SOS angry face syndrome

M: Morning. My face is burning. GAAAAH.

E: Why? What did you put on it? I’ve told you about trying to wash your face with Mr Muscle.

M: Nothing. I have gone back to a minimal, gentle routine because it is so ANGRY.

E: I wonder why it is angry? (WATER)

M: I blame all this stuff I’ve been poking for Face Goop. And Laura Mercier. And a virulent Ren mask. And Belgeland water.

E: Not the itchy nude minerals?

M: No, I have new ones that aren’t itchy and that seem to calm it down. But it’s basically super dry.

E: Strange. Verrrry strange (WATER)

M: I don’t think I realized how dry it was getting when I was cycling throughout the winter and now it is DAMAGED. It’s dry, spotty, lined, red, and it BURNS.

E: Hmmm. What miracle remedies do you have?

M: Nothing. I have NOTHING. No holy water, no tiny scientists in a tube, no elk-musk-testicle ointment. I am in pain and I have NOTHING.

E: When I was having a dry skin emergency earlier this year, someone told me to take those Imedeen capsules. She said they sound like bullshit but they really work.

M: Oh? Use them as in eat them?

E: No, dance the fucking chachacha with them. What do you think?

M: Listen, punk, sometimes people squeeze those capsules onto their faces. I have seen it. I might have some somewhere actually. I need something to tell my skin to sit down and shut the fuck up, and then to give it a nice pat on the head when it starts behaving.

E: Can I just take a moment to say water? You are shite. M is hot and burny and dry. I am spotty. And I am doing nothing else different at all. It must be the badness coming out. Turns out the badness was just fine where it was, wasn’t it, water? I’m keeping my badness next time, thanks.

M: Don’t anger the badness.

E: Yup. No good can come of this watery exorcism, as evidenced by my face from HELL.

M: What about this Wild Rose Beauty Balm from Neal’s Yard:

It is supposed to be genius, but I am suspicious of it because it has patchouli in it, which is basically squeezed out hippie.

E: Essence of hippie. I knew it. Neal’s Yard. You try and make out you are like, proper, mainstream beauty industry sell outs, but scratch the surface and you are still a bunch of tofu knitting, tiger balm, incense freaks. I get possessed by the unquiet spirit of Richard Nixon every time I see one of your blue glass jars.

M: I smell white dreadlocks.

E: You don’t want to squeeze a hippie. That’s what you get when you squeeze a hippie.

M: Or how about the Weleda rose cream? Someone wanted us to test that.

E: That would probably be cheaper. Because we got told off yesterday for only testing expensive stuff.

M: Yes. £9.95. Pas mal, pas mal. But I might try the almond one instead because it is for sensitive skin. What are you going to do about your face spottiness?

E: Nothing. Ignore it.

M: That sounds reasonable.

E: I have covered it in Armani Luminous Silk and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.

M: What happened to the magical Laura Mercier powder of fluffy kittens?

E: Yeah, that’s still good. But I was in the bathroom and the Armani was all there was to hand and it has, ‘ow you say? Coverage.

M: Coverage, innit. Hmm, looking at this Weleda again. Why do people put witch hazel in everything? Witch Hazel is EVIL. It has witch essence in it.

E: Oh? I have not had problems with Witch Hazel.

M: Pah. That is because you are 37% witch yourself.

E: Now you are just getting mean and abusive. It’s your face of fire doing that. Hey, we could ask readers for advice on your dry face.

M: SOS dry spotty skin of doom emergency! Red, hot, and burny. Grrrrr.

E: Please, Facegoop readers, help M solve her red hot dry spotty skin disaster before she hurts me. This morning she sent me a picture of a two headed kitten. I am afraid of what will happen if it doesn’t improve.

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M likes bright powders in tiny pots and anything that will make her hair more Jen Brill and less Shaun the Sheep.


  • March 19, 2010


    If it’s really bad, maybe just some plain Aloe Vera gel or cream? (Or even rubbed on straight from the plant but that will turn your face green. Still, you could think of it as a colour corrector.) I know this is like squeezed hippy ultra but that shit works on burny red things.

  • March 19, 2010

    lucy fishwife

    Best thing I have EVER used for Angry Face Syndrome (and I’m ginger so go crimson even looking at a photo of a low-wattage eco lightbulb) is Johnson’s Baby Moisturising Cream With Aloe Vera etc. Is it called Baby Naturals? Frankly too good for bottoms of small humans as sinks into parched red face like the kiss of an angel. AAAaaaaaaahhhhhh.

