So I’m sitting poolside in Cabo. The sun is out. It’s about 90 degrees. There is a slight breeze. There is an ice-cold refreshing beverage sitting about 4 inches away from my left hand. I’m watching Kathleen and two of my kids floating near the edge of the infinity pool. Despite the music playing over the loudspeakers (lots of bass) I can hear them laughing. In other words, life is good.
I’m looking across the pool at the swim-up bar about 20 feet away. Three young women in their early 20’s are sitting together at the left end of the bar. The 4 chairs next to them, are taken up by 2 older couples. All 7 of them are talking, drinking, and laughing. I can’t quite hear what they are saying (the music really does have a pretty loud bass line), but I can see them really well.
Here’s what I noticed.
20 to 30 year old skin is really pretty (remember- I’m a doctor and a scientist so hopefully this doesn’t come off as disgusting). By really pretty, I mean really pretty. From 20 feet away you can tell it’s smooth and soft. The skin itself looks plump with even color and tone throughout.
Before I tell you about the older couple’s skin, let me tell you a bit about them. They come here 4 times a year for a month at a time. They’ve been here for 3 weeks this visit and spend most of their waking hours in the sun, wearing essentially no sunscreen. According to them, it’s the sun that makes them feel alive. As my wife’s mom would have said, “they are brown as a berry”. Unfortunately, they are also black, and red, and blue, and tan, and even have very white areas as well. Their skin has deep wrinkles, looks about as thin as crepe paper, and has multiple bruises from where it has bumped up against the side of the pool. They think their tanned skin makes them look healthy. I know differently. Their tanned skin just makes them look old.
Healthy skin is sitting quite literally, on the stools to the left of them.
The lessons are these.
- The sun is awesome as long as it’s in moderation and accompanied by sunscreen.
- Sun damage is reversible. There are 3, and only 3 things that can accomplish this.
- Topical Vitamin A (retinol) used regularly, actually reverses both sun and age damage.
- Topical Vitamin C (cheap preparations won’t penetrate the skin- you get what you pay for when it comes to Vitamin C) both reverses sun damage already present in the skin and protects from further damage by the sun.
- Growth Factors (derived from human tissue, not plants- again you get what you pay for) reverse sun and age damage pretty impressively.
- Really pretty skin looks really pretty because of the absence of sun damage. Start protecting your skin early, wear sunscreen all the time, use products that actually work every day.
The story of course has one more point. The three women I thought were in their 20’s on the 3 stools to the left, were actually 2 young women who were sitting with their mom. Their 50-ish year old mom, as it turns out, had been following the 3 lessons above since she was her daughter’s age.