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17-71: Spots

March 14th 2013 / Scarlett Curtis, Scarlett Edwards-Jones

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Scarlett Curtis is 17; Scarlett Edwards-Jones is 71. Both have spots to contend with, but while one deals with teenage breakouts the other tries to fade her brown spots. Here's how...

Scarlett Curtis, aged 17

Spots making your life a living hell? Here are five ways to make sure teenage breakouts don't get the better of you.

1. Talk about it

I know talking about your skin is the last thing in the world that you want to do when you’re under attack from a large army of spots, but what you’ll soon realise is that EVERYONE worries about their skin. Even people with the most crystal clear, unblemished, clean as a baby’s bottom skin worry about their skin from time to time. So in the same way you would rush into school screaming “Don’t even look at me I’m having the worst hair day OF ALL TIME”, don’t be afraid to share your worries and woes about your skin with your friends. They might even have some helpful tips on what to do, or they might have a spare paper bag you can put over your face. Either one will do.

2. Don’t give in to pimple peer pressure

When it comes to looking after your skin, EVERYONE has an opinion. From a good old-fashioned spot cream to rubbing your face in garlic it’s easy to spend half your life trying out new spot creams and cleansers. I’m not saying don’t try out different products to find the one that’s right for you, just don’t feel that if it worked for someone else it’s guaranteed to work for you. Everyone has different skin and the only thing that can make a bad batch of spots worse is if you spend all your allowance and time when you were meant to be finishing your coursework on crazy ways to fix your skin.

3. Having said that… drink water

If there’s even a miniscule chance that more water will help your skin you might as well go for it. It’s good for the rest of you and about £50 cheaper than anything you can get from Space.NK.

4. Have a ‘No Make-up’ day

I know the words ‘no make-up’ might not make much sense on a make-up column but giving your skin a break from 10 layers of Rimmel once in a while really will help. Not only will it give your skin a breather but it will also mean you don’t become too reliant on your make-up or too afraid to go out without it. Although make-up is, of course, fun, it’s important to make sure you still like the way you look without it. Otherwise if you’re ever stranded on a desert island you’re going to be in a bit of a pickle. And not just because of the whole ‘being stranded on a desert island’ thing.

5. And if all else fails… play join the dots with your face

While this may sound a bit insensitive you have to face the fact that this could be the most fun you can have with a bad case of spots. Sometimes, at the end of a long day of rubbing your face with Clearasil and shovelling on concealer, the only thing you can do is sit down with an eyeliner (no sharpies, or that really would make things worse) and try to make pictures out of the spots (and feel free to use freckles and moles) on your face. I say, if you’re gonna have bad skin, you might as well make a game of it...

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Scarlett Edwards-Jones, aged 71

When people say they have decided to grow old gracefully I wonder why. Usually they seem to me to be giving up the ghost on trying to look good. It is an excuse to collapse on the sofa in front of the TV with the rum truffles and a glass (or two) of wine. You then stop colouring your hair; "I think grey is so elegant and dignified", throw out the jeans and move into one of those ghastly velour tracksuit things. You stop trying to strive for a size ten dress size and chub up nicely to size 16, invest in floaty cardigans and shawls. Why does one have to grow old gracefully when previously you have never been graceful anyway? I am totally against it and have not the slightest intention on going down that path.

After many years of sun worship I find myself with these rather annoying and plain freckles, some on my face and some on my hands. There are various names for these solar lentigines, according to Google. From the same source various options are on offer to get rid of them; cryotherapy, which involves spraying the spots with liquid nitrogen - this is a surgical treatment; you can also have a chemical peel which does not sound so ghastly; or perhaps laser therapy. Before I go down any of these rather unnerving roads I have decided to try something far less drastic.

Recently I have been trying out some creams to diminish these sun spots, or age spots if you must. They are surprisingly effective. Five different potions on five different areas. When I started it was actually rather alarming because my summer tan on my face and hands completely disappeared! That took about three days, so the spots stood out in all their glory. I had no idea I had so many - the suntan had disguised them beautifully. So there I was with a white face and lots of brown spots. Not a pretty sight. That was a month ago; now I am used to the white face and the spots have definitely faded thanks to a few targeted products.

Garnier Dark Spot Corrector

Garnier’s Dark Spot Corrector, £9.99, was excellent. It felt good from the start and has helped fade some of the spots. It says within four weeks dark spots and imperfections appear reduced for 73 per cent of women. In eight weeks even more reduction and still more in 12, so I will keep going with it.

Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

Estée Lauder's Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, £47, arrived in a delicious little dispenser. It made my face feel soft and has also faded some of the brown spots. I am still waiting for the “fresh, radiant, flawlessly even skin” to arrive fast, as promised on the box but it is working. Perhaps it is just early days.

StriVectin-EV Get Even Spot Repair

StriVectin-EV Get Even Spot Repair, £45 was very good; its pen formula nd looked rather professional and medical. It worked very well on really nasty spots, but unfortunately the tube is so small that it only lasted three weeks.

Provenance Solutions Dark Spots Cream

This ‘solutions from nature’ Dark Spots Cream by Provenance, £13 was a pleasant surprise. I had never heard of this Canadian brand but the cream worked very well on my hands. I shall definitely continue to use it and can't wait to see what happens in the next few weeks.

Philosophy Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector

The Philosophy Miracle Worker, £52, showed the least interesting results, so far anyway. A natty little dispenser but annoyingly coloured so it messed up the sheets on my bed, which was a bit of a pain.

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