"My face is on fire! My face is on fire!". No, it wasn't really on fire, it just got burned really badly from the sun this weekend. Let me explain how it got to this, Tarantino style. A while ago I went to the dermatologist to ask for a cream that would help revive my skin and control my blemishes and breakouts. He prescribed to me Differin gel, a pea size amount on the affected areas every other night. I was also told to wear a wide brimmed sun hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses when I'm outside to protect my face from the sun, because Differin increases skin's sensitivity to sunlight. I'm incredibly impatient, and after a week of using a pea size amount of Differin without seeing dramatic overnight results, I upped the amount to a gob the size of a nickel and rubbed it into my face every night for a week. I started to notice dry flakes on certain areas of my face last Thursday, but exfoliated those away with those new Dove exfolitating pillows (these worked great!). Then on Saturday, I went out into the city with the family and walked outside the entire day with no sun hat and sunglasses (my kids lost the last pair I had), but I did wear a moisturizer with sunscreen, Olay Complete. It wasn't enough. For the first time in my life, (and I'm not exaggerating here), I have sunburn on my face. I naturally have dark skin and never burn from being in the sun too long, I only get tanner. However, the Differin gel was more powerful than I thought, that pea size amount was working wonders, but I tried to speed up the process and made my skin too irritated and fragile to be in the sun. I think if I had worn a sun hat, something like this from Banana Republic, it wouldn't have been so bad, but for some reason, I never feel comfortable in hats like this, I'd rather wear a baseball cap. Especially if I'm wearing a jeans and t-shirt combo like I was last Saturday. These wide brimmed hats look better on me if I'm wearing a sun dress, I don't know why. But as my old chemistry professor in college used to say, "I'd rather look silly for a couple of hours, than not be able to look at all for the rest of my life!" He was talking about wearing safety googles to protect your eyes from acid spills and flare-ups in the chem lab, but the message is very general. Don't compromise your safety and health for fear you might look like a fashion victim, it's not worth it.
So after a full day of being outside and being bombarded by the sun, by the evening I was telling my husband, "My face is on fire, my face is on fire! I need to get to CVS and get some cream!" It's a mild sunburn, not severe, but it itches like mad. My husband asked me how this happened, and I told him about the Differin abuse and he just shook his head, "Why do you do this to yourself?"
So now I'm home, with Eucerin Calming cream rubbed all over my face, looking like I had a chemical peel done at the derm's office. I'm also on shit duty with my kids because two of them caught a stomach virus from the gym's playroom. Life is just great right now. But I must say I have a newfound compassion for my fair skinned friends who come home from the beach looking like red lobsters. I know what it's like to have sunburn now, the pain and the wicked itch is unbearable.