Tag Archives: sunscreen

Sassy’s Skin Savers (Part One)

3 Apr

Hello Sassinistas!
Remember me?

If you don’t, I’d understand. My blog has been slacking for WAY too long now and since I finally have a break in the action today, it’s time to sit down, break out the iPad and write! There are so many things changing, growing, building, etc. My time is a whirlwind right now. In addition to writing my blog, I have also found myself doing some writing for new magazines, going on new adventures to learn about different genres to write about, traveling a bit, hiding in my loft because winter sucks, and stuff like that. Oh…. and I’m modeling! Yeah, this “32 and holding” blogger has had the opportunity to do some photo shoots, be featured in a few magazines, and I am loving every second of it! (I’ll show you all a picture or two at the end.)

So I am hanging out here in the Northeast, coming out of a horrible winter of weird snow storms, cold temperatures and unusually wicked winds. I’ve been near ice jams and flooding, had a tree limb fall on my brand new car after a very heavy 15” snowfall, and winds that have knocked down trees and power lines. The calendar says spring, but we are still working on getting there weather-wise. This means the sweaters are still out, boots aren’t tucked away yet, face moisturizers have gotten a little more intense, hand creams are a necessity in every room, and eye creams are being used constantly. During this nasty winter season, I had to reevaluate my skin care routine just a bit to make it a bit more hydrating since the cold temperatures, slapping winds and dry indoor heat really took a toll on my face. I actually signed up for a continuing ed course that helped me organize my skin care routine to make sure I got exactly what I needed to prevent dry skin and wrinkles and keep my skin hydrated. It was such a help!

I learned that a morning skin care routine should go as follows:

• Cleanse
• Tone
• Vitamin C & Antioxidant Serums
• Moisturizer/Eye Cream
• (Sunscreen)
• Primer
• Foundation

My evening skin care routine should be:

• Cleanse
• Exfoliate (2-3x a week)/ Mask (1x a week)
• Night Serum
• Moisturizer/Night Cream

Sounds simple, right?? Well, it is if you are in the skin care/beauty industry because you know what you are looking for. You know your skin and you can tell from the ingredients on the products if it is right for you. I will say, for the record, that I have what the experts call “normal” skin. I seldom have dry skin on my face (or body) with just the occasional dry patch. There is no oil in the T-Zone and blemishes are few and far between. The only thing I do have is sensitive skin. And that is common for most redheads. I think that ingredients in some products can do more harm to sensitive skin than using the wrong products for a special skin type.

After going through my entire routine today, I thought I would give you a list of the products in my skin care line for my face so you can see what I use. Every item in my program can be used by ANY skin type. There are no harsh chemicals, heavy ingredients, drying agents or dyes. Fragrances in the products are either naturally subtle or non-existent. So if you are looking for some great products to get your skin ready for spring, you may want to consider some of the ones I have on my vanity.

Because the list I have is kind of long–explaining each product and why I use it–I’ll post my MORNING routine first, and next week I will post Part Two which will be the evening routine.

Let’s start with the A.M.:

Cleansing: Derma E Essentials Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil
Just because the name of this products says “oil” doesn’t mean you will feel greasy instead of clean after its use. This cleanser literally dissolves any type of makeup (even long wearing and waterproof) and impurities while nourishing it with skin conditioning organic oils and subtle rose water. Just apply a dime size amount of the Cleansing Oil onto your fingertips, and massage into your face and neck. Rinse with a cloth and warm water. You can also use a pre-moistened facial cloth like Simple’s Sensitive Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes. This can also be used to loosen hard-to-remove eye makeup by massaging a bit onto your eyelids and lashes before wiping clean. Both products can be found at Ulta stores and Ulta online.

Tone: Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner
Bring your skin to a healthy balance by using a toner before you start to fight the hands of time. This toner contains Vitamin C, Fruit Stem Cell Complex (to increase cell turnover) and super fruit antioxidants to help with improving the skin’s tone and texture. The added boost of Aloe Vera helps to hydrate and calm skin sensitivity. Just a few spritzers on a cotton ball, wiped all over the face (avoiding the eye area) will balance your skin’s pH factor. Available online at Ulta.

