Tuesday, February 5, 2013


At my age, reading the fine print is more than difficult—it’s sometimes impossible, particularly poring over the ingredients of skin care products. You know the kind: antiaging, antiwrinkle, antibagging, antifart-producing, anticlogging (noncomedogenic), anti-belly-fat-producing creamy stuff, the kind of stuff most guys don’t give a crap about. I want to look as young as my mind says I am, and at the rate I’m going—forgetting simple math and acting childish—my mind figures I’ll be entering junior high pretty soon.

One day I set out for King Soopers, my favorite grocery store, with the goal of reading and comparing antiwrinkle cream and lotion ingredients. Once I identified the best product for the money, I planned to purchase two so I wouldn’t have to subject myself to this embarrassing ordeal more than once a year, like sex. I thought of carrying a magnifying glass, portable potty, and a bottle of wine with me, knowing this project would consume some time, which would give me time to consume some wine, but instead I grabbed my best seeing-up-close glasses, ones I likely scored for an entire dollar plus tax.

Into the store I skipped, demonstrating I was younger than I looked. After picking myself up off the floor, I headed toward skin care. Comparing these age-defying skin formulae felt much like choosing feminine hygiene products when I was a teenager or like evaluating condoms to keep on hand just in case. Really now, what size package was I buying for anyway? Forward-thinking packagers and marketeers should offer a condom variety pack, a just-in-case-the-first-one-doesn’t-fit kind of thing. (Maybe they do already.) And for the small guy, shouldn’t condom manufacturers offer padded sheaths just as bra manufacturers do for the less endowed?

I’d already been buying Olay Complete for a couple years, and Olay was promoting their new Regenerist product line like a guy promotes his best friend, so I gave it some attention. And here is where this whole exercise was worth its weight in coinage: Olay Complete with SPF 15 and Regenerist Age-Defying Anti-Wrinkle Daily 15 SPF had the same ingredients, but the cost was very different:
4.0 ounces of Olay Complete with SPF 15 cost $7.35 that day ($1.84/oz),
3.4 ounces of Regenerist Age-Defying Anti-Wrinkle Daily 15 SPF cost $14.50 ($4.26/oz), and further research showed that
2.7 ounces of Regenerist UV Defense cost $22 ($8.15/oz).

It’s all about the packaging! So I bought two more Completes and smiled as if I’d just been laid in a field of soft, green grass with no bugs.
As an addendum, my generous, beautiful daughter (see her on previous post) bought me a perfect present last year. No, it wasn’t a year’s subscription to Match.com or AARP, not even a body pillow with appendage or a one-way flight to Bermuda. She sent me Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair moisturizer (1.0 oz for $20). Had this thoughtful gift come from a member of the opposite sex, the giver might well have found mini-sized, padded condoms in his stocking at Christmastime, but my daughter received a big thank you from her old mom.

Now that my second one-ounce bottle is low, I decided to conduct research on its ingredients compared to my previously purchased Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle cream (1.4 oz for $13.50). Both products contain retinol; however, the less expensive cream lists retinol as ingredient number 10. If my aging eyes are seeing correctly, and if my mind is calculating accurately, the more expensive one lists retinol as number 26.

So again, I’ll likely skip, carefully, into my favorite grocery and purchase Olay Complete and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle, knowing deep inside my skin-covered soul that I’m still going to get older and wrinkle. What I’m really in a quandary about is how to repackage myself so I can charge a higher rate. What would I sell, though?

But the bigger question is, if a guy repackaged, would he have two?


  1. Auntie, great as usual, your posts are always fun to read. I also read the ingredients on the skin improvement creams I buy, but I don't call them WRINKLE creams, I think that's negative thinking. I will only buy one if it has Retinol as the 2nd to 5th listed ingredient. I will also add Vitamin A, E and anything else I can think of, to my skin cream. It's kind of like my art....Mixed Media!

    I buy what I can find on sale, or at the grocery outlet store, then I'll add Bio-Oil (love Bio-Oil & it's very reasonable), vitamins A and E (I'll take my A and E capsules, poke a pin into the end and squeeze it into the cream/lotion)....shake it up, use it morning and night. I believe in getting the dead skin cells off my face, and the older we get, the slower we naturally get rid of them...that's why we wrinkle. I use several things to slough off the dead skin: a Japanese washing cloth, scrubbing creams, but my favorite is my Clairsonic facial scrubbing brush. It was too expensive for me to break lose with my money, so I got my husband to buy it for me for my birthday. All the creams in the world won't do much if you don't get rid of the dead skin cells.

  2. Since retinol = vitamin A = a yellow compound found in green and yellow vegetables, egg yolks, and fish-liver oil, and is essential for growth and dim-light vision

    = a carotenoid alcohol, C20H29OH,

    and Nature Made vitamin A = soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin (glycerol), fish-liver oil (sardines), which is also what comprises their vitamin E,

    then why not just buy soybean oil and glycerol for the face…

    and swallow fish-oil capsules…

    and swallow vitamin E capsules (d-alpha, NOT dl-alpha which is synthetic and not readily absorbed)…

    but NOT swallow too many vitamin A capsules, since too much can be toxic?


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