Let ‘er rip

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I enjoy a grumpy rant now and then, especially when it comes from someone in the public eye (well, my outward-looking eye, anyway) who’s decided enough’s enough, to heck with customer relations. Here’s one from Paula Begoun, navigator of that ridiculously lucrative sea of beautifyin’ products:

An Ounce of Prevention Isn’t Worth a Drop of Sun

A very attractive, young, pert, blonde receptionist who had just heard me do an interview on the radio station where she worked asked me on my way out, “Should a 25-year-old start using anti-aging products?” I thought, what does she want to do, revert to birth? But I knew what she meant and I responded by saying, “the only thing you really need is a great sunscreen, and be sure to never get a tan, and you will do fine; the rest is just skin care, important but not as relevant in comparison to being sun smart.” She sat up and in a 20-something kind of way, said, “But I love the sun and I love getting tan, I just don’t want to wrinkle.” I said, “Well then, you might as well buy a lottery ticket, because you probably believe you will win that windfall as well! False hope springs eternal; the reality is that you can’t have it both ways.”

Okay, I was in a mood. I usually just smile and walk away, but it’s getting worse out there, not better, and my frustration is at an all-time high. If I believed in conspiracy theories I would say the media is in bed with the cosmetics industry, but alas it isn’t theory, it’s fact. Every time I do a talk show I’m always asked if I’m going to be critical of any of their advertisers, or if I’m going to say anything that might be of legal concern (sort of like Oprah Winfrey saying she didn’t want to eat hamburger anymore). Advertisers are in control of what I say on TV or radio, and even to some extent in print (fashion magazines are a foregone conclusion; they treat me as if I don’t exist or simply don’t know what I’m talking about).

Reporters all over the world ask me what works, but the answer assumes that something must work to get rid of wrinkles. The endless press releases from mainstream cosmetics companies, physician-owned cosmetic companies, and spas and salons of all kinds have created the ultimate, anti-wrinkle products, you just have to find the ones that aren’t lying to you (somehow we know everyone can’t be telling the truth, but the notion that everyone is lying to one degree or another is something most women just won’t believe) and the one in front of you at the moment (especially if you’re feeling vulnerable) or that’s endorsed by a celebrity or has an attractive ad wins every time.

Women seemingly never tire of a product promising it can firm the skin, erase wrinkles, restore youth, fight aging, and on and on. There are literally thousands and thousands of anti-aging products perpetually using the same nebulous yet miraculous claims that often stop just short of lying (or blatantly lie). In some ways it is beyond belief how many products are launched every month, year after year. But because women keep believing the claims from the endless assault of anti-aging/anti-wrinkle products, I guess for me, it’s job security! And on the plus side, there are several state-of-the-art products that, while not capable of lifting skin or eliminating wrinkles, can honestly help skin look and feel its best at any age–and, to some extent, work to prevent ongoing damage to skin. For more information on these products and their ingredients, see my Anti-Aging Superstars Report.

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