Combat The Look of Dry, Crepey Skin This Summer

This is a “sponsored post.” Crepe Erase® compensated FOF with an advertising sponsorship to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers. All insights and expressed opinions are our own.

When I swore off short sleeves and sandals on unbearable 90 degree summer days I knew it was time to treat the dry, flaky and saggy skin on my arms and feet. Covering up my problem was just making me feel more uncomfortable. Now that another summer is upon us, I am happily whipping out cool clothes once again. My skin feels and looks softer and smoother. My legs, my arms, my hands and my neck—all sensationally smoother looking. I’ll tell you about my delightful discovery in a moment.

Dry skin is common in later life, when our glands naturally produce less oil.

Woefully, the things that give us joy in summer, from romping in the waves to picnicking in the park, can make the problem worse. Chlorine in the pool, saltwater in the ocean and air conditioning can rob our skin of natural oils, leaving it super dry. Even the sun’s UV rays can be drying!

What’s more, our skin loses its wonderful foundation of collagen and elastin, making it loose and saggy.

As editor of a trusted website, I’m often invited to try out beauty products for everything from my head to my toes.  One brand–Crepe Erase®—stood out because I’ve seen the actress, Jane Seymour, talk about it on TV. Now 68, Jane has been a Crepe Erase® fan for years, and looks amazing. That’s an outstanding endorsement right there!

Crepe Erase features TruFirm Complex, an exclusive blend that includes three plant extracts to help reinforce our skin’s netting, so the skin can appear tighter and firmer, helping it look like it did when we were younger. Crepe Erase® also contains seven powerful hydrators–coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, beeswax, cassava and Vitamin E–that absorb quickly and work to visibly soothe and renew the skin.

Crepe Erase® is the #1 Anti-Aging Body Treatment System for Dry, Crepey Skin*

(*Based on Crepe Erase® sales data & IRI & NPD sales data for 2017.)

The Essentials Kit includes only two simple steps:

First, I grab my bottle of Exfoliating Body Polish when I shower, to lift away dead, rough surface cells and make my skin feel smoother and look more radiant. (By the way, avoid taking long, hot showers because they’ll dry your skin even more!) After the shower, I massage the Intensive Body Repair Treatment, with the TruFirm Complex, into the crepey skin on my neck, chest, arms and legs. The Body Polish has a lovely, fresh scent, and the Repair Treatment absorbs quickly and isn’t even the tiniest bit greasy.

As I said earlier, the skin on my body hasn’t felt this smooth and hydrated in years. I’ve learned that the more consistently you use skincare products, the better the results. I’ve been treating my skin to Crepe Erase® for two years, and it’s paid off when I need it most!

Crepe Erase® isn’t a glorified body lotion. Trust me, it feels like I’ve tried them ALL. If my word isn’t enough, look at these superb results from an 8-week Crepe Erase® clinical study:




**Based on a 50-person consumer use survey.  Individual results will vary.

†Based on a 49-person evaluation by an expert clinical grader. Individual results will vary.

‡Based on the average results of a 50-person evaluation by an expert clinical grader measuring décolleté, arms and knees & legs. Individual results will vary.

Results will vary

Crepe Erase® is so confident that you’ll love its products, it invites you to use them for 60 days, and, if you’re not satisfied, you can return the containers–EVEN EMPTY–for a full refund, less s&h! This offer assures me even more that these are quality beauty products. Plus, the line is incredibly reasonable in the first place!  

What’s more, we’ll send you our 4-in-1 Eye Renewal Capsules, a $38 value, as a free thank you gift.

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How It Feels To Be 100!

About to blow out the candles

“How does it feel to be 100?” I asked Mimi.  The second the words popped out, I knew it was one of the dumbest questions I had ever uttered.  

“Very much like it felt to be 99,” Mimi answered.  As you can tell, Mimi’s a lot sharper than I am!

Mimi and daughter Betsy

An active member of the 60+ Program at the bustling 92nd Street Y in Manhattan until the last couple of years, Mimi would attend weekly current events discussion groups led by Douglas, my ex.  They became pals, and over the last decade Douglas has often visited Mimi at her apartment where they talk for hours and have dinner. Douglas loves to learn about everyone’s family history. As a matter of fact, he knows more about my family than I do!

Mimi and daughter Jane

Mimi, an only child,  became an orphan by the time she was six months old. Her mother’s brother adopted her, but Mimi told Douglas that his wife never treated her lovingly, as she did with her biological children. A graduate of the University of Chicago when women were scarce on college campuses, Mimi worked in a munitions factory during World War II and then became an early education teacher and guidance counselor.   She married twice, to a lawyer and a labor union organizer, and had two daughters. Betsy teaches at Brooklyn Law School and Jane is a retired professor of anthropology at Cornell University.

