My Ageless Search for Beauty

Most days, I look in the mirror and sigh. I’m getting old and it shows. I have crows feet, a definitive line between my brows, and sharp indents around my mouth—living proof that I laugh, smile, and scowl on a regular basis. Good news—I’m alive and kicking even as I celebrate my forty-fourth birthday. rose hip oil

I’ve never had a perfect complexion. I’ve always battled hormonal breakouts (that’s right, folks, acne is not just for kids) and an annoying allergy to many products for treating said hormonal breakouts. I’m a marketer’s best friend—a sucker looking for the magic potion to cure my maladies and shrink my pores.

I’ve tried any number of things over the years. A Seventeen magazine article espousing the benefits of a homemade mask of honey and corn starch left the teenaged me with an embarrassing breakout. After a trip to the dermatologist, turns out I’m allergic to honey. He tried treating me with benzoyl peroxide, but shock of all shocks, I’m allergic to that, too.

I keep trying. Recently, I read a blog post from the always-entertaining Julie Glover, followed a link, and tried using a mixture of caster oil and olive oil to cleanse my face. Go on, read the blog and tell me you’re not tempted to try it.

A little over a week later, the breakout began, but thankfully not as bad as in high school. I’m pretty sure it was the olive oil, so I decided to search for a less harsh oil to use as a substitute. This search led me to either TJ Maxx or Marshalls (I can’t remember which) where I picked up a bottle of rose hip oil. While I have yet to mix it with the caster oil, I did try a few drops in my nighttime moisturizer and have so far suffered no ill effects. In fact, I believe I really like this product.

As I turn another page on the calendar of my life, I’m trying to embrace this rare show of optimism. For those of you who know me well, you know optimism isn’t always in my wheelhouse. My unending belief that the magic cure to old age exists and is still out there waiting for me to discover is a powerful motivator to keep trying new things with an acute understanding that my results may vary from the norm.

If anyone has any helpful recommendations that won’t break the bank (I’m a bit of a tightwad), please let me know. I’ll be a willing sucker.


About Christy Hayes

A wife, a mother and a writer of romantic women's fiction. I love dogs, exercise and cable news.

Posted on October 7, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. You look beautiful the just the way you are! Happy, happy birthday!!

  2. You are gorgeous! Hope you had a great birthday! I take Spironolactone for hormonal acne and rosacea since you asked.

  3. Happy Birthday! I’ve been using Olay Regenerist Night Serum for years and I swear by it. Plus you can get it at Costco! But I’m sure you’d get tons of different suggestions from tons of people. From your picture I’m sure you don’t look as “old” as you describe yourself. I haven’t seen my 40’s in years and I firmly believe that you’re as old as you feel.

  4. So true, Patti. My grandmother swore by Oil of Olay and she was a beauty until the end. My sister uses it religiously, but alas, I’m allergic to that as well. Haven’t tried it in years. Maybe it’s time to give it another go. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. I don’t know what’s in it, but I use a Mary Kay product at night. It’s thick and doesn’t smell too much (I’m allergic to perfumes).

    Something with estrogen in it would make your skin look younger, but would probably trigger the hormonal outbreak, so it’s not win/win.

    I am waiting to be able to clone myself and just download my brain into the new me.

  6. Christy, I found this on the Huffington Post today. Thought you might be interested:

    Dear Twentysomething-year-old Me,

    1. When that man you have a crush on asks, “Are you a good girl or a bad girl?” laugh in his face, spin on your heel and ignore his calls.

    2. Wear sunscreen. At least around your eyes and above your currently pert upper lip’s cupid’s bow.

    3. Just because you share blood with people doesn’t mean you have to give them the time of day if they are hell-bent on making you feel small, misunderstood and wrong. You’ve given them enough chances. Cut the cord.

    4. Sign up for small automatic savings deposits that kick in every time you get paid. You’ll be making down payments on your own future freedom.

