Acne and Wrinkles: The Two-Stage Life Overlap That Just Doesn’t Seem Fair

I’d like to file a complaint, if possible. I guess it should go to the Department of Getting Older, should such a thing exist. See, it offends me deeply on a personal level that I have to buy products to stop both acne and wrinkles. It seems to me that if you have to go through the humiliation of one of these conditions, you should automatically be disqualified from dealing with the other for a while. The double stage overlap is just a slap in the face. Pun intended.

My skin and I have always been at odds. But after much trial and error and switching of birth control pills, I’ve finally managed to get a handle on my situation, with only the occasional breakout happening. In fact, I was feeling pretty confident lately. All seemed to be quiet on the acne front.

Then all of a sudden I was at Sephora playing with bronzers, fragrances, and other overpriced items. I started chatting with one of the ladies who worked there. She confidently mentioned that she’s had her daughter using an anti-wrinkle cream since she was 18. I replied that I don’t use such a cream, only sunscreen and moisturizer. I thought her head might fall off.

Later that night, I went home, hopped up on my bathroom counter, and studied my face for a while. Was I desperately out of touch in terms of how I should be caring for my skin? At rest, I saw no sign of wrinkles around my eyes or the corners of my mouth, and yet when I practiced smiling and laughing I actually did notice a little more crinkly action than I’d seen before. This was despite the ever-present baseball cap on my head when I’m in the sun and my fondness for big  sunglasses.

The conversation at Sephora started replaying in my head. Was I imagining this? What was happening? At 27, I guess I’m officially at the age where it’s time to worry about these kinds of things, right?

After much poking, prodding, and overanalyzing, I told myself that since it was almost 10 p.m. and there was nothing that could be done to stop wrinkles immediately in that moment, it was time to go to bed. I vowed that tomorrow I’d pick up something to begin the battle against this natural part of the aging process. Then I lay awake for a while, Googling the best anti-wrinkle creams and wondering how I was already at this life stage when sometimes it still feels like I’m in high school driving a Jetta with fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror.

The next morning I awoke, guns blazing, ready to embark on my new mission. As I was prepping myself to drop at least $100 at Target even though I was going there for one item (this happens every time I walk into that little red-themed paradise so I’ve just embraced it) I did a double take in the mirror.

Yes. There was no mistaking it. The beginnings of a zit. Right next to where I would soon be applying anti-wrinkle cream near the corners of my mouth.

The agony and the irony weren’t lost on me. Here I was about to set off on my first anti-wrinkle cream buying journey. When it was complete, I would now have to come home and try to deal with the zit on my face, stopping it in its tracks before it was allowed to develop into a full-fledged monstrosity. Salicylic acid would be required. War would be waged.

It just seemed unfair. Rude, even. The great philosopher Britney Spears once proclaimed that she was not a girl, not yet a woman. In my case, I’m trapped in a weird twilight zone where I have the skin of both a young girl and a mature woman. It’s a two-stage overlap and it just doesn’t seem right.

This is why I’d like to file a complaint. Zits or wrinkles, pick one. You shouldn’t have to fight off both. Anyway, if you know where I could direct these thoughts or maybe get some kind of refund or voucher, I’d appreciate it.

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