Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The good stuff wins

This week's Thoughtful Dresser poll asked whether Olay was just as good as Creme de la Mer, and the race ran neck and neck until I started to worry about a Bush-Gore recount, in the end the good stuff pulled ahead to win.

Here are my own thoughts on the matter. Until I was thirty I never wore a moisturiser. Every pot of what I called gunk broke me out in spots. Huge, volcano-like three dimensional objects rose on the right cheek, pulsating with pus. Everything I tried from L'Oreal to Body Shop came to the same end: bad skin.

One day, when I was living in Vancouver, I was wandering through a department store when I saw a Shiseido counter with a gizmo which took some kind of in-depth photo of your skin and what its future would be. Despite the putative spots, my cheekbones were dry. So I bought a lotion thing, put it on, and a couple of days later could no longer stand the feeling of unmoisturised skin. My face felt, somehow, more supple, younger.

When I moved back to London, Shiseido had not yet launched so I went back to Body Shop - spots! - then to Clarins. And from Clarins to Estee Lauder, to Lancome, back to Shiseido and probably every brand in the beauty counter. Periodically I went cheap and cheerful, and each time the same thing happened. I broke out.

My conclusion was that it was not so much the ingredients of expensive skincare that worked for me but the forumulation. Cheap skin creams don't seem to be absorbed properly by my face; they lie there like a greasy layer.

I'd just love to tell you about the reasonably priced, organic skincare secret every British woman in the know only shares with her best friend. If I knew that secret I'd tell you. The truth is awful. Here it is:

My skin has never tried a Creme de la Mer product it doesn't like.

I know. It is hideously expensive, even more in Britain than the US, so I get it brought over for me, twice a year. I use the tinted moisturiser in the morning if I'm not going out and wearing make-up, and the full whack cream in the evening, which you warm between your fingers until it resembles a serum, than pat it on the skin. When you wake up in the morning there's a baby's bottom on your face.

What can I say? Truth hurts.

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