Going for that Young Look

Recently while walking the Sheltie, I had a chat with an older man along our regular route.

He told me about his time serving in WWII, how he and his three brothers all were in service simultaneously. Then he asked me how old I thought he was.

Well, I stammered, you served in WWII, so you’d have to be at least eighty — right?

Give me a hug, he exclaimed, before telling me he’s ninety-five!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many folks who are ninety-five. And this man certainly didn’t look like I expected a ninety-five-year-old person to look.

Probably because he didn’t have a wrinkle on his face.

Not one!

It was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. No brown spots from the sun, no dryness, no whiskery stubble.

I wanted so much to ask him how come he looked so young. I mean, I’m pretty sure he hadn’t bought into the sunscreen craze, hadn’t “had work done,” hadn’t exfoliated and creamed and moisturized and all the things we’re told to do to protect our skin.

A few days later, my sister called and said her dermatologist mentioned that the reason elderly men’s faces look so much younger than elderly women’s is that they shave.


Yep, apparently shaving is a natural exfoliant, ridding the skin’s topmost layer of dead cells and revealing the “good stuff” underneath.

Who knew?

I’ve been going to dermatologists for decades, and not a one has told me that.

They probably don’t think women need to be shaving their faces.

But I’ve been in hair salons where female customers regularly come to have their mustaches bleached. And I’ve seen plenty of fair-haired women with tons of “peach fuzz” on their cheeks and jawlines. And lately I’ve been seeing TV ads for “discrete” hair removal products aimed at women as well as men.

So maybe there’s something to it. What do you think? If you’re a woman, would you consider shaving your face if you could waylay the appearance of wrinkles in your old age?

Sharing Secrets

When you work for yourself like I do, it’s sometimes tempting to skip the makeup and dressing routine.

After all, who sees you except your trusty computer? And it doesn’t judge.

But I’ve never given in to that temptation. Every morning, rain or shine, outside appointment or not, I “do” my face and put on something other than PJs.

Why? Is it vanity? Or habit? Or fear of scaring people who might show up at my door? Or some combination of all that?

I had an aunt (she divorced my uncle, so I guess she’s technically not still my aunt) who used to get up WAY before her husband and kids. Just so she could “put her face on” and they wouldn’t have to see her au naturel.

I used to think that was a bit radical. I mean, did she expect them to love her any less in her bare face than in her made-up face?

Or maybe she just couldn’t stand the thought of accidentally seeing her own nude face reflected in a mirror?

Anyway, that’s not my concern. I’m taking notes from my computer and refusing to judge.

Some women have gorgeous skin and need very little touching up to keep it that way. Lucky them!

Others have issues. Sun damage, acne or its scars, wrinkles or blotchiness.

I happen to have Rosacea.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? A rosy complexion.

But who wants to look like they’re blushing all day every day? Or like they’re an alcoholic? When they’re NOT!

As a child, I had a peaches-and-cream complexion with light blonde hair (typical Rosacea appearance, thanks in part to my Irish heritage). Shortly after I turned 30, I noticed a persistent pinkness on my cheeks that showed up when I blushed but didn’t go away after the blush should have been over.

People, even doctors, pointed out that I must have been in too much sun. But I haven’t consciously let the sun touch my face in many years; rather, I douse my skin in sunscreen and often wear a brimmed hat.

Finally, I found a dermatologist who diagnosed my Rosacea and put me on medication. No, it’s not curable, but how many obituaries have you read where the person died from Rosacea?

And I’m in good company — former President Bill Clinton, J.P. Morgan, and Mariah Carey all had/have Rosacea. So did W.C. Fields.

But I’m one of the lucky ones. I caught it early, before the symptoms could worsen and involve more than just my face. In fact, most people I know never would guess I have it!

So, there you have my rationale for makeup. To cover my red face.

Is it vanity? Perhaps, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Any secrets you’d care to share?