In the matter of wrinkles, fair-skinned people like me have the advantage; wrinkles don't show as much as on those with darker skin tones. That is, until we smile. Then they pop out all around our eyes, our mouths and cheeks.
That's okay with me for a couple of reasons: mostly I don't care, which is good because I have no patience with skin care beyond clean; and I am curious, as the years roll by, to watch how my appearance changes.
For example, until a year ago I had no permanent smile lines – those parentheses that frame most old people's mouths. Then, washing my face one evening, I saw a faint, curved line left of my mouth and in the months since then, I've watched it deepen into permanency even when my expression is in neutral. The right side is gradually catching up now and soon they will match.
Far from bothering me, I think it's interesting. Most of the time we don't notice changes in our bodies until after they have happened. When did my waist get this thick? How come I didn't see those little jowls coming?
If you've been hanging around TGB for awhile, you'll have read an occasional rant about anti-aging products and services. It's a several billion dollar industry that is almost entirely bogus, barely regulated, full with lies and sometimes harmful.
About six weeks ago, planning an experiment for a story here, I bought a small bottle of one of the most popular and well-known anti-aging skin creams. I wanted to see for myself if it softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as the hype maintains, and if my skin would appear “significantly firmer after just five days.”
Five days later, my face was no firmer, but it and my neck were as splotchy and red as I might look if I'd been a heavy drinker for many years. I gave up the experiment, tossed the bottle of cream and three days later my face was clear again.
Two of the customer reviews on the company's website mentioned red, blotchy skin as a result of using the cream but, astonishingy, went on to rave about the product's firming results. It's amazing what people will endure in the name of false youth.
A Google search for “anti-aging” returns more than 17 million results. Among the claims on just the first page of the search (all emphasis is mine):
• anti aging tips, treatments and techniques to help you look younger and feel fantastic - whatever your age.
• Russian scientist discovers anti-aging wonder drug
• antiaging programs, natural bioidentical hormonal replacement therapy (BHRT) and human growth hormone (hGH) programs. (Ronni here: using human growth hormone for anti-aging treatment is illegal)
• anti-aging and skincare treatments that can help rejuvenate and restore your youthful appearance
• Restore Your Skin's Natural Beauty Today With Regenerist Skincare
• Resveratrol Review. Read about probably the best anti-aging product nowadays
All lies or, at best, gross exaggerations. Just as bad is that word used to describe all these products – anti-aging – is hateful. It makes aging and by extension, elders themselves, the adversary, an enemy to be defeated. You can figure out for yourselves the many ways constant repetition of this word harms old people.
People who buy anti-aging products are not only wasting their money, they are supporting discrimination. Old people are not the enemy.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Nancy Lazinsky: Autographs