Vitamin C/Antioxidant Serums: Twin Medix Pro/Essentials C10 & E5
There is a reason why I am a brand ambassador for this fabulous company….the products are AMAZING! I discovered them at my first Makeup Show in NYC three years ago. I explained to Michelle Shaffer, one of TwinMedix’s founders, that I was looking for a good skin care line that worked together but had formulas with ingredients that could keep myself looking young (even younger if possible) but wouldn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I was given a set of the TwinMedix line and headed home to try it. Wow, the way my skin looked and felt was noticeable right away. The C10 serum is formulated with 10% ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) to counteract the look of hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of wrinkles for brighter, more even toned skin. The E5 serum is filled with 5% Tocopherol (pure Vitamin E), a powerful antioxidant to protect your skin from oxidation and free-radical damage by locking in moisture and soothing skin exposed to harsh weather and environmental pollution. This is especially helpful for those with sensitive skin because it puts up a “barrier” locking in the skin’s natural moisture and locking out the damaging elements. Paraben-Free, Fragrance-Free and Cruelty-Free, these little gems can be used alternatively from day to day or worn together for extra protection. Available at TwinMedix.com

Moisturizer: Freedom Naturals Calming Moisturizer
Finding the perfect moisturizer isn’t always easy. It’s even more difficult if you have sensitive skin. Sometimes the weather or environment can give your face a tingling or burning sensation… even after just a calming wash. When I opened my “How To Be A Redhead” subscription box in October, I discovered the best moisturizer for when my skin needs hydration but no irritants. This non-greasy formula gets absorbed into the skin so quickly that there is no time to even say the word “oily”. Containing only natural ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera, Allentown, Arnica and Beeswax (but free from cortisone, parabens and steroids), your skin is sure to thank you. If you are looking for something a little lighter, give Clinique’s Moisture Surge a try. This extremely lightweight gel-cream is infused with aloe water which actually helps skin create its own moisture to give you a plump, dewy, healthy-looking glow. This oil-free moisture magnet continues to generate hydrated skin for up to 72 hours, even after you wash your face. Allergy tested, 100% fragrance free and Paraben free for all skin types. Freedom Naturals Moisturizer can be found at FreedomNaturals.com and Clinique’s Moisture Surge can be found at most cosmetic counters as well as Ulta and Sephora.

Your eyes are a different entity altogether. The skin around your eyes is very, very thin. It’s often referred to as crepe-ish. Because of this, it’s easy for the eye area to get dry which causes wrinkles. Squinting, tugging and aggressive washing can all contribute to wrinkles occurring. Eye creams are specially formulated for that area to give it the hydration it desperately needs. Like other skin products, formula is everything, so test some if you can. If you can’t, check it’s the store to see about their sample or return policy. I have found two eye creams that don’t irritate my skin or eyes and give me noticeable results. Ole Henriksen’s Uplifting Transformation Eye Gel and Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream. I find that the Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel is PERFECT for mornings–it helps to reduce the puffiness with its cool gel formula. I like to use Benefit’s Potent Eye Cream since it helps to fade dark circles and restore elasticity and firmness around the eyes while providing much needed moisture. Ole Henriksen’s Eye Gel can be found at Sephora stores and online; Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent Eye Cream can be found in Ulta stores as well as Ulta.com

Sunscreen: A MUST-HAVE!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to apply sunscreen to your face EVERY SINGLE DAY. Your face is exposed to the sun’s damaging rays even if you aren’t going to the beach for some tanning (which isn’t great either!) The sun’s rays will find you just about anywhere—through your car windshield, through your living room window, coming into your office windows, walking out to get the mail. Face it… even when the sun isn’t out? It’s rays still get through. Some people find that adding this step to your beauty routine just adds another step which can become tedious. That is when it would be better to make sure you can find some SPF in another beauty product that you would normally use every day anyways. I find it easiest to get a healthy dose of facial sunscreen in a product I already have to use. Skincancer.org recommends a broad spectrum (protecting you from harmful UVA & UVB rays) of at least SPF 15 or higher. Some ways you can get this important protection without adding another step to your routine is to find it in a moisturizer, a primer or even a foundation.

