It’s not that you don’t care. I know you do (unless you’re a stranger on the tube eyeing me suspiciously, in which case stop staring). It’s that you don’t get it. No one gets it unless they have sensitive , troubled, problematic, pain in the arse skin that doesn’t behave. And that’s OK - just don’t say these well-meaning but equally irritating things to anyone who is struggling with their skin…
1. [Recoiling in horror] "Oh, that looks… sore”
YOU CAN’T CATCH IT. Yes a rash can look horrendous (in fact, even the word ‘rash’ is horrendous - I prefer the much more medical-sounding term ‘reaction’ at all times) but believe me it feels worse, and you making me self conscious about it doesn’t really help matters *itches*.
2. "You seem tired"
Zzzzzzsorry what? Sleepy? Me? That’s because I’m taking five antihistamines a day just to keep myself from tearing my skin off. Sorry. Maybe make yourself useful and get me a coffee?
3. "Let’s go to a spa"
Sure, I’d love to put my swimsuit on and show off my patchy skin and have a massage all the while wondering if these essential oils are going to burn my skin off. Sign me up and charge me £100 for the pleasure.
4. "Have you put anything on it?"
Me? No, I thought I’d just let this reaction take hold of my entire body and see how the rash develops. OH THE THINGS I’VE TRIED. I’ve thrown pills, calamine , steroids, cold compresses, everything at this red, angry bastard and no, it hasn’t gone down yet. Time is a healer, or so they say. See you in six months.
5. "Go to the doctor, they’ll fix it!"
Oh, rilly? Not any of the doctors I’ve ever seen...
6. "Yes, I always find my skin is worse when I eat badly too"
Sorry, did you just food-shame me? These ‘spots' aren’t from that Crunchie I just devoured, they’re from hormones, unsuitable beauty products and unfortunate genes. And perhaps stress *glares*.
7. "Try this product, it’s great for sensitive skin"
Is it though? Is it actually? Let me just get my magnifying glass and read the…. oh, no, wait… contains a ‘light perfume' you say. And SLS . And a whole heap of potent essential oils. Thank you but please take it far, far away and trust me to know what I’m doing. I may not have any kind of beauty qualification but I’ve been reading ingredients lists and dermatology sites for as long as you’ve been reading Harry Potter.
8. [Aiming at me, finger on the button] “Test this perfume out!"
WHY DO YOU WANT TO HURT ME?
9. “But it’s hypoallergenic"
10. “Let’s go somewhere really hot for our holiday this year"
*weeps and Googles ‘ prickly heat remedies ’*
What are your bugbears when you've had a reaction or have troubled skin? Let me know in the comments!