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Why skin neutrality is the way forward

  • 4 min read

The global cosmetics industry gets bigger and bigger by the day, with revenue amounting to $571.10bn in 2023. With this expansion of the industry can come increased pressure on consumers to look a certain way and have perfect skin – spoiler alert, there’s no such thing! Unrealistic perceptions of beauty are easily internalised, with many consumers holding themselves to beauty standards that are simply impossible to achieve.

In order to combat this, a skin positivity movement started, encouraging people to see their skin in a positive light and embrace their differences. Now, it’s time to let skin just be skin as the skin neutrality movement takes hold. 

While we are seeing greater diversity in the cosmetics industry – think no re-touching of images, all skin tones, all abilities and shock, visible pores – more brands need to follow suit. Showing how products work on real skin without any editing is essential in breaking down the impossible beauty standards set upon consumers.

What is skin neutrality?

Skin neutrality is a concept where the skin is valued for what it does rather than how it looks. It’s viewed as an essential organ of the body that should be cared for, rather than another beauty standard to try and reach. Rather than trying to eliminate all traces of acne and skin texture, focus shifts to the skin’s health, as well as protecting and maintaining the natural skin barrier

Recognising that there’s no such thing as good skin or bad skin – and that ‘perfect’ skin is an illusion – skin neutrality encourages people to accept the skin they have and respect it by taking care of it. Adopting a skin neutral attitude can help people to separate their worth and value as a person from the way in which their skin looks. 

This concept also focuses on recognising and considering your feelings about your skin – both positive and negative. Everybody has days where they feel better about their skin and days where they are frustrated with it; skin neutrality encourages people to embrace their feelings about their skin without trying to mask them with false positivity. 

Skin positive or skin neutral?

Skin positivity swept through the beauty and cosmetics industry, encouraging people to love the skin they’re in and always look at it in a positive light and with kindness. While skin positivity can be beneficial for some people, it simply isn’t sustainable for others. 

What is skin positivity?

The skin positivity movement centres around the celebration of all types of skin – texture, blemishes and all. It focuses on adopting a different mindset about your skin and recognising the unique beauty that it holds. 

Skin positivity aims to redefine what ‘beauty’ means in terms of the skin, and encourages people to celebrate and love the skin they’re in each and every day. Promoting that differences make us all unique and wonderful, a skin positive attitude helps people to see the good in their skin. 

What are the problems with skin positivity?

Oftentimes, despite the good intentions of the skin positivity movement, it becomes unsustainable for those who try to be skin positive all of the time – especially for those who struggle with their skin. Skin positivity can quickly lead to the dismissal of your own valid thoughts and feelings about your skin in an attempt to remain positive. But this doesn’t need to be the case – it’s possible to still love your skin for the work it does to protect you, yet feel frustrated and disheartened at its appearance.

Many people who have suffered with facial skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis will have also struggled with a negative perception of their skin. These troublesome skin conditions can not only be frustrating and upsetting, but they can also be uncomfortable and even painful. 

Sometimes people simply don’t want to celebrate something that causes them such discomfort and pain. Attempting to adopt a skin positive attitude in these circumstances can sometimes help in the short term, but often gets tiresome.

Why skin neutrality works

Your skin is your skin – nothing will change that. Your skin also serves a function as the largest organ of the human body, and should be treated as more than something to look at and admire. In accepting that skin is just skin and beauty is more than skin deep, you can find a new respect for the role your skin plays in keeping you safe and well.

By taking a skin neutral outlook, people are able to separate the functionality of their skin from the appearance of their skin. This allows for genuine appreciation for the skin’s function, rather than a forced positivity about the skin. 

How UpCircle embraces neutral skin care

At UpCircle, we believe that skin neutrality is the future – and only by accepting and embracing our natural skin can we build a better relationship with it. 

UpCircle products are all inclusive – we are body positive, gender neutral, represent all ages and encourage diversity. We stand for authentic, real beauty in its many forms and strive to represent this in our products, marketing and campaigns. 

Our products are carefully formulated using natural ingredients with both the planet and your skin in mind. We focus on nourishing, protecting and maintaining your skin’s natural barrier and microbiome in order to improve the overall health of your skin. 

Shifting the focus from perfect skin to healthy skin, we use upcycled ingredients that would otherwise go to waste when producing our skincare products. A B-Corp certified brand, UpCircle is wholly committed to the highest standards of social and environmental impact.

We believe in taking care of your skin using organic and natural ingredients with sustainable production methods to fuel the skin. Loving the skin you’re in is important, but accepting and embracing the feelings you have about your skin is even more essential. We believe that our skin is more than a measure of ‘beauty’ and should be treated as such. 


Browse our full range of vegan and cruelty-free skincare and take a look at our Instagram, showing real people, real skin and real beauty.