Opinion

Clogging up the bathroom cabinet with creams we rarely use

Research suggests that one-in-10 women has unused skincare products to the value of £250

Ladies, are you firm believers in the value of skincare products … but not so passionate when it comes to actually applying them? If your answer is “yes”, it would seem that you are far from alone. It is estimated that £475m-worth of these products are sitting, used in British bathroom cabinets and, that one-in-10 of British women has unused night-time products to the value of £250 gathering dust.

This does not surprise me. A quick glance in my own bathroom cabinet shows it is fairly full. I have some shaving foam in there and a half-share in the mouthwash, but the rest is pretty much taken up by products for my wife that are showing varying degrees of usage.

The problem is that my wife struggles to walk past a “bargain”. You know the ones I mean … buy four of our (over-priced) products at full whack and get two miniature ones free – and we’ll throw in a customisable make-up bag to hold them all in. The customisation is that they give you some stickers so you can show the world what star sign you are. Big deal!

She will also, having had a tip-off from a friend, ask me top look up various skincare bargains on the internet. Perhaps I should Google “vanishing cream”!

According to this research, the reasons for not using the expensive lotions and potions the women have bought include feeling overly tired (33%), scrolling social media (8%) and a preference for Netflix and Chill (15%) rather than neck creams and vitamin pills.

This data was collated from a study by rejuvenating sleep mask, yu-nu*, which delved into the nation’s evening skincare routines and found that the average Brit only uses 60% of the beauty products they buy.

The typical Brit is willing to spend £170 on a product if it guaranteed to refresh their appearance. This rises to a peak when we hit 35 years of age, when the average value increases to a whopping £280 versus £173 for those aged 25 and just £77 for those aged 55+.

Yu-nu’s survey also found that one-in-10 Brits indulges nightly in habits that will make for less than beautifying sleep, and that the average UK man or woman undertakes these habits three nights per week. Half of us admit to sitting on our smartphones in bed even though we know it’ll stop us nodding off and half of us also admit to falling asleep in front of the TV on the sofa. I’m guilty on both counts within the past seven days! I’m addicted to a solitaire game which, at midnight, sets new challenges. I don’t sleep until they have been completed. I can’t defend such behaviour. I know it’s crazy and hitting the snooze button on the phone three or four times the following morning does not serve to compensate.

Meanwhile a third will pass out from drinking too much wine (not guilty that refers to the passing out bit, not the amount of alcohol consumed) and 12% of the nation has conked out while working from home into the night. 

Those surveyed admitted that they know these bad habits affect their sleep and their appearance; they also stated that they know the beautifying effect of a good night’s sleep, with a third saying they look better and 45% saying they get more compliments about their appearance after sleeping well.

The study also found that one million British women, and perhaps surprisingly, half a million British men, don’t take their make-up off before bed because they don’t want their partner to see them barefaced. I don’t wear make-up, but each to his (or her) own.

Sally Bonser, spokeswoman for nanu, the personalised sleep experts behind the yu-nu sleep mask, says: “Getting a good night’s rest is so important for physical and mental health, as well as for helping us to look and feel better.

“It’s interesting to see how many of us know we’re doing our skin and sleep a disservice each evening yet continue to indulge in bad habits; it’s also fascinating to see how much money we’re investing in skincare that we either don’t use or reduce the effectiveness of by neglecting something that’s free of charge – sleep!”


  • yu-nu is a moisturising sleep mask that’s encased in a soft microvelour and enriched with organic probiotics; the mask works to effortlessly boost skincare as well as helping wearers to get a great night’s sleep by blocking out all light. The probiotics in the mask’s treatment are clinically proven to tackle skin dryness, dullness, wrinkle depth and leave the delicate eye area feeling fresh, as well as seeming more youthful and rejuvenated in appearance. The yu-nu moisturising sleep mask is available now at £20 from: https://nanusleep.co.uk/the-sleepmask/
Show More

David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close