Would You Go Hungry for Beauty Products?


Glamour, Glamour, Glamour, why must you encourage this? On page 162 of the October issue with beautiful Emma Watson on the cover (with nothing much obviously airbrushed on her body beside her now cat-like amber glowing eyes), there’s a story called “Would you Eat Ramen to Afford Good Skin?” So much for that anti-airbrush pledge a few months back, huh Glamour?

Anyhoo, would ya? Would ya really give up food for high dollar skin care? Well those of us older and wiser wouldn’t, but it’s the younger set that you encourage with cover lines like that. You say some women are already doing just that—eating Ramen—or its equivalent, which is probably like bologna sandwiches day after day, in order to afford expensive creams, salves, gels and balms that claim to give us extraordinary skin.

Women jonesing for skin care products speak frankly in the piece. One 22-year old insists she found a wrinkle in which she needed a bevy of products to wipe away, and another confesses she blows $100 a month on Le Mer lip balm alone.

The experts say it’s a status symbol thing in the same way we want the latest iPhone and the cute new boots over at Frye. Consuming expensive facial products makes women feel well, beautiful and keeps their lust for the fountain of youth alive and kicking. Why wouldn’t women’s magazines encourage that?

A Mintel survey found that women who make between 25 and 50K annually use anti-aging serums and potions several times per week. Problem is dermatologists agree women are self prescribing–and overspending–often tallying dozens of products applied to their face daily—all with the hope of looking younger and more beautiful. Cha-ching.

A typical woman tells the derm she uses a daily cleanser,  toner,  moisturizer, eye cream,  youth serum, spot reducer, sunscreen,  BB cream, and lip plumper, not to mention the masks, exfoliators, deep cleansers, wipes, spritzes and scrubs for occasional use.

In fairness, Glamour does “prescribe” a budget-friendly 20s, 30s and 40s version of what women actually need in their anti-aging and beauty arsenal, suggesting they multi-task with products that do double duty—a firming cream that brightens, for instance, and gives good advice about skipping a morning cleanse job for 40-somethings who no longer need an a.m. face wash, and advocating a simple drugstore cleanser for 20-somethings. They suggest what’s worth a splurge in each age segment (sun glasses (20s), laser hair removal (30s) and eye cream (40s).

But buying dozens of expensive beauty products built on hope and dreams while eating Ramen every night—not such a great idea for your health–or your crows feet, Glamour.


One response »

  1. I know several people that spend way too much money on these products. Never have and hopefully never will. I have worked hard to be where I am and very glad to age without falling into any of these traps.

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