In spite of or because of my age, I get compliments on my complexion from time to time. Unlike Olivia de Haviland, who refused to reveal a secret ingredient in her night cream, I have not secret. Perhaps, my luck stems from a Latin heritage. Perhaps, I’ve benefited from a vegetarian diet. Or, more likely, having worn sunscreen for the last 50 years, my skin has been protected from ultraviolet rays.
The notion that a woman needs day and night creams is a marketing tool. Frankly, I swear by petroleum jelly. It locks in moisture and keeps my skin supple. I admit it’s sticky, so I pat it in thoroughly on the neck, face and under the eyes.
The majority of creams on the market are manufactured by 7 companies, no matter what the label reads. A bathroom shelf crowded with creams belongs to a woman suffering from the delusion youth comes in a bottle. Adding to that delusion is its corollary. The more a cream costs, the greater its miracles. Some of the price tags approximate the national debt.
Strolling along the mall the other day, I came across a new cosmetic kiosk. Hailed by the young man standing beside it, I approached and listened to his patter. He slathered a dollop of his day cream on my wrist and enumerated the many improvements I would see if I applied the product regularly. After that, he revealed the price.
I laughed, of course, and started to walk away, but the young man called me back. For me, there was a special price. He wouldn’t make this offer to anyone, but for me he’d make a deal.
I paid his second price, which was more than a jar of petroleum jelly, I admit. But I was in mood for a little magic. After several applications, I decided I liked the product. It produced no miracles, but it wasn’t greasy. I would have bought it again at the special price. But, when I looked for the kiosk a second time, it and the young man had disappeared. In his place was an individual who offered to shine my suede shoes.
Women today haven’t a lot of time to spend on demanding skin care regimes. I suppose that’s why several cosmetic companies are promoting products which combine day and night magic in a single jar. (“All About That Face,” by Aja Mangum, Bloomberg Businessweek, January 14, 2019, pg. 59.) Costs range from $34.99 to $185. I’m guessing the ingredients are similar and the same 7 companies manufacture the creams.
After my adventure at the kiosk, I’m back to my petroleum jelly. A jar costs $1.50 and lasts about a year.