How Do You Know If Your Face Cream Works?

Me Collage

Spot the difference?! Me at 28, 30 (pre smartphones!) and very nearly 40.

Do you swear by your moisturiser? Or is it just a hope and a prayer?

I’ve been using the same face cream for 16 years. So you’d think if I look younger than I am, it proves that my face cream works.

But does it?

I can’t ever know – because I don’t know what I’d look like if I’d used another brand that happened to catch my eye that fateful day that I bound myself to a beauty product. Nor what I’d look like if I’d used nothing.

It’s the great conjuring trick of the beauty industry. The Emperor’s New Clothes of skincare.

But I don’t want to be the little boy who points out that I might as well have used Vaseline.


Because I love my product. I love the smell, the colour, the texture, the way it rubs in, the packaging, the absorption, the plumped-up feeling afterwards.

Most of all, I love it because it makes me, me. Literally, on a cellular level. When I smooth it on, it’s like a ritual of comfort, reminding me of all the nights I have put it on over the huge changes of the last decade and a half: giggling at the evening I’d just had at the pub; preparing myself for the night feeds ahead; mentally checking the school bags for the morning.

There have been a couple of occasions, when caught in the heady lights of the duty free (while my husband thought I was buying sweets for the children’s ears on the flight), when I considered straying. Dabbling with a new brand. Dipping my toe into another product in the range. Just for a change. But nothing else is quite the same.

It’s occurred to me, as I count down to my 40th birthday in March, that I should ask the lady if I need to change my moisturiser to suit my skin, which is now classed as “mature” by the beauty industry (which I infinitely prefer to “menopausal”, as appeared on my medical notes recently!).

But I’m reluctant in case I’m told that I should switch. And to be fair, if I look older these days, I can’t really blame the product. Sixteen years is a hell of a lot of time to hold back – surely no cream could hold the weight of that.

And since I can never know whether I’d look better now if  I’d used something else, there’s no incentive to change.

The whole face cream promise, although backed by massive investments in increasingly advanced science, might be a myth, a fantasy – but it’s my little fantasy, and I’m staying loyal.

What’s your #heroproduct? Do you chop and change your moisturiser – and do you notice the difference in terms of signs of ageing?

Estee Lauder DayWear

My #heroproduct

Note: This is not a sponsored post. As mentioned above, I’ve bought this cream for 16 years of my own accord and this is my view.

This post is part of my #40till40 series – my countdown of 40 days till I turn 40.

1 Comment

  • I love that you’re embracing turning 40 with a celebratory count down- really refreshing to read! I do chop and change moisturiser as I’m yet to find one that can handle skin that is both happy to welcome the signs of ageing but reluctant to let go of teenage breakouts!! I do stick to Dermalogica Special Clensing Gel as I find it takes make up off really easily without drying out my skin and also I don’t feel like I’ve washed my face properly unless I’ve used a flannel. Looking forward to reading the rest of your 40 til 40 posts!
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