SEVEN VISIBLE SIGNS OF STUPIDITY
I’m sitting here looking at a magazine ad for a hair shampoo that boasts it now contains “liquid crystals”.
It’s the inclusion of catatonic polymer poly diallyldimethyl amnonium chloride with lyotropic liquid crystalline materials in every bottle. Apparently they also use liquid crystals in pool thermometers and semiconductors…Too technical for you?
Then how about conditioner with “natural cement”? It’s an “active ceramide-cement serum” that “fills gaps and seals damaged hair fibres”.
It’s bit like grouting only, like, for your head.
Nano-capsules, antioxidants, super-charged humectants, amino acids, antimicrobials, glycan receptors, glycolics, extracellular matrixes, liposomes…
Have you any idea what these terms mean? And why the manufacturers of beauty products think women are seduced by such techno-babble? Can’t we just go back to the days when face creams boasted honey and wheat germ?
Too late. It was back in the 1930s when the US chemical company DuPont first began using blokes in white lab coats to sell us the “miracles of science” in our everyday products. They started out making gunpowder, gave us Nylon, Orlon, Dacron, Lycra and Kevlar and now make herbicides…and Glypure, used in hair, face and nail products.
These days the cosmetic industry selects from more than 5000 different ingredients and delivers them in a bewildering array of technologies.
Remember those ads for the Ponds Institute? Whenever I saw the boffins wandering around in their white lab coats I could only marvel at the dedication of a team who seemed to be working on launching the first moisturiser into space. (Of course it was all fantasy – there never was a such a place as the Ponds Institute.) Whoops, Lee Tulloch reckons there was, she drove past it in Connecticut , USA!
That’s not to say, however, that aren’t teams of scientists beavering away looking for the Holy Grail of skin care. Ever since the pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies joined forces to create “cosmeceuticals” (which contain biologically active ingredients) the science has become increasingly baffling. And the products remain untested by the US Food and Drug Adminstration.
The new discipline of glycobiology- the role of glycans (sugar chains) in the metabolism of cells – is the latest frontier. And, sure enough we’ll be there to buy the stuff.
It’s estimated that the global market for anti-ageing products will be worth $291 billion by 2015.
What do you make of the claims made by cosmetic companies for their products?
Here are just a few of the more nutty ones I’ve collected over the years:
With “complex hydrospheres of liposomes and ceramides” this “time complex” cream “speeds your skin even further forward in the race against age”. Apparently through the wonders of quantum mechanics your face arrives at the dinner party long before the rest of your body gets there.
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