Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday 26 May 2010

The Appliance of Science

“To not be afraid of one’s beauty is truly the rarest occurrence. To find it, is the most valuable gift”

Words of wisdom there. I found them written on the side of a facecream I’ve just committed myself to using for the next six weeks. But more about these wise words shortly.

Someone asked recently how do you know you’re trialling something properly, and how do you make sure you’re being fair to the products? I have to admit that when it comes to skincare, it’s a difficult question to answer.

It’s easy to know if a makeup item works, you know pretty much straight away whether it’s going to be an item you’ll use and cherish, or if it’s something that is just going to hang around like a supermodel in your cosmetic drawer, gorgeous, but yet slightly useless and having a knack for making you feel guilty for not appreciating it more.

With skincare, it’s a lot harder, who is to know, really, that it’s the wonder serum that you tried that’s made you glow, or the moisturiser you’ve been trying that’s truly smoothed you out instead of a couple of early nights or a slightly healthier diet?

Ultimately I try to use new skincare for at least a month before I form an opinion of it, and so it irons out any temporary wrinkles (sorry) in diet and lifestyle that might be making a difference. But still, in the end, most skincare reviews, in my experience anyway, tend to boil down to “I like using it, it makes my skin feel nice”, basically.

However, this skincare trial I’m doing at the moment is slightly different, my face has been scanned, and I have a collection of slightly sinister (and very scary) mugshots to prove it. I’m to use the creams religiously for six weeks, then go back and be scanned again to see if there are any differences and what the scale of the changes actually are. I’m pretty excited to be taking part!

The creams I’m using are from the SKIN.NY range, and the opening quote in this post is from the packaging. As is the below:

“The SKIN.NY woman is not afraid to be beautiful. She knows who she is and expresses herself down to her every step, breath and word. She personifies quality and wants the best of everything in her life including her skincare.

The SKIN.NY woman was born before this skincare range. It was her who demanded its creation.”

Pretty puke-making stuff! If I’d read that before I’d agreed to take part, I might have thought twice about it. Leaving aside the logical error in the second paragraph – come on, how many toddlers do you know who are demanding face cream at £55 a pop? – I don’t think a cream can make you beautiful. There, I said it. It’ll definitely make you look less knackered feel more moisturised, but … make you beautiful if you’re at most passably attractive (in a dim room) in the first place? I don’t think so. I’m not holding my expressive breath on that one …

The products also contain warnings (the first on the moisturiser, the second on the eyecream)

Warning: You will have beautiful skin after using this product.

Warning: your eyes will be big and bright after using this product.

Shame there was no “Warning: you may belm gently to yourself in a bemused fashion every time you read the box” written on it. I ask you.

Seriously, do we have to have this guff written on it to justify an expensive purchase? How does reading statements like this on your products make you feel? The worst part is that this cream has been clinically tested, and has a lot of fairly rigorous peer-reviewed scientific papers behind it. I haven’t read them, of course, but you know, there’s graphs and stuff on the little leaflet, and I’m an accountant, so I like me some graphs. It doesn't need guff like this if you ask me, but then, I'm scared of my beauty apparently, so what do I know?

But, all that aside, I’m keeping an open mind, I’ve used it a couple of times so far, and I like using it, it makes my skin feel nice. So there.

The Fine Print: Products mocked in this article were provided as part of the clinical trial process.  The author reserves the right to wish this had never been written should she wake up looking like Ava Gardner in approximately 28 days time.


  1. Was having a moo day and your post really made me smile.

    I'd definitely run in the opposite direction if I read that on a packet!

  2. Those kinds of claims would put me off a product too but I guess the truth just isn't very saleable. Most OTC products can only do so much for the skin and 'your wrinkles, whilst still visible will be slightly less noticeable' isn't going to draw much attention next to another product offering youth in a tube.

    Personally, Im far more likely to purchase from brands like Skinceuticals and NIA24 that use science not only to create an effective product but as their key selling point. Brands like Goodskin Labs have made a huge profit by packaging their products like prescription medicine rather than regular skincare.

    I just think it's a shame that advertisers feel the need to dumb down their selling points at a time when consumers are more product savvy than ever before. Especially when they actually have a decent product on their hands!

  3. Haha god that sounds truly awful, especially the "warnings"! I would also like to add that I think I enjoy reading the fine print on your posts almost as much as the posts themselves...


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