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Why you should use your favorite cosmetics TODAY

Last week I took the day off work for my birthday to enjoy a fun day with my husband. As I was getting ready to shower that morning, I looked around my cluttered bathroom, overstocked with a variety hair potions, body scrubs, lotions, serums, masques, and more makeup than I care to admit. I have all these products at my disposal, yet I only use certain ones on a daily basis (generally these are the products that are for sale at my office because I know they are good quality and they work well). I have products that are my “too-good-for-everyday-use” and products that I consider “not up to my high standards”, both of which I don’t really use but I refuse to throw away. Living in San Francisco, space is an expensive commodity. I don’t like clutter, but I live with it (much to the chagrin of my husband, who also hates clutter but doesn’t want to live with mine!). I probably have more products than any one person could use in a lifetime, but that doesn’t stop me from somehow acquiring more when I find the best new thing that I just can’t live without. And then it too ends up on the shelf, half-used, covered in dust in the back of another closet I’ve taken over…

My intention was to take a quick shower, use my standard regime of products, and get on with what we planned for the day.

But then I stopped for a moment. I had a revelation, and I wondered if other people had a similar internal debate. In my head I was vacillating as to whether I should use my “fancy” products today. My initial thought was no. But why??

BioCream... Definitely "the good stuff". Worth using every day!

BioCream… Definitely “the good stuff”. Worth using every day!

On my birthday, of all days, did I not deserve to use my special products that I had spent my hard-earned money on? Why did I feel a twinge of guilt in wondering whether today was worthy of using my favorite honey-almond body scrub? I picked up a bottle of gardenia-scented body lotion that I purchased as a treat to myself the last time I was in New York in 2012. It was still 2/3 full, but the color of the lotion had become an unsightly yellow hue, and the bottle was dusty and faded. I only used this body lotion for “special occasions”, so of course it was still mostly full. Now it was on the verge of going bad, but still I had a hard time deciding whether to use it today or throw it away. Why would I purchase a nice body lotion that I LOVE the fragrance of, and then not use it if it makes me feel good??

I do not believe that I am alone in this problem. Why do we, as women and consumers, spend money on nice products and fancy things, only to withhold them from ourselves in some misguided attempt to “save them”? We know a bottle of lotion, perfume, expensive skin cream will not last forever, but for some reason we don’t feel justified using it on an average day. Perhaps, like everything, this goes back to my childhood (sorry Mom!) when I would buy crappy things for my mother at the drugstore and she would tell me that the hideous earrings I got for her were just “so nice” that she was going to put them away in a secret hiding spot and save them for a “special occasion”.

I vow that this year is going to be different in this aspect. I’m going to use what I have, and be selective as to what I bring into my home. No more crappy spray-on lotion that looks good because the girl in the commercial can get dressed really fast (it doesn’t work that way, and it’s filled with parabens, too-strong artificial fragrances of unknown origin, and God-knows-what-other chemicals are in there). I’m going to treat myself to the luxurious deep conditioner that has been sitting untouched in my shower for a year. I’m going to put on the scented body lotion that reminds me of the flower I wore in my hair on my wedding day. I’m going to throw away products that are half-full, dusty on the lid, unused for the past 6 months, or that I know I’m not going to use. And I’m not going to feel guilty about it! I’m going to use “the good stuff” on an average Tuesday because it smells nice and it makes me smile . I am not going to save my high-quality lotions and potions for “someday”, because I deserve to use them today.

So on my birthday this year, I used my favorite honey body scrub, and afterwards I applied my gardenia body lotion, and felt good about using both. This year I’m going to use the things that make me smile and that make me feel like today is a going to be a good day, simply because I used my favorite shampoo. And I’m not going to feel bad about finishing off the last of my favorite perfume, even if I just wear it to go to the grocery store.

Like the old Loreal hair color ads from the 90’s used to say, “because you’re worth it!”

I’m worth it, and so are you.


In health and happiness,

Courtney McSpadden Prabhakar

Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner for Horton SPA



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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA