Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Payback for believing the hype

My face is pink and raw. It looks pretty nice, but feels terrible. This is what I get for believing the hype. Some magazine I was leafing through in a doctor's office had an article in which it was stated that Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream was "as good as the 200 dollar face creams." Now that I've used this horrible product, I can say with confidence that the 200 dollar face creams are junk. That article didn't actually say that the expensive stuff did anything, now that I think of it. It only said the cheaper stuff was just as good.

My skin is dry, and of course, it's sagging. I'm middle-aged, so that's normal (unless you live in Hollywood). There's nothing wrong with wanting to moisturize it, but I was starting to believe that putting some fancy schmancy product on my face would make the lines and sagging disappear. Here's some ad copy straight out of O Magazine:

"Clinically proven to make skin more luminous, going deep to nourish from the inside out."

It's not a pill, so what does "inside out" mean? And please tell me, how does one clinically prove that skin is more luminous?

"Think about it. In one month, you'll look younger than you do today."

I've got better things to think about, thank you.

"88% felt smoother skin. 66% were measurably more relaxed after inhaling the Night Health aroma."

Wow. That product not only makes one's skin smoother, but eliminates the need for tranquilizers!

"Rough elbows can find happiness."

Y'know, my elbows are rough, but they haven't told me they were feeling down lately. Should I have a talk with them?

Ooh, the next one really must be true, 'cause the word "patent" is in it:

"This exclusive anti-aging breakthrough from France uses patent-pending Protient technology to stimluate micro-tightening within the skin's surface in as little as 20 minutes."


Oh dear. I just discovered that it wasn't an article I read but an ad. It had seeped into my subconscious like a worm in a computer system, destroying all sensible and rational thought as it did its nastiness, convincing me that I had read something other than pure ad copy. Here it is:

"Achieve a firmer, lifted look without taking drastic measures! At under $30, it creamed 32 of the world's most expensive creams. (Even the one costing, gasp, $700.)"

I think it was the parenthetical statement that convinced my brain that I had read an article. Very sneaky, Olay! I also want to point out that parenthetical statements should be embedded in a sentence and are not themselves sentences. But who cares? The bad writing did it's job well. Luckily for me, I bought this dreck* at a drugstore and can get my money back.

My face is burning. Even my eyes sting. And the kicker is, I washed this dreck off my face about two hours ago. And no, there was nothing wrong with my soap. This "product" is overly scented, doesn't moisturize, but sits on the skin getting stickier as the day goes by, causes the skin to become dirty (because it's so sticky), seems to prevent the skin from breathing properly, so that one's face sweats slightly, and. . .well, that's about all. It's enough, isn't it?

What I can't understand is that some people swear by this stuff. This proves a few things: 1. Skin is highly variable. 2. People are suckers.

I was a sucker, too. I probably still am, for I'm going to try to find a good facial moisturizer. There really wasn't anything "wrong" with my skin. It's just old. I should look my age. I'm proud to have made it this far and learned life's lessons on the way. But, for some reason, not believing the beauty product hype is a lesson I still haven't learned. I genuinely thought that technology may have advanced things recently. I mean, some of these products have government patents and such. There's even a new word for this stuff - cosmeceuticals.**

Painting note: Portrait of Lucrezia Panchiatichi by Bronzino in 1545. I had a boring photograph of a composite face up here until a few moments ago, but I felt it was high time for a new painting. The only reason I used the composite was to direct you to a website about some German beauty studies and research.

*Dreck: Yiddish for shit. Ever seen Dreft laundry soap? I have no idea if this is true, but, my mother told me that when the product was first introduced, it's name was Dreck, not Dreft. They had to pull it off the shelves when they discovered what the word meant. Someone needed to do a bit more research, don't you think?

**Otherwise known as the new and improved dreck.


jmcleod76 said...

If you want "luminous" skin, go work in a nuclear power plant for a while. Ha! That's a myth, of coursr. My dad used to clean and refuel reactors, and people always asked me if he lowed in the dark.

Not that it should matter if you do look your age, but I just have to say as a matter of record, that you don't. Not even close. When I first saw you, I guessed you were about 40.

I don't find that composite woman attractive at all. She's dull-looking. There's nothing about her that makes my eye pause for appreciation. I think human beings need some imperfections - some ugliness, even - to be truly attractive.

jmcleod76 said...

Jesus, I can't type at 6 a.m. - "of course" and "glowed in the dark."

Julie H. Rose said...

Jaime - you don't have to correct or apologize for your typos. I leave 'em on comments all the time.

That's interesting about your dad's work. I'd like to hear more about that.

I didn't put that pic up to say she's beautiful. I, too, think she's a bit boring. I wished I used another image, in truth, but I wanted that link up (it's fascinating, and something to be argued with) and I was tired and lazy.

All the talk about symmetry being attractive gets to me. I've got a post on her somewhere about that. I love broken and crooked noses and all sorts of supposed "ugliness."

As to "looking my age" - I agree that I look younger than most my age. It's all that clean living and good mental health!

No, really, genes are such a crap shoot. I should look like hell. But you should see one of my stepbrothers - he didn't smoke, drink, or do much of anything destructive in his life (unlike your narrator here) - he's in his late 60's and he looks 40, maybe even younger! It's strange, actually.

TMC said...

Your poor face!
Kiss My Face Peaches & Cream moisturizer works pretty good. I've used it for years. It's got a touch of the alphahydroxy stuff and moiturizes well. It's affordable and a little goes a long way.

BitterGrace said...

My sympathies on the bad reaction to the cream. I have sensitive skin, too, and I've literally gotten burned a few times myself. I marvel that these companies get away with the crazy claims, and that they can sell such crap at all.

FWIW, I mostly use baby products on my skin now--Huggies Natural Care baby wash, wipes, etc. I've never had problems with any of that stuff, and it works just fine. Paula's Choice skin care is a pretty safe bet if you want something more grown up.

Julie H. Rose said...

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I do like "Kiss My Face" products. Weleda makes good products, too. My favorite is Dr. Hauschka, but it's terribly expensive. None of these companies make big claims. They just make good, natural products.

Yet, there's still a part of me that believes the hype a little bit, and whispers in my ear, "You just haven't found the right product yet."

I never thought of myself as gullible, but I finally found an area in which I am. Hey, I'm human!

Websafe said...
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