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“I Know That When I Put My Moisturiser On It Probably Does F…All” Helen Mirren.

August 3, 2017

Well what on earth do we make of that statement from L’Oreal brand ambassador Helen Mirren?  Do we hang up our lab coats and spatulas and call it a day?  I wonder……

To be fair on Helen Mirren she went on to finish that sentence with “but it just makes me feel better. I’ve always said to L’Oreal as well that I will only do what makes me feel better” and to be honest, isn’t that fair enough?

Outside of the clear argument about how unprofessional it was of Helen to drop the F bomb while sitting on a L’Oreal panel I think there is some merit to what she says and not in a ‘let’s bag out L’Oreal’  sort of way because I think doing that sort of misses the bigger point.

Helen Mirren is 72 and she’s beautiful.  She has a beauty that has only got deeper and more feisty with age – like a fine cheese (I like fine cheese) or wine (less love for the wine but I’ve heard that wine ages well sometimes) but you get my drift.   Helen was born with a winning hand in the genetic lottery of beauty and whatever she’s doing to maintain that is clearly working, at least from what we see and I’ve no grounds to doubt that what we see is authentic and real. On that basis I feel that it would have been great for Helen to acknowledge her privilege by adding the simple words ‘for me’ at the end of her sentence and yes, I realise that sounds awfully politically correct but I can’t very much help that.

So let’s reword that on her behalf:

“I know that when I put my moisturiser on it probably does f….all for me”

I can get behind that and not in a ‘well maybe she’s using the wrong product’ kind of way.

Let me take this a step back a minute and think about me (sorry) as I really do need moisturiser.

I was not so lucky in the genetic lottery of life, at least when it comes to my skin.  OK so it wasn’t a dreadful tragedy but I have a couple of small genetic malfunctions that mean I have eczema and are prone to chronically dry skin that cracks right through to the bleedy blood bits.  Yuck.   I swear that if I don’t wear moisturiser my skin would fall off or be very painful or unsightly – shedding skin cells as you walk is not a good look.   Now the skin is supposed to create its own moisturiser. If it is ‘normal’ it is perfectly able to create a lovingly balanced water phase and a nutritive oil phase that keep everything as it should be but mine is a bit crap.  I accept that some people have very oily skin and have the opposite problem to mine and I also accept that people have very normal skin and really don’t need anything most of the time but that’s not me.

Maybe Helen is one of those lucky people that doesn’t really benefit from anything much because she’s a freaking freak of nature and has normal skin and an ungodly amount of resilience.  Give that girl a hug in the hope that some of it rubs off on us.

Now maybe I’ve chosen to frame it this way because moisturisers are my life (and my business) but maybe I’ve framed it this way because it actually makes sense once I tried to morph myself into the mind and body of Helen.  I mean Helen clearly knows her own skin by now and is probably right that nothing she slaps on now as a 72 year old will make her look 20 again and unless she’s particularly dry, greasy, pimpled or sun damaged she probably doesn’t need much correcting either.  And while we are at it, why should be pathologize what is in essence a healthy and normal ageing process?

I have spent many a conversation gazing at the other persons wonderfully smooth, pore-less skin wondering why I didn’t get what they ordered.  Maybe Helen is just throwing the grenade right back at us (the industry) and dropping the truth bomb that we all know is out there – that you can’t ‘buy’ naturally good skin, even if you do employ several hundred patent lawyers and come up with secret ingredients, silky textures and yummy smells.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything.

If I was L’Oreal I’d be a bit miffed at the choice of words, not least because of how easy the grab is to headline but then again I might also choose to use it as a conversation starter – which I have done today on my Facebook page and in my class this morning.  Whatever your views on this larger topic or on Helen’s use of the F word I think we can all agree that if something makes you feel better why not go for it and indulge?  After all isn’t that what cosmetics are all about?


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