"If I can't get my sister to understand skincare better, what chance do I have at explaining this to other women?"
It was almost 10 in the night and I was following my nightly beauty routine on autopilot. Meanwhile, my sister Divya, was prepping for her next work day while watching ‘Good Girls’ on her laptop. With one eye on her wardrobe and another on the show, she was mixing and matching clothes like a pro. Younger to me by two years, Divs is a fashion goddess. Luckily we were the same size and she let me borrow her clothes, so my outfits were always on point. However, that wasn’t the case with Divs and my skincare stash. She hardly ever used any of my products and if she did, it was often the wrong one. It used to infuriate me, but I had now made peace with it. Or so I thought! ☺
It all began when I asked her to pass me my night cream. She picked up the day cream from the counter and tossed it to me. “Look at what this is?”, I said holding up the tub for her to see, only to have her shrug it off with, “It’s okay. I often use this at night too.” I tried not to react, after all Divs’ total disregard for skincare was nothing new. But then a thought crept in, ‘If I cannot get my sister to understand the correct usage of a product, what chance do I have at explaining this to other women? Change, like charity, must begin at home.’
She saw my look and said, “What? Megs, both are moisturisers and all moisturisers do the same thing — they hydrate, brighten, soothe, blah blah blah…”. I quickly jumped in with, “… they plump and tighten our skin.” Divs turned away as she muttered, “Great, use it!”
I swapped the creams and held it towards Divs and murmured, “You know why we use this, Divs?” She was in a mood to argue, but sensing my ‘won’t back off’ vibe, she sighed. Turning off the show, she sat across me with a pretty obvious long-suffering look. It just thickened my hide.
“Day creams are lightweight moisturisers, babes… easily absorbed into the skin”, I said clicking my fingers for effect. “You can use it under makeup. In fact, they help your foundation and concealer glide on smoothly. But most importantly Divs, day creams contain SPF… sun protection against UV radiation.”
“So?” said Divs, shrugging. “There is just no sun at night, how does it matter?”. I bit my tongue wanting to say something caustic but instead, I said, “Sure, there is no sun at night… but it’s the time your skin needs to complete 5 Rs — Relax, Repair, Restore, Recover and Rejuvenate. And night creams are designed to do that!”, I said earnestly. “Rich with slow-absorbing ingredients, they help your skin heal and regain its luminosity, while you are in your la-la land.”
“I was awakened by a sound in the room. Someone was stealthily moving — someone had broken in!”
Divs looked questioningly, “ You done?”.
“Noooo! They help keep wrinkles away, thanks to anti-ageing ingredients which boost the production of collagen. Get it?”, I asked, smiling. “Both have their own place.”
Divs groaned, “That’s too much time and effort. I’ll think about it later, sorry Megha.”
Urrrgggghhhhh. I walked to where her shirt and trousers hung on the peg for the next day. I replaced her smart pair of trousers with her night pyjamas. Divs was stunned. “What do you think you are doing?”. I shrugged innocently, “This looks much nicer.” An annoyed Divs exclaimed, “PJs to work? Have you lost it?”. Putting on an innocent face I stated, “Why not? They are pants after all!”
“It’s nightwear, meant for the night”, she shouted. “So?”, I countered. “If you can use day cream at night, then why not wear night clothes during the day?” Divs replaced her PJs with formal pants saying, “Because I will look like an idiot!” “Exactly!”, I pounced on my chance, “Put the same efforts in your face creams too. Unless, of course, you fancy wearing scarves and huge glasses to cover your sagging skin!”.
I bit my tongue as soon as the words were out. Divs looked like she would kill me. I knew there was no point apologising… it would cost me a pound of my flesh and frankly, I was right. I flopped on the bed and closed my eyes.
An hour or so later, I was awakened by a sound in the room. A figure was stealthily moving in the dark — had someone broken in? I was terrified, my heart was beating like a drum. The intruder seemed to be coming towards my bed. Was I going to be silenced with a pillow?
Is this how it would end for me?
What Divs learnt about night creams:
Ep01: When I got yelled at and exfoliation was a vacuum cleaner
TBH no one had ever asked me about ‘exfoliation’ in an interview before.
Ep02: When Pinot Noir gave life and Becca learnt about non-touring
We were in high spirits, both literally and figuratively.
Ep03: When I scored at a work meeting, but failed miserably at beauty sleep
"I had stayed up late researching the effects of blue light on beauty sleep. Ah, the irony!"
Ep05: When a (delicious) man joined the trio and tutored them on glass skin
"Most women did not realise how simple it really was to make the skin underneath makeup the real star."
Ep06: When I successfully woke up tired skin, only for it to lose colour at work
"All I wanted was to shove Samar’s face into a bucket of ice, all I did was dunk my face in it."
Ep07: When my disappointing night was as trending as the French manicure
Everyone assumed that it was a case of ‘Netflix & Chill’ gone wrong!
Ep08: When Zumba helped my soul and pre-workout cleansing helped my skin
"I began tying my hair away from my face. No way was I going to let a guy give me a zit."
Ep09: When I won at skin fasting, but mom won in life
"My mom was ready with her next plan. She already had the look of victory on her face."
Ep10: When the night started with lip care and ended with endless dancing
"I was busy reminiscing the previous night and nursing aching feet from all the dancing."