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August 26, 2006

Lies, Damned Lies, and Marketing

About a year ago, Gillette introduced their line of men's skin care products. And why not—it was an easy way to tap into the burgeoning metrosexual market and the theretofore untapped "I'm too insecure in my masculinity to buy products not specifically labeled for men" market.

Among the qualities Gillette trumpeted to set their products apart was that they used natural antiseptics and cleansers. This, they said, made a more gentle product that was better for you and your (manly!) skin.

I didn't really care either way, as I tried their stuff and it worked. Then last month a company sent me a sample of their men's products, so I actually delved into the ingredients on my Gillette products to see how the two compared.

Lo and behold, Gillette's playing things loose with the truth. The miracle ingredients in their products aren't botanicals like tea tree oil—in fact, it's not even miracle ingredients. It's a miracle ingredient: Triclosan.

Triclosan is a broad-spectrum, manmade antimicrobial agent. And on Gillette's face wash and even (rather inexplicably) the shaving gel, it's well toward the top of the ingredients list, which in the U.S. means there's more of it. Those gentle, natural ingredients? All of them are below triclosan. There's not even a point to having them in there when you've laced the entire thing with triclosan... or at least no point beyond marketing.

Posted by Colin at August 26, 2006 11:55 AM

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