Oh God. I Thought It Was Just a Pimple?? I’ll Never Bake Myself Again!

It’s that time of year! That time where we are stripped of those layers that kept us warm and cozy during the winter. No more shirts under sweaters under blazers under jackets or coats. No more wool hats, no more gloves. No more socks or boots.

It’s “Barefootin'” time everyone!


All those shoes and I still prefer bare feet!

But it is also time to be safe when you are in the sun. Take it from me. I am of the baby oil and iodine generation. I did very, very bad abusive things to my skin. I baked in the sun for hours and dealt with bad burns and blistering—all to get a great color for the summer.

sunburnt will ferrell

Yup. I have been this red. Um. Many, many times!

When I broke out, I used a sunlamp to clear the very few pimples I had. I don’t even think sunlamps are sold anymore because they are a danger.


The old sun lamp burnt the zits off–and burned more than that off too!

Back then, though, the dangers of sun damage weren’t really known—except for making your skin look like a leather bag! Ewww!

leather skin

It would be nice to be a bit tan, but not at the expense of looking like leather!

Growing up on Long Island—well, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Especially in the summer. We were extremely close to the water. Beaches and Fire Island were a stone’s throw away. We were a beach crowd. But, we didn’t know how to protect ourselves.

Estagnol Trees and beach

Growing up on Long Island paved the way for my only wanting to travel close to a beach. This is one of my favorite beaches in France. At least I can sit under the tree for shade!

Five years ago I noticed a “pimple” above my right eyebrow. It didn’t hurt, but the damn thing just would not go away. If I scrubbed my face too much it would bleed and it would never quite heal—remaining a bit on the crusty side.

Krusty the clown

I only wish that my ever crusty pimple was more like Krusty the Clown–make believe!

After about 6 months of this annoying pimple, I made an appointment with a dermatologist. I was just getting a bit nervous. I had my skin checked and he took a biopsy. He said not to worry. (WHAT ME worry?? The biggest hypochondriac on earth?)

Three days later he called back with the results. The “pimple” was squamous cell skin cancer. I freaked. I really freaked. He referred me to a plastic surgeon that would perform Mohs surgery on me. I swear I thought I would lose my face. I was such a lunatic that the good surgeon moved my appointment date up from later to sooner because I was crying and convulsing on the phone to his staff!


Little chart of Mohs. Trust me, this is the pretty version!

I was extremely lucky. The surgeon advised me that, depending how deep the squamous was growing under my skin, I could expect to be in his office anywhere from about an hour to all day. Mohs surgery is scraping the tissue by layer and “testing” it until the skin is rid of all the cancerous layers. My time in surgery was slightly under an hour. But I had a gaping hole in my forehead. I’m thinking the hole in my head made it easier for me to have my head examined.

Bonaparte was great—he changed my dressings until I was finally able to look at it without throwing up—or crying hysterically because of what I had done. Yes. I am the one who is completely responsible for ruining my skin in the sun.

But the damage is done so moving on, I no longer “bake”.


Hey Mr. Sunshine. I love ya, but I cannot take your hotness anymore!

I “fake”!

The Jergens Natural Glow, both the Instant Sun and their regular Natural Glow, Tan Towels, and the best bronzer for the face–Wet n’ Wild. All give me that *cough* “healthy” glow and help to keep me from looking too pale in the summer!

Dear friends—you know how much I love my fake tan! But I love the beach too. These days,  I sit under an umbrella when we’re down the Jersey Shore and any beach I visit!


You will find me reading a book or doing crosswords under one of these!

I’m also slathered in sunscreen. And I’ll curse like a sailor when the sunscreen gets in my eyes—but it’s still better than more Mohs!

I’m also diligent about my annual purchase of Sephora’s Sun Safety Kit. The cost is $32.00 and $20.00 from each kit sold is donated to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is worth every cent!


Front View, all housed in a cute case that is great to use as a travel make up bag!

Better view front

Back View. Look at all the goodies!

The 2015 Sun Safety Kit goes on sale next week at Sephora stores, but I was fortunate to purchase mine today! It is filled with great stuff. It’s got:

Amorepacific Sun Protector. At 5ml it is a very small tube. SPF 30, it is a great addition to that little makeup bag in the purse or a drawer in your office. It feels very light. I’m happy to try it because it could lead to a purchase of the larger size.

Clarins UV Plus Anti Pollution Broad SpectrumSPF 50. At 10 ml the tube has a bit more product. It goes on very, very lightly and feels silky. Although I think Clarins products are very expensive, this little tube can be good for the face and will last a weekend if need be.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream. I tried a bit on my wrist. Very dark. It also felt somewhat dry, but then again, I’ve never had much luck with Clinique foundations, or their BB or CC creams. I’ll give this to Oona. She does well with Clinique and I want her to be sun safe (she is though—so much smarter than her helicopter mom).

