Retrocon 2024

'80s Fashion and Skincare Flashback: What's Coming Back in Style?

If you were born in the 90s or later, then you may wonder what the biggest fashion and skincare trends were in the '80s. While the natural look was in style in the '70s, the '80s was a time when fashion was extreme whether your were into athletics, punk rock, or high society. It was also a time when iconic skincare brands were preferred at drugstores and department stores.

Let's take a glimpse back into the the biggest fashion and skincare trends that were on display in the '80s.

Fashion: Bright Colors, Punk Rock Style, and Preppy Attire

The clothing a person wore in the 80s, like during most decades, depended highly on their age and personal style. However, there were three prominent fashion trends:

Bright Colors. Almost everyone in the '80s embraced extremely bright colored fashions, especially neon hues. Women often layered several pairs of brightly colored socks on their feet and scrunched each down so a glimpse of every color showed on their calves.

Brightly colored geometric patterns were also very fashionable, and you would frequently find people of all ages wearing spandex and outerwear adorned with geometric shapes.

Punk Rock Style. Punk rock began sweeping the nation in the '80s, and with the music also came punk rock fashion. Spiked or teased hair-dos were common, often with bright colored streaks and plenty of hair spray used to hold them together. Denim jeans with holes in them (tightly fitted, of course) were also popular along with denim and leather jackets. The Punk Rock style also used plenty of 1980s accessories like necklaces, watches, and bandanas.

Preppy Attire. Another big fashion trend in the '80s was preparatory school attire. The main look was polo shirts with popped collars together with khaki pants or skirts. Sweaters would often be tied around the shoulders to complete the outfit.

Skincare in the 80s: Cold Cream, Alcohol-filled Toners, and Flavored Lip Balms

The skincare products women used in the '80s depended highly on their age:

Pre-teens loved their flavored lip balms, which came in virtually every color and flavor imaginable. Brand names candies and soft drinks even had their own lip balm flavors.

Teens often removed their makeup with cold creams and then wiped off the residue left behind with an alcohol-filled facial toner. If teens had acne, they applied benzoyl peroxide spot treatments before bed to help dry acne up.

Women often removed their makeup with cold cream and some also followed up with a swipe of toner. However, their skincare routines often didn't end there and they often then slathered all-natural Shea butter on their faces to moisturize dry skin and prevent lines and wrinkles.

Shea butter was actually very popular among men and women of all ages in the '80s and they used it as both a face moisturizing and a body moisturizer. It wasn't unusual to see containers of Shea butter on nightstands that everyone used to moisturize dry hands and legs before bed time.

Which '80s fashion trends are coming back in style?

Only time will tell. However, '80s skincare has already made a come back. Many people still love using Shea butter as a moisturizer today,. Lip balm companies are re-releasing old favorite flavors from the '80s. Even cold cream is regaining a following.

Shea butter is still popular, but now it’s more important to go all-natural, as people have sworn off of the chemicals that were a lot more common in the '80s. Plus, the internet has made it a lot easier to connect with smaller operations that produce higher quality products. Shopping for all-natural shea butter from sources like Eugenia Shea is an availability they just didn’t have.

Image credits:, Dmarge, Cliquey Pizza, Scary Mommy

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