Skin…..A Battle of the Aging Process

skincareUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the past century, I’m sure at you’ve seen one or all of the above products at least ONCE in your life. But at some point in time, wrinkles became a thing to be ashamed of. Why? Because wrinkles mean sun damage and aging. While some cultures view aging and death as something to embrace and celebrate; Americans have been viewing it as a death sentence, quite literally.

young skin

I realize a lot of women are going to look at this picture and say ‘she doesn’t look like me. Her skin is too perfect.’ I’ve also seen back scratch ASMR videos on Facebook with comments referring to the flawlessness of the person getting the back scratch. Young-looking skin is a tool to get through life, according to some. All models have perfect-looking skin. BUT, if you look close enough, you can ALSO see they’ve got inches of makeup caked on that makes them LOOK flawless. I remember when Jessica Simpson became the spokeswoman for some skincare line back in early 2000s. For the life of me, I cannot remember the name. It was an online purchase only. Couldn’t get it in stores. I remember the ad showed a picture of her onstage. She said the editors had to go through her videos and edit out the blackheads. Now, here’s where reality and elite REALLY show themselves. Regular women had ZERO access to these tools. But once the cellphone and filters came out, pretty much put a stop to it. You, too, can have a flawless face if you have the time, patience and $$ to cake all that crap on. BUT, if you live in a disagreeable environment, or your skin is naturally oily……the makeup is just going to cause you more grief. Skin needs to BREATHE to heal. If you’re CONSTANTLY caking it on every day, you skin is going to be HORRIBLY irritated. Not JUST by the foundation, but the chemicals in the remover. I remember I had a job where I wore makeup EVERY DAY. By choice. I had to stop because my face was becoming red and irritated from the rough surface of the cloths. Even cleaning it with water isn’t going to really take care of it. Think about it. Have you EVER come across a face pad of ANY type that WASN’T abrasive? There’s a reason. Like Kleenex, it’s MADE that way to grab hold. I’ve NEVER completely removed makeup with JUST water. It’s a liquid. Your hands don’t have much in the way of abrasiveness. Even a washcloth is irritating to this type of skin.

Then MASKS came along. I got my first tube of it as a teen. It was a mud mask that isn’t made anymore. Now, several hundred years later, all types and all brands are readily available. You have the tubes of charcoal and mud, individual masks: Que Bella, the ‘yes to coconut, tomatoes, avocado, etc’. Somewhere along the way, we became overly obsessed with younger looking skin. Why?

elderly skinBecause women fear the aging process. It means we’re getting older, it’s beginning to show and it reinforces our mortality. You never see the average fresh-faced teen worrying about wrinkles like her grandmother or great-grandmother. However, there ARE exceptions. It’s not anything you can purchase. It’s called ‘genetics’. My own mother is in her sixties and looks 50 at least. I’m almost forty and mistaken for twenty. But it’s not just genetics. As stated before, it’s also your diet and your environment. There’s zero doubt that people with a tan look great. However, white people usually cannot achieve the darkness of Hispanic or black skin without some SERIOUS outdoor time. Now that I think about it, is it even POSSIBLE for a white person to tan enough to pass for mixed at best? I would think tanning until black isn’t possible. I knew a white teen girl who WANTED to be black. Her bf was black and had a history of dating black guys. When she was pregnant, she stated ‘I’m half black until this baby is born.’ Ok, whatever. I think she compensated by tanning as much as she could.

I don’t tan. I also don’t drink or smoke. Both of which make your skin lose elasticity. The reason I chose this topic is because of Cindy Crawford. Absolutely NOTHING against her. If you watch YouTube instead of regular TV, then you know she’s had her own skincare line for several years now. Meaningful Beauty. In the before and after photos, there really isn’t much difference. There’s a difference in distance from the camera in both pictures,  but other than that, I really don’t see a difference. You can scrutinize this two ways. 1. Genetics. She was a supermodel back in the 90s. 2. Her skincare line really works, since she uses it herself. Now, I am in NO WAY saying that anti-aging lotions and serums don’t work. All I’m saying is there appears to be more than before. But there are also more BRANDS than before. I don’t remember Burts Bees being next to Bonne Bell or LipSmackers as a teen. I don’t remember the ‘Yes to Coconut’ brand, either. I remember Ponds, Estee Lauder and all the other skin brands of the late 80s/early 90s.

It seems to me, that no matter how much you fight with whatever resources you have, aging WILL win. No amount of botox will ever erase what nature has given you. Everybody has the laugh lines and crows feet. That’s the way life goes.

I have bad vision and used to squint all the time. Still do, to some degree. At some point in my life, I realized I don’t have wrinkles. I have ONE between my eyebrows when I furrow my brow. But that’s it. For all the squinting I’ve DONE in my life, you’d think my eyes would be all raggedy. Nope. My mom has wrinkles, but not the deep ones that make your makeup look imbalanced. It’s just a genetic thing. My aunt doesn’t have wrinkles, and she’s in her fifties. My grandma doesn’t have wrinkles and she’s damn near ninety. Wrinkles and old age are inevitable. And those young girls you see flaunting everything in the summer heat will get there one day. Especially if they keep tanning like they do. Tanning booths are actually WORSE than the sun. I can see how. It may be from florescent lighting, but it’s RIGHT next to you. I don’t use tanning booths. I’d rather get my vitamin D from the source.

So as women tell curvy women to embrace their curves, I tell you to embrace your wrinkles. In the end, we ALL end up in a box 6 feet under or ash scattered around.

-Have a great weekend!

Love, Ellie V.