More confession time–I hate my skin right now, especially my wrinkles. Which is odd because I do not hate other people’s wrinkles. As a 35-year-old female, I have many friends from as young as 20 up to 60 and I think they are all beautiful in their own way, wrinkles or lack thereof.
But I hate mine.
I think it is because my skin changed too quickly. I once had beautiful, wrinkle-free/acne-free flawless skin until I had my first child at 27. Having my first child aged me immediately by like 5 years. Then add a break up, a dramatic dating life, a new job search, a marriage, three more children, a home purchase, a husband battling with cancer, and my own aging body–distracted from taking care of my self, one day I looked in the mirror and took a step back. My skin just looks tired. But I’m not.
I look in the mirror and do not recognize the woman in my reflection. It’s funny. You’d think I’d get used to my reflection. But every time I look in the mirror, I’m disappointed. As if somehow I was expecting to see that 25-year-old porcelain skinned young woman I once was. I suppose it’s because in many ways I still feel like her.
I used to have friends take pictures and then ask us girls to look at the photo and approve. I don’t even bother anymore. I know I won’t like the way I look. Not anymore. Gone are the days when I would look at myself in the mirror and say, “Oh yeah. Thank you Jesus.”
I’ve always had somewhat of the joked about “Resting B!#$% Face” that formed a mild line between my brows after a long day in the sun. But now its two permanent lines that only disappear in the wee hours of the morning after I first wake up or after a long hot shower–rest and moisture are so good for the skin. Maybe I can just sleep in a mist bath the rest of my life? Sleeping beauty. A beautiful woman with no life.
I notice that when I wear bangs long enough to cover up the lines, people smile at me more. I think it’s because I look nicer. Those lines make me look mad. People ask–“are you ok?” all the time. I’m not mad. This is just my face.
Maybe it’s because I’m a thinker.
Maybe I just have over active brow muscles.
I know even as a child, I must have because I have a distinct memory of my grandmother Barbara in her thick Colombian accent press two fingers between my brows and tell me, “you are too young to be so serious my darling.”
I wish I were less serious.
To complicate the matter, somehow over the years, my face has become less and less symmetrical. Now, my right side of my face curves down from my eyebrows down to the corners of my mouth–all on my right side. I’m sure it comes down to not seeing my chiropractor as often as I should have all those years.
And then recently–I’ve started breaking out in acne. I’m 35 years old and breaking out. I actually found a pimple in my wrinkle next to my mouth yesterday.
So what do I do?
I drink lots of water and eat relatively well–so that is not really in need of improvement. But since summer has started, I’ve upped my coffee consumption which I am certain does not help.
I was talking to someone about this a while back and she told me she went through the same thing once and then one day took a bottle of wine into the bathroom and told herself she would not come out until she accepted the way she looked. My first thought when she told me this was–don’t you know too much wine will make you look even older?
So I’m not going to the that. I’m going to fight. I’m going to try to pull a superman and reverse time or at least slow it down and hopefully a long the way come to a point of acceptance. I know, there is no logic in that, but that is where I’m at. I’m buying things I’ve never bought before and thinking about procedures I would have judged before.
I’ve spread raw apple cider vinegar on my face before I go to bed for the acne and I’ve actually seen some of the pimples dry up yesterday morning and literally fall of my face with the touch of a finger nail–so that’s good.
I’ve purchased and begun using oil-based cleansers, night cream, day cream for a year now.
Recently added a wrinkle-filling primer and anti-wrinkle foundation to my morning ritual. So far, don’t really see much of a difference. Maybe when its freshly on. But by the end of the day–it’s the same ol’ tired looking me begrudgingly greeting me in the bathroom mirror–“Oh, its you,” she says.
I’m now exploring the possibilities of supplements that counter-act aging skin, chemical peels, facial scrubs and masks, retin-A creams, and yes–even botoxing the bold 11 embroidered between my brows. All are on the table right now.
Of course these all cost money. So trying to plan out how much I can devote from my budget on my vanity is important. I investigated the supplements a couple of days ago, and found a supplement that seemed promising, backed by a lot research on the herbs and amino acids inside. It cost me about 40 bucks for a one month supply. I told my husband if he wanted a pretty wife, he would let me try it. He quickly agreed. Once I get it in the mail, I’ll take some before and after pics to see if its worth buying more or advocating. So stay tuned.
I’m conflicted though. There’s a part of me that is upset with myself because I feel like I need to be accepting my wrinkles and age and not allow myself to be brainwashed to believe that only young skin is beautiful. And I suppose there is a part of myself that believes that but it can’t be very strong because I see many of my seasoned female friends as beautiful.
I just want to take care of my skin. I haven’t and I’m seeing the consequences, and I don’t like them and just trying to remedy the problem. I’m a warrior, remember? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to take care of my skin, right? It’s not like I’m lying on the floor crying or not going out and meeting people because my “woe is me” skin. If anything, I am more conscious to smile at people now.
I think the biggest struggle is that I want my outside to reflect my inside. It used to. I used to look how I felt. I don’t anymore. My body is growing old while my spirit is still young. Wiser in many ways, knowing when to talk and when to shut up and listen. But I don’t feel old or tired and so I don’t want to look old or tired.
I couldn’t imagine being my 85-year-old Grandma who told me she feels 40. Trapped in shell that doesn’t feel like home.
Until then– In addition to my “fluffing and buffing” as my dad used to call it, I’m washing myself in the Proverbs this summer, reminding myself that taking care of my skin is not bad, but to not forget to take care of my spirit too–which will live forever–while this shell is just temporary. So I know the steps I take now will not last forever and be okay with that.
Proverbs 31:30–Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.