Had to take the youngest to the dermatologist the other day to have a weird warty thing on his earlobe removed. We actually had it burned off once before, but it grew right back like a mini devil horn.

Wanna see it? You know you do.

See? It’s even shaped liked a horn. Told you!

Bucket Head/Spider-Man called it his “Molpie Thing,” and it was as much a part of him as his curly hair and perma-wrinkly sucking thumb. We ignored it for a long time when it grew back, but it recently got to the point where his teachers and peers were commenting about it and making him feel bad. Fuckers.

Here’s what it looked like from another angle. Once I realized it had a face, I knew it was time to part ways. I have enough mouths to feed.

So off to the dermatologist we went.

Now let me tell you something, the dermatologist’s waiting room is not the place to be if you have a poor self-esteem.

Everywhere you look there are reminders of what’s wrong with the way you look and how you can improve it.

“When your neck looks younger, so do you.”

“Show your frown lines some love!”

“Winter Hand Rejuvenation Special: includes a laser hand treatment and a FREE retail size of Lumiquin.”

“Ask about Sculptra Aesthetic… the first facial injectable that gives you subtle results over time.”

“Inadequate or not enough lashes? Ask your doctor if LATISSE is right for you.”

Jesus H. Christ. I get it, I get it. My face, my neck, my hands, even my tiny little eyelashes are all not good enough. Great. Thanks for that, evil marketing geniuses. Just the little boost I needed today. As if I don’t have enough on my mind imagining how it will be to once again hold my screaming three-year-old down while a doctor snips and cauterizes an inch away from his little face.

Needless to say: not a pleasant experience, before, during, or after.

But it got me thinking…

I don’t have great skin. I’m 40 years old and I spent every summer of my youth sautéeing myself in baby oil and sea salt. I have pictures of myself as a tween/teen/young adult where my sunburns were so bad I looked like I had been pulled out of a lobster pot. Add a sprinkling of adult acne, some patches of melasma leftover from pregnancy, a handful of suspicious moles, my infamous hormone-induced facial hair… and we have the makings for a dermatologist’s wet dream. Seriously, when I walk into my dermatologist’s office it’s like Norm walking into Cheers.

I’d like to help you avoid the same fate, so for today’s Just the Tip Tuesday post, I’m going to share with you the best skin care tips I never followed but wish I had. Some of these are so basic, I’m sure you know them already. But there might be a few new ones you didn’t know, so don’t leave before we pull out the pimple shaped piñata, okay? Here we go:

1.) Wear sunscreen everyday. Put it on your face, neck, and upper chest. Bonus points if you remember to spread it on the backs of your hands.  Seriously, my step mother won’t even go out to the mail box without her sunscreen and she has awesome skin.

2.) Wash your face every night before bed. My mother in law is 81 years old and doesn’t have a single deep set wrinkle on her face. She had 12 children, so I suspect that she was so busy living in a shoe and all that her face never saw the light of day. But in addition to that, she swears by Cetaphil cleanser. Buys it in bulk at Costco. Trust me, she is gorgeous.

3.) Apply eye cream with your ring finger. The skin surrounding your eyes is the most delicate skin on your face. Your ring finger is the weakest finger on your hand. The two are a match made in heaven. Also, a cosmetologist once told me that there are no oil glands around your eyes. Don’t know if that is true or not, but the look on her face when I told her I wasn’t using eye cream? You would have thought I had just confessed to making out with Hitler. I now use eye cream. And I always apply it with my ring finger. You should too.

4.) Don’t frown so much. They’re called frown lines for a reason, duh.

5.) Drink more water. No brainer. We all know it. But if you are anything like me, it can be hard to squeeze the water in between the coffee all morning and the wine all afternoon. Best tip for that I never follow is to drink a small glass of water every hour on the hour. Set your watch or smart phone to beep every hour to remind you… it will become a Pavlovian response.

6.) Don’t wear panties to bed… they cause cellulite! Seriously. Not making this up. Side benefit: also a marriage enhancer.

7.) Get your beauty sleep. This is critical for cell regeneration. Just make sure you do it nekkid from the waist down. See above.

8.) Pick it with your elbows. This one comes from the home office… passed down from my father and his father before that. To clarify, they were talking about zits and not splinters or lotto scratch off tickets.

9.) Gently push back your cuticles after every bath or shower. I never do this and my hands look like feet. Man feet. My sister in law Teresa has the prettiest hands you’ve ever seen. She does this. Seriously, bitch could be a hand model.

10.) Lay off the liquor. Experts say that more than one drink a day can lead to increased oil production and enlarged pores. Fuck my life.

And now, as promised, a pimple shaped piñata. Just make sure you pick it with your elbows.

Image credit: http://loteriachicana.net/

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.