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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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Justleaveitblankthen · 18/09/2022 23:25

I wash my face ( and mascara) off with Dove soap and use a touch of Aveeno dry skin cream as a moisturiser. The unscented one in a large tube is fine for the face.
Cleanse, tone, moisturise with cotton wool etc with bottles and potions is a marketing ploy - same as 'rinse & repeat' on shampoo bottles (now outlawed)
And no - I don't wear factor 2000 or whatever suncream unless it's actually sunny as that's nonsense too 😬


Anon778833 · 18/09/2022 23:25

I’m a skin therapist and my view is that you can’t stop ageing with moisturisers and serums but there are some products that will help prevent premature ageing iyswim. And I have a personal love of Elemis overnight matrix. I also feel that some facials in combination with good skincare do have positive outcomes.

Genetics is a big factor. So is the sun and smoking.


Stickmansmum · 18/09/2022 23:25

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.

Same. Completely the same.

I used to work in advertising for one of the skincare giants. It’s total and utter billow what we used to tell customers.


ouch321 · 18/09/2022 23:26

I think it's mostly down to genetics/luck.
I look very young for my age and never use anything more fancy than Nivea or Simple or Cerave.


Anon778833 · 18/09/2022 23:26

Ordinary soap is not great for washing your face because it has the wrong ph


FurryDandelionSeekingMissile · 18/09/2022 23:27

Nah you make an important point @DelurkingAJ — I should've been clearer about the fact that though excessive or incorrect skincare products can cause problems for people with picky, reactive skin like mine, it's a very different issue from people with skin problems that aren't such an easy fix.

I guess part of the issue is that I was thinking in terms of "skincare" as a set of consumer products sold to people as a beauty/self-care product, whereas I think of adult acne or eczema or seb derm or other conditions that can affect facial skin as more of a health thing, so I was thinking of people in a different situation to yours when I posted.

There are so many health problems where people feel the need to make "helpful" suggestions about what you "just" need to try 😒


BashfulClam · 18/09/2022 23:29

Your genes play a major part. My gran and mum looked years younger and I seem to be following them with really good unlined skin. I just use a moisturiser each morning after washing my face as my skin is naturally dry. I just use what ever I have available and buy cheap ones.


mayabialo · 18/09/2022 23:30

Skin health comes from within

I regularly take extra virgin cod liver oil and my skin is fantastic. It's expensive but it's the real deal.

The CLO you get in the supermarkets for a few quid are usually rancid and they are heavily processed with synthetic vitamins.

The extra virgin stuff is processed naturally and all the godness remains.


SylviasMotherSaid · 18/09/2022 23:31

My mum is 61 and hasn’t got any wrinkles and only uses soap and water meanwhile me half her age has a few and I’ve used products since I was in my early teens . I think apart from Botox etc all of those products don’t really do much good at all unless it’s for blemishes .


MooseBreath · 18/09/2022 23:40

I had a bit of acne in my late teens/early 20s, and for that I used Clinique products. Once the acne cleared up, I stopped using any products on my face - literally just water each day and soap in the shower 3 times per week. I only wear makeup on special occasions, and use sunscreen when the UV index is high.

My skin is clear, soft, and free of wrinkles (so far) minus laugh lines. No way am I going to spend £50+ per month for the chance that I may look more "youthful". My toddler will suck the youth out of me regardless of what I put on my face.


Bouledeneige · 18/09/2022 23:42

Ex-eczema sufferer here - had it well into my 30s till I had children. I barely use anything because if I moisturise its gives me spots (though not ones that come to a head). Just bumpy skin. So most of the time I use aqueous cream to wash my face and micellar to take off make-up. In the winter I use a bit of E45 and I use body creams I've been given on my arms to deal with them getting goosebumps. I have pretty nice skin really and am not v wrinkled.


wherearebeefandonioncrisps · 18/09/2022 23:45

I agree.
I only use soap and water plus a flannel (great exfoliator ) and put a cheap, vegan supermarket moisturiser on a couple of times a week.
My skin is pretty good considering my age ( late 50s)


Moonshine5 · 18/09/2022 23:46

Reading these posts has reminded me that factors like mental stress / sleep deprivation / selff care or neglect all have a part to play. Maybe the simple act of using these products in itself has a positive outcome. And I would like to put it out there that although there is good versions I have seen lots of not great botox / filler outcomes, etc.


