Monday, January 31, 2011

The fountain of youth is toxic

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 5:00 PM

So, I kinda freaked about turning 30 when it occurred to me that not only was I 30 years old … my skin was, too. And it was showing its age far more so than my attitude.

I bought into the whole commercialized “beauty is youth” cultural confusion and started fearing age like it was a terrorist ready to attack. And I got brainwashed into thinking I needed to combat it.

When a commercial came on TV and asked, “Are you tired? … of having big bag under your eyes?” I said yes. And then it told me to “Stop the signs of aging!” And I said OK, how much?

So I went to Sephora in SouthPark Mall to gift myself some magical youth creams. I convinced the woman at Sephora to give me like five sample tubes of the various eye creams laid out like tools in a chemistry lab, settling on a $75 five-ounce bottle of eye cream that I got because it made my eyes tingle. “That means it’s working,” assured the sales clerk.

I also got some Loreal AM and PM wrinkle filler and some fancy collagen eye gel while in Jamaica.

I tossed over $200 into the fountain of youth — 2,000 pennies worth of wishes to retain my youthful glow and elastic skin. That was like investing in insecurities. And just like that, my paranoia of aging has turned into vanities.


I put the creams and gel under my eyes and in the corners where the crows feet were starting to nest. I even rubbed it on my forehead. I massaged it in hard as though that would make it work better. I layered the multiple creams on, hoping to turn five years younger instantaneously and that the bags under my eyes would shrink and no longer be so big I could put groceries in them.

But instead of my desired effect, my eyes got redder and started puffing up more. Within a few hours my eyes were all but swollen shut and watering profusely. I looked like I got punched in the face.

Oh the irony in vanity. And that's karma … for trying to erase my smile lines.

I went to an aesthetician and medical spa in Huntersville to have the doctor look at my eyes — my concern being more so to make my eyes look normal again versus the health issue surrounding this bad reaction.

He gave me a look over and told me I was having an allergic reaction. He got on me for combining products and told me the collagen from Jamaica was probably not only tested on animals, it was probably just animal fat.

He pointed out every scar and flaw on my face. "We can fill that … we can correct that ... we can get rid of that."

And then he dropped the bomb: “Your smile lines are awful, but your frown lines aren’t bad at all. You could really use about 20 units of botox here, here, and here" (pointing to points on my forehead and eyes). Now I may be being vain, but I’m not insane.

You can’t turn back the hands of time, and you can't predict or pause the future — all you can do is live in the moment. I know I won’t always look like this, but as long as I’m confident in who I am, why does it matter? Why should I erase my laugh lines and hide my scars? They are reminders of being happy and how far I’ve come. Besides, like wine, we get better with age.

Going through life in a state of grace is to age gracefully. The irony is, stressing over aging will in fact, age you.

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