No one wants to grow old and most of all no one wants to look old. I know. I get it. The cosmetics industry, including anti-aging products, are a booming business and the money these companies make off vanity and insecurity (women’s and men’s) is astronomical. I’m not above it all. I want to look the best I can when I do decide to wear make-up. And while I haven’t succumbed to the siren’s call of anti-aging products thus far, I may still yet.
The sheer number of products available to curb Father Time is overwhelming and quite intimidating if you ask me. I mean, I can’t decide what I want for dinner most evenings for goodness’ sake — and here I’m supposed to choose from among a gazillion different beauty products destined to make me look like the 25-year-old model poised tantalizingly in their ad? Speaking of which, really!? Since when do 25-year-olds need anti-aging creams? Yeah, yeah, sunscreen, moisturizer, you’re done. You’re beautiful. Don’t rub it in (a pun, ha!). But the genius behind the marketing has even the youngest, most beautiful women with nary a wrinkle anywhere on their body, let alone on their face, feeling they need, no, absolutely must have that fine-line diminishing cream. And it doesn’t end there. Oh no.
There are anti-wrinkle creams, under eye creams, over eye creams, creams that will magically destroy the jowls you’ve been working on since you took the leap into your 40’s. Some of these products are so perfectly ensconced in their pretty little jars that I simply love to stare at their glistening, velvety texture. It seems a shame to ruin that flawless, minuscule Dairy Queen twist by actually using it. Oh hey, didn’t Dairy Queen have a two for one cone special today…!? But I digress.
Several of the products I’ve seen and have sampled at various counters smell divine while others reek more of the wildlife exhibits at a less than fully janitorial-staffed zoo. I received a makeover once at an upscale cosmetics counter and the neck cream the woman liberally applied (couldn’t complain about them being stingy with products!) was lovely and had a strong perfume-y odor which I suppose is better than an elephant house at the zoo theme, but it was so pungent that within seconds of it being applied, I had an allergic reaction to the smell and my throat closed up. Not exactly the look I was going for when I got there, thank you very much.
Navigating the vast reservoir of choices in a drug store or online are no different. Maybe it’s my age, which would indicate I need a hell of a lot more than just these products on my shopping list, but not only are the ingredients confusing – most of which I cannot pronounce – the promised results are often contradictory. Oils to reduce wrinkles on acne prone skin? That one just doesn’t make sense to me. Vanishing cream!? Doesn’t work the way you’d think. I tried. Was greatly, GREATLY disappointed to still be visible, I’ll have you know.
Things used to be so much simpler. When I was growing up, my mother had PHisoderm. That was it. And my brother and I were not allowed to touch it. It was hers. She always had beautiful skin. I guess I wouldn’t have shared with the likes of my brother and me either. They don’t make the original version of PHisoderm any longer. Oh, you can buy the new generation of formulas the company has on the market. But the original has apparently gone by the wayside. Too bad.
Of course Cleopatra supposedly bathed in milk to stay young and supple. But look where that got her. So not sure I’ll be trying that beauty regimen any time soon.
So. You can see the issues I’ve been having with choosing an anti-aging beauty regimen at this stage in my life. Although I’ve tried to be the “modern woman” and get on this whole “turn back the clock train,” I usually just end up slathered in overpriced foul-smelling goo desperately asking no-one in particular “is it supposed to sting!? No, seriously, is it supposed feel like this!?” and then staring in the mirror for over an hour with a magnifying glass looking for minute changes. Who has that kind of time? Not to mention the pain threshold.