Not Buying It – Expensive Skin Care

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because what I know about skin care could easily fit on the back of a postage stamp.

What I do know about, however, is marketing.

Throughout my teens and twenties I tried to understand skin care and skin care products… 3-step this, exfoliate that, fine lines, anti-aging, anti-oxidants, retinol…and the list goes on.

Let me be completely frank – I don’t buy any of it. Not just the products but the science (aka marketing) behind it.

This may well come back to bite me on the bum (or face and neck in the case of aging and skin elasticity) but I do not follow a prescribed skin care routine. I don’t use products now, although I’ve dabbled and got disillusioned in the past, having no confidence in what was being ‘sold’ to me.

What I do use is;

And this;

I once read that there were 2 things Marilyn Monroe always wore to bed. Vaseline and a bra. Well, if it’s good enough for the face of the fifties?

The odds are stacked against me, my facial destiny is probably that of a shriveled prune – genetics once more. Genetics is something no amount of clever skin care marketing can guard against.

Perhaps putting myself in the path of the delectable Edward Cullen would resolve the matter. Halt the aging process entirely. (Will I ever write a post again without refering to Twilight? Hmmm?)

Or maybe I could stick to what I think may be my best defense

  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Not smoking
  • Staying hydrated
  • Plenty of exercise
  • Eating healthily
  • Remaining stress free
  • Staying out of the sun (and wearing sunglasses on bright days)

As I said at the start, I know very little about skincare. I’m here to learn as well as share information on what I do and how I do it. Please if you know something I don’t about why we should be buying expensive skin care then put me on the right track…

(Anyone interested in a home-made facial cleanser recipe – check out my lovely blogging buddy Jenny’s post over at EXconsumer)

On similar note – I watched the fantastic SuperScrimpers on Monday evening. There was a feature on home-made bath bombs. I’m desperately trying to track down Jazz who featured on the show as I’d love to check out more of her creations. The recipe is on the Channel 4 SuperScrimper site. I will, without a doubt, be making these as gifts for family and friends and packaging them up in recycled giftware. Loving the DIY vibe that this show is giving out. Long live fun frugality!

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Lauren February 29, 2012, 2:51 pm

    I work in marketing as well, so rarely buy anything based on claims. I use the same routine as my mum. Mostly water, rarely wear makeup, use a gentle cleanser only when needed and sunscreen if outside for an extended period of time. My mum is 60 this year and has fabulous skin for her age. My grandmother is 85 and much the same. I do think genetics are the strongest factor in how your skin ages, not all those expensive chemicals they try to sell you.

    Have to say that I didn’t like the look of the bath bombs, but I think it was mostly down to the food colouring making the bath nearly red. I think they would have been better without that. You could pick up some cheap silicone chocolate moulds instead of the ice cube trays if you don’t already have some, they come in much cuter shapes.

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 2:59 pm

      Working in a profession means you know too many of the trade secrets!
      Agree totally on the colouring, that’d be a no-no. I did like the petals however. And totally agree on the shape, my first thought was heart shaped for the ladies!
      p.s. – you’re lucky having good skin genes! I’m a teeny bit envious 😉

  • Lauren February 29, 2012, 2:51 pm

    I work in marketing as well, so rarely buy anything based on claims. I use the same routine as my mum. Mostly water, rarely wear makeup, use a gentle cleanser only when needed and sunscreen if outside for an extended period of time. My mum is 60 this year and has fabulous skin for her age. My grandmother is 85 and much the same. I do think genetics are the strongest factor in how your skin ages, not all those expensive chemicals they try to sell you.

    Have to say that I didn’t like the look of the bath bombs, but I think it was mostly down to the food colouring making the bath nearly red. I think they would have been better without that. You could pick up some cheap silicone chocolate moulds instead of the ice cube trays if you don’t already have some, they come in much cuter shapes.

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 2:59 pm

      Working in a profession means you know too many of the trade secrets!
      Agree totally on the colouring, that’d be a no-no. I did like the petals however. And totally agree on the shape, my first thought was heart shaped for the ladies!
      p.s. – you’re lucky having good skin genes! I’m a teeny bit envious 😉

  • Clara February 29, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I’m all about a simple, more natural skincare approach, but I’d be careful with the petroleum jelly. I read a book (that I highly recommend!) called “No more dirty looks” about the dangers of ingredients in beauty products, and one they cautioned against using is petroleum jelly – here’s a brief explanation from a post on their blog: http://nomoredirtylooks.com/2010/08/get-that-out-of-my-face/. And, here is an all-natural petroleum jelly alternative I recently found thanks to Pinterest: https://waxelene.com/. 🙂

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 4:14 pm

      Thanks Clara – interesting – will investigate some more!

