I may be one of those women who is forever striving to look how I feel – 20 years younger than my birth certificate implies – but skincare brands don’t always help. If that sounds like an anomaly, it is. In fact, the irony would be laughable if it wasn’t so damned expensive!
Yes, I may have a spring in my step, impeccably manicured nails and totter about quite comfortably in four-inch heels, but that doesn’t mean my bank balance is a bottomless pit. Nor does it indicate razor sharp eyesight or that hand-to-face co-ordination is still my forte.
You may well be thinking What is that woman going on about? Let me explain…
Science Advances But Old Habits Die Hard
Before I whinge about product information that is so small a regular magnifying glass would struggle to decipher it, let’s cut straight to the chase. When women buy expensive anti-ageing products they expect them to deliver results that reflect the price. All too often, bloated claims leave consumers like me feeling not just deflated but cheated. I am happy for that to register as conned.
Gimmicks and ingredients that do zilch to reduce wrinkles but make a product look or feel more appealing need to be given the chop. They merely raise prices as well as expectations; assumptions that are often destined to be crushed quicker than a clove in a garlic press.
It’s high time skincare brands were called out for failing – yes, failing – to consider the needs of their target market. Back to small print… You would think any brand targeting women beyond a certain age would consider the handicaps that accompany advancing years. You know, like failing eyesight. I am beginning to think miniscule writing is a deliberate ploy – so we can be blamed for not properly following instructions when a ‘miracle’ cream equates to mostly hype. The real miracle is that we are still putting up with it. It’s probably easier to crack the Da Vinci Code than get a large print info leaflet with an anti-ageing product.
I don’t just want to be able to read instructions… I want to clearly see the ingredient list. There is such as thing as consumer choice. How can I exercise it if I can’t see what’s in the products I am buying?
How Much Did You Say That Cost?
I recently parted with £60 for a 50ml pot of face cream that promised to re-sculpt my sagging features. It sounded too good to be true – and it was! With the cream, in a rather small box, were trial-sizes of an anti-ageing serum and eye treatment. For the same price, I could have bought a family-sized blow-up garden swimming pool with an electric pump and cover (Amazon) or an entire family meal out at Wetherspoon’s (with change to spare), not to mention tons of other things that actually serve a purpose. This was just money for a mere promise.
Although peddled by a world-leading brand, it was overly gimmicky. The cream was actually two: a lilac-coloured product for one part of the face and a beige one for another. What a faff! It reminded me of Avon’s eye treatment system. I want a simple solution to sort out my ageing face – not a slimy jigsaw puzzle. And I also want a spatula supplied with my face creams because there is nothing worse than trying to get wasted, EXPENSIVE product out from under the fingernails. Unhygienic as well as money down the drain.
The branding of this product heavily leans towards science and the word ‘clinical’ is banded about. I am not saying the product doesn’t do anything (I did feel it slightly firmed the area around my eyes). What I am saying is that it doesn’t do enough (for me) to warrant a sixty quid price tag. And, you got it, I won’t be buying it again!
While advanced skincare products are developed in laboratories by experts, I have to tell myself that topical treatments cannot penetrate the skin deeply enough to have the same – or similar – effect as invasive procedures. It will be hard but I’ll try to remind myself of that the next time I want to buy a pot of extortionately-priced vitamins suspended in water for the same price as four months’ worth (or more) of the TV licence.
Skincare Brands, Take Note!
There comes a time in every woman’s life when priorities change. I am almost 56. Right now, taking care of myself, including my appearance, is important to me. In ten years’ time, I may feel differently. The never-ending sense of being conned when it comes to high-end skincare products might well eventually see me simply letting myself go.
One thing’s for sure, I won’t let my daughter make the same, costly mistakes. Cheap products are not always poor-performing when compared with more costly brands.
P.S. I’ve just had a delivery from budget brand Revolution Beauty – and it contains an eight quid eye cream that looks suspiciously similar to the firming lilac cream I paid £60 for!
All the products featured below cost less than £10 at the time of posting.