What Women Want: What I think.


As this show was repeated on TV this week and once again people have started asking me about it, I thought this was a good time to repost my original blog post with my thoughts on the show:

20/09/13: Last night a new show on RTE2 caused quite a lot of reaction on twitter.

What Women Want is a lifestyle programme presented by the lovely Maia Dunphy. Last night it focused on ageing and explored various non-invasive methods currently popular in Ireland and the attitudes behind them.
As I have already had conversations about issues arising from the programme, and I anticipate a lot more to come, I thought I would put my thoughts together here and hopefully answer any questions you have as a result of the show. Of course I will confine my thoughts to skincare. Botox, fillers and thread lifting are medical procedures and outside of my remit as a skincare specialist and are personal choices.

Firstly I have to address the blind trial segment where a number of unlabeled creams were sent to a lab for analysis and opinion. The upshot was that the cheaper creams generally fared better than the expensive ones but we were never told what the creams claimed to do.
It became clear from the interview that the chemist tested them for moisturising ability only and I wish this had been made clearer as the comparison to petroleum jelly would then have made more sense.

Let’s look at this more closely – what is moisturiser?
The function of a moisturising cream, lotion or jelly is to create a waterproof barrier on the surface of the skin to prevent the loss of water by evaporation from the skin’s layers.
It is indeed a fact that petroleum jelly is a perfectly good moisturiser and if this is what you expect from your skincare product then by all means save yourself money by switching to Vaseline if you can bear the feel of it on your face.
But, and this is a big but; Is this what you actually expect from your skincare products? I know I don’t.
Your skin already has an inbuilt moisturising system. Our natural oil production is there in part to prevent water loss. If this is not working correctly, then this needs to be addressed and corrected for long-term good, not covered in a layer of Vaseline which will stop water loss but do nothing to address the root cause.
THIS is what I expect from skincare products: correction of epidermis issues, supply of nutrients to support skin health, protection from the sun and other environmental aggressors. In short; problem prevention, correction and anti-ageing.

None of these type of claims were addressed or tested. There was a reference to the fact that collagen molecules are too big to penetrate into the skin and of course this is correct. It should have been pointed out that the nutrients and other building blocks of collagen are small enough to penetrate and that these can be supplied via a well-formulated skincare product, to be utilised by your skin in producing healthy, abundant collagen (See our Collagen Support Serum and Youth Boost for examples).

As all Skin Essentials clients know, there is not a single product in our range that calls itself a ‘moisturiser’. This word is outdated and misleading in terms of skincare. If your skin can’t hold water, simply get the problem identified and addressed by a competent professional.

The last issue this segment raised for me was perfume. As I run a skincare company, not a perfumery, I am not qualified to identify a good perfume from an inferior one. I am however qualified to tell you that you skin cells can’t tell the difference either, they just identify all fragrance molecules as inflammatory agents and irritants. NEVER use fragranced skincare.

As this has already become a very long post I will just summarise a few other points the programme raised for me:
The bad:
Vampire facials: thankfully I am a normal human who already has a blood supply to my face so I won’t be needing this.

Someone recommended ‘tweaking’ the features from the age of 21? Words actually fail me here….

‘Skincare’ and botox/fillers seemed to be interchangeable. Let’s be clear: botox and fillers work under the skin and change the shape/movement of your face. They have no effect on the surface quality of your skin. Pores, texture, colour and blemishes remain the same and must be treated separately with good skincare.

The good:
I liked the segment from Dr. Kate Coleman. She had a lot of good points to make including the unfortunate facts that sugar in the diet and environmental toxins are very bad for your skin health and appearance.

Both Maia Dunphy and Celia Holman-Lee look fabulous for their respective ages and are great examples of ageing gracefully and beautifully.

Good emphasis on SPF as an anti-ageing and skin health necessity.
PS: I have never had any botox, fillers or any of the other ‘non-invasive’ procedures featured on the show. I also have never used a ‘moisturiser’ or eye cream. I use sensible skincare daily to address my particular needs and have an occasional facial or peel.
My age reading on my skin analysis machine comes back at 35 (I’m 41). See screenshot above.

Did the show raise any questions for you? if so just give me a call on 053 9145981 to discuss or make an appointment for a full personalised skin analysis and advice.
See my blog for more skincare advice on https://skinessentialsbymariga.com/Blog.html

By Mariga Sheedy, Skincare expert and beauty writer. Skin Essentials Ltd.