Face in the mirror
You are the face I recognize, the face I know, the face I greet each morning,
Yes, the face I love, despite the lines and scars and spots.
You and I have traveled together, collected mementoes of Life.
Your eye-crinkles and mouth-creases... reminders of laughter and reasons to smile.
Deep lines between your brows... etched during late nights worrying about the kids.
Tiny scars on your forehead... souvenirs of chicken pox at 10 and 30, and shingles at 50.
Dark spots... kisses of Galveston sunshine.
This morning, the face staring back at me in the mirror sported a few pimples amidst her wrinkles, scars and spots. That's not really fair, is it?
My grandmother swore by Oil of Olay. She had beautiful skin. I don't remember her ever having any pimples, but the one time I tried the lotion, my face broke out something awful. Now I'm afraid of anything labeled "Oil of Olay"!
My mother has beautiful skin, too. She used the Clinique ritual for awhile - I tried it, but I think it was just too much work for me. It probably broke me out, too.
I remember lots of pimples back then, when I was a teenager. I tried everything. No luck.
Until finally, I asked our family doctor what to do. "Stop putting all that crap on your face," he told me. "Just use Ivory soap and be done with it."
He was right. Ivory soap worked! Until a few years ago when I noticed my cheeks felt like sandpaper.
Obviously, I needed a moisturizer, but I was scared, remembering the Oil of Olay situation as well as one experiment with an eye cream, guaranteed to "minimize the appearance of fine lines" - it actually poofed up the skin around my eyes. I looked like I'd been stung by a bee! That's how it got rid of the lines!
I'd rather have the lines.
The key words to watch for (I realized afterwards) were "the appearance of"... Very important!
Even with this in mind, I eventually succumbed to advertisements for L'Oreal's Revitalift products. I'm happy to report that my face didn't break out and my eyes didn't poof up like marshmallows. In fact, nothing much happened except my cheeks no longer felt like sandpaper.
In other words, I still have my wrinkles, but that's okay. I'll do what I can to keep from accumulating more, but I earned the ones I have. They're me.
I don't think I'll ever be bothered enough by my wrinkles to try Botox or surgery (I don't like pain)... but I have friends who've delved into those treatments, so I'm not passing judgement.
So imagine my surprise one day last week when I looked in the mirror and noticed the lines between my brows were missing. Where did my furrows go?
The only thing I could attribute it to was three nights in a row of solid 7+ hours of sleep. Who could have guessed? Sleep - truly the best anti-aging tool we have, and it's free! But how many of us take advantage of it? I know I don't!
For instance, here I am typing at the computer way past my bedtime.
Furrows and dark circles are guaranteed for tomorrow! (I just hope the pimples are gone.)
But what about you? If you have a face you've grown old with, do you love it? Hate it? What do you do to take care of it?