Primer: NARS Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50
Although this product can be optional for some people, I find that a primer is a great way to prep my skin for foundation and makeup, giving me a soft, smooth canvas to “paint” on. Not only do I love this primer for how it makes my skin look and feel, but it also has that high SPF to give my skin the protection it needs. This skin-smoothing formula blurs my skin’s imperfections, prolongs and enhances the look of my makeup, and fights against the sun’s cancer-causing rays. In addition, it contains antioxidants to fight off pollution and environmental aggressors to support healthy skin. Available at Ulta and Sephora, in store and online.

Foundation: Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation
I have to thank my Makeup Show guru, James Vincent for this fabulous recommendation years ago. Yes, I will admit this is an odd name for a foundation, but it does just that—it provides a sheer yet buildable coverage with a natural-looking, dewy glow and flawless finish. Formulated with 80% water and enriched with pro-vitamin B5, this foundation actually hydrates and improves your skin’s elasticity. With an array of 20 different shades to match all skin tones, this foundation can be used not just on the face but anywhere you want to hide “imperfections”. The formula has a water-gel texture and applies easily, then sets quickly to ensure a transfer-resistant look that will last all day. You may think the cost is a little pricey, but I can tell you that I bought my first bottle—that was not tiny—over two years ago and I JUST ran out. A little goes a long way for a perfect finish.

You are now off to a perfect start for your day–keeping your skin smoother, softer, hydrated and looking younger with a good skin care routine. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask for samples, write down product ingredients, keep track of your favorite products then begin to assemble your daytime skin routine. You may have a few items already that work perfectly for you. That’s awesome! Find where your favorites fit into your routine then go from there. Before you know it, you will have a skin care regimen to help stop the signs of aging, and even reverse some of those tell-tale signs of time.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2–Sassy’s PM routine!!

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30 Days Of Beauty…Day 7

14 Jul

SkincareI have officially taken “slug” to a new level. My 30 Days of Beauty are so behind, I don’t think Red Bull will help me catch up. I don’t have an excuse, but I do have a reason. Seems my “I don’t like to talk about them” health problems have really kicked my ass. I think it’s the heat. And when it’s not the heat, it’s the rain. And honestly where I live, if it isn’t one, it’s the other. So, basically, till this weather trend breaks or fall gets here, I’m screwed. I’m trying like hell not to let it get me, but after about three hours out of the house, I’m done. If any of my readers have silent pain inflictions or auto immune issues, you get what I mean. Because I’m involved in fashion, beauty and glamour, the “Oh you don’t look sick!” statement is heard at least once a week. I realize they don’t know, I don’t feel like explaining, and it’s just easier to smile and take a Xanax. Feel me people.

So instead of doubling up on my posts, I’ll just post when I can, covering all 30 days when I can. No rush, no pressures, and still a success when I finish. Sound good?. Good. So let’s move on to our next topic–skin care. Oh great. I probably talk about skin care here on my blog about 50% of the time. I have sensitive skin. I also have those medical issues that mess with my skin as well–some things make me itch, some additives make my skin warm an/or red, other ingredients can be too drying, some make me blotchy. It’s frustrating to pay a substantial amount of money for an item that will sit or not get used. I’d return products if I knew right away they weren’t going to be good for me, but sometimes I don’t know for several weeks. What’s worse? When they seem fine for a month then I can use them–or return them–at all. Bah.

Over the years, I have found that if I want to take the time and treat my skin to fresh, natural ingredients, my best best is to make my own skin care. It’s not that difficult. In fact it’s easy peasy. The only problem is you can only make a weeks worth for it to stay fresh, and if you are running late in the morning or are too tired at night, taking the time to whip up a batch can be a nuisance. I love the nighttime moisturizer recipe I created on THIS post and that actually lasts for months. My cleansers, however, are “made to order” depending on specific skin issues, season, problem areas, etc. That’s when I do make a batch of cleanser, I look to THIS post to guide me with the ingredients I need. Fresh is best, and I try to stick with that whenever possible.

