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“Is This Gonna Make Me Break Out?” An Anecdote


I was in a funny predicament yesterday. The scene: It's gloriously sunny in New York—a balmy 59 degrees. Anna Stevenett suggests coffee and a walk, I oblige. On such a nice day, why not? We walk down the block to Gasoline Alley, our spot (they serve Intelligentsia, hit it up), get Americanos, and head back outside—where, of course, we sit down on a bench because we are lazy and not truly interested in walking.

As we sit there, chit-chatting and pretending to check our emails, I am hit in the face (and glasses and pants) with what appears to be bright green bird poop. It takes a minute for me to process. What was that sound? Why am I wet? What is that smell? Oh, I know! A bird must have shat on my face.

Anna, obliging and helpful coworker that she is, gets a few napkins and towels me off. But a paper napkin isn't gonna do ya when you have literal crap on your skin. Seized with the fear of a looming breakout, I panic-walked back to the office to handle my shit.

One more wrench to throw in this story: We're currently in the midst of a closet cleanout. This is exciting, but also stressful. And it means that all of our lovely cleansers in the beauty closet are packed up, sitting in boxes all over the office. Purell works for hands, but I'm not letting that alcohol cocktail touch my face. Same with hand soap. Without a proper cleanser, I reached for the strongest thing I could think of that also happened to be sitting on Anna's desk: Cane and Austen Glycolic Peel Pads (a hefty 20%, thank God). If it can eat through dead skin and reveal a gleaming baby complexion, it would neutralize whatever birds eat and don't digest. Never peel without moisturizing directly after—I used Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. One time a chemist told me that the Elemis cream is the only anti-aging product in the whole wide market that works. I can't confirm or deny, but I can say it feels nice and absorbs well. Together, my skin actually came out of this mess more glowing than it started. My pants, on the other hand, will need to be dry cleaned.

—Emily Ferber

Photo by the author.