PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 25: Natalia Verza @mascarada.paris wears sunglasses, a pastel colored green and pink oversized tie and dye midi dress with low-neck and puff large sleeves from Sandra Mansour x AGL, drinks mineral water from an Evian blue plastic bottle, during a street style fashion photo session, on March 25, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images) You don’t need to be woo-woo about wellness to be influenced into buying chlorophyll water right now. If you’re on TikTok, you’ve probably seen some variation of the viral clip: an influencer promoting their “morning supplement routine,” which involves a large glass of ice water, a medicinal-looking tincture of liquid chlorophyll, and a metal or glass straw (for aesthetic) to mix it all together. While the drinkable sludge-green water parading as a “supplement” looks about as appetising as liquified seaweed, what’s more persuasive is the claim that these kitchen-counter influencers are making — essentially, that chugging a glass of chlorophyll water a day will give you better skin and clear your acne. The hashtag #chlorophyllwater has already amassed over 29.3 million views on TikTok, but we thought it wise to speak with a licensed dermatologist to get all the facts about liquid chlorophyll and how it can impact the skin — before ordering a $14 (£12) bottle of the green stuff from The Vitamin Shoppe. @snaillyyyyy chlorophyll is the $hit ##chlorophyllwater ♬ jealous by eyedress – sexy cool funny popular person You can use your school science recall to think about chlorophyll: It’s the compound that gives plants their green color through the process of photosynthesis. “Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria,” explains Hadley King, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. “It’s essential in photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb energy from light. In the human body, chlorophyll has antioxidant properties and therefore has been shown to potentially improve signs of skin ageing.” However, according to Dr King, most of the benefits of chlorophyll come from its topical application — as in, putting chlorophyll directly on the skin, not drinking it. “Some clinical trials have shown that chlorophyll in a topical form has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that may help reduce acne,” says Dr King, “but with orally-consumed chlorophyll, we don’t yet have data about its effects on acne.” This doesn’t mean that TikTok is lying to you. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, asserts that when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet, drinking liquid chlorophyll might be good for the overall health of your skin. “There’s some data suggesting that oral chlorophyll may enhance production of red blood cells in the body,” he explains. “This could mean better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your organs, including your skin.” Of course, make sure to touch base with your doctor before becoming a micro #chlorophyllwater influencer. They’ll probably echo the same sentiment: There’s no real downside to dripping the green drops in your mason jar of ice water. But as with other forms of digestible “beauty pills,” don’t expect miracles. If getting rid of acne (or maskne) is your goal, try drinking more tap water first. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Bio-Fermented Skincare Is About To Be HugeBeauty Editor-Approved Skincare Products Under £12Can We Just Stop Skincare Shaming Everyone?
In our series Salary Stories, women with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate details of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions and job loss, with the hope it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way. Been in the workforce for at least five years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here. Age: 32Current location: LondonCurrent salary: £85,000Number of years employed: 10Starting salary: I temped for three months after uni as a very generic-sounding Operational Support Analyst. I was pro rata'd for £18,000 p/a.Biggest salary jump: When I switched from permanent employment to contract in 2016, I went from £50,000 p/a to £450 a day, which more than doubled my take-home pay.Biggest salary drop: I quit contracting for a permanent role in 2020 and went from £575 a day to £80,000 p/a. Biggest salary negotiation regret: If I am being honest, I feel good about my negotiations so far in my career. I am acutely aware of my tendency to think I'm not worth what I am paid, so I constantly remind myself that it's less about my own perceived worth and more about the market. I'm always on Glassdoor, checking what people in my role and in my company are getting paid. I've also almost always been happy to walk away from a position/application if my salary expectation was not met, which is a HUGE privilege. With hindsight, I might have negotiated a little more early on in my career — my second job had me managing a team of five or six people, in London, in finance, for a little over 30k. But I was only 25 and it was worth it just for the