Community Columns

Waging war against aging, a jar at a time

My daughter-in-law, Julie, is quite a gal. Besides being a wonderful wife to my son Greg, she is beautiful, smart and a real go-getter.

In addition to holding down a full-time position as a senior social worker, Julie juggles a variety of entrepreneurial projects. If the opportunity presented itself, Julie could give Donald Trump a run for his money. Her latest undertaking is that of a representative for a cosmetic company.

I try to support Julie in all her endeavors, I do, and I may very well help Julie establish her cosmetic empire.

I’m such a sucker for anti-aging products. When I read an ad that contains the phrase “anti-aging,” I rip it out of the magazine. If I catch an anti-aging infomercial promising that I can look 10 years younger in 90 seconds, I jot down the name of the product. My purse holds myriad advertisements and little scraps of paper that I hoard for further investigation.

I scavenge the cosmetic counters with my pot pourri of notes and ads looking for the perfect anti-aging product. Therein lies the problem: These advertisements raise our expectations. (Gals, you know what I mean.) We use a product faithfully for three months or so, expecting that the miracle in the jar will have produced a miracle on our faces. Then, we look in the mirror and …

Well, gals, if you put on your reading glasses and examine the fine print at the bottom of the product information sheet, it will state something like this: “Results not comparable to surgery” or “Results based on four-week consumer study.”

All right, so there’s no miracle in a jar. Yet I find it hard to resist when I read, “85 percent of users reported instant results.” Instant! Or else: “Not drastic, just fantastic younger-looking skin.”

The financial pundits are telling us that our economy is stalled. Like many folks, I’ve had to scale back my spending and, as a result, I may have kicked my age-defying product habit.

I’m staying away from he department store cosmetic counters with offers of a free makeover. In the past, I’ve found myself sitting on a high stool (trying to ignore the passersby) firmly believing that I was getting a freebee.

But, alas, nothing is free. I always left the cosmetics counter made up like the late Tammy Faye and carrying a bag full of stuff.

Drugstores are equally dangerous for me. Before I enter a drugstore, I tell myself, “Ceil, just the vitamins.” It never works. I unwittingly find myself meandering over to the cosmetics aisle, where I rummage through my purse looking for a particular scrap of paper. And you know the rest.

So, here’s my problem: On one hand, I want to continue to support Julie, and as an added bonus, I can check out her new products. I mean, really, her company might just discover that miracle in a jar.

On the other hand, the economy, being what it is, mindful spending is a necessity.

Then there’s a self-test to consider: I don’t like being dependent on anyone or anything, including anti-aging products. But wait — is this a true dependency? Shouldn’t women take advantage of whatever products are available?

You too, guys. I know you’re not as up-front about your vanities as us gals. However, I’ve checked online and found tons of anti-aging products specifically designed for guys. C’mon, either you’re sneaking your wives’ or girlfriends’ products or you’re buying them yourselves.

Uh-oh. I just heard the “you’ve got mail” sound.

It’s Julie with a new promotion: a firming and lifting cream that promises …

Of course, I’ll buy this cream to help Julie. And who knows? This product may very well be the real deal.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, but someone has to drive the economy forward!

Ms. Iannelli is a resident of Jamesport.