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.)

However.

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?

Ahem. 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.