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A Sign of the Times

Most of our morning rituals look something like this: shower, dress, eat breakfast, go to work or school. But within those rituals there could be many, if not dozens, of steps. And those steps give structure to our day. But how often do we really take notice of each one?

After a visit to a dermatologist for a first ever body scan (not the most pleasant, but not half as bad as the alternative), Dr. Berkowitz spoke for 15 minutes on the importance of rituals. More specifically, skin rituals. At one point it sounded like a conversation between teenage girls bantering back and forth about products. I excepted him to say, “Like, for sure, do a mud mask.” (He never did.). After telling me I had beautiful skin (thanks for the genes, Folks!), he explained how to keep it looking good, but also how to protect it from sun damage. Great, the To Do list gets longer as the clock ticks away.

“In the morning start with a cleanser, then add moisturizer and sunblock,” he said. “Then at night, there are similar steps, but with different products.” My mind raced. I thought of my already chockfull morning and evening routines. “Wait,” I told him. “I need to take notes.”

A few minutes later, standing in CVS, holding the Post It note of recommended products, “You don’t need to spend a lot on specialty creams,” Dr. B. had said, I gathered Cetaphil and Neutrogena, additional items that would become part of my daily routines. Once home, I put my new purchases into the medicine cabinet and started to count all the items I lather, rub, or dab on my body before I walk out the door. When I ran out of fingers, I grabbed a pen.

  1. Shampoo

  1. Conditioner

  2. Shaving gel

  3. Body Soap

  4. Face cleanser

  5. Body scrub

  6. Moisturizer for face

  7. Moisturizer for body

  8. Sunscreen for face and neck

  9. Hair gel

  10. Toothpaste

  11. Mascara

  12. Perfume

  13. Lip sunblock

I was instantly reminded of the Lily Tomlin movie, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” where she shrinks because of a combination of so many household products. While I use 14 items, I’m sure some women (and a few metrosexuals) use even more. No wonder there is a drug store on every corner of this city. And while my days will continue with the step-by-step routine I’ve created, my favorite will continue to be the one in which I wake up and only put on sunscreen and bike clothes. Soon enough…

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