There have also been some surprises, along the lines of "Yes, it will happen to you too": hints of smile lines, random strands of gray (startlingly white), a certain tendency toward what my British friends call "bingo wings", and a definite need for more sleep despite young children conspiring against that very end. Also: adult acne.
A sad reality has finally set in: pimples still happen and as fate would have it, your face can break out at the same time as you're starting to develop fine lines. Pick, and nice little dots of discoloration settle in for weeks, earning them the more enduring name hyper-pigmentation.
An anecdote: My former dermatologist asked, "How's the acne issue?" I said (in denial): "I wouldn't call it an acne issue, would you? It's just pimples now and then. The problem is more the hyper-pigmentation thing." She said, "Oh? Then what is it exactly that you're picking at?" Touche.
Over these last several years (I'll be 35 in November), I've tried a number of products at various price points - from department store finds to drugstore hauls, dermatologist-prescribed (Ziana - made my skin very thin) and back again. I've learned that having nice skin as an adult takes no less work than when I was an adolescent. Here are the lessons:
Watch what you eat. I've found that when I eat too many desserts (as around the holidays), it goes right to my face. On certain days throughout the year, I eat only fresh produce. The results for my complexion have always been an immediate improvement, and I'd probably eat that way forever if I didn't love everything else so very much.
Water is an elixir for dry, blotchy, broken out skin. Could it be that we need only to drink more of it?
Sleep also does wonders. If sleeping in an extra hour isn't feasible, make every effort to get to bed earlier. I'm better in the morning, and so I try to do everything - from laundry to chores - then. At night, I'm free to relax and retire at a fairly leisurely pace.
|everything here, less the AHA cream|
Recently, I started a regimen that I found on the romantically-named site acne.org. So far, so good. The cleanser is super mild, like Cetaphil, only it foams to a nice lather which I really like. The treatment lotion is effective, yet non-irritating if you build up slowly, as recommended. And the greatest coup is the moisturizer - unscented and completely non-greasy - which I use with the jojoba oil (super amazing, organic, light, and just sinks right into the skin). After about a week and a half on the regimen, I've noticed a definite improvement in the areas where I tend to break out the most (on my forehead, nose, and chin - the much-maligned T-zone). There's no discomfort, makeup glides on over the formerly dry patches, and the prices are all quite right. I'll let you know later on if I decide to continue with this (and I suppose I should add that this bit is not sponsored in any way - it's my very own opinion, as always).
Monica and I recently talked about what it's like to be a late-bloomer (kind of blah up until our thirties). It's fun to suddenly feel like you want to make an effort, but confounding at the same time (I am still learning eye makeup!). Do you know what we mean?