Granddaughter Vanessa chatting with Mimi’s 91-year-old friend Lore Segal, a successful author

Mimi also passed her smart genes down to her grandchildren. Granddaughter Vanessa went to Harvard and now works for world-renowned American economist Jeffrey Sachs. Her sister Allison worked for a climate think tankGrandson Nicky graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School and worked for President Obama.

“We are all here hoping to follow in my mother’s footsteps. She’s progressive, adventuresome and loyal, a devoted and inspired grandmother, and a favorite of all my friends in Ithaca,” daughter Jane said during the toast.

Douglas and Pat (who was married to Mimi’s cousin-step brother) toast Mimi

Up until she was about 95, Mimi did hours of Tai chi each week, which Douglas credits for her wonderful attitude and good health. Mimi once told Douglas that if she was younger, she would want to marry him!  She sure is a pistol.

Happy Hundredth, Mimi.  And many many more!


Chilling Words 75 Years Later

Former POTUS Dwight D. Eisenhower remembers the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Waiting for the Doctor is Painful

I don’t see eye-to-eye with my ophthalmologist’s scheduling

“Do you think your time is more valuable than mine?” I rhetorically asked Dr. D, the ophthalmologist who performed cataract surgery six months ago on both of my eyes. I had a 2:30 follow up appointment yesterday so Dr. D could retest my vision and take a look at the new lenses he had placed in my eyes.  I asked him about the value of his time at 4:30 pm! Yep, I had waited two hours in his packed waiting room before I was called in to see him.

My patience level running low after waiting about 90 minutes, I approached the front desk where no fewer than four women sat answering phones, taking payments and making appointments.

“Can someone can tell me why patients have to wait hours here to see Dr. D.” I asked the assembled group. I had to wait for every one of my numerous appointments in this office,  but never for as long as yesterday.

No one rushed to answer me, so I reworded the question, “Why do you make so many appointments and force patients to wait? I’d leave but it’s important for the doctor to see my eyes!”

Realizing I wasn’t going to sit down and keep quiet, one of the women answered defensively,  “The doctor wants us to make appointments every 15 minutes.  We’ve told him about patients’ complaints, but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t want to be doing nothing if a patient doesn’t show up.”

“That’s incredible.  It’s okay for us to wait for hours, just as long as he’s raking in the money every minute of the day.”  Now I had these women in my court.

“Why don’t you say something to him,” one responded.

“You bet I will!”  I announced.

When my turn finally came to enter Dr. D’s inner sanctum, I entered, sat down on the examination chair and immediately asked him my rhetorical question about the value of his time versus mine.  I didn’t speak in an angry tone, I might add. No point to that, I’ve learned over the many years

“Your time is more valuable than mine,” he answered, a bit of contrition in his usual chop chop tone.

“Then why did I wait two hours to see you?  It’s ridiculous to make appointments 15 minutes apart, especially when you usually spend a lot longer with many patients,” I said with exasperation in my voice.

“I don’t like to sit around with nothing to do for 30 minutes if patients cancel at the last minute or don’t show up,” Dr. D responded with surprising honesty.

“You should make all the money you can, but not at my expense,” I said.

“It’s not about the money, but you’re right. I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have to be sorry. Just don’t schedule appointments 15 minutes apart.  But to be safe, I’m taking your first appointment next time.”

Unfortunately, I could only get the second appointment for six months from now.  All his first slots were taken on the days I wanted.

Pretty funny, I thought!

Down 10 pounds, 20 more to go

One month ago, I was heavier than ever.  After Norfolk Terrier Rigby died last August, I’ve walked less. I cancelled my once-a-week exercise with a professional trainer because it was a waste of money to work out so infrequently (how’s that for logic?) I joined the Y in my neighborhood, but hate getting on the treadmill.

So, what did I do? I worked 10 hours most days, ate little during the daylight hours, then would devour ice cream, chocolate covered graham crackers, pretzels, nuts, almond croissants, cheese and goodness knows what else at night while I stressed out over everything that’s happening in the world.

When I went to Dr. Smith to talk about the results of my blood work (everything was surprisingly good), I sheepishly asked him if he’d write me a prescription for phentermine to help me lose weight. He didn’t hesitate. And out I walked, excited to make a beeline to Duane Reade to pick up my miracle pills.

Now I’m 10 pounds lighter and one-third of the way towards my goal weight. I’d surely have lost at least a few pounds more if I had exercised, but I’ve vowed that I will start walking rigorously once I’m at the halfway point to my goal. I have no idea why I’m waiting, by the way. My mind works in funny ways sometimes.

