Becky says things about … acne

Listeners, we need to talk about acne.

If you suffer from it, I understand; now sit down and listen to Auntie Beck tell you a lovely story about her acne. If you don’t suffer from it, you are a lucky swine, but you need to listen all the same, because I bet you know at least one person with zits the size of Jupiter who could do with some empathy.

Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

I had textbook teenage spots: the equilateral triangle of whiteheads on the forehead; the oily pimpular dusting on the chin; the bulbous protrusions on the temples.

It didn’t bother me that much; I was gloriously confident, and wore a lot of animal print. Then I went to a house party and some dude casually said ‘Ah, I see you’ve grown a spot since I last saw you.’

To be fair to the snivelingly rude arsehole, it was a gargantuan spot, but from then on I took acne more seriously. Happily, me taking acne more seriously coincided nicely with acne taking me more seriously, and it ventured onto my back in cheerful globular mounds, and to my chest in snug, tight little pustules. Mum took me to the doctor and I was prescribed some green gel that had three noticable characteristics: 1) it stung like hell when applied; 2) it left crispy flakes on my bedsheets; and 3) it did bugger all to clear up my acne.

So I bumbled on into my late teens, single-handedly keeping the concealer-stick industry afloat, and then at university my acne got bored and wandered off. Not completely – I was still never without a peskily determined blemish – but it took a holiday.

Then when I was about 26, my acne folded away its Hawaiian shirt, turned off the TV, put on its industrial boots and went back out to work.

Spots appeared where they had never appeared before, namely on my jawline, up my cheekbones, under my chin, on my neck. And they were angry. Painful. And so there.

No amount of foundation or concealer is going to completely conceal an acne-splattered face. You can still see Everest when it’s covered in snow, can’t you? Well, you can still see savage boils of hell on your chin when they’re slathered in expensive ‘blemish concealing’ foundation. You can see a spot particularly well just as it’s starting to crust, and your foundation forms a little moat of oily goo around the flaky peak.

Two things happen when you try to cover up spots: 1) You are constantly convinced that everyone is staring at the vicious pustule on your chin (which they may well be doing); and 2) due to your acne-prone skin being insatiably oily, by 2pm your blemish concealing foundation has slid right off your face.

The good news for acne sufferers is that there are many thousands of products you can spend your hard-earned money on that will definitely categorically 100% certainly get rid of your acne and give you perfect baby skin. The bad news for acne sufferers is that you have to purchase every single one of them to eventually find the one that actually works. The worst news for acne sufferers is that 99% of them are bollocks.

Becky’s Guide to Acne Treatments

1. Buy every single item in your local pharmacy’s acne aisle. Constantly dab at your pustules with witch hazel sticks, smother your skin in chemical-smelling gels. Result. Your spots laugh at your pathetic attempts to get rid of them, and you are £40 worse off.

2. Venture to department store skincare counters. Swoon over promises of radiant, blemish-free skin. Buy five products from the ‘acne-prone’ range. Follow a complex 17-stage cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturising regime twice a day. Result. Your skin looks like it’s been doused in paint stripper, your spots shake their pus-filled heads in amusement, your productivity levels plummet because you are spending four hours a day removing various products from your face in small delicate circular movements, and you are £160 worse off.

3. Go for the highly-advertised cures (only available online), which are backed up by science and research. You receive a clinical gift box of scientific unguents containing all the seriously-named chemicals that are clinically proven to obliterate your acne, like hydrational hydrabollockychlorzine acid or badgerzhoric A12. The clinical gift box comes with an informative booklet telling you that, in addition to the science that you have just sold all your jewlerry to purchase, you should eat lots of fruit and veg and drink 497 pints of water a day to cure your acne. Result. After three days of using the highly-advertised scientific cure, your acne looks slightly better. You tearfully rejoice at the miracle of science for ending your carbuncled misery. On the fourth day, you have 13 extra spots, your skin looks like it’s been sandpapered by a bad-tempered wilderbeast, and you are £90 worse off.

