Presumably your skin is right there on your body, but Cosmo isn’t sure you know much about your skin, so they want to talk to you about it. It’s an article about not getting skin cancer. I cannot wait to read this. I know I’ve delivered a whole lot of hate on this magazine, but here is their chance to redeem themselves.
Why do I care so much, you ask? If you know me outside of this blog, you probably already know. But I’ll tell you anyway in case you don’t know the history.
Sometimes your doctor calls and rather than saying hello she says, “I have good news, and bad news, which do you want first?” Literally she didn’t say hello. I mean, I know she knows my voice (she’s been my dermatologist for about 15 years now, and we see each other kind of a lot), but holy shit, lady, you’re scaring me. We’ve talked on the phone a lot after appointments, and she’s always just said “pre-cancerous” or “good that we got it before it got bad!” This time I had to choose.
I chose the bad news first.
You had a melanoma this time.
I quit listening. I quit hearing anything she was saying, and I know she knew that, but she kept talking. At some point, I tuned back in and asked for the good news because this news is fucking terrible and I don’t want to talk about it.
“I dug a little deeper and got it all (that explains the ugly scar, but I have a lot of ugly scars). Clean boundaries. So, yes, cancer, but you’re fine. So you won’t need to follow up before the next three month appointment, but you will need to be extra diligent, Elizabeth. You will need to wear your sunscreen. Technically? You had cancer. And I’m sorry about that, but we got it, so you will be fine because you will be diligent.”
I feel like I shouldn’t use quotes here, but that is almost exactly what she said. I am my only advocate at my doctor’s appointments and on the phone so when I talk to her, so I have to pay attention. I take notes. And well, this was serious shit. Bad but not terrible news. I should, in theory, have an advocate, but that’s a post for another day.
ANYWAY, enough about me, on to Cosmo. That’s why you’re here, right?
“If I use SPF 15 primer and moisturizer with spf 30, is that like wearing spf 45?”
Oh for fuck’s sake. NO. I didn’t even read to see how they answered it. It’s not. At best you’ve got 15 on your face, and probably not even that because people don’t use enough sunscreen/lotion when they’re putting it on.
So this article is about sunscreen. Is it safe to use this that and the other thing?
Spray ~ yes, but avoid your face (never your face says Cosmo), and don’t inhale it. Duh. And make sure you glisten before you rub it in. See that thing? RUB IT IN. Just spraying isn’t enough. That’s why it’s my backup.
What sunscreen doesn’t make me break out? Would you rather have a zit or cancer? But seriously, Cosmo says to look for products with octisalate. Oil-free, wash your face when you get home, all that nonsense.
Beach umbrellas. They’re fantastic. When I vacation somewhere I’ll be at a beach, I tend to buy one and then have to leave it, and I’m totally okay with that. But I don’t expect that it’s actually protecting me from the sun. I have no idea what Cosmo says on this because I quit reading it. Wear your goddamn sunscreen.
“My skin is dark, so I don’t wear SPF every day”
Really. You’ve heard of Bob Marley, right? The father of reggae? The guy who died because of skin cancer. Not lying right now, google it. People with dark skin die from melanoma. Put on your goddamn sunscreen, no matter your color or skin tone.
Sunscreen on my head? HUGE KUDOS to Cosmo for mentioning this. They talk about sunscreen and gel and keeping your hair from looking greasy. They also mention wearing a hat. I suggest the hat. We look cute in hats. All of us. Wear a hat. It’s good for you.
Holy shit. A somewhat useful article. In the sun. While wearing a hat and sunscreen.
I stand corrected.