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Beauty Round Up

Beauty Round-Up

By Amalah

Dear darling ever-so-helpful Amy,

I’ve had red, bumpy skin on upper arms my whole life and, thus, have always avoided things like tank tops and strapless dresses. But recently, I lost a lot of weight and started trying to figure out if anything could be *done* about the red bumpiness so I could revel in cute, cute strappy dresses. However, all my research has turned up is that the condition is common, is called Keratosis, and there are whole lists of things that *could* be effective, but I have no idea which ones might be worth trying first.

And going to a dermatologist isn’t really financially do-able for me at the moment, so I’m *really* hoping one of the over the counter things will work wonders.

Any advice?

Advice Smackdown ArchivesOh goodness, I do not know. Googling only reveals how completely out of my depth I am with this one, because there are multiple kinds of keratosis and multiple things that *might* help, but might not, and if a trip to the dermatologist is out of the question because of finances, the LAST thing that would be helpful would be me rattling off a bunch of pricey gunk in tubes that might be completely useless. From what I can tell, if you DO want to go the OTC route, the key ingredients to look for would be 1) glycolic acid (found in a lot of peels and facial masks), 2) lactic acid (another alpha-hydroxy acid) and 3) vitamin A. You could certainly try random peels and masks on your arms, in the highest percentage of the active ingredient you think your skin can stand and see what happens. They are available in every price range and in this case, there’s no need to pay for fancy packaging or essential oils since we’re talking ARMS, not FACE, and really, all you’re after is the acid bit, and I can promise that 10.8% glycolic acid is the same in the drugstore brand as it is at the department store.

I came across this list of specific recommendations (and I’m guessing you’ve seen it as well in your own online research), and while I have used some of these products for different reasons (Eucerin, Dr. Brandt Pore Effect) and just plain like some of the other brands (LUSH, Philosophy), I have NO IDEA if any of them would actually help you get rid of your bumps. Readers? Anyone with experience? Recommendations? Let’s get our girl here into a sexy sundress already!

Hi Amy!

Love your column(who doesn’t ? )….. Which I religiously open up daily in office(and too ). Have finally decided to take the plunge and buy the philosophy ‘Hope in a Jar’ moisturizer. The problem was that I live in Kuwait currently and you don’t get that product here unfortunately. SO I got it shipped all the way from Amazon,US to Kuwait. I was so excited when it reached finally!. Now the thing is, when it arrived home the package was pretty hottish warm(by the way it’s 45 Celsius hot here in Kuwait!). And both the ‘Hope in a Jar’ and ‘Purity made simple’ were pretty warm. When i opened the ‘Hope in a Jar’, the moisturizer was very thin (it’s the same even after being in my room for two days,where it’s AC cold). Almost like a little thicker than milk maybe. I remember reading that it should be the consistency of mayonnaise. I went on to Youtube and some videos, showed the jar being held upside down and the cream looked stuck inside. If I did that, all my moisturizer would have fallen down. I just wanted to know, if my moisturizer has maybe gone bad, or is it how it is supposed to be. I have used it for two days. and haven’t had any reactions on my skin. It doesn’t look separated and the color isn’t yellowish. It’s white.

mm…. That’s all……..Sorry it’s so long, and u can edit it to the two lines that it’s probably worth……. But I do hope you can answer. Love reading about Noah and Ezra …….

Helpless in Kuwait.

Yep, it definitely sounds like SOMETHING happened to your moisturizer along the way — most likely the heat, as you’ve already suspected. If it is the original Hope in a Jar formula (NOT the one with SPF?), you should be looking at a very thick whipped-cream-like consistency.

What I don’t know, unfortunately, is whether the consistency change could indicate that the moisturizer is really “bad” or “damaged.” Or simply rendered useless — a watery tub of runny cream doesn’t sound particularly penetrating, I admit. My advice, even though you bought it from Amazon, is to contact Philosophy directly, either by phone or email. Explain your geographical problem, describe what happened to your product and see what they have to say about whether you should keep using it, or if there’s maybe some whacky recommendation, like putting the jar in the freezer or adding beeswax or rosin (these are popular thickening agents used in homemade moisturizers and lotions, if you think you can get your hands on some).

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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