Sweat rashes and mosquito bites aside, it’s been a decent summer for the old Ginger hide. And summer’s probably only about half-way through. I like to think summer lasts until the point in October when leaves on trees are definitely more red than green. I have been known to cheat, changing my route into work to ensure I walk through evergreens as far as possible. But I digress.
Pros this summer, so far, knock on wood:
- no sunburn
- no new moles or larger freckles, and no observable changes in current freckle pattern
- no major heatstroke; minor low-grade heatstroke once, accompanied by the seasonal gastro-bug
- no exciting new irritants to add to the catalogue; sometimes feels like a portfolio, if I’m bringing along pictures when visiting the doctor. My good friend Elfy (now braving family vacation in direct sunlight by a lake, COURAGE MA VIEILLE!!!) wins hands-down on exotic look-books and the art of gobsmacking medics.
Some previous irritants are no longer irritating, or rather, no longer as irritating as they were before. The following items were at times completely unusable; or mostly only usable in a very low dose (i.e. low concentration + litte used in application +low frequency of use). They are now Officially Declared (by myself and, with greater weight of authority, my doc) to be completely usable in rinse-off products and well-tolerated in leave-on ones (but with some wariness; and at a lower concentration, in the case of aloe):
- LAVENDER: fine. No reactions to it, either on skin or up nose and down throat. (Note: cytotoxic, but the data on that to the best of my knowledge is mainly on younger persons; as I am neither male nor under the age of somewhere between 2 and 4, this shouldn’t be an issue for me.)
- CHAMOMILE (both Roman and the form more usually used on skin, German / matricaria / blue): fine, and declared fine but with caveats as I’ve still got ragweed-family allergies.
Paraphrasing: “keep an eye on it and make sure you’re only in contact with chamomile proper. Beware mixing and adulteration with other members of the ragweed family, and be aware that some of them can cross-fertilize with chamomile. Shouldn’t be an issue in quality products where the chamomile growing is properly controlled and monitored; same goes but more so for ingested version ex. tea. Continue to avoid contact actual flowers.” My doctor is such a snob. There I was dreaming of running through floribundant meadows, like in the ’80s Timotei ads…
- ALOE VERA: I’ve even applied some (just juice, not those daft “gels containing 100% aloe vera” silly things) directly to skin and all was well. Great relief, as it’s wonderful soothing stuff. I missed it! I’ve also used the lovely John Masters Organics Shine On hair stuff, and the back of my neck was fine. The underside of my hair is curliest and in most need of shining on, and that’s the hair that’s sitting on my neck.
For the record: note that I do not have a particularly hairy neck. I may be descended from nocturnal Ice Age troglodytes, and my natural inclinations may be towards hibernation and summer cave-dwelling, but I am not a hairy beast. No offence to mammoths, whom I respect and admire.
But: I am warned again to be careful in ingredients, and make sure that aloe is just aloe, and monitor the situation if trying anything out on skin that’s going to stay on it (such as sunscreen. But I have plenty sunscreen backups, so no need to be trying any others out right now.)
- FRAGRANCE: tolerance (especially of the not-sneezing variety) is improving. A cause for happiness. I still have to hold my nose when walking past LUSH, that’s my big test!
But sad face 😦
- skin and hair are dry. Hair is also porous; as best I understand it, that means it loses moisture easily. Skin has the same pores as usual, and probably around about the same number, concentration, distribution, and behaviour as is to be expected in homo sapiens.
Now, I’m not entirely sure what to do about this. It may just be genes: this is what happens to people on both sides of the family, and what often happens with my sort of very thin fine-textured skin, and fine (albeit dense) hair.
I eat well, including plenty liquids, good fats, and a decent amount of protein (mainly nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, seitan). I’m veggie and have moved to eating full-on vegan for half the week. My current “cheat” is eating fish or seafod very occasionally, when with friends and this is the most socially acceptable (and polite, nice, kind, non-embarrassing) thing to do. Only locally-sourced, sustainable, fished by locals, and generally aiming for those species with less neural system. Maintaining the ethical balance as far as possible. It would be easier just to say “no, I refuse to eat this” but in some cases that would mean saying “I refuse to eat with you” and being nasty, mean, offensive, and rude. That’s not what friends are for, and that’s not going to convert anyone to the joys of not eating meat.
But, once again, I digress.
Skin is manageable.
Hair less so. I’ve been moisturising after rinsing too, running hands through hair with oily stuff on them and playing around with that Shine On stuff, and I’ll be doing some more experimenting with conditioners of a more moisturising and hydrating variety. Now I’m cleared for it, I’ll be re-testing some previous ones, with aloe and some with scent. Watch this space.
Meanwhile, if you have any ideas, tips, suggestions, and so on on the dry hair issue: drop me a line. All ideas are welcome. What do you do? What’s worked for you?