Dear Formerly Fun : Angels Butts, Clogged Pores, Pro-active & Bat Boy

Hey There, Beautiful!

I keep meaning to send this along, as I'm kind of at a loss of what to do. If anyone could answer this question, I think it would be you. My younger son (16), who once had the skin of an angel butt is now facing that whole teenager blemish thing. I've bought him ProActive, which might work if he used it on a semi-regular basis. Lots of blackheads on his nose and chin that I am doing everything in my power to avoid "helping" with. So, here's the query: Is it worthwhile to take him to an esthetician to get some extraction-esque facials? Is this done for teenaged boys?I'm just wondering if this could potentially help out, if it were done on a regular basis, or is it just a short-term solution? Inquiring minds want to know. While you're at it, maybe you know what happened to Bat Boy? He's been out of the news lately & I think they're grooming him for heading up Security for the Inauguration.

Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to provide!

Dear Shelley,
First, let me assure you that Bat Boy is alive and well and much to my surprise residing here in Southern California. He has just finished his first screenplay and has been seen several times in a public lip lock with a certain Hilton girl heiress.

As to your oily offspring. First, a little Acne 101. Blackheads, also known as open comedones, are follicles filled with plugs of sebum and sloughed-off skin cells. The oxidation of melanin gives the material in the follicle the typical black color. Blackheads will not magically go away on their own if left alone and acne can result from infection of the oil gland due to the blockage by the blackhead. Therefore, preventing and removing blackheads helps control acne.

You could certainly take your son in for a mini-facial. You could also attempt a basic facial yourself. Perhaps getting squeezed a little will motivate your son to stick to a routine. I frequently do facials on teenagers, though I omit the shoulder and decollete massage because with a teenage boy you never know what might pop up.

Instead I stick to a thorough cleansing with steam to soften the blackheads. I like to use a slightly oilier cleanser because in this instance, like dissolves like. I use a light scrub if there is no active, angry acne(scrub will only further irritate this condition) or a light chemical peel. I then cover my fingertips with folded tissue and gently squeeze to push out the blackhead. Never use fingernails or the metal implements designed for blackhead removal. Fingernails leave small cuts in the skin and with a comedone extractor, it is too easy to use excessive pressure and injure the skin. Plus, they are not very effective. Anything that doesn't come out relatively easy isn't ready yet and should be left alone. Excessive squeezing can damage the skin surround the pore and can actually increase the size of the pore leading to more blackheads in the future.

As far as care goes, your son can keep it very basic and doable. Put the ProActive cleanser in the shower and tell him to lather his face up and let the cleanser sit softening the oil and debris while he "does other things." Have him use the treatment lotion before bed, it's okay if he doesn't wash his face first, not ideal but if he's sixteen let's keep it simple. Then use the toner when possible. Do what I do with my husband, soak a cotton pad with it, find your son somewhere on the computer and swipe it on his face. If he could wash in the am, lotion in the pm, this would go a long way toward keeping his skin the very picture of cherubic heiny it once was.
Postscript: When looking for images, it is advisable not to type in 'angel butt', oy vey, the internet is a begrimed and squalid place.

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People in the Sun said... January 11, 2009 at 8:51 PM  

God help me. I had to go to Google image search to look for myself. I saw that "Wet Paint" sign and had to make sure, you know what I mean?

Now that that's out of the way, the new Google icon is ugly!

Anonymous said... January 11, 2009 at 9:54 PM  

Thank you so much for your prompt and informative answers - I just KNEW you were my go-to person. I will endeavor to employ the "tone and release" method - this could work nicely.

As for the image issue, just try to imagine what runs through my inquiring mind on a daily basis. Quite terrifying!

Thanks again - your a peach!

Hugs, Shelley xo

Anonymous said... January 12, 2009 at 2:11 AM  

they should teach you this stuff in School. I got bad acne and eventually had to go on Roaccutane which revolutionised my life. Now I want to go up to people and say "it doesn't have to be this way!!!"
I'm sure some of the advice my mum gave me like "eat less chocolate" "wash your face more" weren't so helpful...

Anonymous said... January 12, 2009 at 6:44 AM  

I use the products from, and my skin looks magical after using benzoyl peroxide. I think it's probably cheaper than proactiv and I think it works better.

hope this helps!

Rassles said... January 12, 2009 at 8:12 AM  

When I was a teenager my crazy Aunt Betty thought she knew goddamn everything and to cure my acne (which wasn't really ever that bad, just you know, average thirteen-year old girl zits) she would soak a piece of Wonder bread in milk and make me keep it on my face.

This happened about for times a year for two years, every single family holiday, right after dinner.

Then when I was fifteen and basically clear-skinned, she attributed to the fact eight times in my life, she made me put fucking milk-soaked bread on my face.

She thought she was a genius.

Rassles said... January 12, 2009 at 8:13 AM  

Crap. Four times a year, not "for times."

I suck.

Rachael said... January 12, 2009 at 8:38 AM  

Thankfully, I never had teenaged acne. But now that I'm 29, my prenancy hormones have decided it would be a fun time for me to look like a teenager. Oh how I love this baby! (No, really, I do!)

formerly fun said... January 12, 2009 at 8:59 AM  


I hate to tell you but your batty Aunt Betty was at least partially right. The combo of bread and milk can create lactic acid which is a natural exfoliant and skin softener found in schloads of skin care products. Still, Aunt Betty could have reached for something from the bathroom cupboard as easily as the fridge.

Take heart that she didn't try the urine as skincare approach. One of girlfriends insists she has good skin b/c her mom would wipe her face with her own diaper growing up. Urine contains urea, again an ingredient found to be effective for many skin problems. My suggestion, just read the labels looking for the good stuff and leave the piss on face and food as medical treatment to the rest of the internet.

Bimbo Baggins said... January 12, 2009 at 12:21 PM  

Sooooo, if lactic acid is an exfoliant, does that mean I should rub my face in my vomit?

Practically Joe said... January 12, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

"Anything that doesn't come out relatively easy isn't ready yet and should be left alone."
Like my wife needs yet another reason!

Anonymous said... January 13, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

I'm thinking of coming to California to get a facial from you...just reading that made me relax and dream of angel butt skin...would that be self-indulgent of me? A flight across the country to have a funny smart person squeeze my 41 year old pores?

Bluestreak said... January 13, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

soaked bread? piss?

Man people do weird shit. i'd rather spend a ridiculous percentage of my salary on some magical cream.

Arizaphale said... January 18, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

I shall pass this advice on to my 13 year old Baby Angel who is beginning her own battle with the blackhead.
Meanwhile I think it is an indication of any deity's cruel sense of humour that he/she/it gives me cavernous wrinkles and pimples at the same time >:-(

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