I've often stated that I hate make-up and rarely wear it. That doesn't mean I don't own it. Every once in awhile I think, "I'm a woman and maybe I should try some of that creamy stuff that will make me look ravishing and irresistible and everyone will smile at me and think I'm beautiful. After all, it has all those ingredients in it that are supposed to make your skin healthier and smoother and younger--and I'm not getting any younger. Besides, it's supposed to help cover up zits and even though I never get those, you never know--someday I might get one and I'll need this stuff because apparently a zit is a social disgrace and I wouldn't want to be one of those."
So I buy some. And I use it once or twice and see no visible difference. Besides, it takes time and I hate wasting time trying to look like something I'm not. My skin is my skin. End of story.
I do wear sunscreen, however. Religiously. My family has a history of skin cancer and I'd rather not have that. It's painful and can be malignant, so I'm trying to take care of my skin. Naturally, this means lecturing my children to the point of watching them pretend to gag as I go on and on and on...
They've listened to me, though. I have a tube of very nice, expensive Neutrogena sunscreen for faces on the table near the door, and I watch as they apply a bit to their faces and the backs of their hands when they leave the house, so clearly the nagging has gotten through a bit (or maybe it was the fact that their grandfather just had to have a large portion of the skin by his ear and cheek removed and the stitches and swelling look painful).
Adam came to me a couple of days ago and said, "I like the sunscreen in your bathroom better than the stuff you put by the door. I've been using it for a couple of weeks and my skin looks better and I really like the way it feels."
I wracked my brains for a minute or two, trying to figure out if I'd left some other brand of sunscreen in my bathroom. Unable to come up with an answer, I asked, "Why do you like it better?" He answered, "I'm not sure. I put it on and it smells like grapefruit and my skin looks really smooth and nice. I really like it."
I thought some more, and then the light bulb went on. I said, "Are you sure the bottle said it was sunscreen?"
"I think so," he answered, "I didn't really look that hard."
"What color was it?
"Sort of tannish--it matches my skin exactly."
I waited a moment, trying to figure out how to let my son know that he had been using a vitamin C infused foundation I'd bought on a whim a few months ago. Finally I decided just to be blunt.
"Adam--that's not sunscreen. It's make-up."
Adam thought for a minute, then said, "Huh! No wonder girls like to use it. It's nice."
This was not the answer I expected--nor was what came next: "Is it okay if I keep using it. I really like the way it smells."
Why not? I thought. I'm not using it. So I gave my permission and Adam went away feeling very happy.
So if you happen to pass a very nice looking young man with flawless skin, be sure to say hello. It's probably Adam. And at some point I have to let him know that his make-up doesn't actually have any sunscreen in it and he'll have to use both. I'm thinking this is not really going to bother him.