Monday, April 01, 2024

The Body Wash Situation

Now it's come to this, an inglorious chapter
Did they really have to go this far, I wonder?
Some things in life are just so disconcerting
Now I'm facing the body wash situation

You see, somebody's been messing with my shower
The signs were unpromising just a few weeks earlier
I'd noticed on the bottle that ominous portent of terror
Yes indeed, brightly highlighted, it read: New Formula

Uh oh, I thought, I wonder how this will go over
The Wife, you see - bless her, is a delicate flower
Woe is me, her nose for scents is simply without equal
Would this new formula repeat the earlier debacle?

Twenty years was a good run for a product, it's indubitable
I guess the new formula striking once again was inevitable
Back then, I’d being forced into exile with the demise of Oil of Olay
Their "new and improved" body wash was a clear fail - plain as day

I'd investigated, and found that they'd changed their formula
   Because of the price of soybeans
Call it a supply chain adjustment,
   Late stage capitalism messing with my shower routine

At length, I'd then settled on Aveeno
"Unscented and fragrance free"
And what's this they're now touting?
The new formula is "Sulfate free"

I suppose I should rejoice, going by their advertising material
Their chemists have plainly gone to great lengths for this sequel
So I tried the new bottle out....
   It's okay on the skin but clearly different
But, as you know, we live in community, I'm not the only constituent...

Yep, it only took a week for The Wife to start to complain
"There's a new smell in the house, it's giving me a migraine"
The writing was on the wall, marital strife beckoned, what a disaster
And now I'm creeping, scouring pharmacies, searching for the old formula

You can see where I'm going with this, the roots of my dilemma
They messed with a good thing and came up with the new formula
Now I'm stuck with bar soap. The Wife made me cancel my subscription!
Until I find an acceptable replacement, I'm facing the body wash situation

The New Formula strikes again

— Figure 1: old formula (left), new formula (right)


Now I played it for laughs, but this situation is deadly serious
I'm also an organic chemist at heart and hence quite curious
Can't a man have a shower in peace? Such is my predicament
I resolved to get to the bottom of things and check out the ingredients

From a visual inspection, I couldn't detect a change in color
The change is in the olfactory realm, something about the odor
To the touch, the cream feels just a little bit thicker
And perhaps, I'd hazard, it lingers on the skin longer

Turns out, from the label, that the old formula was "Made in Canada"
Hmm, how damnable, the new formula is "Made in America"
I don't know, I think I prefer the work of the Canucks
Because this American formulation, quite frankly, sucks

I see what they did there: they took the more expensive seeds out
And tried to mask the change by claiming they're taking sulfates out
I've been down this road before, I almost want to scream and shout
I'm not inclined, at this stage, to give them the benefit of the doubt

Gone are the citric acid, coriander fruit, and cardamomum seed oil
Replaced by, who's ever heard of, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil
Stick to core competency, I mean talk about missing ingredients
Bean counters and boffins inflicting on us this kind of deviance

They've now turned to the hard sell. On this, the evidence bears me out:
"91% agreed this product gently cleansed their skin without drying it out"
Are they imposing a global formula change using leftovers and by-products?
Or, Dear Reader, do I need to move to Canada to find my beloved product?

What gives? What's wrong with a little sodium laureth sulfate?
Why do I need to switch to, of all things, ethylene brassylate?
Is there nothing sacred anymore? Call it buyer's remorse
I mean The Wife is now actively contemplating divorce

Some things should be sacrosanct but they'd rather whitewash
For god's sake, why are they messing with a man's body wash?
I'm rather minded to call it The Aveeno Debacle
Frankly Johnson & Johnson, this is unacceptable

And so I leave you stewing, with a mix of anger and frustration
Driving around town with the kids in search of the old formulation
"The customer is always right" is the quintessential American fiction
Steel yourself and gird your loins for when you face your own body wash situation

the body wash situation aveeno body wash old vrs new formula

— Figure 2: list of differences in the ingredients.
old formula (left), new formula (right)

The Body Wash Situation, a playlist

A contentious soundtrack for this note (spotify version) Bonus beats: You've turned my whold world around by Barry White

The New Formula strikes again

— Figure 3: ingredient list and marketing hard sell
old formula (left), new formula (right)

Please bring back the old formula Aveeno Johnson & Johnson
With this unseemly change, I'm unmanned, I really can't cope
It no longer passes the wife test, this is a desperate call to action
Please bring back the old formula... and save me from bar soap



Six weeks later and things are no better, I really can't cope
The Wife threw out the various substitutes I tried out, she said nope
Even the brand that bore her middle name, sensitive skin and all was a no go
Leaving me to bask in that time-tested but low frills efficiency: bar soap

More beats in this time of mourning: I can't go for that by Hall & Oates and Come Back by Keith Sweat


See previously on this curio of late stage capitalism: And for more on the domestic front,

Needless to say, I dissent.

(Oh, look at the date. Ducks)

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Writing log: February 16, 2024

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