17 May 2012

Greta Garb Uh-Oh

I look like a movie star.

Me Greta
This is not glamorous. Due to the need to cover up my skin, I look like an old reclusive movie legend who is trying to disguise her looks from the public. The look I am rocking is that of Greta Garbo,  long after she had lost her sense of style and became a fashion disaster.

On my second last day of radiation, my technician told me that I had to keep my neck and chest away from the sun. Forever. She said that super strong suntan lotion would be helpful, but what I should really wear is a scarf.

And the hat…well, I still have lesbian hair. And as I’ve said many a time, I love lesbians, but I'm not crazy about the manly hair. And even though my cap has a visor to keep out the sun, I still wear giant round sunglasses, cus my friend Rosalie told me that I looked cool.

This look has been great in the spring, but now that it’s summer I look a like a mummy. And this weekend I intend to sit on a dock with some of my favorite friends and drink beer from Mexico.

And I'm pretty sure there's a hat for that.

15 May 2012

To Burn, or not to Burn

I’m quite careful about what I put on my face. I don’t use a lot of stuff – but the stuff that I do use is good quality. My two can’t-live-without staples are Dove soap and Burts Bees lip gloss.  Dove was my grandma’s soap, and she had beautiful skin. Burts Bees is sold at the health food store, so I’m assuming that it’s not going to kill me.

Paraben Bad!
My third favorite thing is Keihls Marvelous Mineral Mascara. I like anything Keihls, and this is hypoallergenic, fragrance free and paraben free. Parabens, for those who don’t know, are a chemical widely found in cosmetics, that are also found in breast cancer tumours. Parabens have also displayed the ability to slightly mimic estrogen. Although the dosage found in tumours is very very low,  parabens have now become quite controversial and I prefer to avoid them.

But avoiding them may be more difficult than you’d think, as they are found in lipstick, suntan lotion, moisturizers and toothpaste. Although they are listed among the ingredients, the font size is so teensy tiny that it would require Steve Austin’s bionic eye to decipher the letters.

So, yesterday I was doing a little shopping at the excellent drug store at Mt Sinai Hotel and Spa. Specifically, I was looking for a non-toxic eye make-up remover that I could carry in my bag. I asked the young clerk if she had such a product. ‘Yes,’ she chirped, ‘Would you like the non-stinging kind?’

Really?! Did I hear correctly? I stared at her in disbelief. I couldn’t even believe that this was a real question, and I wondered how many people said, ‘No thanks, give me the kind that burns my eyes’.  So I just looked at her until I finally said, ‘Shouldn’t non-stinging be the standard?’ She laughed cheerfully, ‘I dunno!’

Olive good.
Sadly ‘I dunno’ seems to be the standard for what we put on our face. Most people – like me – are often more concerned with how yummy a product feels rather than what is actually is. So the result is, our teenage sun tanning years were spent under layers of dangerous chemicals and animal fat  (except for my delicious sister Sue who only uses olive oil and lemon for anything skin related, which are the same ingredients she uses for roast chicken).

My mother Violet, who also takes a healthful approach to cosmetics sent me a link to an excellent website which I’m posting here. Because the US government are allowed to use almost any chemical they wish, and  because they don’t review the safety of a product before it is sold, this website fills in where they negligently left off. 

On a lighter note – it’s fun, easy (and safe) to use.