Someone so lovely and kind gave me a skincare set for Christmas, and I’m still hesitant to use it, because I only have biology and chemistry up to Leaving Cert level. It’s called The No-Mind Set, and the brand’s tagline is ‘Clinical Formula with Integrity’, but beyond that, you’ve lost me. Retino l, hyaluronic acid, Matri xyl 3000 – I don’t know if I should moisturize with it or give it a science class. One of the products, according to the instructions, should be used “after a water-based serum, but before a more intense treatment”, at which point my brain almost went into shutdown mode on its own. I didn’t really listen in Chemistry class, and now I don’t.
Modern skin care has become very complicated. I don’t mean skin care for models and beauticians; I mean skin care for us, normal people, dead cells. Years ago, you were conscientious if you cleanse, tone and moisturize every day. Sometimes, if you really want to be in business, you’ll mask or exfoliate once a week. Finish.
Well, with all that said. You can also wipe your face with a sack.
A friend of mine, a professor at a university, sometimes berates me for not having a six-step, twice-daily regimen that involves SPF, serums, and all sorts of other superfluous bugs. Another friend, a book editor, casually talks about ‘active ingredients’ with the authority of a clinical dermatologist. She gets the job done, and she’s really invested in alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), ceramides and peptides and what they want to do. I can’t tell if age, or burnout, or parenthood, or existential relationships in general have made me completely uninterested in these things. I wish I could say that I’m actively putting two fingers into patriarchy and rejecting society’s shame about getting older, but I’m too tired and busy with all that right now. hour.
I don’t want to spend money on anti-aging products. I don’t have enough bandwidth left to figure out the difference between retinol 2pc and retinol 5pc. Maybe thanks to Covid, and really freed from the glamor of having to actually see people, my make-up closet was good and really out of the building. I may be ridiculed by some unspecified female assembly for saying this, but I am known to have slept with my makeup on – a sin beyond your typical five Hail Marys. Sorry, ladies.
Of course, it’s a bitter irony that I’m very, very interested in beauty things when I have much less need for anti-aging skin care. Even with plump cheeks and smooth forehead, I’m still convinced of the ‘transformational’ ability of some expensive moisturizers. When the sales assistants at the airport or the department store weren’t looking, I would scoop lots of products like Crème de la Mer Skintint or La Prairie moisturizers out of sample bottles and give them a try. It’s a memory lost on the sands of time, but I vaguely remember the comfort factor of using high-end stuff.
At the time, I was a long way from needing anti-aging skincare, but then I grew up in a culture heavy with the wisdom of women’s magazines. This often boils down to a simple philosophy: buy this, and you’ll feel better, younger, and in other words, more desirable.
I should mention that I don’t look down my nose at women who embrace very complicated skin care/anti-aging procedures, and I certainly don’t care if you want your spending money to buy Botox or fillers. In fact, it really bothers me when beauty enthusiasts are seen as geeks or pathetically retarded women. Beauty columnist Sali Hughes makes a good point: men’s interests and passions – whether it’s football, jazz or golf – are often culturally enhanced. They have a level of social import that things like fashion or beauty would never have. No one said anything about frivolous spending for a man who spent hundreds of dollars on a rare vinyl reissue or a football season ticket. However, a woman who is paying €100 to take care of herself, to maintain a physical ideal – so often imposed on her by the big world – is a temperamental type.
Part of me wants to keep some skin in the skincare game. Who doesn’t love feeling like the best version of themselves? However, several elements conspire against this, and the complex nonsense ‘here is a bit of science’ is just one of them. I hate to hear that your grandma swore blindly that a bar of Sunlight soap would keep her looking radiant for 60 years, but I’ll leave you with this parting gift. A few years ago, when I was exercising daily and drinking about 4 liters of water a day, I was told by a friend that there was a ‘rumour’ going around that I was taking Botox. My skin has definitely stretched and lost its dry feeling.
Fortunately, we’re past the point where Botox use is some sort of dirty little secret worth gossiping about, but still is. I took that as proof that I did the right thing. Eternal Youth Doesn’t Need Niacinamide, Glycolic Acid or Argireline. Really, you just need a faucet and a very forgiving bladder.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/part-of-me-would-like-to-keep-some-skin-in-the-skincare-game-but-i-dont-have-the-time-energy-or-money-for-the-science-bit-41428663.html Part of me wants to keep some skin in the skincare game but I don’t have the time, energy or money for ‘a little science’