In the second ‘essay’ for this year, I discuss the issue of skinvestments, aka spending loads of cash on expensive products that promise tiny miracles, or that are known as the holy grail(s) of beauty. Do they really deliver and were women better off when they had the good old cheaper creams to save (their) face?
Now I have of late had a soft spot for the former type of potions, darting from one brand to another in the hopes that they will restore whatever vitality I need in my face or spare me yet another furrow or wrinkle from developing. I am not that old in case you were wondering – let us just say I am hovering in the 30s so the use of such products is justified if not recommended. My thoughts on this subject arise from the fact that after almost a decade using anti-wrinkle and any other anti- (or pro-) whatever you can think of, it is time to throw the proverbial bone and see where it lands. In other words, it is verdict time. Yet, this is not a review or a critique but some reflections on my journey so far.
My first foray into using skin products was via a pack of day, night and eye creams, the kind you find at airports at very reasonable prices, and of reputable brands, mind you. I had received it as a gift and so began the anti-wrinkle or anti-whatever battle/journey. After quasi-religiously applying such creams, I had got into the routine of not neglecting my skin, particularly in light of the view that I apply makeup on a daily basis. Then I ‘graduated’ or rather, was ‘initiated’ into an armada of products pertaining to a very well-known brand that dermatologists swear by (probably you know what I am referring to). A year in, my skin was less dry, less tired, and more glowing (side note: If only I looked like the image below (sic)!)
Did such products prevent lines from forming or my face from looking older? Not a chance, but then again I had never deluded myself that I could win the struggle against age. Gravity issues are still far away (hopefully), but I can ‘boast’ about a number of frown/expression lines. Blame it on stress/worrying, on genetics, on traffic (!), on my PhD (grey hairs included!), but also on showing emotions such as laughing/smiling. There are certain women who do not smile for fear of having such lines. Now who would want to live like that?
Yet, I have not fully accepted that I cannot do anything to prevent the onslaught, which is why time and again I am prone to trying out new promising lotions. Call them the placebo of cosmetics. Despite this seeming cynicism, there are measures that one can take to delay, rather than prevent, the inevitable. I am not saying it is too late for me, because by some strange twist, there are people who still believe I am not older than 30- maybe something is working after all?!
It is not all doom and gloom. If you happen to be on the cusp of adulthood, this is the part you need to read (these tips are gleaned from all the things I have read and experienced over the years so here I condense them for you). Some will come at a cost, not necessarily financial:
1. Minimize or reduce sugar intake, even if you are lucky (like I was at that age) to shed or keep off weight easily. Sugar is the skin’s Public Enemy No.1 as it somehow breaks it and gives way to wrinkles forming – hello crow’s feet under your eyes! Similarly, cleanse yourself from processed foods as they do untold damage and the skin can look dull. I have come across people whose face says it all, that their bad diet is wreaking havoc on the skin.
2. Lack of water. I am not talking about flavored water, coffees or teas, but bottled water. Coffees and teas are diuretic, so they can have a dehydrating effect which if not balanced by drinking more water can lead to drier skin that also breaks like leather does due to wear and tear.
3. Try not to frown or be more aware of your facial expressions. It is difficult not to frown, as I have been there, but I am actively tying not to frown, especially between my eyebrows.
4. Clean your face EVERY SINGLE DAY, when you wake up (to clear the toxins) and before you sleep. Never sleep with makeup on, especially with SPF foundations as these rob the skin of oxygen, leading to further damage. Again, if you are quite young and see not signs of aging, yet, it does not mean the damage is not happening. So if you have had an all-nighter, at least grab a wipe. There is some (wacky) but possibly true theory that the older we are the more time it takes for the skin to renew itself. For instance, if you are 22 years old then your skin renews itself around every 22 days and so on so forth – makes sense?
5. Drink a glass of water upon waking (maybe also add some lemon to the water for good digestion too) – same as above, to clear toxins accumulated during the night.
6. Be consistent with your cleansing regime. That is why it is called a regime. Give time to products so do not expect results overnight. I am still waiting on the one I am using at the moment, and it is quite high end, so expectations are also higher this time.
7. Finally, book a skin analysis test. In that way you can tell what issues lie ahead or are showing up already. Then you will know which products to go for rather than jumping- on-the-latest-fads-in-beauty-bandwagon. Maybe all you have is dehydrated skin which would be boosted by drinking more water.
So that is it. Probably you know now what I meant by ‘it will come at a cost, not necessarily financial’ – who wants to give up sugary and drink more water, for instance? Of course, if you have heard the above speil before, then you are all the wiser. What I do know is that I wish someone had told me before, back when I was twenty. So in a way, this piece is borne out of my experiences.
End result? I am still looking for the ‘holy grail’ that could delay the process, at least by another decade or until I am too old to bother! 😉
Royalty free images from Pixabay