The Blackhead Dilemma

It usually takes two years for me to listen to my mom. She knows this, so if it’s an issue important to her, she comes after me for two years.

This time around it was about general skin-care, my face to be more exact. She kept on and on about how I was ruining the beautiful face she had created, that my lack of lotioning and exfoliating was leading to, “You look like lizard face”.

In year 1 she questioned my manhood. “Real men take care of face. Look, George Clooney.” In year 2 she resorted to guilt. “Do one thing for me for Christmas gift. Get a facial.”

Just between you and me, I really don’t care. I just instinctively (or stubbornly) say no.

But this last time I went home she used a new word. Blackhead.

What a disgusting name. Her language was so much more vivid too.

“Blackhead turn into scar and it stay on nose and your nose get to be like mushroom.”

Again, I ignored her. But when I came back to NY, that word just stuck. Blackhead, Blackhead, Blackhead.

All of a sudden when I would look in the mirror, I wouldn’t see my face, I’d see a million blackheads crawling around, building an empire.

It took two years but I finally relented.

A lifetime of ignoring your skin does have its consequences though. Where do I go? What do I buy? I was in the dark.

I remember living with a guy one time who used these nose patches for blackhead removal, so I figured Duane Reade (that’s a pharmacy for you West-coasters) would have something.

When I walked in, I was even more lost. Just too many products. And what’s worse, I felt self-conscious about asking for help. How do I describe it?

“Excuse me miss, can you direct me to the uhm…Blackhead removal…patch?”


“Miss, as you can see, I have a major problem with Blackheads. Can you help?”

No. There was just no discreet way of saying it.

I spent half an hour going aisle to aisle looking for it. Finally, an observant staffer approached me.

“Um, excuse me sir. Can I help you find something?”

“Yes, erm. I’m looking for….I’m looking for skin-care products!” (Perfect!)

“That’s over here on this aisle. Is there something specific you were looking for?”

“Oh no, just some lotion. Thanks.”

She walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Now in the right aisle, I was able to find what I was looking for.

Deep-cleansing Pore Strips

See, that’s why these copy writers get paid the big bucks. I’m going to have to remember that. Deep-cleansing pore strips.

Anyways, I take the box and get to the front of the line…but who should be ringing me up? The woman who helped me.

She looked at the box (and I swear she took a closer look at my face…my hideous pores to be exact) and asked me,

“So, did you find the lotion you were looking for?”

I cringed, paid my $5.57 and walked out thinking…

Sigh, the price of beauty.


1 Comment

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One response to “The Blackhead Dilemma

  1. daniel park

    Korea has products for every skin care need imaginable, including BB (whitening) cream for men that packs in a little make up to cover up blemishes. “The Face Shop” and “Missha” are a pretty common sight in Seoul subway stations. Also – there are mirrors everywhere. You get to the point of being okay with your vanity here. Shamelessly checking the perfection of your hair in a packed elevator; asking the clerk at the Face Shop if they have men’s skin whitening cream, acne stickers, or black-head removing nose patches. Let me know if you ever need me to mail some over. ^^

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