Once upon a time I had problems with Clinique merchandise. It was okay for a couple of years but then suddenly the moisturiser didn’t suit and the exfoliant was too harsh. It didn’t surprise me to read an article in the newspaper about a woman taking Clinique to court for the same symptoms I had. Both of us had been using the products for a while before we became ‘allergic’ to them. I can’t remember if she won the case but the information gleaned from reading about it made me feel better. Naturally, I stopped using Clinique products altogether.
I moved on, trying all the well known and respected skincare specialists, Elizabeth Arden being the last one. I got on well with their creams but steadfastly refused exfoliants and toners. When they introduced Prevage I was talked into trying it.
Okay, it was my own fault, I should have listened to my inner self instead of the ‘reassuring’ voice of the EA specialist. Basically I took them after describing my skin condition to Diane, the EA girl, that of my skins sudden inability to absorb the cream, to which she replied that Elizabeth Arden knew all about it and that’s why they introduced the new Prevage. Like I say, I should have listened!
If you don’t get on with them, bring them back and I’ll refund the money. Well, with a safeguard like that who would imagine things going wrong?
One application of Prevage was enough. It lay heavily on the skin like a sticky mass ... all day.
I returned to the store with both jars and my story at the ready, only to find that it was Diane’s day off. I explained the situation to an assistant I hadn’t seen before, explaining why I was returning them.
Oh no, we can’t accept goods that have been opened.
Well, yes, I can understand that. It would be awful if I’d mixed some poisonous substance in the cream and they used it on unsuspecting customers. This girl was uncooperative with a capital U and all I could do was to ask her to record on my information card that I was THOROUGHLY DISSATISFIED.
For a while my skin had to go naked, i.e. without moisturiser, until I discovered Nivea Soft. That kept me going for a while but eventually I became concerned about some rough areas on my cheeks.
I went back to town to consult. This time approaching Clarins for advice since it’s a well known fact that they don’t use chemicals or harsh ingredients in their products. I already used their cleansers (skin, not drains) so I knew the girls there. Naturally, the one I talked to was VERY helpful. She suggested I try an exfoliant. My hands went up in horror. Oh no, NOT an exfoliant.
She talked me through the procedure like I didn’t know it, but I bore with it. When she referred again to the exfoliant I told her about my past experience. You won’t have any trouble with ours, she went, ours is mild and wouldn’t harm a baby’s skin.
I’m a sucker. I fell for it. I bought exfoliant plus two new skin creams, plus an anti-ageing serum. And guess what. First and only use of the exfoliator resulted in my skin flaring up like a burning bun. I promise you I only skimmed the skin with the cotton wool pad, there was no pressure and certainly not an excess of liquid. Why? Because I'd been there before and knew the dangers. Duh!
I couldn’t bear to put my head on the pillow that night. The burning and itching drove me mad. Fortunately I still had some of the doctor-issued hydrocortisone left from last time but it took two days for the redness and tiny eruptions to lessen. Not disappear, just diminish slightly. I’m working on that, but one thing I have discovered is that those dry patches have disappeared. If they ever come again they’ll just have to stay put. Like the Clarins girl said: You have problem skin. Another problem I have is dealing with the knowledge that I spent loads on these products and can see nothing for it, except maybe the day and night moisturisers which might suit.
I still have to tell the Clarins girl what I think of her!