It’s great news that Olay has become the first major skincare brand to trial refillable packs in the UK and USA. The container, which can only be purchased online through the Olay website in the United States and the United Kingdom, will be filled with the moisturiser and come with a pod made of polypropylene, a type of plastic that is recyclable. That pod can be used to refill the jar. The current packaging for the product is made of a durable plastic that is generally not recyclable. Proctor and Gamble, the owners of the Olay brand will look at consumer feedback to determine whether and how to move forward with the refillable product.
While this is an important step forward in the reduction of single use plastic, the bigger problem is the amount of personal care and makeup that many women buy and just don’t use. Anitra Marsh, Procter & Gamble’s associate director of brand communications, says that this is known in the industry as “the skincare graveyard”. These products will usually end up in landfill. She believes that the way to reduce this is by getting people on the correct skincare regime for them.
Some people may be using the wrong products for their particular skin or hair, but a bigger problem is that many of us believe the hype: we believe that this skincare product can roll back the years; this shampoo can transform our hair making it shiny and biddable, and that we will become more popular and more confident if we only use this particular product. A big reason for “the skincare graveyard” is not that we are using the wrong products, but that we have been exposed to unrealistic images and promises. We buy the new product, full of hope for its power, generally finding that it is no better than the product we were using already. So we discard it, either immediately or when we have a huge clear out of unused and out-of-date products. The skincare graveyard represents the power of glamourous advertising over our own common-sense knowledge and experience.
The skincare graveyard also represents our belief that we can fix things with more stuff. We want to believe that great skincare can be bought in a jar rather than being down to us and what we do on a day to day basis – and I’m not talking about remembering to exfoliate or use a particular serum. Much of the health of our skin will depend on what we put inside our bodies. If it depended on what went on our bodies, you wouldn’t see staff at beauty counters with thick makeup trying to hide a spotty complexion.
That’s the key – you can chase that elusive skincare product that will transform your skin, or you can live a healthy lifestyle that will transform all of you.
© 2019 Jane Thurnell-Read