Face value

I’ll admit it: I’m quite a late bloomer when it comes to self-maintenance. I only started tweezing my eyebrows when I was 15, after I was made to get them threaded so that they would be presentably shaped and not growing in every direction. I began hair treatments when I was 18, and going for monthly Brazilian waxes when I was 20, the latter of which was the result of being extremely bored during winter break. Facials and pedicures (not even manicures, because those would be ruined within a day) followed when I was about 22.

And I adopted a strict skincare regiment at 24.

Yes, 24.

All my adolescent life, I battled oily skin and breakouts more, I believed, than was normal for a teenager. If there were one thing I could pride myself on starting early, it was the use of facial blotters, concealer and powder (Johnson & Johnson’s Clean & Clear, as was pushed onto me by my mother, after which I graduated to Maybelline). And so my battle against a bad complexion raged on, from trying Neutrogena to the extremes of Roaccutane to maintaining it with contraceptives, and getting so frustrated in between that occasionally I threw up my hands and stopped using anything except cleanser.

Now, after years of experimenting and gritting my teeth through oily skin, and then skin so dry that it flaked and made my face resemble a mosaic piece, I’ve found a brand I can say has helped my skin look more normal, and, thankfully, less oily and/or flaky. That is not to say it’s not without its drawbacks: strong, fruity smells and something that makes my eyes water throughout the night so that I wake up with my hair stuck to my face.

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