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To think skincare is a con

190 replies

Hannahbsnana · 18/09/2022 21:55

i occasionally have a cup of tea and a natter with a woman who lives a few doors down from me. She’s 79 but quite young minded and totally on the ball. She also has pretty good skin.

We were moaning about the price of stuff in the shops a while back and I was telling her how much I spend on cleansers, toners. serums,, moisturisers etc. She said she’d never used anything of the sort - only suncream when she’d gone abroad. She washes her face with ‘soap and water’.

it got me thinking…..I’m getting on for 50 and have used skin products all my adult life and I’m pretty sure I look at least my age.

So I made a decision, I used up the last of my products and then didn’t replace any of them except my cleanser.

For the first week to ten days my face felt dry, especially after washing. But I persevered. It’s now been about 7 weeks. My skin no longer feels dry. I honestly believe it has balanced itself out and is producing iits own oils as required.

my skin is not suddenly amazing or’s no better than it was before when I was spending a fortune on products. But….it’s definitely no worse either!!

iI’ll carry on using suncream when needed, but other than that, I’m done. I’m going to save myself about £60 a month.

AIBU to think us women are being conned? Clever marketing and misogyny has made us terrified of not slathering chemicals on our mugs every day!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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YumYummy · 18/09/2022 22:19

I use Nivea Q10 everything, drink a lot of water and have twice yearly botox and once a year fillers. This works for me.


CrystalCoco · 18/09/2022 22:20

PeloFondo · 18/09/2022 22:09

Tret took my skin from this to this so I am definitely not being conned! You can prise it out my dead hands

Wow! That looks amazing! I haven't heard of Tret but I'm off to google it now!


aurynne · 18/09/2022 22:21

I've never used any products for the skin except sun lotion when it's sunny outside. My skin is no different from the women I know who spend hundreds on all that stuff. If you have oily or dry skin, your skin will be dry/oily forever, no matter how much stuff you put on it.


PAFMO · 18/09/2022 22:21

Skin needs to be clean, to be hydrated and to be protected from the sun.
So, 3 things. Or 2 if you don't need a moisturizer.
Take your pick how much you spend on those 3 things.
Dermatologists and sensible skincare experts alike all agree that you don't need to spend on either cleansers or moisturizer. One goes down the plughole in a few seconds, the other just needs to moisturize.


BanjoVio · 18/09/2022 22:25

CrystalCoco · 18/09/2022 22:20

Wow! That looks amazing! I haven't heard of Tret but I'm off to google it now!

It’s tretinoin in full and will make your skin worse before it gets better. It’s a type of retinoid. (Be careful though, unsure if this will be an issue but doctors sometimes forget to tell you that you can’t use tretinoin or retinols if you’re pregnant as they can be really dangerous.)


ExecutiveStrategyCoordinator · 18/09/2022 22:27

No mother never used anything but moisturiser, now admittedly she has heritage that lends itself to aging less than others, but even so, her skin is that of an average someone 40 years younger.

I too have never cleansed, or whatnot (I don't use foundation though, so never felt the need for anything other than plain water).
I moisturise if my skin feels dry. Usually I don't bother. I get regular compliments on my skin, and told I look younger than my age (I believe genes and diet help (no meat for 30 years, no dairy for 25, no alcohol, don't smoke).

I use Palmer's cocoa butter or something from Lush for my body and face, only if I need it.

I also hardly ever use shampoo. Only occasionally if my hair feels a little greasy - maybe once a month.


ExecutiveStrategyCoordinator · 18/09/2022 22:28

No mother = my mother!


FurryDandelionSeekingMissile · 18/09/2022 22:33

I think if there's a specific problem you need to correct then using specific products probably makes sense. Like if your skin's always dry, always using a moisturiser. I feel like a lot of the time, though, products that are supposed to solve problems cause a problem that another product is needed to solve.

Like, with my skin, if I used makeup, I would need to use soap or a face wash or a cleanser to take it off, my skin would get upset at that and dry out, so I'd need to use moisturiser, which would result in spots, which would need treatment, which would upset my skin, and so on.

As I don't have any particular reason in my life to need to wear makeup, I don't, and I'm lucky enough to have skin which, if I leave it almost entirely the fuck alone (apart from warm water), doesn't cause me any trouble.

I suppose it's always possible one day I'll wish I'd worn SPF, but I'm a real sun-dodger anyway and I can't be doing with the zits I'd get from having cream on my face every day.


PeloFondo · 18/09/2022 22:44

I think the main thing is knowing what stuff does. I use a serum that probably does nothing other than moisturise but I like the texture and the scent, so it's the same as spending £££ on a posh soap instead of a supermarket one - still gets you clean but it's a bit of a treat
I love skincare so sometimes I'll use an acid or a face mask

My routine now is

Cleanse. Serum. Moisturise. Spf
Eye makeup remover. Cleanse. Tret (skin and me). Moisturise


BloodyHellKen · 18/09/2022 22:46

You're not wrong OP. Over the years I've tried very expensive cream and very cheap cream. Neither appear to work better than each other. I'm early 50s and I look good for my age. I just use the cheapest nicest smelling cream now. I haven't used any toners, fancy balms, cleansers etc for about 20 years. Expensive skincare is a waste of money IMO.


