Posted in Alice's Adventures in Adultland

Alice’s Adventures in Adultland -Personal Hygiene

I’ve had some pretty awesome news this week which I can’t wait to share out soon, so watch this space for that. In the meantime, for today’s blog, I have decided to share some advice that I had to learn the hard way.


Some of you will be reading this and immediately be all “well, DUH,” and well done to you, seriously. However, when I’ve retold this story to various friends, I’ve not been met with reactions of scorn or incredulous looks but  instead sympathetic winces and cries of “oh my God, ME TOO!!!” The only conclusion I can come to from this is that either I hang out with very like-minded people or this rather painful discovery is something that you have to experience before you’re allowed to Level Up to stage I R SRZ ADULT NAOW, much like getting your first period or the first time you have to drag yourself into work with a blinding hangover.

Either way. Here’s my story. Maybe you can learn something from it.

A fun little fact about me is that I’m a complete sucker for handmade products, especially with toiletries like soaps, body washes and candles. Seriously, my Etsy purchases generally consist of things like pumpkin-spice sugar scrubs, midnight graveyard bodywashes, Harry Potter bathbombs and ‘Belle’s Library’ scented candles. As luck would have it, Comic Con is pretty much the perfect place to find such delights. There’s several stalls I’m quite fond of that sell handmade jewellery, self-published comics, geeky-themed tea and of course, soaps. Several years ago, back when I was a dumb, young teenager going through my anime phase, I was wandering around Con when I found a stall that sold handmade soap. Like a moth to a flame, I made a beeline for the table. I got chatting to the very lovely girl who ran the stall who told me all about her handmade soap-start-up-company. As we chatted, I was smelling the soaps on display when my eye was drawn to a beautiful green soap that sparkled like an emerald. I lifted it to my nose and smelt deeply – peppermint and something I couldn’t quite identify but made me think of hiking through crisp snow in a mountain woodland area just after the sun rose.

I had to buy it.

Later that evening, back in the hotel, I was preparing to wash all the grime of the day’s con off when I remembered my magical soap. Eagerly, I grabbed my new purchase and hopped into the shower, calling out to my friends in the room to save me a slice of pizza if it arrived before I was out.

The next thing my friends know, there are literal howls of pain coming from the shower. They barge in, thinking I’m in some serious trouble to find me huddled in the corner of the shower, water pouring over me and I’m wailing like I’m auditioning to be Gollum from Lord of the Rings.


It turns out that all my life, there had been some deep, unknown voice inside of me that had constantly been advising against buying any kind of body wash that contained some form of mint, which unfortunately had decided to flatline when confronted with sparkles. (So there’s a good tip if anyone wants to off me one day – literally, just chuck a handful of glitter over a cliff-edge, step back and watch me dive in after it.)

Later on that evening, my friends – once they were able to stand up from laughing so hard – recounted their own misadventures with mint (and citrus too! Apparently anything with lemon in can also be a no-no) bodywashes which not only involved tales of a gentle tingling that quickly progressed to an unbearable burning PAIN but also there were a few resulting cases of thrush thrown in as well.

Pictured: your reaction

(One rather unlucky girl discovered that she’d also turned out to be ALLERGIC to the active ingredient in her Mint-and-Tea-Tree-Get-Up-And-Go! Body Wash, which I just can’t even begin to comprehend the level of pain that reached.)

The next day, I was back at con (walking only slightly) bow-legged when I happened to chance by the same stall I’d bought the green soap from the day before.

“Oh hi!!” the stall owner said cheerfully, waving me over. “Did you try out the soap? What did you think?”

I will chalk what I said next up to me being incredibly awkward and with a constant need to never appear rude. Unable to tell her bluntly “your soap caused me the worst physical pain I have ever endured in my life,” I instead heard my own mouth say –

“Oh my God, I loved it!! It smells so good and I loved how it left glitter all over my skin!!”

The stall owner beamed. “Really? Aww, thank you so much!! Tell you what, I’ve got one left in stock of that particular soap; it’s been my best seller all con! If you really liked it, I’ll do a discount on it for you!!”

And God help me, because she was smiling at me like I’d just made her entire day – I BOUGHT THE SECOND SOAP.


I found a way to use up both soaps eventually, keeping them strictly as HANDWASH SOAP ONLY. And they really were very sparkly and did smell really nice, so I guess that’s ok?

How about you lot out there? Any misadventures with soaps or in the general pursuit for cleanliness?



Cosplaying, bass playing, coffee addict with an over-active imagination and a penchant for autumn and red lipstick.

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