Beauty Tip: No Cigs, No Sun, No Suds

I blush to say, but I often get compliments on my beautiful skin. My secret? It's not what I do, it's what I don't do. No cigarettes, no sun, no booze. I believe this is the basis for lovely, healthy skin. All the most expensive lotions, creams, and other skin care products can only do their magic after you give them this base to work from.

I consider myself lucky that I never developed a smoking habit. I tried smoking a few times when I was a young.. ahem.. person. But I never got past that initial gag reflex. Nevertheless, I sympathize with you smokers. Ozzy says that tobacco is the hardest thing he ever quit--harder even than heroin. (By the way, if you are on heroin, you should quit that too. Or speed. Or cocaine.) I believe Ozzy on this point because, let's face it, there are certain things that Ozzy is an authority on. But girls, you've got to quit those nasty ciggies. You know your endocrinologist told you that you needed to quit to go on hormones. But you didn't, did you? Naughty, naughty! You know it makes your breath smell stinky. But if the fellows really want to kiss you, they'll get over it, right? Besides, you use breath mints, don't you? People tell you it makes your clothes stinky, but you can't smell that. And of course you may get cancer, but that's years away. You plan to quit before that happens. So forget all those insignificant reasons. Quit now, because it's bad for your skin!

Next on the list of my skin's enemies is Mr. Sun. Here again I got lucky. I'm fair-skinned and I've never been able to tan. As Woody Allen said, "I don't tan, I stroke." So I never developed a habit of getting a glorious tan in the California summer sun. And it does look glorious. On beautiful twenty-two year olds with perfect skin and flat tummies. Twenty years later these babes (and studs) turn into not-so-beautiful forty-two year olds with leathery skin and pot bellies. And scars where the melanomas have been cut from their skin. Ladies, stay out of the sun. It's not worth it. Fortunately, now there are wonderful sun-less tanning products that allow you to achieve that glorious bronze finish while avoiding the long term skin-damaging effects.

Last on my skin's least-wanted list is delightful alcoholic refreshment. In this, I was not so lucky. Oh, in my younger days I drank my fill! Through one thing and another I became a teetotaler a year and a half ago. Among the several reasons why I was glad to quit, one was as plain as the nose on my face. That reason was the ugly red spider veins that were growing visible at the sides of my nose. I had been urging myself to quit drinking before I developed a full on W.C. Fields schnoz, but it took stronger motivation before I did quit. Fortunately the good lord provided, and I am now happily clean and sober. A few months ago I had the spider veins removed via V-beam laser (very painful!) so now the only rosy glow in my face comes from healthy living and blush powder.

If your alcoholic beverage of choice is suds, then you also risk that other ugly skin problem, which is having way too much skin around your belly. You know, a Dunlap, as the old joke goes? ("My belly 'done lap' over my belt!") Enough said on that point!

Another thing I don't do now which helps the appearance of my skin is that I don't trowel on a thick layer of beard cover. I swear I kept the Dermablend company in business throughout the 1990's! Over the last year and half I've had 17 treatments with a hair removal laser, and my face (and torso, and underarms) are now clear except for some gray hairs, which I am working on with the laser and the help of Meladine, a melanin enhancement product. (You can read more about my experience with laser hair removal here and here.) Now I can use foundation and powder the way it is meant to be used, just the lightest brush of foundation and just enough powder to take off the shine. Often I go out without any foundation at all. Even if you present as a woman only part-time, you may want to consider laser hair removal. Just a few treatments can make a big difference in the amount of beard cover you need; and even in guy-mode, so what if you don't have to shave every single day? (Unlike electrolysis, laser treats the entire face uniformly, so you don't ever walk around with half your face bearded and half clear.)

I do use a full course of skin care products every day. I'm a Chanel girl, so this is a significant dollar investment. My full regime, morning and night, is: make-up remover, foaming cleanser, toner, anti-wrinkle cream, radiance serum, moisturizer (with SPF 10), eye anti-wrinkle cream, and lip moisturizer. And that is just for my face. Then there is a good body moisturizing lotion as well. Whew! And that's all before a single bit of make-up hits my face. I confess that sometimes I skip a step--or five! Female hormones also have a welcome effect of softening my skin and reducing the coarseness of my body hair. But hormone therapy not recommended simply as a skin care treatment, of course.

No cigs, no sun, no suds. (No heroin, no speed, no coke.) What's left for fun? Well, getting compliments on my beautiful skin is pretty fun. And then there's always sex..Your skin is by far your largest sex organ, so you'd best take good care of it!

Lannie Rose

Home .. Words index