Sunday, March 29, 2009

Buyer's Remorse

The day that I took my first and thus far, only trip to a bricks and mortar maternity shop, I spent way too much money. I bought some bras that ride up, apparently wanting to support my chin. I bought some tops that I totally love. And I bought several of these wildly expensive skincare products.

I'm a sucker for skincare products, always have been, I hope always won't be, since they're mostly snake oil in pretty packages...

Well, amongst the skincare products I bought is the one pictured at left (photo credit: Basq NYC). It's called belly oil. It smells fabulous. It's supposed to relieve itchyness and prevent/heal stretch marks. It's $38 dollars for 125 mL, which is rather remarkable. It comes in a lovely smoked glass bottle. Glass! That's gotta be good, high end stuff.

In the product promises, it says that it's fast absorbing. I'm not sure how fast to them is fast, but this is my experience. I put the oil on, and then wash my face, brush my teeth and then put moisturizer on my face. I put my sleeping clothes on, or not, as the case may be, and go to bed. This should be enough time (10 - 15 minutes) for fast absorbing oil to be absorbed. You'd think.

I noticed within a week or two of using the oil most nights, that my sleeping clothes and sheets are smelling of rancid oil. Even after washing. Now I normally wash my clothes in cold water, so I tried a few loads with warm and hot water and a bit more detergent than normal to remove the smell. No such luck.

If this was just some inexpensive gunk I'd picked up at CVS, I'd dismiss it, throw it out and be done with it. However, at this price, I need help. So I sent this email to the customer service email address on their website:

Hi there,

I've been using the Resilient Body Oil for awhile and it is a lovely product. However, using a normal washing machine, hot water and laundry detergent, I am unable to remove the smell of rancid oil from my clothes and bed sheets. What do you recommend? I've never had a moisturizer oil, cream or butter leave such a strong, unpleasant odor!

Thank you,
I got a prompt response from Kelli:

Hi BB. We are glad to hear you find the oil lovely and appreciate your business.

We have never heard this issue before in our customer testing and ongoing customer feedback. We care about your product experience and wish we could offer guidance, but have never encountered this issue before.


Kelli Kenny

Wow, never heard of it before. No apology that my bed now smells like an unclean kitchen. No promise to look into it further. No offer of refund on the product. That's satisfying, just a huh, never heard of it.

Doing tech support over the phone, sometimes the first thing that escapes my mouth when a customer describes their problem is "that's weird". But it's never the last: I always follow on to work on fixing the problem. That's my job. I guess Kelli doesn't feel the same way.

What pregnancy and baby products do you love? Have you wished you'd never heard of?


TheFeministBreeder said...

I discovered during my 1st pregnancy that the "belly creams" and "stretch mark oils" were all just snake oil peddled to poor, unsuspecting pregnant women who live in fear of stretch marks. Just another part of that "billion dollar a year" birthing industry. As my doc once said "the only thing stretch mark cream ever helped was the manufacturers wallet."

I didn't use a drop of any of that stuff, and didn't get a single stretch mark in either of my pregnancies (not trying to brag, just pointing out their uselessness.) It's all about genes and heredity. Some women get the marks, some women don't.

For the itchiness, I found that if I stayed hydrated (which wasn't hard because I drank water like a freaking elephant while pregnant) then there was no itching.

That's the best I can say.

BB said...

TFB - thanks, I'm definitely getting that feeling. Hoping for good genes! And yeah, me too on the drinking water like an elephant - what is up with that?

Melodie said...

I know I know, you are wondering when I am going to write that post about pointless pregnancy and bfing products. I still want to do it but will probably take a slightly differnet angle. Anyway, I agree with TheFeministBreeder about stretch mark creams. I also don't like the regular baby shampoos like Johnson and Johnson. They work fine but I prefer the organic ones. Also, I don't like regular baby bar soaps, and some of the "specialty" ones like there is a goat soap one for babies, is so strong I can hardly use it on my own skin.
Some pre-natal vitamins like Materna are pretty nasty too. I get the intestical distress. When I changed pre-natal vitamins it went away.
Oh there are probably more, but I'm stuck now.

Shannon said...

So sorry about the oil. That sucks! Actual vitamin e oil can help skin heal, but yeah--the only thing that will take away stretch marks is good genetics.

CaroLyn said...

Melodie! No rush. I'm looking forward to what you have to say. Thanks for your thoughts on the baby washing products - I've just found the line of baby products at the Body Shop which I'm hoping work out, but we'll see... Right, switching prenatal vitamins have made a huge impact, thank goodness.

Shannon - good call on vitamin E oil - I've heard good things about it. So far, maybe I'm one of the lucky ones? We'll see - the belly has another 14 cm to grow! :)