Our first stop was a small cosmetics shop that was stuffed to the ceiling! As my friends did their shopping, I browsed the shop and looked at the different products available. I saw bath gels with osmanthus petals, mud masks, nail polish, face creams and even foot masks. One product that caught my eye was a box that had “Snake Oil Cream” written in English! I grabbed the box and looked closely. I was convinced this had to be a bad translation. (Do you know what thoughts were racing through my head?)
One friend noticed the box I was examining and asked if I found it interesting. I told her that it was interesting and then asked if it really contained snake oil or if it was a bad translation. She chuckled and told me that it really contained snake oil. I took a picture of the box so I could share it with you.
I chuckled about the cream for the rest of the day because I couldn’t believe that a cream was labeled as a snake oil cream. In the USA, I’ve read many books that talked about “snake oil” salesmen who sold fake “medicines”. So the first association for me wasn’t the Chinese water snake that actually is the oil provider, but the salesmen of the books of my childhood.
When I returned home, I asked Jerry for more information and he told me more about snake oil being used in cosmetics here in China. Snake oil has been used to make skin softer and has been thought to help skin heal quickly and relieve pain. Generally snake oil is used in foot creams, hand creams or even face creams.
Jerry asked me if I would be interested in trying snake oil, so he helped me order snake oil from a Chinese online cosmetics ingredient supply shop. The snake oil arrived at the beginning of February and I got to play with it. (I’ll share that blog post with you on Monday!)
Oh, I am so looking forward to this one. Snake oil for real! You do such interesting posts, I really look forward to new ones.
Wow…I thought the same thing you did when I saw “Snake Oil”! How surprising to hear that is truly oil from a real snake. Thanks for sharing that tid-bit 🙂
I’ve heard of snake oil in cosmetics manufactured for sale in southeast Asia. Cannot wait read your product review.
Snake oil? Too funny! But I’m really looking forward to your blog post about it!!
Andee, thank you so much for sharing your adventure in China with all of us! It’s wonderful fun to read about each new adventure, and by extension to learn just a little bit more each time about life in China!
Ooo exciting! can’t wait until Monday to see what you do with it!
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You definitely get extra points for creativity with this one! Growing up, my dad would compare all sorts of vitamins, herbs, and expensive cosmetics to snake oil. It would be really funny to get him some snake oil soap sometime!
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