Do you remember the first beauty item you ever purchased? I do. 

My memory was refreshed and revived at the sight of this humble green pot. The Boots cucumber face cream (£1.50 for 100ml) was a staple on my dressing table for at least 10 years or so. 

As a teenager I remember spending my pocket money (and hours of leisure time) in Boots, and this was the beginning of my teenage skincare revolution. Throughout my childhood I had used my mother and grandmothers old faithful, Astral cream. My nani used nothing else for 80 years and had barely any wrinkles, it just suited her skin type perfectly. Mine, not so much. As I moved into my teenage years, hormones kicked in and my skin started to feel too greasy with Astral. At 13 I decided I was grown up enough to have my own moisturiser. My mum agreed and so she let me go into town one Saturday morning with my 16 year old sister, and a fiver in hand, to find my holy grail. The trusty 70 bus led right from my parents house to the town centre. I had watched it go past my window 10 or more times a day. Today, I would actually be riding the bus. First. Time. Ever.
Stepping into the Galleries shopping centre, circa 1995, it was my first shopping trip with big sister instead of mum. I felt like a real grown up as we strode into the first store on the right, Boots the Chemist. Twenty years on, it’s still there in exactly the same spot, a rarity these days, especially with the fancy-pants Cabot Circus shopping centre a stones’ throw away.

Once inside Boots, I headed straight to the Boots Natural Collection skincare aisle and I remember agonising over the merits and demerits of the Cucumber face cream over the Oil of Evening Primrose. My decision-making was pretty primitive. Based on texture, thickness, fragrance, appearance, my limited health and skincare knowledge from school science class and the movies… cucumber = good for skin. The pretty ladies in movies always lie around in bath robes wearing cucumber on their eyes. I must have it. And that was that. 1-0 to Cucumber. Better luck next time, Oil of Evening Primrose. 

Looking back now, it’s hilarious how naive I was at 13. The internet was only just starting to appear in ordinary peoples homes, online magazines were few, blogging was in its infancy, and was focused mostly technology or news, beauty blogging was unheard of back then. Fast forward to today. 13 year olds now have an abundance of sone really good (and some shockingly bad) advice at their fingertips. They are so much more product savvy these days. 

Anyway, back to 1995. I took my little pot of grown up moisturiser home and used it religiously twice daily after washing my face. This simple routine went on for about 10 years. I added a good eye cream when I started uni at 18 (a really nice light, easily absorbed, quick to hydrate Garnier under eye cream that has since been discontinued) but other than that, my skincare regime remained the same until I started to get ‘proper’ acne aged 22 or 23. Before then, I had only ever had the occasional pimple, never more than one at a time, and generally easy to manage with a bit of salicylic acid treatment. I needed to switch up my skincare routine to treat my acne and probably more significantly, I had the all-important increase in spending power that came with having a good job and living at home with my folks. 
Although I ‘graduated’ from this basic but functional moisturiser on to fancier moisturisers that had been convinced I needed by tv marketing, I do think that this little pot is as good today as it was back then. The user reviews on the Boots website echo all of my own opinions from 20 years ago. 

Will I leave my current beau, Clinique Dramatically Different, to go back to my ex? Probably not, as my skin is in the best condition it’s been in for 20 years, and I’m reluctant to change anything lest I jinx it. That said, I really think that the Boots Cucumber face cream is a great budget moisturiser for teens and is a good basis for the ‘cleanse, tone, moisturise’ routine that will become your skincare mantra for life.