I’ve always had terrible skin. Bad acne until I gave birth at twenty-five, scarring, big bags under my eyes, awful. Of course, I did have a great personality, but you know how that is. So I basically ignored my face since I had enough hell to deal with in the first forty years of my life. But when I was forty-one, I decided to make another change in my life (I’m good with change), and I started to write fiction and I quit my teaching job (loved the kids, didn’t like the hours or the authority stuff) and my life got much, much better. By the time I was fifty, I was pretty happy, but the toll those first forty awful years had taken was etched all over my face. So I went to a plastic surgeon.
Fortunately, I got a great plastic surgeon. At the first consultation, she said, “Why do you want to do this?” and I said, “I’m really happy now, but there’s forty years of misery on my face. I don’t care if I look younger, everybody knows how old I am, but I don’t want to look so unhappy when I’m in such a good place. So I want a face lift.” She said, “No, your jaw line is fine. We can take the fat from under your eyes, do an eye-lid lift and a brow lift and that’ll give you want you want.” I still felt guilty about doing it: as they were wheeling me into the operating room, the nurse asked me what I was there for, and I said, “Vanity.” My plastic surgeon, coming in behind me, said, “No. Maintenance.” I thought, Yeah, maintenance.
I have never for one moment regretted that surgery. She took all the misery off my face and left me looking pretty much the way I had been before; nobody looked at me and said, “My god, you’ve had work done.” (Part of that it is because she’s in Columbus, Ohio, and as she warned me, “Your face won’t be as tight as it would if an east or west coast surgeon did this.” ) I didn’t do it for other people, I did it for me, so when I looked in the mirror, I looked as happy as I felt. That was over ten years ago and I’m still happy with it, but starting this blog with Krissie is making me look at my skin again, not in the Oh-my-god-your-skin-is-awful punishment kind of way, but in the old I’m-happy-so-I-should-look-happy kind of way.
My skin’s always been super-oily, but now, like my hair, it’s drying out. I’ve never used moisturizer–I buy it and never use it–but last week when we started this, I thought, Hell, give it a try. So I dug out a moisturizer pack I’d bought at Sam’s Club on a whim–Roc–and started using the face and eye cream. I’ve used it twice in four days–I have problems concentrating on things like that–and the weird thing is, it feels good. I’ve always objected to stuff on my skin. There was always so much oil on there that adding anything else just made me feel drippy. But now that I’m drying up in old age, the stuff really does feel good. However I have this sneaking suspicion that anything–Vaseline, olive oil, Crisco–would feel just as good. I don’t know. I’m a complete blank when it comes to skin care.
So I’m throwing this open to the Re-Fabbers. What’s worked for you on your skin? What do you recommend? What do you hate? Because I think it’s time to do some of that maintenance again. (Oh and don’t feel compelled to talk only about dry aging skin; this is the place to swap ideas and recommendations for everybody.)