The Mysteriously Missing Section in the Cosmetics Department

There is a section missing in the skin care aisle of all cosmetics departments. I’m serious. Check it out next time you are in one. It goes straight from the teenage pimple creams, gels, cleansers, exfoliators, toners and masks right to the anti-aging serums, lifting lotions, wrinkle creams, eye illuminators and lip plumpers.

During a recent trip to the drug store, on a quest to find something that would clear up my skin, yet NOT suck out every ounce of moisture—thus causing my face to look and feel like an old catcher’s mit before I’m 40—I discovered this suspiciously absent section.

WHERE I ask, is the section for the women in between puberty and menopause? Are you with me on this, people? Because many of you are here with me now, or you remember having been here, or you will one day GET here. You’re barely beginning to see some laugh lines and little “chick’s feet” (not yet full-blown crow’s feet) yet you still break out once a month like you did back in high school. Now I ask… What is up with that?! I thought we outgrew acne and blemishes? But no… apparently these 2 delightful skin conditions are going to OVERLAP. Wrinkles PLUS acne. Score.

So I ask you, skin-care manufacturers, where are the products for me and my pals deeply submerged in the throes of the Thrisis?

Do cosmetic manufacturers think women go suddenly from sweet sixteen to senior? Because it sure looks like they do by simply cruising down the aisle. Their marketing message initially goes a little something like this: “Hey, look at you! You’re a teenager! You’re skin is disgusting! You suck. Use our product and you will have beautifully-flawless skin just like the pre-pubescent 11-year-old girl in this airbrushed photo.”

Then you walk a few paces, and the message totally changes. It goes a little something like THIS: “What-up Grams! You’re a hag! You have wrinkles, crater-sized pores, dark circles under your eyes, age spots, sagging lids and thin lips. You suck. Use our product and you will have beautifully, wrinkle-free, airbrushed skin just like the surgically-altered-mature-woman in this doctored photo.”

So I beg of you Roc, Olay, Garnier, Biore, Mary Kay, Noxema, Neutrogena, Clearasil, Clean & Clear and Oxy… please get together and create something for us Skinbetweeners,” because right now, as it stands… you are the ones who suck.

Hmmm… That’s New…

I went shoe shopping at lunch the other day. I am in need of new black pumps, as my mother is calling for her very-cool pair of Nine Wests back. And even though possession IS 9/10ths of the law… this weekend she successfully guilted me into returning them.

I find a cute pair… not as cute as the Nine Wests… but definitely doable. However, while hiking up my pant legs to check out how awesome these shoes will make my calves look, I noticed something peculiar. Something that wasn’t there the LAST time I checked out my calves beneath cruel retail lighting. There was a small purple vein, about an inch long, snaking it’s way across my calf muscle. The vein was faint and probably not noticeable to anyone but me… but it was NEW! And while gently running my finger over it I actually uttered aloud: “Hmmm… That’s new.”

Now, I have OTHER purple veins on my legs. Not many, but a couple that are remnants from an unfortunate horseback riding incident that took place when I was 19. But I know exactly what both of them look like and where they’re located. In other words, I have taken full account of these blemishes… and made my peace with them. But this one… THIS one, does not have an “unfortunate horseback riding incident” on which to lay the blame. THIS one, showed up unannounced and unwelcome.

I suppose that eventually, I’ll make peace with it as well. After all, what other choice do I have? I am not exactly one of the “Real Housewives of Carroll County” who has her plastic surgeon on speed dial and then disappears for a few days away at “The Spa” and has magically done away with any and all imperfections.

Given the fact that I am indeed, NOT one of these women… this newest dermatological development really got me thinking about some of the other “new” things that I have noticed recently…

  • Last weekend, in a photo taken at a Pirates / Cubs game, I noticed that the skin around my eyes wasn’t nearly as taut as I remember it. It was softer and a little droopier and, well… let’s be honest… it was the beginning of Chick’s Feet (Crow’s Feet’s hideous, younger cousin). UGH.
  • Another photo that was short-listed as a potential profile pic was swiftly rejected when I became aware of the fact that someone had maliciously drawn lines across my neck.
  • LAST week… Feet tossed over the back of the couch, sporting a pair of boxer shorts… I was disturbed to find that when I moved my legs down from the back cushion… the skin did not initially want to go along. It protested by forming a bunch of teensy little wrinkles. Instead of snapping back like it used to… it reluctantly slid back into place… eventually.
  • By 5:00 I no longer appear “rested” like I do first thing in the morning. Rather, I look as though I’ve contracted a healthy case of swine flu.
  • The right side of my neck and shoulder now stiffen at the slightest hint of stress…
  • AND I suffer from some type of unspeakable digestive disturbance if I eat anything after 10 pm.

The French philosopher Voltaire once said: “If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.”

How comforting.

I’ll try to remember that the next time I look in the mirror, squint my eyes to look more closely and say to myself: “Hmmm… That’s New.”