It’s been a while since I’ve seen some exceptionally stupid beauty marketing, mostly because I haven’t been looking. During some idle browsing on a lazy Sunday morning, I came across Nudestix Hand Sanitizer Gel. It is a bit odd to see beauty retailers offering so many hand sanitizer products, but that’s the world we live in now. Tons of companies set forth to add hand sanitizers to their complement of products: chemical companies, spirits distilleries, beauty brands. Lo and behold, you can buy all manner of hand sanitizers at Sephora and Ulta now.
TL;DR Your Marketing is Bad
Sephora partnered with Nudestix to add this ethanol-based hand sanitizer, priced $10 for 16.9 fl oz, to their shelves. The listing says:
In partnership with proud Canadian company, Nudestix, Sephora Canada launched this good-for-skin antibacterial gel specifically for the global COVID-19 crisis. Unlike alcohol-based gels, the Nudestix ethanol-based gel hydrates and protects hands while banishing harmful bacteria.
You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me
K, few things. We’ll key in on the biggest chunk of stupidity right off the bat. I cannot believe I have to point this out, but ethanol is an alcohol. In fact, assuming you are not a chemist, it is the form of alcohol you are most familiar with. It is the type of alcohol that beverages contain. It is an alternative fuel. It has antiseptic properties, hence why it is used in hand sanitizers.
CoVid-19 Isn’t a F***ing Bacteria
Secondly, while properly formulated and used hand sanitizers are antibacterial in nature, their marketing focuses too much on this right now. CoVid-19 is not bacterial, it is viral. A high enough concentration of alcohol can kill it. That should be how Nudestix Hand Sanitizer Gel is positioned right now. Instead, the listing mentions that the product was prompted by CoVid and goes on to spout about it being antibacterial.
The Bottom Line
You won’t find a link to Nudestix Hand Sanitizer Gel in this post because I don’t want to encourage/support bad behavior. I frankly find it off-putting – if we have cosmetic companies producing product without the basic understanding that ethanol is an alcohol, how can we trust that their cosmetic formulations have safety and efficacy in mind? It makes me think of Sensationail’s claims about their gel nail cleanser (psst, you don’t need it).
I don’t know if this listing is the fault of some product marketing genius with Sephora or with Nudestix. I don’t know if they genuinely don’t know any better, or if they’re a little too at-ease with assuming their consumers are idiots. I’d sincerely hope at least somewhere in either org there is someone with enough basic chemistry know-how to discourage this sort of thing. Instead, if you want to buy hand sanitizer from a beauty brand, might I suggest Cinema Secrets with a 70% concentration?