Monday, 22 October 2007

Holding Back the Years

This is more of a rant than a moan. The other day I was in my local Tesco Universe store perusing the Potions to Make You Look Younger aisle. I wanted an exfoliating scrub for my face (did the word exfoliate exist before 2001). Olay make two different kinds, one that promises to "illuminate" your skin and one that fights the seven signs of aging (without specifying what those are).

I wondered what the difference between the two scrubs was, other than £2, so I checked out the ingredients on the back. And found there was absolutely NO difference. So I bought the cheaper one, of course, seven signs be damned.

Then I wanted some shaving gel. Now, King of Shaves makes a very nice gel for men that I get for my husband so I thought I'd check out the women's gel. But first I checked out the ingredients. Apart from the extra £2 (what is it with £2?), guess what? THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE.

Some people somewhere are getting paid a lot of money to con us women. Dare I say they might even be women? Take the former saint, Anita Roddick, whose untimely death revealed what a charlatan she and her company, Body Shop, were.

But why are we women so willing to be duped? I think it's because aging has become a sin. If you look your age, dress your age, act your age, something is wrong with you because we should all be seeking the proverbial fountain of youth. We should be spending loads of money on trying to keep our youthful looks. The more adventurous will spend loads of money on cosmetic surgery (hello, Joan Rivers and Sharon Osbourne). We should feel bad because 30 years ago we enjoyed our time in the sun a little too much and now have the wrinkles and brown spots to remind us. Or we smoked or drank or stayed out late. The cosmetics industry is trying to make us feel ashamed for having had a life.

I feel I have to try to maintain some sort of youthful appearance because I'm married to Dorian Grey. Apart from a few more grey hairs, my husband has not changed in the 16 years I've known him. He weighs the same, perhaps even a little less. If he overindulges one night, he doesn't wake up the next morning looking like a bloated fish. He doesn't have mysterious lumps and bumps that crop up overnight on his skin. I found one stretchmark on his back. He is 21 months shy of 50 and could easily pass (and does) for a 35-year-old (that seems so young now). And he doesn't use moisturizer or exfoliator or sun screen. Bastard!

Well, I've had my Monday Moan. Now you'll have to excuse me while I dash off. I've run out of moisturizer, and there could be a crisis.


J said...

Oh, I hear you.

(What's the truth about Anita Roddick and Body Shop? I stopped buying Body Shop several years ago when they sold to L'oreal. Just didn't feel right to me anymore.)

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

J.: Well, apparently, it was a big marketing con about her traveling to the back of beyond and finding her recipes for whatever from some tribe. She ripped off the idea for Body Shop, including name and logo, from a shop in San Francisco.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I agree with you that it's totally unfair. I also agree that it has to do with the whole age thing. Why are we not allowed to look like the mellowed, well aged women we are? Why do we always have to look like this year's teenybopper?

It's really disheartening.

debio said...

Never was taken in by Body Shop hype (she avows smugly).

Spreading extract from an Amazonian pygmy's armpit on my face lacks a certain appeal - and, Lord knows, they all look 184 years old from birth!

Then there was that 'scare' a few years ago when, because the products are 'natural' and contain no preservatives, everyone was spreading rampant disease-inducing bacteria on themselves.

Have you checked out the price difference between men's and ladies' razor blades? No surprises for you there after your recent excursion, I'm sure!

laurie said...

men look younger for a lot of reasons--from not having to go through childbirth, to shaving every day, which keeps their skin exfoliated. (so there!)

i'm blessed with good genes; my mother is 80 and looks 60. but she hates looking 60 and wants to look 25 again. it never gets easier.

btw, don't waste money on shaving cream. get one of those cool lady shavers that have a razor blade embedded in a bar of soap. no good for washing with, hahaha, but the easiest shave you ever had.

DJ Kirkby said...

'Tesco Universe' store..LOL! In fact LOLOLOLOLOL at this whole post! Your Monday posts are my favorite!

Pixie said...

So first you cleanse, then tone, then apply serum, then moisturise, not forgetting that delcate eye area needs different creams.
Then slap on foundation, blusher, concealer, powder, eye make up and lippy and you've only been out of bed 20 minutes!!!! It's enough to make you want a little lie down to recover.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

RC: Is it not ourselves who don't allow ourselves to look like the mellowed, wise women we become with age? Or is it gays in the fashion industry (not that I have anything against gays but come on. Some of those clothes -- iccchhhh!).

debio: I don't shave anymore,except in the summer, having discovered waxing. But my daughter does. And yes, I have noticed the difference in price.

laurie: I tried one of those ladyshaves, or whatever they're called, but gave it to my daughter after one go.

DJ: Thank you. I bet you've visited a Tesco Universe too.

Pixie: There was a time when I only needed lip gloss and a smear of mascara. Sigh! Those days are long gone.

mind the gap said...

Someone said (don't ask me who) just spend your dosh on a decent moisturiser - the rest can be basic cheap stuff. I think that's good advice, but then again, I am getting some scarey cracks on my forehead - could be age or could be darned Kiev.

Kaycie said...

I just don't get all of the products that people slather all over their faces. I use a bar of face soap, sunscreen with moisturizer and lip balm. The rest of it seems like a waste of money to me.

However, I'll happily pay for something that will not only make my skin feel silky after my bath but also leave me smelling sweet. Soft skin and sweet smells seem to have a much bigger effect on the hubby. ;)

laurie said...

coffee: i've meemed you! stop by and see if you can figure it out.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

mind the gap: considering there are some very pricey face creams out there, I think the advice should be amended to spend your dosh on your weekly food shop and add in some moisturizer if you can.

kaycie: Men don't notice half the stuff we spend a lot of time and money stressing over. But most of them can smell, so I think you're onto something there.

laurie: I'll be right over.

Flowerpot said...

I've never gone in for that moisturising stuff I'm afraid. I mean, I use a huge pot of aqueous cream for any area that might need moisturising - usually my feet and hands - and a splodge on my face and that's it. Seems a huge racket to me and why? There are people like Helen Mirren and Judi Dench who are proud to be the age they are. Good for them!

Snuffleupagus said...

Ugh. You are so right. It is so unfair! And yes, they are all stealing our money. One big con. And I'm a real sucker. I'm only 34 and I feel ancient. At least you are married dear! Those of us who aren't married and look older than 30 are to be pitied and stared at. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't wish I were a man. That, or I wish women ruled the world...

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

flowerpot: My mother used to use Pond's cold cream, which I found recently in a catalogue for an extortionate price. It used to be cheap and cheerful. Aqueous cream probably does just fine.

Snuffy: I have 13 years on you, and believe me, it's in your 40s that the aging process accelerates. Yes, many's the time I wish I were a man.