About Me

My photo
I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Exploring the Brave New World of Face Serums...

Just five of my favorite La Mer products

Finally!  I feel as if I have discovered the Rosetta Stone!

In case anyone out there has also been lost in the brave new world of serums, I'm here to enlighten you because I am bubbling over.  You see, I was so happy that I finally figured it out that in my excitement, I again mistook my hubby for someone who might care and started to share this long-sought-for knowledge with him.  Imagine my amazement when he did NOT care!  OK.  I had a sneaky suspicion he wouldn't, especially since he had already closed his eyes and was about to take his first snore (or is that "make" his first snore - regardless!) but I was just THAT THRILLED!

Ah.  You may wonder about my sanity about now, but it was ever-suffering hubby who inadvertently caused me to be in agony these last few years.

The two of us, one fine day, made one of our pilgrimages to my "beauty heaven" and I'd sent him off on an errand to pick up a jar of my beloved Creme de La Mer.  Let me tell you, the stuff if expensive, yes, but so little is used and I'm so lazy (alert: that was a code word!) about using it that it lasts me forever!  The good news and the bad news are basically intertwined.  Hubby loves to spend money on me which I'd never spend on myself (because he hates to spend on himself at all, sigh...) but often buys things I could care less about and puts me in agony as I think about all the other ways I might have spent our money more wisely.  A very mixed bag as I'm sure you can see.

On this particular day, puppy dog hubby came back from my beloved and wise Sylvia, whom I consider a friend after all these years of know each other, gossiping, seeking advice on family, analyzing our lives and problems and in the end, me also receiving wonderful, generous samples.  Darn Saks for leaving Pittsburgh!  Everyone who walked into Saks knew Sylvia and to know her was to love her.

But on this unsettling day, I couldn't visit with my Sylvia and she sent hubby back with two new products, serums, in addition to the jar of La Mer, and included instructions on exactly how to use them, written out in hand by Sylvia, bottles marked, everything crystal clear...

...except I was still trying to figure out the whole staging of when to use moisturizer, when to use sunscreen. Somehow my skincare was getting more complex by the month, it seemed.  Why the heck couldn't I just slap on some foundation, a bit of color on my eyes and cheeks and be done with it?  I can't even bare to have lipstick or gloss on my lips (or do stop gasping for heaven's sake!) and now people wanted me to add lip balm and lip liner and on top of that to put the lip color on with a brush? Was the world going mad?

Well, only because I loved and trusted Sylvia so much did I carry out her instructions...well, that is, when I did anything at all.  Remember, I tend to be an "all or nothing" sort of person, thanks to this DD!

I have no idea why I didn't call Sylvia and ask her questions about the serums.  Perhaps it was because I suddenly started seeing serums popping up everything I turned (on the Internet and magazines, people - remember, I rarely leave my house!) and I felt very stupid or intimidated - or just that I have this awful part of me that often doesn't realize that it's OK to ask for help.

Anyway, it's been at the very least five years since that serum first started to haunt my life and each month things appeared to worsen as more serums started to show up in everyone's beauty lines, MANY in each line. How many serums were we to wear?  I was still stuck in my sunscreen dilemma!  I absolutely hate sunscreen.  I hate most products on my face - other than foundation, which, it appears, the rest of the world suddenly strongly dislikes!

Can you see where just my skincare - ugly word to me, since I am, after all, a product of my generation - was becoming a double four-letter word?  SKIN CARE.  Oh, poor deluded youngsters who think they look better without foundation. But then they also think their legs look better without hose.  Is  the whole world nuts? OK, back to topic: skincare was making me start losing it!

But finally I realized what my BFF has been quietly teaching me all these years...look things up if you don't want to ask someone.  I mean no disrespect to those who use a different version of my motto, but I always think, "what would Linda do?"

And Linda would hit the Internet running.

So, research I did and after two months I finally figured it out!!!!

Serums are a treatment that, basically, go on after you have finished your cleansing routine.  ("Routine"?  Washing with Dove is a "routine"?)

OK, I jest.  I do know I should use other products and sometimes do (ha!).

One "expert" haughtily informed me (via YouTube, not in a vision!) that toners were a thing of the past and that serums are here to stay.  I'm not so ready to give up my toners but I did like the info on the serums.  Everything is now illuminated.  (Groan, but I really do need to throw in a literary reference occasionally!)

You see, serums are for various problems.  If you have a hydration problem, you get a hydrating serum, a loose skin problem, a firming serum or a lifting serum.  If you've a grayish complexion which is lifeless and dull, you use a radiating serum.  You pick your battles, as every mom (and wife!) knows.  Sylvia had me on a radiance serum in the morning and hydrating one at night...or was it the other way around?  The labels she'd so carefully placed on the bottles fell off about a year ago, so all bets are off!

Furthermore (and the most important part to understanding this as far as I am concerned) the serums have very small molecules.  Thus, after exfoliating, you apply your serum.  (Please, let's not even go there and just say that it is a given and I promise I'll get to exfoliation in the future if you remind me!)  When all the dead skin cells are off your beautiful skin, you put the serum on.  The serum sinks into your skin because of said tiny molecules and the serum goes to battle, conquering your problems.  Only a drop or two of the serums is needed because of concentration and because all you need is a thin layer spread lightly all over, not rubbed in.  Sunscreens and moisturizers have larger molecules and thus go over your serum.

(Now WHY did I have to go to such lengths to discover this?  This post is already too long to even go there!)

So, now I am in love with serums.  I always KNEW Sylvia was right!  And deep down inside, I knew hubby would not lead me too far astray.  And yes, when I mentioned the molecule bit, hubby did get a bit excited, for all of five seconds max and then turned away from me, mumbled something completely incomprehensible and began to snore...

...while I lay in bed thinking it was nice that ONE mystery was solved!


  1. Fascinating! I have collected many samples of serums thru the years and could never figure out when to use them. Now I know.
    Thanks Upa. :)

    1. You're quite welcome, L. Glad I could help! :)