Diary: Is clearer skin worth the clear-as-mud science?

Most of us have a tenuous grasp of science, it's true. But are companies taking advantage of our ignorance by coming up with pseudo-scientific names for their ingredients?

Consider the evidence. Exhibit A: those TV spots which proudly exclaim Danone Activia contains Bifidus Digestivum. For the unsure, Bifidus Digestivum is a) a unique culture that is clinically proven to help improve the natural digestive transit, and b) clearly the product of an over-active imagination.

However, when it comes to the most ridiculously named ingredients, the worst offender is undoubtedly L'Oreal.

For example, did you know that L'Oreal's Age Perfect cream contains Melanin Blanc? Of course you did. And can you imagine life without Pro-Tensium?

Neither can L'Oreal. Fortunately, its Neutrilift Double Lift Lifting Gel is packed with the stuff. And it also contains Pro-Retinal A (which is the Diary's preferred variant of Pro-Retinal).

The trouble is, these ingredients don't make for snappy advertising, especially when you are dealing with products such as Triple Protection Excellence Cream.

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