Don’t Try This At Home: Occasional Adult Acne Edition

Featuring houmous, aspirin face masks and my nan...
Publish date:
December 17, 2012
adult acne, stevie martin, don't try this at home, Acne cures, home-made beauty treatments

Realising adults get spots is like finding out the amount of calories in cheese . And houmous. Why the juddering arse did nobody tell me a pot of houmous a day is unacceptable? And I don't want to discuss the cheese situation.

If I'm now unable to eat pots of houmous and blocks of cheese, I'd expect to at least be allowed spot-free skin. What's next, wrinkles at 26? SHUT UP, THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

Nobody tells you about the spot thing when you're a teenager because you're young and already having to deal with weird hair, wanking and emotional meltdowns (or "wailing" for those into alliteration).

Anyway, I'd have liked some forewarning that my skin will never be normal. I think there was one year it was OK, but I was a fresher and too drunk to appreciate my ability to not look dug up when hungover. That was my heyday. My peak. By the time my hormonal spots clear, it'll be just about time for the age spots to set in. Mother Nature is, for want of a better word, a massive bastard.

So I wage war against my own personal spot beard every month (so named due to the placement of the recurring pimples) and, in the past, turned to homemade remedies because medicated soaps/creams/gels tend to strip my face of all its skin.

Have you seen the bit in Indiana Jones when the bad guy gets old really fast and his face sort of falls away? I'd recommend Clearasil facial scrubs to achieve this look. At the very least, they'll make you look like a dragon's arse covered in foundation. And spots.

NB I'm talking about the odd breakout here. If you have consistent problems with acne, do consult your doctor as medicinal soaps/creams/gels can help.

In terms of hormonal spots, women’s magazines bloody LOVE throwing in nonsensical DIY spot treatments. Dab it with a flannel (who actually uses flannels?), drain it with a cotton bud, rub your face on a mahogany door, I've tried them all regularly and they have all regularly failed.

Don't Try These Acne Treatments At Home:Tea tree oil: This is the apparent saviour of everything. While good for an array of maladies, apply it to a spot and said spot will sting then do nothing but become incredibly hostile towards concealer. Apply makeup over a tea tree oiled spot and you'll be merrily flaking all the way to the bank. If you work in a bank.

Squeezing it: No, everyone knows this is a bad idea. It's messy and will scar and your spot will weep throughout the day like I wept through Amour, the new Micheal Haneke movie, (do not see this film- you will do the sort of crying where you make noises on the in-breath) and nobody wants something crying out of their face that isn't their own eyes.

Toothpaste: Damages the skin and causes scarring. You have to remove the toothpaste in the morning after it's welded itself to your face, subsequently tearing the poor (now minty fresh) bastard off your chin with it.

Lavender oil: Smells like your nan's linen and does nothing. May send you to sleep. If it does, you may dream about your nan. Or my nan (she's great).

Aspirin face mask:I've tried this for the last two nights and, while my skin feels nice, I can't see any difference in terms of my spot beard. Recipe here, and make sure you use uncoated tablets. At first, I used coated ones and when crushing them in the bowl they looked like dead m&ms.

Vitamin D: Yes this is good for scarring but, when I tried it on my spot-prone face, the oily nature of the oil you're supposed to rub onto the scars made my face oily because it's oil and oil causes spots. So it didn't really work out. Oil.

Dabbing it with boiling water and cold water alternately:Apparently dabbing the spot with the corner of a flannel soaked in boiling water until it drains helps. While the spot will decrease in size, it will also be difficult to conceal as the draining action leaves a sort of sad, red crater. Some people also recommended PIERCING IT (see previous link), which I've never tried and never will, cheers.


Dotting bits of facemask onto them overnightMy mother advised this and it dried out the spot so intensely results in a crusty dry spot that stays forever and doesn't heal. Like the scars on your heart from a passionate first love etc. Removal is also difficult. See: toothpaste.

Drinking lots of water (see: every website, magazine, newspaper ever): Blah blah eight glasses blah look at me and my water blah blah I'm a prick despite my hydration (translation: when you drink eight glasses of water a day, your skin is less prone to outbreaks. However, I am annoyed I know this advice works and yet find it impossible to follow even though it's so incredibly simple).

However, it's not all spot-scarring and my nan's linen. Here are a couple of DIY spot treatments that I've found actually work.

DO try this at home:Sudocrem: Apply this when you're having a particularly bad breakout, leave it on all night, and everything will be soothed in the morning. And it comes off easily. One issue is that, if you're not single, your boyfriend may swallow some of it/refuse to have sex with you because you look like Father Christmas (if your spots are arranged in the shape of a beard).

Going on the combined pill: This does help but, be warned, you may have to try quite a few before you don't get bizarre side effects. For example, the first one I tried helped my spot beard but I cried all the time, was fat and, somewhat ironically, sort of grew an actual beard. On the plus side, I didn't give birth which was nice.

Do any of you guys suffer from irritatingly sporadic hormonal spots? How do YOU deal with them? And, most importantly, do yours form the shape of a Spot Beard? I hope I'm not the only one.

Tweet Stevie about houmous, spots and Indiana Jones (BIG FAN) at @5tevieM.