learning curve.Best salary advice: Do your research. It's so easy to see lots of job ads offering a certain salary band and assume that's the going rate. Glassdoor is an amazing tool for looking up what real people in real jobs earn. Also: ask around. Salary and money are obviously still big taboos (and I wouldn't advise talking pay if your employment contract prohibits it) but the more we open up about what we earn, the more equipped we all are when talking to our bosses about remuneration. One other piece of advice is: if you don't ask, you don't get. If you're offered a job at a specific salary, ALWAYS ask for more. The chances are they are trying to slice a little out of the budget by paying you a few grand less. The worst they can say is no and then you can still take the job if you want it. In December 2010 I started at a company as a Junior Business Analyst for £22,000. I didn't negotiate this salary for this new role. Finding a job in 2010 as a fresh(ish) graduate was hard work. I took more or less the first place to offer me something. In March 2011 I received a non-negotiated annual pay rise to £24,000, same in March 2012 to £26,000 and in March 2013 to £30,000, plus title change to Business Analyst.I got a promotion in September 2013 to Lead Business Analyst when my boss went on maternity leave and I was offered her role. Initially I was not offered more money for this role, which I felt was unfair. I asked for an ambitious £40,000. When I was fobbed off, I looked for other roles and made no secret of it (not sure I'd advise this!). Eventually I was offered £37,000, which I was really pleased with.In March 2014 I received a raise to £40,000 and in April 2014 another to £44,000. These two raises came after some personnel changes at my company. A few senior team members left and took with them a lot of business knowledge. In a panic, they offered a couple of us who'd been there a while fairly big raises, two months in a row. I left the month after.Obviously not a huge jump here but I negotiated it in February 2014 when I was on £37,000. This salary was negotiated up from £40,000 after a really successful interview.This job move was because my previous role was not challenging and I wanted to go back to agency-side working. I negotiated this salary up from £49,000, haha. This was one of the rare roles I was keen not to pass up so I would have been fine with the advertised £49k.This is the big increase. I had started to notice Business Analysts coming in on contracts and being paid a fair bit more than my salary so I did some research and asked around. One BA told me, "I don't know why a good BA in London would ever take a perm role" so I decided to get a slice of that pie. At the time, it was extremely easy to pick up contracts for roles like mine and so I took the plunge and, for the first time ever (or since), quit without having something lined up. It was terrifying. But it absolutely paid off: in March 2016 I started earning £450 per day. In May 2016 that went up to £475 per day. By September 2017 as a Product Manager I was earning £575 per day although this went down to £550 as a Product Manager in April 2019.April 2020 was maybe the weirdest ever time to start something new. Going back to permanent work had been in mind for a while since some stricter legislation for contractors (IR35) was due to come into effect in April and I'd heard rumours of companies placing a blanket ban on contractors. So I'd had feelers out for a while. I didn't negotiate this salary at all. It was already really generous.Negotiation for this one was drawn out, which was a little awkward because the person who approached me for the role is a good friend. I was initially offered a contract at £500 a day, which would work out more than the salary I eventually got. But I was nervous about the uncertainty and wanted a permanent contract. Already having a job, I was in a good position and explained I couldn't switch jobs for a pay cut. Eventually we got to the salary I was looking for.One thing that is a blessing and curse for me is that I am not passionate about what I do. I am not making a huge difference or helping anyone in need or working towards a worthy cause. So when it comes to work, I am really driven by money. Aside from when I started contracting, I have always been in a role while negotiating the salary for the next one. Since I will never leave a job for a cut in salary, it makes job decisions easy – either the prospective employer will make a better offer or they won't. I am aware this is a really big privilege. 2010: £22,0002011: £24,0002012: £26,0002013: £37,0002014: £45,0002015: £50,0002016: £450/day2017: £575/day2020: £80,0002021: £85,000Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Money Diary: A 25-Year-Old In New Zealand On 31kMoney Diary: A 25-Year-Old Civil Servant On 40kMoney Diary: 29-Year-Old Comms Executive On 25.5k
