• Charlotte Dallison

Recovering Addict: My Life as an Ex-Beauty Junkie

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

The term beauty-junkie feels pretty overused, for lazy journalists only, I'm sure you'll agree. But up until recently I really was addicted to beauty products, and thus a beauty-junkie myself.

Somehow the media had penetrated my mind (and epidermis) into believing that in order to be beautiful I need to scrub my skin bare, to layer up serum upon serum, to invest in overpriced products full of “activated” ingredients, all in order to radiate and remain forever young. I researched, read the articles, listened to the vloggers, because suddenly I felt I had to. I went to Mecca and spent my life savings – only to end up with severe perioral dermatitis and an empty chequing account.

I don’t know when the cultural focus switched to beauty products. Perhaps in the early 2010s when fashion slowly started getting replaced with activewear (sad times). But one cannot disagree with the fact that beauty products have become the thing to spend on, and show off.

The other issue in this is we’ve become overly obsessed with ingredients. I’m sorry to break it to you all most of us aren’t scientists and have no idea what we’re bloody on about. Vitamin C, hydrochloric acid, snail excretions – unless they’ve been mixed into an intelligible formula by a chemist they’re kind of redundant (and likely an irritant). It seems we have been forced by trends and pop-culture-centric media to neglect what our skin really needs in lieu of ingredients and instagrammable pots of overpriced retinol. And don’t get me started on my distain for botox and injectables - there's nothing preventative about technology that new, I'm sorry to say.

In my case I had been using layers of stuff. Antioxidant serum for pollution, hydrating serum to “replenish” in the evening, sheet masks every Saturday, various moisturisers for various things I can’t even remember. I was such a victim of it that I gave my power over to L'Oréal's marketing department and random Americans on the internet. My beauty bill was skyrocketing and yet my skin was getting worse. So I did some research (you know, reading actual dermatological studies) and I stopped. In this found out that in the case of someone with highly sensitive skin less was more.

There really are only three beauty rules: keep it clean, keep it hydrated and keep it protected. Of course sleep, sun and smoking all have their impact too (for better or worse). Now I cleanse with the Avène Tolérance Cleasing Lotion, once in the morning, twice at night. In the morning I use the Avène Tolérance Moisturiser and the Avène 50+ facial Sunscreen. In the evening I use the Avène Skin Recovery Cream and old-fashioned, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream on my lips. And if my skin is feeling extra dry or my surgery scars need some love I’ll add a light layer of Hummm Face Oil, and that is it.

All I can say is I gave up beauty and I’ve never looked better.

This blogpost represents personal views only. This is independent, unpaid content separate from any beauty brand and all products shared I paid for and opted to promote myself.

All images were sourced via Flickr.

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