Tom Ford Launches $450 Face Cream Based On $1 Tea Bags

by Jessica L. Yarbrough

via @tomfordbeauty

via @tomfordbeauty

Tom Ford, iconic designer, director, and Jay-Z lyric, is launching luxury skincare in August. You probably know this. The much-hyped products, not even out yet, have already been featured in Vogue and WWD, among other publications — each article accompanied by an interview with Ford himself detailing the inspiration behind the line.

As told by Vogue in the magazine’s August issue: “Years ago, a dermatologist suggested Ford depuff his eyes by pressing wet tea bags over the lids. ‘It’s an amazing old trick,’ he confirms. So he asked a team of scientists at Estée Lauder, which produces his popular makeup brand, to figure out exactly how the magic happened. For three years, they investigated, testing 75 caffeine-focused skincare formulations and eventually publishing research with the American Academy of Dermatology in 2018 that explores how caffeine increases energy on a cellular and molecular level, which can have an effect on skin brightness and hydration.” Ford told WWD pretty much the same; adding, “Every time I did it, I noticed that it also moisturized my skin.”

Some might read this and think, “Oh! How clever! I must have this créme!” (At least, that’s how editors are positioning the industry legend’s revelation to readers.)


Instead of rushing to purchase his $450 “Créme Concentrate” (yes, that’s the actual, literal price), maybe just… put some tea bags on your face?


Seriously. Reread Ford’s words. He loved how effective a probably-less-than-$1 tea bag was at reducing puffiness — and sunk three years of time and money and resources into researching how to isolate the active caffeine compounds responsible for this effect in order to manipulate them into a luxury cream that did the same thing.

The way that Ford has laid out his inspiration is particularly worthy of a double-take, but the situation isn’t unique. It is, sadly, but a microcosm of the macrocosm of the skincare universe. (There’s also the issue of the “research” behind Ford’s products — research that’s since made its way into medical journals — being funded by a beauty brand that stands to profit from the findings. But I digress.)

I don’t mean to say that Tom Ford Research Créme Concentrate is bad. I’m sure it’s a lovely, lovely créme. It’s just $449 more expensive than it has to be.