Chicago, IL

A Dirt-Cheap Way to Get Rid of Those Facial Sags and Bags

Sherry McGuinn

Got five minutes to “freshen up?”

A few weeks ago, I looked in the mirror and saw…a pachyderm.

Okay, that’s a little extreme. I’ve gained a few pounds but not that much. That was just my cheeky way of saying that the pandemic, along with the stress of the election, restless nights, and life shit in general, have not been kind to my face.

I don’t have blemishes or age spots or anything like that, but, my cheeks seem to have descended to a point somewhere directly below my chin. Do you women know what I’m talking about?

I’m missing the lift.

Now, I realize that aging comes with a lot of baggage, including saggage, not just in the face, but everywhere. Time has been relatively kind to me, though, and I’ve never really noticed anything “alarming” as the birthdays have piled up. This has less to do with any preventative measures I’ve taken, although I’ve done my best, and more to do with my genetic makeup.

But, the normal passing of time aside, as I wrote in a previous story, I can see every single month of this quarantine etched into my face and I don’t like it.

I bet you’re nodding as you read this because you’re experiencing the same physical and emotional challenges. It’s all stress, baby and we’ve reached our collective limit.

We know that stress fucks us up big time. Inside and out. And it leads to excess inflammation which can trigger a whole host of shitty conditions, which I won’t even get into because again, you already know. Search “anti-inflammatories” on Amazon Prime and your eyes will bug out of your head.

Normally, I like to get on top of a situation before it gets out of hand and that includes anything having to do with my appearance. I may feel like shit, but do I have to look like it?

No. And neither do you. And I’m not inferring that you do but…you get it. Often, “keeping up appearances,” can go a long way in boosting our overall mood.

If I believe that I look good, I feel less like a schlub and more like the femme fatale of my fantasy life.

As I’m a big fan of DIY lotions, potions, and unguents, I started researching facial creams that promise to “lift and tighten” sagging skin. The sheer volume of these products is overwhelming, but the majority have one ingredient in common: DMAE, or Dimethylethanolamine. (Try saying that after a tipple of Tito. We broke up, by the way.)

Taken internally, DMAE is purported to have cognitive-building, as well as mood-enhancing benefits, but the jury is still out on that one. What has been shown to be encouraging: Used topically, and correctly (as in don’t overdo it), DMAE tightens and brightens the complexion, giving it an overall smoother, firmer appearance.

According to Zwivel, DMAE-enhanced creams and lotions are used to treat the following:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sagging skin on the face and neck
  • Under-eye circles
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Liver spots
  • Inflammation

“Nasolabial folds!” I never knew that my nose had labia, but, whatever.

You, sexual adventurers, go to town and report back to the rest of us.

DMAE also boosts a fatty acid called phosphatidylcholine, a derivative of choline, a water-soluble vitamin, and is believed (note that word) to protect the skin against antioxidant damage.

I’m going to stop here and caution readers that I am not a dermatologist, nor do I pretend to be, but I do my research when it comes to vitamins, supplements, and anything that I put on, or in my body.

Although I use DMAE now, topically, and more on that in a bit, I would never take it as a supplement, given that it could have potential side effects, such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Insomnia

But, again, for topical application, and as I am happy to be your guinea pig, I discovered a recipe for a homemade DMAE facial spray that takes about two minutes to throw together. This is what you need:

A spray bottle that holds at least four ounces of fluid
DMAE, cosmetic grade powder (Amazon and other sites)
Water (I used distilled.)

To make it, warm four ounces of water in a cup. Add one and one-quarter teaspoons of the DMAE powder and mix it up until all the powder is dissolved. That’s it. Funnel it into your spray bottle and you’re ready to rock.

This is how I use it: In the morning, I clean my face with a coconut-oil-based micellar water. Next, I spritz my face lightly with the DMAE spray. After it dries, I tap on a bit of eye cream..something I rarely used before but I figured it was time. Finally, I apply whatever moisturizer I’m currently using.

From what I can tell, this stuff is working. My complexion is looking tighter and yes, fresher — more awake, if you will.

In the evening, I follow the same procedure but, after moisturizing, I follow with a couple of sprays of the DMAE mixture.

Naturally, go about this in a manner that works best for you. At first, you’ll want to tread lightly to see how your skin responds. It’s perfectly okay to feel a slight tingling sensation, but “burning” is a no-no. Your skin is either too sensitive or you’re using too much.

Going forward, on alternate days, I may switch up the DMAE spray with Vitamin C serum, which I also make myself.

Damn! You’d think I’d be one hell of a gourmet cook considering what I whip up for my face. I wish.

Time for me to go spritz. I hope you found this article of interest and as always, I appreciate your reading. And remember, whatever you do, take it light. But, take it.

© Sherry McGuinn, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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My goal is to educate, entertain, make you laugh, and above all, make you think. I will be running the gamut as far as my articles go because I have a restless mind and I allow it to ramble where and when it wants. I hope you enjoy what I'm looking forward to sharing with you. If so, I'd love for you to follow me. Thanks for reading.

Chicago, IL

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