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Fighting the good fight and changing lightbulbs

On my bookshelf, I have two books on aging. One is entitled The Art of Growing Older and the other How We Die. I have officially entered the war on aging which, from my observations, is terminal. And, inspired by my literature, I fully intend to stylishly look like death.

It has only recently come to my attention that I don't look quite so freshly hatched as I had imagined. Maybe it's denial, but until a few months ago I didn't think I looked a day over 18. Then, unexpectedly, I realized that either my mirror is on the blink, or I look almost a million trillion days over 35.

So, I've moved on from self-deception to self-preservation. My plan is to reduce, if not to halt, the progression of lines in my face that, in my faulty mirror, resemble fjords carved in the Swiss Alps over the last 65,000 years.

But in my quest for youth I find myself confused by all the products available and frustrated by time constraints in which to experiment with each. Do I want my face lotion to actively hydrate or intensely moisturize? Should I buy the product with alpha hydroxy acids or the one with antioxidants?

Would my evenings be better if I treated myself with an enriched night cream or with a night reform treatment? The latter sounds like it might contain a lobotomy enabling me to just forget my fine lines and wrinkles. Intriguing...

Designers of anti-aging products are cornering me and forcing me to decide if I want to reduce, firm, plump, exfoliate, minimize, reverse, cover-up, repair, replenish, or perfect. And every potion makes promises ... everything from turning back the clock to granting me three wishes. A plain Jane like me has difficulty deciphering the wording on the labeling, much less understanding exactly what the substances in those beautiful jars will achieve; especially when confronted with product names like Lancome Sensation Totale-C Perfecting Complex. Perhaps what I really need is a course in cosmetic chemistry 101.

I'm learning as I go, however. Some lessons are harder than others. I have discovered the importance of not using the sea salt scrub on one's hands in winter, unless you relish the sting of lotion applied to raw skin.

Likewise, that part of the foot paddle that resembles a cheese grater ... also feels like a cheese grater.

It is also imperative that one not use the peel-off mask around small children, unless, of course, it is Halloween and you want to scare the pants off them by removing your face before their horror-stricken eyes. My children are scheduled for a battery of therapy techniques as a result of that one miscalculation in the aging battle. Equally essential, don't leave the peel-off mask on too long; not only will your children require intervention, but you will need a skin graft.

I am hopeful that my anti-aging efforts are paying off. I felt ecstatic the day an older gentleman mistook me for a teenager. It turns out, however, that he was a ninety-five year old Alzheimer's patient out for an illicit stroll and mistook me for his teenage daughter who is now seventy.

But I will take what I can get.

Here's the good news. In my quest for the fountain of youth, I have found one surefire product that will take years off your face and body. It is inexpensive, simple to use and readily available. It works miracles ladies!

A 25-watt lightbulb.

Web posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004

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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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