My beauty-crazed little sisters go through a strict Oxy ritual twice a day, in an attempt to get rid of their zits. It's really funny to watch, they count the times they dab their faces with a pad, then meticulously apply the medication then looks at a stopwatch to make sure it stays for 30 minutes, the rinses it off gently. Amusingly, they still have just as many pimples as I do, and I do nothing but wash my face when I shower. It drives them mad.

At least Oxy Pads are relatively safe. Oxy Cover a stronger anti-acne medication, made by the same people. It is a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide paste, and it comes in a nasty brown guck. It also causes side effects in many people, including irritation, redness, itching, drying, flaking, peeling and inflammation on the skin. In addition to these wonderful effects, Oxy can also bleach hair or dye fabrics if you put it on the wrong place.

It supposedly dries off excessive oil, unclogs pores and kills acne bacteria, but it hasn't been working for most people I know. And yet, it is still a wildly successful product (remember the Clerasil ads), making millions of acne-ridden teenagers shell out their pocketmoney to buy a product that probably won't work and cause all the fun side effects I described.

But it doesn't matter! All in the name of beauty!

It should be noted that the active ingredient in Oxy Pads, like most anti-acne pads, is salicylic acid 2% w/v. The inactive ingredients are alcohol (38.8% v/v), fragrance (don't ask), isoceteh-20, polyolprepolymer-15, triethanolamine, trisodium EDTA, and water.

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