grease is, unfortunately, the word

Frankly, I don’t understand why skin care products have to masquerade as food.

It’s not a recent development, of course, but it’s been getting worse the past few years. You know what I’m talking about, the substances that are ostensibly for external use only, yet are composed almost entirely of ingredients that are not only edible, but tasty. Is it just some sort of evil plot to make everyone’s children and pets get sick by eating hand lotion?

I’m not much of one for excessively frou-frou pampering, but I saw the little tub of Burt’s Bees goop on the table, so I thought I’d take the time to grease up the elbows. It’s winter, and the ancient radiator heating of a NYC apartment means super-dry air, so my arm hinges were starting to look like an elephant’s knees. Trying to be a grown-up these days, ya know, so that means tending to such things as hygiene and personal maintenance.

But goddamned if this stuff doesn’t seem like it was created by a confectioner. Who is Burt, anyway? "Almond milk"? I mean, I’m no taxonomist, but I’m fairly certain that almonds, as nuts, are not mammals. Though I’d certainly love to see a unionizing effort by a bunch of poor saps forced to try to yank the teats on a walnut.

Then there’s the usual litany of other ingredients in this stuff, like water and sugar and wax and… wait a minute, sugar? What the fuck? And why are there grapefruit seeds in hand lotion? Am I going to be needing some Martha Stewart-type kitchen hardware for this? I keep thinking that the factory where they make this stuff looks like the Food Network, it’s all gleaming stainless steel and someone is running grapefruit innards through a sifter, just so I can keep my elbows from being itchy. All this because a boy just can’t go around looking ashy.

And I’m sorry, but I’m convinced the whole "aloe" thing is bullshit. A super cactus plant that’s easy enough to grow that even a single guy can keep the plant alive, but somehow this wonder plant has magical healing abilities and you ought to rub it on your burns and cuts? I think this must be the purvey of those scam artists who inflict homeopathy on people. Like that whole GNC thing, a store full of products either aimed at creepy weightlifting obsessives or credulous new age hippie horseshit afficionados, all attempting to improve their health and "wellness" by ingesting overpriced, pre-packaged pills made of the part of the vegetable that you discard when making dinner. Aloe my ass. I like Bactine. That shit stings, that’s how you know there’s science in it.

I’m only human, though, so I’m a sucker and I put the greasy goop on and, well, wouldn’t ya know it? Putting a substance that’s mostly water on my elbows left them… less dry! Brilliant. I’m sticking to just having rough, itchy skin. And I’m gonna keep the fruits and vegetables and vanilla extract in the kitchen, where they belong.