I am Irish, and you know what that means…spots and wrinkles, thanks to the lack of melanin in my skin.
Other ethnicities seem to have a leg up on me when it comes to ageing, but thankfully, I try to have a good sense of humor about it. I think we all worshiped the sun when we were growing up. Summers meant a suntan, and the darker the better. Some of us slathered on baby oil and others went to even more extreme measures by using those reflective panels on the sides of our faces.
During the summers, a pink glow was a sign of health. Being tan equated to being attractive. I’ve always been an athletic person, and going outside was my mantra. I like having a healthy glow from being in the sun. Thankfully, my skin is not damaged like some people who have spent extensive hours playing golf or boating, but still, the sun has taken its toll on me.
My skin was pretty healthy until my early 40s when things started to change. I started seeing small lines on the side of my face. “Crow’s Feet” was the term used to describe the small twigs reaching out from the corners of my eyes. I referred to them as laughing stripes. Then came the age spots. If I was a good artist, I might’ve tried playing connect the dots to draw a picture.
The media does a number on us, especially as we age. Advertisements contribute to making us feel old, ugly, obsolete, and unimportant. I was in the advertising business and I remember. But still, I am guilty of falling for those messages of inadequacy by employing a regimen of creams, lotions, and other small dermatological aids to slow down the ageing process.
I’ve had a few Mohs procedures along with the blue light therapy. I haven’t done Botox or anything more extreme than what is covered by Medicare. These procedures have helped a bit, but skin problems are still going to return. I look at myself in the mirror and I wish I still looked like I did in my 20s — creamy complexion, no age spots, and no wrinkles. But how much do I want to do to fend them off? Not too much.
So I’m trying to be comfortable in my own skin. I know that the wrinkles are evidence of a life lived with laughter. I don’t want to eliminate the proof of all of my good times. I’ve had too much fun.