The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Ten Skin Care Tips I Wish Had Followed

Had to take the youngest to the dermatologist the other day to have a weird warty thing on his earlobe removed. We actually had it burned off once before, but it grew right back like a mini devil horn.

Wanna see it? You know you do.

See? It’s even shaped liked a horn. Told you!

Bucket Head/Spider-Man called it his “Molpie Thing,” and it was as much a part of him as his curly hair and perma-wrinkly sucking thumb. We ignored it for a long time when it grew back, but it recently got to the point where his teachers and peers were commenting about it and making him feel bad. Fuckers.

Here’s what it looked like from another angle. Once I realized it had a face, I knew it was time to part ways. I have enough mouths to feed.

So off to the dermatologist we went.

Now let me tell you something, the dermatologist’s waiting room is not the place to be if you have a poor self-esteem.

Everywhere you look there are reminders of what’s wrong with the way you look and how you can improve it.

“When your neck looks younger, so do you.”

“Show your frown lines some love!”

“Winter Hand Rejuvenation Special: includes a laser hand treatment and a FREE retail size of Lumiquin.”

“Ask about Sculptra Aesthetic… the first facial injectable that gives you subtle results over time.”

“Inadequate or not enough lashes? Ask your doctor if LATISSE is right for you.”

Jesus H. Christ. I get it, I get it. My face, my neck, my hands, even my tiny little eyelashes are all not good enough. Great. Thanks for that, evil marketing geniuses. Just the little boost I needed today. As if I don’t have enough on my mind imagining how it will be to once again hold my screaming three-year-old down while a doctor snips and cauterizes an inch away from his little face.

Needless to say: not a pleasant experience, before, during, or after.

But it got me thinking…

I don’t have great skin. I’m 40 years old and I spent every summer of my youth sautéeing myself in baby oil and sea salt. I have pictures of myself as a tween/teen/young adult where my sunburns were so bad I looked like I had been pulled out of a lobster pot. Add a sprinkling of adult acne, some patches of melasma leftover from pregnancy, a handful of suspicious moles, my infamous hormone-induced facial hair… and we have the makings for a dermatologist’s wet dream. Seriously, when I walk into my dermatologist’s office it’s like Norm walking into Cheers.

I’d like to help you avoid the same fate, so for today’s Just the Tip Tuesday post, I’m going to share with you the best skin care tips I never followed but wish I had. Some of these are so basic, I’m sure you know them already. But there might be a few new ones you didn’t know, so don’t leave before we pull out the pimple shaped piñata, okay? Here we go:

1.) Wear sunscreen everyday. Put it on your face, neck, and upper chest. Bonus points if you remember to spread it on the backs of your hands.  Seriously, my step mother won’t even go out to the mail box without her sunscreen and she has awesome skin.

2.) Wash your face every night before bed. My mother in law is 81 years old and doesn’t have a single deep set wrinkle on her face. She had 12 children, so I suspect that she was so busy living in a shoe and all that her face never saw the light of day. But in addition to that, she swears by Cetaphil cleanser. Buys it in bulk at Costco. Trust me, she is gorgeous.

3.) Apply eye cream with your ring finger. The skin surrounding your eyes is the most delicate skin on your face. Your ring finger is the weakest finger on your hand. The two are a match made in heaven. Also, a cosmetologist once told me that there are no oil glands around your eyes. Don’t know if that is true or not, but the look on her face when I told her I wasn’t using eye cream? You would have thought I had just confessed to making out with Hitler. I now use eye cream. And I always apply it with my ring finger. You should too.

4.) Don’t frown so much. They’re called frown lines for a reason, duh.

5.) Drink more water. No brainer. We all know it. But if you are anything like me, it can be hard to squeeze the water in between the coffee all morning and the wine all afternoon. Best tip for that I never follow is to drink a small glass of water every hour on the hour. Set your watch or smart phone to beep every hour to remind you… it will become a Pavlovian response.

6.) Don’t wear panties to bed… they cause cellulite! Seriously. Not making this up. Side benefit: also a marriage enhancer.

7.) Get your beauty sleep. This is critical for cell regeneration. Just make sure you do it nekkid from the waist down. See above.

8.) Pick it with your elbows. This one comes from the home office… passed down from my father and his father before that. To clarify, they were talking about zits and not splinters or lotto scratch off tickets.

9.) Gently push back your cuticles after every bath or shower. I never do this and my hands look like feet. Man feet. My sister in law Teresa has the prettiest hands you’ve ever seen. She does this. Seriously, bitch could be a hand model.

10.) Lay off the liquor. Experts say that more than one drink a day can lead to increased oil production and enlarged pores. Fuck my life.

And now, as promised, a pimple shaped piñata. Just make sure you pick it with your elbows.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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20 comments on “Ten Skin Care Tips I Wish Had Followed

  1. Martha (MM)
    March 8, 2011

    You are my BFF for real. Every time I read one of your posts I want to hang out with you and laugh all day – ok, we’ll have drinks too and work on ruining our skin even further too. I love the way words like fucker just fly right out of your mouth and into your posts. I can’t bring myself to say fucker on any of my blogs – why? I don’t fucking know! It’s not like we don’t all say it. Guess I’m just a big fucking chicken, LOL!

