close-up of a young Black woman with her eyes closed and her fingers touching her face

New Course Fundamentals of Skincare & Wellness Authored and Taught By Rebecca Mason

An instructor at FIDM for the last six years, Rebecca Mason recently authored Fundamentals of Skincare & Wellness (COSM 2150), a new course in the Beauty Marketing & Product Development Program which has been well-received by her students. Covering topics such as skin, aging, and the concept of beauty and how it has changed, the course provides an in-depth overview of skincare, spa, body care, hair care, and nail care and their roles in the competitive marketplace.

Throughout the quarter, students explore alternative wellness modalities, product and distribution strategies and product positioning as well as the impact of innovative formulas and current trends that will enable students to grasp the complexity of the categories.

“Students often come to my class with a clear idea of what they want to pursue in the industry,” Mason said, “but this class opens their eyes to new paths.”

On track to graduate in 2024 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Beauty Business Management, student Nika Vadipour recently took the course. “I went into it knowing that it would be one of my favorite courses as I am super interested in skincare. One thing that I didn’t foresee, however, was how much I would fall in love with the wellness aspect. This course was the first of my college classes that actually taught me how to prioritize my wellbeing and I now do not understand how this is not a required course everywhere.”

Mason says that many indie beauty brands have been inspired by diverse global philosophies, and are starting to use indigenous ingredients. “Ayurvedic brands are looking at your dosha and how essential oils relate to that,” she said. “Some products are infused with crystals. We would be remiss to not talk about some of these things that are driving new trendy brands built on these philosophies.”

The first assignment she gives her students is the Wellness Wheel which illustrates a wellness model with seven dimensions: emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual—all of which are interconnected and important to a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle.

She challenges her students to name three personal goals for each of the seven dimensions, for a total of 21 goals. She then helps them strategize a plan to accomplish several goals at once.

For example, if a student wanted to diminish their negative self-talk and start going to more concerts, they could start putting a dollar in a jar at home each time they engage in negative self-talk. When the jar is full, they can use the money to purchase a concert ticket. This way it brings their awareness to how often they are engaging in this type of destructive behavior, plus they’re saving money for something they want to do.

The course covers a diverse range of topics relevant to the current beauty environment including reiki, crystal healing, sound bathing, ayurveda, iridology (the study of the eye), aromatherapy, essential oils, and cupping. 

“A lot of brands and spas are incorporating this,” Mason said. “We also talk about aging—the physiology of skin and the physiology of aging skin.” She dives into womens’ health issues and global therapies, as well. “We cover it all,” she said.

“All in all, in this course not only did Professor Mason truly show us she cares, she taught us how to care for ourselves,” said Nika. “It was a truly awesome class.”

With a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University, Rebecca Mason is a licensed esthetician and the founder and senior consultant at Sage Mason providing customized consulting services designed to liaise between brand, retailer, and consumer. Her industry experience includes positions at Chanel, Caudalie, L'Oréal, Lalicious, and RevitaLash Cosmetics.

COSM 2150 - Student Learning Outcomes: 

1. Learn and understand the history and current skincare industry, products, anatomy and basic chemistry of the skin.
2. Develop understanding of the marketing, pricing, positioning, and distribution of skin and haircare products.
3. Understand and apply how changing trends and cultural influences have impacted the skin and haircare industries.
4. Understand the spa industry, its unique categorization and regulation, and alternative modalities that often inspire skin, body and haircare brands.
5. Understand growing segments within the beauty industry, Indie beauty and niche markets that are impacting the body, haircare and spa industries.

Learn more about Rebecca Mason at

Image: Model | Cienah Akesa; Photographer | Audrey Fretz @parkstreet_

Attend our Online Lecture Series event: The Changing Landscape for Launching Beauty Products, on Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM PDT. Register for the free event here.

Categories:  Beauty Business Management Beauty Marketing & Product Development Faculty