Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Skin Milk Body Polish: too much milk, not enough polish

Skin Milk's slick packaging caught my eye immediately. I like the spare coloring, the sans-serif font, the homey blue-and-white, the subtle shape of old fashioned milk bottles (on some items -- not this one)(sorry the photo's so terrible; that's all I could find on Google Images). I would have tried any of their products just because the packaging was pretty, but I was specifically looking to test out a new facial scrub. The price also was rather appealing: the Body Polish was $2.59 on clearance.

Maybe that should have told me something.

On first squirt, I noticed the pearly-white sheen of the scrub and thought "hm, that reminds me of something. But what?" Turns out, that "something" was yeast infection cream. This scrub has the exact same appearance and viscosity as Monistat -- and yet, I'm supposed to slather it all over my body? Ew! But I did it, in the interest of science (and blogging). Well, okay. I tried it on my legs. And boy am I glad I went the leg route, because...

The next thing I noticed was the fragrance. Vanilla. Really sugary-sweet cloying vanilla, that smacks you upside the head. I double-checked the packaging -- y'all know how much I hate the smelly products, and vanilla in particular -- and sure enough, the front label doesn't say anything about being vanilla-scented (turns out it's all over the website -- but that's not particularly helpful when you're standing in the bath products aisle). The ingredients list "fragrance," but there is no mention of what kind. I was glad I'd only put it on my legs, because they're the farthest from my nose.

So now I'm grossed out and also vaguely annoyed at the company.

The scrubby texture of the product itself isn't bad. But there's something about the slippery feeling of the base -- it's probably the milk itself, what with all those proteins and whatnot -- that made me feel like I was counteracting the scrubbiness itself. Like the proteins made a barrier that didn't let the scrubby-bits get all the way to my skin. It just didn't feel like it was as effective as it should be. Kind of like putting on lotion but then immediately washing it off. What's the point? I didn't feel "polished." I didn't even feel "mildly buffed." I just felt like I'd wasted a minute of my life.

I really want to be able to recommend this product, because it looks pretty on the shelf and is widely available in grocery and drug stores all over the country, but is also affordable and isn't produced by a big "family products" conglomerate. And milk is good for your skin. Hell, 5% of their gross proceeds goes to Heifer International, which is a program I've been supporting since I can remember. I like all of that.

But I can't say that using the actual product was an enjoyable experience. I cannot tell you that I felt adequately "polished." And really, who wants to be reminded of yeast infection cream when you're supposed to be getting clean? And vanilla... yuck.

So I guess in the end, all I got was something pretty to send to the landfill. Good thing it was on clearance. I'd rather just send Heifer International a direct contribution.

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