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So Pure You Can Eat It If you are interested in natural skin care, or even if you are not, you have likely come across this claim, at least a few times. It appears that it has already acquired a status of a full-blown credo.

It is used to illustrate how natural a certain product, or an entire line, is. Most commonly, it is used by manufacturers who claim that their products are organic, made by hand, following an ancient tradition, etc. That all may be true, but the ‘so pure you can eat it’ part is a bit fishy.

Let's look at it:

• The purpose of food is clear - to nourish us with nutrients that body can't produce itself. Food also needs to be tasty. The human diet consists of sweet and savoury flavours. Skin care products are not tasty. And they can't be ever categorized as food, even if somebody lobbied the Government long and hard. Government aside, if starving and your fridge is empty, you would never reach for the jar of your 'so pure you can eat it' cream, would you?

• The only skin care products you can eat are homemade masks and such, which are made with actual food ingredients - i.e. yogurt with honey, strawberries, or freshly smooshed avocado with few drops of lemon, and such. And that only if you like yogurt. And certainly not after you've used it. If the skin care product you are holding in your hand claims the above, then it has to be made exclusively with food ingredients, also fresh, sugar and salt to taste…basically it has to be food that you can use as skin care – not the other way around. Because – skin care is not food.

• If the promoters of the said statement meant 'you can TRY it' instead of 'you can EAT it' - that is more sensible. However, the reality is that skin care products, pure or not, do not contain poison, and they will not kill anybody if tasted, nor make a person ill. If they can’t do any of that, what is then the point of tasting something that will all taste more or less disgustingly? And is not intended to be food in the first place. Therefore, tasting the product as a method of determining its purity, or proving a point, is redundant.

• There is however a certain fact behind this myth, which simply got perverted. There is an old tradition in chemistry, as old as the world, to describe materials through organoleptic testing. That means, to smell, describe its appearance, feel between your fingers, even taste it. This also applies to collecting herbs, preparing potions...all kinds of things magical or chemical. Some people may have sufficient experience to recognize some or most of the materials used in making a product, cosmetic or otherwise, through an organoleptic analysis. Those people are rare. In addition, I sincerely doubt that their range can cover all ingredients used in skin care products, especially when they are all mixed together. It is not impossible perhaps, but again, simply unnecessary, when you have a list of ingredients printed on the bottle. So, a specialist may have a good enough reason to taste it, but you certainly don’t.

• Now let's look at essential oils. Pure products claim to use essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance, or for their therapeutic benefits. Essential oils are NOT to be used internally. As pure and natural as they are, even for topical - external - use, they are used only diluted and with great care. Some of them are used in food and beverage industry, like Peppermint in chewing gum, but that use is in minute quantities. Ingestion of only a few grams of certain essential oils can be fatal. You may need to eat quite a few jars of a cream to get that much of an essential oil in your system, and you are likely to throw up way before, but again, why would anybody do it?

Is, then, ‘so pure you can eat it’ another Myth? Yes, it is.

The skin care product you are considering may be truly great and exactly what you need, as well as pure – however, it should not be based on, or supported by the statement that you could eat it. That claim is there to convince you to buy the product through a very foggy concept. You should buy it for different reasons.

To your beauty and health,

Ivana K.

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