I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m not young anymore. Having lived a pretty amazing 41 years, I’ve had some great experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Lately, though, my face is starting to show it.
I’ve got a cavernous line in between my forehead, the area around my eyes are starting to look like I permanently slept weird on my pillowcase, and don’t even get me started about my jowls. The parentheses that bracket my mouth don’t really scream 29 anymore.
To combat all these new roads on my face map, I tried all different kinds of skin care regimens. Anti-wrinkle creams, deep exfoliation, masks, serums, fillers, you name it. After a while though, I got tired of spending money chasing some genius product that would reverse time and poor SPF decisions and decided to stick to plain old moisturizer.
Do I want to look like a dewey college student? Not really. I don’t need to get rid of wrinkles entirely, just soften them a bit. I am tired of finding hidden crumbs in my facial features.
But, as life would have it, I’ve recently been hit with the Double Whammy of skin care: Adult Acne.
I mean, acne and wrinkles at the same time seems unnecessarily cruel. Can’t a gal catch a break? I know I want to look a bit more youthful, but breaking out like a hormonally awkward high school Freshman is more than I bargained for. Nothing says aging ungracefully than a massive, painful goiter setting up camp on my forehead.
A few weeks ago, in the thick of a period-induced breakout, I went to get my eyebrows waxed. I figured if my face was at war with itself, at least I better make the battleground free and clear of shrubbery.
The aesthetician ripping my moustache off noticed that I was having some “skin issues” and recommended that I speak to one of the skin care consultants at reception when I checked out.
Desperate for some miracle cure, I discussed the Appalachian Mountains on my forehead with a young woman in a pristine white lab coat. She nodded her head sympathetically, and the second I was done talking she touched my shoulder and said “I have the perfect product for you that will clear your blemishes up in a matter of hours!”
Then she handed me a $100 jar of acne lotion.
Holy crap! Is this how much it costs to have clear skin? Oh, and did I mention this jar was about the size of a mini York Peppermint Patty and would probably last me all of four days before I had to fork out another Benjamin Franklin? What the hell was it made of, baby unicorn blood?
However, I looked up from the half-ounce jar at this woman, caught a glimpse of my complexion in the mirror behind her and contemplated handing over my credit card. Why did all those red little bumps have to be so shiny? They looked like the Las Vegas strip.
As if to persuade me to let go of my plastic in earnest, she said “I use it, and now I don’t even need to wear makeup!”
Wow! Really! I’m sold!
Before I relented though, I gave this woman a good, hard look. That’s when I realized she was all of 19 years old, and I was overcome with the sudden urge to punch her in her perfect, poreless face. Of COURSE she has great skin, she’s a baby! How can I even compare her results to what would surely be disappointment when I slathered this stuff on my face?
Her untarnished face was the jolt I needed to knock me to my senses. I thanked her for advice then walked my zitty face out to my car with my $100 in tact.
In the parking lot, my pimples acting like a moving stop sign alerting cars that I was coming, I began to feel a bit better about my complexion. Sure, it’s not something I ever want to see on an HD television. But this imperfect skin has been with me through countless moves to unfamiliar towns, heartache and heartbreak and hardship, a lifetime of laughter, my wedding and 12 years of marriage, the pregnancy and birth of two children, and countless performances on stages big and small. It’s the face my kids kiss at night, even on it’s most pimply of days.
I’ll take that over baby-faced inexperience any day.