Ever since I reached the official age of “extremely old crone,” my skin has decided that it should reflect that noble title, doing its best to shrivel and dry at every turn. But since I’m the product of a culture that refuses to acknowledge the reality of aging, I’ve refused to let my skin bend to nature, investing instead an obscene amount of money in crone-appropriate skincare. (There is, I should note, a vast difference between actual skincare for women of a certain age and the recommendations of 20-something influencers whose good skin is the result of youth.) Like everyone else, I’ve developed a routine, that daily ritual meant to ward off mere mortality. It’s personal and involved and frankly too embarrassing to document this publicly, but the product I’m most invested in is Vichy’s Mineral 89, a hyaluronic acid with surprisingly nice packaging.
I stumbled on Mineral 89 after a late, boring night of Googling increasingly inane questions about my skin and reading a number of blogs that can only be described as evangelical in their zeal for perfect skin. I have what beauty blogs and my dermatologist call “combination” skin, a term I’m convinced is absolutely made up, a nicer way to describe skin that loathes most lotions. Even though I’ve ascended to extremely old crone, my skin still insists on breaking out like a teenager when any hint of the wrong moisturizer comes near it, but Mineral 89 is light, absorbs well, and leaves a nice glow (I usually wear it over a serum).
Is it really doing anything? I don’t know, but I recently read that the brand traces its history to a 1930s spa near the Auvergne volcanoes. The brand originally claimed that this nutrient-rich water near the volcanoes contained healing properties. Of course, I logically know that volcanic water isn’t stopping the inevitably of age—and the company has been owned by L’Oreal for quite some time—but I wish we could go back to an iteration of beauty that just promised magic born from springs and spas and volcanos. Instead, I’ll continue my labor-intensive routine packaged with a sterile appeal to laboratories and the “science” of aging, but wishing all the while for a miracle.
One Small Thing only features products we paid for ourselves. We have not been sent samples or otherwise bribed.