“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.
- They’re costly and,
- They take up a lot of room in my medicine chest and,
- 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.”
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