    5. Rejection is not a sign that you should stop doing what you love. It is married to doing what you love. It should not be kneecapping you. Embrace it.

    6. If you have a problem with a valued friend, bite the bullet and talk about it. Don’t just disappear on her or him.

    7. Tell the truth. People really do sense it when you lie to them, and it makes them distrust you or themselves. It’s the darndest thing.

    8. You were raised to think that you should be married well before 30 — and that everything else you fill your life with adds up to failure if you remain single. That’s a giant bucket of steaming dookie. Be choosy. The happiness you’re chasing is actually suffusing your life right now. You will look back on this time very wistfully when you’ve got spit-up in your hair and a husband who expects hot meals, a sparkling-clean house and you to resemble the cutie he married.

    9. Reconnect with your gut. I know you were raised to ignore it, and to first please others. Without a connection to your gut, you have no compass. Listen to it. If it squawks, pay attention. The more you listen to it, the more you’ll avoid messy/self-destructive detours and align with your own satisfying path.

    10. You are so beautiful right now. Your skin is amazing. Your metabolism is forgiving. You have epic amounts of energy and curiosity. Do not look to others to fuel up your self-esteem. You’re made of awesome. Own it and others will see it.

    11. Go easier on your mother. Every single thing (except for maybe three) that annoys and disappoints you about her will be something you recognize in yourself as you get older. That’s one big bakery full of humble pie you’re cooking up right now.

    12. Don’t be competitive. Be collaborative. There’s plenty of room at the table.

    13. Your dream life is not something that will appear to you, or not, like an elusive, mythical unicorn. You build your own specifically perfect life every time you listen to your gut, shake off rejection, honor friends, embrace choosiness, feed your savings account, recognize your own arrogance and ignore dudes who speak bimbo.


    40-Year-Old Me, who appreciates the interesting life you gave me and all (it was great material for my book!), but…yeah.

  7. Happy birthday, Christy! I understand those hormonal breakouts. Mine lasted till I was about 50 (see, so there’s hope for you yet!), but I’m not sure whether it was age that cleared it up or the fact that I also switched my foundation makeup. I think a lot had to do with switching products, because like everything else, what works or one person won’t work for the next. Case in point … I used to use the oil free Mary Kay foundation, which I totally loved, but when I switched to the oil free Cover Girl, I quite breaking out.

    Enjoy your day!

    • Thanks, Sheila. I don’t wear foundation, but if I did, I’d give Cover Girl a try. I’m glad I have something to look forward to!

  8. I use Oil of Olay too! It’s my moisturizer, and my grandmother swore by it as well. Some people do have to play with which oils they use and at what proportions. For instance, a friend of mine who cleanses with oil has a 2 to 3 ratio (2 parts castor, 3 parts olive oil). Mine is a simple 1:1. Breakout-prone skin may need more castor, since it’s an astringent oil.

    Best wishes! But I also think you’re absolutely lovely. And thanks for the shout-out.

  9. For those annoying little lines around the eyes, I like Burt’s Bees Royal Jelly Eye Cream. Given your honey allergy, though, it may not be an option for you. It contains beeswax and royal jelly.

  10. Christy, your opening perspective is right, we’ve got to embrace the blessings that accompany those physical signs of “experience.” 😉

    I, too, have extremely sensitive skin, especially my face. I’ve had the most significant change and continued success with an apricot scrub for washing twice a day, so I will never quit using it (here’s hoping they don’t stop making it—seems like everything I love gets discontinued). St. Ives is the name brand, and it’s less than $5 at any standard drug store for a good-size tube. But I even prefer the store brand version… the apricot seed granules tend to be bigger, and they slough off more, which leaves my skin so smooth. And I have fewer blemishes. It’s gentle, and it smells great. For spot treatment, I’ve had the best results with the “repairing lotion” part of Pro-Active (or a similar store brand set). It’s all easy on the budget, and thankfully, it’s given me better skin than ever, too.

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