Shower Shock soap promises a clean buzz
By FELIX CARROLL
Albany Times Union
If, like the millions of unwashed (and barely awake), you were merely waiting for someone to come out with a bar of caffeinated soap before committing to habitual cleaning, it's time to hit the showers, boyo.
Shower Shock (aka "The Original Caffeinated Soap") is the hygiene equivalent of Jolt (aka "The World's Most Powerful Cola"). At 200 milligrams of caffeine per wash, consider Shower Shock your own Jolt-on-a-Rope or "the ultimate clean buzz," as the makers of Shower Shock call it. "Mornings have never been so invigorating!" say the press materials for Shower Shock, distributed by thinkgeek.com.
A vegetable-based glycerine soap, Shower Shock is scented with peppermint oil — lots of peppermint oil. Picture sudsing yourself up with a big breath mint.
It smells so minty fresh it may take great self restraint to stop yourself from washing your mouth out with it.
In addition, each 4-ounce bar is infused with caffeine anhydrous. There are 12 "servings," or showers, per bar with 200 milligrams of caffeine per serving, say the folks at think
geek.com. The caffeine is absorbed through the skin.
When told about the soap, dermatologist Robert Shoss said the degree of caffeine absorption would probably be highly variable depending on how much skin is covered with the lather and how long the lather stays on the skin. But because caffeine is known to help raise the itch threshold for eczema sufferers, Shoss (who drinks six cups of coffee a day) says he's cautiously intrigued by the soap.
"It's worth study and worth scrutiny," he says.
Why invent caffeinated soap? The press materials say nothing of eczema. Instead, they bend the steel bars of logic and ask: "Tired of waking up and having to wait for your morning java to brew?" Hmmm. Personally, no. By the time I fetch the child in the crib and the paper on the porch, the coffee's ready.
"Are you one of those groggy early morning types that just needs that extra kick?"
Actually, no. Coffee does the trick. Besides, I prefer being rocked to sleep, not rocked awake.
Really, two factors will prevent me from being a Shower Shock junkie.
One: Taking Shower Shock at its word, at 200 milligrams of caffeine per wash, you've already reached your fill of daily caffeine, as recommended by some national guidelines. Although many experts say ingesting as much as 300 milligrams daily can have positive effects, you'd still be allowing a bar of soap to corner the market on your daily caffeine ration, which seems like a waste, particularly if you love coffee.
Two: It costs a whopping $6.99 per bar, which puts Shower Shock-style cleanliness next to oh-my-godliness!
Miss. Shower Shock has the quirky quality of the kind of swag you'd find at Spencer Gifts. You buy it once for a good giggle, but overall, it's pretty impractical.