I spent many years working in magazines as a beauty writer or editor before making the switch to advertising. I really enjoyed that part of my life as it was full of fun events; a bathroom bursting with free cosmetics and I got to write about a subject I was passionate about – skincare. Still, I didn’t often get to say what I really wanted to. When you write for any platform that relies on advertising, you’re always a bit muzzled.
For example, I’d often have to create lists like the “Top 10 Anti-Ageing Serums” and be forced to include products from all the brands that had bought ads that month – regardless of whether they were any good or not. In fact, some of my “favorites” were products I hadn’t even gotten to try. We also weren’t allowed to say certain things – like tell women that cellulite creams don’t work, especially if a company that creates them was buying ad space in your magazine. So, while I’m enjoying life as someone who’s untethered and well informed, let me jump right in and tell you three beauty truths that might change the way you choose to spend your money.
Be wary of jar packaging
Most beauty lotions and potions aren’t stabilized in a way that can survive exposure to the air. Every time you open that fancy jar, they oxidize and begin to lose their potency. Big brands know this but don’t care. This is because reams of studies have shown that consumers are more willing to pay for a product in a heavy glass jar with a gold lid. While air tight tubes don’t look or feel fancy, they’re the best way to protect air and light-sensitive active ingredients.
You don’t need an eye cream for anti-ageing
It’s true – the skin around your eyes is thinner and thus more delicate than that on the rest of your face. But the same things you’re using to turn back time on the rest of your face – a good retinol serum and sunscreen – can be used around your eyes. Eye creams, largely, are just a way to sell you another version of your facial anti-ageing products in a smaller tube. If your focus, however, isn’t to boost and protect your skin’s collagen production (the primary jobs of retinol and sunscreen) and you want to do something else – like de-puff – then yes, it might be worth looking at an eye cream that contains something like caffeine, a vasoconstrictor. This can temporarily reduce blood flow to the area in a way that might make it look less puffy. Alternatively, you could use a block of ice.
Expensive doesn’t mean better
The idea that skincare that costs more is better has always been ludicrous. To date, there are still just a few golden standard active ingredients that are proven to do their jobs like a boss. Retinol is great for wrinkles. Salicylic acid does a brilliant job of blitzing blackheads. Both of these “boring” ingredients have been around for decades and can be found in the right concentration in products that cost less than ten dollars. Still, it’s in the best interest of luxury beauty brands to make you think their latest expensive elixir containing a rare algae scraped off the side of a glacier holds the power of eternal youth. Don’t fall for it.
“Iconic” doesn’t mean anything either
Some of the most lauded, best selling anti-ageing products – driven by million-dollar ad campaigns – are the least effective. As an example, Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair runs with the theory that it works in synergy with how your skin behaves at night when, in fact, your skin wouldn’t benefit from it any more or less, regardless of when you applied it. While it wouldn’t hurt to use it, it’s anti-ageing efficacy can be bettered ten times over by products that would only cost a pinch of its price tag. So much so that every time I was sent a bottle it would end up passing it on as a gift. (At least Crème de la Mer, another rubbish iconic product, I could keep to use on my legs.)
The bottom line
Chat to your dermatologist. They’ll be able to assess your skin, determine your needs and recommend that active ingredients in the concentration proven to work best. You can then shop accordingly and save a fortune on “snake oil” in prettily packaged jars. And with that, I wish you a lifetime of happy, healthy skin!
This article is proudly sponsored by Bathroom Butler. Established 35 years ago, Bathroom Butler is a family-owned business that manufactures top of the range of bathroom accessories and heated towel rails in line with the dynamic demands of the market.
Bathroom Empire is a first of its kind online magazine that merges the bathroom industry with storytelling – from humorous parenting stories to heartfelt wellness articles, not to mention books/films/pop culture and so much more.