4. Resort to home remedies. Study ’17 home remedies that WILL cure your spots!’ on the Interweb, and scrub at your skin with cider vinegar, lemon juice, lavender oil and turmeric whilst quietly weeping. Result. A turmeric face pack leaves you looking dangerously jaundiced for at least a week, your bathroom is in a right state, and your spots are finding it all hilarious.

Listener, I tried them all. When I found myself following instructions for a sweetcorn and angel tear face pack I decided enough was enough and went to my GP.

And I was unfathomably lucky: despite my acne not being comparable to some of the cases that some poor souls suffer, my GP understood that it was affecting my life, and prescribed me isotretinoin (also known as roaccutane or accutane). I had never heard of it. I had thought the only last option available to me was lasering my skin off in an exclusive Harley Street clinic and living the rest of my days inside a rubber giraffe mask.

Now, isotretinoin is no walk in the park. I had to have blood tests to make sure I was physically well enough to start it, and it comes with a whole heap of fun side effects, like incredibly dry skin, sore lips, joint pain, dizziness. Within a month of being on the drug my lips felt like they would blow off in a sudden gust of wind, and my skin was feeling decidedly dry and shrivelled.

For the first time in my life I was buying moisturiser for very dry skin and slapping it on my face so that I resembled a seal caught in an oil slick. But, gradually, old spots faded, and new ones didn’t materialise. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t believe it. I took my last pill nearly four months ago, and right now the only really visible blemish on my face is a red mark on my forehead which is the result of a poorly-aimed eyebrow scratch.

There is no sugar-coating acne. It is rubbish. You can spend all day listening to fluffy platitudes that ‘you are beautiful no matter what’, but you can pretty much guarantee that the producer of those platitudes has never had to deal with a crusty, seeping Eighth Wonder of the World in the middle of their forehead. If you have acne, it is a daily battle.

And it’s easy for me to say ‘Go ahead, try isotretinoin’  as one of the lucky ones who has had a success story; but, like a smug ex-smoker, there’s always a chance that my acne abstinence will break and those devilish little swines will creep back onto my face again. But if you haven’t tried it, give it a go. It might just be that one thing that works for you. It’s surely better than spending a third of your life exfoliating your skin with the sap of an ancient Babylonian mountain plant (only available online).

And whatever you do, don’t try the turmeric face pack. Trust me.

Becky says things about … being a rubbish woman

Firstly, I’m going to neatly gloss over the fact I haven’t blogged in nearly two months by using Stickman’s yoga skills as a distraction.




Thanks, Sticky. You’re a pal.

Sublime listeners, I am rubbish at being a woman. There are so many things that society expects of women that are simply beyond my capabilities as a human being with boobs.

I cannot style my hair. I think I have the wrong type of hair. I think my hair is broken. I am forever gazing enviously at women with whimsical corkscrew curls, with sleek businesslike ‘up-dos’, with fringes that sit happily at their allocated angle, with pins and clips and grips that create veritable fountains of  coiffured abandon – whilst I sit under the humdrum melancholy of a frizzy ponytail.


I have tried, Listener. I have followed YouTube videos to the letter, I have bought contraptions and equipment more reminiscent of open heart surgery than a casual grooming session; I have come dangerously close to breaking my neck as I contort my body in front of the mirror to achieve what bottles and tubes call INSANE VOLUME or GRAVITY-DEFYING BOUNCE (a scientific paradox, I’m sure you’ll agree, as to ‘bounce’ surely means an inevitable descent after an initial ascent, thereby succumbing to gravity and not defying it in the least) – and all to no avail.


Just the other day I bought THERMO ROLLERS, determined to acquire a carefree-wavy-mermaid look. I followed all the instructions. After 20 minutes of looking foolish in front of myself, I unravelled the rollers in quiet anticipation of the twirled glory to come, and achieved the following:


I am also rubbish at nails. I don’t understand how women can keep their nails looking so lovely. I can’t operate nail files, I can’t afford constant manicures, and stick-on nails are surely for the under 18s or the over 80s. I yearn to be able to drum my talons on a desktop, or drape my hand elegantly over my neck to show off my sleek red manicure. My nails look like a hobo’s teeth. Ragged, torn, unkempt finger teeth. This is not a good look.


