Once women get beyond a certain age (which begins with a five and ends with a zero), they are constantly warned that unless they slather their faces in stuff on a regular basis their skin will begin to crack and eventually disintegrate. This has prompted me to compile one of my handy cut-out-and-keep guides. Welcome to skincare routines through the decades:
0-teens: soap and water applied with a flannel. There will be much attention to ears and necks at this stage.
Teens-20s: you will probably be in one of two camps: beautiful, clear, glowing skin that is occasionally blighted by a ginormous zit which can be seen from several miles away or skin so permanently covered in pimples that you rarely venture out.
20s-30s: This is when you start getting bombarded with advice about “skincare routines”. This mainly involves the golden rule: TAKE OFF ANY MAKEUP BEFORE GOING TO BED. If not, terrible things will befall you. I cannot tell you what, as I have never been brave enough to put it to the test. Even after rolling in very much the worse for wear in the early hours of the morning, I have stood, swaying, in front of the mirror, removing unsightly streaks of makeup. Then you are supposed to cleanse, tone and moisturise, without ever knowing exactly what toner does. You have to buy more stuff for this stage, obvs.
30s-40s: In my experience, you may spend much of this decade thinking: “Surely you are only supposed to have breakouts in your teens” and “I thought pregnancy was supposed to make your skin glow?” You will be encouraged to spend more on skincare products and change your makeup to “less is more” (but more expensive, natch.)
40s-50s: Friends, family and even complete strangers (usually handing out samples in department stores) will tell you to MOISTURISE to prevent dire consequences. You will spend money on makeup to make your skin look “dewy”, only to catch sight of yourself in a mirror, looking as though you’ve dipped your face in a chip pan. At this point, you will give up and go back to the flannel and soap.