Georgia Gadsby - Beauty for the Over 50s

Well, well. The over-50s, according to a new survey, have now become the biggest buyers of beauty products in the UK. The 45-54 age group apparently spends £2,238 a year - per head! - on gunk to make them look better, which seems an astonishing amount. And the over-60s account for a quarter of all beauty sales.

So thank you, Cult Beauty, for being ahead of the curve and asking me, without fear or favour, to be their blogger for the 50+. We’re growing more numerous by the day; it’s high time we all had more of a say.

Most of us have been buying face creams and makeup for decades, which means we’re probably less likely to fall for heavily-hyped products that do little but drain our bank accounts. That’s why I thoroughly approve of Cult Beauty: it canvasses expert opinion before adding only carefully-selected items from the best brands. I even like the odd negative remarks left by buyers. I’m a grown-up: I want to read everything before making my mind up to press BUY. (Discerning buyer-feedback is surely far more effective than all that glossy advertising that’s finally, belatedly, featuring older models and stars.)

Incidentally, although I blog for Cult Beauty, you’ll never find me recommending anything I haven’t tried myself - usually for at least a few weeks - and rated as well above the competition.

On to cleansers. For the last year or two, I’ve been using Sunday Riley’s green clay-based cleanser, {Ceramic Slip}. It’s a thin brown-ish gloop that you slather over your face, rub about for a bit and then wash off with water.

Like most other cleansers, it does an effective job of removing makeup (though not eye makeup). The reason people rave about it, and keep coming back for more, is that it also performs a small miracle on pores.

I loathe my ageing pores. I can remember being about seven or eight, looking at my grandmother’s face and wondering why her skin looked like flesh-coloured orange peel. And now that’s me - or at least me if I didn’t try to keep up with advances in the beauty world.

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

But back to {Ceramic Slip}.  After you’ve patted your face dry, you suddenly notice that your baggy old pores have shrunk to pin-pricks. In the right light, you may even look as if you have porcelain skin. Don’t ask me how Sunday Riley’s managed to do this: whatever she puts into those plastic bottles, it just works

There is, however, one problem with {Ceramic Slip} - for me, at least. Most of my wrinkles, for some reason, are just below my eyes, and I found the clay base just too drying after a few days of use. So I carried on using it religiously every day, but never under my eyes.

That led to another problem: never feeling my whole face was entirely clean. Then I started reading about a new trend for double-cleansing, and wondered if I should try that. The idea is to use one cleanser straight after another, thus guaranteeing the squeakiest of clean skin.

Naturally, as a cynical old 50+, my next thought was: what a clever wheeze for the sellers of beauty products. Roll up, gals! We’ve found a way to double our profits by making women (OK, some women) even more neurotic about their skincare routine.

But, in a way, double-cleansing makes perfect sense. I mean, think of the layers of gunk usually plastered over daytime faces: serum, moisturiser, eye-cream, concealer, SPF, even powder. It’ a wonder we haven’t resorted to paint-stripper.

Now, I know that some people scrub happily away with a flannel or muslin cloth, usually after slathering on a dense creamy cleanser. Doesn’t work for me and my ‘older’ skin:  I’ve actually sprouted several new thread veins as a direct result.  Others swear by foaming cleansers, but these tend to be too harsh for the 50+. Want your wrinkles tweaked into high relief? No thanks.

Bio-Essence Miracle Jelly Make Up Remover

Anyway, a few months ago, I started double-cleansing. As I’d be using {Ceramic Slip} last, I opted for a moisturising cleanser - the type I’d normally avoid because, whatever the manufacturers say, I’m convinced they leave a residue. I chose {Bio-Essence} - largely because it was cheapish and Cult Beauty founder Alexia Inge had given it it a rave personal review (she’s quite judicious with these).

It’s excellent. You massage a transparent blue gel all over your face (including eyes) for a minute or so - more if you’re good at proper finger-massage -  and then rinse. It takes off all your eye-makeup, even the waterproof variety, which means you can ditch your usual eye-makeup remover. And it leaves the skin soft, smooth and hydrated.

Does it leave a residue? Not that I can detect. But, like practically every other cleanser on the market, it doesn’t really do much to shrink your pores. For that reason, I complete my morning/bedtime wash with a quick massage of {Ceramic Slip}, avoiding the entire area around my baggy eyes, followed by a thorough rinse.

That’s it - the cleansing routine I intend to stick with for ever. Or until something even better comes along. It’s quicker than it sounds, by the way.

Of course, every skin is individual. Mine’s typically dry with a problematic centre panel and visible pores. If you have better skin, you’ll almost certainly be happy with the {Bio-Essence} alone. Or if you have normal or greasy skin, {Ceramic Slip} is definitely worth a try.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a dedicated eye-makeup remover, I can recommend one in particular: {Grown Alchemist}. Nothing wrong with sticking to cheapo Boots versions, but this is the alpha. When you swipe it on, it dissolves even water-proof mascara without any rubbing and tugging. It’s silicone-free, packed with luxurious natural ingredients and doesn’t leave nasty little black flecks in your eyes. Heaven - particularly if you wear contact lenses.

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