My 82-year-old mother, Celeste, does NOT do Botox… That’s right. Mom has never done Botox, but it wasn’t that long ago that it dawned on me she does not have one wrinkle on her forehead! Not ONE. I have way more lines than she does. How could this be? Then I began to think about mom never having sun tanned. Even before sunscreens existed, my mother always wore hats when she (seldom) went to the beach, and, when outdoors she always stayed in the shade. Mom would caution me about my frequent sunbathing but I certainly did not pay attention to this advice (as well other ones I now wish I had!).
But, I believe it goes further than that… She has been blessed with beautiful skin. Her torso remains amazingly white, smooth, and soft. Again, my 82-year-old mother’s torso has nicer skin than mine! Thank goodness I finally paid attention to the late, great, dermatologist Dr. Louis Skinner whom I worked directly with for four years in the early 70’s. “Skinner” would point out sun-damaged skin on the many athletes who would see him for sun-related issues – – many who turned out to have skin cancers. (Most Miami Dolphins were his patients.) He would also lecture me when I showed up to work on Mondays looking like a roasted tomato. Thus, finally, I began to use sun protection by way of wearing sunscreen (the first one was called PreSun), and often also a wide-brim hat. I, too, began to seek the shade. Had I not done so, today I would probably look a lot older (in my late 50’s) than 82-year-old Celeste!
Perhaps it’s more than just the sun, though… Mom has always been the most calm, easy-going, and kind woman I know. She hardly ever complains about anything. She has countless friends who adore her. Somehow, mom does not know how to frown! I tested this recently and asked her to try to look angry, and she is incapable of doing so. Even when she had to give up driving because of a serious case of macular degeneration she accepted it with grace and dignity. Are her forehead (frontalis) muscles naturally paralyzed? I don’t know, but I do believe her inner beauty and calmness must have something to do with her smooth forehead.
Not ALL is good with mom’s facial skin, though. She always had very oily skin and for a long time her cheeks have had “little bumps.” As a new immigrant to this country, the last thing mom ever thought about was getting facials. She lacked, both, time and money. Since my venture into the skincare field I have attempted to clean out her “bumps” to no avail. It’s too late. Mom has milia and closed comedones that have calcified with time. She could have had these easily removed at one time — but time has turned them into virtual rocks! At this point in her life, they are best left alone. She is beautiful enough as she is and she certainly doesn’t worry about them. Okay…she has admitted to me she wishes she didn’t have them.
Happy Mother’s Day, Celeste. I think you are beautiful!
Lastly, I thank Dr. Skinner not only for his wisdom as a dermatologist, but for all the great advice and knowledge he shared with me as his assistant and “acne nurse.” He taught me many gems I use today in my practice (like how to very efficiently extract milias and comedones.) We remained life-long friends. He died a very old man approximately 8 years ago. Skinner was a real bon vivant, a gentleman, and a world-renowned wine connoisseur. He lives on!