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How I Learned to Love (and Protect!) My Sunburn-Prone Complexion

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Like most women, I’ve spent maybe a few too many hours obsessing over my skin—from a microscopic broken capillary to a misplaced freckle, even the tiniest flaw seems worthy of my criticism. But the one characteristic that irked me the most? My alabaster skin tone

During my awkward teen years, I lived in sunny and tropical Venezuela. Thanks to an endless supply of pink sand beaches and 365 days of perfect weather, tanning is practically a Venezuelan national pastime. While that might sound lovely, bikini season all-day, everyday is pretty much a 13-year-old girl’s worst nightmare. 

While my bronzed peers frolicked in cute suits, I sought refuge under beach umbrellas and never strayed too far from an oversized bottle of sunblock. Despite these measures, I’d always end up with a crimson-hued ruddy complexion. After a couple particularly bad burns, my mom forced me to wear unflattering, full-sleeved protective sun gear. You know, the kind you see toddlers and pro surfers rocking? Eventually, I stopped going to the beach completely—and my beach aversion continued well into adulthood. 

This May, I turned 25 and decided to ditch the self-loathing routine and start loving my cream-y complexioned-self with some major sun-protection upgrades. I’m brushing up on all the important SPF stats, and since I can no longer blame sunburns on youthful naiveté—apparently, your brain is officially fully formed by age 25, drat!—I’m upping my SPF game with a daily dollop of COOLA’s SPF 30 Matte Finish Cucumber for Face

What I love most about this organic and cucumber-scented mineral sunblock—which some of you will receive in your June Birchbox!—is that it doesn’t even feel like a traditional sunblock at all. Rather than having a thick and greasy consistency, COOLA’s lightweight, mattifying blend feels more like daily moisturizer—making it easy to slip into my AM beauty routine. Best of all, whipping out the sleek-looking bottle for bi-hourly reapplications makes me feel like—dare, I say it—a responsible and confident adult. 

Cue Beyoncé’s leaked and fabulous Grown Woman: “I know who I am, ‘bout time I show it.”

—Ally

Wish you could’ve tried COOLA’s new sunscreen in your own Birchbox? Here’s how to become a member now.

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