And what of contouring? That peculiar, Cosmopolitan-induced concept of facial contouring. Drawing lines on your face to make it look more 3d than it already is, to give you a smaller nose or a more defined jawline or a less spatially-consuming forehead? Those girls on YouTube casually flick orange bronzer all over their mug and before I can say ‘Oh gosh, someone should tell her she’s put on way too much and she looks like someone’s tried to draw a map of the North Circular on her face’, she does something flicky and brushy with an enormous brush and she is transformed into a flawless, beauty-pageant superstar. I am filled with confidence at how easy it all is, and attempt to do the same, with the following result:


I forget to moisturise. I would love to be that girl who lovingly swathes her limbs with creamy goodness morning and night, and slips about the world like an oiled nymph, un-plagued by the dreaded freckling of dry skin on tights or the raw, chapped knuckles of a cruel winter. And, on the next level, I would love to remember to exfoliate. I want to buy a loofah and use it, instead of have it mock me from its untouched position in the bathroom cabinet, a devilish symbol of my failure to remove my billions of dead skin cells and reveal the nubile smoothness underneath. I want a life that is not tormented by that silent, watching loofah.


I can’t darn. I have never mended a piece of clothing. I cannot thread a needle. I have tripped over a thousand over-long hemlines, I have trailed them in the mud and crud and hoisted them up like a rebellious princess on the way home from a forbidden rave, and I have endured all this without ever once thinking ‘Maybe I should learn to darn’. I fear my clumsiness and general cack-handedness would render the exercise disproportionately dramatic.


Clumsiness is another foible. I am the most inelegant, elephantine lummox to ever walk the earth. I cannot do anything delicately. The simple act of raising a water bottle to my lips to quench my thirst is done with such vigour, such carelessness, that 11 times out of 10 it results in a terrible over-spill situation which, when I am talking to my boss, or trying to impress a dude, or surrounded by live electrical equipment, can be somewhat trying.


I make more noise performing everyday tasks than a herd of obese T-Rex rushing to the opening of a new fast-food diplodocus restaurant. Cupboard doors bang, Tupperware clatters to the ground, bins tip over, windows break, mirrors shatter, roofing slates explode, children cry. I get so caught up in the whirlwind of my hulking ineptitude that I actually wonder why things are crashing to the ground. If I stopped clodhopping around for one second, I’d realise that the wasteland of devastation around me was actually caused by the fact that I am a hopelessly maladroit bint.


I have never cleaned my oven, flowers perish in my presence, I do not own an iron, I drink lager from the bottle instead of a delicate G&T by the tumbler, I never dry between my fingers after washing my hands, I obsessively watch Man VS Food instead of The Great British Bake Off, I forget my eyebrows exist, I sneeze like a walrus farting, I leave socks lying around, I don’t know my bra size, I hate ponies and gerbils, I would rather shove my face in a ribeye steak than nibble daintily on a lightly-fried hake fillet, and I have never mastered lipliner.


I’d ask to come back as a bloke and see if I do any better, but I fear that looking after an extremely delicate and vulnerable appendage 24 hours a day would be too much to handle. As it were.


Becky says things about … giving up booze for a month

Listener, you have before you a virtuous Becky. A wholesome Becky, a saintly Becky. A Becky so pure, so unsullied by evil, that I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel a trifle overwhelmed. I feel a little overwhelmed at myself.

Yes, most admiring Listener, I have given up booze for an entire month. I have been on the sobriety wagon for the whole of November. Not a drop of alcohol has touched my lips, tickled my nasal hairs, or been dribbled down my chin. I am, to quote my good friend Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.


Why did you give up alcohol for a whole month, Becky?? I hear you cry. Fear not, inquisitive Listener. I shall tell you.

Aside from the rather alarming realisation that since alcohol became a regular feature in my social life at the age of 18/19, my body probably hasn’t gone more than about a week without saying hello and howdy to a drop of the sauce, I wanted what I was promised by other people who had given up booze for a month; namely, boundless energy, less tiredness, stunning youthful looks, dewy fresh skin, a reinvigorated zest for life, and a newly developed penchant for soft drinks.


