So…there was an incident that occurred while I was at the beach. A beauty incident, if you will. And well, what are these things good for if not fodder for the blog? I love nothing more than a good laugh at my own expense. I mean, why else would I publicly share how my face came to resemble alligator skin?

No really. That’s what it looks like. Alligator skin. You know when they show the “before” picture on a Jergens commercial and you see the extreme close up of someone’s dried out, lizard-like skin scales? Oh yeah, that’s my face. Except minus the blow-up. Jergens, I could save you lots of money on ad design.

The worst part is, I can’t blame it on anyone but myself. And well, maybe BJ’s Wholesale Club. What? Where do you go for beauty supplies? Some place fancy like Sephora or Ulta or Target? Well I like my beauty supplies in bulk, thankyouverymuch. And I’m not alone. You know how some mothers and daughters like to go get pedicures or have long lunches to catch up on things? Well my mom and I like to go to BJ’s. Don’t judge! We just like a good deal and hey, if that deal happens to be located just 20 minutes away in the state of tax-free shopping, well then my mom and I are there. And we’ll take a 10-pound bag of peanut m&ms, please.

So there my mom and I are, at BJ’s, nearly finished our shopping, when we have the standard BJ’s conversation:

Mom: “Want some chips?”

Me: “Eh, no, I’m just going to eat them all.”

Mom: “Ok. Need any spices?”

Me: “Not in three pound quantities… have you seen the size of my easy bake kitchen?”

Mom: “Hmm, okay honey. Anything else then?”

And just then, wouldn’t you know it, we happened to be at the beauty aisle. Silly me thinks to myself, “Well this must be harmless! Ten pounds of shampoo isn’t going to make me outgrow my pants! And I have plenty of room in my shower caddy for that! Silky clean beautiful hair here I come!” So mom and I meander down the aisle and I happen to spot an anti-aging cream ROC that shall remain nameless ROC. And I’d heard great things about this ROC nameless anti-aging cream, which of course I had to share with my mom, since we both share this lovely little thing called laugh lines and an ability to spend a LOT of time in the sun. It was almost like the cream was meant for us. After all, the package came with not one but two creams—one for each of our lovely sets of laugh lines! And did I mention the tax-free shopping? It was a no brainer!

Now, I should mention here that I’m not one of those people who buy a new dress and wait three months to wear it. Oh no. I’m wearing it the next day. I don’t care if it’s a cocktail dress and I’m making a trip to the dump. I bought it, I have it, I’m wearing it. So what did I do? I broke open that ROC nameless anti-aging ROC cream and slathered it on. Paying extra special attention to my 11’s (yes, they actually have a name for those wrinkles between your eyebrows. As if they weren’t depressing enough on their own). I slathered that stuff on like it was some kind of miracle cream and went to bed feeling responsible, thinking, “Hey at least if I’m going to spend eight straight days sunbathing I’m counteracting that sun damage with wrinkle cream.” But oh sweet Jesus how mistaken I was.

I got to the beach the next day and my face quickly started burning. BUR-NING. BURNING! And because I’m a genius, I blamed the burning on the heat, not the wrinkle cream, so I didn’t a) get out of the sun; b) get under an umbrella or c) stop putting on the night cream. No, I chose option d, which involved holding a cold diet coke to my face for several minutes, continuing to slather on the cream for three straight days and staying in the full sun as much as possible. In my defense there was a heat wave. Maybe I wasn’t thinking properly.

It wasn’t until the fourth day that I mentioned my burning face to my mom, who asked if I’d been putting on the cream. I said yes, and it was then that she informed me that the back of the package says to avoid sun exposure during usage. True to form, I had only read the “how to apply” directions and then immediately stopped after that. Note to self: read ALL directions. Unless you want a burning scaly desert face that feels eerily similar to sand paper.

Jergens, if you need a “before” model, I’m your girl.