A plea to Estée Lauder (and everyone else developing beauty products)

Friday, 20 September 2013

As a society obsessed with youth, there are a zillion products out there designed to disguise, delay or dissolve the signs of aging. Whether your perceived problem is crow's feet, discoloured teeth or thinning hair, there's something for that. But as I stare down my 44th birthday, I'm noticing several body parts that are looking positively OLD, and which the beauty industry has been ignoring. Dear Ms. Lauder, there are billions of dollars up for grabs here!

First of all, I have become self-conscious of my armpits (axilla).  No one ever told me that my pits would get old!  There’s that new and extra pinch of fat between the upper chest and shoulder that no amount of dumb bell raises seems to erase.  

But that’s not even the worst of it.  I’m developing pit wrinkles and a propensity for rash burn like never before.  And the texture’s become less smooth.  I’m slightly ashamed to admit I’ve started using foundation to even out pit skin tone.

And then there are my elbows.  A few years ago a friend’s husband told me he can always tell a woman’s age by checking out how much saggy skin gathers around the elbows when arms are hanging straight. Thankfully he is now her EX-husband.  Exfoliator helps keep the skin smooth, but there isn’t much one can do about sagging skin without going under the knife.  Is there even such a thing as an elbow lift?  Seems a tad extreme.  Someone needs to develop an elbow tightening cream.  Hopefully that wouldn’t impair my ability to bend my arms.

Just above the knees?  See above.

Recently I was looking at a picture of my 3-year-old niece and I was struck by just how white the whites of her eyes are.  Whiter than white.  No veins or sun spots (yes, we get sun spots on our eyes).  Mine now have permanent red veins creeping further toward the iris, and if I’ve had more than three drinks, a new vein pops up and hangs around for a day or two.


Believe it or not, there’s a surgical procedure where the surgeon removes the discoloured parts of the membrane that covers your eye, and then the body naturally regenerates new membrane.  The promised result is a whiter sclera (that’s the white bit).  But messing with your eyes for no good reason seems more than a little extreme, so I think I’ll wait until someone develops drops that actually work. (The ones that are on the market now can actually make redness worse, according to many doctors.)

I’m wondering if the reason no one’s making products to address these issues is simply that they’re impossible ones to treat without taking drastic measures.  Perhaps I should just allow my armpits to grow old gracefully.



Top photo: Eirikso/flickr

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  • Laura Opitz

    you tell ’em! How about inventing a foot cream that actually keeps your feet soft after you’ve been on them all day!

  • Eugen

    I think we should just embrace age. And I say that as a man in his 50s who would never want my wife to do anything to alter her looks so as to adhere to some artificial metric of beauty. Instead, I just want her to be her. As I’ve aged I find the women I know who’ve opted to not fight nature but embrace it are the ones that look the most beautiful, the most ravishing. They’re the ones that know time is a forward pointing arrow and fighting it results in premature age.

    I, took, can usually tell how old a woman is but don’t dwell on it. Besides, to me and most of my male friends, it’s not the wrinkles that make us stare but the unmoving brows, the artificially puffed up lips, the unnatural reddish hue caused by too much laser abrasion, or the dressing too young and looking a fool.

    We age. So be it. Embrace it. To fight it is a losing battle and one that only enriches modern day snake oil salesmen for if their products worked the chairmen and women of those corporations wouldn’t look like walking cadavers.

  • Megan

    Hi Anna, the darkening of your armpits could be related to product use (certain ingredients in deodorant or antiperspirant are proven to darken skin tone). I highly recommend switching to an all natural deodorant, you should start to see lightening at about the 3 month mark. During this time exfoliate your armpits daily (or whenever you shower) with a scrub containing AHA’s or salicylic acid, or even simple organic freshly squeezed lemon juice. If that doesn’t work, there are also many professional (spa) lines that have a whitening segment. Use these products routinely and you should see results. Good luck!

  • forgodsake

    Obsess much?