Is Cleansing Reduction Really a Trend?

There is an exciting new trend in the world of beauty, apparently. ‘Cleansing Reduction’ is the hot new thing. It means washing less, showering once or twice a week, in the belief that washing every day strips your skin of natural oils and bugs and it is therefore healthier to do it at a reduced frequency.

This story has had substantial pick-up around the world and lots of excited comment from people, eager to share their showering rituals or to express disgust at those loathsome folk who don’t live permanently in a vat of shower gel.

But I wonder if there is a nonsense at the heart of it. Is there really a new trend called ‘cleansing reduction’? Is there any actual proof of this new habit, beyond the results of one survey, which has been picked up by a couple of respected publications and then gone viral?

From what I can tell, the answer is no. I cannot find anything about this subject, and certainly not this new term, beyond the extensive coverage of the original story. And so it is a triumph for tissue manufacturer SCA, who commissioned the survey at the heart of this news.

I see many press releases where a company has tried to coin a new word in the hope that it will be picked up, and the new word will resonate in headlines and so gain them coverage. The tactic seldom seems to work. On this occasion it has done, and there is now a chance that the phrase cleansing reduction will indeed become a new trend, even though it probably wasn’t before, and so it will become self-fulfilling.

As cleansing is reduced so language is expanded.

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