But let’s take this week, for example. I haven’t felt good at all. Sometimes getting out of bed is a challenge. What can I keep in the bathroom on semi-good days or even next to the bed on super bad days to keep me skin clean, fresh, treated & moisturized? There are a couple of go-to retail products I have had great success with and will always turn to them when I’m just too tired to make my own. I always have in my possession:

imageNalpure’s Coconut & Honey Aloe Cleanser: I don’t know how I got hooked on this, but I did. The title of the coconut and aloe must have done it, since I know how beneficial they are to keeping skin looking young. This thin-based wash is gentle for every day use, day and night. It hydrates, softens, and restores damaged skin. When I can, I wash my face in the sink with it. When I’m having a bad day, I keep a bottle bedside to wash my face with then gently remove all the gook with a cleansing wipe. Good, easy face pampering!

imageSimple Facial Wipes: Whether I use them alone on non-makeup days, or I just use them to remove my other cleanser, these wipes are perfect. They don’t dry out, are perfect for my sensitive skin, soft and effective. They get my face clean without worriers. They come in other “types” but everyone, including me, seems to find these best for the quick & simple face cleanse without anything funky.

imageOle Henriksen’s Ultimate Lift Eye Gel: This is a product that is everywhere in my beauty ensemble. I can’t make anything that does the job like it does. The price may seem steep, but considering I’ve only bought TWO in the 3+ years since I’ve discovered it, I say it’s well with it. Under my skin care in the morning & under my night cream in the evening, this gem helps to reduce puffiness and lifts & firms skin with peptides and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I noticed an immediate change below and above my eyes. A huge plus for me.

imageHey Honey’s Good Morning: Honey Silk Facial Serum: Yes, samples sell! A few months ago I got a small sample sized tube of this little gem in my monthly Ipsy bag (a glamoursta’s must-have subscription!!). I didn’t notice a ka-pow result right away but after consistent use, I really liked how it balanced my face. It’s ingredients are natural and must-haves when treating your face. I also love how it gives my face a smooth base if you use a natural mineral foundation. Even if you want, you can add this to your evening routine too. A great add on when just chillaxin at home or have a full day ahead.

imagePerfectly Posh’s Moisturize 911 Caffeinated Face Cream: If my face doesn’t look tired, usually some other part of me is. But when my face is dull and lifeless, I love the light pick me up that Moisturize 911 gives me. Packed with Aloe Vera, Palm Oil Lipids and Vitamin E, this gem has a touch of caffeine that wakes up your skin and gets the blood flowing in your face to bring about a fresh, natural, awake look. It’s not a heavy cream at all so your face stays hydrated and not greasy!

imageNalpure’s Anti Aging Serum with Matrixyl: When it’s bedtime, I’m tired. I know if I don’t take off my makeup or wash my skin, I will pay for it. If it doesn’t cause a pimple or four, cause a rash, make my face blotchy, it will at least add a week onto how young I look or so they say. Nope, I’m not having that. But after the wash, I need to “treat” my face at night to turn those aging cells over, tighten my pores, yadda yadda. You’ve read the articles, I’m sure. So I’m exhausted, my bed is calling my name, and I only have the energy for one more anti aging product before bed. And I found it. In my nightstand is a bottle of this little miracle that does so much with just a few drops. Read the product details Nalpure Information but the long and short of it is it is good for all skin types, moisturizes, combats aging with peptides and cooling & calming extracts to reduce age spots and uneven skin tone. Usually it take several ingredients to do what this one moisturizer does. At this point, simple is best.

imageBurt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Crème: This is just an extra add on. We know it’s true: hands are in the top three areas that show your REAL age first. After a long day of doing nothing or doing something our hands can get tired and dry. I had a great cooling lotion that a company used to make that really would cool down my feet, toes and hands. Unfortunately they don’t make it anymore. I still needed a good cream for night that would just be rich, moisturizing and hydrating for my hands while I slept. This one works perfect. Great ingredients like sweet almond oil, Vitamin E and natural beeswax moisturize your hands and then lock it in. I think it can be a little heavy for day use, but it’s scent and rich ingredients make it perfect just before bed. An extra treat for me.

So that’s Sassy’s skin care instruction for Day 7. I hope I gave you ideas on products and ingredients that are important to your skin. There are soooo many things out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I suggest you do your research, know your skin, know what you want to change about it, then start researching. Knowledge is power and samples are your friend so don’t be afraid to ask for them and read other people’s reviews and thoughts on a product before you buy or invest. Good luck, have fun and treat your skin with TLC!

