La Scala Lahaina Sun Hat


Today’s post is all about sun protection, beginning with the Scala Lahaina Sun Hat. I had looked at it online before a trip to Florida this past spring. I didn’t get around to ordering it, so I was thrilled to receive it for review. The hat is adjustable (internal drawstring); has aUPF of 50; and washable and breathable. It’s made of cotton and has a a brim wide enough to offer shade, but not so wide that it’s floppy. The brim can be shaped or folded to your preference (and squashed it into your beach bag, then reshaped). I like wearing it bucket-style, with the brim down. The hat comes in 19 colors at the Village Hat Shop site (linked above) and at $29.95, it’s affordable. Of course as a New Yorker, it has to be black for me, though I am thinking of getting a white one to deflect the sun more on days that I am going to be outside for a long time. To sum it up, this hat is all upside. (Aside: I really should have gotten it for that trip. Instead, I (impulse) purchased a straw hat that got destroyed by chlorinated water one toddler demanding that I catch him while he “cannon-balled” into a pool about eleventy-million times. Oh well, you live and you learn.)

Here is a picture from the Village Hat Shop’s sit–I thought it was easier to see the brim in another color:


My Lahaina hat is pictured with my favorite secret weapon for sun protection–Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. This cult beauty favorite is an antioxidant powerhouse that makes sunscreen more effective. And then there is another staple–my beloved Pratima Neem Rose Facial Sunscreen. Easily the shortest, clearest ingredient list and works a dream. Reviewed here. And then there is a newbie: Supergoop’s Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil. Because sometimes on beach vacations, I am too lazy to apply lotion again or just can’t bear the feeling of it on my skin any longer. So this oil does the trick and I make sure to take it off as soon as my time in the sun is done.

The Emjoi Micro Pedi: My New Fave Tool


You need an Emjoi Micro Pedi. Let me qualify that statement: You need a Micro Pedi if you have callused feet, hard heels, or dry soles AND

  • are scraping at your feet with pumice, files, or a certain egg-shaped grater
  • hate piling on lotion and sleeping in socks and/or
  • are using foot peel products.
Why am I so sure? Well, I have tried the methods listed above and this little guy gives better results than all of them. I’d compare it to the results I got with the most drastic of the approaches that I’ve tried: the Babyfoot peel. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Babyfoot is a popular acid-based foot peel. You place plastic booties lined with gel on your feet, leave them on for about an hour (as I recall), then wait for the magic to happen. After a few days, your feet begin to peel like like molting snakes. It’s revolting and fascinating–Google it if you’re into that sort of thing. Anyway, your feet are not presentable for about a week and a half. After the peeling ends, you are left with soft, smooth “baby feet.” The Emjoi Micro Pedi gives the same result in about 10 minutes total. A Babyfoot treatment costs $25. The Micro Pedi costs about the same and you can use it multiple times. You can even buy replacement rollers. (You should shop around for the best price as it is carried in lots of places such as Amazon, Target, QVC and others.)In the interest of candor, I received one for review. A couple of days after I got it, I saw that one of my favorite British beauty bloggers, Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends, gave it a great review (she purchased hers). So I was feeling really lucky to have received one to test. Right after I read Ruth’s very favorable review, I tore into the package and gave it a go. I completely concur with her take on it. Its great. Like her, I didn’t take a picture before using it so I apologize for the dead skin you see on the roller photo above. What can I say? The excitement got the best of me. (Trust, it’s not near as gross and the bits of skin you find all over your bed and floor when you do a foot peel.)

So what is it like? Well, I noticed some of the readers of Ruth’s post commenting that it looked scary. I think those pedi egg graters and the razor blade thingy some salons use are much scarier (don’t do it)! The roller isn’t super coarse or rough. It doesn’t hurt at all and there’s no danger of cutting yourself. You use this tool on dry feet, so no soaking time needed. It travels smoothly over the skin and makes quick work of exfoliating. It does create lots of “powder” or “dust” or “dead skin cloud formations” as you go, so you may want to do it over the tub or some newspaper. I used it on my heels, soles, and the sides of my feet. I also carefully used it on top of a couple of toes where the skin on the knuckle was a bit thick. In minutes,  my dry, rough, abused-by-flip-flops feet were baby soft. In terms of how the skin looks and feels, I can get better results than a professional pedicure with this. Note, that I didn’t say in terms of nails because I am not great at polishing my toes, so I will still rely on getting a pedi when I want dark polish. But, today, I exfoliated with the Micro Pedi; soaked my feet; pushed my cuticles back; and applied a light color polish. You wouldn’t know it wasn’t a profesh job. Seriously, your feet will look so good Quentin Tarantino will cast them in a movie. (You know, because he has a thing with feet. Look it up.)

Dermasuri + Osmia Organics Soap and Body Oil


I reviewed the Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt a while back (see more here). When used as directed, this scrubber makes dead skin ball up and roll off. It’s gross, fascinating and satisfying. You’re baby-soft afterwards–no redness or irritation either. Here is the problem–you have to hang around in the shower for about ten minutes or more before the dead skin is ready be exfoliated. And you’re not to put soap on before you use it, so you just basically stand there enjoying the water and solitude. That makes it a special occasion tool for me as I usually don’t have time for long showers. The other thing is that I started to feel guilty about the water running that long when water is in short supply for so many people. So, chuck the Dermasuri? Nope. I decided to use it for “dry-brushing.” Obviously it’s not a brush, but I have seen a few articles that say you can dry brush with a loofah. I thought I would give this a whirl before buying a brush or loofah. I decided to use it every morning for one week. I also committed to moisturizing every morning as well. Because while I have a a multi-step facial care routine, I am terrible about moisturizing my body–legs and feet especially. My moisturizer of choice: Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil.

I have done it every day for a week before showering. The routine is: 1) Get naked (duh) and brush body in sections stroking toward the heart. Why? The internet says so. This takes just a couple of minutes. I focus most of the attention on my legs which are a special (scaly) type of dry after a winter of neglect. 2. Hop in the shower and wash with Osmia Organics Milky Rose Soap.  Why? It’s moisturizing, smells good, and is made with great ingredients (see more here). 3. Turn off shower, but stay in there. Tie up hair; don’t dry off. Apply Osmia Organics Body Oil. I don’t have a “see more here” for this one because I haven’t reviewed it yet. So let’s look at it in-depth for a moment, shall we? I have the OO Body Oil in Sunset. As with everything else I have tried from Osmia, I am a fan. And this oil is made of many lovely oils. Specifically oils of coconut, jojoba, kukui, sweet almond, rosehips seed, hemp seed, avocado, borage seed, and evening primrose. Check the full ingredients list out here. The scent is a warm floral vanilla with a hint of citrus. It comes in a frosted glass bottle that is topped with a stopper that has a hole in it so you can shake out a few drops at a time. And you really only need a few drops. A little goes a long way. I rarely say that about any product! The oil is softening, moisturizing and spreads easily on wet skin. Using a small amount allows for a thin layer that sinks in quickly. The only weird thing about it is that it may cause you to touch your skin throughout the day. Try to be discreet.

Now back to my dry-brushing or Dermasuri brushing experiment. Many proponents of dry-brushing believe that it can exfoliate dead skin, clear clogged pores, stimulate the lymphatic system, reduce cellulite, do your taxes, and shape your eyebrows. I can only speak to the first two. After one week of Dermasuri plus Milky Rose Soap plus Sunset Body Oil, my skin is softer and smoother. I am most pleased by the improvement on my legs where regrowth of hair after shaving is a somewhat less dry, and bumpy situation. I can’t wait to see what another week or two of this brings especially on the legs.