Check Out CONTEXT, The Gender-Neutral Skincare Line

Hey, someone finally realized that all human skin is just about chemically the same regardless of gender! Fancy that! David Arbuthnot, formerly of Gant, Dior Couture, Donna Karan, and Gucci, wanted a simplicity in his own skincare regime, so he took matters into his own hands and created CONTEXT, which debuted at Fashion Week. It’s a line of seven basic products at accessible prices – everything’s $30-40 – that are also paraben-free, unscented or lightly scented, and packaged with a minimal aesthetic.

Arbuthnot says that the brand’s message is “clutter-free.” But between the price point and the gender-neutral packaging, it’s also coming off as being pretty radically inclusive, for a premium skincare line, anyway. Details made an argument for the futility of this brand that I would like to refute:

We know, we know. You might be dubious about unisex skincare. Your face isn’t really the same as a woman’s, right? Well, no. For one, it’s handsomer. Second, you probably shave it sometimes. For another, your skin’s less susceptible to wrinkles (then again, women wear more sunscreen, so that category is kind of a wash). Finally, guys produce more sebum than women, so we end up looking shinier than the fairer sex.”

Cool, bros, but:

  • My face is way handsomer than most of yours, for starters.
  • You clearly don’t know what kind of hell conventional women’s faces go through, between waxing, threading, plucking, dermabrasion, and, yes, shaving.
  • Fair point on the sebum, but what does that have to do with this product being useful for all genders? Like, did you check to see if it would address your acne adequately before you cast doubt on it or nah? On this note, to be clear, the facial cleanser works on the logic of oil cleansing, using jojoba oil – the closest chemical match to human sebum – to dissolve the gross stuff in your clogged pores and rinse it away, so. If you’re a cis dude and you’re worried about CONTEXT’s unisex appeal threatening your sebaceous masculinity, you have nothing to fear.

And anyway, there are a whole lot of genders out there other than men and (groooooan) “the fairer sex.” It’s great to see one premium line that doesn’t hurl stereotypes at those of us who are living outside the gender binary, for whom simple, minimal cosmetic products are often the best choice, but also often the most rare.

[Cool Hunting]

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