Barbie spot

How to get rid of spots // The honest answer…

Zits. Pimples. Blemishes – as if anyone uses that word outside of a Clearasil advert – even the different names for spots are horrible.

Barbie spot

‘Zits’; it’s too similar to ‘nits’ or even… well, a lot of horrible things that life would surely be sweeter without. But hey, we must face up to the fact that many of us fight a daily battle against vicious pustles that spring up on our complexions like flowers in a meadow.

Spots = bastards.

I remember being warned of the perils of spots around age 10, when they were included in the raft of frankly terrifying things that heralded the dawn of puberty (another word that we never use outside of textbooks; in the real world, you are either a kid, or a teenager. None of this ‘pre-pubescent’ nonsense.) My PSHE teacher kindly abated our fears by promising that a daily wash with soap and water would keep our innocent skin pale and unblemished. Well, she lied. Fifteen years later, I can verify that what she told us was, indeed, a big fat pile of LIES, and if need be, I’ve got the face to prove it.

The thing is, spots are crap. You could be having the best day ever, wearing the perfect outfit, skipping along with the boy or girl of your dreams (trust me, there is music playing and birds are singing, this is practically a romcom) but you look in a mirror and BAM! You shudder and flinch away like a hobbit at the sight of an ugly whitehead rearing it’s, well, ugly white head. Perfect day successfully ruined, thanks a bloody bunch.

'Oh she's so great, she listens to The Smiths!' Yeah, betcha wouldn't fancy her as much if she had a massive zit.

There are two reactions to an attack of le zits, and your behaviour depends which camp you fall into. There are those who see a spot, sigh resignedly and get on with their life. And then there are those who declare war on that spot and will not rest until it is defeated. If you fall into the latter camp, then I can guarantee that in some point you will have tried one of the following remedies. Here’s a list of the best known anti-spot weapons, trialled and tested by yours truly.

Lemon juice

You know how putting lemon juice on your hair in the sun is meant to give you golden highlights and in NO WAY just turns you into a wasp magnet? Well putting it on spots works just as well as that.

Witch Hazel

Nice and antiseptic feeling, calms that zit the heck down. Doesn’t kill it though.


Moving into slightly more stringent territory, can help kill infections but leaves your face smelling nicely like a public loo.

Any ‘spot zapping’ stick/roll on

Unless these bad boys contain salicylic acid (which does kill spot cooties), don’t bother yourself. Also, a roll on? As in rolling the bacteria all over your face? Yeah, because that sounds like a good idea…


Uh huh, nappy rash cream, on your actual face. The logic is that the grease in these creams stops your skin from producing its own – except you still look really shiny, ‘cos you got baby bum cream all over your mug. Sexxaayy.

Neat bleach

*ahem* yes, some people have even tried that to eliminate a truly gruesome facial explosion. (Desperate times call for desperate measures, ok?!) Great way to give your skin a chemical burn. Toothpaste also burns your skin off, FYI.

Any posh skin care regime

Sales assistants with glowing skin will recommend you spend your hard-earned dollar on lotions and potions, but most of the time, they just don’t work. When you go back for a refund, you notice the assistants are wearing a lot of makeup.


Those who squeeze do not need to be reminded that it just don’t work. It simply makes that small, irritating spot that has been bugging you into a massive angry boil. But we’ll all carry on regardless, because once you pop…

In short, I hate to break the dreadful news that there is no foolproof way to eliminate zits. Wonderproduct ‘Ultrabland’ by Lush does seem to keep things settled, but if a spot wants to appear, it will.

spotty Katy Perry

And the best response in that situation?

Leave the blasted thing alone.

It’ll be gone in a day or two, and you won’t have spent hours of time and oodles of cashmonies on trying to get rid of it. The good news is, when you reach about 30 your skin chemistry changes and they go away forever. Only to be replaced by wrinkles, dry skin, fine lines… seriously, why do we even bother?

  • Comments

  • avatar

    You missed ‘sandpapering your face’ off the list. I of course have NEVER tried that, but I er, saw a , um, friend, who said she did that thing what I never done…

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