28 December 2008

It's gone too far. Officially.


It's the Sunday of a holiday weekend and I'm due a good Sunday morning rant. Here goes.

As if convincing people that tap water's somehow unhealthy weren't enough, the good folks at Pepsico are now getting into the skin care racket. It's strangely appropriate that the bottled water industry should snuggle up with the skin care people though. The skin care industry has been misleading the public for more than a century by preying on most people's scientific illiteracy and wrapping itself in a cloak of medical respectability. It's all a load of crap. 

Save your money. It's true that skin can dry out in a dry climate, and the best substances on the planet to remedy this are mineral oil, petrolatum and glycerin. Mineral oil and petrolatum are byproducts of oil refining and glycerin and its derivatives are a byproduct of the breakdown of plant or animal fats. Not really very glamorous sounding, are they? Glamorous or not, they are the foundation of every cosmetic moisturizer out there and they cost pennies a pound. The rest is marketing. Period. Things like lavender extract, elderberry extract, sage extract and my favorite; olive fruit oil (spare me) make skin preparations smell better and that's about it. Using these plants' Latin names doesn't make them any more effective; and unfortunately, too many people stop asking questions when they see terms they don't understand.


I love how the good folks at Pepsico slapped an Rx to their logo to make the whole thing seem scientific and medical but it's a lie --a marketing ploy.  Rx is medical shorthand for the the Latin recipe, the singular imperative of the verb recipare. Recipe means take and it carries with it the weight of a doctor's orders. "Here, take this." No doctor not in the employ of Pepsico is ordering you to take this or any other overpriced reformulation of mineral oil, petrolatum and glycerin.

Save your money folks. Drink tap water and buy a tub of Vaseline to soften up your dry spots. And please, for the sake of humanity Pepsi, stick to making soda. 

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