Fighting those seven signs of aging

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

The smiling woman is dressed in a crisp white outfit. Her perfectly cut and styled hair blows gracefully in the breeze as she smiles into the camera.

She is on a yacht enjoying a day of leisure, which appears to be something she does on a regular basis. As she flicks a lock of hair out of her eyes, a disembodied voice says "skin over 50 needing something more."

That is when this woman, who looks not a day over 30, announces that she is not going gracefully into old age. Oh no, she is determined to keep her skin radiant and we should all do the same. I want to push her overboard.

A bunch of words advising me to buy the product that will make me look like this perfect woman comes out of the same disembodied voice. I picture miss sailboat dripping wet and covered in stinky seaweed.

The commercial ends followed by one showing a flawless movie star with a sword in her hand. She is fighting wrinkles, again dressed in a crisp white outfit (apparently the color of choice when you battle aging) and sporting hair styled to perfection. I won't describe the picture I imagine here, but a sword is involved so you can use your own imagination.

She is selling yet another product that turns back the hands of time.

Listening to ad after ad, I was more and more confused. I should exfoliate, daily renew and night firm my skin with pro-retinal and alpha hydroxy acid in order to wear age defying makeup that gives me the total effect of fighting the seven signs of aging.

The goal is an overall "more youthful appearance." And to convince me this is possible, commercials use models so air-brushed their families don't recognize them. Most of them are probably on the front side of 30 and have never seen a wrinkle much less fought one.

I get tired just thinking about fighting to stay youthful. In fact, the older I get the less I want to exfoliate anything. My goal on a daily basis is to be fairly clean and odor free.

Standing in front of a mirror with spackle and sandpaper trying to make my skin look like it did 20 years ago isn't on my to do list.

As far as I'm concerned the hairstyles are the only good things happening in the world of beauty in 2003.

Spiky styles that look like you just got out of bed and ran your fingers through your hair are my kind of hairdos.

Forget sculpting creams or whatever it is they tell you to buy to get "the look." A good dollar can of extra hold White Rain hairspray gets you volume and spikes like you can't imagine, and it takes about two minutes.

I guess the point of my rambling is that age changes your beauty priorities - at least it changed mine.

Once I worried over every blemish and spent many minutes making sure eyeliner was straight, blush was in place and the hairstyle was perfect. Now a dab of this and a splash of that and I'm ready in five minutes.

I did, however, come to one conclusion about 50 plus skin. It does indeed, as the commercial with the yacht lady says, need something more.

To look its best skin over 50 needs a super-sized Mr. Henry's cookie, a large cup of sickeningly sweet coffee, one good book and an over-stuffed chair with matching ottoman. Now that my friends is how you fight the seven signs of aging and win.