  • Clara February 29, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I’m all about a simple, more natural skincare approach, but I’d be careful with the petroleum jelly. I read a book (that I highly recommend!) called “No more dirty looks” about the dangers of ingredients in beauty products, and one they cautioned against using is petroleum jelly – here’s a brief explanation from a post on their blog: http://nomoredirtylooks.com/2010/08/get-that-out-of-my-face/. And, here is an all-natural petroleum jelly alternative I recently found thanks to Pinterest: https://waxelene.com/. 🙂

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 4:14 pm

      Thanks Clara – interesting – will investigate some more!

  • sharron February 29, 2012, 8:18 pm

    My routine is simple and cheap. At night i take make-up off with a baby wipe. I slather cheapo cleanser all over face and remove it with a Linen cloth (Liz earle style) tone with cheapo toner and slather Aldi night cream all over my mush. Morning sees a quick splash with water in the shower then Aldi day cream (£1.99) I have in the past bought creams based on claims, but Always ended up dissappointed (and out of pocket 🙁 ) I go with all of your advice, plenty of sleep being the biggy. I always wear sunglasses even in winter, espically when i’m driving. I have a friend who spent 10 years on sunbeds 3 times a week, and smoked, and she’s the first one to say she’s now got the face she deserves and i look like her daughter (her words- and a compliment)

    Okay confession time, i buy exclusivley premium make-up 🙁 But knowing this has saved me a fortune, i used to buy the budget brands OFTEN, as they always left me dissappointed and thrown away. Now i know what brands are good for my skin, i only buy them when i need them and don’t bother with anything else, well i was never trying to be perfect 🙂

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 9:43 pm

      ‘Sunbeds’ the one word in the English dictionary that is like a knife to the heart for me. As a ’90’s girl’ I used sunbeds routinely in my 20’s. I regret it an awful lot. This all may sound very dramatic, but I just hope the usage of them doesn’t come back to haunt me going forward. It’s easy to blame ignorance, but seriously I wasn’t aware how bad they are. My presumption (as someone who had a lot of holidays and spent a lot of time in the sun) that to keep the tan topped up was better than burning in normal sunlight (I’m fair-skinned and burn easily). Very silly.
      Anyhow on a lighter note – sounds like you have super skin! way to go! And the premium ‘slap’ is okay by me 😉 – nowt worse than a badly made-up face! If you are anything like me, there’s not a lot of cosmetics purchased anyway so to spend that little extra goes a long way.
      ps – welcome to FB – yay!

      • sharron March 1, 2012, 1:22 pm

        Ha, i’ve jut reactivated it after not being on it for years!! I ‘pruned’ my friends, so i now only have people i like lol, can you see my photos??
        Sharron x

        • simplybeingmum March 1, 2012, 6:52 pm

          I can’t I’m afraid. Just your profile one, for some reason I’d imagined you with blond hair although I have no idea why! Looking good!
          I was pretty sure I’d guessed your UK location from your comments… and I think I’m right from who you follow on Twitter 😉

        • sharron March 2, 2012, 6:52 pm

          Oh yeah, it wasn’t a secret (unless you hate scousers!) That was taken about 4 years ago, i’m actually sporting a wonky haircut at the minute!! I can’t really get into twitter, that’s why i reactivated fb!!

  • sharron February 29, 2012, 8:18 pm

    My routine is simple and cheap. At night i take make-up off with a baby wipe. I slather cheapo cleanser all over face and remove it with a Linen cloth (Liz earle style) tone with cheapo toner and slather Aldi night cream all over my mush. Morning sees a quick splash with water in the shower then Aldi day cream (£1.99) I have in the past bought creams based on claims, but Always ended up dissappointed (and out of pocket 🙁 ) I go with all of your advice, plenty of sleep being the biggy. I always wear sunglasses even in winter, espically when i’m driving. I have a friend who spent 10 years on sunbeds 3 times a week, and smoked, and she’s the first one to say she’s now got the face she deserves and i look like her daughter (her words- and a compliment)

    Okay confession time, i buy exclusivley premium make-up 🙁 But knowing this has saved me a fortune, i used to buy the budget brands OFTEN, as they always left me dissappointed and thrown away. Now i know what brands are good for my skin, i only buy them when i need them and don’t bother with anything else, well i was never trying to be perfect 🙂

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 9:43 pm

      ‘Sunbeds’ the one word in the English dictionary that is like a knife to the heart for me. As a ’90’s girl’ I used sunbeds routinely in my 20’s. I regret it an awful lot. This all may sound very dramatic, but I just hope the usage of them doesn’t come back to haunt me going forward. It’s easy to blame ignorance, but seriously I wasn’t aware how bad they are. My presumption (as someone who had a lot of holidays and spent a lot of time in the sun) that to keep the tan topped up was better than burning in normal sunlight (I’m fair-skinned and burn easily). Very silly.
      Anyhow on a lighter note – sounds like you have super skin! way to go! And the premium ‘slap’ is okay by me 😉 – nowt worse than a badly made-up face! If you are anything like me, there’s not a lot of cosmetics purchased anyway so to spend that little extra goes a long way.
      ps – welcome to FB – yay!