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 8, 2011

      Fuckin’ A, I love you, Martha.

  2. Kristen K.
    March 8, 2011

    Martha and I will be over tomorrow morning for coffee. And by coffee I mean vodka.
    We’ll have a good old pimple popping brunch and talk shit about people with good skin and thick eyelashes.
    Thank you for the laugh… and I love the picture of Bucket Head/Spider-Man and his ear buddy.

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 8, 2011

      That sounds like my kind of brunch, sister! See you both at 11:00.

      Nature Boy (my 11 year old) gets all the credit for the Photoshopping. It’s one of his weekly chores and he lives for it. I’ll be sure to tell him you like his work! (He’s not allowed to read the blog or the comments.)

    • Melissa
      March 8, 2011

      ok, seriously…i wish you were dead, but in a good way. you know the kind of dead where you had written about 200 books while you were alive and i would have all of them in my personal library so that i could read them for about an hour at a time. i love your blog, just sad i only get it once a day and it’s no where near a chapter long. you’re hilarious. i love it…may you rest in peace

      • The Bearded Iris
        March 8, 2011

        Well that is definitely the nicest way anyone has ever told me that they wish I were dead. You just won yourself an autographed copy of my anthology when it comes out, someday, hopefully, and not from the bargain rack either.

        Did you hear that publishers? She wants a book. Actually, I believe she said 200 of them, but let’s just start with one and work our way up from there. Call me.

  3. Rashmi
    March 8, 2011

    You said the p-word. I can’t be your friend anymore. Its underpants people! Also, I am inviting myself over for some coffee/vodka with your cool friends Martha and Kirsten tomorrow as well. But on a more serious note, as a person who grew up in India, this concept of baking in the sun is so foreign to me!! We used to hide from the sun, under umbrellas and such. And the most popular beauty product in India is FAIR AND LOVELY (a fairness cream, i think it has bleach, no joke). Crazy.

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 8, 2011

      WHAT? Come now, Rashmi…”panties” isn’t a cool word? How about “drawers” or “bloomers” or “pantaloons”? Ooooh, knickers? I think “underpants” sounds so industrial! I want to be on a first name basis with anything *that* close to my lady junk.

      I bet you have gorgeously fair and lovely skin. Lucky bitch. See you tomorrow! Vodka brunch at the casa de Iris!

      • This Mid 30s Life
        March 9, 2011

        Actually I have to butt in and say that I too can’t bear the word “panties.” It’s a bit, I dunno, “undie-sniffer.”

        I also don’t like the word “moist.” Say it slowly and I visibly shudder.

      • The Bearded Iris
        March 9, 2011

        Ladies, I am SHOCKED. I have never before heard such opposition to the word “panties” !!! What word do you use instead? Dying to know. Oh, wait, it’s probably all Aussie sounding like that “Fosters… Australian for Beer” commercial.

        Now, “moist,” I get. That is just dank and moldy sounding isn’t it?!

    • Kristen K.
      March 10, 2011

      Rashmi… promise me that you’ll take pictures of our Brunch….

  4. This Mid 30s Life
    March 9, 2011

    Oh crap, remind me to never set foot in an American dermatologist’s office. Anyone tells me I need a youthful neck and, as a good friend beautifully put it, “I’ll bite his head off and shit down his neck.” Classy, yes.

    Back in Australia the posters are all like this:

    “Use sunscreen.”
    “Use more sunscreen.”
    “If you don’t use sunscreen you will most certainly die.”
    “Not dead yet? It’s probably because you use sunscreen.”

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 9, 2011

      Awesome. I’d definitely be dead by now if I lived in Australia. Which would suit Melissa just fine.

      • This Mid 30s Life
        March 9, 2011

        I couldn’t reply to your other comment, so am doing it here. Which looks a bit out of place. But not if I say it’s art.

        Did you know no Aussies drink Fosters? Not since the early 80s.

        Agree “secretion” is a bad, bad word. I’ll never be convinced of the word “panties” – I just can’t. Knickers / undies / pants… all OK. But “panties”… ick.

  5. I'm So Fancy
    March 9, 2011

    Thank you! I was starting to feel guilty about my potty potty potty mouth and thought maybe I should clean it up, but no! I don’t have to! Glad to have found you. Thanks to KateTakes5. x

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 9, 2011

      Let your Freak Flag fly, mama!

      Listen, I’m no expert, but I truly believe that people are hungry for authenticity. Just be yourself… potty potty potty mouth and all.

  6. Rashmi
    March 9, 2011

    panties, hubby, preggo, moist.
    i will now go and give myself a clorox bath.

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 9, 2011

      Totally agree with all of those except panties.

      One more to add to the list of icky words: “secretion.” That word just gives me the heebie jeebies!

      • Kristen K.
        March 10, 2011

        Clumpy. You must add clumpy to that list.

      • The Bearded Iris
        March 10, 2011

        Indeed! That’s gross. Speaking of which, I learned a new gross word today: prepuce… I believe it is the anatomically correct word for foreskin. You’re welcome.

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