Thursday, November 19

Don't eat the face mask!

Don't eat the face mask!

As soon as I indulge in my wardrobe a lot I try to make up for this extravagance by keeping my bathroom shelves free of unnecessary Product.

I'll get tempted by pretty packaging and outrageous claims as much as the next girl. After all pearl-extract sure sounds glamorous. Maybe it will magically turn me into a supermodel like the airbrushed lady with the rictus grin on TV assures me. Then again, probably not.

When I see adverts for this season's recipe for eternal youth I can't help but picture the boardroom meeting that led to the creation of just that miracle cure for all our imperfections. Remember when some smart-ass decided we ought to be brushing our tongues as well as our teeth? Comedians Mitchell and Webb envisioned that glorious moment of marketing finesse something like this:

Sure, sometimes a bit of pretty packaging can act as a pick me up but the placebo effect wears off swiftly and buyer's remorse sets in as soon as I read the list of ingredients.

Recently I've been getting amusement out of listening to skin care adverts and translating their preposterous claims into plain English. It is no surprise these commercials fall foul of advertising standards so frequently:

Whatever it is, it is sure to make your skin "appear" younger and more luminous and how about that glorious "re-plumped effect"? When I hear the word "de creased" I can't help but imagine the model taking a steam-iron to her face until it is flat as a pancake.
It is not just the preposterous pseudo-science though, looking at the frequently employed "look, we are telling the truth, see with your own eyes" before and after shots puts a lemony smirk on my face: Sad uglified super-model is invariably lit to show every last imperfection and shot at an unflattering angle to boot. Proof of the brilliance of Super-beauty-miracle-extract shows her in bright, well controlled lighting and they've changed the lens to a focal-length more suited to portraiture in between shots of course. I am not even getting into the post-production on that modern-day medicine show.

That said, here goes my glamorous skin-care regime, for that revitalized "appearance" and that 10-years-younger "feel":

I have fairly sensitive skin, so I use the best kept secret since nano-shmano particles to wash my face in the morning: Water.
Face-scrub gets a look in as and when required (usually 2-3 times a week): The soft "feel" and re plumped "effect" stems from oatmeal "technology" mixed with warm water and a little bit of sugar.
Oatmeal also holds up as a face mask pretty well when I feel like pampering myself. Just mix with warm water, leave to stand for a couple of minutes and leave to dry on your face before washing off.
At £ 4.41 my daily moisturizer (Nivea Visage Oil-free facial moisturizer) is the most expensive part of my skin care.
Fleur of Diary of a Vintage Girl recommended cold cream and distilled Witch Hazel B.P. on her blog. I only use cold cream occasionally, but the latter has been my every-day cleanser for quite a while now. It sure "helps promote healthier skin".
I'll indulge in a fragrant body lotion occasionally, but generic baby lotion works just as well.

Adventures in Pseudoscience:
The sceptic's dictionary
Salto Sobrius on the scientific breakthrough of nanosphere complex
Article in the Scotsman by Fiona McCade
Bad Science


  1. Thanks for the tips! I like the idea of mixing cold cream with witch hazel!

  2. great post. i have some major remorse over skin care purchases i've made and also hair removal purchases which never, ever, work. my boyfriend and i heard an infomercial the other day for a product geared towards women and noticed that in the ad they said: "european womens best kept secret!" i thought, what does that even mean?... and am i supposed to be duped into buying something because "european women" buy it? its an advertising tactic that i wouldn't have even noticed unless i had really been paying attention. how silly we can be sometimes! my skin care regimen is pretty much exact to yours, a little h20 and moisturizer, although i haven't tried nivea yet and may give that a shot. anyway, great, great post.

  3. Ohhh, love the tips. I use to have cold cream in my bathroom all the time - must restock now :)

  4. thanks for the tips :)