My Grandma Annie Ruth has the smoothest skin I've ever touched. At 90 years young with a diet filled with fried chicken, collard greens and sweet potato pie, you'd probably imagine someone with saggy, blemished skin. But she has a face that puts a baby's bottom to shame. Seriously. And her secret is simple: Noxzema.
Ever since I was a child, I can remember my grandmother sitting in her bubblegum pink bathroom with a large towel across her lap as she rubbed on the deep cleansing cream. However, she'd walk back into the living room with it still on--never washing it off as instructed. Bright and early the next morning, she'd splash her face with lukewarm water and pat it dry with a cloth. Yep, she slept with it slathered on.
So I figured, if it has worked all these years for her, then what could I lose by giving it a try? Oh, you know, just having my super sensitive skin wage war, that's all. But I forged ahead. Read on to find out how I fared with my grandma's Noxzema beauty regimen for seven days straight:
Day 1: I kicked off my cold cream routine while visiting my family back home in South Carolina. Appropriate since I had been eating lots of fried fish and blackberry cobbler, which led to a tiny breakout on my right cheek. That next day, I woke up to a greasy silk pillowcase and a dried up pimple. After washing what was left of the Noxzema off, I had this crazy smooth complexion which made my sunscreen go on seamlessly.
Day 2: Back in my Philly apartment, I mustered enough energy to rub on some Noxzema before bed. Not until this moment did the menthol scent really hit me, reminding me of the anti-flu ointments that my grandmother also swears by. Another pillowcase ruined, I noticed that my face appeared a bit brighter in the morning.
Day 3: After the surprising skin-brightening results from the day before, I decided to get a jump start on my regimen and smooth it on a few hours earlier than usual. And by the time I actually hit the sack, it looked as if I had nothing on my face. In the morning, the usual oil-free facial cleanser and sunscreen with SPF combination yielded--you guessed it!-- baby soft skin. I give Noxzema kudos for consistency.
Day 4: Not surprisingly, I couldn't care less about the Noxzema after tossing back a few strawberry mojitos at my neighborhood rum bar. What the heck was I thinking? I wanted so badly to reach for a facial cleansing cloth, but I refused to give up in the name of Annie Ruth.
Day 5: I've made it past the halfway point of my Noxzema journey and am realizing that it isn't too hard to stick to the same product. Plus, the six dollars I spent on this large tub of cream was well worth it, considering it'll last for months. But a part of me is waiting for those all-too-familiar forehead bumps to appear again.
Day 6: Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, I caught myself reading the Noxzema label very closely. I was looking for promises of a clearer complexion. But only saw "removes dirt, oil and makeup." I started to think was I going insane. The tiny dark spots along my cheekbones were fading. Perhaps I'm an exception.
Day 7: On what was possibly my last night using Noxzema, that pesky little pimple returned. But Noxzema cleared it up right away.
Me, after washing off Noxzema cream and without moisturizer. Photo:Raydene Salinas
I have more than enough Noxzema to continue my grandmother's beauty regimen, however, I don't have enough time or quarters to wash my linens as frequently as she does. So, I'll probably apply it on the evenings I stay in, then wait at least 30 to 45 minutes before rinsing off.
What is your mother, grandmother or aunt's best beauty secret? Tell us in the comments section below.