Considering the above, I shall present you with a series of statements that should be pertinent to my month-long sobriety. I shall also present you with a truthful account of whether these statements are in fact truthful.


Becky gained more energy, and wasn’t tired. Once.

I shall ask Stickman to demonstrate how I expected to feel during my month abstinence from energy-zapping alcohol.


And now I shall further ask Stickman to demonstrate how I actually felt during my four weeks without one single milligram of energy-zapping, fatigue-inducing, body-poisoning alcohol in my bloodstream.


Listener, this experience led to my discovery of one of the greatest lies of our time: Giving up alcohol gives you more energy and makes you feel less tired. This, Listener, to put it bluntly, is a giant, hairy, stinking, heinous lie. I have never been more tired in all my life. Waking up in the morning was like dredging a pond of scummy water. For most of the four weeks I have sat slumped over my desk in a lethargic funk, wailing pathetically to my keyboard that I SHOULD FEEL AMAZING!! WHY DO I NOT FEEL AMAZING???


I had a vague energy surge in the first week – no, surge is the wrong word – more a slight energy incline, like a small wheelchair ramp – the second week was appalling, I felt like my head had been stuffed with soggy teatowels and I was actually reduced to tears one Sunday whilst staring at my novel that I wasn’t writing and realising that I couldn’t even see it, never mind write the frikkin thing; the third week was becoming boringly energyless, and this fourth week – well. On Monday I stood at the bottom of a flight of stairs on a station platform during rush hour and contemplated asking a fellow commuter if they’d give me a piggy back.


Verdict: A revolting lie. A lie the likes of which has rarely been seen by humanity.

Becky looks years younger and her complexion is dewy and amazing.

Within about four days of my body not receiving alcohol, I noticed that I had alarmingly pronounced wrinkles under my eyes which, infuriatingly and devastatingly, were not there before. Excuse me, I said to the God of Sobriety, I thought giving up alcohol was supposed to reduce wrinkles and make me look healthy and youthful, not worn and decrepit. 

Well, replied the God of Sobriety, alcohol can cause puffiness of the face due to increased water retention. Perhaps – just perhaps, Becky – your face has been consistently slightly puffy during your years of regular alcohol consumption, and now that sobriety has lessened your water retention your face is less puffy and has resulted in uncovering the fact that you are actually quite old and haggard and have wrinkles which were previously stretched out due to your terrible puffiness. 

So, God of Sobriety, it’s a bit like sweeping a dusty floor and discovering a really shitty worn carpet underneath. 

Yes. That’s exactly what it’s like. 


I will admitListener, that I have noticed an improvement in my skin tone. It is less red, less blotchy, and less dehydrated-looking. And do you know what? I should f*cking well hope so. A month of nothing but water, soda water, drinks made with water, and water, should f*cking well improve my f*cking skin tone.

Verdict: Mostly a lie with a thinly veiled compensation.

Becky had a reinvigorated zest for life and enjoyed observing things she hadn’t previously noticed, like the gentle gleam of a drop of dew on a fallen leaf.

In the first couple of weeks, O inquisitive Listener, I did, despite the fug of fatigue, feel a strange lightness of being. That is to say, I was less irritable. I was able to maintain conversations that I would otherwise have found bothersome, and I was able to tolerate people to whom I would otherwise have taken umbrage.


I also achieved more. Due to the fact that I wasn’t monstrously wasting away my life spending evenings sipping cool, relaxing, soporific wine and indulging in vibrant and witty conversation with my closest friends whilst sitting in the cosy, amiable atmosphere of a warm local pub………….sigh……….. I actually spent a lot more time writing. I worked on my novel. I wrote blogs. This is my fourth blog post this month. YOU, most fortunate Listener, have benefited from my month-long abstinence. It’s okay. You can thank me later. (An incredibly large bottle of gin will suffice.)

