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Plato and the ingredient lists of skin care products.

Plato said, regarding the invention of the written word by the god Theuth:

And in this instance, you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.

Plato (427 to 347 BC) in Phaedrus (360 B.C.E)

Welcome to Facebook. Welcome to blogs. Welcome to beauty magazines. Welcome to “reviews”.

It takes a lot of energy to try to extract facts from the chaos of the written word that surrounds us. Sometimes you have to close the browser on the computer and say “enough”.
The attraction and monetary value of words like natural, organic, green, honest, etc. has grown so much that now even Congress passes laws denominating as “natural” products that, by any rational definition, are not natural. This means, they are legally imposing a definition of natural that is contrary to the meaning you would find in a dictionary.

Other agencies are following suit. Apparently, water is not good enough for an ingredient list, although it makes so much sense, as we are mostly water; and depend on water to live. Water is no longer fashionable, you will find in La Mer products that “aqua, water, eau” is not longer first in the list of ingredients. You may find “deconstructed waters™”. “Deconstructed water” does not exist, so La Mer can give it any meaning (or no meaning) as they wish.

And then there are “extracts”. What is an extract? An algae extract is the solution you obtained when you put any algae in any liquid and filter away the solids. You can then use the resulting liquid or evaporate the liquid. Thus, an algae extract can be made using any alga and a liquid of any composition. You have to rely on the honesty and knowledge of the person selling you the product that the liquid (whatever it is) is good for you and that has extracted from the algae chemicals that are also good for you.
This should give you pause when you buy an algae extract from just about anybody unless that somebody is Skin Actives. Why? Because we know about algae and about chemistry.
An “algae extract” does not have to be natural. The meaning of natural can be changed by legislation, but the common use of the word natural is that all the ingredients are obtained directly from nature without chemical modification.
An algae extract is not necessarily good for you.
Don’t be enchanted by the appearance of wisdom of the written word, when that written word is an ingredient list. And, please, don’t buy anything that has in the ingredient list the non-existent deconstructed water.

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