TheCheesecakeIsPoisoned · 18/09/2022 22:52

@PeloFondo where do you get your tret from? I have similar skin (to your before) and your after picture looks amazing!


HikingBoots · 18/09/2022 22:53

£60 a month!
I buy a bottle of Simple foaming cleanser and a tub of Nivea soft about once every 3 months.
I don't use an exfoliator - I use a flannel instead. I also don't use toner or ever have a face mask. I must get better about using sunscreen though.
I've got clear, soft skin like a baby, and yes, I feel most products are a marketing con.


KimberleyClark · 18/09/2022 22:54

I’ve got dry, fine skin prone to thread veins which feels dreadfully tight, dry and uncomfortable when I use soap and water. I never exfoliate. I use Elemis pro collagen cleansing balm and Nivea Q10 facial sunblock.


Luredbyapomegranate · 18/09/2022 22:55


I have eczema and v dry and dehydrated (thanks god!) skin so moisturiser and hydrating serum is my saviour, and on my face a creamy wash works a lot better than soap. But I just use pretty cheap stuff.

I also think a flannel for getting off the dead skins cells helps.

But I certainly don’t think it has to cost more than a few quid.


lugeforlife · 18/09/2022 22:55

My skin is fairly good for my age - late 40s.

I use a face wash twice a day, a vit c serum and facial spf in the morning, Nivea in the evening plus tret every 2/3 days. The face wash and vit c stuff are from Superdrug and the Nivea is from Poundland. The tret does cost but I use it less frequently than advised so works out about 10 quid a month. My whole routine probably only costs 12...

I have quite reactive skin so I cannot use normal soap, has to be a gentle face wash. Once I tried some organic essential oil type stuff and I looked like the elephant man, came out in big welts.

I find that consistency, not ever having been a smoker and genes make the difference tbh. My mother got asked for her bus pass the other day and she's 76.


Eeksteek · 18/09/2022 22:59

I often think about how many men would be so much poorer if women decided they were happy with their bodies overnight.

I did used to cleanse because I liked the smell and moisturise with a very light moisturiser after a bath, but then my skin went weird and got super irritated by anything except water (which still makes it feel dry). So now I can’t even wash it. It wasn’t great before, and it’s not much different now. What really helps it is testosterone blockers. I’m hoping hrt will stop it being so irritable. I tried a load of fancy sounding stuff and looked like a lizard on a crying jag for a week. Ho hum.


Veryverysadandold · 18/09/2022 23:03

Yes agree with pp only address specific issues. Humans naturally shed skin so unless you have some real bad flakes there's no need for exfoliators, acids etc. It's always annoyed me because skin comes off us naturally.


DelurkingAJ · 18/09/2022 23:03

That’s easy to say if you don’t get adult acne. I don’t wear make up and for years used soap and water and had teenage acne all through. I still don’t wear make up, use Avene and my skin is many times better. If I stop, guess what, massive spots again. Face and back. Delighted for all of you who aren’t so afflicted but please don’t tell me it’s my fault. It follows a stereotypical hormonal pattern to the extent that DH knows where I am in my cycle by my skin.


PeloFondo · 18/09/2022 23:04

TheCheesecakeIsPoisoned · 18/09/2022 22:52

@PeloFondo where do you get your tret from? I have similar skin (to your before) and your after picture looks amazing!

I use skin and me. It was a bit of a curve at first with flaky skin but improved fairly rapidly
I didn't change anything else either


FurryDandelionSeekingMissile · 18/09/2022 23:15

@DelurkingAJ of course it's not your fault — the are always going to be people whose skin needs particular kinds of help.

I also feel that as well as that, there's probably a lot of people like me who have tetchy skin that's only happy if left to its own devices and gets worse if it has stuff done to it, people who have skin that only needs specific small interventions to be happy, and people who have skin that doesn't give a fuck and is fine whatever you do 😂 But all of us are marketed all of the products all of the time regardless. I see beauty-slanted moisturiser ads all the time that never make any mention of when and why moisturiser might actually be useful, because they want us all to be moisturising, all the time, all over, whether the skin needs it or not. With different moisturisers for every conceivable part Hmm


DelurkingAJ · 18/09/2022 23:19

@FurryDandelionSeekingMissile very fair (it’s a touchy subject because of the number of people who say things like ‘well if you just only used soap like me you would get spots’ to my face!). And I agree about madly expensive stuff!


DelurkingAJ · 18/09/2022 23:19

*wouldn’t get spots…oh for an edit button!


Hoolihan · 18/09/2022 23:20

Loads of it is obviously marketing but tretinoin really does work.


Moonshine5 · 18/09/2022 23:21

My personal experience is that I have inherited good skin; however I do notice a difference when I use Charlotte Tilbury Magic cream moisturiser for example.


Moonshine5 · 18/09/2022 23:22

Although my skin looks fine without it. It is more of a polished look with these products

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