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The big beauty con or not? Are women over 50 conned into the beauty industry myth?
Hello you! I hope that today's blog finds you happy, healthy and enjoying life! 
Women over the age of 50 are frequently pilloried and ignored by the beauty industry yet it seems they want our money! One only has to look at the myriad ranges of so called “anti-ageing” “miracle” unguents out there on the market to give us back our youth that society has made us believe is the ultimate achievement in life. 
Because of this I wanted to look at whether we are being conned or whether there is something to be said for enjoying “looking after ourselves”. I am so conflicted on a personal level because I am fascinated by skincare and love trying new products but also having knowledge of ingredients makes me baulk at some of the prices and claims of all these “must have” products!

We haven’t always been sold “10 step” skincare routines as the only way to achieve youthful skin. Indeed, we haven’t always been told we need perfect skin! After all, beauty trends change and a corporation that used to sell us powder for a more matte look, then sold us the dewy look and is now telling us it’s all about the natural look surely doesn’t have our best interests at heart? Any business that doesn’t reinvent itself doesn’t please its shareholders. Without extending or reinventing their offer their current cash cows will dry up. And that’s where my cynicism comes in.

There are serums and goodness only knows what for “anti-ageing”, all proclaiming to “restore confidence to our skin” or luring us into thinking they are the dogs because they use “Rx” after the brand name. Rx means prescription. Some profess to be the “Greatest Hollywood Secret” or “Better than Botox”! Well let’s get one thing clear, if there is a cream that is better than Botox I want to buy it in plane loads! Of course, my money is safe because a cream cannot possibly mimic the action of Botox! It’s a load of fake Botox bollox!!!!! Furthermore, Hollywood wouldn’t be keeping any secrets, they’d be making bazillions  of dollars out of the miracle products themselves!

Always remember the power of marketing. It was Charles Revlon who famously said;
“We make cosmetics in the factory; in the drugstore we sell hope”

That may sound harsh but have a think about it. How many times have you bought a product that has the same ingredients in as another less expensive version because you like the satisfying clunk it makes when you click it closed, or, because the container had a lovely weight or beautiful decoration on it? Why do you hand over extra hard-earned cash for the same thing in different packaging? Is it all a little bit “Emperor’s New Clothes”?

Have you noticed that big brands prey on our older womens insecurities? Scanning through a newsletter about the “latest exciting beauty launches” I spotted the following ambassadors;

·         Lancôme – Chiara Ferragni aged 30

·         Revlon - Ashley Graham aged 30, Imaan Hamman aged 21, Gail Gadot aged 32, Adwo Aboah aged 25,

·         L’Oréal – Alexa Cheung aged 34

·         Chanel – Kristen Stewart aged 27

·         Dior – Bella Hadid aged 21

You don’t need to be a genius to see the problem here! All these brands want our so called “silver dollars” but we don’t get featured in their campaigns because clearly, we are not attractive enough to sell the stuff they tell us will make us beautiful like their brand ambassadors! The Revlon campaign joyously boasted about how proud it was to be running a campaign celebrating diversity. Well yes, there are three stunningly beautiful dark and mid toned skinned women which is of course fantastic, but where are the older women? You know the ones with the cash to buy their products?

I am not keen on the term anti-ageing. Why try and change your face if your vital organs are not being pampered in the same way? Sounds a little crazy to me.  Have a look in your skincare drawer. How many unfinished pots are there slowly going out of date as you chase the next new dream? You are not stupid if you have or are doing this! You have been conned! Conned into believing that plying your skin with acids is good for you, or smothering cream with dust of Jupiter and Saturn in is going to deliver that miracle you want.
More pernicious is the con that getting older and looking older is undesirable. Did you know that recent data shows that skin cancer is being diagnosed at an exponential rate? Further investigation suggests that this is in time with the increased use of acids and various forms of dermabrasion. Now, the link here is that when we use acids or indeed any method that reveals new skin, even if we use SPF it doesn’t adhere as easily to our face and therefore does not give us the protection we think we have. There are so called beauty advocates / influencers out there who will tell you to use acid on top of another acid following a mechanical scrub. Why do you think they do this? One reason is that they have money invested in a business that sells such acids etc.! Further research suggests that if we use anything that takes the top layer of skin off we need to use ceramides as well in your routine. These acids may do more harm than good if not used properly. Of course, if you are cynical, you will be thinking, hang about that means I need to get a new regime to repair the damage I have done! Doh! More money to spend on beauty products! 

