I have always been extremely particular about skin care. So much so in fact that the day I crawl into bed without having cleansed the face and applied a night cream, the spouse knows instantly that I am really and truly ill and deserve sympathy and a wide berth. It all started when I was getting into my teens, with my foreign returned aunt initiating me into the world of creams and lotions and potions and the application of. I was hooked. And given that she was so attractive in her prime, she was a good advertisement herself for the wonders of a good skin care regimen. In comparison, her sisters back in India, without access to the miraculous serums and lotions and creams she applied seemed to be double her age and totally rundown. I was a convert.
I would apply my moisturiser religiously every night, after having cleansed my face, I would wash my face whenever I returned home, and I never stepped out of the house without coating my face liberally with Lacto Calamine. In fact, I swore by Lacto Calamine. I still do. I use it like I use a sunscreen. It has always served me well. The relatives coming down from abroad indulged me, bringing down Nivea, Creme 21, Oil of Olay and Dove soap, all unaffordable for a teenager being brought up by a mother on a single salary. I hoarded them like gold and snapped at the mater if she dared even reach for one. Yes, I was an absolutely repulsively behaved teen.
I grew and my skin care routine got rushed. I no longer had the time to cream and indulge my skin. Occasionally I would slap on a home concocted face pack, and wash and clean the mug before dropping off into a tired stupor every night. I would apply a moisturiser, whatever I could lay my hands on, whether body lotion or baby lotion. I was democratic in my selection of whatever was available. But I stuck to my Lacto Calamine religiously, slapping it onto the mug every morning before stepping out. But the face had changed. The skin had changed. It used to be oily, so oily you could fry eggs on my face on a hot day. But now it was drying out. It was getting wrinkled. Patchy. There was uneven pigmentation. The area around the eyes had cobwebbed lines staying put everytime I smiled. The skin under the neck was getting crepe papered. I was growing old. And it was not a happy realisation.
I wondered if it was time to change the skin care regimen and include some new products. But I was hesitant to rock the boat.Then one day I walked into a departmental store and a Pond’s representative called out to me and proceeded to list out all the multiple reasons why my skin was horrible and reduced me to a blubbering mass of tears on the shopfloor, convincing me that I could never step out in public without a face mask and making me conscious that wherever I went people were pointing out to me as the woman with the yucky skin and hyuck hyucking behind my back. Of course, her sales strategy didnt work and I bought nothing from Pond’s and never will. Despite their age miracle ad which has the husband taking off candles from the birthday cake which is an aspirational moment for any woman of a certain age.
Then, bumped into a friend who was newly glowing. After ascertaining it wasn’t pregnancy hormones that was responsible for the glow, I snitched her new found skin care regimen. Sunscreen and Olay Total Effects she confessed. I was sceptical. Then another friend who I thought had genetically great skin confessed she was using it, and I was tempted. Then I got into a discussion on skin care on twitter and ended up being sent Olay Total Effects to try out. For the first time in 20 years I think, I’ve stopped the Lacto Calamine. It is my second week into the new product and the new regimen. I’m giving myself a month to check if it is working its miracle on me. Right now, I’m pleased that it doesn’t leave my skin feeling like an oil factory when I apply it, which is what normally happened with regular moisturisers. Nor does it leave the skin feeling stretched and tight if I use it like a sunscreen which is what had started happening with Lacto Calamine. Whether it has made a difference or not, is too early for me to tell with my prejudiced gaze. Two weeks more and I will know. Till then I’m examining the skin with a magnifying mirror every morning. Will keep you posted if it works.
Have you changed your skin care regimen as you’ve grown older? Any tips to tackle pigmentation and wrinkles, do let me know. I’m sure as hell not planning to let them take over my face without putting up a stiff fight.