Elizabeth Warren turned my entire life upside down when she explained her skincare routine in an interview with Cosmopolitan, the last remaining reliable news source for women of all ages. The senator spoke about her late cousin Tootsie, who inspired her to only use Pond’s cold cream for skincare and not a single thing else. Not a toner, not an exfoliator, no masks—nothing! Just Pond’s cold cream twice a day. How can a woman with a plan for everything feel comfortable with a single step beauty routine?
The face cream-guzzling creatures that work at Jezebel were also taken aback by this revelation. It wasn’t long before someone fell on their sword for the blog.
After being cornered and peer pressured by someone whose name rhymes with bacon (I am not a snitch), I took a walk to the local Walgreens and searched for the tub of Pond’s that would fuck me up the least. Of the three sold at Walgreens, I chose the green one which was labeled as a cleanser and moisturizer in one. Disgusting.
But before I could get to the torture that would be not washing my face, I had another Warren habit to test. The 70-year-old senator likes to walk. She covers about 6.6 miles a day every day. On a good day, I cover a little under 4 before getting on the treadmill if I get on it at all. Elizabeth Warren and I are very different people. Who knew?
The first day of this week-long experiment was fine in terms of racking up the miles. I covered three miles during the working day so once I got home there were only 3.6 miles to get through on the treadmill. I am in training for some 5Ks in the spring so I took my evening miles at a run while watching Elizabeth Warren, the woman who was going to ruin my whole week, on the CNN debate stage. We both gave decent performances that night.
Finally, the dreaded hour came to open and then use the Pond’s. It smelled faintly of an at-home hair relaxing kit. I rubbed the uncomfortably thick white cream onto my dry face and wiped it off with a warm damp towel. That was it. That was the whole routine. I found myself with twenty extra minutes before I needed to be in bed and used that time to read. My face itched for a few of those minutes but not severely enough for me to be alarmed. Every time I took a breath the Pond’s smell was there, tormenting me, reminding me that my face was not glowing or thoroughly moisturized. Maybe this would be good for me. Maybe this combo of increased exercise and minimal skincare would be the thing that helped me restructure my days and become a more productive member of society. Perhaps by just making these two small changes I, too, could consider one day running for president.
My face was fucking dry the next morning. It would remain dry for the entire week. The only time my face was not utterly and painfully dry was when I was on the treadmill, sweating. Every day I asked my friends if my face looked dry. They’d lie and say it didn’t. They said it looked fine. But nothing was fine. The face dryness made it hard to focus at work. The tiny breakout that was starting on one side of my face kept me in a state of constant panic. I touched my forehead more than usual to inspect for signs of life. I longed for just a single pump from any of my rose or lavender-infused hydration sprays. I was a lost wanderer in a beauty desert.
The extra miles for my day were not as bad as the skin situation. The treadmill felt like a time suck on some days but it was also nice to have that hour and change to think. The awful part was because I wasn’t taking rest days throughout the week, I tweaked my knee and my hip and experienced swelling in my feet. So not only did I dry out my whole entire face, but I also sacrificed my joints for content.
There were a few big takeaways from this week in face hell, but none as important as my deeper sense of appreciation for Elizabeth Warren, who spends every day with a dry face and questionable joint mobility but continues to persist in her quest to become electable. Also, I lost weight. Praise Warren. Finally, exfoliation is something I will cling to for life. When this experiment was over, I exfoliated vigorously enough to remove two layers of skin, cleansed, toned, and moisturized my face until it shined like a new penny. This morning the Pond’s-fueled breakout was gone and my pillows smelled of rose hydrosol. The man I sleep with every night noticed no changes, but my officemate really made this journey worth it when she said, “Your face looks fine.”