When Boris Johnson announced the roadmap for exiting lockdown, hope crept in. Even with slight delays to the vaccination programme, that hope has stuck around, but bound up with all the (tentative) excitement about face-to-face socialising and – for some – a return to the office, came a distinct panic about our appearance. As if navigating the virus risks and worrying about whether we’ll have anything to say to each other aren’t enough, there’s the undeniable pressure to look our best post-lockdown. Amid the outrageous party memes are quips about how dire our dress sense has become, how much we’ve aged and how much weight we’ve gained. Since the government’s masterstroke of giving us a four-month run-up to the #hotgirlsummer of all summers, the deluge has been hard to ignore. Those who had searched anything tangentially related to beauty on Instagram were assailed with ads explaining how to fix ‘lockdown face’ and cover wayward grey hairs. Beauty brands and salons wasted no time in hyping up treatment offers alongside galleries of before-and-after shots. And of course, the more you click, the more you’re fed. But it’s not just advertisers spewing anxiety-inducing before-and-after comparisons. My iPhone has been particularly efficient lately in presenting me with unsolicited photo montages. Why wouldn’t I want a string quartet soundtrack as I contemplate whether I look older, more haggard, sad or unkempt than in selfies from this time last year? The popularity of ‘tweakments’ For months, many of us have been dreaming about our chrysalis-to-butterfly moment but it seems we’re planning to go beyond a mani-pedi. I have friends who are making ‘get done’ lists, from microdermabrasion facials to CoolSculpting for quick-fix weight loss, and they aren’t the only ones. Save Face, the national register of accredited aesthetic professionals, saw a 37% increase in people researching nonsurgical procedures (aka ‘tweakments’, which include filler and Botox) after the government’s announcement. London-based cosmetic practitioner Dr Vincent Wong’s phone is ringing off the hook as old and new clients rush to book appointments ahead of June. Dr Wong explains that Botox and hyaluronic injections are the most popular among his clients in their 20s and 30s, closely followed by lip filler. But why the surge in newbies? “Most women aren’t wearing makeup [during lockdown] so they may be seeing fine lines, discolouration – anything that was previously concealed by makeup – as if for the first time,” Dr Wong says. According to a study by No7, 82% of women are wearing less makeup and 56% go for a more minimal look for video calls during the pandemic. In ‘normal’ times, we might talk out our insecurities with friends at the pub. Now, we’re facing them alone in our lockdown silos, compounding already spiralling emotions. While filler has been popular among a younger cohort for some time, lockdown has changed the demographic of women seeking tweakments. Discussing the so-called ‘Zoom Boom’, Ashton Collins, the co-director of Save Face, says: “We’ve seen a shift towards a more professional-aged group of people who are on constant video calls, which, let’s face it, can be unflattering even on the most attractive.” Ashton adds: “The video calling has undoubtedly driven their huge interest in procedures and they are mostly asking for Botox to look a bit fresher.” Comparison culture Since it was announced that the beauty industry is opening up again, salon app Treatwell has experienced a 1,645% increase in bookings as many of us make a beeline for hair, nail and facial treatments and everything in between. These treatments are undoubtedly enjoyable, rejuvenating and, more recently, much-needed acts of self-care. But with June looming, the notion that we should all emerge from our homes looking picture-perfect is a stressful and unrealistic ideal. As well as getting her hair, nails and eyelash extensions done, 21-year-old Lauren is contemplating post-lockdown lip filler. “My top lip is really small and when I smile, I lose it. Now that the majority of women my age have had lip fillers, it emphasises the fact I haven’t. In group pictures, I feel really self-conscious about my lips.” Lauren isn’t alone in comparing herself to friends. Twenty-eight-year-old Georgia* thinks this will intensify once lockdown lifts. “I know that I’ll be in so many pictures when we can head to bars again,” she says. “There’s so much peer pressure to look amazing and have a major lockdown glow-up. It feels like everyone I know is booking in for something, whether it’s a hair transformation or injectables. Since the announcement was made, I’ve been targeted by loads of treatment ads on Instagram, particularly lip filler, and even though I can’t afford that right now, I’m very tempted, especially as everyone else is doing it.” Tweakments can be great when done safely but if you are considering anything, it pays to do your research and, of course, to do it for the right reason: because you want to. Rushing into things as a result of pressure or feeling as though you should be doing something can be dangerous. Dr Wong recommends using the consultation (a prerequisite to any good procedure) with a registered professional to make all your wishes clear. “Don’t hold back and make sure all of your concerns are addressed,” he says. “No matter how small or weird it may sound, practitioners