ONE OF MY earliest “beauty” memories is lying in my grandmother’s bed as she rubbed Nivea on her arms, face, and neck. I can smell it as I write these words and remember how comforted I felt. That blue jar was a fixture on her nightstand until she died decades later. Growing up, I was drawn to products that felt light and smelled fresh. I stuck with what worked for me—like the Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid I used as a teen. (I graduated to Olay’s Total Effects. Antiaging, you know.) I wasn’t much more adventurous with makeup. In high school, college, and beyond, I wore an intense shade of purple eyeshadow on my entire lid—up to the eyebrow! I’m still so skeptical about my ability to make a smart shadow decision that I avoid it entirely (except when I’m in professional hands). My health-and-science journalism background has always helped me appreciate advances in skin care. I now cleanse gently (Cetaphil), brighten with a vitamin C serum (Skinceuticals), and protect with a moisturizing sunscreen (again Olay, with its gentle aroma). When I became a mom, I knew that the scent that accompanied my kisses would imprint on my girls. I can be vain about my skin, but my father had melanoma, so I’m also vigilant about it. After years of searching, I found dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, who gives me Botox and helps me shrink my pores. During my annual head-to-toe checkup, he said, “We talk about a lot of things during the year, but this is the most important time we’ll spend together.” Last spring, I pointed out a small, raised red spot on my nose and asked him to take it off. He didn’t think it looked like cancer, and instead of getting out a scalpel, he recommended moderation. He gave me glycolic-acid pads and told me to rub the spot vigorously with one every other night and come back in four weeks. By then, the red spot had entirely disappeared. We’ve included Beauty RX by Dr. Schultz Advanced 10% Exfoliating Pads in our Mom Knows Best beauty awards as a “timeless fave” (see page 118) because I wanted you to know about them. I remain a fan. Thanks to this lab-tested product and a very attentive doctor, I avoided skin surgery and a scar. Now that’s a beauty story to be proud of.
Products that I’ve depended on!