Getting healthy skin

Last week I did something I should have done a long time ago–went to see my dermatologist. I hadn’t been since high school, back when my skin was quite problematic. Now, in my 20s, I’m battling acne once again. I’ve tried the over-the-counter washes, creams, and toners, as well as the natural remedies like honey masks (it makes your face smell nice, but it doesn’t really work). Even though going to the doctor is expensive, it turned out to be a worthy investment.

My dermatologist gave me an antibiotic along with an antibacterial topical ointment to use during the day. She also recommended a retinol creme at nighttime. I stopped breaking out the first day I started the antibiotics. I couldn’t afford the prescription retinol, so I ended up buying Neutrogena’s overnight tone repair product, which contains retinol and vitamin C. It has excellent reviews and only costs $20 a bottle (which is cheap compared to department store and prescription retinols!). It’s too soon for me to say whether this product works, but from what I’ve read, retinol is a great addition to your beauty routine whether you have any acne, wrinkles, discoloration, uneven skin tone, or just want to prevent these things. This article from Dr. Oz’s website even recommends using retinol as early as your teens to maintain young-looking skin throughout life:

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/retinol-results

The article does warn that it may take months to see results. In skincare (as well as other aspects of health), there are rarely miraculous overnight results. It’s better to  go straight to the professionals–like my awesome dermatologist–than pinning your hopes on the countless products lining the shelves. Whether it’s your weight, a skin condition, or some other ailment you’ve been struggling with for years, there’s no time like the present to get help.

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Can’t hurry love

The other day in the YMCA locker room, I overheard an older lady telling another lady that she’d attended two weddings this summer: one for a nephew, the other for her sister. “My sister’s engagement was a big shock,” she explained. “She is 64 and has never been married; he is 69 and has never been married. And get this–they’ve been going together for 40 years!” I thought, this has Golden Girls written all over it! (In case you didn’t know, it’s my favorite show. Christopher Lloyd is brilliant.)

One of my favorite aspects of Golden Girls is that these four women are still dating in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. I especially love Dorothy’s story. You see, Dorothy had married a schmuck named Stan at a young age because she was pregnant, and eventually divorced him when he cheated on her. I love that she gets her chance at true love on the final season of the show, when Blanche introduces her to her uncle Lucas and the two get married.

A lot of people in their 20s feel as if they need to settle down and get married. Sometimes you find someone who brings you some mediocre level of happiness and you decide you might as well stick with them. I mean, they’re good enough, your biological clock is ticking, and all your friends are getting married. But sometimes waiting is good.

I recently stumbled upon this quote, which I saved because it is so accurate: “There are three types of people in the dating world: 1.) the players, 2.) those who are in a hurry to get married, 3.) those who are genuinely waiting for their shot at true love.” As a hopeless romantic (and I do mean hopeless), I definitely fall into the third group.

If you wouldn’t shout from the rooftops how much you love this person, if you don’t tell all your friends about them, if you aren’t proud to show them off to your family, then you need to think: do I really love them, or am I just settling for them? No one wants to settle, and no one wants to be settled for. It’s unfair to both parties.

I listened amusedly as the locker room lady continued, saying, “When I got the wedding invitation in the mail, I thought, ‘Is this a joke?'” I must admit that it’s a little strange to wait 40 years to propose to your significant other. Wouldn’t you know after the first, oh I dunno, 10 years?? But anyway, I’m happy they got their happy ending. 🙂

Love doesn’t have to happen in your 20s. You could find it in your teens, in your 90s, or any time in between. And when you do find the right person, you’ll want to shout it from the rooftops (as will they). Sometimes love takes its time, so you must be patient. In the meantime, have your own life and find out how to be happy without a significant other. By the time Mr./Mrs. Right does come along, you’ll have lots of wonderful traits to share with them.

The best is yet to come

I went through something of a quarter-life crisis when I turned 21. I realized that after this birthday, there would be no more big (or at least no exciting) milestones. It had always been “13, finally a teenager!” or “16, finally a licensed driver!” or “18, finally an adult!” Then it happened. The birthday I’d always anticipated: 21, when everything becomes legal (except renting a car–why is that?). After that birthday, I had no other birthdays to look forward to. From this point forward, I was simply aging.

You may think I’m crazy for thinking like this, but hear me out–I noticed a marked difference in my birthday messages when I opened my cards on my 22nd birthday. They all read something along the lines of, “Happy birthday! Hope you have many more!” Or in other words, “Have a good day, try not to die this year!” Of course I’m over analyzing, but check your birthday cards and tell me that I’m not right!

I eventually got over my quarter-life crisis with the help of four amazing ladies: Blanche, Sophia, Rose, and Dorothy. The Golden Girls gives a positive perspective on aging in this youth-obsessed culture. These ladies show us that life can still be fun, new, and exciting, even after 80. Just look at all the adventures Sophia gets into. She’s still dating and going to parties. And check out Blanche—proof that you can still look great when you’re over-the-hill. The quarter-life crisis phenomena is real (I didn’t just make this up), and characterized by the feeling that life is over because you’re no longer a teenager or even a college kid, but a full-fledged adult. Of course, I am nostalgic for those high school days. And I’d love to stay in college forever. But the Golden Girls inspire me. I feel like there are more adventures and great friendships yet to come. If anyone else is dreading leaving college behind or turning another year older or going through some life transition, I strongly encourage you to sit down with America’s sweethearts and try not to worry about it. In my personal experience, I’ve found life gets better as it progresses.