Sounds Suspicious vol. 1

I love Pinterest. It is one of the 4 apps I switch back and forth between pretty much all day long while my kids are napping or involved in an educational independent activity. I love getting inspired to start projects I'll never finish, finding new uses for everyday items, and discovering new ways to make all my crap fit into my tiny house.

Lately, however, I've been noticing with increasing frequency certain questionable pieces of advice, or "life hacks," that have no apparent foundation in reality. My favorite recent finding is this handy tip to straighten your hair without heat using water mixed with brown sugar.

Please just let that sink in for a second. Do you really think there's any planet on which spraying sugar water into your hair would result in anything other than a sticky, bug-attracting disaster? But judging by the number of boards this pin was saved to (over 750), people will believe anything they read on the internet, especially if there's a pretty, high-resolution (and usually highly Photoshopped) before and after pic attached. I'm not sure who's coming up with these ridiculous claims or why, but there are a LOT of people buying into them.

So I've decided to anoint myself your official questionable-life-hack-buster! That's right. When I find a bit of advice on the internet that seems shady but isn't too expensive or dangerous to try you can count on me to test it out and report my findings. I'm highly qualified for this gig for the following reasons:

1. I have a computer with a reliable internet connection.
2. I know how to type.
3. I have Photoshop experience so I can usually recognize when image editing sorcery is at play.
4. I need a hobby.

So without further ado, today I give you my first Sounds Suspicious life hack test!

CLAIM: You can remove (or minimize or possibly bleach) blackheads with a solution of baking soda and lemon juice.

Here's the pin I found making this claim:
Wow! Just look at the improvement!

I tried this hack out yesterday exactly as the pin prescribes. First I made a "creamy paste" (does that sound gross or what? I hope this post doesn't come up in an adult themed google search) with a fresh lemon and some baking soda.

My lemon and baking soda concoction. (And my bathroom sink that needs to be cleaned.) I used about 1 tbsp lemon juice and as advised poured baking soda in until it looked like a creamy paste. It was fizzy and bubbly until I mixed it up because base + acid = SCIENCE!

And here's the blackheaded nasal region in question (i.e. mine). I tried very hard to get a picture with my old iPhone that was in focus, but this was the best I could do. I think you get the idea.

I'm all squinty because I even stood outside in the sun trying to get you the best view of my clogged pores. And you can tell it's not photoshopped because I would have at least minimized those dark circles under my eyes or some of the red blemishes. See? This is how you know I'm trustworthy - I let it all hang out.

Time to slather that creamy paste on my face! I went all out and covered every blackhead-prone region cuz in case this actually worked then I wanted all those suckers gone. I used a Q-Tip to smear it on nice and thick.

I smell delicious.

And now we wait. 20 minutes. I watched the clock and took the following notes:

  • The lemon juice separates from the baking soda pretty quickly and drips down my face.
  • My nose itches. On the inside. I think some lemon juice found its way in.
  • 8 minutes in - it's tingling with a very mild burning sensation. Does this mean it's working?
  • My nose seriously itches every time I move any part of my face. I try to be completely still.
  • 14 minutes in - the paste is drying out and starting to crumble off. I now have dried out creamy lemon paste in my cleavage. DON'T MOVE.
  • Aaron is taking advantage of the fact I'm trying not to move, and reaches into my cleavage to remove some dried up paste. He really just wants to cop a feel.
  • 19 minutes in - one more minute and I can scratch my nose!

At the 20 minute mark I ran to the bathroom and rinsed very carefully and thoroughly with cold water, making sure not to open my eyes until all the paste was removed.  I couldn't wait to see the results!

(I'll put the before image here again so you can compare side-by-side.)

Would I be blackhead free as promised? Would I??


VERDICT: This life hack is a bust!

Well I'm sorry to report that the only difference I noticed was that my face was a little redder. If anything I thought my blackheads looked a bit more pronounced. Looks like my blackheads are here to stay... at least until my next experiment!

Speaking of, I have 2 more suspicious life hacks in the works. I'm testing the claim that Vaseline helps your eyelashes grow, and whether regular ol' hydrogen peroxide can whiten your teeth. So I'll be back with more unedited photographic evidence that lays these claims to rest, whether true or false! Hopefully I don't lose my eyelashes or teeth in the process.