Science

Expensive-Ass Toilet Paper is Full of Shit

Everyone uses toilet paper, but how many people get to say that they use outrageously overpriced toilet tissues, as part of a three-step butt care process? This year’s celebrities at the Oscars.

Apparently, in addition to receiving upwards of one hundred-thousand dollars worth of swag in their bags, celebrities are also going to get a special (Gwyneth Paltrow-approved) supply of toilet paper (from Joseph’s Toiletries), worth $275 for a two-month supply.

Disclaimer: all puns are fully-intended and unregretted. 

I had to get to the bottom of this toilet tissue issue, to find out what exactly made this stuff so expensive.

 

First of all, this toilet paper doesn’t come in a roll, like some lower-class gas station sushi, but rather it comes in individual sheets, in a box, tied off with a fancy ribbon. This tissue was created by “leading Swiss dermatologists and skin care experts,” so you know it’s science-approved. According to the manufacturer, it can be used in both “dry or moist condition,” which is basically the minimum requirement for wiping one’s ass, and it’s “fully flushable”. So, that’s good to know.

What really sets this product apart is that the tissue comes in two parts: the outer “vitamin-coated” layer to act as a “moisture-barrier,” specially-quilted to provide “profound softness,” and the inner core for absorbency (described as having a “dendritic structure”). (Reading through the verbose description, I almost feel like I’m at a fancy restaurant, having a conversation about the life my food lived before it became my meal.)

There’s even a helpful drawing of a butt, with a hand holding a wipe behind it, in case you don’t get the wink-wink language used to describe this product. Although, the hand is really far away from the butt, so maybe that’s supposed to be a second person, perhaps the person I hired to wipe my ass? My butt-ler?

(source)

Whose hand is that, exactly? (source)

Unhelpfully, the description under “How to use” says, “The tissue can be used in its dry and moist condition together with the treatments. Fully flushable.” I mean, if you’re going to include a “how to use” section, you should at least not avoid the issue completely. There’s a video too, but it shows someone washing their face? Don’t be coy with me, toilet paper!

Even this towel knows the difference (source)

Even this towel knows the difference (source)

As I said earlier, the toilet paper is only the first step of the three-part butt-cleansing process. Steps two and three include a special cleanser and moisturizer. Just when you thought you were done reading about how rich people take care of their derrieres!

Here’s the description for the Gentle Cleanser:

The gently clearing and purifying tonic allows for natural moist cleansing. Pure Swiss glacier water, enriched with provitamin B5 and soothing emollients, rinses away impurities, whilst keeping the skin protected. A specially developed bioselective agent, Ecoflora®, restores the skin’s microbiological balance, neutralizing bad bacteria and odours, preparing the skin for the Balancing Care.

(Man, for a website about toilet paper, these descriptions are more meaningless than the Random Deepak Chopra Quote Generator.)

From the way this is written, you would think that the rest of us plebes walk around smelling like ass all day. I’m not sure exactly how this proprietary Ecoflora “restores” the microbial balance of one’s tush, but I do like how their bacteria is given a fancy name and description, to differentiate it from the “bad bacteria” that’s left by your poop. (This is especially ironic if the wipee is taking some kind of probiotic supplement to add “good bacteria” to the gut microbiota, which immediately turns bad once it leaves the butt.) And wouldn’t simply cleaning your butt provide enough of a “neutralizing” effect to get rid of odor?

Super-close scientific magnification of bad bacteria (source)

Super-close scientific magnification of bad bacteria (source)

The second step involves using a Balancing Care lotion:

Using the most advanced active ingredients for intimate skin, this soothing and nourishing moisturizer leaves a velvety feel. The exclusive complex of bio-fermented minerals and pro-vitamin B5 detoxifies, calms and quickly absorbs into the skin. Enriched with special repair and defense molecules, it synergistically increases the skin’s self-protecting capacities and reduces irritations.

Let’s focus in on the concept of “bio-fermented minerals.” First of all, fermentation is a biological process, so it doesn’t make sense to call something “bio-fermented.” Furthermore, minerals are not fermented, because they’re inorganic. (Although, there is a possibility that the authors behind this science-approved butt lotion are just making this shit up, using the beauty-industry version of technobabble.) Also, I don’t know what kind of sandpaper these people were wiping with before, but I have never needed to apply a lotion to my butt that had “detoxifying” effects or involved “repair and defense molecules,” whatever that means (outside of what lotion does normally, anyway).

