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November 20, 2007

What Does Your Look Reveal About You?

woman with blond hair

Photo Credit: Ben Baker

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After giving us her first impressions of Jessie, Wechsler answers Jessie's questions.

JESSIE: I've always been really insecure about my skin. My self-confidence can fluctuate — I'm definitely up and down in that area. I get pimples here and there, and there's no use hiding them because the makeup eventually comes off anyway. And I'd rather look natural than like I'm wearing a mask.
AW: Have you tried using a cover-up with an acne treatment like salicylic acid? Look for one that has a 2 percent strength — the maximum you can get without a prescription. If it's oil-free, it won't clog pores and cause more breakouts. Also, try a powder foundation, which will absorb excess oil. And use blotting papers throughout the day to soak up sweat and grease.

JESSIE: I also have tiny bumps on my upper arms. I've tried using Retin-A and even consulted a nutritionist, but they never go away.
AW: This sounds like keratosis polaris, a common condition where the hair follicles get plugged up by thick skin. You need something that will break down the keratin without irritating the skin — maybe an exfoliating urea cream like Carmol 20. Don't scrub the bumps; scrubbing won't help.

JESSIE: I know! I tried scrubbing, and it got worse. I used to cover myself up with long-sleeve turtlenecks because I was so embarrassed. But now I live in North Carolina, and it's too hot to wear long sleeves all the time. Finally, I said, "I'm just going to love you, little bumps."
AW: For some, having a condition like this as a teenager could permanently affect their sense of self.

JESSIE: Funny, I'd finally come to accept it, and now there's a solution!

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