July 31, 2012

Ultrasound Today and What's Up Next Week

I was meant to be having my ultrasound yesterday, but a migraine made me throw up all my water forty-five minutes before my appointment.  (Side note: throwing up only water is a very bizarre experience.)  I managed to nab a cancellation spot today, which was very fortunate considering that clinic was booking into the end of August already.  I really wanted to get the thing over with before I went camping--one less thing to worry about. 

Thankfully the migraine had all but departed by this morning and I could hold and process the water okay.  I think I’m starting to get the hang of how much water I personally need to drink, because this was probably the most comfortable ultrasound yet.  It probably helped tremendously that the technician was super-fast.  Almost before I knew it, I was done. Now I just have to wait until my OBGYN comes back from holidays to hear the results, but I’m not worried.

My reward for “being good” at my ultrasound (i.e., "going, as if I had any other choice") was taking a little detour and picking up my favorite ingredients for croissant sandwiches--namely, croissants.  It’s totally irrelevant to this blog, really, but I’m trying to get a bit more personal so you guys can get to know me as a person.  So now you know that I love croissants, and that I will use any excuse to spoil myself.

Ultrasounds really aren’t so big a deal, but they always make me emotional.  I really, really hate leaving the house with a full bladder (you guys know my worst recurring nightmare involves having to pee and finding no suitable place to do it), and having my lady parts laid bare on a screen is a very vulnerable feeling.  Couple that with helplessly puking my guts out less than 48 hours ago (something else I am a huge wimp about is vomiting) and I feel all stretched thin and fragile, like tissue paper.

What’s weirder, though, is I feel most vividly happy when I feel wrung-out like that.  I get happy about all the simple things, like sunshine, puppy kisses, and croissants.   I’m strangely fearless, as though throwing up and having an ultrasound were the worst possible things that could happen to me and there’s nothing else to be scared of.  I go out in public without make-up, I ask for help from strangers even though I find it scary, I sing to the radio.  What do you suppose that means?

So next week, ladies, I’ll be encamped by a beautiful lake with a lot of people who don't know me that well.  A lot of my energy has been directed towards gearing up for that and trying not to be too scared of it, and now that the ultrasound is over with, I feel more relaxed and free to look forward to the holiday.  Part of this “gearing up” has included forcing myself to buy some new bathing suits--ones that I simply like, not ones that I feel will hide most of my flaws.  I intend to really face my fears next week.

See you all soon, and take care of yourselves!

July 18, 2012

Can't Go Back On It Now...

I am going camping.  Yep, I’ve committed.

And not long after I did, I felt a surge of panic.  I’d have to go into a spider-infested shower stall every day to awkwardly shave without a mirror.  Other women would complain I’m taking too long.  My skin would be terrible.  I’d be avoiding peoples' cameras.  I’d dread waking up every morning to do it all again.

I can’t do this.  This won’t be a vacation.

The feeling hasn’t stopped with time.  I’ve been getting waves of doubt and worry intermittently since.  I’ve tried to distract myself by buying some cute new swimsuits, and reminding myself that I have a right to feel good about myself as I am and no one should be able to prevent me.  Not the people I’ll be camping with, not the impatient women in the campsite washroom, or me when I look at photos of myself.  I’ve told myself my self esteem and my skills at hair removal have changed a lot since the last time I went camping.  Thanks to my medication, the severity of my hirsutism and acne have improved, and I'm more comfortable with stubble than I ever was before.  Even my family has changed in that time.  And I’ve been to this campsite before, so I know exactly what to expect of the facilities.

So between moments of alarm, I’m working on mentally preparing myself.  How do I know I’ll be mocked this time for being so adamant about showering every morning?  What if I shaved over one of the sinks of the campsite bathroom where I’d have a mirror, so everyone could see exactly what I'm doing and why it takes so long in the shower?  How can I be sure I couldn’t endure the curious looks?  Heck, my morning ablutions could turn into my own personal educational demonstration on what so many women have to go through in secret.

