Friday, October 5, 2007

Slave to Goo

Every night when I perform my nocturnal ablutions, I gather up all my products in a little assembly on the bathroom counter and begin the process, working through my roster of creams, goos, potions & lotions. The other day it occurred to me to tally up all the various products I use, and I was semi-shocked to find that that number is seven.


Does this seem like a lot? Does this make me a slave to my goo? Have I bought into the Beauty Industry Myth? Am I a product whore?

In my defense, my daytime routine is much more streamlined than this:

an all-over facial moisturizer and a sunscreen. If I'm feeling particularly crinkly, I'll use an extra dab of eye cream. And every other day in the shower I use a micro-whatsis scrub (also Garnier).

Honestly, while I'm performing my routine, it doesn't seem excessive. I wash my face with Cetaphil, use that brilliant Almay remover to get whatever eye makeup the Cetaphil missed, then I hit the vitamin C serum. I was using the Bliss Sleeping Peel Serum, which I loved, but the stuff was $60 an ounce. So now I've replaced it with the Garnier Skin Renew Serum, and I like it just as well. (Plus, it's 12 bucks for 1.7 ounces, and my math is shaky, but it's at least good enough to figure that out. I do wish Garnier would lay off the fragrance a little, though -- their products all smell like fruit baskets.) Full disclosure: I alternate the serum every other night with a version of Retin-A cream that was also much less than the Bliss product. (Ah, we love those Mexican farmacias.) When the products are less costly, I'm not so miserly in using them, and I also don't feel bad about putting them on my neck & décolletage as well as my face, which is important when you're a giraffe like me. After the serum comes the moisturizer, then the eye, lip & neck treatments. Which might seem excessive to some, but I am positively devoted to my Clarins lip treatment -- that stuff is magic. It seriously reduced the fine lines around my mouth, I swear. (I'm a Clarins devotée in general, you may notice. Their products really agree with my skin and I think that once you find a line that works for you, you should stick to it.)

So I dunno. Is the industry (the Cosmetic-Beauty Industrial Complex, as it were) pulling a fast one on me? Or am I hallucinating that I actually look not-too-shabby for a 42-year old person? It helps, I'm sure, that my mother drilled the necessity for sunscreen into me when I was just a whipper (and a few spectacular and excruciating sunburns when I was a kid really drove the point home). I never, EVER leave the house (especially living where I live) without an application of the Clarins UV Plus -- that stuff is brilliant and I don't care how much it costs, I'll never stop using it. So I wonder -- are all these products really doing what I think they're doing, or am I a victim of marketing and magical thinking? What do you think?

Tell ya what: tell me how many products you use every night & morning in the comments box. I'll draw a name randomly from the comments Tuesday morning and whomever wins will get a little package from Style Spy with a buncha fun product samples I've accumulated to try out. Also, let us know your holy grail skincare product -- the one thing they would have to pry from your cold dead cream-applying fingers before you'd give it up.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Wear your sunscreen!!

Photos: Style Spy

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Poochie said...

Well, don't feel too bad, becuase I'm younger than you and I use about as many. Here goes:
1. Wash face with Cetaphil bar
2. Wash with Proactive wash/scrub
3. Tone with either Proactive toner or Thayers Rose Water witch hazel
4. Oil of Olay Regenerist eye (or some eye cream/sample I have - Clinique is up next)
5. Proactive lotion or O-o-O Regenerist Serum
6. Some lotion on neck, behind ears, chest and hands

So close!

1. I read you really don't need to wash your face again, especially since I NEVER EVER go to bed with make-up on, no matter what. All you need to do is rinse your face or I wipe another cotton ball of witch hazel.
2. O-o-O eye lotion
3. O-o-O Regenerist serum
4. My custom blended Prescriptives base has sunscreen, or if I'm going bare, I add sunscreen.

I don't think I can go without the Cetaphil (I have really sensative skin), witch hazel, eye lotion or face serum. Seriously, none of it.

And I never get direct sun exposure if I can help it. And Proactive is a gift from the gods. It seriously works - I just wish they had it when I was a teenager.


r r s said...

I use five at night and four in the morning, not counting makeup. Hmm... I never thought about how much STUFF I use on my face. I LOVE cosmetics, though. Found a sale on ELF makeup the other day and bought 18 items. Really.

Anonymous said...

I use six or seven products, depending on how my skin is behaving at the time.The one I can't live without is Elta MD UV Shield SPF 45. Most awesome sunscreen!

Unknown said...

1. wash with cetaphil cleanser
2. treat blemishes with clean and clear salicyclic acid gel or benzoyl peroxide
3. olay regenerist lotion with spf all over the face during the day and just on dry spots at night
4. lipbalm with spf on my lips

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to break the Product Whore cycle. It's not been easy.

Morning: scrub with olive oil or almost any greasy moisturizer, then apply a tad bit of foundation.

Night: scrub with olive oil or almost any greasy moisturizer, then apply beloved Mexican Renova. Wait a few, then slather on more greasy moisturizer.

That's about it. I'm 50. Skin looks pretty good.

Red said...

I'm pretty simple, I guess. My everyday makeup is lip balm, maybe mascara if I'm not running late.

1. Cetaphil cleanser
2. If blemishes, witch hazel toner
3. Boots Restore & Renew on face
4. Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Creme on neck and décolletage(and face if winter).

1. Neutrogena anti-wrinkle, anti-blemish cleanser (3x week)
2. Olay Total Effects SPF 15 fragrance free.
3. Badger Balm lip balm

Sarah said...

I came across this late, but I did have to throw in my love of/obsession with my face. So...

1. Clarins' Watermint one-step cleanser (to combat the greasies that snuck up on me overnight)
2. Dior's 60/80 eye cream. I've tried almost everything I could get my hands on, at all price ranges, and this stuff is AMAZING
3. Dior's Hydraction light moisturizer with SPF 20

and the three basic makeup items that are constants, no matter what else I'm doing with my makeup, which are Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse foundation, Nars blush in Orgasm, and Chanel's Inimitable mascara.

1. Clarins orange one-step (can you tell I hate washing my face outside of the shower?)
2. Clarins (or Chanel, but I've also really liked Lancome/L'Oreal) eye makeup remover, to get what's left over after the orange stuff off)
3. Dior eye cream
4. Body Shop seaweed moisturizer.

Most of this list is pretty pricey (especially since I by no means have the budget for it all), but it's all well worth it for me- I've tried almost everything, and these are what's worked the best for me over time.