Oh! And don’t forget!!: Somehow — in a day serum, moisturizer, primer or foundation –get an SPF on your face! Read the product details and try to get at LEAST an SPF of 15, up to 30 would be best. Sun without sunscreen is asking to age quickly and subject yourself to hazards no one wants to think about.
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Must-Have Necessities, Will Travel…

25 Sep

imageI am writing this blogpost on vacation in a cozy cabin lakeside at my favorite spot in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York along Lake George. It’s kind of off-season right now, but the leaves are just beginning to change color, there are no crowds, nights are cool by the bonfire, and marshmallows are being toasted by the bag. Fashion isn’t (totally) an issue, shoes can be casual and comfortable, and tops… well, tops just have to match and be seasonably chic. Unless you plan on staying secluded with your family the entire vacation, with no public interaction, it’s totally justifiably to wear sweats the whole time. Of course, they can certainly be Juicy Couture sweats, no doubt. You are on vacation–you’re not dead.

This vacation, I didn’t write a “What To Pack” list. That was huge for me. I usually begin planning weeks in advance. Maybe that is because this wasn’t a luxury type vacation and more of a kick back and relax vacation. I packed three styles of jeans (boot cut, skinny and capris), a few edgy short sleeve shirts, a some long sleeve shirts, a hoodie or two, flats, sneakers, sandals, and pretty much? That’s it. But even on vacation, as low key as you want to be, there are some things that you should not forget in your glamour & beauty routine. There are necessities no one should slack on. Take note: these “must haves” must be packed:

imageFacial Sunscreen – If you are choosing to bypass makeup in general during your time away, don’t forget to throw at least a light layer of multipurpose sunscreen designed for your face. It doesn’t matter where you go, what you do. There will be sun and that causes aging, at least prevent that. Not to mention, you don’t want to invite cancer-causing rays to get through. Find one that is gentle enough to use under the eyes as well. And while you’re thinking of it, get an SPF lip balm too. Fight those harmful rays as much as possible. Sassy likes: Perfectly Posh’s My Hero 30+ SPF Facial Sunscreen

imageGentle Face Cleanser – Even if your day only consists of reading a book in a lounge chair on the edge of the beach, your skin is still going to regenerate skin cells daily and you are going to need get rid of them each day. You don’t need anything funky, fancy, or even sink required. A good cleansing wipe before bed can be convenient to use at anytime–especially nighttime–and are convenient to pack too. Wipes actually do two things: they cleanse with a non-rinse formula and they gently exfoliate with the fabric of the cloth. Depending on your skin type (oily, blemishes, dry, aging, sensitive) you may want to look for something that matches your needs. Otherwise, a general all-purpose wipe will be fine for all types to cleanse and exfoliate. Sassy likes: Simple’s Cleansing Facial Wipes

imageBody Lotion – Yeah, some hotels give you all those little bottles of “stuff” for hair, body, mouthwash and lotion. If you can use anything?–Knock yourself out. But my body can get dry in different air, exposed to air and/or sun, using a pool or jacuzzi, or even just a difference in temperatures. This is where you would be best off getting a travel jar or bottle and filling it with a lotion that you can use and works well with your skin. Remember, try not to use perfumed lotions since the alcohol can be drying. Something rich but not sticky is a perfect (and with a light natural scent) can be a nice treat for your skin before bed after a busy day. Sassy likes: HEMPZ treats’ Vanilla Creme Brulee Delicious Body Lotion

imageimageHair Accessories – Okay, Sassy confession: I got hair extensions last week. I will be writing a blogpost soon about extensions do’s and dont’s soon enough, but for now, let’s just think of the hair you have now. Days will be windy, skies can get rainy, hair can get unruly. It’s not a bad idea to have a few accessories like a headband, a big jaw clip, maybe a soft ponytail holder, even a few stylish clips to keep your looks casual yet classy. Don’t let the weather get the best of your locks. A good conditioning spritz before you “style” will keep them hydrated while they’re in control. Sassy likes: Scünci’s Effortless Beauty Slide Clips & it’s a 10’s Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin.

