Each week Jane will answer your beauty-related questions, even the dumb ones.
1. Recently I have developed tiny white bumps on my forehead. They are not pimples. I cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and use Retin-A every day but nothing makes the bumps go away. Any ideas on what exactly they are and how to get rid of them? Professional help such as a dermatologist or plastic surgeon are not options because I cannot afford them.
Wait, you can afford to use Retin-A every goddamned day but you can't afford a single doctor's appointment? Where are you getting this bootleg cream? (Links please!) I CALL YOUR BLUFF. If you really want to figure this out, you're going to have to see a dermatologist and, fine, I'll tell you a secret: you can see one for free. Call around to every dermatologist in town and ask for a free consultation. Clinics that call themselves "med spas" relish the opportunity to sucker you into Botox with a free visit, so start with those. If no dermatologists answer the phone, you can also try speaking to an aesthetician at your local spa or salon. They're smart! They'll have ideas for you. But you wanted to hear mine, so here they are:
Maybe they're milia? Milia are tiny little cysts filled with sebaceous secretions and they can stick around for a long time. Getting rid of them is going to require some pro assistance. A doctor or a skilled aesthetician can extract them one by one, but that'll cost you money and might require a handful of appointments. They'll also probably recommend some sort of exfoliation like microdermabrasion. Cha-ching! And, finally, they might prescribe Retin-A which you are somehow magically already on top of.
Then there's a thing called miliaria which is trapped sweat, sometimes referred to as "heat rash." It could also be folliculitis which can be caused by a fungus or bacteria for which you'll need a prescription. OR MAYBE YOU ARE TURNING TO STONE, HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THAT? Just go to the doctor.
2. At 30-something I felt like I finally understood my style: minimalist and neutral. Then I got pregnant. Suddenly I'm drawn to things I would never, ever wear otherwise, colorful boho dresses being at the top of the list.
Should I just indulge my inner hippie, even though I don't really feel like myself? (Then again, with a basketball attached to my front, I don't really look like myself.) Or should I stick to clothes that are more "me"? And finally, is this identity crisis in pregnancy normal?
Totally normal. So normal it hurts. So normal I want to cry. So normal that I'm (fingers crossed) never, ever doing it again. But! It was kind of fun to pretend to be someone else for a few years. That's right, years. You're not going to be "yourself" again for a long time, if ever.
I'm currently 18 months out from birthing a child and things are still different in ways I never imagined. My breasts are both larger and smaller, I shit you not. Like, they take up more room on my chest but are mysteriously empty? Very cool, body. The skin on my stomach is lumpy and bumpy and not at all ready for crop tops. My face is older because it's been two years since I really looked at it. It's not all bad, it's just all new.
So, yeah, my advice is to embrace it. I leaned toward Mrs. Roper-esque muumuus or super-tight dresses that basically screamed "THE FUCK YOU THINK I'M DOING OVER HERE, NOT CREATING LIFE?"
This Etsy shop is great. So is ASOS maternity, which is where I found the cheapest, cutest clothes. Topshop has a pretty good preggers department, too. Target is hit-or-miss. Personally, I stayed away from places like A Pea in The Pod because they mostly carry insanely expensive, boring-ass clothes. Gap is also boring. Don't be boring; try to have fun with this temporarily foreign body by dressing it up and showing it off. And take lots of pictures.
3. I have terribly dry hands, and it seems that most lotion recommendations are bullshit. I want recommendations that are more like Vaseline — serious moisturizing!
The most Vaseline-ish hand stuff is... Vaseline. If you'd like it dressed up under another name, try Aquaphor. And Mary Kay, of all places, makes my favorite regular hand cream. What say ye, commentariat?
If you have a beauty question, send us an email.
Top image from Fashion Faces, a makeup tutorial book published in 1982 that Jane cannot find any mention of on the internet.