Week of:
Nov 04, 2011

Dry skin?

Dear Alice,

Please help! My skin is drying out like you would never believe. It is scaly and itchy at times. Could this be as a result of the weather? Are there any pointers that you could give me so that I don't feel like my face is cracking and looking like garbage? It seems to get worse after I shower. What is this? What can I do?


Moisturizers — Super smooth skin or a slick scam?

Dear Alice,

How do moisturizers work? Do they work at all? I have read that only if a moisturizer has been "electrolyzed" will its particles be small enough to penetrate your skin: otherwise, it just sits on top of your skin and locks in whatever moisture happens to be in it already. Is this true? And if so, are commercial moisturizers a con? How should I be moisturizing my skin?

— Balled by the claims of cosmetic companies

Microdermabrasion for stubborn acne

Dear Alice,

I am a 21-year-old woman who has been dealing with acne for over ten years now. I have used almost every OTC and quite a few prescriptions that are available. Everytime I find something that works it only last for ten to 14 months and then quits completely. I was wondering if maybe microdermabrasion would work? I don't know what it is though and have heard that it is pretty pricey. Or are there other procedures available? It is hard for me to deal with my acne because I am usually the only woman on most construction sites and don't wear makeup to work because it would only cause more acne. I would really appreciate any help or information you can send out.


Dark skin: Is sunscreen necessary?

Dear Alice,

I am African-American, but my skin is not that dark. I was never told that I needed sunscreen and when I worked in a daycare I was told in a very delicate manner that only the paler children needed sunscreen. I've been out in the sun for extended periods of time and was wondering if sunscreen is necessary for someone of my complexion. If so, what strength?

Proper way to shave a beard?

Dear Alice,

This is something I've wondered about for a good long while. When shaving my face, should I go WITH the grain, or against it? Also, should one pre-lather, or what? Basically, what is the proper method for shaving?