  • March 19, 2010


    Darphin Chamomile oil. Go buy. Go now.

    This is what happens boys and girls, when inexperienced and unqualified people play with water. I hope lessons have been learnt.

  • March 19, 2010

    Josa Young

    Vaseline oddly is often the best thing, but only at night otherwise you are too shiny. Good for eyelashes as well.

  • March 19, 2010


    Vasline intensive moisture will help with the extreme dryness, or Bio oil, apparently that cures everything skin related.

  • March 19, 2010

    Mrs Trefusis

    Weleda Calendula. It says it’s for babies. This is a lie. It is for red angry itchy babies and, erm, grownups

  • March 19, 2010


    Sounds horribly like acne rosacea, sorry. It is grim and leperous but can be helped with antibiotics and kind face care. I am still trying to find what is best for me. Worse thing is it appears randomly although alcohol and spicy food can cause flare ups. Also stressheatcoldnewmakeuptiredness, depressing list runs on ad nauseum

  • March 19, 2010


    Go immediately to Boots vitamin section + buy a tub of their evening primrose or starflower or Vitamin E oil capsules (I like the latter: check they don’t also contain soy oil). Carefully bite a tiny hole in one end of the capsule or use a pin if you are feeling hygienic but honestly, who keeps pins in their bathroom?? Warm resulting oil in palms + slather onto scaly face. Trap in with a generic moisturizer + go to bed with a towel on the pillow since the oil, he stain.

    I use this on my parched face most nights but the greatest commendation was when my lovely friend Tom had to have a skin graft + he literally could not sleep for the itching as the bit they’d planed his skin from healed. This really helped as it softens + soothes. Good luck M.

  • March 19, 2010


    I have angry skin on occasion and the BEST thing i have ever used and still use is Emulsifying Cream…. this stuff looks and feels like lard. YOu get it over the counter at Boots and you can use it to wash your face and moisturise and use as lip salve.It doesnt look or smell exciting and glam but its mega cheap and brilliant and doesnt burn – go try. I cant be without mine and trust me, i have excema, occaional puffy eyes and THIS WORKS on dry, scaly, painful skin

  • March 19, 2010



    I for one have learnt my lesson. It is tea only from now on.

  • March 19, 2010


    I use Neal’s Yard Frankincense Hydrating Cream, and also their Power Berry stuff. No hippy smeg in them, and they are good. And they come in a nice purple tube. Palmer’s is good too.

  • March 19, 2010


    Also, I agree with Alex. Oh what a chore it will be to only drink tea.

    Alex, care to add, perhaps, an alcoholic beverage to that? Black Russians are wonderful things, and do not contain any tea, but alot of alcohol!

    Sidebar – I intend to be very drunk for this whole weekend. Frankincense cream keeps hangover skin at bay too.

  • March 19, 2010


    Oh, Black Russians is indeed good. As is (proper) Long Island Ice Tea. And Moquitos. Moquito has fizzy water in it, no? There you are – minty healthiness and water.

  • March 19, 2010


    My go to cream for emergencies is Simple Derma cream. Relieves the itching and also the redness and flakiness.

  • March 19, 2010


    Lancome nutrix. It’s da bomb. Or vaseline. but nutrix smells nicer. Srsly, looong term dryskin ginger chick TIGHT face most of the time. Nutrix. Soothing, calming. Dont let em sell you none of that nutrix Royal neither. Go for the Big White Tube, you won’t regret it.
    So it’ll make you shiny and it’s £45 in london but like i say nothing else works and I.Have.Tried.

    ok going now.

  • March 19, 2010


    Oh God and now I’m getting drawn into this. Be gone temptresses! I have deadlines!
    Vaseline is not good for dry skin. Apart from the fact it’s, hello? vaseline, it just sits on very dry skin and doesn’t get absorbed. It is also comodogenic (have I just made that word up?)

  • March 19, 2010


    without the international petrochemical industry i wd be a dried up husk. sorry, but vaseline works for me, plant oils just dont, i really have tried, they don’t absorb either, all that works for me is no coffee, no alcohol, no chocolate, no stress, lots of sleep. and who wants to live like that so – nutrix. or vaseline. i know its wrong.

  • March 19, 2010


    When I have had the hives from hell (caused, I’m fairly sure, by Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, causing a less than beautiful flash), I used the Neals Yard Rose Oil. It took a couple of days to calm down, but it really helped It also smells delicious (even with the Patchouli). Which makes me think the balm might also work.