OK, what’s phentermine?

As simply put as possible, phentermine is  a form of amphetamine (stimulant) that does something in the brain to suppress the appetite. And it works. It really works. Phentermine doesn’t kill your appetite, so you still eat, including some no-no foods, but I’ll literally eat maybe a tablespoon of ice cream once or twice a week. I haven’t had a single graham, pretzel, piece of cheese or almond croissant in a month. Or a pat of butter, and oh do I love any kind of warm bread and butter!

“Phentermine increases your metabolic rate and takes away your perseverating thoughts (constant thoughts) about food, which makes it much easier to adhere to a diet. You still must pick a dietary strategy that will work well with your personality and your lifestyle and stick to it. And you still have to exercise. Phentermine will help you succeed, but you can’t eat like you did in the first place,” said Dr. Kathleen Hallinan, an internist in Corning, NY, who has a keen interest in weight loss.

The warnings on the sheet that comes with the phentermine are no different than those that come with every drug and are written to try and protect the pharma companies from being buried by mountains of lawsuits. I did feel a bit jittery the first couple of days and my mouth gets dry for a few hours a day, but otherwise I feel the same as I did pre-phentermine.

Despite the benefits, some doctors are wary!

“You may have a hard time finding a physician who is willing or interested in treating with phentermine because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) puts it in the same category as amphetamines, which makes some doctors wary,” Dr Hallinan explained. “But the benefits outweigh the real risks of diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease to people who are trying to manage their weight,” she added. Dr. Hallinan recommends finding a doctor who is well versed in the medical treatment of obesity and related disorders, such as a bariatric physician.  “Phentermine is very safe, very effective and more subtle than ritalin for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but patients should have their blood pressure and heart rate consistently monitored after they start taking the drug,” she emphasized.

Dr. Kathleen Hallinan talks about phentermine, one of the weight loss medications she recommends

If the name phentermine sounds familiar, you may be thinking of a drug that combined phentermine with fenfluramine, another drug that was subsequently found to affect heart valves and was taken off the market.

Don’t buy phentermine off the internet, Dr. Hallinan advised. “Get it the proper way from a doctor who will give you the right dose, make sure to monitor you for potential side effects, and for your success.”

I’ve taken phentermine two or three other times in my life to kickstart weight loss, and it worked those times, too. I lost at least 20 pounds each time. I well know that I shouldn’t have let my weight yo-yo like it has over the last 15 years, and I’m going to try not to let that happen again.   But I’ve been struggling with weight issues for as long as I can remember and food always seems to win the match!

Don’t make your doctors’ appointments later than 3 pm! Wait till you learn why.

We all know most doctors today are overworked, but until I read an opinion piece by Dr. Jeffrey A. Linder in The New York Times, I never realized their demanding schedules could have such deleterious effects on OUR HEALTH.   “To do everything we’re supposed to for a typical daily patient load, primary care doctors should spend 11 to 18 hours a day providing preventive and chronic care, never mind addressing new problems,” writes Dr. Linder, professor and chief of the division of general internal medicine and geriatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

No surprise Dr. Linder’s focus starts to fade around 3 most afternoons, and he grabs a snack and coffee to “stay sharp” for the patients he’s yet to see.  But now a new study reveals that Dr. Linder’s “3 o’clock fade” is a real phenomenon among doctors, and it could affect patients’ health. Here’s what happens: As health care providers make more and more choices throughout the day, “decision fatigue” sets in and they may start to take the easy way out. They ordered 10 percent to 15 percent fewer breast and colon cancer screenings, for example,  for patients they saw later in the day, compared to those with appointments around 8 a.m., according to the study of 33 primary care practices, published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network Open. All the patients were due for screening.

Dr. Linder reports that when he and fellow researchers conducted their own study in 2014,  they “found doctors prescribed fewer unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory infections first thing in the morning, but that unnecessary prescriptions gradually increased over the day.”  The exact same doctor, caring for the exact same patient, had a 26 percent higher chance of writing an antibiotic prescription at 4 p.m. compared to 8 a.m.As doctors got more fatigued, they defaulted to the easy thing: just writing an antibiotic prescription rather than taking the time to explain to patients why it is not necessary. As the day went on, doctors’ fears of disappointed, dissatisfied, angry or confrontational patients may have loomed larger and larger. The will to confront those fears may have dwindled and more patients left the clinic with unnecessary antibiotics,” Dr. Linder writes in his Times piece.

