just oils to make you go as tanned as possible!
What is your current skincare ritual?
My current skincare ritual is now actually more pared than back when I started. I was a victim of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and if someone showed me the latest thing that made their skin glow, I wanted it. But I've learnt since then that more isn't always better. Now, I know what my skin needs and know not to fall for all the faddy hype.
I like to focus on a beautiful cleansing ritual, hydrating, plumping and smoothing my skin to keep those pesky fine lines and pigmentation patches at bay as much as possible. Some people will tell me that “you should have lines and wrinkles”, but honestly I don’t see anything wrong with not wanting them.
What is your favourite Sachi Skin product?
Choosing one is sheer torture (haha), but I'd probably say the Complexion Clarifying Accelerator (CCA). I love the Triphala Pigmentation Corrector too as it works amazingly for the job that it’s intended to do. However, CCA is the product that truly took me by surprise.
On paper, it isn't meant for me as I don't seem to fit the category it was made for. But after using it for a short while, I noticed how much smoother and less textured my skin was. It seemed to literally slough off some of the ice pick scars I'd had from way back in my early 20s. My skin just looked smoother, brighter and more luminous. I don't have any other product that I've tried that gave me this result and that's why I've repurchased it.
I only use it once or twice a week, but that's enough for my mature, fragile skin, and I can layer it and use it with no irritation.
Any mid-day perk-me-ups for the skin or mind?
If I need a little mid-day skin perk up, it's usually from a spritz of mist in my car. And because I do love some fragrance, I'm not afraid to use something with a little scent to refresh my skin and to breathe in its lovely aroma.
As a freelance Hairstylist, how have the events of the past two years affected your business/work?
These past 18 months with the pandemic situation were quite strange. I can't say tough as I wasn't working on the frontline, but it was definitely strange, and at times daunting.
For the first time since setting up my business in 1986, I was told I couldn't work. I was in shock and definitely cried for the first couple of weeks over the uncertainty. I worried about not seeing my elderly parents, I worried about finances and wondered when I could go back to work.
I got stuck into decorating and DIY, and was fortunate that the weather was kind for our daily walks. I never expected to be unable to work for over half of the year but I'm not a rule breaker so I just abided by what was asked of me. The pandemic did teach me a few life lessons though, so I could say I was grateful for that.
One hair tip that you'll like to share?
Take notice of your hair and treat it accordingly. So many people say you shouldn't wash your hair every day but if there is a need, then why shouldn't you? Give your scalp a good massage while shampooing, and if you leave it unwashed for a good few days then definitely shampoo twice. I'd rather wash my hair daily or every other day than damage it with dry shampoos.
How has your relationship with beauty/skincare changed over the years?
My relationship with skincare will continue in the direction it has been heading. That is: Stop wanting the latest 'thing' and stick to the core products that I know work for my skin and downsize my stash.
What are your thoughts on the language used by the beauty industry, for example, "anti-ageing"?
Industry terminology can be a bit of an eye roll for me at times. No product can really lift up your face and stop it from sagging, that's more where devices come into play. I always say, old is the goal so I don't really think "anti-ageing", I think more along the lines of "ageing to the best your skin can be".
If you could make one change happen in the beauty industry what would it be?
One thing I would like to change would be to get brands to consider using older models of all ethnicities. We're all going to age so why can't we get to see how their products perform on more "experienced" skin types?
What does a typical evening routine look like for you?
My typical evening routine includes a lovely cleanse, then either a Microcurrent, radio frequency or LED light device. Yes, I love my gadgets. Then I follow with plenty of juicy hydrating products, a niacinamide product and then my pigmentation serum. I let it all soak in, and use a retinol/retinal product a few times a week. Finally, I use a rich nighttime moisturiser to seal all that in.
Anything exciting coming up for the end of the year?
Travelling more, and I would love to meet up with some other skincare bloggers in various parts of the UK. That's one of my favourite things to do, talking about skincare with a bunch of like-minded people.