Cee Cee says…I saw a bottle of Olay body wash that claims to contain as many moisturizers as a jar of Olay moisturizing cream. How is this possible?
The Beauty Brains responds
You have to hand it to those rascals in the cosmetic industry. They keep coming up with claims that sound compelling but aren’t really that meaningful.
First let’s be clear about this: it is helpful to have moisturizers in body wash. Procter & Gamble, the makers of Olay, have some very nice technology that can disperse oily conditioners in a rich foaming system. But the idea that it’s helpful to have a “jar full of Olay moisturizer’s” in body wash is a little bit silly. Here’s why:
How much moisturizer in skin cream?
The exact claim is “over a jar full of Olay moisturizers inside.” We take that mean that this bottle of body wash has (at least) as many moisturizers as a jar of Olay moisturizing cream. Looking the label of Olay’s original Active Hydrating Cream we see that the first moisturizing ingredient listed in the formula is petrolatum. Let’s assume for the same of discussion that this formula contains 5% petrolatum. (It’s probably somewhat less than that but we’ll use that number for a ball park calculation.) To find out the total amount of petrolatum in the Olay cream we just calculate 5% of 2 ounces to come up with 0.1 ounces.
How much moisturizer in body wash?
The Olay body wash is sold in a 23.6 ounce bottle. If you took the entire quantity of 0.1 ounces of petrolatum from the cream and put it in this bottle the formula would contain approximately 0.1/23.6 = 0.004% petrolatum. This is far too little to have any impact. The ironic point is that the the body wash probably has much more petrolatum than this anyway that since it’s the second ingredient in the formula! Olay could probably make a claim that says something like “this body wash contains 10x more moisturizers than a jar of of Olay.”
The Beauty Brains bottom line
This exercise isn’t meant to imply that this body wash doesn’t moisturize skin; we’re sure it does. We’re not even saying that the claim about the body wash containing more moisturizers than a jar of face cream is false; in fact it most certainly does contain more. We just think the comparison they’re using is a bit silly because it doesn’t mean anything.
But enough with our scientific skepticism…what do YOU think? Does this kind of claim mean anything to you? Would you buy this body wash because it contains more moisturizers than a jar of cream?