      • sharron March 1, 2012, 1:22 pm

        Ha, i’ve jut reactivated it after not being on it for years!! I ‘pruned’ my friends, so i now only have people i like lol, can you see my photos??
        Sharron x

        • simplybeingmum March 1, 2012, 6:52 pm

          I can’t I’m afraid. Just your profile one, for some reason I’d imagined you with blond hair although I have no idea why! Looking good!
          I was pretty sure I’d guessed your UK location from your comments… and I think I’m right from who you follow on Twitter 😉

        • sharron March 2, 2012, 6:52 pm

          Oh yeah, it wasn’t a secret (unless you hate scousers!) That was taken about 4 years ago, i’m actually sporting a wonky haircut at the minute!! I can’t really get into twitter, that’s why i reactivated fb!!

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer February 29, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Hey Jo! I’m so glad the oil cleansing method is working for you! 🙂

    I’m still a happy oil face washer after maybe two months (or so?) of trying the method.

    Like Clara, I try to steer clear of any petroleum-based products. I just take a few extra drops of EV olive oil and rub it into face after cleansing and before going to bed. It has worked great for me this winter. When it was warmer, I used EV coconut oil at night. It’s a little less moisturizing, so in the warmer months it worked perfectly!

    P.S. Happy three-year blogging anniversary! Wow. 😉

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 9:49 pm

      Hey Jenny so far so good with the cleansing. My skin’s not great at the moment generally however, not sure if it’s the winter weather, or the running (the salt from sweat can cause spots – gross yeah!), or my age (I’m having a mid-life crisis by the way!). I’ll be looking at the petroleum products again…based on feedback. Love blogging, as it makes me question what I’m doing. I am using the olive oil as a moisturiser also, as I have quite dry skin.
      ps – not 3 years actually blogging – just the 16 months banked so far. I was an active part of the community before blogging on other sites, under various names.

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer February 29, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Hey Jo! I’m so glad the oil cleansing method is working for you! 🙂

    I’m still a happy oil face washer after maybe two months (or so?) of trying the method.

    Like Clara, I try to steer clear of any petroleum-based products. I just take a few extra drops of EV olive oil and rub it into face after cleansing and before going to bed. It has worked great for me this winter. When it was warmer, I used EV coconut oil at night. It’s a little less moisturizing, so in the warmer months it worked perfectly!

    P.S. Happy three-year blogging anniversary! Wow. 😉

    • simplybeingmum February 29, 2012, 9:49 pm

      Hey Jenny so far so good with the cleansing. My skin’s not great at the moment generally however, not sure if it’s the winter weather, or the running (the salt from sweat can cause spots – gross yeah!), or my age (I’m having a mid-life crisis by the way!). I’ll be looking at the petroleum products again…based on feedback. Love blogging, as it makes me question what I’m doing. I am using the olive oil as a moisturiser also, as I have quite dry skin.
      ps – not 3 years actually blogging – just the 16 months banked so far. I was an active part of the community before blogging on other sites, under various names.

  • Rae March 4, 2012, 3:04 pm

    I don’t like “no more dirty looks.” They seem to be scare-mongering. Anyway, I’m trying to do away with lotion now. But my skin gets really dry even when I only use water (no soap) when I bathe. I do drink enough water.

    I bought a 30ml bottle of glycerin for less than a dollar, mix 1 part to 3 parts water, and it worked. This bottle will last me months.

    I agree with the above comment, aging has a lot to do with genetics.

    • simplybeingmum March 4, 2012, 8:33 pm

      Hi Rae – Glycerin – now there’s an idea… I have a feeling I could also use that to change my icing (from soft to harder, save buying multiple icing – but I’d better double check that as I may have dreamt it?) for when I decorate cakes also. I love a product that can multi-task!

  • Rae March 4, 2012, 3:04 pm

    I don’t like “no more dirty looks.” They seem to be scare-mongering. Anyway, I’m trying to do away with lotion now. But my skin gets really dry even when I only use water (no soap) when I bathe. I do drink enough water.

    I bought a 30ml bottle of glycerin for less than a dollar, mix 1 part to 3 parts water, and it worked. This bottle will last me months.

    I agree with the above comment, aging has a lot to do with genetics.

    • simplybeingmum March 4, 2012, 8:33 pm

      Hi Rae – Glycerin – now there’s an idea… I have a feeling I could also use that to change my icing (from soft to harder, save buying multiple icing – but I’d better double check that as I may have dreamt it?) for when I decorate cakes also. I love a product that can multi-task!

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