E: Do you want to get clean, M? Do you wish to get back the baby soft feeling of when you were hoovered with diamonds?
M: Hmmm, maybe. But it’s the recession, you know, diamonds are dear.
E: That is very true. But what I have here is made of, hang on, let me check: rice.
M: Ooooh. Rice. That is an excellent exfoliant. Also, a great constipator. Tell me more.
E: Well, it also contains: oatmeal, papain (isn’t he a french footballler?) and salicylic acid. Oh, also, green tea and gingko for the HIPPIES. Are any of those great constipators? I need to know before I eat a handful.
M: Dude, this is sounding better by the minute. You know how excited I get about skincare. Oatmeal – that’s for horses, innit. Makes you soft like a baby foal. TRUE FACT.
E: True fact. Real talk.
M: Papain… err… that’s the weird fruit acid stuff? From papaya? possibly?
E: Or the distilled essence of Jean Pierre Papin.
M: Gingko. That’s not even a real nut. It just sounds like one of those spangly new baby names. “Oh yes, Little Gingko’s already at nursery, he can read in two languages you know”.
E: I love a mad baby name. Chard. Fenugreek. Colostrum.
M: OK, focus E. I don’t even know what we’re talking about. WHAT IS ITS NAME?
E: All in good time, M. Firstly, I should say, I do not “get on” with most exfoliants. The granular ones sit on my face, despite attempts to wash them off. I find granules behind my ears for weeks after I have used them.
And often, they make me shiny like a conker, and red. But this one? This is good. So good, I have not shoved it to the back of the cupboard after one try.
M: TELL ME WHAT IT IS CALLED. I NEED TO KNOW ITS NAME.
E: You are going to be disappointed.
M: Oh god. It’s St Ives, isn’t it. The great grandmother of scrubs.
E: Nope. None of Granny’s apricot kernels here.
M: It’s like exfoliating your face with a squirrel. Angry. Harsh. Bit nutty.
E: Health and safety announcement: do not exfoliate your face with a squirrel. Ok, anticlimax name the product moment… drumroll. …
M: *holds breath*
E: “Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant”.
M: Ah ben bien sûr. BEN BIEN SUR. Pfffffffff.
E: Do you “do” Dermalogica, M?
M: I don’t, but I probably should. It looks good.
E: It looks … reassuring. Like it’s saying “with this boring grey and white packaging, we’re saying, we’re not here to look good, we’re here to make your SKIN look good”.
M: Medicinal. It reminds me of the sour faced dermatologist public servants I used to visit in my youth in France.
E: Yes, but it does not ask about your contraceptive routine, or tell you you are fat.
M: Or say “I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen better”. You do know St Lisa of Eldridge recommended this stuff, right?
E: No! I did not! Now I feel all vindicated in liking it! It is really very good, I must say. It is a powder. You add water to a bit of the powder to make a paste (like pre-school craft, basically), then you slap it around your face a bit.
M: Do you tell yourself off while you are doing it?
E: You can. That’s optional.
M: And the result?
E: It makes my face soft as a wobbly-limbed newborn foal. Really, tangibly softer. My face feels so delicious afterwards that I stroke it like I am on ecstasy. So sooooft. I don’t know how much it costs though, because I got given it by a nice lady who looked like an angel.
M: Were you on drugs at the time?
E: I don’t think so. Maybe a little Prosecco. I remember the nice lady shone a very bright light on my face though.
M: Erm. E? Were you… abducted by aliens? Is this ALIEN TECHNOLOGY?
E: I didn’t think so, but I have just seen on the bottle that it is “researched and developed by The International Dermal Institute”, which sounds a bit alien. Imagine working there.
“Hello, International Dermal Institute, how can I help you?”
“I HAVE A SKIN EMERGENCY”
M: Intense sobbing. Hyperventilating.
E: People pressing the Dermal Code Black button. This ‘International Dermal Institute’ thing has got me worried. It’s definitely aliens, isn’t it?
M: Maybe you are currently in an alien pod, and they are actually exfoliating your spinal fluid.
E: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I bet that makes a good face mask, actually, spinal fluid.