@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
You know you’re not quite young anymore when you start having morning and evening face wash and hydrating rituals, with different cleansers and moisturizers for different times of day (or even, different times of year). I recall looking at my mom’s dresser growing up, who had all sorts of creams in different sized bottles, thinking, “is this really necessary? Or has my mother been duped by our societies obsession with ageless beauty?” The amount of money charged for some small bottles blew my mind as a someone with no money.
Years ago, in my early 20s, I got into the habit of moisturizing after every shower. The way your skin smells and feels after is delightful. Plus, I have always been guilty of spending a lot of time in the sun, a lustful relationship I will pay for in my senior years. If I get skin cancer someday, I cannot say I wasn’t warned. Still, I never counted on making it to old age and being in the sun makes me so happy, I knew hiding indoors would be no quality of life for me at all.
Lovers have always been complimentary of my soft skin and it became a pride point for me. However, when it came to my face, I didn’t bother with expensive serums. Simply, I would wipe vaseline on my face. To this day, I think this is an effective (and extremely cost effective) way to combat wrinkles.
Since forever I was blessed with good skin. With the exception of a random pimple every so often (which drive me crazy and still occur) or occasional skin sensitivity rash or stress induced eczema, I don’t have much to complain about. I also pray that I take after my Italian side when it comes to aging, Italians (for white people) age pretty darn well.
In one of my insomnia bouts, I ended up investing in this skin care product, Proven, that is highly rated and was on Shark Tank. The following day, I couldn’t believe I spent that much money on skin creams. The reality is I’m making more money than I’ve ever made for I feel successful, but it’s still not that much money, especially living in New York. I am, though, extremely insecure about my melasma, which basically is just parts of your skin (in my case, my face) form darker spots than the rest of your epidermis. It’s a non-threatening nor painful condition that is fairy common in women, but it causes a sort of “face dysmorphia” for me in the sense that when I look in the mirror all I see is those spots instead of the fact that overall, I have quite a pretty face that others find aesthetically pleasing and don’t notice the melasma at all.
The skin on the bottom on my feet is grotesquely thick. There have been times I took a scissor to my heel and cut off a sliver of callused skin and didn’t even feel it. Oh, runners feet. While I never really gave a shit about having my nails done and often regarded it as a giant waste of money, I do like a pedicure simply for the spa treatment. But up until about a year ago, I had gone over three years without going to a nail salon because I was poor, barely affording to feed myself full meals.
This is precisely why I feel no guilt indulging in self care. I spent many years ignoring any warning signs that I could use self care to improve my quality of life. Now, I’ll invest in face masks, acupuncture when my muscles get all tense and painful, different creams, a massage here and there. After all, your body plus time simply means your body gives up. Slowly, for most of us. But wouldn’t it be nice to slow down the aches and signs of aging? To put off, as long as possible, the suffering that inevitably comes as the clock’s tick-tok onto to our final parade?
In those teenager years for me, I looked forward to not only being older, but looking older. An old soul and growing intellect, I felt trapped in a scrawny body. At 33, I’m quite content looking young. But just as important, I like to feel young. My inner child and inner cranky old man (haha, yes, I can be quite the curmudgeon at times) currently live, no thrive, in harmony in the library in my mind, a place where my voices and characters convene and share each other’s stories. In order to take care of whats going on in my mind, I must also take care of my exterior. Your skin is the shield of your meat space ship, on this short journey we have as passengers on this rock. Make it shine.