Freedom Through Consumerism

In one of the recent episodes of The Slate Culture Gabfest they considered the end of brands as powerful symbols that people slavishly bow down to. Naturally this conversation was very important to me because I LOVE BUYING THINGS. But I also often feel duped by the claims of beauty brands, particularly in the realm of skincare where the prices are high and with bad skin like mine the stakes are even higher. Shouldn’t this problem have been solved by the birth of “review culture”? Bizarrely, their is no Consumer Reports for high-end face creams. Or is there?

It turns out there kind of is a Consumer Reports for skincare, and it is a little tricky because they also sell stuff. But, after buying some of it, I am a believer. Behold friends, the power of Paula’s Choice. This website is a treasure trove. Head over to the “Beautypedia” section to look at scientific break downs of your face washes, creams, etc. Use their FAQ to figure out the main things you need for fighting wrinkles, dry skin, acne etc. But most exciting, you gain a larger sense of what can be done to skin and what can’t by things that come in bottles.

For instance, here are some important things I have learned from Paula’s Choice:

1. There is no such thing as eye cream. Just small jars of cream sold for a bunch of money.

2. There is no such thing as a cleanser that does much more than take things of your face. It is not on your face for long enough to do stuff with “active ingredients.”

3. There should never be any fragrance in any of your products. It is basically an irritant.

Here is the chirpy lady who gave me this invaluable information:

Maybe we can’t get affordable child care or a higher minimum wage, but . . . Let us join together as citizen consumers and say NO to La Mer skin creme!


One thought on “Freedom Through Consumerism

  1. YES! I’ve been looking for this kind of information for so long now. Usually, I choose skincare products like I choose wine, picking the mid-priced ones. Now I can actually trick myself into thinking I’m getting some value out of the lotions I buy.

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