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The Acne Whisperer

By Amalah

Dear Amalah,
I was thinking to myself the other day, “Gee, self, I have a skin conundrum! I wonder who on earth could help me?” And then a lightbulb went off and I zoomed over to advice smackdown and perused the archives, hoping I could
find an answer there. Perhaps I am completely oblivious or illiterate, or maybe the answer just isn’t there. So, I apologize in advance if you have already answered this question.
I am seventeen, and as many people my age suffer from the occasional zit, or severe acne, or blackheads, I myself have a zit issue. Luckily, my face is nearly completely clear and has been for about a year (hopefully I didn’t
just jinx myself) but, recently in the past couple of months, I have been developing odd little zits on my chest. I don’t have a problem with body acne anywhere else, not on my back or shoulders, just these little red zits on my chest.
I always use cetaphil on my chest when I shower, and always shower immediately after exercise, so I don’t think my pores are being clogged from perspiration. It might be hormonal, I really don’t know. Regardless of the cause, it would be great if you could reccomend a product that works to treat this embarassing situation. My senior prom is several short months away, and I would live in my dress if I could, I love it that much. However, it has a plunging neckline and it would be incredible if I could have a smooth chest to go along with it!
Thank you so very much! I love both advice smackdown and your blog!

Ah, the teenage years. Those tumultuous, zitty-ass years.
In high school and college, I too was known to suffer from the occasional renegade zit on a non-face area of my body. Bacne. Shoulderne. Chestne. Whateverne. And I am happy to report that the product that worked for me is still available, even after all these many years. For I am old. And no longer plagued with wayward zits.
(I remain just as big a liar as I ever was, though.)
neutrogena.jpgI’ve always had great success with . I still remember the old commercial for it, with a Party of Five-era Jennifer Love Hewitt clad in a towel talking about “clear skin from head to toe,” and GOD. She annoyed the crap out of me. She was so flipping perky in every commercial and I actually resisted buying the stuff because of her. Luckily, Neutrogena is 100% Hewitt-free these days, and since I’m all old, I’m not that bugged by their new spokesmodels, since I go to bed at 8:30 pm and don’t want The OC.
Cetaphil is a great product, by the way, but it is definitely for DRY SKIN ONLY. Or really, really sensitive skin. Oily skin needs something stronger. And breakout-prone skin needs salicylic acid, the end.
The Neutrogena stuff isn’t an overnight solution (for that you might want to try the Philosophy On a Clear Day Blemish Serum), but with regular use, I’m betting you’ll see a marked improvement. It’s also available as , which I’ve never tried, but it’s apparently an Allure Best of Beauty award winner, for whatever that’s worth. I’m not a fan of scrubs for the face, but for the body? Yeah, scrub away. Fry that chicken, whatever.

Published February 9, 2007. Last updated February 9, 2007.
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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