Discover more from “Since You Asked”
it takes more than spf
let's be honest
Spilling the Beans
& facing one’s face
I got a call from a family friend the other day. We’d caught up at dinner a couple nights prior and she followed up on private channels to find out what I’ve been eating / drinking / doing. Apparently, in her words, I have “baby skin” and look 30 rather than 50.
First of all, her math skills may need some help. But big points for discretion, because talking about skincare at the table in mixed company is not the most exciting, interesting or appropriate topic. I’m a girl’s girl to my core, but I appreciate it when conversation is elevated above gossip and Botox.
But here’s the thing. I find it wildly disingenuous when public figures imply their youthful appearance is wholly the result of, say, collagen creamer. Especially when they’re slinging their own skincare brands and nutraceutical products. Because let’s be real, there are probably other interventions at play.
I do not participate in plastic-shaming, which feels like just another way to belittle women. The beauty tax is real, the cultural pressure to “maintain” is staggering, and your face is yours to do with what you wish. It’s none of my business, as long as your face isn’t precisely what you’re selling me. That’s where it becomes disingenuous.
Appearance is seeded from the inside out and outside in. Yes, I hydrate, eat clean, exercise, take my vitamins (Liposomal Glutathione, Moonjuice SuperYou, etc.) and even use collagen powder on the daily in my morning matcha. But in my experience not even SPF 1,000 is going to make the kind of difference that will have people calling you the next day for your stash of skincare secrets.
I’m not selling you my face (not sure who would buy it anyway), but I’m sharing some of what’s in my toolkit, the same information that I provided to my close family friend.
I started using Botox after I finished my cancer treatments in my late 30’s. I looked justifiably worried and I didn’t want to wear the experience on my face any more. It was wonderful. A bit of Botox wiped the prior 5 years from my face. It made me happy to see this version of myself in the mirror.
When discussing my revelatory experience with a yogi pal she said “But isn’t that terribly toxic?” To which I responded, chemotherapy is really toxic, but it didn’t cheer me up.
Since I’m a surfer I won’t be staying out of the sun any time soon. Most laser resurfacing is a no-go because it will just make me more photosensitive. What’s the point? However, I tried out a series of Morpheus8 treatments (essentially radio-frequency plus micro-needling) to help me boost collagen production and decrease dreaded laxity.
Did they help? Yes. Were they painful? Very. And I’m no wimp. At one point I asked the plastic surgeon if that smell was my flesh burning. You know the answer. By my third Morpheus treatment I’d requested enough painkillers to get through it without quietly crying.
Additionally, the bruising was awful. Since I have pretty much zero skill in the makeup department, this meant I looked pretty scary until my bruising chose to subside. Arnica? Didn’t help. Icing? Not a dent. However, through trial and error I learned that a hyperbaric oxygen session reduced my bruising by about 70% in an hour. An expensive magic eraser.
My advice? If you go the Morpheus route, request 2x the amount of painkiller and pre-book yourself a hyperbaric session for the day after.
Body or face. That’s the adage about women as we age. I am Sporty-Spice kinda gal and as a result I’ve lost volume in my face over time. A friend in beauty PR brought me to see cosmetic derm Dr. Peredo to try out a combo of Daxxify (“better than Botox”) and RHA (next-level subtle filler), both from Revance. And voila: I have more face on my face.
To be clear, this is not a quid pro quo situation. I am under no obligation whatsoever to promote these products. I am not receiving any remuneration, and frankly I should probably be more discreet. But the results have been so satisfying I’m sharing my story with you.
Dr. Peredo’s wizardry has made me feel more confident and comfortable, and that’s what it’s all about. I don’t think about my appearance more - on the contrary, I focus on it less. I go about my life, doing the work I care about, spending time with people I love, engaging in activities that interest me. My face isn’t who I am, but the irony is I am actually less distracted by my appearance because it’s not something I mentally snag on as much.
All of which is great, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention skincare. Because interventions can offer a huge value-add, but if you’re fundamentally not caring for your dermis, it won’t matter. Enter Rationale. Again, this discovery was via a friend who introduced me to the Aussie skincare line.
I’ve dealt with frustrating, painful and unsightly rosacea breakouts for a few years now. Nothing helped much until I tried this multi-step, personalized approach. I haven’t had a single smidge of rosacea since I started using Rationale months ago. Not even when I got some sun and had a glass of red wine, either of which would have normally turned me into an inflamed mess.
Additionally, when I began using this new protocol I was traveling non-stop for work, bouncing between continents and time-zones. I should’ve looked haggard. Instead I was receiving compliments on my “fresh” appearance when the only thing fresh about me was my jetlag.
Full disclosure, I do have a minimally sponsored relationship with Rationale. They provide products to guests at some of my journaling retreats. But I am under no obligation whatsoever to mention them here. This isn’t “scope,” it’s just me letting you in on a good thing. I asked them for a discount I could extend to my community, which they graciously provided. If you’re keen to try it, use this link and get 20% off automatically when you check out.
So there you have it. My not-so-magic beans spilled. These are some of the choices I’ve made for myself. I’m not suggesting you do the same, each to their own. I just don’t want to pretend that I’m merely relying on filtered water and my Mom’s good genes.
If you found this at all helpful (or amusing), please give it a like or drop a comment below. And if you know someone that might enjoy my perspective, kindly forward it along. Your participation is everything.