DEAR HELOISE: Having worked as a nurse in a dermatologist's office for the past nine years, I'm still shocked by the damage I see on the skin of so many people. This is especially true of people who think that when their skin becomes damaged, they'll just pop into a doctor's office and have them prescribe some magic potion that will erase years of neglect. They think the suntans of their youth will melt away.
Sadly, this won't happen because that magic potion does not exist. Here are some "skin no-nos" to be aware of:
If you sunbathe, try your best not to. Either use spray or rub-on tanner or take pride in your skin's natural color. Always use sunblock, even if your makeup says it already has sunblock in it. After applying, let it sit on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes before applying makeup.
Don't smoke. It removes oxygen from the skin, causing wrinkles. For the sake of your skin, quit smoking. That includes those e-cigarettes and vapes.
Gently uses the pads of your fingertips to wash your face. If eye makeup is stubborn, try baby oil on a cotton pad to remove it. Never use a washcloth, a stiff brush or anything rough on your face. Save the bath brushes and loofah mitts for your knees and heels.
Don't sleep in your makeup. We know better than to let stale, dirty makeup stay on our skin overnight. No matter how tired you are, wash your face with mild soap and water, then follow with moisturizer.
And, lastly, keep your hands off your face as much as possible. You carry germs to your skin when you touch your face. Don't pick at your skin. Drink lots of water to wash away impurities and hydrate yourself. Remember your skin is your largest organ. Take care of it.
DEAR HELOISE: I've been sewing all my life. In fact, I make about 80% of what I wear, and I know how clothing should look and what usually looks good on women.
Lately I've seen so many women wear baggy, long tops to try and hide weight gain. Being a full-figured gal myself, I know this is a mistake. Have your tops taken in at the waist (or, if you sew, do it yourself). Nothing dramatic, just adding a bit of a curve at the waist. This will look more attractive on a woman and make her appear thinner at the same time.
-- Mary-Ellen S.,
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email