Skin Care {ish} With Jennifer

Previously on the {ish} Adventures, I wrote a polite yet firm letter of dissatisfaction to the infamous Sun. (read it HERE) No no, Not this Sun,

Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns
Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns

Not this one either! (Who could write a letter of dissatisfaction to Sonny Bono?!)

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“I Got You (a bottle of 70SPF sunscreen) Babe

I’m talking about the big fire-ball in the sky that makes it impossible to sleep past 9 am without black out curtains and that has been leaving me with 1stand 2nddegree burns over various parts of my body over the last 20 years. That one!

The Sun Hates me
Ghosts of Sunburns Past

“But Jennifer, I thought you were 30, what about those other 10 years?” That is a great question, you see my mom was in control of my life (body included) for at least that many years and she is far more responsible than me, so those 10 years of being sun burn free are all on her! Yay Mom!! (bet you can’t find that sentiment and appreciation in a hallmark card..)

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I will say that this week’s sunburn has not been a bad one by my standards. I’ve had worse. Much worse…

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Remnants of a Sun burn that lasted 2 months #killme

but this new one was uncomfortable and came at the worst time ever.  (not that there is ever a perfect time for a sunburn) This particular ‘searing’ mostly affected my face and it came 4 days before vacation. A vacation in which I will not only be spending time with my wonderful in-laws that we hardly get to see, but will also be hanging out with several people of my husband’s family that I haven’t met before #familyreunion. THIS is not the Jennifer I want these people to meet.

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Hi, name is Jennifer. I enjoy long walks on the beach and using crisco as a sun barrier. Nice to meet you!

In an effort to repair the damage that I and the sun (you didn’t think I was going to take full blame for this, did you?) did to my face, I consulted my primary care physician—AKA Pinterest—and dug up some ways to keep my skin from melting off of my face.

Pinterest hack # 1 Aloe.

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Aint no party like an aloe vera party!!

Trying aloe for me is like shutting your phone off when the ear piece stops working. You do it because customer service (and the intetnet) tells you to do it, but you and the service rep both know it’s not going to help and you are probably screwed.  My husband and I learned years ago that this was a two-man job. (seriously, I should have had them write it into our wedding vows) His job is to rub the aloe in and my job is to tell him the following “just do it, get it over with, wait wait wait, I SAID WAIT, that’s cold, that burns, your rubbing too hard, GET AWAY FROM ME.” as you can tell, we make a great team!

So, did it work? I was not impressed. (As usual) I am certain that the aloe only works because the pain you endure putting it on takes your mind of the fact that your skin is melting of your body. On the other hand, If you asked my dog Wrigley, who uses his tongue like ants use feelers (HE LICKS EVERYTHING, sigh.) he enjoyed the minty aloe popsicle on my shoulder and thought it was the best idea EVER.

Pinterest hack # 2 Black tea.

Reduces-Puffy-Eyes

I’ve seen this hack floating around the interwebs for quite some time, but to be honest, until about a year ago I was on a strict diet of Mt. Dew and milk and the chances of finding tea in my house were slim to none. Thankfully my husband and I gave up (for the most part) pop for more water and un-sweet tea so this time around I could give this hack a try. Apparently The natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in black tea work together like the justice league to take away some of the redness and puffiness associated with a sunburn. Sounds right up my alley, question is how do you put tea on your body?

My primary care physician Pinterest suggested actually placing the tea bags directly on the affected area after you have soaked in warm water for a while. Um, tea bags at most are the size of a credit card. There are not enough tea bags in the world to cover the square footage of this burn. (Not without a Costco membership at least). Other articles suggested using wash cloths or even pouring the tea mixture directly on the area. This seems like a better option but will not be any less awkward than layering tea bags all over my body. You see my burn is pretty much face, neck, chest, shoulders and upper thigh. So, however and where ever I do this I’m going to need to be partially naked with the ability to not only layer strips of cloth on me but also pour pitchers worth of  it on me.

Let us have a quick moment of silence for our minds eye for the image I have just placed in your head.  If it helps, you can try to just imagine Jennifer Beals from Flashdance. 

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Dramatic recreation of Jennifers tea soaking experience.

I decided to lay in the bathtub to do this. While I wasn’t particularly happy about the ring the tea might leave around my freshly scrubbed white tub, hiding in the bathroom meant I could lock Wrigley out, who, as I sated earlier loves to lick and is fond of tea. (counterproductive and just plain yuck) Because the part I am most concerned about is my face I took a clever approach and cut up an old pair of leggings, soaked them in the tea mixture and then placed them around my head like bandanas. (now that I think of it…a bandana would have been easier. sigh)

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Don’t be surprised if you see this fashion statement at Coachella next year…

I then took an old t-shirt, or should I say TEA-Shirt, soaked the top half of it in the tea mixture and wore it proudly like the winner of a redneck wet t-shirt contest! Somehow i managed to miss capturing this special moment on camera..your welcome.

 So, did it work? Surprisingly, it did. My shoulders in particular were no longer red and puffy and Lord help me, I looked like I had a tan. UPDATE EDIT: upon further review and shower…the “tan” was nothing more than a tea stain that rinsed away with the shower. Sigh. Forehead and cheeks were better, but were still a little red and while not puffy, swollen, I had lost all ability to show any emotion from the eyes up.

Pinterest hack # 3 Menthol shaving cream.

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Paid actor dramatization.

Now, I’m going to be completely honest with you. I don’t own shaving cream. Shaving cream tends to be messy and in the end I always thought water from the shower worked just fine.  I mean, look at the cave men and women for example, they didn’t have shaving cream and they got along just fine! (ok, so maybe I shouldnt compare my grooming habits to cave people…) Thankfully my husband cares more about the softness of his skin than I do, and he was able to provide just enough shaving cream to coat my chest and face for a full 30 mins (again..sorry for the image)

So, did it work? Well, it made my skin feel all tingly, giving it the illusion that it was working and Wrigley was once again impressed (if it looks like cool whip, it must taste like cool whip, right?), but in the end the only dermatological advantage I gained was 2 brand new pimples. yay me!

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Entering the final stages of the peel process…Top half of my forehead looks like the southern half of Mexico

I gave it my best, but in the end I think it is safe to say that the damage is done, and while the redness is gone for the most part the unfortunate peeling process will be beginning soon. Just in time to meet about 20-30 new people. Yay.  Maybe when they meet me again at the reunion 2 years from now they won’t recognize me and assume Matthew ditched me for a girl with a better skin care regimen.  #fingerscrossed.

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