I am in front of my dresser, critically evaluating my visage and the various lines that have started creasing different parts of my face. I take out a new tube of face cream, a brand that I have used for over two decades now. I squeeze two pumps on to my palm. I suddenly move my eyes from the mirror to my hands. The cream’s consistency doesn’t seem right. It looks like a lotion and not at all like the cream that I have used for so long. I ponder over this sudden change in its texture, but go ahead and apply it all over my face. I then quickly seal it with some powder and a dash of lipstick, and I am good to go.
Later in the day, when I am back home after running some errands, I wash my face. And then it starts, an unbearable burning all over my face. I examine myself in the mirror. My face is swollen near the cheeks, and the skin appears red in a few places. I apply coconut oil, and think about what could have happened.
I immediately remember that my usual cream this morning hadn’t seemed ok. I am angry now, as I immediately think of so many possibilities. I head purposefully to my dresser and pull out the tube. Had the shopkeeper tried to sell me cream that was past its expiry date? I strain my eyes to read the expiry date on the crimp. It says 2022. Ok.
What then? Maybe it is a fake product masquerading as the original. I get worked up. How could this happen? I have used this for so many many years. I feel irritated and suspicious. Almost like a detective, trying to explain what could be wrong.
Then logic prevails for some time. My brains pipes in, “Couldn’t it be something else that caused the burning, not this cream?” “Hmmmm, possible”, I reply. So seeking conclusive evidence, I open the tube again, and squeeze a little cream into my hands, and apply it on one part of my face.
When I am just about to put away the tube into the drawer, I see the word Wash on the tube. What? I flip the tube and read, it says Face Wash. Whaaaaaaatt?????
No wonder my face is on fire. I had spent the whole morning with dried soap on my face. But both tubes look identical. Sigh! I laugh, as I apply some ice to cool my face.
I also think about this. How quick I was to suspect that it was somebody else’s fault. How quickly I had come up with theories to justify my assumptions. And this is what we all do sometimes. We judge before we are equipped with the full facts or before we know for sure. Sometimes, as I just realised, the mistake may be on our side. Truly something to think about eh?