20 June 2013

Ever had an erupting face?

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!


  1. Oy geeze.....I'm not the only one who sometimes lets other talk over that wee voice inside of me. Oh, but people have good pitches!
    Seriously--there are times I DO need to listen to me. And there are times I need to not.
    Seems to me a sample would be a good idea for cases like us. LOL

  2. i am thinking the clarins girl might want to take a rather long vacation...smiles...sorry you cant find anything and i def have no ideas...i wash my face daily...smiles.

  3. Of course you do, Brian. and I bet you don't even wear make-up.... smiles.

    In future, Mel, I will listen to ME. Hmmm how many times have I said that! :<\

  4. I am able to use most skin products but I find I get the best results from Elemis and Decleor. The Elemis rose exfoliator is great, really mild and effective.

  5. Pearl, I think I will always be scared to use another exfoliator.

  6. "Oh no, we can’t accept goods that have been opened."

    Now here in the States, regardless of whether a customer opens a product and tries it and finds that it doesn't work, or they have some allergic reaction to a product, they are allowed to return or exchange it. I think a customer SHOULD be allowed to return it because how else do they know if something works UNLESS they try it?

    If a customer returns something we don't resell it (for sanitary reasons), but rather send the product back to the company and get a credit for it. So really, we don't lose any money because whatever we return, we simply use that money to order something else.

    But I do know that in Europe, customers are not permitted to return something if it has been opened. I think it's just a different regulation you have over there.

    Can I ask? Doesn't Clarins offer to give you 'samples' of products before you purchase them? Here, we give customers 'deluxe size' samples to try. Clarins is usually very generous about that.

    Sorry you had to go through all this, Valerie. These products are VERY expensive, therefore I think if something doesn't work, you should be able to exchange it.

    Have you tried calling the toll-free phone number of Clarins? The number or website should be listed on the packaging. I would call or email them and let them know your experience because you shouldn't have to keep a product unless it works. Perhaps if they can't exchange it they can at least give you a credit voucher to purchase something else.


  7. Ron, it was Elizabeth Arden that wouldn't take the product back. I think Diane might have done, after all she was the one who told me to return it if it didn't suit, but I was too angry to go back. I wasn't sure which days she worked, although I could have asked!

    Clarins do give decent sized samples but I wasn't offered sample exfoliator or toner. I am using the day and night creams and they are doing good.

    I have since ordered some of the products you mentioned in your blog. I'll see how it goes. At least the skin eruption has died down now.... grins.

  8. Val - you know I've had problems with breaking out from different kinds of makeup. But I always use Philosophy skin care - have used it for years. It is very gentle. I use moisturizer and the exfoliant. You could find a nearby store and get samples from them before buying their product. Here is a link:

    good luck!

  9. Pat, thanks for the link. I will definitely follow that up. Have to say I've never heard of that product before. Thanks again.

  10. "Ron, it was Elizabeth Arden that wouldn't take the product back."

    Oops! I totally misread that, Valerie.

    Anyhoo, I'm hope the products you ordered that I recommended work well for you.


  11. Ron, I've ordered the little book, the oil and Olay face wash. I thought that would keep me going...grins.

  12. I switched to natural facial products years ago and I'm so glad I did. You might want to check out:

    Rhonda is the best! If you aren't happy with a product, she's not happy either. No harsh chemicals, great prices...

    I've reviewed a couple of their products at my review blog too. If you wear foundation, they have the best Ive ever used, and I've tried lots of brands over the years.

    If a company or store doesn't stand behind their products, it's time to move on. that's the only way they get the message.

    I'm so sorry you've had these issues Val. Hope you'll find alternatives that are much better and healthier too. What we put ON our skin is ingested into our bodies, much like food. It pays to choose wisely.

    Wow, that got long....sorry!

    Hugs, G

  13. Geraldine, I am grateful for your comment. I've noted the etsy address and will take a look later in the day. Thank you so much.

  14. Being the vane person I am, I would have tried anything that made my skin look younger...until I talked to two professional M.D.s; one a plastic surgeon, the other a dermatologist. BOTH of them said, the best thing for skin of all ages is to drink WATER. You have to hydrate from the inside out. LOTS OF WATER. And fresh fruit and veggies and 30 spf sunscreen children use when they go to the beach.

    Water is free, sunscreen about $6.00 US. Soft, flawless, ageless skin...PRICELESS.

    That's what I do now. My skin looks great, I feel better from drinking water and eating pretty much a plant based diet.

    Some of those marketing people really know how to sell the perceived benefits of their product.

  15. Sorry Val. I wish I could offer you some advice but I am like Brian and just wash my face daily. Hope you find some stuff that works for you and clears up your problems. Take care and have a good weekend.

  16. Hi Pam. I am so in agreement about the water. I drink pints of it. I even carry some around with me when I go out, and I'm always nagging hubby to drink more. The skin does age though, it loses elasticity and gets tissue thin.


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