Mommy did know best

Remember the scene in Mommy Dearest where Joan’s character played of course to gay obsession perfection by the lovely Faye Dunaway is shown waking every morning to wash her face and then plunge it into a sink of ice? I’m sure you remember the wire hangers scene where she’ s shown in the middle of the night face slathered in moisturizer. Ms Crawford knew what to do to make sure her face was camera ready. After basic good health habits such as good nutrition, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water what are the two golden rules of skin care? We all know it’s having clean,exfoliated and moisturized skin. The ice water dip(or at the very least a cold water blast in the shower, same as recommended for your hair) is a good routine to add as well.
For centuries Europeans have gone to bathhouses to detoxify and tighten their skin. The process- a steamroom session followed by cold pool plunge to shock skin and closed pores is now a spa staple but easy to replicate at home. Although skin care with all it’s chemical peels, dermabrasion, and botox is now a billion dollar a year industry, we can(and I do) take care of my skin in much the same way Ms Crawford and the ladies before her did with beautiful healthy results.

Dermatologists top recommendations for skin are mild cleansing nightly , exfoliation, moisturizing skin and wearing sunscreen at all times(admittedly a step not used except in recent times but vintage ladies were usually a lot more covered up with hats, umbrellas and more modest clothing). Nothing new there.

I accomplish the first two steps both cleansing and exfoliation by washing with a washcloth(the cheaper the better cheap ones are nubbier perfect for scrubbing away dead skin cells) I buy a pack of ten or twelve for $5 at Family Dollar or Dollar General. When I was younger I used Neutrogena soap but as I started getting older it started to be a bit drying. I switched to fhomemade cold process soap. Some days my face can’t handle even that and I use a cream non soap cleanser Sunscreen on top if I’m going to be in the sun(I don’t wear every day, I admit I just can’t believe it’s needed for a 30 second walk to the car). The only makeup I wear regularly is lipstick and eyebrow pencil so at night I use just a HOT wet washcloth followed by a cold rinse and raw shea butter as a moisturizer.Once a week I use a pumice scrub head to toe. Thats all I need and I bet thats all most women need. There are no secrets or magic in skin care, some women may need extra moisture or blemish treatment but those be easy and cheap as well. Nothing our grandmothers couldn’t handle.

What was good enough for beautiful vintage ladies like Ms Crawford and Ms Dunaway is good enough for me.

Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde

Joan Crawford


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