Stravaig · 18/09/2022 23:47

I agree! I don't use anything, never have. I splash my face with cold water in the morning. Sometimes I add the tiniest smidge of cleansing milk to the water in my hands, purely for the fragrance. Lip balm in winter. That's it.

I can't stand the feel of anything sitting on my skin. First response for any skin problems would be lots of vegetables, fruit, water, exercise, sleep.


JanglyBeads · 18/09/2022 23:54

Yup. I also drink lots of water and rarely wear make up. Have never smoked.

Not arguing that specific conditions like eczema and acne don't require specific treatments.


SilentHedges · 18/09/2022 23:55

My OH worked for a very famous women's magazine. When they run an article on the top 10 best face creams, foundations, mascara etc, it has nothing to do with quality and is purely based on which cosmetic companies spent the most in advertising revenue that month. 100s of freebies are sent to the mag every month and most are useless. The staff will them to work, but they don't.

I never buy face products. I use raw organic coconut oil in a tub for about £25 that lasts for years. I have botox because that clearly works.


LesOliviers · 19/09/2022 00:06

I think there's a happy medium. I've been told I have good skin and I do look after it, but you don't have to spend a fortune on products and treatments. I use a cheap garnier milky cleanser with a flannel morning and night. In the mornings I use a cheap vitamin c serum (£6) and a cheap nivea factor 50. At night I use the ordinary 1% retinol (approx £6), layered with the cheap blue pot nivea. Each of the products lasts at least 2 months. If I don't use them my skin loses it's glow and brightness.


k1233 · 19/09/2022 00:12

I wear makeup daily for work and spf50 on weekends when on the sun, so need something to take it off. For 20+ years I used Neutrogena hypoallergenic face bar but Johnson & Johnson stopped making it - cue utter panic. I have found a great replacement in Tilley unscented glycerine soap. Other than that I use Neutrogena sensitive skin moisturiser pre makeup. Age has meant increasing daily moisturiser from one pump to two (that was depressing LOL). Again good genes mean I have minimal lines.

I don't think it can be good for skin to smother it in so many products. I have seen a number of friends simplify their skin regime and improve their skin by doing so.


Usernamenotavailabletryanother · 19/09/2022 00:41

It’s all absolute bollocks.

Have a read of Jessica De Fino’s stuff- skincare as diet culture. It’s an interesting way of looking at it all.


TheOnlyBeeInYourBonnet · 19/09/2022 00:42

LesOliviers · 19/09/2022 00:06

I think there's a happy medium. I've been told I have good skin and I do look after it, but you don't have to spend a fortune on products and treatments. I use a cheap garnier milky cleanser with a flannel morning and night. In the mornings I use a cheap vitamin c serum (£6) and a cheap nivea factor 50. At night I use the ordinary 1% retinol (approx £6), layered with the cheap blue pot nivea. Each of the products lasts at least 2 months. If I don't use them my skin loses it's glow and brightness.

That's pretty much exactly my routine too except I've just swapped out the Retinol for Tretinoin.

It doesn't cost a fortune as I'm buying specific ingredients that are known to be effective rather than expensive packaging and marketing from the luxury brands.


learieonthewildmoor · 19/09/2022 06:01

There are lots of bogus claims made by cosmetics companies, and of course there are skin products that are wildly over-priced. I remember reading that sorbolene is the main ingredient in La Mer products.
I really hate the “looking old is the worst thing that can happen to you” messaging and the preying on women’s insecurities that is so prevalent.

Wear/use what makes you happy and fulfills the need.

Personally, I love to use pricier moisturiser because I’m treating myself. But if Neutrogena or La Roche Posay moisturisers were rich enough for my dry, sensitive, allergic to fragrance skin I’d probably still be using them.

I really don’t understand $85 AUD make up brushes, though


Emanresu9 · 19/09/2022 06:04

I agree. I only use soap and water to wash and nothing else on my face. I don’t look any worse than anyone else!


BarrelOfOtters · 19/09/2022 06:36

The job of the skin care companies is to sell you stuff, v expensive stuff in some cases. Gel cleanser, a cloth, hot water, moisturiser . A tinted moisturiser or light foundation for work. Mascara. My skin is fine…hormones fuck it up though.


starrynight21 · 19/09/2022 06:39

I'm 63 and have never used anything but some Nivea at night . Never wear makeup either. I often get compliments on my smooth skin and the fact that I look younger than my age.


CourtneeLuv · 19/09/2022 06:49

I agree. I find soap and water or a magic cloth and nivea fantastic. What makes the most difference to my skin is the amount of water I drink and the nutrients I eat.

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