What is your background/job and when did you first get interested in a career in journalism?
I’m the senior beauty editor at Women’s Health Magazine, working across both print and digital platforms. I’ve always wanted to work in magazines but I thought you had to work in fashion to be able to work at a magazine so that’s where I got my start. I majored in Mass Communications and throughout college I interned for Marc by Marc Jacobs and in the fashion department at W Magazine. After graduation I worked as an accessories assistant back at W Magazine but quickly realized I didn’t like the trajectory in the fashion world (I liked cute clothes but I didn’t take it as seriously as my colleagues) and decided to try something different. So I decided to leave and try my hand as a beauty publicist. While I didn’t like PR, the job exposed me to the world of beauty editorial and that’s when I realized that was what I wanted to do. I left the PR agency and started over as a beauty intern at Fitness magazine and the rest is history!
When did you first become aware of sun safety as an important part of your beauty routine?
I always knew to wear sunscreen but I didn’t know how important it was until I became a beauty editor and started doing my research and talking to experts and derms. While I wish I knew sooner about how a simple step in your skincare routine could have such a profound impact on the health of your skin (and life), I’m glad I still realized it fairly early on. I’ve been wearing sunscreen on the daily ever since!
How have you seen tanning and sun exposure normalized or glorified in the media?
To be honest I feel like the media has done a pretty good job in the last 10 or so years of exposing how bad tanning is. Luckily, with the push to celebrate diversity and inclusivity, I feel like people are embracing their natural skin tone more which is amazing to see! Yes, there are still bronzed up models and people will always want their skin to “glow,” but there are a lot of self-tanners and bronzers that will get the job done without having to put your skin in danger.
Women’s Health had an article highlighting reef safe sunscreens. How has having reef safe products out there encouraged people to look more closely at what ingredients they use on their bodies, plus what gets released in the environment?
Yes! Sustainability is a big concern for me personally. While wearing sunscreen is important, it’s also important to look into the type of sunscreen you’re using—just as you should be monitoring every ingredient you use in your beauty routine to make sure you’re comfortable with it. As we help educate and inform our readers of this I think they will in turn start to demand better/more from the brands they use and that’s what will help to drive change in the industry as a whole.
How do you think leaders in the industry, such as editors and writers, can help promote sun safety?
I think we can help by sharing the latest research and personal stories of people who have been affected by skin cancer as well as ways to help prevent it. Because you don’t want it to all be scare tactics—readers want to know what they can do about it.
To read Chelsea’s work, go here