Monday, 25 January 2016

desquamate or they’re tearing all the factories doiwn

I noticed that my athletic, sporty body-wash boasts “aroma” and an equally invigorating mystery substance called allantoin—which was new to me but apparently as pervasive as any of our daily chemical compounds. Like other products containing urea (which strikes me as a grave incongruity for skin-care but there you go), the manufactured version aims to replicate the application of an herbal ointment—a virtual panacea known as the comphrey plant.
The wildflowers (Beinwell oder Walluwurz and are related to forget-me-nots) have a long and established history of medical applications as an anti-inflammatory and exfoliating agent. Molecularly, the distilled allantoin used in industrial applications is identical to what comphrey yields but like with any cosmetic pandering, the metabolic shortcut is co-opted and tamed in the sanitary world first to make one’s skin insensitive to irritating ingredients that are part of the industrial process and to encourage peeling way of old skin (it’s called desquamation, descaling a fish) so one feels soft and supple. I suppose that beauty is not for the squeamish.