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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?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

SpotOnMyBot · 19/09/2022 06:56

I think it's all in the genes - that plus sun exposure (or lack thereof!). Not sure much else will make a substantial difference.


UseOfWeapons · 19/09/2022 06:57

Always been a coal tar soap and water girl. Splash with cold water. Cheap moisturiser, that’s it. Oh, and a facial scrub once a week, homemade.
Had a facial once as birthdays gift, and the therapist said I had lovely skin and what do I use? She was horrified I used soap on my skin. She told me it was bad for my skin, which made a mockery of what she’d just said.🤷🏽‍♂️


Givenitarest · 19/09/2022 07:03

I'm in my 50s and apart from fits and starts in my 20s when I might treat myself to some 'miracle' cream or serum from Duty Free and then use it 'religiously' for a maximum of 2 weeks I use nothing. I'll put suncream on if it's really sunny.

I also never use soap and water. I might rub my hands over my face when I'm in the bath or shower but I never consciously wash my face.

I would put a bit of moisturiser on if I wore foundation but I can't remember the last time I did that - literally years ago. Up until my mid-40s people would say I looked younger than my age but I've started getting the smokers lines around my mouth (haven't smoked for 20 years) and my forehead and frown lines are very pronounced but that's because my face is very expressive. Did Botox once in my 40s on my 11s out of curiosity but couldn't justify the expenditure.

My mum had lovely skin right up till her 80s and swore by Nivea in the blue pot. Can smell it now.

I honestly don't think my skin would be any different now if I'd spent thousands of pounds during the past decades. Genes, keeping your face out the sun and not drinking excessively are the main contributory factors to the state of your skin.

The 'sciencey' skin care ads are a joke. Obviously if you have acne then some creams can treat and improve the condition of your skin but other than that I think it's all a con. A massive oversell and exaggeration of benefits very much like washing powder.


Fizbosshoes · 19/09/2022 07:03

I have quite greasy skin. And I work in a quite dirty/dusty environment so I use a clearasil type cleanser after work every day. Otherwise I just wash it with water. I recently started to use a tinted moisturiser when I remember but otherwise I don't use anything else.
I think I look fairly youthful but I think that's mainly genetic and because I have chubby cheeks


ClottedCreamAndStrawberries · 19/09/2022 07:10

Suncream is all you need. It’s all I’ve ever used and I’m 39 yet whenever I tell people I’ve got a son of 19, they look completely bemused and ask how old I was when I had him. Recent answers have ranged between 28 (yay) to 34 so clearly there’s something in the suncream idea. I also go barefaced most days to give my skin a chance to breathe.


ClottedCreamAndStrawberries · 19/09/2022 07:11

*I meant recent answers people have given for how old they think I am 😆


ThinWomansBrain · 19/09/2022 07:17

I used to spend a fortune on clinique in my 20s, skin improved no end when I stopped.
Now use oil everyday (Simple) and a superdrug cleanser - very occasional skin scrub, skin is great.


DreamingofItaly2023 · 19/09/2022 07:25

I started using cleanser, toner and moisturiser and gave up when my skin became much worse. Now it is just soap and water for my face and big floppy hats in the sun.

I do have to moisturise the rest of my skin in winter as otherwise it splits and is horribly painful but I just use a bog standard moisturiser, nothing expensive.


DreamingofItaly2023 · 19/09/2022 07:26

Oh and I never wear make up.


GoldenSpiral · 19/09/2022 07:26

I wear factor 50 sunscreen every day and use Boots knock off Nivea Q10 at night if my skin feels dry. I've been doing this since my early 20s and I'm now in my early 30s. So far so good but we'll see if it continues!


Rewis · 19/09/2022 07:26

Isn't using any product or ritual like mentioned above regularly for your skin considered skincare routine? I understand that it is not as extensive as all the serums, rose water, cleanser, milk, different moisturisers for every part of the face.

I use moisturiser everyday. If I didn't I would scratch my atopic face till it bleeds. In the summer I use daydream with spf. Once a week i use facewash. That's my skincare routine.

I do think we are sold too many products that is unnecessary. But I gues its more about the routine that makes you feel good.


malificent7 · 19/09/2022 07:28

I have to disagree...tret seems to be working well for me.


