The next step in building attractive, since we seem to be moving from inside out, takes us to skin. On the Darwinian side, clear skin usually signals health. Indulgently, taking care of your skin means stroking your cheeks while inhaling perfumed lotions at will. What’s not to like?
You guys, I don’t know. I did my research, I read science, I posted this, back in 2010. The information is still skin care reality, or at least my best efforts in that direction. I understand that acne, and other medical syndromes of type, are outside my scope.
But skin must be the least generalizable domain of building attractive. Everyone’s different. So many variables – age, diet, pigmentation, culture, geography. You just have to experiment. So rather than speak to principles, I’ll review my specific story. Use it as you will.
Let’s move rapidly through Department Store Days, Drugstore Decades, and the Whole Food Years. We arrive, enlotioned, at Kiehl’s. In other words, as a young woman, I fell for Prescriptives. All that science, or the promise thereof. Cycled, over the years, through NARS, Laura Mercier, et. alia, buying this-and-that as collateral fallout from makeup buys. What? You don’t do that out of debt to store makeup artists? Good for you.
During lean times, I relied on drugstores purchases of Olay, or Neutrogena, or L’Oreal. In later years, increasingly on Whole Foods Whole Body organics.
But I have found that skincare formulated without possible toxins is also often manufactured without real quality assurance. Whoops. Commercial-grade batch processing matters. Fortunately, the venerable house of Kiehl’s is transitioning to no-paraben, no-silicone formulas, and I’ve adopted many of their products.
1. While I still wash my face with this, because it’s non-toxic and makes oily skin feel clean and calm,
2. I will now slide on this Vitamin C in the morning.
3a. Moisturize with this if I want sunscreen,
3b. This if not. It’s often foggy in San Francisco and I hate the feel of sunscreen. I avoid it if I can. Here’s how I feel about “rare flowers,” 33 years after my first fancy skin care purchase.
4. I use an eye cream from Dr. Hauschka. Smells a little like roses, doesn’t hurt my eyes, easy application. My how one’s expectations adjust, over the years.
5. Nights, I use this. It smells really good, and doesn’t feel oily, even though it’s oil. Did I say skincare was logical?
6. And this for dark spots. I think it works, a little bit. Hasn’t gotten rid of the dark spots on my cheekbones, does seem to make them lighter if I use it every day.
7. Not to forget this for exfoliation, couple times a week. What? Glycolic acid is glycolic acid. This is left over from the used-t0-suffer-from-acne child, who used to be a teen and used to live in my house. Things change.
Finally, I had a Clairisonic Mia, but it broke, and I haven’t replaced it. I may do so yet.
Does this regime work? Well enough. I have brown spots on my cheekbones. Around the edges of my face, I believe because of my hair, I get bumps. Not milia, just, um, bumps. On the other hand, I’m not too wrinkled for my age. I suspect that the only material improvement I could make about now would be physical intervention, i.e. lasers, or IPL. Maybe I’ll try it out.
Returning to the universal skin, if you will, attractive is only partially determined by your line count, sag percentage, or discoloration index. Skin care, like so much else in this evolving theory of Attractive, manifests intent. I think you just need to look like you mean well by yourself, whatever the outcome.
Consider the face seamed by sun. Who hasn’t admired an older, woman, deeply wrinkled by her happy life outdoors? Sun that shone while someone farmed or hiked or sailed builds attractive. As long as you protect yourself from skin cancer, of course, you’re manifesting benign intent.
On the other end of the spectrum, consider the horrifying Tanning Mom, Although I have a hard time even believing she’s real, the woman is addicted to tanning bed endorphins. An extreme example of malignancy towards self.
In the end, I vote yes on skin rituals. We’ve been unguenting, as a species, as long as we’ve been cooking. Slather on, in good health and with a smile.