Take a look in a mirror, skin miracles don't exist

COSMETICS COUNTER

July 07, 1994|By Paula Begoun | Paula Begoun,Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service

Q: After reading your book I think I've been making the mistake of going with too heavy a moisturizer. I want the best cleanser and best moisturizer available. What about Redken's SRT Cellular Treatment Cream and SRT Cell Preparation Cleanser? I have to do something. If it wasn't for my young, handsome boyfriend, I don't think I'd be such a fanatic about all this, but if there is a best (and I believe there is), then that is what I want to use.

A: I'm glad you have this exciting young man in your life, but even though your heart is soaring in the clouds you need to keep your head and feet on the ground. Make a commitment to stop buying more products to firm up your skin, because there are none available. I repeat, none. There also isn't a best moisturizer, there are only many options depending on your skin type. The reason I never list an absolute best anything is because there are so many options available and there is no way to account for everybody's personal preferences. Desperation won't help your skin, but it will waste your money.

Here are some options: Try washing off your makeup at night with Pond's Foaming Cleanser and Toner in One, and in the morning use Cetaphil Lotion. Follow up with L'Oreal's Floral Tonique Toner (it is irritant-free). At night choose only one of the moisturizers you are presently using, like the Mary Kay or the Redken products. Do not use any moisturizer over the oily sections.

Q: Just had an opportunity to read your May/June '94 issue. Seeing Merle Norman Skin Care on the front was immediately intriguing. I felt that there might be a few things for you to know about the various product lines mentioned. I certainly have a different opinion than you do about the efficacy of our products. However, that is part of the business -- different opinions and points of view.

(Some of your names and prices were different from what we have. There are only three Miracol products. The other products you listed as Miracol are not; their names stand on their own. The retail prices you quoted are higher than what we recommend. Each owner may, of course, set his or her own prices, and we feel that most of our 2,000 stores do prefer to use our suggested retail prices.)

As to the ingredients that appear toward the end of the listings for each product, we really do not add ingredients just to have the names there. They do have a purpose in the formula.

It would be my pleasure to meet with you at any time you are in Los Angeles and [I] would enjoy talking about the products being developed. You are a respected part of what we are all a part of -- an industry that is fun, challenging, exciting, and changing. I'll keep you updated on the next step for us in product development.

-- Sallie Cerghetti, Director,

Educational Services Worldwide,

Merle Norman Cosmetics

A: Thank you for your information. I appreciate your feedback. The retail prices I quoted were the prices we purchased the products for. When we called several other Merle Norman stores we found the prices were mostly in alignment with ours.

In regard to your comments about your ingredient lists, I still feel that the important ingredients (particularly the water-binding and antioxidant agents) need to be among the first ingredients. When those ingredients are listed close to the fragrance or preservatives, they are almost insignificant in their effect on the skin.

You are right, disagreement is part of the cosmetics game. It is my priority to give consumers all sides whenever possible so they can make an educated decision when it comes to cosmetics. Your providing the other side for Merle Norman Cosmetics helps to do just that.

Paula Begoun publishes the Cosmetics Counter Update. For an introductory copy of the subscription newsletter, send $1 for shipping and handling to: The Beginning Press, 5418 South Brandon, Seattle, Wash. 98118.

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