Contents

Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


1991 VG

Earth has had a recent fly past by the mysterious alien probe, 1991 VG. And it’s coming back. We’re screwed. Maybe.


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Radioactive Cosmetics

Radiating Beauty

Progress is a fact in every human endeavour. Cars are getting faster, or at least more efficient. Bicycle manufacturers are making them ever lighter. Records have ever greater sound depths and fidelity. Make-up is making us ever more beautiful. Well, in a way…

Tho-Radia tin, prominently displaying the quasi medical name, Dr Alfred Curie

Tho-Radia tin, prominently displaying the quasi medical name, Dr Alfred Curie


Equally pleasant to any of the women’s products was The Scrotal Radiendocrinator. Any man looking to restore reproductive function could employ this irradiated scrotum soak.

Recently there have been several scares in the predominantly pseudo-scientific beauty industrypoisoned breasts, faces contaminated with nano-particles and infected, burnt-off faces. Scientists are crying out to help.

But how about harnessing the vivacious power of radiation?

Sounds enticing doesn’t it? Imagine immersing your entire being in an invisible radioactive haze. You could peel off untold layers of skin, to reveal the beautiful, young skin underneath. You could invigorate yourself from the inside out. Radioactive substances were used for all manner of consumer goods, as shown in this slideshow from Environmental Graffiti, but beauty products, topically applied, must be among the most concerning.

Until the 1930s, Tho-Radia was a french face cream fortified with both thorium and radium. Much like Clarins’ Rashid Enamany, Tho-Radia had its own fictional boffin; Dr Alfred Curie had no links to the discoverers of radiation.

Similar creams were marketed to women from a very early point in the last century. This was the beginning of the scientification (The Inquisition’s word) of the beauty industry. Claims went from simple beautification to the safe removal of birthmarks!

Why stop at creams?

Women could buy, at inflated costs, lipsticks, soaps, lotions, foods and more. Men were also looked after in this brave new world.

Equally pleasant to any of the women’s products was The Scrotal Radiendocrinator. Any man looking to restore reproductive function could employ this irradiated scrotum soak. Anyone stupid enough to do so should have applied it to their head instead.

Alternatively, they may also have been interested in Vita Radium Suppositories. After a 15 day course the men of Colorado, where it was produced, would have noticed remarkable changes.

All manner of ingestions were possible to receive the benefits of radiation. Radithor was a concentrated radium tonic. Eben Byers was a well known playboy and an amateur golf champion. He consumed 4 fluid ounces (approx 100ml) of it every day. He died in 1932 racked with anemia, a brain abscess and with a putrid, decaying jaw. Lovely.

Anyone looking to irradiate themselves ought to seek protection – especially for repeated exposure. Unfortunately, even mild doses of radiation are way beyond the frankly wild protective remit of Clarins Expertise 3p.

All of this questions how people still fall for the claims made by the cosmetics industry. Scientists have always brought on board to reinforce these claims, but do those creams really make you look ten years younger? Really? And do the scientists accept the limits of their knowledge – are these products not just effective but safe?

Consumers are easily swayed in a society which places the highest emphasis on physical beauty. After all, that little pot of cream might just work…

Update

Check out this infographic which shows dodgy chemicals still have a place in cosmetics.

Bibliography
Environmental Graffiti Slideshow
Radium cream advertising
Radior Product Shot
New York Times on irradiated beauty products
Quackometer on CLarins E3P
A chemist questions some products’ claims
Invented chemical ingredients
The Scotsman
Pseudoscience
Nano-particles described in the Telegraph
Multiple Exposures – Chronicles of the Radiation Age, Catherine Caulfield, Harper & Row, 1989
Trafficking Materials and Gendered Experimental Practices: Radium Research in Early 20th Century Vienna, Maria Rentetzi, Columbia University Press, 2007 (http://www.gutenberg-e.org/rentetzi/chapter01.html)

This article was posted by on Sunday, January 29th, 2012 at 17:47.
It is archived in Culture, Food, Health, History, Science, Wild Women and tagged , , , , .

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