I finally fell prey to the advertising as have others before me.

As the baby boomers enter the last third of their lives, they want to continue their desire to be and look youthful. Although I am a year out of being an official baby boomer, I go through the same thought processes. How to stay forever young?

And so, after looking through numerous magazines, I decided that I would wage the war on wrinkles that already had an army of boomers doing the same thing. The question was, what would work and be the fountain of youth we would all desire?

To that end, I looked at various displays at department stores, but noticing the prices, I ended up at Walgreens to see if I could get the same thing at a lower price.

The shelves are full of every kind of youth balm ever created. I know, in my heart of hearts, that nothing really will work. But, buying something which promises to work, even though an empty promise, is a picker upper. What would my dear grandmother, my Babi, do under these circumstances?

Well, she would use what she felt was the ultimate beauty product?”Fels Naptha soap. Yes, Fels Naptha. Do they still make it? I don’t know. But, when she used it, it was soap which was used for heavy scrubbing, especially for the laundry.

It was a rough soap, heavy on the turpentine, I think. It certainly did not have the perfumed aroma of today’s soaps. And, it did not make a nice lather either. It was an ugly, split-pea-soup color, to boot. Frankly, nothing made this soap palatable. Yet, she washed her face and hair with it with regularity, and had but few wrinkles until past her 90th birthday.

I really did not want to go the Fels Naptha route, so the shelf upon shelf of beauty products beckoned.

So I got myself some Vitamin E oil and some alpha hydroxy stuff, which I put on my face religiously in the hopes that some miracle will happen and I’ll see 10 years peal off.

Maybe it is just the moisturizing nature of both products which help a bit, but nothing in these products really does anything except make one feel good while one’s face is like an oil slick.

My Babi would have laughed herself silly to see the pile of goop I was using when that old Fels Naptha would have been just fine.

Would any of the fancier products in those marvelous little jars have been better, I thought? They were every major brand of cosmetic, packaged so nicely that one could not help but gravitate to them as a source of help.

However, at often hundreds of dollars for an ounce or less, I just could not make myself buy into all of the promises made in their list of ingredients.

I have come to the conclusion that just plain soap and water plus a healthy dollop of goop would be about as good as things would get. And, when it came right on down to it, I do not have the time to go concocting a cosmetics regimen.

But, if things get rough, it will be off to the fridge for cucumbers over puffy eyes, a tea rinse for the hair and egg whites to pull things together before some special evening. Now, that would make my grandmother proud.

And for those soft hands, why Vaseline, of course. Everything else is just more bottled dreams that never materialize. Granted, things are a bit greasy and sticky for awhile, but, by and large, it does exactly the same thing as its more expensive and better-packaged cousins.

Ah, the price we pay for beauty, although growing old gracefully can have its merits. Those laugh lines were well-earned with smiles and laughs at the foibles of life.

The little lines around the eyes were leftover from past twinkles at days spent happily. It’s not such a bad thing after all, though I think I will change the light bulbs to soft light. No sense aging too quickly.