imageKick Ass Sneakers – Okay, I know fashion may not be on your mind this week, but the fact it you will be socializing some local landmarks, window shopping, some walking and sightseeing and-like me-shopping, you need something to be walking in. Everyone has a favorite footwear, and I support that 100%. Comfort supersedes style when shopping. However, if you can combine BOTH? You. Rock! I was lucky enough to find an epic pair or high-tops that scream style wherever I go. And I can walk all day in them and never have an issue. Find a comfortable pair or shoes or two or three and give them a vacation too! Sassy likes: Converse Chuck Taylor’s High Tops black with star design

So, in your frenzy to pack the bag that you need for vacation, do not forget these important items. I would really say in regards to your beauty & fashion, these items will be critical in keeping you looking young while still getting the rest and relaxation you need that is necessary to keep you feeling young as well. Don’t let yourself “go” while you get away. But trust me, it is important for mind, body and soul!

Drug Store Items Tattoo Owners Must Have

25 May

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Ok, you’ve heard it all about tattoos this month. The who’s, the what’s, the where’s and the why’s. So now it’s the time where I do a little product recommendation. Usually, after you get your ink, your artist will give you enough ointment (A&D usually) to get you through its healing time. Always remember, a packet of ointment goes a long way–“you don’t have to save the world with the stuff.” But soon after, you will need some basic drugstore necessities to keep your ink at its best. Here are the top items you should get even before you get the art:

image1. Antibacterial Soap. Sounds like a given but you need to put a little thought into this. Bath and Body Works lovers, you’re going to need to slow it down for a while. When it comes to a good antibacterial soap, less is best. In fact, less is NECESSARY. No dyes, no perfumes, no foo foo flowers. Soap, people. Just. Plain. Soap. Save the grapefruit and sweet peas for after you’re healed. Now? Just the basics. Sassy suggests:
Dial Original Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash or Colgate-Palmolive Antibacterial Soap

image2. A Good Lotion. Once you’ve healed, it’s imperative you keep the skin soft. The softer it is, the truer the color and design will stay. Again, perfumes and dyes are drying and you want to avoid anything that’s going to tighten up the skin. Sure, there is nothing wrong with wearing your favorite lotion, fragrance or glitter where it makes you feel sexy. But if where you feel sexy is now covered with a big, plasma-draining rose (sorry so graphic), you are going to want to avoid to avoid putting it there for at least a few months. Definitely put the moisturizer on before bed too. That’s when skin cell turnover is usually at its fastest. Sassy suggests: Eucerin Original Moisturizing Creme and Curel Fragrance Free – Original Lotion for Dry & Sensitive Skin

image3. A damn good sunscreen. This is where things get a little tricky. Because your skin is essentially burned when it is tattooed, it can easily burn more when it is exposed to direct sunlight. Wearing a good sunscreen over your ink is essential, especially if you cant cover it with clothes. Again, you really want to avoid dyes, fragrances and any alcohol-containing product. You want to get at least an SPF50 for the best coverage nowadays. Remember when you thought a 15 was high? Yeah… ummm… like SO yesterday. Between the protection of your tattoo and the prevention of skin cancer, most people will tell you to get an SPF of 50 or higher in a broad-spectrum sunscreen. You need to reapply it frequently especially when in water or are sweating (read here http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/sun-care/how-often-apply-sunscreen.htm for great sun care info). Don’t cheap out on your sunscreen–and use it like you ARE trying to save the world with it. You should apply a shotglass worth all over, whether it be oil or cream! Sassy suggests: Neutrogena® Pure & Free® Baby Sunscreeen Lotion SPF 60+ and Coppertone® Tattoo GUARD™ Lotion SPF 50 Sunscreen

See? There is no need to worry that you wont be able to find the items you will need to keep your new art looking fresh and new for a long time. Your neighborhood drugstore should have all of these things you will need. Make sure of one thing: when you open your products, write the date on them. All skin care products–especially sunscreens–begin losing their main properties and begin breaking down from bacteria in about a year. Instead of using more and hoping for the best just go out and restock! Your skin and your tattoo will thank you.
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