It has recently become common knowledge that the only true “anti-ageing” cream that works is retinol. The choice and types of retinols available on the market today is astounding and will be the subject of another blog article. The right retinols do work but they can come with side effects and require patience. Even the prescription stuff needs at least 6 months to begin working!

Now, so far, I have been scathing. I have decided that most “anti-ageing” gunk out there is probably ineffectual in terms of bringing back youthful skin. I do believe that as older women we are absolutely brainwashed in to what is attractive. I think we are also conned into believing that the more we pay the better the results we will get. We are brainwashed before we are even old enough to know it’s happening. We have watched our female relatives chasing the same dreams. I am sorry but ingredients are ingredients, it’s not the crystal covered bloody pot that delivers results. Or is it?

Well, I also happen to believe that if we are out their earning our own cash then it is no one else’s business how we spend it. Like many purchasing decisions it is based on experience, and that is at the root of marketing. We don’t necessarily buy the ingredients, we buy an experience. Often it may be aspirational and put a bounce in our step to do so. Marketing presents beauty products as objects of desire. Great thought is put into the retail space and how it is presented. It is an important part of the consumers purchasing decision. If buying a £100 serum makes you happy then that is a good thing. Being happy is something that is often scarce in life. If you love the whole experience of entering a luxury department store to make your purchases, it is an occasion. Again, if it makes you feel good, who am I to tell you not to? I cannot stand it when people start going on about others “having more money than sense”. It’s none of their damned business.
As women over 50 we are intelligent. We know what works for us and what doesn’t, but ultimately it is for us to make that choice. Recently I was gifted a cleanser with a retail value of £56. It is divine. My skin is so clean when I use it, and the cleansing process is like luxe pampering. It smells divine too! Now I know that expensive cleansers are in truth money down the drain. But I intend to replace it when its empty. Now when it comes to hyaluronic or retinols, in my humble opinion there are fabulous effective versions of these for well under £10 and I wouldn’t pay any more for them. Yes, I do love Sunday Riley but I can’t on a personal level justify the price. So, I guess it all comes down to personal preference.

I do passionately feel that when it comes to skin care we are being “knowingly conned”, in that we are intelligent enough to see what is going on. We can also say no and stop trying to chase the lines or wrinkles we have been told are bad! We can also support companies that support older women.

Tonight, when I go to bed I shall be washing my face in bloody expensive cleanser, followed by an inexpensive toner and high street glycolic gel. I will top it up with a high street eye cream and moisturiser. I have realised that I can’t make my lines disappear but I can create clean, fresh hydrated skin which itself looks great! In the morning I will inhale the delicious fragrance of my face oil as it soothes my skin and slap on SPF 50. As we are always told, SPF is the key to anti-ageing our skin no matter whatever else we indulge ourselves with! But….if we enjoy the indulgence then why not indulge if we choose to?
My favourite cleanser ever!
I would love to know what you think about this whole topic. Are you a fan of high end or high street? What products do you recommend that truly deliver results? Please do share your thoughts below or in our safe and private group at
If I had to nominate a great high street brand it would be the entire range of Superdrug Naturally Radiant plus, La Roche Posay SPF for the face.
High end would be more mixed. Pai facial oil without a doubt and ESPA moisturiser for night and those incredibly rare days when my skin wants a little more moisture, worn under the SPF. I also love NIOD Mastic Must for an effective skin balancing mask once or twice a week dependent upon my skins needs.

I hope you have found this thought provoking. Let’s remember we are never invisible and we’re gorgeous!!!! There isn’t a marketing executive anywhere that should have the power to take that away from us!

You are welcome to join the exclusive and private Savvy 'n' Sassy Group by clicking here. It's a great safe place to discuss anything about our lives as women over 50!

Wishing you lots of love and joy!


Janie S xxx


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