BBC The Truth About Looking Good...
Did you watch BBC's The Truth About Looking Good this week? Are you one of the people that went straight out to buy a body brush and a pot of Nivea? I've got a few take-aways, that add some perspective and you should consider before you take any action. If you don't want to read the whole thing, I urge you to at least take a look at the end, about the Self Esteem part; its revealing.
Programmes like this are good in that they give insight. However bear in mind these things:
- They do not test all available products and generally select large corporates so, don't get duped into choosing only between those products used as examples.
- They have only tested the ingredients they mention. That does not mean that other, clinically tested ingredients, do not work.
- They do not give disclosure on who has funded the research. Often on such programmes, corporate retailers or brands may have funded the research, albeit by funding the university for the trial they conduct. I think the BBC should disclose who has funded.
- They are not clear about the product claims vs. results and ensuring that they are directly matched. See moisturisers below.
- They are making a programme that they want you to watch so, it is designed to provoke reaction
- The panel of testers was relatively small and did not include all races therefore, not necessarily reflective of our nation. That said, corporate brands that run tests usually do so on small panels, despite they have huge funds available.
Moisturisers are not all equal
- Make sure you are judging results against the product claims being made. As far as I could tell, none of the moisturisers claimed any more than moisturising. Therefore, it is unfair to judge them on 'anti-ageing' or 'skin health' (meaning helping the skins barrier to prevent moisture loss) if they make no such claim.
- Don't be afraid of the ingredient list. If there are ingredient types you don't want to use, you will see them e.g. Mineral Oil/Paraffinum Liquidum or animal derived ingredients such as Lanolin Alcohol (sheep) or Beeswax (bees). While smaller brands who use such ingredients get criticised the larger corporates often get away with it.
SPF Protection is the single biggest difference you can make to help prevent premature ageing.
• Use it daily regardless of weather
• UVA ( A for ageing) rays break down Fibrilin, a lesser known protein than collagen and elastin, that acts like the skins mattress, keeping it even and plump. 10 years ago BBC Horizon showed evidence that proved, a peptide called Matrixyl works. We include Matrixyl in our Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF20 and as far as I know, we are the only brand to include with retinol in our Retinol Resurfacing Treatment. Matrixyl, helps to restore skins proteins including Fibrilin.
• The image to the right shows the huge impact that the sun has on skin. The man pictured was a lorry driver and so had years of sun exposure on one side of his face. The results speak for themselves.
Retinol has been proven to work, over and over again
- It boosts cell turnover (not exfoliation), increases collagen, improves skin density, improves all signs of ageing, evens skin tone, improves acne and acne scarring. This should be part of your skincare routine.
- The programme correctly advised NOT to use high concentration levels of 1% and above, without the supervision of a dermatologist. There is a reason why only a dermatologist can prescribe high concentrations in this country - it is for your safety and because they have adverse reactions such as peeling skin, redness, irritation, soreness etc.
- They suggested starting on levels as low as 0.1% and building up. There is a reason why the EU says the maximum permitted is 0.3% and this is the level we use. In addition, we have combined with Matirxyl, Aroleat Samphira, hyaluronic acid and anti-inflammatories so that you get maximum effect without your skin looking like it is falling off. You can read about how these work to boost Retinol Resurfacing Treatment.
- Caroline Hirons recently did a brand review and recommended our Retinol Resurfacing Treatment for people new to retinol or for use with the higher concentrations on alternate days.
- There is new evidence that suggests little and often is the best approach and many who were previously recommending higher concentrations, are subscribing to this now.
- I had never used retinol before I created my own. I was afraid of it. I do use Retinol Resurfacing Treatment daily now and have seen a difference in my own skin. I absolutely recommend it.
- Use an SPF in the morning. There is no point doing all that improvement only to allow UVA damage to undermine it.
The above image shows before and after images from one of our customers after using Retinol for 3/4 weeks.
Make up with Sali Hughes
• I've never met her but I love Sali Hughes straight talking style and that she admitted moving more toward fairly priced lines in the last couple of years.
• I love the Wake Up Rimmel foundation. I've also found that budget foundations are less likely to pill/roll than high end. I think it might be because they are less likely to contain expensive 'skincare' ingredients, that then roll against your actual skincare...if that makes sense?
• With regards mascara, it's true that Lancome Hypnose is a good mascara but it dries out quickly and is ridiculously expensive. I think the Max Factor Masterpiece is brilliant and at about one third of the price, especially with a Boots 3 for 2, it is tremendously good value.
Packaging does affect your buying decision
- Despite the demand for sustainability and less packaging, the majority of people are still swayed by fancy, bling packaging. The programme showed identical products in different packaging and most were prepared to pay much more for the same product, sold by the same person when packaging was more upscale. The ingredients did not even factor and that is what will give results. Seriously? When I launched MERUMAYA I underestimated how important upscale packaging was. I thought we'd moved beyond being duped by packaging. Generally though, most people are still willing to pay more for a product for the packaging. In fact many believe that those products in higher end packaging, are more effective and worth more money and it simply is not true. That is why they can get away with providing products that are not any better than more reasonably priced ones. Of all the hurdles I've had to face, the hardest by far, is getting people to believe that a product in decent packaging at a fair price is as effective, if not more so than those with all the bells and whistles. For a long time we have all been trained to think that more expensive = better. Not true.
Your Self Esteem is controlling your buying decisions without you knowing
- BBC The Truth About Looking Good showed that high end brands lower your self esteem and that makes you opt for their more expensive products. Why do you think the big corporates spend as much as £1million on each installation in a department store? Uniforms including Lab Coats? Sales Training? Bling packaging? Celebrities fronting their products? It turns out, the lower your beauty confidence and self esteem, the more likely you are to buy their aspirational products.
- We all judge ourselves harshly compared to how others see us. I encourage women to look in the mirror and notice something positive rather than critical.
- Our core aim at MERUMAYA is to help all our customers feel more confident, happier and beautiful. Please take a look at The MERUMAYA Difference and know that I mean every word of it. I have not created a Vision Statement for the sake of having one, that goes in the annual report for appearances, that few in the organisation even realise exists and yet, should be the code of conduct.
Select skincare products based on the ingredients and how they support the product claims being made. Aim for an overall healthy, glowing appearance to the skin. Skin ageing is not just about lines. Reducing a wrinkle by 10% is unlikely to be perceptible on it's own, given the maximum depth of a line is about 1mm. Chose brands on their authenticity, how they respect you, how they make you feel about yourself, whether they over-promise miracles and whether they stand by their published principles. Ask questions, research, trust your instinct and judgement, remember what suits one person does not suit another and be wary of obviously paid for endorsements that do not come from the heart.