March 1st marked the start of Irish American Heritage Month.
Since 1991, every March recognizes and honors the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants. The tradition of this month-long celebration originated from a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick on March 17th. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade began on 1726 in New York City, however, the U.S. Census Bureau data claims that Cook County, IL has the largest population of Irish Americans of any county in the nation!
The bond between Ireland and America peaked between 1820 and 1930 as it’s estimated that as many as 4.5 million Irish arrived on American shores. Interestingly enough, the Irish were the only immigrant group during this period in which women outnumbered men.
Through the years, the impact of Irish immigration has led to rich contributions at the hands of Irish-descended hands and minds. Among the most remarkable is Eileen Marie Collins who made history when she became the Airforce’s first female flight instructor in 1979, and then again in 1999 when she became the first female commander of a Space Shuttle.
A few more noteworthy Irish Americans are Georgia O’Keefe known as the “Mother of American Modernism” for her art contributions and “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown, a philanthropist committed to charity work.
The realm of Irish influence is widespread throughout many facets of American society, even the beauty industry. At New Age Spa Institute, we aimed to explore Irish beauty facts and contributions to the world.
- Botox: NASI students and graduates learn early on in Clinical Aesthetics training that Botox (short for Botulinum Toxin) was created and is solely produced in Westport, Ireland by Allergan Holdings. Botox is a neurotoxic protein that can be injected into muscles to decrease appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even to prevent the attack of migraine headaches.
- Sunless Tanning: The sunless (and sinless!) tanning market is huge in Ireland. The nation is the biggest consumer of tanning products per capita in the world! NASI estheticians learn (and experience!) the art of spray tanning in their training curriculum. Sunless tanning is the safest alternative to sun tanning. Without the added shield of SPF, you are more susceptible to skin cancer and signs of aging.
The Irish’s vast history of influence is widespread throughout the United States, and world. From the early 1800s traditions of skin care involving seaweed and oatmeal to the biomedicine of innovative injectables like Botox and Juvéderm, the Irish elevate the field of beauty.
Until next time, as the Irish say, “Sláinte chugat!” (Good health to you!)