Melanoma Monday 2017 – For the Desk Jockeys

Protecting your skin is a recurring theme on this blog. Before my mom’s initial melanoma diagnosis my dumbass was a tanning salon client. That abruptly stopped, and I’ve been slathering on sunscreen ever since.

A sunscreen-related question I used to ask was raised in the comments recently that I think warrants its own post. What better a time than Melanoma Monday? In essence, it was:

If most sunscreens must be reapplied every two hours or so, how does one reconcile reapplication with makeup usage? Do you need to remove your makeup, reapply sunscreen, then reapply makeup? How does that work for people who, you know, work?

Sunscreen for Desk Jockeys

Rejoice! You don’t need to literally reapply every two hours unless perhaps you work next to a window (through which UVA rays can penetrate). For those of you with cubicles or windowless offices, this means you can apply in the morning, commute, work, and not need to reapply for a lunch our or your commute home.

Chemical sunscreens aren’t time-released; they don’t have an expiration timer that starts from when they get massaged into your skin. The two-hour estimate is based on the photostability of the chemical components that protect your skin; subject to sun exposure, they gradually break down and become ineffective.

So, the TWO HOUR sunscreen reapplication guideline is two hours of EXPOSURE, not on a stopwatch.

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide

With Thanksgiving coming up, I’m adjusting my posting schedule for the upcoming week. There will be this post (Saturday evening), the normal Monday post, and the normal Wednesday post, but no Friday post.
We’re officially in holiday shopping season! In the interests of self-preservation, I completed my holiday shopping a month-and-a-half ago. Here’s the Beauty Skeptic 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for those of you still in the thick of it.

Before You Shop

eBates

If you aren’t signed up for eBates, go sign up now. Their commercials are weird, but they are absolutely legit. I’ve been a member since January 2012 and am just cents shy of earning $900 cash back over the lifetime of my membership. Here’s a screenshot from my eBates dashboard:

ebates

It is free to join, and just like not contributing to a contribution-matched 401k, to not do so is to throw away free money! Don’t leave money on the table, sign up and earn cash back on nearly all of your online shopping. They pay out quarterly via PayPal, Check, or gift card. Disclosure – I do get a referral credit if you use the link above and YOU get $10 in your eBates account, too.

Honey

If there’s a promo code, I find it. That said, finding them does take time; usually several websites and then time to apply them to check for validity. Honey makes the process easier via a browser plugin that auto-applies the best-available promo codes for you. It operates via user submissions, so you can add your promo code finds to help the community if you’re so inclined.

It’s also free, and you can sign up hereDisclosure – Like eBates, I get a small referral credit if you sign up with that link. Whether or not you sign up with that link, I use and recommend it myself.

Shop!

Skincare

biore aqua rich watery essence

It isn’t often that you can give the gift of health. I love sunscreen as a skincare gift particularly for those who may be a bit lax with their skin. If you’re interested in prestige options, Coola apparently makes some good ones; that said, when it comes to facial sunscreen I can’t be talked off the Biore AQUA Rich ($9) ledge. It’s SPF 50, suitable for all skin types, and not something you can just grab off the shelf in CVS or Target…but even being imported, it is really inexpensive!

Everyone can benefit from some Vitamin C, but especially if your recipient has expressed anti-aging concerns, this is a good pick. This duo from Ole Henriksen ($25) is a cute gift that can boost collagen production and make the skin appear more radiant.

Palettes

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Sephora Play June 2016

Sephora Play June 2016Sephora Play June 2016

Never having jumped on the subscription box bandwagon, in May I signed up for Sephora Play! I received my first box in mid-June, and finally have time to talk about it what I got!

Tocca Florence

I’m highly picky about fragrances. When I realized this was a floral, I nearly tossed it out without popping the cap off the vial. I decided that wasn’t fair, so I removed the stopper and…was pleasantly surprised! For the first time since the Marc Jacobs Daisy line, I’ve found a pleasant floral. That said, I’m not going to rush out and buy a full sized, $68 bottle of Florence. I will enjoy this sample vial, but juggling several bottles of perfume is not for me. I would consider buying a rollerball. If you like subtle florals and are in the market, give this a shot.

Tarteguard

I’ve always thought that the packaging for Tarte’s sunscreen was cute, but I didn’t give the product much consideration. If I was going to drop $32 on a sunscreen, I’d probably go Shiseido, Clinique, or Murad…or I’d go with a BB Cream product. So far, I’ve used Tarteguard on my hands and forearms only – where it has done a good job. I was reluctant to introduce change to my routine so soon after finding a routine that my skin is responding well to (plus I <3 my Biore one!). Furthermore, the reviews this sunscreen has received have indicated a high incidence of breakouts in relation to use. Unfortunately it isn’t going anywhere near my face anytime soon. It DOES has a faint, pretty scent that I can’t place and none of that nasty, “sunscreen smell.” For what it’s worth, a fellow, makeup-obsessed friend swears by this stuff and reports that it doubles as a good primer.

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Skincare Arsenal Update – June 2016

I needed to take my own advice and get back to basics. My skincare routine became too complicated and had too many moving parts. I was vacillating between Cetaphil Gentle, philosophy Purity, Noxzema Triple Clean, and random cleanser samples I had received from Sephora and Ulta (because that’s what you do when you’re a beauty blogger who reviews things). I was inconsistently using this toner, that moisturizer. Exfoliant roulette. Masque roulette. You get it. I was all over the place.

All that combined with a stressful eight months and my skin just wasn’t my biggest fan. It was making me crazy, and it was preventing me from having as much fun with my makeup. So I revamped my skincare arsenal and process to get back to consistency, and I’ll just need to go longer between trying new skin products for science. Tomorrow, I turn 25 – and I’m doing so with skin that is behaving.

Makeup Removal & Cleansing

Skincare Arsenal Update - Cleansing

Micellar Water – I am really impressed by how well the Garnier one I reviewed is treating me. As I don’t use waterproof mascara or go hardcore, full-face every day, I’m delighted with the way this stuff has been (oh-so-gently!) treating my skin. A lot of people have eschewed their other face products in favor of this minimalist product; I can see why. I’ve picked up the one by Simple (I liked their Micellar wipes, after all) to try, but I’m not remotely unhappy with the Garnier one. I still have Kirkland Makeup Wipes; they’re effective, inexpensive, and convenient – but I’m growing tired of the fragrance. They’re still a good product and a great value, but I am scaling back my usage in favor of micellar products. Personally, I’m also not in love with something so disposable for everyday use.

Cetaphil Gentle – Tried and true. Just as good without water as with. Plays nicely with both my Clarisonic and my Luna Mini.

philosophy Purity – For when I need a deeper clean. This is about as ‘hardcore’ of a clean as I want, these days. Also plays nicely with both aforementioned tools.

Keep reading for more on my Skincare Arsenal Update…

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that sun safety and skin cancer awareness are important topics to me. I remind multiple times a year to practice sun safety and to take measures to protect your skin, but I take advantage of may being Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness month to ascend my soapbox. It’s a little deranged, really, to name today Melanoma Monday – but so it is.

Month before last, my father had to have yet another area removed. Squamous Cell Carcinoma. That’s at least his second procedure. That’s not even getting into about what my mother has gone through.

I was an idiot and used to tan in tanning beds.

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