08.18.2017

The Importance of Sun Protection & Going to the Dermatologist

Today’s blog post is going to be on the more serious side so get ready because this may be a long one…

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been having to go to the dermatologist and get regular checks for moles. This is something that is hereditary in my family. I get them from my dad, who also has several freckles and moles. But unfortunately, skin cancer also runs in my family.

When I was in seventh grade I had my first mole-related problem. On my right shoulder, I had a mole that had to be biopsied. I later found out that the results came back and they weren’t good. Now, it wasn’t melanoma, but I had to get the mole surgically removed. That was in seventh grade. Seventh grade. There aren’t any other people I know that had to go through something when they were that age. I remember having to leave school early to go to the dermatologist office and my teachers almost didn’t believe me.

Fast forward to my junior year of high school. I had one on the side of my face that also had to be surgically removed. Again, it wasn’t melanoma, but like the previous one had to be removed in case the area changed in the years to come. Both of these spots had the possibility of turning into melanoma down the road and I did everything my dermatologist recommended to remove them from my body. Yes they hurt, and yes I now have scars on my face and back, but it’s better than the possible outcome.

Now, just around a week and a half ago I found myself at the dermatologist office to get a cyst checked out (which is fine!) and to be safe my doctor wanted to do a body check since it had been so long since the last one. Unfortunately, I had to get two moles removed. A couple days went by and when the results came in, I got a phone call. These were not melanoma, but they still had to get surgically removed.

While I was relieved their results weren’t as serious as they could have been, I was still nervous to have to get two spots in one sitting removed.

I got those spots removed yesterday, Thursday, August 17. I now have two sets of stitches, as you can see from the photos below. One is on my neck and the other on my back. Apologies if the second one is a bit gross, I didn’t know there were markings on it from the removal. I actually have to leave the bandages on for two days before I can air them out.

Why am I telling you guys this story? This is something that I’ve dealt with my entire life, and probably will be for the rest of it. I’ve already been told that I have to go back in three months to get my entire body checked for additional spots. As you all have seen on the blog in addition to my social media accounts, I am extremely pale. I’ve never been one to want to go tanning and every time I do go out in the sun, I make sure to put sunscreen all over my body.

But this still happens to me. It is so important to not only use sun protection but to actively go to your dermatologist. While these spots, like the others, will leave scars on my back, face, neck, etc. it is way better than the alternative. If you have a history of skin cancer in your family, it is even more important to do checks on yourself regularly and know what an atypical mole looks like.

It is also extremely important to use sunscreen and practice proper sun protection. Whether you’re swimming, laying out, at a theme park, etc. you need to be actively applying it throughout the day. Yes, some are waterproof but it’s typically only for a certain time frame. Even if it’s a cloudy day it is still important to apply sunscreen!!!

I’m sure you all have seen these charts before but I wanted to include it in this post so you know the signs. While I won’t go into the detail of the removals yesterday, I will say it is not a fun experience. You have to get multiple shots to numb the area and then a deep cut is made to ensure the whole mole is removed without any traces left over.

This is the reality for many other people like me. If you’ve lost someone to skin cancer, my deepest condolences. If you or someone you know is currently battling skin cancer, I’m

If you’ve lost someone to skin cancer, my deepest condolences. If you or someone you know is currently battling skin cancer, I’m rooting for them.

Apologies if this post is a little all over the place, I kind of wrote this on a whim and didn’t have any official structure as I wanted this to be more conversational and emotional. If I’m being honest, I’m currently laying in bed trying to not think about the irritation from the stitches and move my neck/back too fast to stretch the incisions.

Thank you guys for hearing me out on this topic. I think it is something that everyone should know and practice. Take it from me, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Moral of this post? Wear sunscreen every. single. day. and find a dermatologist that you like, and go in *at least* once a year to get your body checked for any atypical moles. Know the signs of possible abnormalities.
08.09.2017

My 5 College Must-Haves Items

How cute is this photo!? This was my freshman-year college move in! Oh, how the time flies…

It’s officially back to school season! Even though I’m a recent college graduate, I still want to try to include some back-to-school content. My brother actually goes back to school today for move-in so I think this would be a good time! Through my four years of school, I definitely had my fair share of learning what should come with me to school, and what shouldn’t. Which is why I’m sharing the five items that were a must-have for me, and hopefully will help you guys figure out what to pack!

