What to do with your unused skincare products

It is a common experience for almost anyone: we buy skincare products that look appealing either for their packaging, price, or reviews and then discover it’s just not good for us. It might be a fragrance we don’t like – or the fact that they have a fragrance at all – the harshness on our skin, or that we’ve opened the product and left it there on the shelf long enough for it to be considered part of the furniture. Or maybe we simply didn’t get the right product for our skin type; dermatologists say that gender-marketed products can be a bit misleading. For example, typically, cisgender men’s skin would be oilier but, obviously, that does not apply to all cisgender men; women-targeted skincare often smells like a bouquet of flowers, but that can irritate the most sensitive skin types, and so on.

So, if you want to ditch the binary and shop for your skin type rather than your assigned-at-birth gender, you should check out these queer skincare brands.

But what can we do with those products we’ve mentioned, the ones we’ve bought and tried and discovered are simply not for us? A few ideas can help avoid wasting them while still getting some of the benefits.

Use Face Creams on Your Body

Person holding blue round plastic container with cream in it.

Use face creams on your body

Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

Moisturizing your body with face cream is an effective way to ensure that the product won’t sit on the shelf for too long. The quantity in the small package will be gone in maximum two days! Moreover, the skin on our body is tougher than the one on our face, so if your most sensitive parts didn’t like the product, it’s unlikely your legs will suffer from it.

Use Exfoliating Scrubs in the Shower

Light brown scrub in black round container with spatula.

Jar of exfoliating scrub

Photo by Nana Lapushkina on Unsplash

As it goes for face creams, sometimes face scrubs can be too harsh and overall, not good. They work perfectly as body exfoliators, especially for the chest area, which is a very sensitive skin part of the body, and they’ll leave no irritation, as they are initially created with the face in mind. They can be used on knees, elbows, butt, feet, and sometimes do a more effective job than scrubs particularly designed for the body, as those can be quite tough as well.

Use Harsh Face Cleansers as Body Wash

Person's hand with suds in the shower.

Using face cleanser as body wash

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

If your facial acne is suffering from the harshness of the cleansing products you use, then it’s time to move their place into the shower. You can use them as body wash, or simply target your acne body spots, like maybe your back or butt.

Add Unused Serum or Toner to Your Body Moisturizer

Hand lets clear drop in dark glass conteiner.

Adding serum to moisturizer

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Add a few drops of unused face serum or toner to your body moisturizer for extra hydration. This helps you get rid of the product fast, and enjoy the last benefits from the serum or toner, as they tend to lose their fragrance and effectiveness with time. And even though sometimes it’s better to have no fragrance at all, if the scent has faded it does not mean it’s good for you now.

Use Leftover SPF During Your All Year-Round Routine

Black bottle leaning on woman sitting on rocky shore during day.

Using SPF year round

Photo by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash

The shelf life of SPF is normally twelve months, and since it’s important to use it daily, the best way to avoid waste is to wear a layer of that summer leftover sunscreen on your face before heading out the house, even in winter.

It's important to remember that we should switch up our skincare products regularly, as our skin can become tolerant to products over time and we need a different level of moisture depending on the season. Generally, we would need to increase our moisturizer usage during winter, and switch to a lighter consistency during summer.

If you have struggled with finding a skincare routine that works for you, visiting a specialist would probably be a good investment; that way you can verify what type of skin you have and research the best products and treatments for you. It should be noted that wrinkles and sun damage will probably not go away with cosmetics; if you are looking for a specific treatment, you should use medical-grade products prescribed by a specialist.

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Like many of the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, LGBTQ+ fans awaited the release of Thor: Love and Thunder in open anticipation of the inclusivity that both Marvel and Disney had promised. However, the fans were only setting themselves up for disappointment when the film was finally released.

Despite passionate assurances from studio heads to key actors, Thor: Love and Thunder was NOT spectacularly gay. It wasn’t even that good…

Premiere Night Promises

A bolt of lightning cuts across a rainbow on a dark and stormy night.

Lightning bold across the sky

Photo by Bill D.

Standing on the red carpet at the London Premiere of the film, director and actor Taika Waititi and fellow cast members Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson were offered up the inevitable question: “How gay is the film?

Amidst some laughter from the crowds, Waititi gestured towards Portman to respond. The actress (who plays Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster, throughout the franchise) raised the microphone to her lips and thought for a moment, before delivering a quiet yet fateful: “So gay!

Barely a moment had passed before the gathered fans went wild and Taika Waititi gave his own verdict: “Super gay!”. Tessa Thompson made no statement on the ‘gayness’ of the film, instead opting to swing her microphone around suggestively. As more cheers erupted, a second round of “super gay” slipped out of Waititi’s mouth, before he urged the fans to enjoy the film.

