Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Poetry in Lotion

As a person with a pretty strict set of rules about what will go into or onto her body, I’ve definitely blocked-up more than my fair share of grocery and drugstore aisles while poring over lists of product ingredients. While I’ve long-since resigned myself to life as a label-gazer, and have even begun to take some pride in the vocabulary of obscure additives I’ve built over the years (do all of you know what imidazolidinyl urea or sodium tallowate come from, hmmm?) I’m still finding shopping a sometimes exhausting experience here in China.

Making sure I’m not purchasing something made with animal ingredients is extra-hard in a country where a) they eat everything, b) skin products enhanced with snake oil and sheep placenta are run of the mill, and c) I don’t read the language very well and my well-worn, portable dictionary doesn’t have the English definition for the words sheep placenta anyway

So, screening Chinese products for vegan-friendliness is time-consuming and bewildering, yes, but on the flip-side, thanks to most Chinese companies’ bizarre compulsion to include English on the packaging of products that will almost never be marketed to an English speaking public, it is also highly-entertaining. Witness, please, the skincare line that I stumbled across at our local ChaoShiFa. I am sure you will as moved (although not buy), as I was.

On the poignant futility of water:Posted by Picasa