A few months ago I saw a commercial for Olay Total Effects 7-in-one Advanced Anti-Aging Body Wash. It caught my attention immediately because it promised to accomplish a lot of things and the multi-tasker in me loves simple solutions to complex problems (such as a body wash that washes away aging). I went right out and purchased not one, but two large bottles of Olay Total Effects (lest I run out unexpectedly of this fountain of youth and become “aged” again while waiting to get more). It is amazing how much more commited you become to anti-aging behavior as you start to recognize aging in yourself. It becomes less of an aside and more of a life mission.
The Total Effects label says in part:
“…Total Effects goes beyond beyond cleansing and basic moisturizing to remove dry skin cells and replenish your skin with moisturizers. It fights 7 signs of aging all over your body.”
Did you read that? 7 signs of aging all over your body - damn, those are some big promises. But it gets better, they label goes on to state that as a result of using the product you will have soft, smooth skin in one shower; improved elasticity in one week; and, young-looking radiant skin in one month.
Now, I can see where some of you might doubt some of Olay’s claims…I understand this. To be honest, even as I purchased the two big bottles of Total Effects I was feeling a tad skeptical myself. I mean really…young-looking radiant skin in a month? From a body wash? All this happens from a lather and rinse? Am I dreaming? Is this snake oil? Is sucker stamped on my forehead?
You know when I read the word radiant my mind really only went to one thing – Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s Web. You may recall Charlotte weaving “radiant” into her web as a descriptor for Wilbur. Hmmmm…am I really seeking that kind of radiance? I think in the story, Charlotte was referring to the glow Wilbur had about him when she labeled him radiant. I do wonder if Olay thought about Wilbur’s glow when they made that claim about radiance…if they did it would have given me pause as a consumer. Kim Cattrall (best known for her portrayal of Samantha from Sex in the City) is their spokesperson presently – I can identify with her and her antics; but if Wilbur and Charlotte show up in any future commecials I do believe it would be a dealbreaker for me. A pig’s radiance is not the radiance I seek…just saying Olay…I have my limits.
The good news is that I can report on this product now having used it daily for well over a month. So, let’s talk results.
First, and noting that I am trying to stay relatively objective, I don’t think I have become Wilbur-esque. Instead, I have noticed a different phenomenon…something they don’t tell you on the bottle…something you have to experience to fully understand – you start to feel a little plastic, kind of like a Barbie doll. The body wash leaves a tangible layer of film on you (and your bathtub/shower and shaver as well…what – you thought radiance came without a cost?). The feeling, for lack of a better way to put it, is that you are slowly becoming plasticized. The mental imprint of plastic is so strong for me that every day when I use my body wash I find myself humming that song, “I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world – life in plastic, it’s fantastic.” It is mildly disturbing.
Not that Total Effects works quite that well (it isn’t the same as having everything molded into some level of perfection – my body shape has not turned into Barbie’s), but I have to say that it does deliver on the elasticity part. As for the radiance – well, not sure how that is measured or by whom (and in what state of undress as we are talking “all over your body”). Too bad Charlotte and her web aren’t around to clear that one up. I guess for the time being I will just be able to offer that my review of Total Effects is that it gets you somewhere in-between Wilbur and Barbie – so buy two bottles so you don’t run out.
Day seven hundred and thirty-four of the new forty – obla di obla da