It’s officially back to school season! Even though I’m a recent college graduate, I still want to try to include some back-to-school content. My brother actually goes back to school today for move-in so I think this would be a good time! Through my four years of school, I definitely had my fair share of learning what should come with me to school, and what shouldn’t. Which is why I’m sharing the five items that were a must-have for me, and hopefully will help you guys figure out what to pack!

Yes, this was the boxes of things that I brought with me my freshman year!

+ Business Casual & Professional Clothes

Even though I didn’t have a lot of business clothes with me for school, I definitely found it important to have during my junior and senior years. You never know when a representative from a company may be on your campus conducting interviews, or if a final presentation requires professional dress. Rather than running to the store in a panic, bring two or three outfits with you!

+ Mini Steamer

This is something I discovered the year before my senior year. When I was interning in New York City I didn’t have room in my luggage, let alone room, to bring an entire iron. My trick used to be to just turn on the shower and wait for the steam from that to do the trick, but once I discovered a mini steamer I was a changed person! I still use my steamer all the time (I did this morning!) and it is a super easy way to de-wrinkle any clothing items.

+ Adjustable Hanging Closet Rod

Now, this sounds random, but I promise it’s a great idea! I found this one from Walmart for you guys to get a general idea of what I’m talking about. When it comes to your dorm room closets, they can be pretty small. With an item like this, you don’t have to worry about all of your items fitting in your closet because you have a whole other hanging rod! Mine was originally from the container store, but I, unfortunately, couldn’t find it.

+ Google Chromecast (or similar product)

I think that this is a great invention, and it’s only around $40! I, personally, had a Samsung Blueray player which had the same apps on it but DVDs aren’t traditionally something college students have lying around. With the Chromecast, you can watch Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, you name it on your TV! I think this is great for when you’re lying around the house and may want to watch Netflix while doing homework and don’t want to have several windows on your computer. You could, of course, also get an AppleTV but the Chromecast was one of the cheaper alternatives.

+ Bluetooth Speaker

I loved having a Bluetooth speaker during school. Whether you’re having friends over, getting ready to go out, etc. it’s a great way to get the dorm, apartment or house in the mood! If you’re extra fancy, you could even get a waterproof one to put in the shower.

What items are on your official must-have list for college?

08.07.2017

How I Treat Acne

I feel like we all (or let’s say, most) of us suffer from acne, at times. I can speak for myself when I say that I’ve basically suffered from it during my entire life. Of course, some times it’s worse than others, and sometimes I don’t have any. But recently, I’ve suffered from a significant amount of acne that I haven’t wanted to do much more than staying home. After traveling and some stress with my job search, I ended up having some pretty large, cystic acne. It’s now been almost two weeks since then and I am happy to say my acne has significantly diminished.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photographs from when my acne was bad. I didn’t want to photograph myself without makeup and didn’t know I was going to do this post. But I can show you how my skin looks now. As you can see, I do have some acne scarring and dark spots left over from those spots.

When it comes to treating my acne, I try to use products that are made to fight acne. Aside from acne, I also suffer from oily skin which would definitely say contributes to the production of blemishes. I started this Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel alongside my Clarisonic at night instead of my usual face wash (which I’ve now started using in the morning) and within a week noticed a significant difference in my skin. I definitely think using it alongside my Clarisonic helps the product penetrate into my skin and really cleanse my pores.

When you want to target a certain aspect of your skin (for me, acne), I believe that a good toner also plays a huge role. I’ve used this Biore Blemish Treating Astringent for years but stopped several months ago. Since I’ve started breaking out more I decided to repurchase it and I am happy to report that it is just as good as before! It has ingredients that help treat and banish any acne, and I can definitely vouch for the claims it makes. I love this toner so much and can see myself using it for many years to come!

I’ve always been a fan of spot treatment. Whether it’s this Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, which I recommend for any blemishes that are whiteheads, or this Clean & Clear Persa-Gel acne treatment for any spots that haven’t completely formed. I actually prefer the Clean & Clear because I’ve found it works better with my skin. You definitely have to go through some trial and error with spot treatments!

