Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday This and That or How Not to Sell Skin Care

Well, I never! I was sorting through old, unread mail today when an envelope caught my eye. Addressed to me, not my blog, I opened it out of curiosity. You won't believe how many envelopes I toss without ever opening them. This one drew a little interest.

The short note from Dr. Alexsander Olsen said, "Dear XX (with XX being my first name), if you care about your appearance, please read this book." It appeared to be hand-signed. Immediately, I wondered who sold my name and address. Was this a blog plug, or did someone sell a mailing list of female baby boomers?

This little booklet introduced me to Immuderm. Billed as the remarkable story of how a Norwegian cleaning lady discovered an anti-aging breakthrough in a fish tank, it told me why Immuderm works better than anything else on the market to improve your appearance. OK, I scanned it.

Here is the deal. Hilda had the job of cleaning fish tanks in a biotechnology lab. The water was treated with a substance called B-1/3-1/6 glucan, according to the booklet. So after Hilda noticed that her hands and arms began to look younger, she started splashing the fish tank water on her face too. (Does this remind you of SK-II story?)

Long story short, Hilda told her boss, and he had his own eureka moment. Twenty-three months and millions of dollars later, Immuderm was developed. Clinical tests showed profound results for everyone in the study, of course. Now, the booklet claims, Immuderm is a household name. Hilda apparently retired because her royalty takes good care of her.

You can order this stuff directly from Immunocorp. You can find it at Amazon too. I won't be ordering for several reasons. First, I found the note I received to be fairly insulting. Do I care about my looks? Of course. Few don't. Am I some naive woman who believes everything she reads? Nope. Second, did I do a little research on Immuderm? Of course. I found several warnings on the Internet. I've trained my eye to know when the warnings are simply dishonest product pitches or when they are based on a few facts. These seemed legit. Check out this blog, subtitled "60 going on 16" - pretty clever. It's an old post, but basically tells the same story.

Third, if Immuderm has been around over six years, and few have heard of it, it's probably not the answer to our prayers. Fourth, if you check out, you'll find claims that would draw the attention of the Food and Drug Administration. I'm not sure how you could support an individual's immune system without absorption by the blood stream.

Have you ever received this little marketing booklet, or did I get lucky? Buyer beware!

Photo at top courtesy of, which has no relationship to Immuderm


Dovey said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

What an interesting and bizarre story. I think I'd also feel really strange receiving a personally addressed letter. Aside from the other odd aspects of the story, I just can't imagine someone splashing their face or emerging their hands into fishtank water --- it's full of biological waste which is pretty different than the SK-II's brewery derived liquids.

Charlestongirl said...

LOL, Dovey! Almost as bad as those fish pedicures. You know, where the fishies nibble on your feet?

60 going on 16 said...

Just popped across the Atlantic to say 'hello' and to thank you for the mention re a certain 'beauty' cream. As you say, the blogpost is quite old, one of the first I wrote, but the subject matter brings more people to my blog that any other search term. I derive a quiet satisfaction from that, not least knowing that it must be mightily annoying to the company that peddles the stuff.

I had no idea about the fish tank. Yuk! Incidentally, there have been some very disturbing news stories here in the UK about those fish pedicures . . .

Eileen said...

Irish fishermen, Japanese sake workers, and now Norwegian cleaning ladies--they all seem to have unwittingly stumbled upon the fountain of youth while at work. But splashing yourself with fish tank water? :-P Oh well, I guess it's no worse than using nightengale poop as a facial! LOL

Charlestongirl said...

Hi 60 going on 16!

Loved your post. It said everything I wanted to say.

We've heard the cons of nibbling fish too. The whole idea brings a big YUK to my mind.

Charlestongirl said...

What next, Eileen? Sewer rats discovered to have a natural sunscreen?

Unknown said...

While loads of my friends were very fascinated with the fish pedicure, I always found it quite disgusting. And splashing ur face with figh tank water!!! Makes me want to puke! Thanks for the red flag on immunocorp.

Eileen said...

Oh, Charlestongirl! Tou are too funny! Sewer rat sunscreen--what a notion :-)

onegreatsmile said...

Know what's best to keep you young? LAUGHTER!! Which is exactly what this post, and the comment thread that comes with it did for me. CharlestonGirl, Thank you for taking a month off my face today!! :-)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Dollie,

That about sums it up. LOL

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Onegreatsmile,

Getting that mail was a laugh. I had to write about it. Great material - so glad it didn't go straight to the recycle bin.

Something Fishy said...

Thank you for your blog. I must be lucky because I received 2 little booklets in the mail like the one you mentioned. Only one was labeled Immuderm and the other Immutol. Both are from the same company in Nebraska. Strangely, one story tells of a discovery by a lady named Hilda and a fish tank and the other tells of a Dr. Raa and sick salmon. Both say they discovered Beta Glucan. Same style books, same company, different stories. If the product is so great, why are they telling different stories? Reminds me of kids telling lies who forget what they said and end up telling a whole different tale -- a whale of a tale! I'm not buying it!

Charlestongirl said...

VERY interesting, Something Fishy.

The product could be good. I'll never know. I do know deceptive marketing when I read it.

There's a new book I want called "The Truth, The Whole Truth,
Nothing Butthe Truth from a Cosmetically Disturbed Mind." :)

Anonymous said...

Bebe G

I live in the remote north of Canada and I received one of these envelopeds with the little book inside of it and a note. The outside of the envelope is addressed to me, written definitely in a very, very childlike hand...even slopes down every line, haha!

p.s. Mine was the Hilda and the fishtanks version lol

Anonymous said...

I smell something very fishy. My 90-year old mother received this note and booklet claiming renewed beauty from inside a fish tank. No tanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post. I too received an envelope addressed to me with the booklet and letter enclosedenclosed. I was also put off by the comment "If you care about your appearance please read this book." I thought right from the start that was a negative way to begin the sales pitch.

After reading your post I will toss this advertisement in the trash. As you said and I agree, I'm not seeing any great reviews on this product.

Thank you.