This might very well be the true story of how little 'Polly Paraben' was born.
Yes, I know it's spelled polyparaben, but I figure if we're going to misspell a name, we may as well give it a bit of pizazz and throw in a pic of an adorable little baby.
So stick with me and hopefully you will be entertained.
It All Started the Other Day...I was recently browsing the site of one of my tried and trusted suppliers and happened to click on preservatives. As I had never bought preservatives from these folks, I decided to check out their selection.
They had one called Herbigerm that looked interesting. I clicked to the product page to learn more. It was a mix of several different preservatives that promised broad spectrum preservation.
One of the ingredients on the list caught my eye.
It was polyparaben.
'This is obviously a typo', I said and proceeded to write them a courteous email linking to the page in question. I asked them to confirm this was just a typo for propylparaben.
Apparantly notThe person who received my email had contacted their warehouse manager to check.
And the official reply: "I have spoken to the warehouse manager and he tells me there is such thing as polyparaben, so we don’t think this is a typo."
Don't think this is a typo?
Surely You JestI wrote them back with a list of links to sources and documentation and ended the mail with a polite 'please have your warehouse manager contact me if there are any further questions, as I would like to purchase and try this preservative but neither can nor will label any of my cosmetics with a fictive ingredient'.
A day later (still awaiting their reply), I popped over to their site to check on another product and decided to check in on 'Polly'.
Here's what I found:
The ingredients list had been corrected.
Good for them for their prompt attention to this matter.
But then I got to thinking...This company is pretty big. Correction. They're huge. They provide ingredients and packaging to large scale manufacturers as well as smaller outfits – all the way down to teensy-sized operations such as mine.
These folks have (expansive) departments all over the world and a stocklist as long as your arm, leg and more to come. In short, there are a LOT of bits and pieces to keep track of.
Imagine if you will that they have been selling this preservative for years. Imagine if you will that nobody ever noticed this typo before I came along the other day and pointed it out to them.
Imagine if you will that this is where the whole polyparaben misunderstanding got started in the first place.
We'll never know for certain, but I sure can't help wondering.