Buy a pretty pot of outrageously-priced moisturiser if you wish. Just know it’s about as essential as a hatching toy creature you teach to sing.
I’ve got something to tell you. You may want to sit down. Try to stay calm. Ready? I do not moisturise. No, never. Furthermore, I do not tone, nor do I have a daily skincare regime. If by ‘cleansing’ you mean a cursory smack ‘n’ rub with whatever pound-shop shower gel I chucked in the basket when buying anti-freeze, then yeah I sometimes do that. But that’s it.
And behold! My visage hasn’t fallen off. I do not shed skin in huge, parched scales like a python of an evening.
My pores haven’t become sebum vats, forced into hyper-grease overdrive either. My face is fine, thank you.
“The dryness! The wrinkles!” the beauty counter ladies will squeal. (Because I’ve worked on those counters. Yup, pretty much every brand.) Honestly, no. The odd big, annoying spot when I really don’t need it, otherwise happy days.
I’m not claiming to have great genes or Elsa-like immunity from cold, either.
It’s simple. Next time you open a glossy mag to see women caressing their cheeks with white feathers or micro-particles of magical pink plumptiousness, don’t assume you’re a faux-woman.
We are being sold a lie.
The cleanse, tone and moisturise mantra is just another sales pitch, guilting you into buying a trio of gubbins when you were only on the market for one.
Because, miss, if you really cared – nay! If you were pro-active about your skin’s very future! – you would.
As a freelancing student, I regularly supplement my income with day jobs. In a previous retail position, daily team briefings were the norm. To kick off said briefing, a fun fact or talking point was always shared. One of my favourites?
“On average, a woman uses her height in lipstick every seven years.”
Excellent! What a beautiful (if phallic) image!
I couldn’t stop thinking of skincare parallels.
Does the average woman get through her own bodyweight in Nivea Crème every three years? How many Olympic swimming pools could she fill with used toner in her lifetime? How much of her salary literally sink into her face?
At this point, I’ll level with you. I plain-old can’t afford to shell out £90 for a thimbleful of Crème de la Mer every month. But if this sounds like you, high five Persister!
We don’t need it! Moisturiser is simply not ‘imperative’ or ‘vital to avoid ageing’ or any of the things I was told to proclaim as a beauty counter girl.
Having served my time on those counters, I assure you that every brand has a different skincare mantra; a tweaked USP. Crucially though, every counter is selling the same dream – perfect skin, whatever that means to you. The truth is a pot of cream. But the truth is irrelevant! The story, the woman with the perfect jawline in the Maldives, that is everything.
I remember telling two ladies in Harrods it was crucial to cleanse, tone, SERUM then moisturise. This is the answer to your skin woes, madams! (See how three products just became four? You’d better believe I was on commission.)
On another, it was an oil spritz and a tablet. On yet another, micro-sponges, the resurrection plant and a cleansing gadget.
The fact is, none of this will stop premature ageing and none of it is essential. If those sales pitches were true, I’d literally be faceless now in the aftermath of depriving my little cheeky-cheeks for an entire lifetime.
The Chinese have over 5,000 years of medical history on the Western World. They saw no merit in putting creams on the face. They simply discouraged overeating and advised we drink plenty of water.
Homo-sapiens have walked planet earth for approximately 200,000 years. Modern civilisation as we know it began 6,000 years ago. Persisters, Clinique was founded in 1969. Come on.