To paraphrase Brillat-Savarin (my hero, along with Mies van der Rohe and Willy Nelson)...
"You are what you eat". With so much anxiety and phobia around eating, as well as nutritionism, puritanism and food as pharmaceuticals, it might be less fuss to substitute eating good food with lotions, creams and cleaning products.
Perhaps we are not so much what we eat, but now, what we rub on.
I have a shampoo with mango butter and a facial spray with cooling lettuce and cucumber. Avocado and almonds are huge in the external "diet", seen in hand cream, face cream, neck cream, eye cream. (I'm terrified one day I'll mistakenly put eye cream on my neck and find eye lashes growing up past my collar line.) Hair, basically "dead" once it's out in the open, gets huge attention with sweet and bitter orange, lime and herbal infusions and romantic tussie-mussies of sage, hyssop and borage. I read these herbs and botanicals have potential health benefits (potential as in Champagne has the potential to make you giggly and light-headed).
Shea butter is kept safely outside the body. It's possibly not an "essential" fat. There's the romantic argon oil harvested from nuts excreted by tree-climbing goats, (but as Seinfeld would say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that".) There are spices such as coriander, cloves and cinnamon. (I know someone who is emphatic that the population of India is completely cancer-free because they use turmeric.)
Body preparations proclaim their organic ingredients. I use products labelled "Organic-Care" (OK, I like the colour and shape of the bottle.), but that is a brand name not a statement of the growing methods of the ingredients. There's not much organic about cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, dimethiconol, amodimethicone, all listed on the label in small print. But then again they aren't the current bad boys. How many users know what a paraben is? Thank goodness they've been outlawed along with comedogenic ingredients and methylchloroisothiazolinone. It's all so marvellously, reassuringly sciencey (sic) - (rather than science based).
Nourishing, balancing, revitalising and vitamin rich I am confident my hydrolipidic film is being replenished. I love big words.
Kitchen & bathroom cleaners proudly boast baking soda across their visible label, making it sound like something taught in Home Economics - baking soda and borax would clean anything, the girls were told. But reading the ingredient list, baking soda is such a tiny part, leaving the small writing to list the "other stuff", cleaning and sudsing agents, the very ingredients we thought we were avoiding.
All these products are in plastic containers. As the planet goes to hell in a hand-basket (or an un-recyclable plastic shopping bag) our desire and need to believe grows stronger. The power of words!