Thor: Love and Thunder’s LGBTQ+ Potential

Thor’s movie-goers were definitely hyped up for a gay extravaganza and they had a specific character in mind. The fan-favorite Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, stumbled her way into the MCU during Thor’s third film, Ragnarok. The Asgardian warrior won many people over with her wit, sarcasm, and pure badassery.

After the events of Avengers: Endgame *spoilers*, Thor Odinson gives up his claim to the throne of Asgard and names Valkyrie as king in his stead. This left many fans excited to see what would become of the character, especially after certain revelations were made at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con:

“As a new king, she has to find her queen. So that’ll be her first order of business.”

With these words, Tessa Thompson threw her LGBTQ+ fans into a frenzy, with heavy expectations for the then-upcoming fourth installment of the Thor films. Indeed, in an interview with the LA Times, shortly before the film's release, Tessa Thompson was asked to comment on the sexuality of her character. She responded with several promising remarks, including “there’s a lot of folks that are righteously very hungry for that representation to exist in these movies, as am I”.

*Warning: spoilers ahead!*

So, How Gay Was Thor 4?

To put it simply: not gay at all. Not only did Valkyrie end up without a fabulous new queen, her non-heteronormative sexuality only got the barest mention (a brief line about a previous, now dead, girlfriend). Valkyrie may have made bedroom eyes at some pretty ladies before an action scene spoils the moment, but that’s about as much as we get.

The film does get some credit for introducing a trans character in a minor yet significant role. Thor returns to his people (after a brief stint as a Guardian of the Galaxy) only to find out that the daughter of one of his closest (and deceased) friends is now a boy. The issue is, whether due to personal prejudice or some alien inability to grasp the concept of being transgender, it does take Thor a frustrating few moments to come to terms with the change. And to stop deadnaming.

In fact, the only concession to the queer community was Taika Waititi’s extraterrestrial character Korg finding a husband in one of the closing scenes. This heartfelt moment was somewhat underscored by the revelation that Korg’s entire species is male, meaning he had no other choice but to be ‘gay’.

This Is Not Marvel’s First Queerbaiting Attempt

Close up of an eye reflecting an unknown scene as a rainbow crosses the image.

Photo by Harry Q.

This is, by far, not the first time that LGBTQ+ fans have been sorely disappointed by the workings of Marvel and Disney. In fact, people across many social media platforms have been chiding expectant viewers for once again falling for classic queerbaiting tactics. “Being queerbaited by the MCU is like being a golden retriever with a human who always pretends to throw the ball”, one Tumblr user declared.

Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, was the perfect moment for the MCU to introduce its first lesbian lead. Larson’s character seemed to have an intense relationship with another woman, going so far as to help raise her child (before Larson’s Carol Danvers disappeared from Earth for 6 years). Despite leaning into several romantic tropes, the status of their relationship was never fully fleshed out. However, it was also the franchise’s first female-led superhero movie, so maybe they thought that introducing her as a lesbian would make the film too awesome.

The heavily anticipated Avengers: Endgame was also slated to introduce the MCU’s ‘first gay character'. While many fans were excited, particularly as this would be the second of Larson’s appearances on screen, the big gay build-up was a massive letdown. The film’s director Joe Russo made a cameo as a blip survivor mourning the loss of his husband. A five-second throw-away scene that had no impact on the outcome of the film. Big whoop...

Even when we did see a film with a gay lead, The Eternals, there were also ten other straight leads. At that point, it just seemed more like basic probability than an attempt at pushing LGBT+ superheroes into the spotlight.

Why Can’t Disney Let Marvel Be Gay?

The big problem with allowing a few characters to be anything other than cishet is that there are still many countries in the world that outlaw homosexuality. As much as we like to think that the MCU is being made for comic book fans, we all know the purpose of the films is to make money for Disney. And without certain markets in Asia and the Middle East, Disney wouldn’t be raking in up to (and over) one billion dollars per theatrical release.

Is There Any Hope For LGBTQ+ Fans In The MCU’s Future?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the second in the much-loved Black Panther arc, will be released in cinemas this November. The studio has confirmed that the film will contain a queer character. Actress Michaela Coel will play Aneka, a warrior, and trainer of the king’s guard. Whether or not her diversity will stand out in the film (let alone endure for more than a 10-second scene that can be easily cut) remains to be seen.

Next year’s The Marvels film, starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Lashana Lynch may offer the MCU a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of its LGBT+ fans. The studios may feel it’s finally time to offer us the heartwarming lesbian relationship between Larson’s Carol Danvers and Lynch’s Maria Rambeau that seemed to be teased in the first Captain Marvel. Don’t raise your hopes too high, though, as you may yet end up as a stubborn golden retriever waiting for a cinematic universe to finally throw that rainbow ball.