MOANFACE: Thy Skincare Art Holier Than Thou

Maybe I’m throwing the dummy out of the pram on this, maybe I should care, but I find this subject really grates on me. Since starting blogging after working in the cosmetics industry for around 6 years, I’m often witness to a torrent of sycophancy and condescension of how you shouldn’t use products with parabens, sulfates, preservatives, aluminium etc. The list of scaremongering goes on and on as it seems everything in this world will kill me, painfully and horribly.

She’s called Moira

I don’t have the time to order online 100% natural face oils made by a woman in a shoe under a rock in a small village outside Norfolk. As a ‘normal’ consumer, I don’t have time for this. I’m not saying shoe lady’s products are bad, in fact I’m sure they’re excellent, but that doesn’t mean I should be guilted into using those and those alone.

I could throw at you all the inconclusive and circumstantial research that points out how the likes of these ingredients are bad, and you know something, in great big bucket loads, applied directly and in great concentrates, they are, but until these products are withdrawn, I’ll continue to consider their use. If it’s a paraben that kills me, then so be it, but I’m yet to witness this or the people who’ve used sulfate based cleansers all their lives walking around with melted faces and bits dropping off.

This isn’t to say that you should use any old crap on your face, there are tonnes of products out there I won’t touch with a barge pole but it’s ultimately about being educated about skincare and educated about your own skin; however, there’s a huge difference between educating someone and a totalitarian dictatorship. As bloggers, writers, journalists, customer consultants et al, we need to ‘describe not prescribe’ and educate each other about our experiences and good skin practice, not make ourselves and readers / customers feel inferior. The beauty industry is here not only to make us look better, but more importantly, feel better.

Education, education, education

After using many of the same products for well over 3 years that contain a whole host of these ingredients, I can safely say that these products work for me. That’s the point. It’s what works for you. Many people have severe intolerances to many things but there are many people, I’d be tempted to say the majority, that don’t. I’ve worked with clients in the past that have used the same products for years, again containing these supposed poisons and devil’s spawn, but they continue to retain beautiful skin and continue to proclaim that it’s down to their use of their favourite products.

I’ve also had clients that have reacted badly and have had to resort to the products from the woman in the shoe, but I would never tell every single other person that uses the same product happily that they’re idiots and shouldn’t.

Ms. Smith goes to Selfridges

Ms. Smith goes to Selfridges and buys herself a bottle of her favourite facial wash from her favourite brand. She’s used it for years, and lives with wonderful skin although has had problems with it before using her favourite product, from her favourite brand; she attributes her complexion to this product. The product is expensive, but she saved for it, to buy it in a beautiful box, in a beautiful bag and just for that one moment, it makes her feel special. Ms. Smith gets home and decides, “I wonder if other people love this as much as I do?” She Googles the product to discover a blog or review site that slates it, not for it’s performance, not because they had a bad experience, but because it contains a few artificial ingredients. How does Ms. Smith feel?

Ms. Smith should be allowed to read and discover that although she loves her product, there are some other great alternatives out there that she might want to explore. We should never say a product is bad, we should only say we had a bad experience if this is the case. We should share what ingredients we avoid and which ingredients we love and most importantly, why we do so! Just because you’ve read it in a Sunday paper or, which in my opinion carries exactly the same credence, have heard it from a drunk man on a night bus, doesn’t make it gospel. All to often we prematurely jump on the bandwagon.

Disclaimer Conclusion

So to clarify, I’m not against natural products, I’m against people being TOLD that they’re wrong for using anything else but. If I sadly ever did develop Altzheimer’s, I very much doubt it would be due to the aluminium in my Nivea For Men deodorant and I think that it rather trivialises rather serious illnesses and conditions, cancer for example, that need to be considered and discussed with more thought and less sensationalism.

Posted at 00:07 February 27, 2013
Annabella Freeman

As a respected blogger of influence (I’m not ass kissing btw he he) I’m glad you’ve written this article. As a skincare beauty blogger I like to include all kinds of products on my blog. If something is ‘free’ of something I’ll mention it just so that my readers can make an informed decision but I certainly wouldn’t recommend something based on it being natural for that alone. You can react to something that is natural just as easy as something that is man-made or synthetic.

It’s easy to forget that chemicals enter our bodies in many different ways including breathing low quality air, over-treated produce, water supply, or prescription drugs.

A x

Posted at 14:58 February 18, 2013
Pampered Prince

Great post Thom with some great points! I agree, when it comes to natural skincare there are a collective who like to belittle & scaremonger others. Personally I think this puts people off natural skincare rather than encourages them to use it.
When my skin was really at its worst, I started exploring more natural skincare, purely out of desperation, I think most people would try anything and eliminating all the ‘so called’ bad ingredints was one thing I tried. With a bit of trial & error I now know its mainly alcohol denat that aggravates my skin. I still avoid SLS where possible, only because there are so many sulfate free products to choose from. Your point is spot on. It’s what works for the individual.

Posted at 14:54 February 18, 2013

Some really need to tone it down with the ‘green’ craze. I use products that contain parabens and all sorts of questionable ingredients according to them, but I also love certain more organic & natural brands. It’s all about what works for your skin, why would one be better than the other? As long as the results are there and you can sleep at night with your decision to splurge on something expensive or not, free of ‘nasties’ or containing them, I’m fine either way.

Best of both worlds, no need for extremes :)

Posted at 21:06 February 17, 2013

I love my organic skin care, but I know that it can’t always deliver the results I want. So I use both organic and non organic products. I’m perfectly comfortable doing so and I’m happy to recommend products from both Column A and Column B.


    Posted at 21:09 February 17, 2013
    Thom Watson

    Ali I love that, I’m the same and there are a few natural products I use as well. I just get aggravated by the ‘Natural Nazis’ out there :(

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.