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family: Bizarre The Ingredients.

Byline: dorinda mccann

WHENEVER a newface cream is advertised on the telly, you can guarantee that my girls will go straight out and buy it - they are an adman's dream.

They believe every word and don't care how far fetched or bizarre the ingredients. If someone told them horse manure would combat wrinkles they'd be slapping it on.

We're all want to look younger and there's nothing wrong with that but I'd be far more impressed if the women they used on the face creamads were getting on a bit rather than fresh faced 30-somethings who have no business having wrinkles anyway.

I'm a firm believer in genetics when it comes to skin - if your parents had good skin then you will too; if they had a face like an old saddle by time they were 40 then it's tough luck I'mafraid, as all the creams in the world aren't going to iron yours out.

Maybe they do help a little but skin is waterproof otherwise we'd all blow up like balloons when we got wet; so I can't see how any cream is supposed to get deeper than the top layer.

My mother would never use soap on her face and as a child I thought it most unfair that she made me use it on mine. I hated washing my face, especially before we had the bathroom installed.

We used to have a white enamel bowl with a navy rim and this was never used for anything other than washing ourselves. It couldn't be used to wash dishes for example, because that would have tainted either us or the dishes - I'm not quite sure which.

This bowl was kept under the sink behind a cretonne curtain that hung on a wire and hid a multitude of sins. Old jam jars, some half full of purple turps and holding paint brushes; bars of red Lifebuoy carbolic and Puritan soap; boxes of soap powder - Omo or Tide, Parazone bleach, Jeyes Fluid and the flit gun that went with it.

Here too was kept the deep purple methylated spirits used to prime the Tilly lamp and the paraffin that it ran on. I liked to put my head behind the curtain and sniff to get a whiff of the deeply satisfying smells that used to come from there.

They reminded me of the Emporium in Llandysul where my mother shopped periodically. It had a wooden floor, a bentwood chair for the customers, high wooden shelves full of tins; a bacon slicer on the counter and a marble slab where the cheese was cut with a wire.

Hanging from pegs on a wire above our heads, pairs of Wellington boots hung alongside pairs of plimsolls and the smell of rubber, cheese, bacon, paraffin and soap mixed together created a smell so distinctive that if I shut my eyes I can remember it still.

When the bathroom was put in my mother was delighted. The bowl was no longer used to wash in and found its way outside the back door where it remained until I left home, a chipped and cracked a reminder of my early childhood and my loathing of face washing.

The only thing I ever saw my mother use on her face was oatmeal - which I found very funny - and, following this face scrub, a dollop of Pond's Vanishing Cream. I loved the pale pink colour and delicate smell of it and couldn't wait to be old enough to use it myself.

By the time I was old enough I had more spots than a ladybird's behind so the only face creamI used was a spot creamcalled Clearasil which came in either white or skin tone. This was a very strange orangey colour - goodness knows whose skin tone it had been modelled on but Hiawatha springs to mind.

The rubber, cheese, bacon, paraffin and soap created a smell so distinctive, if I shut my eyes I remember it still
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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