Satire Friday: Dermatologist Tested

Estee Lauder, in a vivid print from Yves Saint...

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I just brought home a new jar of moisturizer. I’m reading the PI (product insert) which has all the usual claims: guaranteed to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, provide 24-hour moisture protection (then why does it tell me to use it TWICE a day?), help shy people make new friends, and bring your old boyfriend back to weep at your feet. You know, the usual. Then I see the fine print at the bottom of the list: “Dermatologist tested.” Hmmm.

I’m picturing my own dermatologist, Dr. S. He’s fresh-faced, youthful-appearing, looks like he’s about 17, but without the acne. I know he’s older than that though because he actually spent 10+ years in college, and I know he’s got kids that are at least 14. So safe to say, my dermatologist is at least 35, yet he looks great. Fresh. Young. Handsome. Ageless. The plot thickens.

So, does my dermatologist look so good because he’s constantly testing miracle moisturizers and the like, or do they only pick good-looking dermatologists to be the testers? Or is it both? Fast backward to the University of whatever medical school, department of dermatology. Reps from all the usual suspects wait outside the classroom door – Clinique, Estee Lauder, Origins, Mary Kay, Revlon, and so on. The dermatology residents file out the door. The best looking ones are besieged by the cosmetic company reps, then wooed with free dinners, company cars, iPods, and so on, to be their company dermatologist. Once they succumb to the company’s overtures, they become dermatologist testers. The sign contracts which include clauses stating that they are forbidden to ever smoke, tan or indulge in other skin aging behaviors. They then begin lucrative careers, which in addition to their dermatology practice, involves regular use of the latest age-defying lotions. No wonder Dr. S. looks so good!

(There are some naysayers who would argue that the phrase “dermatologist tested” means that dermatologists supervised the product testing. How silly! Anyone who has seen Dr. S. and his good-looking partner Dr. M., would know this could not be true.)


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