Friday, October 9, 2009


I had to run out today to CVS to pick up a couple of things, and as I strolled the aisles and browsed to out-of-date music (Whitney Houston - sigh, what a waste of a voice...), I was brought back to memories of high school and college vacations. Given a lack of things to do other than congregate in someone's basement and watch movies (because God forbid we drive 20 whole miles to Boston to find something ACTUALLY INTERESTING to do), we often found ourselves roaming the fluorescently-lit shelves, helping each other pick out hair dye or nail polish, buying the latest People magazine, picking out the perfect "I'm bored" snack. Hm, can you tell that I didn't do a whole lot of dating in high school? Anyway, for some reason, CVS was our go-to place to find entertainment when we were bored. And on this beautiful Friday, with no real ambition to hurry back to my office, I lingered a bit longer than I had to. Because really, how long could it take to find the diaper rash cream section and grab the Triple paste (hint, it's near the diapers)?

To stretch out my errand a bit longer, I perused the skincare aisle. More for window shopping purposes than with the actual intention of buying anything. I've been thinking about switching up my skincare regimen for some time now. I've been using Proactive for about 2 years or so, but I'm not crazy about receiving a shipment of products every 3 months in the mail - I usually don't end up using it all. Probably because I never use the astringent, and I'm not very good about using the other two products regularly. Plus, my skin is still on the oily side and definitely not flawless in the acne department (see above re: failure to keep up the routine). Anywho, the whole system is based on using products with benzoyl peroxide, and it has occurred to me that I could skip the $45 cost of the Proactive kit, and find some similar, cheaper products at the drug store.

In addition, my vanity is rearing has been rearing its ugly head. Contrary to my intentions, the whole "fitness and dieting" plan is not going well. Mostly because I have not been doing it. Oops. So I've been feeling a bit slumpy/saggy lately. Leading to more intense "Do I look old? Ugly?" pondering sessions in front of the mirror (hey, I'm not proud of this, I acknowledge it's ridiculous). And while I may have a less-than traditional nose, a slightly (M., don't you dare suggest it's anything more than slightly) double chin, and less than perfect skin, I have always been able to rely on my eyes and my smile, two things I could count on to come through for me in the looks department. But alas, they are, in a combined effort, betraying me now. For what may have started out as an ever-so-slight, adorable little crease by my eyes when I smile, has become a full-fledged set of crows eyes. FULL-FLEDGED, people. Ants could build nests in the crevasses, burros could take groups of fanny-packing families on tours into the gorges of my eye skin.

I'm only 32, people, I've got many decades yet to see just how deep these suckers can grow. OR, I can try to stem the rising tides, so to speak. Which may involve never smiling again - which, curses! It's my go-to expression whenever I don't know what to say. Or, I could use some eye cream. Yes, much better solution.

So, there I was, perusing the skincare aisle at CVS. Little did I know that you now need a Ph.D. in Chemistry to shop there. Apparently one in Biology is not good enough. I can handle the collagen, the basic vitamins, soy, retinol, heck, I've even heard of Hyaluronic Acid (by the way, I love that Wikipedia refers to it as a "goo" molecule - makes me think of those sitcom-style heavy green masks). But what the hell is celluzyme? And I KNOW what an oligopeptide is, but I don't know what the hell you've put in your scrub when you tell me it's an ingredient. I mean, if you restrict yourself to the standared 22 amino acids, there's probably only eleventy-billion possible oligopeptides out there, so I guess I'm the idiot, right? What kind of marketing technique is this, anyway? Who decided that listing a bunch of science-y sounding words on lotion bottles was the way to go? I can just imagine the product development and marketing meetings: Ooh, we've got them this time, a 12-syllable word AND it ends in -inositol. Score!

Clearly, I have no idea what I am doing anymore when it comes to skincare. So I put it out to you, my dear readers. What do you use that you like? Looking for tips on cleanser, acne control, every-day lotion, eye-wrinkle-prevention cream, whatever you've got. The less they break the bank, the better. Help this poor, aging hag before she actually looks like one!


  1. I have oily skin in my 30s. What a pleasure that is! [insert roll eyes emoticon here]

    I use a benzoil peroxide-containing facewash (Oxy brand, usually) in the morning, with a facecloth. Then, instead of aftershave, I put on something with salicylic acid. Um, you don't need aftershave, but find something like Clean and Clear with 2% salicylic acid. It is clear, goes on clear, doesn't dry a funny color, and shouldn't make your skin too dry. I put the same stuff on at night. It sounds like a regimen, but it works pretty well. Buy the salicylic acid stuff on the cheap - Clean and Clear seems to be an inexpensive version, and look for it online or at Target or Wal-Mart.

  2. It was very exciting when the new fancy CVS opened and was 24 hours- woo hoo! (Not that we were ever ther past 11...)Have you seen our hometown store since it doubled in size? it's crazy

    I hear ya- "crows feet" "smile lines"- I did a similar trip down the aisle. I didn't want to spend a million dollars- and have decided to try Garnier Ultra lift anti-wrinkling firming eye cream. I don't know if I've seen a huge result so far, but I'll keep you updated:)

    (The word verification seems W. Parrish Drive appropriate- winestio)

  3. Ugh! I hear you on all fronts. I did the Proactiv thing for a while, but never really used all three steps (BTW, if you have any unopened bottles you can EASILY sell them on craigslist).

    Here's what I do now and I (knock on wood) am actually liking my skin. I use a face wash in the morning (Avalon Organic Vitamin C refreshing cleansing gel), moisturize with SPF lotion, and then *gasp* I don't wash my face at night. Not the best according to all the experts, but I found the less I touched my face and washed my face the better for my skin. But I have relatively dry skin, so may not work for you.

    Good luck and let us know what you end up finding!!!