Tuesday, August 26
Ah, beauty. Or just the good health habit of taking care of yourself. Following healthy habits actually promotes beauty, or what I consider to be ‘beauty’. I don’t think beautiful means perfect features. I believe beautiful means healthy, clean, glowing. Healthy men and women radiate. Things like drinking water, not smoking, eating well, getting exercise and following a good skincare regimen – those things enhance beauty.
That said, I was on a maintenance mission. I applied a Neutrogena peel mask on my face. I usually use Earth Science products. Anyway, the peel smelled rancid. I checked the box for the culprit. Could it be the salicylic acid or mucor miehei extract? What the hell is that stuff?? There’s a list of ingredients I could hardly pronounce. A note on the side of the box read: this product contains mushroom protein. I decided that’s what was causing the smell.
Meantime, my scalp hurt. Weird, I know. I had my hair pulled in a tight ponytail this evening and a terry cloth headband pulled back my hair from my face, which added to the headache, while I waited for the peel to run its ten minute course. It promises clearer, even-toned skin.
And, yet, here I have been converting to all natural poducts, including Aveda, Origins and whatever else I’d pick up at Whole Foods. I wasn’t too sure about the natural component of Neutrogena’s peel. The ingredients didn’t look ‘all natural’. Did I cheat on my au natural regimen?
Back to the headache. I couldn’t wait to rinse my face, remove the headband and ponytail, and give myself a therapeutic scalp massage. I pulled out my Aveda Beauty Oil with essentail, aromatherpeutic oils like rosemary and lavender. After about eight minutes, the mask wasn’t smelling so rancid. Or, perhaps I had become accustomed to the stench already. I kept thinking – God! Haven’t the ten minutes been up, yet???
Finally, after following the directions, I rinsed the peel off of my face. I happily rinsed with warm water, happily thinking about my pending scalp massage.
While I rubbed the refreshing oil into my scalp, I thought about the fact that, for a fleeting moment today, I had considered buying a house. I even talked to my dad on the phone about it this afternoon. Such great deals and options online have made it pretty tempting – it truly is a buyer’s market. But, buying a house, like falling in love again or getting married, terrifies me to no end. Permanence terrifies me. Rent – well, that’s easy. You’re not totally locked in. You can always break a lease or go short term – like month-to-month. And being single, well, you have the choice to date or not to date. But crossing over and making that commitment to marry or own a home, well, that’s really scary stuff. Perhaps I’m a commitment phobe. I remind myself there’s divorce/annulments, and people sell their homes all the time (or foreclose!!). Nothing, I realized, is permanent after all. It all depends on what you make of it.
Still, I decided, while I was rubbing my fingers with ample pressure into my scalp, I’m not really ready to buy. It’s too overwhelming.
My skin glowed after I rinsed off the peel, cottonballed a clarifying toner across my forehead, nose, cheeks and throat, slathered on a moisturizing cream, and dotted Aveda eye cream using my ring finger – per the instructions of the Dosha skin care consultant. Apparently, the pad of the ring finger touches the delicate skin around the eye more gently than any other finger. I obeyed.
The peel appeared to have done its job, even just after one use. My skin glowed perfectly so that I might even pass as pregnant! Imagine that.
I am often told that I have beautiful skin. I am blessed. Or lucky. Or both. But, I do obsessively take care of my skin. I wash and moisturize twice a day. I wear a foundation with sunscreen. I drink a lot of water. I could stand to get more sleep. Otherwise, my skin has been a pleasant constant for me. Only, while my skin may appear more youthful and vibrant than other women my age, with hubands, children and more stress, in general, I have still noticed some changes. The color and tone is not as bright. I have faint age spots on the tip tops of the pinks of my cheeks. My pores are a little bit larger around my sinuses. I get occasional mini breakouts around my upper lip and alongside my nostrils about once a month, and, I have a few lines forming across my forehead, along my big smile, and crowning my eyes when I laugh or smile. Perhaps I should just quit smiling, altogether.
But, no, I have never had perfect skin. Just healthy. A little mix of good maternal genetics (my Italian grandmother never really wrinkled – she attributed it to olive oil!) and good health habits taught by my mother. So, I really have her to credit for everything.
With clean, refreshed skin, ready for new cell generation overnight, I was ready to go to sleep. I was tired. And getting cramps. Proof that my glowing skin wasn’t due to an immaculate conception.