There I am, sitting in one of five barns on the property of a couple who live between a hill and the gully near the lake, when I comment on her age.
“Okay, Robin. You’ve never told me how old you are.” She smiles coyly.
“How old do you think I am?”
“63,” interjects my 12 year told daughter.
“Yeah, about that,” I chime in.
Robin gives us a modest grin. “I’m 74.”
We both exclaim and when enough time has passed that I think it won’t be rude, I ask how she has gotten to her seventh decade with so few wrinkles, for in truth, she has a few around her lip lines, but zero on her cheek, other than a moderate smile line between her mouth and cheek.
“Preparation H,” she replies with a straight face. My mouth drops. My eyes widen.
“You are kidding.”
“Nope,” she says without a hint of embarrassment. “I was told forty years ago to use it and I have.”
Mystified, I later ask my husband about it and he nods his head, in a “of course,” kind of way. Apparently, certain ingredients exist within the Prep H that tightens the skin. Seriously.
As any woman determined to look younger for as long as humanly possible, I hit the Internet. Sagging skin and Preparation H I query. Sure enough, up comes an article on Livestrong about tricks to tightening sagging neck skin (always a lovely visual). If you are like me, and hate clicking on all the various links: here’s the skinny, directly from Livestrong.
“Because Preparation H contains Phenylephrine HCl 0.25 percent, a vasoconstrictor drug that causes blood vessels to constrict, it is also a popular remedy for swollen eyes and puffy skin, according to the Preparation H website. However, there are no clinical studies to prove alternative uses for Preparation H. When applied to affected areas, Preparation H forces excess water out of the skin, creating a smooth and lean appearance.”
The article gives four steps to skin greatness.
Step 1: Determine whether Preparation H gives you an allergic reaction, swelling or rash. Apply a small amount to an inconspicuous part of your skin such as the inside of your elbow or behind your knee and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wait at least 24 hours to see if an allergic reaction, swelling or rash appears.
Step 2: Apply Preparation H to smaller areas with your finger or apply with a brush or washcloth to larger areas you wish to appear tighter or more toned.
Step 3: Wait 10-15 minutes and rinse your skin. Reapply Preparation H if you did not achieve the results you want. Rinse thoroughly.
Step 4: Apply lotion to the area you treated with Preparation H to prevent dryness and scaling.
Now, on this last step (and I’ll admit I’ve not yet tried this on my own skin, but when I do, I will show you the results), I use Aquafore about every other night. I have dry skin anyway, but a friend of mine (a plastic surgeon who has worked on half the women in Seattle), said that Aquafore is the go-to product for post-surgical operations. It heals, it hydrates, and it is essentially the miracle skin product. I started using it on my skin, directly after washing it at night, and walla. My skin does look infinitely better…fewer lines, plumper skin etc.
So there you have it. Forget the lift, the tucks and the retinol. Hop right down to the store and buy a tube, ignoring the clerk’s look of sympathetic interest. That’s what I intend to do. What I haven’t yet figured out is what I’m going to say to the person who comments on my face (assuming this works). I can imagine it now:
“Sarah, you look younger. What’s happened? Facelift? Trip to Europe?”
“Oh, nothing like that,” I’ll reply. “I mistook my face for my fanny and this is what happened.”