Drinks three cups of coffee. Sees spot-on meme about 2020. Nearly spits out coffee due to laughter. Pees self a bit.
Been there? If so, you’re not alone – more than 25 million people in the U.S. experience bladder leakage every day, according to the National Association for Continence. Incontinence is a common problem, and what’s equally common is feeling embarrassed and anxious while trying to choose and shop for the right products to help manage the condition.
A new campaign for Walgreens Certainty, Walgreens’ owned brand of incontinence products, aims to put incontinence on pause and help people feel more comfortable discussing the condition. Walgreens News sat down with the campaign’s star, “Younger” actress Debi Mazar, to talk about why she’s speaking out on the topic, how to bring your sexy back – even during a pandemic – and what she considers retail therapy during trips to her local Walgreens.
You just returned to the set of “Younger” for Season 7. What are you most excited about?
Mazar: Being able to get back to what I love doing and feel like myself again feels really good. We all got locked down in March, so it’s been wonderful to see my friends back at work and hear how they're doing and how their children are. Going back onto the set has been crazy because everyone’s in masks and shields now – it’s very technical, ‘masks off, masks up, masks on’ – but when you’re doing something you love, you feel like you have a purpose in your life.
People feeling the need to hide their age is a common theme on your show. What tips do you have for women on embracing (and enjoying) getting older?
Mazar: You have to realize there's only one of you – one of all of us on this Earth – and we can't compare ourselves to anybody else. I think the best way to feel really good about yourself as you age is to embrace your experiences on this planet. I believe that the more time you've been here, the more knowledge you have. And for women, as we get older, it's very important for us to stay up on our health, take our supplements, exercise and to try to keep all the things that make those endorphins climb.
“I laughed so hard I peed my pants” is a joking expression … but it’s funny because it’s true. Has it ever happened to you?
Mazar: Oh, God. Yes! Listen, when I have the luxury of getting to see my dear friends – which is a luxury these days because we want to make sure we’re around people who are safe – I love to laugh. And when we haven't seen each other in a while, we just tell each other stories and have a good laugh because there's so much insanity going on this year. For me, it's more about the wait to get to the bathroom because I have my hands full or because I'm multitasking. Or holding it forever because you don't want to use a public bathroom these days. I drink massive amounts of water to cleanse my body and my skin, and sometimes the struggle is real. It happens to men, too. Age is a big proponent. Weight is a big proponent. It can also become an issue when women get to be much older, in their 70s and 80s. What’s great about Walgreens Certainty is that it has all the options, whether you need something like a panty because you have a more severe issue, or just something simple like a mini pad.
Navigating incontinence can be filled with emotions and questions. Why did you decide to partner with Walgreens and its Walgreens Certainty brand?
Mazar: I grew up with Walgreens. It’s literally around the corner from me and is my pharmacy. And I shop there regularly for everything. Being a multitasking mom, I go there for my makeup, toothpaste, all sorts of different things for my family. It’s so funny because I was in Walgreens yesterday, and there was Walgreens Certainty, and I said “Oh! Here, it's available!” I'm just so happy that I can help get the word out for a store that, in my case, is really local.
Millions of people suffer from incontinence, but many don’t like talking about it. Why do you think a condition that’s so common has been so stigmatized?
Mazar: Going to the bathroom is a private thing. When you talk about bodily functions, there's always been a stigma. However, incontinence is common, and people shouldn't feel bad about it. Walgreens Certainty is great because it offers options for protection and a sense of security for people who might feel uncomfortable.
What advice do you have for people looking to bring their sexy back – or keep their sexy going?
Mazar: It’s important not to feel pressure from social media, TV, movies. There's a lot of smoke and mirrors that us actors hide behind – makeup, shapewear and professionals who help us. But when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, you’ve got to accept that gravity is going to take hold. Lines are going to come in, but they're lines because you express yourself. They're lines because you're happy.
Even during COVID-19 with no place to go, dress up! Do your hair, do your nails, put on sparkly jewelry if it puts you in a good mood. Do things that try to bring you back. If you can empower yourself to take back your youthful energy, whether it's changing your diet, drinking less, eating differently – those are things that bring the sexy back. You can feel sexy in a sweat suit, as long as you feel good from inside.
You’re at Walgreens and want to splurge on a little something for yourself. What do you buy?
Mazar: I mean, if I want to splurge, I go to Bergdorf Goodman [laughs]. But when I want to splurge at Walgreens, I actually buy several things for myself. I always get the pointy Q-tips for my eyeliner – I'm an eyeliner girl. I always buy cotton pads. I got a thermometer the other day that you point at the forehead because if somebody comes into my house, I want to be able to do a temperature check. I splurge more for the family – hand sanitizer, gloves, razor blades, shampoo. I get my cleaning products there. I get birthday cards. I get gift wrap. My husband is like, ‘What's taking you so long at Walgreens?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s every kind of mascara.’ But it’s also the most basic healthcare essentials – I can find them all at Walgreens and I don't have to go beyond that. At the end of the day the bathroom is stocked and clean, and I feel good that I’m providing for my family.