have experience dealing with these issues and there’s nothing a patient could say that would surprise us.” Your specialist will then be able to recommend an appropriate treatment and any medical skincare to enhance the procedure. Equally, if they cannot deliver what you require, an ethical practitioner will not hesitate to turn you away. From Instagram to IRL interaction Beyond comparison culture, a proliferation of new skin-tracking apps, not to mention TikTok beauty tutorials and Instagram Reels on how to make your lips appear bigger or eradicate lockdown body hair may also be amping up beauty anxiety, providing more data with which to critique ourselves. The ongoing digital bombardment feels toxic to the fragile relationship between body image and mental health, which has taken a pummelling during the pandemic. In ‘normal’ times, we might talk out our insecurities with friends at the pub. Now, we’re facing them alone in our lockdown silos, compounding already spiralling emotions. Women have spent the past year navigating a different relationship with their appearance and body confidence without some of the pressure of societal influences. The Big Return risks replacing that positive progression with turbocharged insecurity. Women have spent the past year navigating a different relationship with their appearance and body confidence without some of the pressure of societal influences. The Big Return risks replacing that positive progression with turbocharged insecurity. Nalea, 33, has become more aware of signs of ageing in her skin in recent months and agrees that the digital sphere is a contributor. “There’s been more time to browse on social media and all the filters have made me look at myself more critically,” she says. “I’ve never been concerned about my features but I am about my skin.” Nalea is planning on getting the injectable hyaluronic acid treatment Profhilo, and is also looking into radio frequency, ultrasound, microneedling and mesotherapy. “It was when we heard that things would open up that I really started considering it,” she adds. Similarly, Jamieson, 34, is working through why she’s considering tweakments when lockdown lifts. “My body image and the way I see myself has actually improved,” she says. “However, having never really filmed myself before, I’ve started a TikTok account and that has made me more self-conscious about forehead lines.” Jamieson has had a consultation but hasn’t made up her mind yet. She says: “Is my desire for Botox just for me because I like the way it looks? I hope it’s because I’m making a choice about what I want and not because I exist within a world that values youthful-looking women.” The link between stress and skin Perceived ageing isn’t the only impact of emotional distress on our skin. Psychodermatologist Dr Alia Ahmed, who specialises in skin and mental health, has seen more stress-exacerbated hair loss, known as alopecia areata, as well as acne and facial rashes. This is generating extremely high levels of anxiety in some patients whose worries about their skin and its response (or lack of) to treatment are all-consuming. It can be overwhelming to see Instagram flogging us a buffet of aesthetic perfection, from serums to enhance already blemish-free faces to trends such as ‘glass skin’. The pressure to get hair and skin in tip-top condition and emerge from lockdown with a clear, glowing complexion is real. R29’s beauty editor, Jacqueline, knows this all too well. “Thanks to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and the anxiety of returning to ‘normal’, my skin is in a bad place at the moment,” she said. “I have been a little anxious and even embarrassed about returning to the office with breakouts, especially as the beauty industry places a big focus on a ‘summer glow’ or ‘summer ready’ skin. We have so much on our plates, like returning to work and adapting to the new normal, so the pressure to look great or ‘better than before’ is unbearable, not to mention ludicrously expensive.” The invisible ‘should’ – whether it comes from peer pressure, social media or the need to enact change after feeling powerless for so long – will suck the joy out of our unfurling freedoms if we let it. In fact, anyone with an existing skin condition like psoriasis, acne or eczema may have seen symptoms increase because of lockdown-related stress. While flare-ups may fade away when we return to some semblance of normality, Dr Ahmed says that stress-related issues can continue long after the initial stressor has resolved. As a result, those with skin conditions are at a higher risk of developing poor psychological health, she adds. As well as seeking professional help from a GP or dermatologist if possible, Dr Ahmed encourages us to think about why we feel a certain way about our skin. It is unlikely that the billion-dollar beauty industry will stop bombarding us with images of blemish-free faces but maintaining a positive environment is a great place to start. It might be time to unfollow that celeb with flawless skin and give yourself a much-needed break. Everything has changed, including our appearance There is