Beauty at Any Age

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | June 2, 2014

While searching for a ballgame on my AM dial, I tuned in to one of those radio call-in shows just in time to hear an 85-year-old gentlemen ask the expert host about liver spots and what could he do to get rid of them. I forgot about my Mets for a moment (it didn’t matter, they lost anyway), and turned up the volume.

Why would an octogenarian care about what he looked like, I wondered? At 85, he’s lucky he can still dial a phone! The talk show host didn’t dismiss him, however. He explained that the sun was the most likely cause of his pigment problems and that most products would only reduce the appearance of, not eliminate, the spots. If the old fellow really wanted more youthful looking skin, the host observed, he’d have to undergo laser treatments.

Laser treatments for an 85-year-old man. Really? That on-air exchange underscored, for me, the lengths that folks will go in order to look better. A trend that will only intensify as the population around the world ages and consumers refuse to grow old without a fight.
It looks like things are speeding up in regard to US sunscreen regulations, too. Industry experts say that, thanks to the efforts of the PASS Coalition (Public Access to Sunscreens), meaningful change is eminent. In recent weeks, industry leaders have traveled to Washington DC to urge Congress to act on the Sunscreen Innovation Act. For more than 30 years, the US sun care industry has been hampered by archaic rules that left sunscreen formulations here in the states far behind the levels of protection offered in other countries. Now, however, there are encouraging signs out of Washington DC that things are about to change for the better.

That’s good news for the industry as well as that 85-year-old caller and his liver spots. Now, if only somebody could figure out how to clear up the problems in the Mets’ bullpen.

On a final note, Harvey Fishman provides an interesting look at wrinkles on p. 28 this month. Harvey’s been a fixture at the magazine for more than two decades; his Gleams & Notions column has appeared in the magazine for 25 years—”happi”anniversary, Harvey!

Tom Branna
Editorial Director