How I have changed over 50 years.
In 1970, when I was 23 years old, I wore heavy eye makeup such as double false eyelashes, dyed my hair a different color almost as often as I washed it. My favorite hair color job was three shades of red: Auburn on the front, top and sides of my hair; a burnt orange color on the crown of my head and dark red hair on the nape of my neck .
Some 45 plus years later, in todays world, when I see men, women and children who have put pink, orange, green, purple, burgundy shades of some such dye on their hair I think they look weird. You are right, I should not be so ready to judge. Dyeing and bleaching my hair would have been viewed as "weird" looking!
Between1983 and 1985 I was in my mid 30's, I lost a whopping 75 pounds of weight and was back into wearing size 8 clothes. My hair was now strawberry blonde in color and I used minimal facial makeup but lots of mascara. Gone were the false eyelashes because my eye lids became sensitive to the glue and the red rash was unbecoming. I was into direct sales as a Mary Kay Consultant. I used the Mary Kay product line exclusively for a number of years. I looked pretty dang good if I say so myself until I became allergic to chemicals and scents and had to stop using all facial products.
Wrinkles were just beginning to show in the corners of my eyes and I had a few laugh lines. When I had a few facial moles removed from my lip area in 1989, the plastic surgeon said I would never know he had performed minor surgery because he used the existing laugh lines on my face to hide his work. Well I can honestly tell you now where he removed the moles are indeed "deep set" lines on my face. He was true to his word.
By the time I was 45 years old, my thyroid turned ugly and became hypothyroid or low thyroid. I gained back all the previous weight loss of my 30's, my eyebrows were half gone and my hair was falling out by the hand full after each shower. One of the main symptoms of low thyroid is very dry skin. It would take another 20 years before a doctor would or could confirm that I indeed had low thyroid. Now I have to take low thyroid medicine for the remainder of my life.
One time I took my great granddaughter to see a skin specialist when she was 9 years old. I was worried that something was wrong with her because the skin on her arms and face were cracked and sore looking. The dermatologist examined her and prescribed an ointment that would help with excessive dry skin. He suggested that I use it also.
"Why, should I use it?" I asked. He looked at me like I had just asked the most stupidest question ever. "The cuticles around each of your nails are cracked and peeling. You have dry skin and it is manifesting itself on your hands." he said. Now that hurt!
Move ahead in time 20 plus years.
I went to a military treatment facility for my annual physical exam. The Physician Assistant (PA) commented repeatedly just how dry my skin was. In fact, she looked at me with disdain on her face. I might have been more accepting of her criticism if I had not been so embarrassed by her extreme rudeness. I did not buy any of the body lotions she suggested. That was my way of establishing some control over the embarrassment she inflicted by her comments.
When I entered into my 50's I struggled with hormonal changes and menopause. I could not figure out how my skin could be dry when I perspired so much. You would think with all that moisture coming out of my pores my facial skin would feel silky smooth and soft. Truth be told, menopause dried out my entire body. I was not able to go on hormone replacement therapy due to medical reasons to personal for this article.
After menopause was completely finished, I ignored looking in the mirror as much as possible. Asthma and allergies had appeared with gusto. There was not a tree or blade of grass or weed in the state of Washington that I was not allergic too! After 3 years of allergy shots to improve my immune system I began to improve and feel better. However, nothing improved my dry skin.
I began purchasing any and all "dry skin" products by the dozens. Hoping for that miracle cure all, I spent hundreds of dollars on over the counter products that did not improve my skin. My husband told me as tenderly as possible these products made my facial skin look more like raw hamburger than soft skin. He was tolerate of my exploration for a smoother younger looking skin. He preferred me to just be myself and not be so stressed out about wrinkles and dry skin. He would always love me just as I was. God bless him!
I retired when I turned 63 years old. Since then I quit wearing makeup except for eyeliner and some creamed eye shadow and lipstick. Look at the money saved because I don't splurge on the next new "dry skin cure all" products any longer.
When I look in the mirror and I see a 68 year old woman with wrinkles, grey hair and dry skin looking back at me: I realize she is what I have become, not what I was and no amount of topical skin care ointment will change that fact.
My mind's eye sees what I want to do: remain that 20 year old woman, but my heart knows I am both women. My husband says, my real beauty comes from within!