Doctors also prescribed fewer flu vaccinations and more opioids for back pain later in the day. “We doctors like to think of ourselves — and the public might like to think of us — as rational decision makers, but depending on the time of day, treatments change,” Dr. Linder confesses.  He offers a few solutions in his column, including“ improving the efficiency of the current generation of electronic health records” and paying doctors based on the quality of care they deliver rather than on face-to-face visits.

Dr. Linder advises patients who can’t get to their doctors early in the morning to “learn about screenings you might be eligible for, and work with your doctor to figure out which are right for you.”  As for me, I’m sticking to early morning appointments.

Show Them The Door!

I recently had a new front door installed because the old door (actually, it was less than three years old) was falling apart. I couldn’t even close it when the heat and humidity set in and the wood expanded.  The carpenter who built it agreed to make me another door since the previous one was subpar.

Anyway, my former door was painted a pretty shade of blue, which seems to be color favored by Brooklyn homeowners, but I wanted to give it a new look.  When my daughter, sister and I went to the Farrow & Ball paint store to select a color, we chose Acid Drop. It’s sort of yellow. Sort of green. And definitely sort of chartreuse. I noticed a  woman and her boyfriend photographing the door, and the wonderful young couple living in the house next door stopped to stare at it!

For all I know, both couples loathe the color, but I love it.  Let me know what you think on our Facebook page. It’s okay even if you aren’t a fan.  My door is as dumb and unfeeling as a block of wood!

Que Sera, Sera

Actress and singer Doris Day, 97, died on Monday at her home in California. She did not lead a joyful life. Not a fan of her movies when I was growing up, I decided to watch Love Me or Leave Me, her 1955 movie with James Cagney,  after I read her obituary in The New York Times (its obituaries are second to none). I’m glad I did. It’s a romantic musical drama based on the life of singer and actress Ruth Etting, who was popular in the 1920s and 1930s and was known as “America’s sweetheart of song” (Shine On, Harvest Moon, Button Up Your Overcoat, It All Depends On You). Day’s acting was so powerful and stirring that co-star Cagney “compared her performance to Laurette Taylor’s in The Glass Menagerie on Broadway in 1945, widely hailed as one of the greatest performances ever given by an American actor,” according to the obituary.

Day began a great love affair with dogs when she received one at 15, while she was recuperating from a serious car accident. “I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent, devoted companionship of your pets that you can get from no other source. I have never found in a human being loyalty comparable to that of any pet,” she was quoted as saying in The New York Times obituary.

I recommend reading the obit if you want to learn about the real Doris Day.

A Woman Who is Saving Thousands of Necks–Literally and Figuratively

Cathy at home with one of her four rescue dogs

Growing up in a beautiful little village about 20 miles SE of London, Cathy Kangas, now 55 years old, cared for three tortoises, one horse, dogs, and a ferret. “I had a little bit of a farm going right there at a young age,” said Cathy, whose lifelong passion for creatures led her to create the Cathy Kangas Foundation for Animals. “We ensure that every animal is protected and loved, particularly those in animal shelters.  Two to three million healthy dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States every year,” she explained.

“We hold all the power with animals, and how we use that power shows who we are. Nothing gets my hackles up more than someone who is deliberately cruel to them,”  Cathy said. Living with her husband and four rescue dogs in New Canaan, CT, she also shelters 12 rescue horses and a rescue donkey in a barn. Not surprisingly, she sits on the board of The Humane Society of the United States.

Free The Shelters, one of  Cathy’s foundation programs, is an international campaign to unite homeless shelter animals and families by paying for adoption fees.  “Shelters have to charge these fees to offset the costs associated with the animals’ medical and food bills. But many people will say, ‘Why spend $200 for a shelter pet when I can buy a pet for $250?’ By removing that obstacle, we give shelters the chance to promote free adoption weekends,” Cathy explained.  “The first weekend we did, a year ago in Tampa Bay, FL, found homes for over 200 animals. Some had been languishing there for over two years.” Only eight to 12 animals will be adopted at this shelter on a normal weekend, Cathy said.

Giving Homes To Thousands Of  Shelter Animals

Three shelters are selected every month to participate in the Free The Shelters program. “We go where the greatest needs are,” Cathy explained, such as to a shelter in a city that’s been hard hit by a hurricane. “We’ve found homes for over 6,000 shelter animals in the last year.”

Fortunately, Cathy can promote her foundation’s work on the shopping network HSN, which has been selling her skin care brand for women over 50, Prai Beauty,  since its debut  in 1999. After being immersed in the beauty industry as a long-time Revlon employee, Cathy was annoyed when the big beauty giants hired “16-year-old models” to promote their  wrinkle cremes and firming lotions. She wanted to create an affordable luxury line which focused on the concerns of “the forgotten woman.”

