Friday, July 29, 2005

burn baby, burn

I need to switch sunscreens. My old faithful pink baby bottle SPF 45 has served me well. Trouble is that it's quite literally meant for babies and not adults, and as I mentioned before, it becomes Elmer's Glue once applied. It's okay when I swim but it's a bad lounging sunscreen, and the sand ends up sticking to me like...well, there's nothing to even compare it to, there's NO HUMAN THING that gets sand stuck to them in such an extreme way that they can hardly get it off without exfoliating. Yuck.

The only problem is that my old faithful pink baby bottle SPF 45 works, even in the Carribean, which is really saying something. And I can't deal with a sunscreen that doesn't work. I'm basically allergic to the sun and when I get sunburned I get the flu, or else if I don't apply four or five even layers (no, really) I get my signature selective sunburn, such as the one I have right now in a couple spots on the backs of my legs only, thanks to hours spent learning to golf at Dirty Dancing. I once had a dermatologist tell me that my complexion was meant for "overcast London skies." Very poetic, but not helping me out much around these parts.

My friends don't have this problem. If they're not golden brown then they're at least a subtle bronze, and in that perfectly lovely summery way, not in that scary Malibu Barbie orangey way. They can use spray tanners that don't glop on like mayo, the kind that make a weak claim to contain SPF 8. But because they're my friends, they don't make Casper jokes; one of the Jens once became infuriated with a Clinique saleswoman who tried to sell me a self-tanner that I didn't ask for. No, my friends will diligently slather massive amounts of my sunscreen of choice on my back and neck to protect me from absorbing even a minimal amount of vitamin D. And they put it on evenly, because none of them want to be responsible for a selective sunburn situation.

Anyway, yeah, the switch has to happen. Unfortunately, I'm also a product queen, so when I see that there's a company that makes a sunscreen promising to be "extra soft," I immediately want it. But it's not waterproof. Be rational, Red, don't get sucked in by cute labels. So I pick up a different sunscreen, another SPF 45, and I ask the pharmacy tech if it's any good. She looks at me blankly like I'm asking her to give a dissertation ranking each of the Blistex flavors. I've been going to that pharmacy for three years now and it's not like I ever ask her opinion of anything, so am I really, truly putting her out that much?

She says, "Well, I'd have to ask the pharmacist." I nod and smile; my "would you mind?" loosely translates to "yeah, go do that." She starts to walk over to him and then turns back to me. "So, you want to know how well it works as far as...?"

I don't even know how to answer this. As far as how cute the bottle will look in my bag? "How well it will keep me from getting burned?"

"Okay." She's back in three seconds. "He says it's good."

"Oh. Okay." Is there even a pharmacist back there? Did she just ask the opinion of a row of Percocet bottles? "Good" isn't enough for me to make the switch. I have a relationship with the pink baby bottle! How do I tell her this? She doesn't care. She probably steals Oxycontin.

I bought it anyway. It's less goopy than the baby stuff, but I haven't yet had the opportunity to find out if it really works. But here's hoping it's..."good."

3 comments:

M.Thom said...

I am also a product queen. I am the person that commercials are made for. New foundation? OKAY! New mascara? Sign me UP! And everytime I buy shampoo? A different kind! This makes my Bath and Body Works job a bit of a problem because I want to try EVERYTHING! So much of my salary goes right back into the store...but I love the stuff!

Red said...

I could NEVER WORK at Bath and Body Works because I'd spend more than they paid me...especially in the fall when they come out with all their autumny goodness...OMG. Plus I could never keep track of that, "You know, if you buy one more of these, you can get one of THOSE for free." How the hell do you guys keep that straight?

Melissa said...

I worked there in college! They had just introduced a nasty new scent called Iced Pineapple that they wanted us to accost people with when they entered the store. The manager was a demented cheerleader, always saying things like, "Girls, you're all going to be SUPER SELLERS today, right?!" I quit and was subsequently banned from working at all Limited Corporation stores.

I still love their stuff though.