no denying that the strain of the past year has been immense. It might catch us unawares in a supermarket queue, sneak up on us as we drop off to sleep or, for many, taint every moment. Everything is different so why would we expect to look the same as a year ago? We’ve experienced loneliness, long-distance relationships, job losses, grief and an unrelenting news cycle. Forty-four percent of women between 25 and 34 years old say that lockdown has aged them. No one has had an easy ride and it has taken a toll on our appearance, but that’s entirely normal. Personally, I’ll borrow from the principles of body neutrality and hope to focus on what my body has achieved, not how ‘good’ it looks, to quell negative thoughts as I nudge toward a social life. The invisible ‘should’ – whether it comes from peer pressure, social media or the need to enact change after feeling powerless for so long – will suck the joy out of our unfurling freedoms if we let it. The face that made friends feel less alone on endless video calls, the eyes that took joy from the simplest things, the skin that gave me the heads up when it all got too much will be the same features I’ll catch in a car door or shop window and think, Yup, that’ll do, as I hurry to wherever my presence is required next. Here’s hoping we’ll be too high on speaking without needing to unmute, listening without cutting out and basking in the presence of loved ones to stress about society’s next definition of ‘perfect’. Maybe laughter lines won’t be the worst post-lockdown look. *Name has been changed Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?When Does Buying Beauty Products Become Too Much?What You Should Know Before Buying Beauty DupesCan We Just Stop Skincare Shaming Everyone?
Trigger warning: this article contains references to rape, slavery, racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism. Divides within movements are hardly a new phenomenon. Causes rarely meet their goals without their internal disagreements. We’ve seen them throughout the history of feminism and repeatedly within politics. But when a small minority of a movement becomes extremist, what impact does it have on the future of a cause? Western veganism was established in 1944 with the founding of the Vegan Society. However if we look eastwards, vegan principles are baked into cultural history, with vegetarianism appearing in India in Jainism as far back as the 8th century BC. A few centuries later, Buddhist teachings not to eat meat or fish spread vegetarian cuisine far and wide across the Eastern world. In the past few years, as concerns about climate change have gathered steam, there has been an exponential growth in the number of vegans globally. With more and more people gaining access to information about veganism through literature, documentaries, lectures, events and social media, it is estimated that 600,000 people in the UK have adopted a vegan diet. With this rise in numbers, there has been a growing divide in opinions on how to progress the movement, encourage more people to go vegan and how best to persuade them to make that change. The divide mainly centres around people’s motives for going vegan, whether it’s for the animals, the planet or personal health reasons. In the 1970s, animal rights activists became famous for using violent and confrontational methods in the form of protests, attacks and fire-bombing animal research labs. Over time, the methods have mellowed to more peaceful protests, fairs, events and information on social media. Today, however, there are still some vegans who believe that more radical forms of activism are necessary to spread awareness of the impact of eating meat and dairy and to encourage people to adopt a vegan lifestyle. This rift has taken on a more sinister tone of late as a number of activists have used their considerable social media following to spread their use of controversial language in their efforts to ‘shock’ people into veganism. Over the past year especially, as communities of marginalised people have seen their trauma played out on a global stage, several high-profile vegan activists and influencers have taken advantage, using language associated with slavery, the Holocaust and rape. One person is Canadian vegan activist Kadie Karen Diekmeyer (aka That Vegan Teacher) who had over 1.6 million followers on TikTok before being removed from the platform in February this year after numerous complaints of homophobic, racist, anti-Semitic and disablist comments. In one comment on TikTok, she described coming out as vegan as “much more special” than coming out as LGBTQ+. She later made a YouTube video claiming “the animals have it worse” than victims of the Holocaust. James Aspey, an Australian animal rights activist and vegan of eight years, uses his platform of over 240k followers on Instagram to share information about animal agriculture and to ‘call out’ people who eat meat, dairy and fish for their role as consumers in the industry. In a recent post, James shared an image of a cow being artificially inseminated and claimed that non-vegans are “paying for animals to be raped”. His posts