These are the products that help me treat acne, I will say that everyone’s skin is different and what works for me may not work for you. If you also suffer from acne, I would love to hear what products you recommend! And if you try, or have tried, any of these products let me know your thoughts.

08.02.2017

August Goals | 2017

Happy August! I hope everyone had a great month of July. Last month I turned twenty-two, had my first visit to Cape Cod and had the most relaxing spa day ever. Seriously, if you guys are in the Orlando/Disney World area, go to the Four Seasons spa! It was an absolutely amazing way to spend my birthday and I left feeling so relaxed and pampered. I’m sad to see July go by, but as always excited to see what August entails. I am still actively searching for a job, so I’m excited to see what the month of August brings with that. Fingers crossed for good news!

As always, here are my goals for the month of August:

+ Read (at least) two books

This month I only managed to read one book. As you may know from my blog post on my current reading list, I have several books lined up. I actually want to start the Harry Potter series next! Kayla has been reading it herself and she actually showed a trick to keep her on track to read one a week, which has definitely inspired me to do so. I don’t know about you guys, but I am a very, very slow reader, so I’ll have to report back on Twitter (shameless self-promo)!

+ Stay on my blog schedule

I have seriously struggled with blogging recently. But I will say that I have gotten a huge wave of inspiration and really want to maintain my schedule for posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this month. I am actually going to use the monthly spread in my planner to go in and schedule posts (at least) a week in advance so I don’t sit at my computer the night before pondering what to write about.

+ Drink more water

I used to be really good about drinking water. But recently it’s been seriously slacking. I want to try to get back to drinking three or four of my large swell bottle a day! I know this may be a crazy goal, but I’m determined to have one when I wake up, two throughout the day and one before I go to bed. My skin hasn’t been the best recently and I’ve started to convince myself that it could be because my water intake has been relatively low.

What are your goals for the month of August? I’d love to hear them!

07.31.2017

VIIcode Eye Cream Review

Thank you to VIIcode for sponsoring this post! While this post is sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve always been told to start using anti-aging products, especially an eye cream. For the longest time I never really thought much of it and never tried one out. But recently I’ve been wanting to start using one. Yes, I’m only twenty-two-years-old, but as I was always told ‘It’s never too early to start!’. When VIIcode reached out to me asking if I wanted to test their own eye cream, I jumped all over the opportunity!

This is their T2 Oxygen Eye Cream and let me say, I love it! It’s to be used in the morning and night, and also has a bunch of great ingredients such as Evening Primrose, Avocado, Elderberry and Chamomilla Recutita.

One thing that I find to be really cool about this product, is that it was developed by Dr. Bryn Victor for Napoleon’s Josephine more than 255 years ago! How interesting is that? Every time I applied it I definitely felt extremely glamorous.

Now, I have always had some wrinkles towards the outside of my eyes. Yes, at my young age, I have had crow’s feet for as long as I can remember. I mean, maybe that’s not the correct term for them since it’s only when my eyes are squinted, but every time I smile my eyes they pop up at the outer corner. As for my undereye area, I have never been someone to struggle with dark circles but more the occasional bag. I tend to have puffy under eyes when I smile and such. I’m pretty sure it is hereditary, as my parents have had a similar issue.

But after using this product, I definitely can feel my under eye area becoming a lot more hydrated! One thing I like about it is that a lot goes a long way. It is pretty thick so you don’t have to use too much, which definitely helps it last longer than anticipated as it is an expensive product. I also really like how this product isn’t overly hydrated. My skin absorbs all of it fairly quickly and there isn’t a greasy feeling that lingers for hours on end. As for a scent, I can’t detect one right off the bat, which is always nice if you have sensitive skin.

The VIIcode T2 Oxygen Eye Cream definitely has my stamp of approval! I can see a difference in my under the eye and outer eye area after weeks of application. Before it felt dry at times and I worried about makeup creasing, but now it’s super hydrated and (hopefully) preventing any wrinkles from popping up. I would say that it does, but at my age, I don’t have a lot of wrinkles, to begin with!

Have you tried this eye cream, or have your own favorite?