St. Tropez “One Night Only” Wash Off Face & Body Lotion in Light Medium. It’s actually more of a gel consistency and looks super-dark as soon as you squeeze it out. But it goes on much, much lighter and isn’t greasy or filmy. It also smells very nice. This is going to be used a lot on my face. I’ll be sure to post a pic. Maybe I’ll use it tomorrow.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion. Hands down, this is one of the best facial moisturizers I’ve ever used in my life. I’ve already gone through two of the full sized ones and I have a couple of these “travel” sizes. A little goes a long, long way and I always make sure I have one of these babies stashed with my travel makeup. I cannot live without this! It’s SPF 30.

Dr. Jart+ BB Beauty Balm SPF 45. This is a super small travel size. 5 ml. In the past, I’ve purchased Dr. Jart’s BB and was happy, but it is pricey. A little goes a long way, and I think this is great to place in the purse in case you need a small touch up during the day. I would also use this on a weekend getaway as the tube would get you through three days easily.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. SPF 47 strikes me as a rather odd number, but any sampling I’ve had of Josie Maran’s has been decent. 15ml of product in a nice little pump jar. This travel size is going to last a while. The product is thin and goes on nicely and it appears that just a bit will be needed. Methinks this will be a hit with me!

Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF50 Sunscreen. 7ml. According to the site, reduces the appearance of those dark and pesky sun spots and evens out skin tone. We’ll see. All I care about is the SPF, I’m not looking for magic. My concealer will reduce the appearance of any spot I have.

Origins VitaZing SPF15. Ok. There isn’t a lot of SPF going on here, but I’m intrigued. This little 15ml tube seems to have a nice moisturizer with a bit of a “glow”. The product looks very light and is a sheer tint release. It may be good as a luminizer. I’ll play!

Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Broad Spectum SPF 30 Face Sunscreen. Thankfully, it doesn’t smell like yoghurt or I would want to eat it. Can you imagine? If I was hungry enough at the beach and it smelled that good, I’d Ingest. The 10ml tube is cute, but I do find Korres products to be extremely expensive.

Supergoop! Anti-aging UV Damage Repair Complex City Sunscreen Serum. The name Supergoop kills me! It’s so cool. Their site says that it can be used as a primer for the regimen of your day. I’m going to try using this as a backup primer for travel. It can’t hurt. I like the fact this is also an extremely light product. The SPF is 30 so that’s a good thing! It’s a “Supergoop” thing!

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30. A protecting primer. Again, you can never have enough of these little primers. I think they are perfect travel mates and allow you to leave the large size at home. I’m not familiar with Murad products, although I see them on the infomercials all the time. It’s probably decent enough.

Vita Liberata Passion Flower & Argan Dry Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50. 10ml of product in a slender pump. I pumped some on my hand and it wasn’t dry. It was wet. But, it dried extremely quickly in a non-filmy way. I think this would be good on the face or body apres sun to give a nice luminescence. We’ll see. I checked Sephora’s site and the 100ml size is $45.00.   I think that’s pricey—it may be too pricey for me.

Olehenriksen Total Truth Eye Cream SPF15. I like the idea of an eye cream being included in this kit. My issue with eye creams containing SPF is should it get in my eyes, it stings like a ………. (Fill in the blank). I’ll try it though!

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15. I’ve already gone through two tubes of this. I do like this. A tube is kept in my beach bag and I apply during the day, trying to keep it in a shady spot or it’ll get all melty and soft. This is a good product. I like the Fresh brand. If you ever see any of the Fresh Citron de Vigne fragrance or soap or body lotion, treat yourself. It smells so clean and….well, fresh!

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF50+ Wet Force Broad Spectrum Water Resistant (80 Minutes) Sunscreen. Wow! That was a mouthful! This is interesting because it is supposed to work even better after 15 minutes in the water. It’s $36.00 for 50ml or 2 oz. I’ll have to try this 15ml size.

supergoop st tropez dr. dennis gross clinique surge cc cream

I can’t wait to try the St. Tropez “One Night Only”. It’s a generous size too!

sun safe 010

The Vita Liberata Dry Oil is very intriguing to me!

sun safe 009

Everything in this pic is a winner. I LOVE the PTR Moisture Defense and am a regular user. The travel size is priceless!

sun safe 008

Bottom left is the Murad  primer. It looks pretty decent. All in all, this is a great way to try different sun protection items!

All in all, it’s a good bunch of stuff and part of the fun is trying out all the cute little trial/travel/sample sizes. The carry case is also great for using as a little toiletry or makeup case for travel!

Get your body ready for that fun in the sun! CAVEAT-I am not getting paid for shilling this. It’s just near and dear to me because I had that skin cancer and I really, REALLY protect myself now.

In fact, I was shitting bricks earlier this week because I had my six-month check up. My skin is fine and my dermatologist said my skin actually looks great! Thank you Jesus!

So stay safe this summer and protect your skin. I don’t want anyone running around with “Mohs Holes” on their faces or anywhere else on their bodies!

Enjoy one of the best summer songs of all time! Mongo Jerry’s “In The Summertime”


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Clarins, Josie Maran. St. Tropez One Night Only, Skin Cancer. Squamous Cell on Face. Mohs Surgery. Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015. Peter Thomas Roth. Bookmark the permalink.

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