For once, Liz Jones has it spot on in her regular Liz Jones Moans column for the Daily Mail. She takes a pop at beauty adverts, in particular the TV ad for Nivea Visage Q10, for implying broadly that women should be taking responsiblity for their skin feeling pleasantly touchable to others, never mind themselves. Their theory is that nice feeling skin impacts on close relationships. So, that aside, because there is plenty more to say at some stage about that particular skewed idea, Liz consults with an expert who more or less establishes that there isn’t anything much in Nivea Q10 that will turn back the clock and in fact that it is full of cheap ingredients that will actually block the pores. Jones says, ‘I spoke to a skincare expert, a plastic surgery specialist who is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and he claims: ‘Nivea Visage only contains three active ingredients: ubiquinone (the Q10, an anti-oxidant that fights free radicals, although it can’t reverse signs of ageing), tocopherol (Vitamin E) and extract of anis (a plant with antiseptic properties).
‘There are five UV filters. It also contains paraffinum liquidum; a petroleum-based substance used as a thickener and emollient: it’s not good for the skin, as it blocks pores and can slow down skin function and cell development, which results in premature ageing. It’s used because it’s cheap.
‘I’d reduce the high number of silicones (they coat the skin, leaving it unable to breathe) and increase the active ingredients. It’s not a sophisticated formula, protection comes only from UV filters, and could benefit from reformulation.’
So, while that news isn’t really a great shock, what is a little surprising is that turning to the Mail’s regular Beauty Confidential, they’re flagging up beauty bargains ‘that have the latest technology and finest ingredients’. Guess who pops up? You got it, Nivea. The Nivea lipbalm according to the Mail is an ‘iconic and enduring’ beauty product.
So, if you’ve ever paused to wonder why women look to blogs for beauty advice instead of print, here’s one of the best examples I know.