Thursday, August 18, 2016

If L'Oréal really sold anti-ageing stuff...

I enjoy Helen Walmsley-Johnson's contributions to Standard Issue Magazine. In her latest piece she has a go at the anti-ageing nonsense being peddled by cosmetics companies. She wrote,
From this energetic stream of thought prompted by just one 30-second advert you would be correct in assuming that I have a problem with the whole ‘anti-ageing’ terminology. I loathe and avoid anything which includes the following words on or in its packaging or advertising: ‘perfect’, ‘renew’ or ‘renewal’, ‘correct’, ‘revitalise’, ‘restore’, ‘firm’, ‘regenerate’, ‘plumps’, ‘lift’, ‘anti-wrinkle’, ‘smooth’, ‘rejuvenate’ or promises to ‘turn the clock back’, ‘blur’ or ‘reverse visible signs of ageing’. So that leaves me with… not a lot actually.
I read this soon after I'd seen an L'Oréal advert on the telly - the people who are supposed to make Helen Mirren look gorgeous - and was confused by all the make-up - the made-up words they use to describe their stuff. I mean, what the heck is "2% Vitamin CG and 6% Pro-Xylane". I know about Vitamin C, but CG?

Helen (not Mirren, the author of the article) says that in the UK "we spend a staggering £2.2 billion on cosmetic skincare". I'd have to take issue with that. I'm not part of the "we", since I don't spend anything on cosmetic skincare, just a few squid on moisturiser that I forget to use and some sun screen that my dermatologist says I should use, on account of having had skin cancer.

I used to wear make-up on special occasions. I've given up now, since poor eyesight has led to poking myself in the eye with a mascara brush too often - one of the advantages of failing sight is that I can't see my wrinkles very well any more. I tend to forget I've got lipstick on and wipe it off with serviettes or my sleeve. I've better things to do with my pension than swell L'Oréal's coffers. Besides, none of it is anti-ageing; it's all superficial. Some cream with Pro-Xylane in it (whatever that is) won't fix what's going on under the skin, which is inevitable. If I read that we spent even a small proportion of that £2.2 billion on chocolate or cake or gin, I'd understand.