Shower Shock: Coffee

I have silently prided myself on being the ONLY Seattle-ite who can’t stand coffee—even with all that late night studying in college, I never developed a taste for it. To me, it tastes like a cross between burnt toast and Brussels sprouts—bitter, bitter, bitter.

Coffee’s redeeming attribute is that it has a lot of caffeine, giving that decisive kick every bleary-eyed morning. Caffeine’s been in the news lately:

Researcher Dr. James Bibb of the University of Texas asked the question, what is “the most frequently self-administered drug in recreational use worldwide today?” Answer: Yep, caffeine. The question makes me conjure up images of surly teenagers lurking around dark corners injecting syringes of coffee into their sleepy bodies.

For those of you who have switched to herbal tea but still need that jolt in the morning, consider this new product on the market: Shower Shock. It’s the world’s very first caffeine-laden bar soap created by entrepreneur Jeff Costic. Initially he made the soap by crushing No-Doz into soap medium and adding peppermint oil. Knowing caffeine is absorbed through the skin, he deduced it “logically” follows that this jazzed up soap will energize you while showering. At $6.99 a bar, though, it might just be better to toss those Folgers crystals into a microwave-able mug and push START.

For those who can’t kick the caffeine habit, there is good news. Clip this column out and hand it to that spouse/child/significant other/pesky friend/enemy who chides you about your 8-cup daily consumption and tell them, “Hey, at least I won’t get skin cancer!” In a recent study—which was no doubt paid for by our hard earned tax dollars—scientists slathered caffeine-infused skin lotion all over unsuspecting hairless mice. Then those scientists—who apparently were bored one day—exposed the moisturized and bald mice to unrelenting levels of ultraviolet radiation. The outcome? The mice were more hyperactive, but they had less cancer!

So, next time you reach for that cup of Joe, consider this: you could instead opt to slather it all over your body and possibly get the same jolting effect of imbibing it, AND you will lessen your risk in getting skin cancer. Your co-workers might think you smell like burnt toast and Brussels sprouts, though.

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