Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I thought I was too old to have teenager-type skin problems but here I am, mid-30s with breakouts. I’ve tried my old go-tos, but I think I need heavier artillery at this point in my life. I don’t think my pimple problem is serious enough to seek out a dermatologist. Any suggestions?
— Olivia K.
Dear Olivia: As you’ve discovered, teenagers aren’t the only ones with acne or, at least a pimple problem. Hence the pimple patch. These are small, often clear, circular stickers designed to be applied to individual pimples, usually overnight, to dry out the oils and ick. There’s a side benefit, too: Because they cover the pimple, they discourage picking at your problem, reducing the likelihood of scarring. You can buy them in the skincare section of any drugstore or a big box store like Target or Walmart.
Because, blessedly, I don’t have this problem any more, I asked my friends — men and women — for their recommendations after a bit of research told me there are a huge number of brands to choose from. Clever marketers of the patches have come up with a wide array of catchy names: Peace Out Healing Dots, ZitSticka Killa, Sweet Chef Carrot Ginger Blemish Rescue Patches and many more at prices from $6 to $32. I’ve heard good things about Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch (target.com, $10.69 for 24; amazon.com, $11.69 for 36). A young woman I know tells me, “I believe the COSRX brand of patches are the best I have tried” (ultabeauty.com, 24 for $6).
Dear Answer Angel Ellen: As an avid thriftier, I occasionally buy items with “thrift store aroma.” Usually just washing them removes the smell, but smoke, animal and other musty smells are particularly hard to remove. Can you help?
Dear P.D.J.: Try adding a cup of white vinegar to your hottest water wash (no detergent), spread out the wet clothing while still in the wash machine, then sprinkle with 1 cup of baking soda and wash again (no detergent) in the hottest setting. If you’re concerned about washing your thrift store finds, try spraying them with tea tree oil or Febreze, then wrap in a dry-cleaning bag and hang it in the closet until the smell is gone. A simple sniff test tells you when it’s OK to wear in public. Another no-wash treatment is to wrap the clothes in an airtight bag and put it in the freezer. Then unthaw them; dry on a hanger. Or put the clothes in a closed garment bag with an open bag of freshly ground coffee taking care to position the coffee so it doesn’t spill on your clothes causing a whole different problem. If your clothes now smell like coffee, hang them outdoors for a bit.
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From Sharon F.: “I have several eye problems — and also have blond eyelashes that cannot be seen. When I do wear mascara, I wear Blinc brand Original Tubing Mascara. It coats the eyelash, doesn’t rub off under the eye, even if you wear makeup that’s not oil-free. But it’s removed easily with warm water and gentle pressure from your finger or a washcloth, leaving no smears. It comes in a few colors and several formulations. It might help your reader who has problems with most mascaras. (sephora.com, $34).
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For Jane S., who was looking for men’s slim fit shirts, John K. writes: “Land’s End (landsend.com) always fit slim even in their ‘regular’ size styles.” Sharon W. says, “I highly recommend Untuckit (untuckit.com). They have more than just polos.”©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC