Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Love Your Skin Link Up: What's Your Routine?

 I am participating in the Love Your Skin Link Up on Shades of Gray and a Pinch Of Pink blog.  I heard about this from the Pretty in Pale blog that I follow.  I love this idea!  I have been called a product junkie and I am okay with that!  I love trying out all the new products and it seems like there is always something new on the market, which keeps me really busy!   Here are my answers!

   What's your daily skincare routine?
       I use Mark (Avon) “That’s Deep” cleanser on my face in the morning, and then I use either Mary Kay’s Timewise moisturizer with spf 30 or Avon’s Anew Revitilizing cream with spf 25 as my moisturizer. I also apply Avon’s Magix face perfector before foundation and  Anew Reversalist eye cream.  I use Avon Clearskin Deep Pore Cleansing Scrub in the evening, followed by the Anew Reversalist night emulsion.  Once a week I exfoliate, especially in the winter, by mixing some water with baking powder.  Makes your skin super soft!    In the shower I use Philosophy's Amazing Grace shower gel and their microdelivery exfoliating scrub.  
                                                        A skin product you could never live without?  
 I could not live without my moisturizers with sunscreen.  I love the formulas that I use on my face, (see above),because they don’t feel heavy, clog my pores, or sting my eyes!  Having melanoma, I wear sunscreen daily and I could never go out of the house without it! 

   Have you ever used a tanning bed? 
Yes, unfortunately at the age of 39.  I had always been afraid to before, but it seemed safe because everyone was doing it.  I didn’t think I had the characteristics of someone predisposed to skin cancer, and thought, “they just cut it off.”  I always wanted to be tan and thought I was much prettier with a tan. I was always in the sun and never had anything happen to me since I was a teen.  I ended up with Stage 1b melanoma and basal cell carcinoma just after less than a year of tanning bed use.  Changed my entire life. But prevented my daughter from following in my shoes.
Thoughts on spray tanning? 
I personally would not do it.  I love my skin tone natural and pale these days.  This wasn't the case pre-melanoma.  I don’t like the way spray tans look, but I would suggest it to someone that was looking for the tanned look and stress to avoid those tanning beds!  Even spray tans are not completely safe though.  The fumes are not good to breathe. And you could look like this....

       Favorite brand of sunscreen? 
       I have really liked the Neutrogena Dry-Touch sunscreens this winter.  They do tend to leave white marks on things, (such as my car interior!), but it doesn’t leave a greasy feeling.  I use the Blue Lizard if I am going to be outside for long periods of time, or especially in the warmer months.
                                                          Biggest skincare splurge? 
       My moisturizers are definitley my biggest splurge.  I am kind of a product junkie, and I love to try all the newest stuff. Currently I am using the Avon Reversalist line.  It is AWESOME!
                                            Celebrity with the most perfect skin?    
       There are so many that I admire for their natural, flawless skin.  Examples would be Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman, Rachel McAdams and Dakota Fanning.  They are beautiful without the tan.  Watching the Golden Globes I was proud of the actresses who were natural and disgusted with one that looked like she rolled in Doritos.  (see above photo).



                                             Feature you're most self-conscious about? 
       Probably my oily skin.  It has gotten much better with age though and I don't have many wrinkles either, which is cool. 

What do you think about botox?  
         It can be overdone, and I don't think I would ever feel the need to do it, but I guess you never know! Right now, I don't need it.   :)

I feel most confident when.. 
      My fiancĂ© tells me I am beautiful and I can see by the way he is looking at me,that he truly means it .  Oh and also when I have on my high heels!                     **********************************************************************************

This was fun!  I hope you will link up and share too!  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

In the End, It Is Vanity That Betrays Us

I haven't spoke about this yet.  It was kind of a shock to me.  My stepdad had a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) removed from the bridge of his nose in November.  He was never a tanner.  He always wore sunscreen that I know of and I have known him for most of my life.  I used to make fun of him because he would put so much sunscreen on, he would look like a ghost!  I was stunned that he of all people would have a skin cancer removed.

