Six month panic: Health and beauty care

Because I like to turn everything in life into numbers and/or systems*, not long after I got engaged I signed up to The Knot so that I could get access to their planning timeline checklist. I read through it all, figured out that most of it was irrelevant to me, and decided to go ahead with using common sense instead. Also, in the early months of engagement, there’s really not much to do besides tell people, make a list of guests, book a venue, make a wedding website, and send out links to it. Which ok, is 5 whole things, but if you’re engaged for a year, that’s a really breezy task-to-month ratio. You’re advised to start thinking about the dress (hahaha. I’ve been thinking about the dress for a couple decades already), and looking into invitations, and a few other non-task type things, but really, not much is going on until you hit the W minus 6 months point.  Then shit gets real. No more arsing around, you have to actually get stuff done.

My wedding is in October, which means during April I hit my 6 months to go point. Apart from needing to organise actual logistics, it felt like a kind of ominous milestone. Have you ever noticed how many things in life take 6 months? For instance, if I want to have good posture by the time of my wedding, I need to start working on that right now. Like many, I’ve been targeting the wedding day as a kind of deadline for getting the rest of life together. Body-fat-percentage wise. Flexibility-of-hamstrings-wise. Earrings-wise. And so many other types of wises.

So this is how I found myself, instead of rushing to book a photographer (I’ve got a shortlist, but it’s such a slog to compare the galleries of 13 different ones and try to pick the best. I just have not been able to find the motivation yet), fiance and I got ourselves a health check and found out we both have high cholesterol. We have 6 months to sort all this stuff out! Time to start doing attempting pull-ups! Time to start stretching, and doing squats!

The upshot is, I now eat several servings of fruit and veg a day, we got ourselves a pair of rollerblades each, we went blading and got sunburnt and my nose peeled, and then I panicked about my absent skin care routine and bought a bunch of beauty products. I also crashed on my blades and gave my knee a fairly nasty scraping, earning myself something that has good odds of becoming a pretty large patch of scar tissue, and also rendering me unable to do squats because I can’t bend my knee when the patch is this tender.

But let me tell you about the skin care.

Paula Begoun has been writing about the skin care world, and what in it is evidence based and what is not, since the 80s. Turns out the world of beauty products is almost as prone to myth and the strident neglect of reality as the world of complementary medicine is (*coughhomeopathycough*). I shudder to think of the adolescent days when my dermatologist prescribed me alcohol swabs for my angry red zits. About as wrong a thing you can do to acne, short of, you know, putting food on your face or something. Eventually, Paula opened her own line of products, and, aww yeaaah, it’s all evidenced based. Get this, the product descriptions online each come with citations of peer-reviewed research explaining the use of each ingredient. It’s a vision of Utopia, truly.

I already had a good cleanser, so I got myself some toner, an exfoliant, a serum, and a sunscreen. Between all this and my recent introduction to the phenomenon that is tooth mousse, my bed time and morning routines have gotten a lot longer lately. On the hand, my skin is noticably softer, and I am optimistic that these two visible-only-to-me-yet-present sun spots, that horrifically appeared on my cheek in the last few months, will fade by the time of the wedding. Because with careful daily sun protection, the time that is estimated to take is six months.

But don’t worry, I have been panicking on more directly related to wedding stuff too. Like what I’m going to wear to my wedding. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on that! For a day, this blog is going to abandon its thoughts only ethos, and join the Pretty Pretty party of frivolity. There’s going to be pictures.

*I can’t not systematise everything, apparently. When I was an undergrad I worked out very precisely how many hours to spend on each assignment based on the proportion of my final grade they counted for. I was like, “I need to spend 10 hours writing this essay”. It’s a compulsion.


9 responses to “Six month panic: Health and beauty care

  1. We’re only four months out and I still feel like I’m not doing much (wedding-related).
    Oh and on beauty-care related topic, my mom bought me a Clarisonic brush a couple of weeks ago as a gift and so far, I love it!

    • Ainhoa, how do you do this? I always get a comment from you like 5 minutes after I publish the post. I love it!

      Ok, I’m about to google clarisonic now. And also continue to fantasise about getting a laser treatment for those sun spots.

      • Haha I don’t know! Maybe you usually post while I’m checking my Google Reader? Also, I spend most of my day in front of my computer working on my thesis…
        And you should check out the Clarisonic! It’s not cheap but I kept reading great reviews. And my mom told me that when she was at the store paying for it (she bought it in the US, they don’t sell those in Spain) other customers in line told her it was awesome!

  2. Paula Begoun to the rescue! She writes about the Clarisonic here

    I’m sorry to say, both the rigor and statistical power of the research are lacking. But if it works for you, it works for you 🙂 My skin is kind of sensitive and rosacea prone, so I’m not into mechanical exfoliation. It’s BHA all the way for me.

    By the way, *thesis solidarity fist bump*

  3. I LOVE Paula’s products!! A coworker recommended her BHA products to me a few years ago, and I’ve been using them ever since. Such good stuff.

    • Yep. I discovered her back in 2003 before she had her own products. I had to get Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion (no.2 I think it was), as it was just about the only BHA product around at the time. I’ve fallen off and on the wagon so many times since then! If only I’d listened to her advice and been more rigourous with the sunscreen.

  4. Thanks- your panic has prompted my panic. The ‘oh crap I have to wear a swimsuit in 6 months!! Put down the tobelerone and step away from the kitchen’ panic. Yikes!!!!

    • Ah Maddy that really wasn’t an intended effect. If it helps, I find here that we are all so used to appearing in our swimsuits in front of each other all the time that there’s really no judgement. In fact, I really like that it’s not just the super toned people who feel comfortable hanging round the pool. No one has a model/athlete’s body, and everyone’s ok with that. People are unsurprised to discover that other people’s body’s are normal. I don’t think anyone’s going to judge you. I hope that helps 🙂

      For me it was really more about trying to get my health shit together, and you know, be a real grown up by the time I get married.

      • Thanks 🙂 that does help! And I hear you, no better time than the present to start investing in your health. It’s sad how excited I am about my new health insruance. I feel like I am kicking life’s arse just by having it!

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