At my age, reading the fine print is more than difficult—it’s sometimes impossible, particularly poring over the ingredients of skin care products. You know the kind: antiaging, antiwrinkle, antibagging, antifart-producing, anticlogging (noncomedogenic), anti-belly-fat-producing creamy stuff, the kind of stuff most guys don’t give a crap about. I want to look as young as my mind says I am, and at the rate I’m going—forgetting simple math and acting childish—my mind figures I’ll be entering junior high pretty soon.
One day I set out for King Soopers, my favorite grocery store, with the goal of reading and comparing antiwrinkle cream and lotion ingredients. Once I identified the best product for the money, I planned to purchase two so I wouldn’t have to subject myself to this embarrassing ordeal more than once a year, like sex. I thought of carrying a magnifying glass, portable potty, and a bottle of wine with me, knowing this project would consume some time, which would give me time to consume some wine, but instead I grabbed my best seeing-up-close glasses, ones I likely scored for an entire dollar plus tax.
Into the store I skipped, demonstrating I was younger than I looked. After picking myself up off the floor, I headed toward skin care. Comparing these age-defying skin formulae felt much like choosing feminine hygiene products when I was a teenager or like evaluating condoms to keep on hand just in case. Really now, what size package was I buying for anyway? Forward-thinking packagers and marketeers should offer a condom variety pack, a just-in-case-the-first-one-doesn’t-fit kind of thing. (Maybe they do already.) And for the small guy, shouldn’t condom manufacturers offer padded sheaths just as bra manufacturers do for the less endowed?
I’d already been buying Olay Complete for a couple years, and Olay was promoting their new Regenerist product line like a guy promotes his best friend, so I gave it some attention. And here is where this whole exercise was worth its weight in coinage: Olay Complete with SPF 15 and Regenerist Age-Defying Anti-Wrinkle Daily 15 SPF had the same ingredients, but the cost was very different:
4.0 ounces of Olay Complete with SPF 15 cost $7.35 that day ($1.84/oz),
3.4 ounces of Regenerist Age-Defying Anti-Wrinkle Daily 15 SPF cost $14.50 ($4.26/oz), and further research showed that
2.7 ounces of Regenerist UV Defense cost $22 ($8.15/oz).
It’s all about the packaging! So I bought two more Completes and smiled as if I’d just been laid in a field of soft, green grass with no bugs.
Now that my second one-ounce bottle is low, I decided to conduct research on its ingredients compared to my previously purchased Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle cream (1.4 oz for $13.50). (I hate it when they don’t hyphenate antiwrinkle.) Both products contain retinol; however, the less expensive cream lists retinol as ingredient number 10. If my aging eyes are seeing correctly, and if my mind is calculating accurately, the more expensive one lists retinol as number 26.
So again, I’ll likely skip, carefully, into my favorite grocery and purchase Olay Complete and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle, knowing deep inside my skin-covered soul that I’m still going to get older and wrinkle. What I’m really in a quandary about is how to repackage myself so I can charge a higher rate. What would I sell, though?
But the bigger question is, if a guy repackaged, would he have two?