But I don’t think I should be using all my prep-work to obsess about my hirsutism.  That’s not what a holiday is for.  I’m supposed to be looking forward to the things I’ll see and do.  It’s been so long since I’ve eaten at a campfire, talking and laughing with the smell of woodsmoke in my nostrils.  I can only distantly remember the morning fog clinging to the lake and the mug of instant Swiss Mocha coffee mix to stave off the cold.  I used to love clinging to a biscuit dragged behind a motorboat until my arms got tired and I would fly off into the freezing lake.  And I’ve totally forgotten what it’s like to be cut off from technology and work and responsibilities, and just lie on a beach and read. 

I have to think about why I felt the urge to go in the first place.  This is supposed to be fun.  I must refuse to let hirsutism get in the way of that.  If I refuse hard enough, maybe it will be so.

July 4, 2012

Product: Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave

When I first started shaving my face, that desperate morning in a trailer in the mountains with my leg razor and the can of Skintimate fruit-scented foam, I thought all shave mediums were created equal.  Over time I learned that foams can seriously dry out the skin, particularly the sensitive skin of the face, and I vowed never to buy another foam again.

I was in my pharmacy picking up my prescriptions and I had run out of my usual shave gel which I order online.  I had been to a few other drugstores that week, looking for my second favorite, but it seemed that every store that used to carry it no longer did.  Once again, I was desperate.  I prowled the tiny hair removal section of the pharmacy (I never buy anything but my Spiro and Diane from there; the selection is less than ideal) and saw a uniquely shaped bottle next to the girly-colored shaving foams with “cream shave” in all capital letters. 

Could it be true?  Had Skintimate finally come out with something other than sweetly scented foam?

I selected “Extra Gentle,” because, y’know, you always want to be “Extra Gentle” on your face flesh.

Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave - 117 mL

  • Aqua, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil, Microcrystaline Wax, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Aluminum Starch Octenyl Succinate, PEG-150 Pentaerylthrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Camelia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycerin, PEG-14M, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Parfum, Titanium Dioxide.

Things I liked:
  • It actually feels like you’re putting a cream on your skin as you shave.  It’s quite a lovely feeling, and something that non-foaming gels have never been able to replicate completely.  I could swear I felt that olive oil at work.
  • It really does not lather.  (And it amuses me that in the directions it says “the cream WILL NOT lather.”)   You can see where you’re shaving and you know it’s not going to dry you out like suds will.
  • Not a bad price point, about $4 CAD for about the same amount as my usual shave gels, or a bit less.
  • The packaging is unique.  I always like things that are designed with the spout upside down so gravity is always working at bringing the product close to the opening, especially when you begin to run out.  The silly upside-down flower dispenser is not recyclable, but the bottle itself is. 

Things I didn't like:
  • The smell is rich and buttery, which is nice, but way too cloying for use on the face.  (I imagine the “Revitalizing” and “Cashmere Rain” scents to be even stronger.)
  • I could feel it stinging a bit during the facial shave--that’s something I don’t always get with other gels.  Makes me wonder how mild it really is.

Did it do what it promised?

“With deliciously rich ingredients like natural olive butter, vitamin E, and antioxidants, Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave gives your legs the luxurious feeling you want.  Smooth.  Sleek.  Positively sensational.”  And on the bottle: “Noticeably softer legs.”

Well, they do only promise things for legs, but my reviews are meant to help you gals see how well they would do on our faces.  Because I couldn’t stand having that smell around my face all day, I did end up relegating this bottle to the shower for legs only, and it always gave me a pleasant shave.  No softer than other gels, but the actual experience of smoothing the cream over your legs is a nice one.

For use on the face, I wouldn’t call it sensational, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve tried.  If you can stand the perfume up your nose all day, you might like this one.

See what other people thought of Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave:

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