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Buzzkill Words: Why Conversations About Skincare, Moisturizer, and Baked Goods Freak Me Out

I’m a lover of language, but there are some words that just turn me off. No words rub me the wrong way more than the type that can be applied both to food and the human body. I don’t want to think about how without a certain moisturizer, my skin will be as “crusty” as an apple pie or how a slice of angel food cake can be as moist as I can with the right skincare regimen. The unappealing adjectives aren’t the best way to sell me any product. However, they just might help me lose my appetite enough to stick to my effort to shed some weight.

Maybe I should get on the phone with Merriam Webster and suggest some mutually exclusive terms or maybe I’m just strange. It doesn’t change the fact that I can’t shop between the snack and cosmetics aisle of a CVS without being grossed out. Without a doubt, it makes shopping difficult.

It’s a recurring nightmare of mine, being stuck in a conversation where my acquaintance continually throws my “buzzkill words” at me. (This might be an appropriate place to mention my dislike for the word “ointment,” which can make any conversation about skincare the trifecta of doom for me in terms of neurolinguistics.) The day that I discovered that something called “edible body butter” existed is the day that all of my fears came to fruition. Whoever thought that innovation was appealing is now, unknowingly, my greatest enemy.

I’ve considered all sorts of routes to avoid dealing with my personal “buzzkill words”. I’ve attempted everything, from investing in thesauruses to avoiding bakeries and the skincare aisle of the local Walgreens. I’ve tried to invent my own words (but those never catch on). I’ve even attempted to cover my ears and shout “LA LA LA LA LA” at the top of my lungs. But nothing helps.

So what’s the solution? I can’t steer clear of the cosmetics aisle forever. My sister loves baking too much for me to hang up the phone every time she brings up the new recipe she’s discovered. Unfortunately, a good moisturizer is key to any sensible girl’s beauty arsenal and a decadent chocolate cake is her guilty pleasure. So I have to deal with the fact that beauty (and words about beauty products) are pain and a good brownie is the key to happiness.

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