If I Was 20 Again

April 9, 2018


We’ve all said it at one point or another,  “If I’d known then what I know now!” There’s some things I want this beautiful almost 20 year old girl pictured to know along with all of our other young followers. 


One of my biggest regrets as a woman in her 40’s is the horrid things I did to my skin as a teenager and in my 20’s. If you grew up in the 80’s, you’re probably just as guilty as me...laying out on the roof with a silver mat, crisco, baby oil, iodine, sun-in in your hair, those aweful tanning lamps, and the beginning of the tanning bed era 🤦🏼‍♀️ I did it all! The tanner the better. And boy, did I tan the most beautiful golden perfect tan with bleach blonde hair. Spending the summer at my grandparents’ condo on the beach was even worse..sun up to sun down I was steady cooking my skin (literally). I remember my dad passing by the pool and throwing a towel over my face. WHAT! Stop it! What did my dad know about my skin anyway? Apparently a hell of a lot more than I did.   Young and invincible is what I was.  Yeah, joke’s on me. But, I didn’t get it until the age of 32...it was picture day at school (I was teaching at the time). When I  picked up those pictures out of my box, I made my first emergency Botox apt.  A picture says 1000 words...I worshipped the sun, sunscreen was a curse word, and skin care consisted of Noxema and a little Clinique (the regimen that makes me cringe when I hear it). But that wasn’t even the worst part...gradually, these white spots started to appear all over my legs and arms.  The ones that make you look diseased the darker and darker you get that not even fake tanning lotions cover. I can’t even tell you how many doctors I’ve asked about them and begged to give me something to make them go away.  No, ma’am. Those little babies are here to stay.  Hypopigmentation...caused by my x-bestie, the sun! And then there’s the loss of collagen and elasticity...the list goes on.  A lifetime of correcting is what my final goodbye present was from my old side-kick.     It’s that friend everyone warns you to stay away from and you later find out why.  


And this brings me to the topic...If I was 20 again...with full, plump, flawless skin full of collagen and elastin,  what would I do differently?  Well, I’ll tell you what I have instilled in my own children who are now 24 and 19.  I used to bring them with me to the doctor to get Botox, and I’d tell them that this is what happens when you don’t wear sunscreen.  That worked on the spf part.  My son had a lawn service throughout high school and college. The bed of his truck was always filled with bottles of spray sunscreen rolling around.  And you never saw him cutting without a hat! Ever. 

And if you meet him once, you’ll understand his personality and this picture that he sent me once when I asked him if he had on his spf. 


My daughter has beautiful Italian skin who preaches to her friends on the beach for not wearing spf while they roll their eyes at her as she’s quoting me, “When you’re 40 looking 60, I’ll still look 20!” As easy as she could tan, she still wears spf.  There’s this misconception of, “I’ve got dark skin. I don’t need spf!” No, honey, I’m sorry. It doesn’t work that way. 


In a nutshell, here’s what I preach to my own kids and what I’d do if I was 20 again. 

1. Never ever ever ever skip one single day of wearing spf. 

2. Get on a good skincare regimen that you get from a physician’s office or from a spa that’s backed by science and chirally correct. My personal fav is SkinCeuticals. A great cleanser, CE Ferulic or Phloretin, a good physical sunscreen (physical fusion), and Daily Moisture.  Simple. 4 steps in the morning, and 3 at night.  Keep it simple, but consistent. 

3. Use a Clarisonic once a day with your cleanser. 

4. Stay as far away from tanning beds as possible. They WILL accelerate your aging. Your will look like a prune later.  It will destroy your collagen and elasticin.  Trust me, you’ll be willing to pay good money to get those back once they are gone. 

5. Microneedle. Why? Because it works.  There’s no real downtime.  It’s inexpensive. And there’s little discomfort if any.  If you have great skin, do it 2-3 times a year just to promote the reformation of collagen  production. Just do it! 

6. Use fake tanning lotions way more than the actual sun.  I’d be an idiot to think I’m stopping my own children or anyone else from the sun, but keep it to a minimum. Remember, tanned skin is damaged skin. The only safe tan is a fake tan. 


If I were 20 again, my skin would look 20 at the age of 40....just sayin!



Dawn Cutrone




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