By law, the first ingredient listed on a label should have the highest concentration in the formula. The term ‘active’ means an ingredient that works beneath the skin’s surface to produce visible changes. For it to work, however, it has to be protected from air and light, and used regularly.


On deck when we were working. we just wore shorts and were burnt as brown as nuts after a few weeks. We worked alongside the Chinese crew; chipping, painting, cleaning, oiling, mending. Many chief mates kept their apes ground down at all the unpleasant jobs without stopping – ‘To toughen their character’, they said, but LJ tried to vary our work so as to try and make reasonable sailors out of us. We spent a lot of time with the ‘Casab’, who was the Chinese version of the British deck storekeeper, in charge of wires and ropes, paints and all the ships tools and deck stores. Casab honed the splicing skills we had learned from Chiefy Rozer; he had us cut out the rope burns and then short-splice the big polypropylene mooring ropes. We spliced eyes in the fire-wires and rigged work stages to hang down the side of the accommodation for painting parties to sit on. We sewed canvas sleeves round the cork lifebuoys, then painted them in red and white quarters and stencilled the ship’s name on in black letters. He had us hauled up the masts on small bosun’s chairs, for us to then slide down the wire stays, held on by a shackle, greasing them with white lead as we descended. No safety harness.

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