Welcome to FaceTime, a segment in which we interrogate the beauty whims, zit-melting strategies and self-care views of cool girls around the world. First up is Betsy Greaves, an Australian social media and beauty producer living in London. Culture! On the one hand, she's partial to the magic weaved by cult French exfoliant, Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. On the other, she uses a moisturizer that smells of 'yoghurt gone rancid' (her words, not ours). Read on. This thing gets interesting.
What’s your skin *like*?! What kind of—if any!—zits do you typically get?
This is soooo bad and hard for me to admit: But I've started popping them if they have a head. I never ever used to and was always so proud of myself for leaving them alone, but I can't face the (very real) scenario of being in someone's physical presence and knowing that I'm essentially forcing them to look at pus coming out of my face. I was always taught to put tea tree oil directly onto spots, so I do that too. I also use Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50W (an AHA/BHA toner/exfoliant), but I've only been using it for a week and can't really comment on whether or not it's working.
Wow, very hot.
It's also worth adding that I get really mild Keratosis pilaris on my arms/back/chest and use a mean combination of olive oil soap, a Salux cloth, and Amlactin to treat it. It works so well! Amlactin smells like nothing on Earth (and not in a good way) but the masochist I didn't know was in me until now really loves it. It's like one of those bath bombs that changes color, only it's a body lotion that starts off smelling like Greek yoghurt gone rancid and ends up smelling like at-home hair dye by the time it settles into your skin. Great for ~the bedroom~!
True or false? When it comes to zits, prevention is better than treatment. Why and how?
I mean, I'd say prevention is better, because I don't want them in the first place, but I'm the type to get a spot and deal with it from there, crossing the hypothetical spot bridge when it violently unfolds on my face. So... treatment is better? In my case.
Dumbest thing you’ve ever done to a zit?
I love this use of "dumb" like I'm some big school bully and my zits are my victims. I feel like everything I've done to any spot I've ever had has been dumb. I may or may not have put lemon juice on my face every morning for a few days (don't do this) because I read about it being good for acne and pigmentation. I've poked holes in spots with needles to drain out the pus and reveled in my dermatology skills, which feels dumb, but also kind of cool. My best friend popped my first pimple as a teenager and it squirted all over my bedroom mirror. Also dumb, but formative.
#SELFCARE: a futile millennial buzzword or something you practice with sincerity?
Self-care is such a great excuse for me. I apply it less to skincare/preening and more to food... but I do believe in buying products you absolutely know work for you, whatever the cost (if you're able). Of course, it's so hard to know if your skin's going to like something or not, so I always try to use samples before buying something expensive.
How does this whole self-care thing play out for you?
My routine's pretty uneventful. In the morning I'll just splash my face with cold water, dry it with a towel, and use Embryolisse. At night I use the Lait U cleanser from Biologique Recherche (again, too new to know if it's working) and follow with P50W. The trick with this is to press it into your skin and not wipe it over your face. You're meant to ease into it: two weeks applying it with a wet cotton pad, another two weeks applying it on a dry cotton pad, then you progress to just putting it in your hands and slapping it onto your face. I got bored and felt like I was wasting product by diluting it with water/letting it absorb into a merciless cotton pad, so I moved to using my hands after a week. Probably going to pay the price sooner or later, but #selfcare! I'll let that sit for a minute or so while I brush my teeth, then I'll use Embryolisse again.
Using 400+ MGO Manuka honey on my face as a mask. Couldn't really tell you what it does—antibacterial? Hydrating? Cleansing for sure—but my skin loves it so much. Expensive, but it works.
Have you ever bought a beauty/skincare item because of its aesthetic appeal rather than its efficacy?!
When I was young and naïve and knew nothing about beauty I spent all my money on Kiehl's because I thought it looked cool and legitimate. It didn't really work for my skin, but I didn't want to admit that—it looked so nice in my cabinet!!! My downward spiral into messing with products kind of started there. These days I'll always try to find products that work and look good in equal measure, but sometimes I have to make sacrifices (Amlactin: case in point).