On My Soapbox - Rant #1

From: the heights of my soapbox.
Mood: Burnt.

So here's the deal on skin care (and I'm only referring to products for the face here): there is nothing, nowhere, no-how, on any shelf, in any store, that will get rid of wrinkles. Shocked? Stupefied? Disbelieving? Well, I've done a bunch of research from a variety of sources and that's my unscientific conclusion - though all of the cosmetics companies would vehemently disagree. And even some people who've shelled out $ for La Mer ($220 for 1oz) might too.

Let me preface all this by saying that I have had lots of malignant skin cancers taken off my face and body. I burned as a kid, never wore sunscreen as an adult, went to tanning parlors, and lived in Honolulu and Phoenix. So.....aside from the skin cancers, I have "smile lines" that kind of take up my whole face. I exaggerate. Sort of. So I've looked everywhere for the latest product, read the "our best picks" in magazines, asked at cosmetic counters for something that can get rid of these smile lines. One answer: don't smile (yes, I was told that once). The other answers: try this, or this or this. From "Hope in a Jar" by Philospohy ($15 for .5oz), "Zero Gravity Repairware Lift" by Clinique ($52 for 1.7oz) to Perricone "Advanced Face Firming Activator" ($120 for 2oz). I've tried them all. Sample? I'd love one. And they all promise pretty much the same thing: decreased wrinkles, and younger-looking skin. Age defying? I defy you to stop aging.

Now I'm not talking about exfoliators that can give you smooth skin. Those usually work, because they include synthetic alpha or beta hydroxy acids, or fruit acids, or "microbeads", or natural grains like ground apricot pits that will take off dead and dry skin. So they can "technically" give you a better complexion due to smoother skin.

Though there isn't a cosmetic product that can get rid of wrinkles, there are lots of products that will reduce the LOOK of wrinkles, temporarily, like for 2 hours. Long enough to get down a red carpet. How? By hydrating your skin, which can give skin the appearance of fewer lines or more shallow wrinkles. It's simple. Hydrate=water, so (besides drinking a lot of water a day, which is super important), you need a product that contains water and products that make the water bind to your skin. Even skincare at Duane Reade offers that. Which means there is absolutely no reason to spend more than $20 for a basic hydrating moisturizer. Honestly. Unless you like the thrill of spending your hard-earned money.

But wait! There is a product that can prevent wrinkles and fine lines: it's called sunscreen. And it should have an SPF of 15 minimum. It has been shown that skin with no exposure to sun will stay "young-looking" longer, will be tighter, with hardly any lines (except for those from repetitive facial movement). Smooth like a baby's bottom smooth. But we're not Geisha's or babies and we have to go outside into the sun at some point. So always wear sunscreen - even on cloudy days. If you have a facial moisturizer that doesn't have sunscreen in it, it's not a good product. And it should have broad-spectrum protection against UVB and UVA rays.

I really wish my body butters and hemp oil lotions had sunscreen, but small companies like mine usually can't afford to have products tested under federal guidelines to get an SPF rating . But Clinique? Yea, they can afford it. And there are lots and lots and lots of expensive moisturizers (which are usually the last step in a daily skin-care routine) that don't have any sun protection.

So what have I learned, besides disappointment and frustation with crazy cosmetic claims? Drink lots of water. More than 8oz a day (I hopefully asked a friend once if coffee counts as water. Uh, that would be no). Find an inexpensive moisturizer with an SPF of 15. And put some in a small container to make it portable - use it to reapply during the day for continued protection, and to help against the appearance of dry skin.

So that's it for now. I'll get down off my SOAPBOX. Until next time.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, amen, brother. I am going for a modeling interview in L.A. for a company who claims to make women over 35 look younger with their products. The interview is next week and if selected I will use their regiment for so many weeks and will be photographed each week. I'll let you know if I've discovered the fountain of youth!