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Leper skin

10 May 2006 / 0 Comments / in going off on one

“As we grow older, fine lines and wrinkles begin to develop. The skin loses its firmness and elasticity. Expression lines form on the face, and patches of discoloration and areas of dilated blood vessels appear.”

Oh no! Disaster!

Here’re what skin product manufacturers call the ‘seven signs of ageing’:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Rough skin texture
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Skin dullness
  • Visible pores
  • Blotches and age spots
  • Skin dryness

To combat these appalling things (skin dullness, how dreadful! ) women are encouraged to buy creams and lotions to put on their faces to ‘stay young-looking’. It’s all part of the if-you’re-not-young-and-beautiful-you’re-worthless culture which I refuse to be part of. I mean, imagine what might people think if you went out with an uneven skin tone?! The skin care product business is worth millions and is entirely based on myths, untruths and the low self-esteem of women. Why do we all sign up to this nonsense that keeps us down and costs us so much?

This lizard doesn’t bother with skin care products. It just peels, man!

We all get older and must live with it whether we like it or not, so please – let’s cut the pseudo-scientific skin care marketing crap!

My daughter sometimes gets a zit or two, as I and millions of others did in our teenager years. Because of the advertising, she spend hours every morning and evening cleansing, toning, exfoliating and moisturising with skin care products. I am now entirely convinced that she gets more spots precisely because she slaps this unholy chemical soup of nutri-cleanse and gunk on her face. And it’s not as if she needs to ‘stay young-looking’ anyway – she’s only 16.

Once a woman’s skin has learned to expect these products it will stop producing its own natural oils and come to rely on a daily slavvering with goo. I don’t use skin care products on my face and yet I don’t have leper skin; isn’t that wonderful? Instead I have always used a little soap and water and a flannel and – very occasionally – a little baby lotion if my skin feels a bit dry.

I’m quite comfortable in my 43-year-old skin, thank you, and I have no wish to look younger or older – I want look like the person that I am and be honest about it. I still feel 25 anyway.

So what are the seven signs of ageing? Here’s my shot at it:

  • Aching knees and ankles as I walk downstairs first thing in the morning
  • Looking forward to a nice cup of tea and a quiet evening painting, watching telly and reading
  • Fondly looking back to my 40th birthday party
  • Having the courage to say what I think and not worry if other people agree with me or not
  • Making the best love I have ever had in my life
  • Feeling smug about having paid off the mortgage
  • Remembering hearing the Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ on the radio for the first time.

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