Not Martha

put yourself on a diet

The Cosmetics Restriction Diet in the New York Times (via TMN) is about letting go of all the expensive face creams and realizing that all you need is a good cleanser and sunscreen, and maybe a moisturizer or other treatment. They reference studies showing that often a $10 drugstore product works just as well as a $200 department store product. The Times article recommends Cetaphil cleanser (I use the version for oily skin) and the La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX sunscreen I mentioned a few days ago.

There is a related story, Drugstores Bank on Snob Appeal. They talk about CVS carrying higher-end skin care products, the La Roche-Posay line is again talked about. I want to mention that I like the Anthelios SX sunscreen not because it’s French, but because I can wear all day and doesn’t make me break out.

Paula Begoun‘s book The Beauty Bible covers the same ground, she debunks the miracle effects of expensive creams and shows how different lines of cosmetics are owned by the same companies and come from the same factories, the only difference is the fragrance and marketing. She also publishes a gigantic book called Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me where she gives a short review and rates all sorts of cosmetics, including top picks in the back. Paula Begoun has her own line of skin care and cosmetics and while the texture of her moisturizers doesn’t work for me, I absolutely love the toner and beta hydroxy liquid, both without added fragrance. She also has products specifically for those who have rosacia. There is also a book rating hair care products.

· comments [20] · 01-8-2007 · categories:beauty ·

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jenni s-g // Jan 8, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    My mid-30s, combo-skin type seems to love Witch Hazel as a toner/post-cleanser wipe, and all my blemishes disappear in no time at all with tea tree oil, applied right on the blemish. I go between washing with Dove bar and Olay brand cleanser.

    I’ve been mixing Aveeno’s For Face sunscreen with my Olay moisturizer, but it’s a little heavy.

    I’ve also heard that it takes a little more than a week for the skin to settle down with a new regiment or products, so if I change something, I try and give it some time to see whether or not I like it.

  • 2 christine // Jan 8, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    i agree that it’s important to keep it simple when it comes to your beauty routine. less is more. quality vs. quantity, etc. etc..

    i am thinking, however, of starting to treat myself to getting some facials. an oxygen facial sounds wonderfully freshening & so good for the skin.

    also, don’t underestimate the moisterizing powers of a good ‘ol tub of vaseline.

  • 3 Marissa // Jan 8, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Oh contraire. I love La Therapie’s Glycolic skin care line, sold through . It’s very expensive stuff – in the 50-90 range per bottle, but luckily I only have to buy it every 6 months or so. I use the cleanser (glycolic demaquillage renew) and intensive gel (glycolic visage renew). It’s got 15% glycolic acid in the gel, 5% or so in the cleanser, and makes a heck of a difference in my skin’s appearance.

  • 4 Debbie // Jan 8, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    I have been cursed with having dry, high maintenance skin. For years I have spent $$$+ on skin care products and am currently using Oil of Ol’Lady (a.k.a. Oil of Olay) and can’t believe how wonderful it is for the price.
    Their “quench body lotion” line is absolutely amazing.

  • 5 kat // Jan 8, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Hey girl. Been a long time. Love that you can leave comments again.

    Glad to see you still touting the less is more. I actually used 98 cent for 10 ozs walmart brand hand lotion (unscented) when I forgot my moisturizer traveling this year. And it really worked. I was shocked.

    But other than that, I still use Jafra. And witch hazel drenched cheap baby wipes. And a lot of Paula’s suggestions.

  • 6 marielle // Jan 8, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    Funny thing, just minutes before I read your post I was wondering if my skin needed something more, um, upscale than the Neutrogena retinol cream mentioned in the article. I guess not :)

  • 7 Ash // Jan 9, 2007 at 1:16 am

    La Roche Posay rocks. I use it.

  • 8 Canadian // Jan 9, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Don’t forget to look up your products on this site:

  • 9 erin // Jan 9, 2007 at 6:28 am

    I agree that the more simple the skin routine, the better. I have been blessed with almost perfect skin my whole life. I use mostly drug-store brands (clean & clear, etc.) and if I skip a day I get a teeny tiny blemish. I think just having a routine is best.

    For exfoliation – I absolutely LOVE the Origins Modern Friction. It has tiny bits of rice in it. It’s $35 for a jar, but I’ve had it for 2 years.