And guess what – I enjoyed sitting at home and being industrious. I felt creative, I felt productive. True, some evenings I was too RUDDY TIRED to do anything particularly creative, and on those evenings I angrily watched documentaries on YouTube (Most Extreme Airports and The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs were particular highlights), but most of the time I was being productive. And that made me feel quite good.


Verdict: Almost true. A welcome motivational boost, occasionally punctuated by useless facts about stegosauruses.

Becky developed a keen penchant for soft drinks and realised that alcoholic beverages are really not that great.

I want to make this clear, Listener: my evenings at home drinking cups of tea and hot milk were fine. I didn’t miss alcohol. At all. I didn’t even think about it. But sobriety did not turn me into a hermit. I did venture out into public houses. (Come on, there’s only so much creativity a girl can take in a month.)

To learn of my experiences of abstinence whilst in a public house setting, observe the following accounts of a typical evening:

6.07pm: Approach bar. Stare yearningly at alcohol. Order pint of lime and soda.

6.09pm: Guzzle lime and soda. Relish, for about 49 seconds, in its pleasingly refreshing qualities.

6.19pm: Refuse offer of glass of wine from friend. Order second pint of lime and soda.

6.33pm: Go for a wee.

6.35pm: Return. Guzzle lime and soda. Get caught staring at friend’s bottle of lager with ‘manic look’ in my eyes.


6.40pm: Go for a wee.

6.44pm: Return. Eye spilt droplet of beer on the bar, and quickly tell myself that licking public surfaces would do me no favours whatsoever.

6.46pm: Go for a wee.

6.50pm: Finish second lime and soda. Get asked if I want a drink. Stare hopelessly at range of soft beverages in front of me, all of which will pump me full of sugar or caffeine and rob me of precious sleep. Fear third pint of lime and soda will cause irreparable bladder malfunction. Order tomato juice. Cry a bit inside.

6.56pm: Go for wee.

7.00pm: Return. Fail to laugh at a joke that I would’ve laughed at had I had a glass of wine.

7.10pm: Descend into a sober-induced paralysis in which I watch people around me getting merrily crapulous, sip wincingly at my tomato juice, every quaff of which is like a mouthful of chilled snake venom, and contemplate asking if anyone has heroin.


7.20pm: Go for wee. Tomato juice has quashed bladderly urges slightly, thus reducing frequency of toilet trips.

7.31pm: Have someone say ‘Becky, do you want a large wine? OH NO SORRY YOU’RE OFF IT HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.’ Plot violent and monstrous revenge whilst becoming fixated on the dregs of white wine in a nearby glass.

7.45pm: Push empty tomato-smeared glass away. Mutter a weary farewell to the merry folks around me, go home and cry into a mug of warm milk.

Verdict: If I ever see a tomato juice or a lime and soda again I will personally remove the foreskin of every man within walking distance. Alcohol is great.



The best thing about giving up alcohol for a month?


Buying alcohol is expensive. I bought no alcohol. For the mathematicians amongst you, the relevant formula is something along the lines of:

sobriety x the square root of my purse / 30 days in November +  a couple of  boxes of teabags = BECKY SAVED A LOT OF MONEY.

This, my friends, was the best thing about giving up alcohol. I enjoyed not spending my hard-earned cash to fund the slow decline of my liver, and I enjoyed spending it on other things, like a new pair of shoes, a new dress, and a haircut (no I wasn’t previously some bearded hair-covered wino, I just had a few split-ends, okay?).

Second best thing, the increased productivity. The extra pages I’ve added to my novel. The extra time I’ve spent with you beautiful people.

The rest? Lies.


But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. See if you feel invigorated, full of energy, rid of fatigue, dewy complexioned, and fly through life being positive and fresh and clean and ALIVE.

Alternatively, do take my word for it, and pour yourself another massive glass of wine.

Becky says things about … 8 rubbish things about being a woman

After having a particularly bad day recently, which was mostly the result of being a woman, I thought I’d make a list of sweeping generalisations on rubbish things about us girls. I normally really enjoy it, but, let’s face it, there are some pretty godawful things about being the pink stickwoman.