  • March 19, 2010


    I love that it’s Friday afternoon, and half the FaceGoop comments box is talking about cocktails. My people! Let me embrace you with my leprous face!

  • March 19, 2010

    Alison Cross

    When my skin is v dry, I use olive oil. Not unctious palmfuls of the stuff, but a really small amount/ I leave it a while (length of time it takes to drink Black Russian should be sufficient) and then blot off any excess.

    Uber virgin of course :-)

    That generally takes the worst of it away – cheaply and quite naturally?

    Don’t do it often, it makes you spotty.

    Ali x (100% witch, 0% hazel)

  • March 19, 2010


    CU3. Hunt it down. It’s used post-op to help skin heal, for burns and it’s a bloody miracle.

  • March 19, 2010


    Ok this is going to sound quite bossy but there’s no time to waste.

    M, I have the curly hair and I’ve had the attractive monkey face pictured above.
    What you need is to wash only with Cetaphil and apply rosehip oil. I don’t know if you can get it where you are but I use Trilogy which is just 100% organic rosehip oil. Do that for a few days and I promise your face will improve. And keep drinking the water…

  • March 20, 2010


    I think Gemma said this already but Clinique Moisture Surge springs immediately to mind for Angry Skin. You could also try E45 cream, which is much cheaper but is also greasier.

  • March 21, 2010


    You must quit water immediately!

  • March 22, 2010


    Lavender essential oil works for anything red/itchy/burning/rashy, including the horrible Angry Nose Syndrome I get when I have a cold. If you don’t dilute it in a little carrier oil it may be too burny, but when that part is over it will help, I promise.

  • March 24, 2010

    M in HippieLand

    […] Before I begin, can I just say how ace our readers are. Batshit crazy, but ace. In response to my Angry Face Syndrome cry for help, they’ve recommended rubbing plants on my […]

  • March 27, 2010

    Space NK love

    […] Well. I was a space NK virgin and I went in with my red monkey face woes.The glossy haired, fresh faced assistant was very nice. She picked out Nude oil, Darphin serum, Ren […]

  • March 29, 2010


    I’m the Imedeen swallower, having suffered the scales/dryness on & orf for decades til few yrs ago. Of all yr responses above, I’d vote for Rosehip oil, as non-irritating, and penetrating. Anything based on petroleum will appear to help but is only Bandaid…will not heal anything. Now that I don’t use that bad shit any more (and keep taking the tablets!) my skin is permanently warbling ‘tralala’ cos it’s so happy. Good luck!

  • April 6, 2010


    Try Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel – it fixed my crusty wind chaffed face within a day, a miracle i tell you.
    It isn’t perfumed so won’t make your face itchy but it is very expensive. I would recommend taking a friend along to the counter to divert attention while you take a generous scoop out of the tester pot and bolt.

  • April 11, 2010

    Susan Low

    I have found the things that have calmed my unhappy red rosacea’d face recently are Neals Yard Rehydrating Rose Daily Moisture, and the Green People Vitamin Fix and Fruitful Nights (24 hour and night cream respectively). (And anti biotics for my recent chest infection had the side effect of sorting my face for Two Whole Glorious Weeks, but they’re not a long term solution)
    Green People Gentle Cleanse is excellent too and can be used as a wash off and cotton wool cleanser. It doesn’t leave my skin tight and dry unlike most other wash off cleansers. Green People also do trial sizes which are also very useful for travel.

  • April 11, 2010


    I have had allergies that have made my lips swell and crust off. Eczema in places where most people do not have places, including from toes to knees with teeny tiny blisters. Dry skin, dry lips, crusty bits on crusty bits. (Although obv. even in my crustiest sorest times I was still one of the great beauties of my age, etc). Here is what I have found:

    1. Vaseline, normal one, the petroleum jelly, is the bestest for dry lips, faces etc. The doctor(s) said so too.
    2. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is what I put on my face when it is very sore and dry overnight. The next day, I look at least 20 years younger, and am not so sore. Oddly, it does not give me spots either. Also wonderful for dry elbows, etc
    3. Olive oil. Do not laugh.

    My skin = dry, fragile like a butterfly’s wing, pale, transluscent, ephemeral, covered in a thick pelt (as am a monkey).

    I rub you.

  • […] Remember the Angry Monkey Face syndromes, […]

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