When I first found out, my first thought was, "Thank God it is basal cell and not melanoma."  Since I have had both melanoma (stage1b) and BCC, I know that BCC is not deadly like melanoma.  I know that they both can be disfiguring though.  I felt scared for him.  My Mom was with him through the whole procedure.  Since it was on his nose, they actually went down and took cartlidge to make sure they got it all during the MOHS surgery.  They took a chunk the size of an M&M candy.  They made sure they got it all, then they sewed him up.

No big deal.  He was instructed when to remove the bandage and did so.  When he did, the stitches came out.  All of them.  So he covered it up and when he went back to the dermatologist, they were shocked that all of the stitches had come right out on the bandage.  His nose, unfortunately, could not be sewn back up at this point.  So, now he has to keep it clean and covered, and hope that it will heal.  When it does, he will have quite a battle scar.

It hurts me that he has had to go through all of this.  Trust me, he is not throwing a pity party at all.  He is just dealing with it. He talked to me a lot about the procedure and everything, which I know means that he wants me to know and because I understand.  We share skin cancer together. I know he wants everyone to know that skin cancer is NOT just something a doctor cuts off and you are fine.  He wouldn't blog about it or anything, but I know he wants people to get the message.  He has an open wound on his face now that will turn into a scar.  He didn't tan.  He was very diligent about using sunscreen, even when it wasn't cool.  It CAN happen to anyone.  A skin cancer ain't pretty, and it ain't worth a tan.  So, if you insist that a tan is prettier than being "too pale"  then realize that when the tanning salons make you sign the waiver that says they are not liable if you get skin cancer, that it is because tanning causes skin cancer.

                           Basal Cell Carcinoma.
                                                              Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Your chances of getting melanoma increase by 75% if you use a tanning bed JUST ONE TIME.  I used them for less than a year and ended up with melanoma AND BCC.  No one really wants to have chunks cut from their skin.  It hurts!  And it leaves a nasty looking scar.  Is that worth a tan?  I bet my step dad wouldn't think so.

My fiance said this once, before I got melanoma, and it has stuck with me since.  "In the end, it is vanity that betrays us."  I didn't understand it before my melanoma diagnosis, but I understand it now.

A tan fades.  The damage doesn't.  Your skin remembers.  Don't be betrayed.

Melanoma Awareness Videos~Watch & Share!!

These are new videos created by student doctors to illustrate the importance of identifying melanoma in its early stages by showcasing real-life patient stories.  they are well done and I would like you to watch and share them.

Even though there are many people and organizations educating against tanning bed use and promoting and teaching sun safety, melanoma is on the rise.  Teens are still signing up for that tanning membership.  Parents are still not teaching their children to use sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and to seek shade.  We have a lot of work to do.  Videos like these show powerful images of what melanoma looks like, and show people who speak from experience.  

So please watch, and please share these videos.  It is a very easy thing to do to spread awareness about melanoma. 

 You could save someone's life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Letter to My 16 Year Old Self

I was thinking about the video Dear 16-year-old Me and I was wishing that I could go back to when I was 16.  If I could, this is what I would say to myself.

Don't put off your dream.  Just do it!  Buy that camera.  Take that first step.  Then the next.  And the next.  You have the talent.  Don't waste it.

You are beautiful, just the way you are. 
You do not need to plaster on all that makeup to be beautiful.  You actually look much better without it.

Your hairstyle will come back to haunt you!  Your kids will make fun of your big 80's hair! Pictures don't lie! (See below)

Prom 1988

Education is very important. Finish your college degree even though it will be tough.  Don't make excuses.

Don't rely on others to make you happy. You alone hold the key to your happiness. 

Don't be afraid to speak up.  You will be sorry someday for the missed opportunities to say something because you were too scared to .

Always be true to yourself. Don't try to be something someone else wants you to be.  Be yourself!

Someday your Prince Charming will come.  You will kiss a few frogs, but don't give up on true love.

Don't start smoking.  It will be one of the worst things you will do to your body.

DON'T TAN!  It WILL be THE worst thing you will do to your body.  That mole on your leg, yep, that little mole, will grow bigger and bigger and you won't notice it until it is too late. It will change your life forever.

These are just a few things that I would say to my 16 year old self....

 What would YOU say to YOUR 16 year old self?