garner hundreds of comments but alongside the worrying messages of support, people are calling him out for his use of language at the expense of victims of trauma, often drawing the conversation away from saving animals or going vegan. James also makes regular references to the Holocaust and slavery. Activists and organisations within the vegan community have condemned this use of language. The organisation behind Dominion, an influential documentary exposing standard farming and slaughter practices in Australia, spoke out on Instagram, saying: “This is a superficial and harmful justification that does nothing but generate controversy and division without any benefit for the animals themselves.” Vegan lifestyle blogger Emma’s Ditto created an information guide on Instagram, denouncing the comparison of the exploitation of animals to the Holocaust and saying: “Don’t shout over the voice of one cause, to further another.” Many members of the vegan community are obviously keen to distance themselves from language of this kind but many worry about the impact it will have on growing the community. London-based, Indian-British vegan influencer and animal activist Moon Onyx Starr focuses on spreading positivity and inspiration through her posts on Instagram. Moon told R29: “I feel as vegans we need to be more sensitive about the kind of language we use. From my experience, the best way to drive the vegan movement forward has been to lead by example and share with people how amazing and important a vegan lifestyle is.” Vegan influencer Marta Canga, who lives in London and writes about sustainable vegan fashion and skincare, agrees. She says that such triggering language is problematic and counterproductive. “I think it’s incredibly offensive and, while I understand the need to highlight animal suffering, nowadays, animals are killed for food.” Demi Colleen, also from London, is a vegan beauty and lifestyle blogger who discusses racism and whitewashing in veganism over on her Patreon page. “Communities with veganism at the heart of their cultures need to be placed at the forefront of the movement,” she explained to R29. “White vegans must do meaningful anti-racist work alongside their vegan activism because animal liberation depends on the ending of oppression of people to truly succeed.” When vegan activists appropriate language from other communities’ traumas, it not only causes more pain but also further isolates marginalised groups both within and outside veganism. The fact that lots of the top vegan influencers in the UK are white only adds to the narrative that veganism is an elitist white movement. Mainstream veganism – sometimes referred to as ‘white veganism’ – neglects vegans of colour, perpetuating the myth that veganism was invented by white people and ignoring the roots of the movement in Buddhism, Jainism, Rastafarianism and the Black Hebrew Israelite community. Foods which have become popular over the past few years thanks to the growing number of vegans in the West mean we ‘borrow’ cooking ideas and recipes that vegans of colour have been using for years. To have to weather racist language from within their own community as well is unacceptable. Sadly, the response so far from activists criticised for their language has been unapologetic, often calling out critics and labelling them ‘speciesist’. When extremists label themselves as working for the movement, it can be immensely frustrating for other vegans. Jokes and memes about pushy and vocal vegans are already part of the internet’s rhetoric and can be a huge turn-off for anyone considering going vegan. If the appropriation of other communities’ trauma continues to gain steam within the movement, we may see more young people avoiding the lifestyle altogether due to the increasing number of negative connotations. For the vegan movement to progress it needs to be intersectional and, as Demi Colleen says, led by communities with veganism at the heart of their culture. There needs to be more discussion around the barriers to veganism and ideas about how to help vegan and vegan-curious people living in food deserts (areas where there is limited access to affordable and nutritious food). There need to be conversations about how to tackle income restrictions and cultural isolation and the many other difficult and individual issues that may prevent someone from adopting a vegan lifestyle. It’s no secret by now that going vegan can be an incredibly healthy way to live and is one of the best ways we can reduce our environmental impact. Not only does it give you a profound connection to the planet and the creatures we share it with but it can save the lives of over 10,000 animals over the course of your lifetime. Whatever a person’s reason for exploring veganism, they deserve to feel supported, welcomed and included by the vegan community while they make the difficult transition. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Can Netflix Vegan Documentaries Make Me Quit Meat?Storytelling & Tradition In West African CookingWhat Asian Fusion Says About Asian Americans
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