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Answer Angel: Getting men to take skin care seriously

By Ellen Warren, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: My boyfriend's face is like leather! He won't wear sunscreen and he doesn't seem the least bit interested in using moisturizer. He says it makes his skin feel "greasy." Is there a single product, not too pricey, that you can recommend that does the job and doesn't have a feminine scent?

- Lizzie W.

Dear Lizzie: Wrinkles and skin cancer are dangers of too much sun exposure - even if the sun barely shines all winter where you live. That said, I don't know many men (except male dermatologists) who take those consequences very seriously. So, if you want him to moisturize and use sunscreen you've got to help him make it part of his daily routine. Here's how: Go to the drugstore and buy him some CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion broad spectrum SPF 30 (, $13.49). It isn't greasy or gunky like some sunscreens. It doesn't smell girlie - just a very slight unisex scent. Incidentally, it works just as well on women as it does on men. Once he sees how painless this is, maybe you can even get him to use CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion (without the sunscreen) at bedtime. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Those chunky square-heeled shoes. Are there any alternatives for us older folks who remember them as church organist/old lady shoes?

- Rachel E.

Dear Rachel: Those of us who wore those chunky block-heel shoes in the '70s might take offense at your description. But, they weren't flattering then and they are still clunky looking (although comfortable) today. Fortunately, there are many options. Recent high-fashion runway shows like Dior for spring featured a lot of ballet flats, even for dressy occasions. So that's one alterative. If you want to wear a heel but not the towering stilettos favored by Nancy Pelosi and Melania Trump (how can they walk in those?), there's always the kitten heel - a tapered heel 1-2 inches high.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I remember watching a fashion makeover show and some guy was the subject and the first thing they did was tell him he was a large not an extra large because all his clothes were XL and too baggy. He thought he was an XL and the clothes, he felt, had a loose fit, which he thought was correct. So, any guidelines if you're right on the border and don't know if you should go a certain size, or one size smaller or larger?

- Jay J.

Dear Jay: Because there are no agreed upon sizing standards, you might need an L in one style or brand of shirt (or sweatpants or whatever) and an XL in another. If you're buying online, the products usually have a size chart to guide you but they're not fail-safe because they're dependent on you to do the measuring (chest, length, etc.) precisely they way they did. Really, it's a crapshoot. The same goes for women's clothing. I've been an XL in one fashion and an XS in another. Trying the clothes on is the only way to be sure of the fit - but bear in mind that some clothing shrinks in hot water or the dryer! If I like the fit and fear shrinkage, I wash in cold/delicate and line dry. As for the issue of wearing clothes that are baggy, I think both men and women are more likely to wear clothes that are too tight rather than too loose. Wearing a garment that truly is too big is not going to make you look smaller. A mirror and a brutally honest good friend are two assets when choosing what size looks best.

Angelic Readers 1

Thanks to so many readers for their willingness to share stain removal tips for tackling sunscreen stains. Here's another: Deborah L. has this homemade stain remover that she says has worked on set stains that didn't budge until she tried this DIY formula. "I mixed this up and it removed them all. You must get the stain area wet. Then spread the mixture over it. Let it sit a bit then use a brush on the fabric. You can keep adding more if it's stubborn. I think it also works best when made fresh."


1 teaspoon Dawn dish soap


2 tablespoons baking soda

4 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide

Angelic Readers 2

Thanks to Susan I. and Ann C. for their suggestions for Pat S. who wanted to sell her vintage wedding gowns. Another option is to donate them to be made into burial gowns - "angel gowns" - for deceased infants. NICU Helping Hands (, Little Angel Gowns ( and the Emma & Evan Foundation ( have willing volunteers to sew the burial gowns, hoping to bring some comfort to parents who have lost a child.

Reader Rant

Jeanne S. says: "I hate to see women in trousers with a raggedy frayed hem in the back because the hem drags on the ground and they are unaware that they could pay someone to hem their pants to the proper length."

From Ellen: Some expensive jeans come that way with intentionally ragged, unfinished hems. It's a current style. But you're talking about a different situation in which the hem wear and tear is caused by too-long pants dragging on the ground. It is not just a women's issue. Plenty of men wear pants - khakis and jeans - with this sidewalk sweeper effect. I'm pretty sure many of the men and women who wear these pants are aware that they could have them hemmed but don't care.



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