DEAR HELOISE: My daughter has a safe way to make purchases without carrying a lot of cash or using charge cards, whose information can be copied.

If she knows she will be shopping at a particular store or online, she will purchase a gift card for that business. That way, she does not give away her charge card numbers. — D.M., via fax

DEAR HELOISE: The marketplace seems to be flooded with products labeled “shower gel” and “body wash.” Are these actually soap, or is this a clever advertising gimmick? Do you use bar soap with them? How do you choose? — L.T., Omaha

L.T., great question, and there is a difference! Both shower gel and body wash are liquid soaps, and bar soap is a solid, but all are used to clean your skin.

Women, especially, tend to prefer liquid soap over bar soap, primarily because liquids lather more, there is a wide choice of fragrances available, and liquid body cleansers typically have more moisturizers than bar soap, so they are less drying to the skin.

The liquids also might have a shimmery ingredient added to make your skin “sparkle.”

Here are two differences between the liquids: Shower gel typically is thicker in consistency than body wash, and it is more densely fragranced, so the scent of shower gel may last longer on your skin.

Manufacturers of shower gels and body washes recommend using a sponge or lather-builder to maximize suds. Rinse and dry the sponge thoroughly between uses. Have two to rotate.

Bar soap can be a breeding ground for bacteria, although this is not a major concern — the bacteria washes away when you rinse. Ultimately, the decision is yours — there are lots of choices out there. — Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: I realized I was spending too much money on eating fast-food. The other minuses of this:

  • The service can be lax.
  • The food usually is high-fat, high-sugar, low in fiber and low nutritionally in general.
  • Fast food generates a lot of trash.

Grabbing a hamburger or chicken sandwich occasionally is OK, but doing it several times a week is wasteful in many ways. — R.S., Fort Wayne, Indiana

DEAR HELOISE: In case this subject hasn’t been addressed in your column: It’s difficult to read light type (for example, yellow letters on a white background), and it seems so many magazines are using this technique now.

Many of us older folks need the contrast of dark against light! — Nancy P. in San Antonio

DEAR HELOISE: To keep wall art vertical, I use cotton balls stretched to proper thickness and placed between the art and the wall. — Cindy L., via email

©2017 King Features

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.