Funny Mistakes Happen When You Don’t Speak Thai

By Alexis

Ponds Sunscreen Thailand

I have been using Clean & Clear facewash for nearly a decade, but when we moved to Thailand I knew that I’d run out of it eventually. When that day finally came recently, I was desperate for a replacement. I couldn’t find my exact wash anywhere in Chiang Mai, and decided to look for a different brand at this random beauty shop that’s on my way home from work.

Since I am completely indecisive, I went back multiple times and sat there, staring at the dozens of options, trying to decide which one I should go with. I was wondering:

A) Which of these won’t make me break out?
B) Which ones can I find back in the States if I like it?
C) Which ones don’t cost an arm and a leg?

All of these questions were compounded by the fact that I do not speak Thai and therefore couldn’t read anything about the items in the store. The store employees also don’t speak English, so I just had to make a blind decision.

Finally, I settled on a little, yellow, trial-size package of Pond’s cream. I took it home, tried it out, and liked the way it made my skin feel. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now, but when I started looking around for a full-size version, I couldn’t find it in the facewash section of any store. I looked around online and still couldn’t find it.

Then, a couple days ago, I took a closer look at the packaging and noticed something strange.

There is a picture of a tanned face turning into a white face, which I attributed to the whitening agents that are in a lot of Thai beauty products. And then on the side, I noticed there’s a little “10” followed by three Thai symbols. Could that be…SPF?

Suddenly, it clicked…

I went back to Google and instead of searching for “facewash” as I had been, I typed “Pond’s yellow sunscreen Thailand.” And there it was, confirming my suspicions.

I had been washing my face with sunscreen for weeks.

Luckily, it actually has been an okay facewash! It really has made my skin soft, haha! But, um, I don’t think I should continue using sunscreen for facewash for very long. So now I’m on the hunt again for a new facewash.

Oh, the silly things you deal with when you’re an expat…


2 thoughts on “Funny Mistakes Happen When You Don’t Speak Thai

  1. Hahaha! Reminds me of the time when I was in Bangkok! The times I would mess things up and the frustration of no one speaking in English! Oh my god!
    Thank god it was just sunscreen!


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