SABOTAGE! Or Why Your Product Stopped Making Magic
Jan 31, 2011 Posted by Corrie Shenigo
It's pretty clear that I like things that are sparkly and magical. Not like rainbows and unicorns magical (though I'm sure they're very nice too), but magic like that face cream that seems to completely wipe out a fine-line in a single swipe, or a shampoo that takes a mane of unruly she-beast hair and turns it into a shining cascade of awesomeness. So, naturally, when said magical substance suddenly stops working, a barrage of panicky questions start spewing out of my face.
Such completely logical and reasonable questions as: "Why?! God?! Why?!", "Who snuck into my home while I was sleeping and sabotaged the formula of my shampoo?", and "*&$^%!?@?!".
Then one of the smart gals at Project Beauty asks a slightly less logical question (tee-hee!): "Can you build up a resistance to products?"
The good folks at Real Simple magazine tackle this not-so-simple subject in an ambiguously titled article written by Lisa Whitmore, "Can You Build Up A Resistance To Products?" – (Ahem… apparently titling is real simple at Real Simple.) The answer is not so simple: Yes… and no.
Here are the likely explanations… and surprisingly none of them is a spy sneaking into one's home to sabotage their beauty products. I'm totally shocked.
In a fit of blame-storming, Ms. Whitmore repeatedly asks us to take personal accountability for our products loss of sparkle – (*gasp* - How dare you!) by suggesting that blame might lie within. And while I'm vehemently against taking responsibility, I'll put forth her suggestions and let you decide.
A probably reason, according to Ms. Whitmore, is today's word of the day: lackadaisical. Of course she pulls out the big academic guns to prove her point. "People use a product diligently in the beginning," claims assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California - Davis, April Armstrong. "However, compliance decreases over time." What the good Ms. Armstrong is saying is that a product devotee might begin to apply a product inconsistently, which would slow results." (I'm giving Ms. Armstrong a squinty-eyed evil look right now – I wonder if she can sense this?)
Cosmetic Chemist Ni'Kita Wilson (cue the Elton John song) suggests a few other reasons for Product Sparkle Deficit Syndrome. "Changes in diet, climate and hormones (!!!) might subtly affect the way a product responds." Well, Ms. Wilson, I can assure you my response to PSDS is a not-so-subtle tantrum, thank you very much! There can also be discrepancies in the batch your product is made in or your product may have expired. (I guess this dispels the logic behind hoarding a favorite discontinued product. Crap.)
Another possibility is that the product has already done what it's supposed to and you're already fabulously fine-line free and perfectly coiffed, making further changes less dramatic. "Managing your expectation is key," says Armstrong who claims that after a product has done its duty further improvement might be too subtle to even detect. (*blink, blink, blink*)
Carmine Minardi of New York's Minardi Salon puts forth that you may simply have been using the product for too long, citing, in particular, the use of silicone hair products, which can build up in the hair, causing its fibers to react differently. To counter-act the dull, heavy feel of silicone heavy hair, she suggests using a clarifying shampoo once every 5 to 10 washes. (Thank you for not being all doom and gloom, Ms. Minardi.)
One final insult put forth by Ms. Whitmore is that we've become so accustomed to our beloved product that we're just not all that jazzed about it anymore. Like when you're boyfriend doesn't realize that you're as completely amazing and sparkly as when you first started dating and stops paying attention to your every need and starts to take your sparkly goodness for granted – (Are you reading this? – good. Now stop it.)
Of course, that's really not an answer to the original question put forth – it's more like a whole slew of ‘it's your own damned fault' – so… um… thanks Ms. Whitmore.
But is it possible for you to build up a resistance to your favorite products? Here's where the ‘yes' portion of events comes in.
Armstrong states that, while it's unlikely, there are a few instances where one could form a resistance to a product's particular ingredients. "Some topical steroids, which you use for skin irritations and conditions like eczema, may lose efficacy over time," she says, also mentioning that antidandruff shampoos can magically lose their strength.
Aha! So that's a yes! It's a yes! (Yeah, yeah… after a bunch of no's. I know.) I think, personally, I'm going to eschew all personal accountability and stick with my ‘sabotage' theory. But… you know… you can believe whatever you want. No judgment.
'til Next Time!