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Who spends £230 on 2 fl oz of moisturiser?

March 24, 2009

Now I’m all for little luxuries and treats. Not even my fears for the future of our planet and, by extension for my wonderful daughter and any children she may have, will keep me from a bar of Divine orange milk chocolate.  But anyone who spends £230 on a 60ml pot of moisturiser needs to be given a firm talking to.

I was already convinced that expensive moisturisers were a rip-off before reading Ben Goldacre’s explanation of the situation in his Bad Science book (still excellent, still highly recommended), but reading the page of ten best luxury moisturisers in The Independent (shame on you Indy), I was a little more than mildly annoyed.

You can read Ben’s Guardian column on The Attack of the Wrinkled Ladies in full, but let me give you the highlights before I combust with irritation.

All face creams moisturise – they’re like Vaseline without the greasiness – and most contain mashed up protein chains (long and soggy when wet, they contract when they dry, giving that ‘nice’ tight feeling on your fizzog). They may contain active ingredients (such as Vitamin A), but if these are used in quantities that would work well at reducing wrinkles, you would also get unpleasant side effects (like burning and flaking). So you get lower doses which are hardly worth the paper they’re written on. Finally all the ‘science’ they use in those adverts is likely to reflect effects on cells in lab conditions rather then on skin on actual people.

To go back to my first point, I’m all for little treats. I could buy really cheap moisturiser from the pharmacist, but I like the smell of the Lush moisturisers and so I use them. I don’t expect miracles, but they give my face powder something to stick to and they smell gorgeous (particularly Gorgeous). What’s more Lush don’t use palm oil or test on animals and do their best to buy ingredients from ethical sources.

So if you want a moisturising treat try Lush, and if you want a really cheap moisturiser ask your pharmacist for a basic moisturising cream. And if you happen to have £230 spare, give it to Comic Relief instead… they can go and save someone’s life with it. Because they’re worth it.

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