The Horror of My First Wrinkles: A Sad Skin Care Story, Told in GIFs

Rachel Adler

There are countless things I love about working in the beauty industry—always having the inside track on the hottest new products, the life-long friendships I’ve cultivated, an endless supply of lipsticks—and I wouldn’t trade my job for anything in the world. But when I signed up for this, no one told me that I’d also be putting my own looks under a microscope, day after day, just as a natural side-effect of the job.

While it may seem kind of vain, I’ve become downright obsessive—and more than a little critical—of my skin. That’s hard to admit, especially since the beauty industry is about helping people look and feel their best. And yet it’s hard not to be your own worst critic. Some of the people I work with day to day have literally flawless skin, and it’s difficult not to compare yourself to perfection. As I sit through endless conferences on new dermatological breakthroughs, the devastating yet ever-growing numbers of skin cancer and—ugh—the perceived horrors of aging, I can only turn all of those statistics on myself, comparing and contrasting how “well” I’m doing with my own skin.

This has to led to something like a beauty-related psychotic break. I’m constantly examining each of my freckles, asking every dermatologist in sight if it’s skin cancer (better safe than sorry, right?). I inspect my cheeks every day to see if they’re losing that coveted plumpness of youth. And visible signs of aging? Forget about it, I’m terrified.

But as I edge ever closer to 30, I’m forced to admit it: my skin has changed, and the wrinkles I’ve dreaded for so long have appeared on my face. Though my rational brain knows that I won’t degrade into a shriveled-up husk, the panicky, perfection-obsessed part of my mind is a little afraid that, y’know, THAT MIGHT REALLY HAPPEN. So how am I dealing with this deep-rooted beauty crisis? Therapy? Meditation? A bottle of wine?

No, I choose to deal with my issues via the time-honored tradition of GIFs. Here is my journey through the Valley of Wrinkle Acceptance—as told in reaction GIFs.

So I see my first wrinkle (or imagine it) and apply layers and layers of skin creams, because five has to be better than one, right?

Comedy Central / Via

Comedy Central / Via

I ask every single person in sight if they see a crease on my forehead. Do you see it now? When I wrinkle it up is it there? / /

I debate how much I’ll need to give up to afford the cost of Botox. A smaller apartment is worth a wrinkle-free face, right?

Also, if Botox goes wrong, I think of my back-up plans. Real Housewives? Botched?


Every time I pass a mirror (even if it’s simply a reflective elevator) I check for new wrinkles.

EF Mirror /

I apply coconut oil over my entire face, because coconut oil cures everything. I then feel extremely greasy so quickly scrub everything off and immediately regret my decision. / /

I look up home remedies for wrinkles (because there’s a DIY for everything) and apply bananas to my face.

Cannot. Stop. Looking. In. The. Mirror. Cancel plans with friends to examine my face. Yes, I’ve officially gone off the deep end. / /

I drink away my sorrows with wine, because that’s the answer for everything in life. Wine cures wrinkles, right?



I eventually give up, and give in. Wrinkles may have won this round, but the battle goes on…I’ll find a new product and a new way to defeat you, wrinkle demon.

Can anyone else relate? Please tell me yes – and leave your many, many wrinkle reactions in the comments below.