The collection of about 50 Prai products includes Platinum Firm & Lift Serum and Eye Creme,24K Rose Gold Wrinkle Repair Night Butter, and Radiant Precious Oil Drops. But it’s Prai serums, cremes and concentrates for the throat, neck and decolletage areas that most set it apart from the proliferation of anti-aging brands on the market. “What woman hasn’t glanced down as she’s aging and suddenly thought, ‘OMG all those crinkles have popped up out of nowhere,’” Cathy said. “It’s such a vulnerable delicate area of skin where you get the vertical lines when you wake up, the tree trunk lines around the neck, the double chin and turkey wattle. It’s the area that shows the first telltale signs of aging.”

Saving Our Necks Too

The Prai AGELESS Throat & Decolletage Creme is the company’s number one seller worldwide. “We sell one jar every 60 seconds around the world,” Cathy said. “The complex of ingredients make the creme feel like no other on planet earth. Press your fingers against it and it springs up and down like a trampoline when you’re bouncing on it,” she added. “It’s made with a plant-derived, wrinkle-correcting agent  from France, called Sepilift, that firms, tightens and restores elasticity to the skin by stimulating the concentration of collagen fibers,” Cathy explained. “I call this smoothing and moisturizing creme Spanx for your neck and throat because it scoops all that nasty, jiggly stuff back up to where it used to be.”

One of Prai’s stunning models over 50

Prai Beauty is certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny and Peta. “Leaping Bunny is the gold standard and is very difficult to get. We  feel very strongly about not testing on animals and we’re happy to make that higher standard,” Cathy stressed. Besides selling on HSN, Prai is available on QVC around the world and at all Marks and Spencer and Boots stores in the UK. “We use a 68-year-old model in our ads across the UK , so women can feel she’s just like them,” Cathy said. “When you get to be in your 50s, you’re successful, enjoying life, and doing things you want to do. You don’t want to be 20 again, but all the beauty ads for anti-aging products use young models. ‘Oh, that’s not me,’ you think.”   Prai also works with five models on its monthly HSN shows who are in their 50s through their 70s. “Our 75-year-old neck model is on every show. An 82-year-old applied to be a model, too,” Cathy noted.

Cathy originally wanted to be a barrister in England, but after working as a Revlon intern in the United States right out of college, she decided the law would be “way too boring.” So she accepted a permanent offer to work at the beauty giant in America, later became a citizen, and launched a successful career. Combining her love of animals with her love of beauty, Cathy donates a portion of each Prai Beauty sale to her animal rescue efforts. Now she’s saving thousands of cats and dogs, not to mention our necks!

Will The ‘Real’ Mother Please Stand Up

          The younger Simone and me

I was surprised when my daughter Simone emailed me, my son and my ex (with whom I have a wonderful relationship) to report that she’d made a lunch reservation for all of us on Mother’s Day. Primo, her six- year-old son (aka my grandson), would of course be part of the festivities. Simone typically doesn’t care about officially celebrating her own birthday, no less Mother’s Day; hence, my surprise, and delight. I don’t often see both of my grown children at the same time, so it’s nice when I do!   

Giving birth may make a woman a “mother,” but we all know that a world of adjectives can modify the noun: Selfless and selfish; controlling and liberating; protective and negligent, and on and on. No doubt, most every mother has been described in more than one way by her children, depending on the moment in time and the mommy meters in their brains.  I surely have. But as long as the attributes on the plus side outweigh those on the downside, I guess a mother comes out on the winning side.

   My aunt Sylvia with me and Colby

Of course, many women who don’t give birth also become “mothers,” such as stepmothers, foster mothers and adoptive mothers.  A big sister can become a “mother” to her younger siblings if their biological mother dies; a maiden aunt can become a “mother” to a nephew if his biological mother relinquishes her role.  A childless woman can become a mother to her best friend’s child (think of the 1988 movie Beaches with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey.)


On this Mother’s Day, I think especially of…

Grieving mothers who have lost children to sickness, violence, drugs, and accidents.

Selfless mothers who make tremendous sacrifices to provide their children with proper medical care, safe homes, and good educations.

Young widowed mothers who suddenly must raise their children alone.

Abused mothers who are desperate to grab their children and flee from their husbands, but don’t know where to turn.

Terminally ill mothers who won’t see their children grow up.

Mothers we miss.

And I think of the women who can’t  become pregnant, and I hope they can find other ways to become mothers. Because it’s one thing to conceive something, including a baby.  It’s another to nurture it. That’s where motherhood really begins.