I'm at a church retreat. An older couple with thick accents and chocolate-colored skin sits at the end of our table. I see the woman leaning toward me as I ask for clarification--the room is noisy, but I mostly am just caught off guard by her statement.
"Do you know what is wrong with your face?"
My hand instinctively runs along my cheek and chin, as I smile and attempt a light-hearted response. "Oh, it's just a break out." I'm still not sure where she's going with this.
She gives an understanding nod and asks "from stress?" I agree. I won't admit to this stranger about my make-up brushes that haven't been washed in ages, the week-old spit-up dried on my sheets and pillow case, and the nights I've been too tired to wash my face before laying down for a few hours of sleep.
She proceeds to tell me that I need to sleep when baby sleeps and let my husband take baby so I can recuperate after he gets home from work. I consider asking if she's a dermatologist, then realize I wouldn't know how to politely ask "why are you telling me this" if she is not.
She finishes up her "help for my face" by telling me to use zinc oxide. She clarifies that, yes, she is talking about Desitin--regular ol' baby butt cream. I write off her advice a bit and Daniel and I joke about the blatant way she started the conversation.
Curiosity gets the best of me and, of course, I Google it. Turns out zinc oxide is supposed to be great for getting rid of acne. I have zinc tablets in our cabinet from a couple years back when I read about supplements being helpful. But using diaper rash cream is a new concept. Turns out, California Baby (our preferred cloth-diaper-friendly brand of diaper rash cream) specifically mentions using it for facial blemishes.
And that's how I went from offense and surprise at a stranger's imposition, to thankfulness for said unsolicited advice. My make-up brushes got a long overdue washing and California Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream has been added to my beauty regimen. First couple days looking better; we'll see if it's a good enough solution to get rid of this break-out altogether.