  • 10 amy k. // Jan 9, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Comments! cool. I promise I won’t stalk-

    I was a total cosmetics/skincare junkie most my life then having 2 kids and one income changed that for me.

    along with being all hippie-dippy, I realized more and more how much gets into our system, not with just food and cleaning products but with skincare. some really creepy stuff has come out in the last few years regarding parabens in most cosmetics and beastcancer:

    and it seems these books and articles don’t discuss (I don’t think?) the impact on health with these products, just the results. I know many of the products we buy here have pretty scary chemicals in them that are banned in Europe.

    wow-how’s that for sounding like a paranoid crackpot! ha! And this hasn’t saved me any $$-now I just buy crazy expensive natural sikncare. go figure.

  • 11 Amy // Jan 9, 2007 at 7:36 am

    My husband was telling me about this article on Friday. We were in need of some new face wash, so we bought Cetaphil. We’ll see how it goes.

  • 12 Sara // Jan 9, 2007 at 9:21 am

    i’ve become a firm believer in the less is more idea. i was shocked to read in dr. greg brown’s book (he of the super expensive ReVive line) that he recommends your basic witch hazel/Cetaphil/drugstore moisturizer routine. i switched from pricer brands to that stuff and i am actually getting compliments on my skin now.

  • 13 Karen in Wichita // Jan 9, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Heh. I’m just savoring the irony of commenting on this while sitting in the HQ of a major upscale-beauty-products retail chain.

    With no makeup on. (Yes, I *am* a nerd.)

  • 14 Jean // Jan 9, 2007 at 11:21 am carries the anthelios SX 15 at $20.30 with free ground shipping!

    Great for those who live where CVS isn’t.

  • 15 Patti // Jan 9, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    I have rosacea, and allergic skin, and so many things irritate it! And, I have very long, mostly silver hair that breaks at the waves – I don’t blow dry it or anything. It’s very hard to find products for “aging” hair – I’m using pureology now, we’ll see how it does. The one thing I’m religious about is Kinerase, which is a lovely wrinkle preventer – I used to get it from my dermatologist, but now Sephora has it.

  • 16 Mer // Jan 10, 2007 at 6:48 am

    I started using Dove Deep Moisture Creamy Cleanser, which I found for $6 at Target. Beats the $20 stuff I had been using for years.

  • 17 jennifer // Jan 12, 2007 at 9:28 am

    I LOVE Paula Begoun! She is my cosmetics hero! I finally let go of my beauty product obsession after reading her books. Now I know that the industry is all about marketing – not necessarily quality.

  • 18 Nia // Jan 13, 2007 at 2:05 am

    I read the NYT piece and I have tried to do the cetaphil/sunscreen thing every couple of years and I always break out and go back to buying the latest and greatest. I bought a book called The Skin Type solution by leslie baumann, and she tells you what ingredients you should look for and avoid according to your type. It’s changed everything for me. Also, I confessed to my very-well-respected, in-the-beauty-business dermatologist that I was exfoliating with baking soda (just make a paste in the shower with water or lotion or cleanser or toner,whatever, and rub -avoid your hairline at all costs) and she said that’s what she uses and that its excellent for micro-exfoliation. The ultimate 89 cent solution if you ask me.

  • 19 Sara // Jan 13, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    I am also an addict to new skincare…but when you know that this sunscreen, anthelios, is the only one in the US to protect your skin even behind windows…I saw awful pictures of a woman who had spent years behind the same window in an office, I think, and the side close to the window is scarrying.. she has deeper wrinles, dark spots..

  • 20 miranda // Jan 15, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    I don’t like to spend a lot on cleanser, because it just goes down the drain anyway. So I use regular Cetaphil, except that I’m even cheaper than that and actually use Target’s *knockoff* of Cetaphil.

    I personally find the version for oily skin too drying and not good enough at removing eye makeup, so to people who don’t like it, I would recommend Purpose liquid cleanser or the Clean & Clear sensitive skin cleanser (purple pump, clear bottle) which has the exact same ingredients but is even cheaper. (It doesn’t smell as good.)

    I’ve been familiar with Paula Begoun and her books for years, and overall I think she’s more about marketing herself than anything else… she’s as wrong as often as she is right (for example, there’s no such thing as an eyeshadow that’s “too shiny” – only one that is shiny enough that certain people shouldn’t wear it – she’s moderated that kind of language over the years, since she put out “Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal”). It’s also been frequently noted online that when she’s been on TV over the years, her own makeup has almost never looked good. Cetaphil is about the only useful information I’ve ever gotten from her. :(

    (IE, I think it’s good to check out the ingredient-related information she presents, but don’t take her word as law by any means!)

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