Maireas · 19/09/2022 07:28

Your skin is beautiful, @PeloFondo
What do you use?


prescribingmum · 19/09/2022 07:32

I think it is very easy for someone who has not experienced acne to say that skincare is unnecessary and using any soap is fine. Having had acne through all my teenage years and 20s, I tried all prescription medication, skincare, lifestyle changes to no avail. I can see why people would stick to a complex regimen

Fortunately hormone shift post children has improved my skin and I don't use expensive skincare, focus on lifestyle and face massage but I am so grateful I have skin that is good enough to allow me to do this


Iknowforsure1 · 19/09/2022 07:35

Skincare is a con, 100%. By that I mean soap and one moisturiser is enough. For me simple plain Nivea does the job. I will never do any procedures or do long skincare routines. I don’t seem to have inherited my mum’s beautiful skin though. She’s a “soap and water” person and has amazing skin.


Wouldloveanother · 19/09/2022 07:35

I think a few well chosen products that suit your skin type - cleanser, moisturiser and a gentle exfoliator - will pay dividends but some people seem to have a 10-step skincare routine now and that many chemicals can’t be great.

That said I don’t buy the whole ‘my 80 year old nan doesn’t have a single wrinkle and all she’s used is dettol soap’ thing. Most elderly women really look it (nothing wrong with that), and in videos from the past even younger women look so much older in the face.


Iknowforsure1 · 19/09/2022 07:37

Acne is a medical condition and requires treatment. I don’t think OP’s post is about that. It’s about being conditioned to think that we need all the expensive routines to somehow make our skin look younger for longer, which is I believe is a con.


apintortwo · 19/09/2022 07:37


Inexpensive cleanser (like Ponds) and a daily SPF moisturiser (like Nivea) work just fine.

Serums and harsh exfoliating must be awfully irritating to the skin.


apintortwo · 19/09/2022 07:39

Lots of water and a varied diet (enough collagen from meat plus fruits and vegetables) is what's most important for good skin. And sleep also


ScarlettSunset · 19/09/2022 07:41

I wear make-up pretty much everyday as I don't like how my face looks naturally.

I wash my make up off using an 'erase your face' cloth with water. I suspect any flannel would work equally as well though.

And I use moisturiser with SPF and on really sunny days, a separate sun cream too. Skin seems fine.

I did used to use lots of separate cleaners, make-up removers etc but I stopped mainly because I felt guilty about all the plastic bottles and tubs I was using (yes I still use some but far less than I once did). My skin hasn't improved for stopping but it's certainly no worse either.


Gingerwarthog · 19/09/2022 07:41

My Mum is in her 70s and has used blue pot Nivea for all of her adult life. She has great skin - really smooth and unlined and looks years younger.
I use Nivea Soft. My skin is pretty good - I went through a phase of getting red patches on my cheeks but switching from cows' milk to oat milk sorted that out. That's been the biggest factor for me - what I eat and drink, rather than what I put on my face. Fruit, veg and water = better skin (for me).


mynameisnotkate · 19/09/2022 07:43

I barely did anything my whole life and my skin was fine. I started letting my grey grow out a couple of years ago and suddenly felt like I needed to make more effort to avoid looking like an old woman, so have the full No7 routine (exfoliation, serums, eye cream, day and night creams, retinol, firming cream) and started wearing make up.

This thread is reminding me that this is silly and I should go back to just using a cheap moisturiser.

interested in people who say SPF every day though - I do this in the summer but feel in the winter I need the Vit D exposure and the sun isn’t strong enough to damage my skin (in Scotland). Should I be using it year round?


megletthesecond · 19/09/2022 07:43

For most people it is.
My skin is good so I only use a facial soap, flannel and moisturiser. Sunscreen in high summer. I own a clear mascara and that's it.
I eat well, don't drink and exercise which helps.


mondaytosunday · 19/09/2022 07:45

Sun, pollution and smoking are enemies of the skin. Genes help. My mother had lovely skin and she kept out of the sun, used Ponds Cold Cream to remove make up
and Oil of Olay as a moisturiser. I wash with Dove soap, use whatever moisturiser is on sale (currently Revitalift) with 30 sof (which was not around when I was a young adult). I notice my daughter (17) is religious about sunscreen.
Being a bit plump also helps with wrinkles!


Tabbouleh · 19/09/2022 07:46

Prescrription tret is a miracle and also the only thing proven to really work ( plus sunscreen) Everything else is a con that preys on women's insecurities.

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