1. Menstruation

It’s obvious, it’s cliched, it’s an easy point, but it’s also diabolically and barbarically undignified. Yes we bleed for five days and don’t die – that’s pretty cool – but it’s not cool when you’re standing in a public toilet trying to hold up your Maxi dress to prevent it trailing in someone else’s wee with one hand, and dealing with the results of menstruation with the other hand. (I’ve said too much.)

2. Hormones

I’m sure the blokes will agree on this one. Hormones turn us into raging lunatics, weeping puddles, or exploding volcanoes of fury. Whichever one, it’s a nightmare. Imagine this, men, if you will: you are buying carrots. The carrots are normal orange carrots. You are perfectly fine with these carrots. You are content to coexist in a world with carrots. You are just putting the carrots into your basket, when, suddenly and without warning, a black cloud of doom descends upon you and you realise instantly that everything in the world is


I mean seriously shit. There’s-no-way-out-and-we’re-stuck-in-this-devilish-hellhole-forever-and-why-doesn’t-everything-just-die shit. You’re standing in a supermarket and you’ve realised that actually you’d like to kill yourself. And as for the carrots – well. Carrots are


3. Handbags

Backache, neckache, shoulderache. Losing them, getting them stolen, never finding anything in them. If ever someone was going to erect a statue to represent Woman, it would be of a woman rummaging in her handbag with her keys in her mouth, trying to find that thing that she knows is in there but she’ll be buggered if she can find it. The hole in the handbag lining is the bane of our lives. It makes us accuse our nearest and dearest of theft and pillage, after which we realise that all our worldly goods are simply languishing in a fluffy dusty darkness.

This morning I found inside the lining of my handbag: my new lipgloss, for which I’d spent a whole 20 minutes searching my bedroom, my hayfever nose spray, two packets of chewing gum, my iPod, blusher brush, a tampon, one pound, my Cafe Nero’s loyalty card, three car alarms and a small child. It’s just a nightmare. 

4. Money

Do you realise how much more money us women spend than men? We have to buy the monthly lady equipment, as well as razors, waxers, hair removal lotions, lotions to make hair softer, longer, shorter. Hair gel, hair spray, hair serum, hair mousse, hair de-frizzer. Hair calmer-downer, hair bigger-upper. Then there’s make up – but not just your mascara, lipstick, eyeshadow, blusher, oh no – that is the tip of the iceberg, my male friends – what about the primer, concealer, illuminator, highlighter, foundation, pressed powder, loose powder, mousse powder, talcum powder? And then we have to take it all off. Remover, cleanser, toner, face wash, face mask, face scrub, body wash, body buff, body-why-don’t-you-just-burn-your-money-in-a-huge-bonfire.

And what do blokes have to buy? A razor. A single, paltry, wretched little razor. Maybe a spot of hair gel. Bit of deodorant. Big deal.

So we may look nice but WE CAN’T AFFORD TO EAT.

5. Rubbish Presents

It’s almost guaranteed that once a woman reaches a certain age, the only things she will receive for Christmas and birthdays and any other occasion in which gift-giving is appropriate, are soap and candles. ‘Smellies’. Those baskets of ripped tissue paper in which delicate vials of lavender face cream and rosewater body lotion snuggle smugly, or giant, unnecessary where-the-hell-am-I-going-to-put-this candles, that stare at us brashly, knowing that what we really wanted was Commando on DVD and a fuck-off bottle of gin.

6. General Maintenance

Dammit, we women were born with hair, and, due to the fact that evolution hasn’t twigged that neither we nor society actually want most of this hair, we spend a lot of our precious lives trying to get the hell rid of it. Yes, we get things waxed. A lot. Do you think we enjoy it? Do you think we relish in the fact that a lot of people make a lot of money out of removing our unsightly bodily fibers? Do you think we look forward to having a scary Russian woman called Olga tell us to put on a paper thong and stick our legs in the air, and then go at our delicate ladyparts like a crazed rottweiler with a load of hot wax?

Evolution needs to get off its hairy bum and catch up.

