Tag Archives: cancer

My Struggles with Sunscreen

After an Ottawa winter that seemingly never ended, there is no greater pleasure than the feeling of the sun’s warmth against our skin. But as some experts tell us, we can enjoy that feeling but we should be protecting that skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

I am no stranger to sunscreen. I have been wearing it pretty faithfully over the years, and stepping up the SPF number at the urging of my dermatologist. Because I am pretty fair-skinned and can burn pretty easily, it makes sense.

But much like I have described in other blog posts, shopping for a sunscreen is another never ending episode of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.

A few years ago, I was introduced to a brand of sunscreen that I considered “just right”. It had a nice light fragrance, it didn’t feel sticky, and it held up well when I was out running. Basically, it felt like I wasn’t wearing sunscreen when I had it on. I could even reapply it throughout the day and not feel like an oil slick. To me, that was the gold standard.

But I wonder if they changed the recipe because it doesn’t feel “just right” anymore. By my schnoz, the pleasant scent now seems to present notes of chemicals (which makes me a little apprehensive about meetings in small boardrooms) and the texture seems stickier than before.

Even if I wrote to the company with my questions, would it change anything? Probably not. And there is a chance that it could be my body chemistry changing, as opposed to the product. Some colognes I wore a decade or two ago smell very differently on me now, so I wouldn’t rule out that a sunscreen that was once perfect, might not behave the same on my approaching-geriatric skin.

And so began the auditions for a new sunscreen. Continue reading

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Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, Running

Top 10 Advantages of Clipper Cuts

BarberPoleThere were years where “bed head and cowlicks” was my hairstyle even though that wasn’t the look I was going for …and long before it was fashionable. With the eternal struggle for good hair raging on through the years, I put a lot of time, effort and a small fortune into hair maintenance.

Although many people said I was so lucky for having some natural curl in my hair, I seemed to find it a curse because with a baby face, if I let my hair go curly I was either called “Miss” or I would get carded well into my 30’s. The choice was clear: either to straighten my hair or grow a moustache (which would take at least six months of planning and effort). So I kept fighting Mother Nature.

I have a few friends who seemingly always had perfect hair, who could truly roll out of bed in the morning, give their head a shake and look perfect for any situation, casual or professional. They did not put in nearly as much effort as I did, and I always envied them as I continued to build my arsenal of miracle-in-a-bottle hair products. It didn’t help that I worked at your friendly neighbourhood pharmacy and could buy every new product hitting the market at employee discount.

But the battle ended when I took the plunge in 2007 and got my first clipper cut. There was no looking back as the benefits were undeniable.

Given that today is #WorldCancerDay and there is much talk about potentially buzzing one’s hair in a show of solidarity and to raise money for cancer research, I offer these Top 10 practical benefits to clipper cuts:

10. Time in the chair
The shortest clipper cut I ever got took only 6 minutes! The average is around 10, which includes chatting and payment! I may visit the barber more often, but even when you combine those times, it is still shorter than the half hour it used to take to “style” my hair.

9. Options
Around 2010 I bought my own set of clippers and tried doing it myself. Frankly, that decision has paid for itself several times over, even if I alternate between doing it myself and visits to the barber (to catch the spots I might miss)

8. Extra sleep
Back in the days when I used a blow dryer and gel, it would take a good 15-20 minutes in the morning to achieve the right look. Now, I basically walk out of the shower, towel dry and forget it. In winter I may apply some moisturizer and in the other seasons I apply sunscreen, but that’s it for maintenance, so while others are fighting with their hair I am getting my beauty sleep. Continue reading

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Filed under Lists, Misc blogs

Journey: Dodging the “C” bullet… twice

I don’t think there was ever a handbook written on knowing when the “good things come to those who wait” approach to life was more appropriate than the “no time like the present” philosophy, but I think we generally make it up on our own, based on what life throws at us.

One of my cousins has been very encouraging over the last several years that when it comes to writing, there really is no time like the present. When he first started making that suggestion to me, I was perhaps not far along enough in my career journey to fully appreciate the advice, especially since I was still finding my voice in the corporate world, eager to please and eager to make a name for myself. But add a few more years into the mix and some life-changing experiences and Continue reading

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Filed under Health and Wellness, Inspiring, Writing