Oh Lord, what we put our faces through in the ‘80’s.
I was having coffee with some girlfriends this morning and we were reminiscing about what we used to slather and scrub our skin with. I was like a soldier headed off to battle with my teenage skin. And I was going to win, no matter what the price was, or the pain or mental anguish it caused me. Oh, and I was highly influenced by television, advertising jingles and what girls I looked up to were using or doing to their faces.
First, let’s cleanse:
I used Noxzema, the end all be all of teenage girl facial cleansers. Before it came with a pump, it was simply packaged in a round, navy blue plastic tub that would fill up with water and germs from continually scooping your grungy hands into it to get the freezing cold white paste out. Ahhhhh, that Noxzema smell, who can forget that? In the commercials they always talked about that “tingly, fresh clean” feel you should get after using Noxzema. I don’t know if tingly and burning mean the same thing, but that is how it made my skin feel - in fact, the perfect way for me to describe it is ‘so cold it’s on fire.’ But of course I continued to use it because, well, everybody else did.
Now, let’s exfoliate:
Here is the deal with Buf-Puf Facial Sponges: First of all, they didn’t need those extra ‘f’s in their product name - they didn’t have time for that. They were too busy creating a Brillo Pad that you could use on your face. I don’t know how many layers of skin I scrubbed off while using this product, all I know is that when I was done I looked like I had just been involved in an unfortunate kitchen grease fire. Buf-Puf promised to help you achieve a deep clean that would prevent dull skin and breakouts. It practiced what it preached, as my skin certainly was not dull since there was none of it left to break out. I of course continued to use it just because, well, everybody else did.
Don’t forget your toner:
“Beautiful skin can be a breeze with Sea Breeze”, sing along with me everybody! I’m not talking about that wussy blue stuff that’s around now, I’m talking about the old school, sailboat emblazoned, pee-colored alcohol I used to saturate a cotton ball with and rub all over my face and neck. My girlfriends and I would proudly show off our soiled cotton balls to each other exclaiming “look, eeeewww, gross! Look how dirty my face and the back of my neck was, eeewww!” It was like some weird sort of competition of whose ball was the darkest. Again, the burning. And again, the continued usage, EVERYBODY WAS DOING IT.
Finally, let’s prevent those pesky breakouts:
Ahhh, Stridex Pads…who knows what the hell those peel-apart wet circles were soaked in, but I gladly rubbed them all over my face. And the smell, whew! Like a chemical explosion. These also had the “eeewww” factor of the ick that ended up on them from your face, and the burn factor from the alcohol and whatever else was in them. I remember my face turning beet-red after using them and waking up the next morning with flaky, peeling, alligator skin. The peeling must have meant it was working, right? If the skin on my face all flaked off, it wouldn’t have the chance to breakout, so problem solved. Yes, I kept using it and you know the reason why.
Today I am much kinder to my poor face. Thank God I realized that one product does not work for everybody. I also discovered something called moisturizer. Guess what? Your face needs moisture.
Sometimes in the grocery store I will take a stroll by the facial cleansers and sneak a whiff of Noxzema, just the smell of it can make me feel fifteen again. Like a junkie, I realize that I can look, but I can’t touch. I'm afraid I'll get burned again.