 

To finish off this ridiculousness, the manufacturer claims that the toilet paper is eco-friendly.

The JOSEPH’S Toiletries Tissue is made of 100% tender virgin new-growth cellulose fibres without any additives like binders or chemicals mostly used in wet wipes to both avoid irritations on sensitive skin and harming the sewage systems as well as our environment.

original-box package

Yeah, this toilet tissue, which is sold in packs of 25-sheets, is totally environmentally friendly. So environmentally friendly, that each individually-wrapped pack comes in a box, tied with a ribbon, including multiple bottles of cleanser and lotion. Nothing says eco-friendly like excessive packaging.

But then without the fancy box, how are your friends supposed to know that you spent so much money on yourself? It is, like, so hard to be ultra rich sometimes.

(source)

Better wear this hat around the house, just to be safe (source)

Featured Image

Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

Previous post

Quickies: Intersex Rights, Internet Colonialism in India, and "Detoxing" Clay That May Contain Lead

Next post

Quickies: Sighs, more scientist sexual misconduct, and space tourism

7 Comments

  1. February 10, 2016 at 1:24 pm —

    Bio-fermented minerals?

    What does that even mean? I’d love to have been a fly on the wall of that meeting where they came up with this shit…

    • February 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm —

      This just screams for a J. Peterman description.

      She moves like thunder and ghastly potpourri, you can sense her miasma from across the room.

      Nothing but the best for her seems so clichéd but has never been more true. She makes her way as an internationally known Vine star, so freshness has to be paramount, yet here on Mount Tibidabo freshness is a fleeting commodity. Good thing she packed the Joseph’s Toiletries.

      The tissues are a soft as the down of a newborn cygnet, so absorbent as to to clean in one pass, and strong enough to endure both wet and dry. The only way to wipe, bottom line.

      Not only was the Gentile Cleansing eau nettoyante full of minerals, vitamins, and Ecoflora® to eliminate odor and return her system’s microbiome to neutral, it was brisk and refreshing. She couldn’t help but return to her days of tracking Zachariæ Isstrøm Glacier as it surrendered to the Arctic Ocean. As the boat got a little too close, the calving ice caused a massive spray that drenched all those on deck. Two died that day, but she remember how invigorating it was. She felt that she had just delivered a small portion of that glacier to her backside.

      While she knew that the Balancing Care soin equilibrant was lotion, it was also so much more. With bio-fermented minerals and tush-soothing vitamins to detoxify and relax your sphincter, she couldn’t help but notice that it smelled like a river of flowers. She hadn’t smelled anything like this since her summer counting okapis in the Ituri Rainforest. Lord, how she missed Régis.

      The white enamel box was cool to her touch and placed a finality on the end of her feculent constitutional. She couldn’t help but feel bad for Bertrand and Ernesto, after all without their help she would have been disowned months ago and trapped in a metaphorical jail not much better then the cell they now shared. Perhaps one day she would try to visit.

      • February 10, 2016 at 9:59 pm —

        Mr misconception, your comment is classic yet breezy, with a casually sophisticated style that says, “I’ve arrived.”

        (Not to disparage the heroine’s taste, but in my own field expeditions, I find it prudent to avoid any product that claims to relax my sphincter.)

  2. February 10, 2016 at 7:57 pm —

    King Henry VIII of England had what you call a butt-ler. I tried to find the Horrible Histories sketch on youtube but couldn’t.

    I’m pretty sure the critter with the ‘We’re not all bad’ sign is and arthropod of some sort, not a bacterium. (It looks like a louse, but has the wrong number of limbs for that. Maybe it suffered a trauma.)

  3. February 11, 2016 at 1:03 am —

    Why do rich people still use toilet paper anyway? Why be rich if you’re not going to get a Toto Washlet with a heated seat?

  4. February 11, 2016 at 7:37 am —

    Oh, it’s totally scientific… The ribbon’s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knot_(mathematics) was designed by a knot theorist!

    Also, the depiction of the Capital parties in the Hunger Games is looking less and less like fiction.

Leave a reply