101 in 1001 #8, #13: Little Life Changes

I have the worst tendency to get really lazy with my appearance when it gets hot out, and when I'm terribly busy. Given that this summer has been the most brutal combination of both, my daily routine has pretty much become "shower, go to work with wet hair and nothing but moisturizer on my face, apply mascara and concealer at my desk and pull my hair up, call it a day." 

That's so terrible, but it does have a few tangible benefits. My hair, given a break from constant heat styling, is growing way faster than usual and looks way better when I do take the time to do something with it. My skin, offered a vacation from constant makeup, is clearer and healthier than it's been in a long time. Noticing that, I've been extra-focused on taking care of things at a basic level...good skincare, hair care and dental care. 

So incredibly basic, but after my scary teeth-smashing over the Fourth of July, I've been hyper-focused on taking care of my teeth and gums. I escaped having to have a root canal primarily because I have really healthy teeth, and especially with several of my front teeth being partially fake, I want to keep my real teeth looking as white and good as possible. I floss once daily, right before bed and after brushing, based on these American Dental Association guidelines (yes, I know I'm a nerd).

In addition to flossing, I use whitening toothpaste, mouthwash twice a day, brush my teeth after lunch (I KNOW, I KNOW, NERD), and use a Whitestrip once a week. Call me crazy, but having just paid the residual bills for extensive dental work, I'd rather invest the time and care now than pay a ton more down the line for more care. 

I'm also hyper-aware of skin care after encountering several family members and friends with melanoma or associated skin cancer scares. Thanks to my mom's Italian heritage, I've been blessed with the kind of olive-toned skin that tans 99% of the time in the summer, and I rarely burn as a result. That said, I've had one or two bad ones in the last few years...

...and knowing that even tanning easily and rarely burning still increases cancer risk, I wanted to be more careful about my skin this summer. (See this list of skin cancer myths, from the American Society for Dermatologists.) Even spending much of my week indoors, I go out enough to want to do something to protect my skin. So I started using Lubriderm Daily Moisture with SPF 15 every morning...it takes legit two minutes to apply, and it's improved the texture and health of my skin along with providing a little sun protection. My face lotion already has SPF in it, so I'm covered there for daily wear. 

As for days when I will be outside (dreaming of floating in Iceland's Blue Lagoon, obviously)? I've been using this SPF 30 Sun Bum screen all summer. It was an impulse purchase before our Kentucky Derby party in May, primarily because I liked the bottle, but it turns out it's organic, vegan, and smells like a piña colada...well worth the higher price tag in my book, as I don't use full sunscreen often enough to worry too much about the cost. 

Like I said, trivial things that have made a great difference this summer. Now if I could just get myself out of bed early enough to actually do my hair on the regular.....

More 101 in 1001 here...and plenty more coming up in the next few weeks!