During lunch the other day, I felt my face getting shiny, so I reached for my blue packet of Shiseido blotting papers - the one beauty product I've been loyal to for decades and counting. Unlike some other popular brands, these don't contain mineral oil which, as anyone with oily skin who has done their homework knows, will cause break outs. They also don't leave an obvious layer of chalky white face power behind like some others I've tried - and discarded - over the years.
Btw, speaking of white face powder, one of the only woman who could ever pull off a shockingly pale face and still look classically pretty was, in my opinion, Winona Ryder...when she was 18 and engaged to Johnny Depp. Her starlet meets rock n' roll meets glam goth style back then was on point as well. #WinonaAndJohnnyForever.
As I began to blot my face, my lunch date (a friend I've known for ages) stopped, stared at me incredulously and asked, "Did you just blot your face for oil?"
Why yes, yes I did and I still do - have to blot my face, that is.
At our age, I'm pretty sure that most people, including my lunch date (by her own admission mind you), are all about moisturizing and wrinkle prevention. And then there's me. As someone whose skin has remained consistently oily since high school, I fear wrinkles, but truthfully, my biggest, most paralyzing fear is moisturizer. Quite simply, I am deathly afraid that any moisturizer will make my face even oilier than it already is and/or cause breakouts, so I have a lengthy track record of moisturizer avoidance.
The one absolutely fantastic thing about having my type of skin at this point? Oily means practically no wrinkles. At long last, something good has come from it.
Well, blotting papers and moisturizers aside, I was feeling pretty happy with my skin that day until someone called, begging me to take their appointment for a facial later. They didn't feel well, but didn't want the appointment to go to waste. Blah. Blah. It takes months to get an appointment with this lady. Blah. Blah. Blah. And that's how I broke my 'No Facials Ever Again' rule and agreed to take the appointment. Once I got there and the aesthetician started aggressively poking at my face and pushing products, however, I knew I'd made a huge mistake.
My two biggest gripes with facials? First, most facials have left my face irritated and beet red for days afterward. (A wonderful facial that did NOT leave my face fire engine red was a 'sensitive skin' one I had a few years back at the Spa at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA. FYI: I'd go back there in a heartbeat.) Second, I hate when people are too aggressive about selling products. Must be all my years in retail. Even worse? When people are way too aggressive about selling skin care products while they're poking and steaming your face AND sayingwhat a wreck your skin is.
One thing that the overzealous aesthetician said that did stick with me though was that my skin was dehydrated. That was new. Hadn't heard that before. Ever. I'd become so used to blotting and mattifying my skin. And then, there was the matter of my long standing (almost crippling) moisturizer phobia. I had noticed, however, that my face was feeling not quite so smooth lately. Maybe she was right about the dehydration?
After freeing myself from the clutches of this woman and NOT buying one darn thing, I ran out to the drug store and bought an oil free moisturizer from Simple, a budget friendly line for us sensitive and oily skin types. Bullying will do that to ya. I've even used it a few times (A big step for me!), but I'm not giving up my Shiseido blotting papers just yet.
PS - Here are my latest obsessions (from REN) for oily but MATURE (There I said it dammit!) skin. They keep me and my skin from looking old and haggard without any breakout drama:
Photo Courtesy: Shiseido Blotting Papers photo and Winona Ryders ones, courtesy of Pinterest; Canyon Ranch photos courtesy of their website.