“Oh no!” I cried from the bathroom.
“Honey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” My husband ran into the room, wondering, I’m sure, what kind of tragedy could have transpired with only me, the sink, and the toilet in the room.

“I’ve made a terrible mistake,” I said, looking at him forlornly.

“What???” he asked.

“I used my night cream instead of my day cream and it’s daytime.”He stared at me blankly.

“What do you think is going to happen?” I asked him.

“I guess your face is going to fall asleep,” he replied and left the room.

I knew my husband thought it was ridiculous that one person needed so many moisturizers. I have my day cream and my night cream which is heavier than my day cream because apparently one needs more moisture on their face when they sleep. I have night eye cream and day eye cream for the same reason. These are for the fine lines under my eyes which, apparently, are not moisturized enough by the other creams I just put on my face. I have something called a retinol which I’m told is necessary because I’m in my fifties and the retinol helps speed up the regeneration of my skin cells which must be dying off at the same rate as the aged eggs in my ovaries.

Then I have a neck cream for the delicate neck area which feels suspiciously like the day and night creams I already use.  I’ve been told, though, that the neck creams have different anti-aging and tightening properties, which, it would seem, could easily and less expensively be handled by wearing a turtleneck instead. Then there are the moisturizers with sunscreen built in, the primers with sunscreen built in, and the really expensive, really tiny jar of special cream that smells like seaweed because it’s made of seaweed and has extra special firming properties which I have no idea if they work because, honestly, who wants their face to smell like fish.

I have something called a retinol which I’m told is necessary because I’m in my fifties and the retinol helps speed up the regeneration of my skin cells which must be dying off at the same rate as the aged eggs in my ovaries.

When I was in college, I was a moisturizer virgin and really had no idea what, if any, lotions or creams I needed to maintain my perfect twenty-year old skin. My roommate routinely slathered Noxema on her face every night which quite possibly smelled worse than the seaweed cream they make today. I haven’t seen her in thirty years so I can’t tell you if the stuff worked, although I assume that the smell of the Noxema was so offensive it’s possible that the odor alone would have caused any aging skin cells she might have had to jump ship.

Naturally, I’ve tried to cut down on the number of creams I use mainly because,

  1. They’re costly and,
  2. They take up a lot of room in my medicine chest and,
  3. I have to explain this whole thing all over again to the TSA agents every time I travel and they wonder why I have so many creams and lotions for one person who has only one face and is only going away for 3-day trip. But when I explain that the lotions have multiple uses and can also be used as bug repellant, motor oil, and hoof and mane cream for horses, I usually sail right through.

Knowing that all of this was pretty ludicrous, I decided it probably made sense to try to pair down all the creams to what was absolutely necessary.

“I’m going to get rid of some of my face creams,” I announced to my husband so I would have to follow through.

He nodded. “Great! But keep the hand cream.”

“The hand cream? Why? Do you think my hands look old?

“No,” he said. “I use that one, too.”


©2020, Beckerman. All rights reserved. Follow Tracy on her Facebook Fan page at Facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage,  join the Lost in Midlife group at facebook.com/groups/lostinmidlife/ and follow on Instagram @TracyinMidlife


  • Ellen Wolfe

    Enjoy your humorous take on face creams. My younger sister told me the only reason I don’t have wrinkles is gravity… I spend all my time on my back. Perhaps because of my health I find myself laying down. However, I believe the secret to a beautiful face is laughter and a kind heart.

    • admin

      You sound like you have a great attitude Ellen! I’m sorry you have health issues but I glad you are keeping your sense of humor (and I bet you are absolutely stunning!).

  • Lucia Ann

    Thank you. You always make me simile. I too wonder why we have to put the moisturizer over the special creams and so on and and on and on. Sometimes I forget and my face looks the same. It hasn’t changed since COVID probably because it’s stuck in a worried frown all the time. (Unless I’m reading your blog).

    • admin

      Well, I’ll just have to work harder to make you smile so we can get rid of those worried frowns!

  • Eileen Miller

    Sigh. Same issues here. I even had the tiny jar of seaweed something for my eyes – I just threw that one away – only half used, mind you – because the smell was awful. That was a Herculean feat, as usually I am scrounging around for the last little bit of moisturizer with a Q-tip. It was a little easier with that jar, since I think it was a freebie with something – I KNOW I would never buy fish stuff for my face. And how is that even a thing? Like, who took a look at a bunch of kelp and thought, “I bet if I mush that down and extract stuff, I can add it to eye cream and women will pay stupid amount of money for it!” But I will turn 60 next month, and the fight against time will continue… sans seaweed, though.

    • admin

      Thanks for posting! I agree, I have no idea how they come up with these crazy ideas for women’s creams and then try to sell them for a hundred dollars for a tiny jar. I’m not sure any of this really helps, actually. It’s really all about what we did when we were teenagers and in our twenties- not what we do now. But I’m like you and I’ll keep fighting the good face fight anyway!

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