Old-ish and Wise-ish: Skin Care Lessons from a Reformed Idiot

Guys, I am finally getting old. Not old, old, as old as God or older like Maya Angelou, but old enough that I should know a few things, or at very least, know better than I actually do. I realized this the other day when I was helping my mom out at her school, and kept admiring the skin of all the teenage girls. HOLY SHIT! I thought. THIS IS WHAT OLD LADIES WHINE ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT TEENAGERS’ SKIN. Now, don’t get me wrong, 23 is very, very young in the scheme of things, and if Chelsea Handler or Madonna or Kyle Richards saw me sleeping on a couch they would certainly still try to steal my youth essence, but I can no longer get away with treating my face like a piece of shit. Disrespect my skin and it will disrespect me! I even have two emerging frown lines on my forehead, from my unfortunate habit of hating literally everything on earth and throwing people a furrowed stank face approximately 8,000 times a day. Changing that habit would take about 30 years of therapy or maybe a lobotomy, so it’s a good thing I’ve learned so much about skincare to compensate. The other day I popped on a pore strip and made the mistake of looking at it when I peeled it off. I feel like I have been in a Civil War battle and cannot unsee what I saw on that pore strip! It’s haunting me like it’s somebody I murdered in a Japanese horror movie. Take a shower and that pore strip crawls out of the back of my head; whenever you photograph me, I’ve got two pore strips glowering on my shoulders; the pore strip has been secretly keeping me alive in a burlap sack in her apartment. You get it.

The Grudge 3: Grudges

The Grudge 3: Grudges

That wouldn’t have happened a few years ago! My teenage skin was as dewy and pure as Beyonce’s bottom. But with age comes experience, and although I’m slightly worse for wear, I am much, much wiser. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about skincare from years of fooling around and making mistakes.

IF IT BURNS, TAKE IT OFF YOUR FACE.

I used to ONLY trust products if they made me feel like I had red ants crawling all over my face after application. “If it burns like hot fire, it must be working!” I would reason. Wrong!! Your face isn’t Dresden, so don’t treat it that way! If a product burns on your face, it’s not working for you, and it’s going to cause inflammation, which is going to cause redness and acne and ruin your skin. Same for anything that makes your face tingle or get cold, anything minty, or anything that dries you out like a corn husk. They might take care of immediate problems like oiliness but in the long run your skin is going to overcompensate for the dryness by just producing even more oil, and you’ll constantly look like you’re in a Lauryn Hill post-insanity flop sweat.

I still worship this woman as a God and wish I could pay her taxes for her.

No disrespect! I still worship this woman as a God and wish I could pay her taxes for her. Lauryn, if you are reading this, for the love of Christ, stop speeding up the tempo of your songs! That’s not what people paid to hear. NO ONE’S HURT ME MORE THAN YOU AND NO ONE EVER WILL.

JAR PACKAGING IS FOR ANIMALS

One time, my friend got excessively day time drunk on a hideous college holiday we referred to as “Wine Day,” an occasion that was eventually cancelled after its debauchery lead to a hospitalization. One Wine Day, a normally buttoned up friend got so messed up that she claimed to have met God and been alive during the time of the dinosaurs, and called a stranger over for the purposes of making direct eye contact and gently twisting his chin piercing. By the end of the evening we had dragged her into the dining hall and tried to ply her with fluids. She sat wordlessly at the table, dunking her hand over and over and over into a glass of ice tea. Finally, her boyfriend asked, “Are you going to drink that?” She shot him a look of disgust, like he was the stupidest person who ever lived. “No! My filthy fucking hands have been in there!”

That glass of iced tea is every product packaged in a jar at Sephora, and every tub package of skincare that you own. DON’T get any samples from jar packages at Sephora. Every twelve year old with a cystic pimple and every meth head looking for a morning after smoky eye has put their fingers in that jar. People have picked their noses and touched their children and eaten Wetzel’s Pretzels and put their fingers in that jar. Amanda Bynes might have taken a scoop out of that jar and put the skin cream right in her mouth like it was Queso Dip! Just. Say. No. As for your own products, you aren’t so perfect yourself and no matter how much hand sanitizer you own, you are going to get your germs into your shit. This is more acceptable, but try to use a Q-tip to take product out of containers whenever you can as to not spread your germs! Also, jar packaging makes products really unstable, so they go bad faster and lose their effectiveness. Anti-oxidants and Vitamin C do not stand a chance in hell against jar packaging because they allow too much air and oxygen in! Look for skincare and makeup in tubes and bottles to be safe and germ free.

SUPER GOOD IDEA

SUPER GOOD IDEA

WEAR SUNSCREEN

I used to think that I was immune to skin cancer because I was Armenian and could get an awesome tan just by whispering the word “Australia” three times in a locked room. Then Khloe Kardashian got skin cancer, which to me just affirmed to me that she had a different father, because Armenians don’t get skin cancer! Then, my aunt, who is so Armenian she is basically anthropomorphized yalangi, got skin cancer on her face and I was forced to accept that I was susceptible. Besides the whole cancer thing, sun exposure is the first thing that’s going to make you look old. Everybody needs sunscreen! I think people have the wrong idea about it, in that everyone thinks it’s really unpleasant and thick and gloppy and is going to break them out. Yes, if you schmere a bunch of goo from a bottle with a baby’s naked ass all over your face, the results might not be so refined, but a quality sunscreen is going to feel luxurious just like any other quality skin care. You don’t even have to pay a lot of money! I love the L’Oreal Sublime Sun Face Lotion, which comes in a slim bottle that you have to shake. The consistency is very thin and when you spread it on your face the finish is super velvety and adds a certain glow to your skin. A high quality sun screen will actually illuminate your face and make your skin look better and lit from within. J. Lo says this is her favorite sun screen! Her word is bond regarding tanning!

These are the lessons that years in the vanity trenches will teach you. Learn from my mistakes! Who knows what further maturity will teach me? Maybe I’ll figure out that being horrendously vain is actually really bad for your skin! THAT will be the right time for the lobotomy.

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