7. Worrying

Whether we have kids, high powered jobs, a lot of cats, elderly relatives, or just us, we worry. About everything. In just seven seconds we can worry about whether we shut the fridge door properly and whether we’re going to die alone and ravaged by regret. Buying the right sort of peas, sending an email, looking too garish, not looking garish enough, saying something in a slightly different tone to the tone we intended to say it in, death, illness, childbirth, no childbirth, money, parents, the state of the driveway, the state of the country, chocolate, spots, public transport, other people’s eating habits, our eating habits, hips, bums, bloating, whether that picture of the Cornish coast should have gone above the mantelpiece instead of in the hall, etc etc etc etc it literally never ends.

8. Thinking

Closely followed by worrying, is thinking. Yes, we admit it: we think too much. Blokes, I understand. I understand why you do that baffled face when we’ve said something like ‘I’ve been thinking about that thing you said the other day about needing to repaint the shed? Well, I know that you really meant I need to lose weight.’ I can’t explain the train of thought that takes us from A to B (or very often F, J, and sometimes even P), but it makes perfect sense to us.


So, men, next time you think ‘Wow, being a woman must be so great, they get all the best clothes and they’ve got smaller feet,’ think again my friends. Think again.



Becky says things about … the extreme perils of home beauty remedies

I love a quick fix. I love websites that tell me I don’t need to go and spend 80 quid on a miracle cream that’ll make my skin glow and my eyes sparkle and my boobs inflate or whatever, and that I actually only need to go to my kitchen cupboard for things that’ll make me beautiful.

So yesterday when I read that a paste made with lemon juice and turmeric will help fade acne scars, revitalise my pores and generally make me look fabulous, I thought

“Well hey, I have those things! What a super smashing idea! Let’s definitely do that!”

Turmeric. You know, turmeric – that yellow spice that makes curries yellow and that stains your fingers yellow when you cook with it and you can’t get the yellow out of your skin for ages because it’s really, really yellow – that turmeric.

So, after checking through many, many websites that this was a genuine remedy and that it actually worked and that nothing bad would happen, I happily mixed together one tablespoon of yellow turmeric and a squeeze of highly acidic lemon juice to form a smooth, yellow paste.

And I happily patted it all over my face.

“Goodness me, that really is very yellow”

I thought.

“I certainly hope it comes out!”

So I left it on for the suggested 10 – 15 minutes, looking forward to my impending glowing and vibrant skin and complete disappearance of any acne scars lurking below the surface.

And after 15 minutes I washed off the slightly crusty yellow paste, filling the bathroom sink with nuclear yellow water. And looked in the mirror.

“No matter, I just need to scrub it with a hot flannel for a bit”

I thought.

So I scrubbed at my face with a flannel that was hotter than the sun and waited for the yellow to come out. I scrubbed and scrubbed my delicate face with this coarse scalding flannel and waited to not be yellow anymore.

After ten minutes of hard scrubbing, and definitely having gone from being happy to not happy at all, I looked in the mirror.

This was getting serious. My face was nearly bleeding, I was nearly crying, and I was still yellow.

There was only one thing for it.

I had to rub lemon juice on my face.

Stick with me on this one – it is a natural bleaching agent, which is why it was in the paste in the first place – there are lots of websites confirming this and as I’d had such brilliant luck with following websites so far, why would it be any different now?

So I got a bowl of lemon juice and some cotton wool, and proceeded to scrub my face.

Seriously, Kevin from Home Alone had nothing on me.

It hurt. Really hurt. Rubbing lemon juice into your face isn’t something that should ever be done. ‘Do not rub lemon juice into your face’ is one of the rules in the Great Book of Life, somewhere between ‘Do not eat needles’ and ‘Do not sit on fire’.

But, it was working.

Very, very gradually I was becoming less jaundiced and more red raw and bleeding.

Eventually, after several extremely painful minutes of rubbing acid into my face, I looked almost normal.

Well, kind of.

So, f*** home beauty remedies. Go out and spend 80 quid on a chemical-crammed lotion and rub the hell out of your face with it. Whatever you do


Trust me.