Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
They say: "Apply to feet or other body parts in order to prevent excessive friction. For example, when walking in new shoes, exercising, etc...Does not stain or make feet slippery."
They mean: Apply to inner thighs every time you go outside between the months of April and September. For example, when the place in which you live is a disgusting hellswamp and you still need to walk fourteen blocks to buy new underwear at an H&M because it's easier than doing laundry. Apply under your arms, too, because your tricep flesh creates a lot of friction. This probably does work for your feet, too, but you'll forget to apply it there, anyway. You can live with foot blisters, but you can't live with inner-thigh scabs. Does not stain or make the weather any better, nor does it make you forget that winter is coming, and soon.
They Say: "Clean and dry wound and surrounding skin thoroughly. 1. Peel away the printed liner from the paper-framed dressing, exposing the adhesive surface. 2. Apply dressing over wound. Do not stretch the dressing when applying. 3. Remove the paper frame from the dressing while smoothing down the edges."
They mean: Clean and dry the "wound," which most certainly a mess of your own creation on your face. Even though you spend all your free time on beauty forums and you know not to pick at your pimples, you've been doing it since you were thirteen and you're probably not going to learn that lesson any time soon.
1. Peel away the printed liner from the paper-framed dressing, exposing the adhesive surface, and think about how you got to the point where you work from home alone and you have the freedom to stick bandages on your acne scars because you don't see people for twelve hours at a time. Is that what you dreamed of as a little girl? 2. Apply dressing over "wound." Mess up a couple times. 3. Remove the paper frame from the dressing while smoothing down the edges and wait for five hours, keeping the hollow dream alive that when you remove the Tegaderm Waterproof Transparent Dressing, you will become a more desirable person.
They say: "Change wet and soiled diapers promptly. Cleanse the area, and allow to dry. Apply cream liberally as often as necessary, with each diaper change, especially at bedtime or anytime when exposure to wet diapers may be prolonged. Store below 86°F (30°C)."
They mean: Skip the part about changing wet and soiled diapers promptly because, lol, you can't care for a child for at least another 12 years. You're using this on your face because someone's hot mom told you the zinc oxide in diaper rash cream kept her looking young.
Cleanse the face as best as you can and allowed to dry. Apply cream liberally and as often as necessary before bed. Here's the hard part: don't allow your face to touch the pillow or your comforter or else it will be one big stick messy. Get a horrible night of sleep. Store below 86°F (30°C) and somewhere hidden because this is your deepest, darkest secret. Break out a little in the morning.
They say: "Massage a quarter size amount on wet face and neck. Shave. Rinse razor blade with hot water periodically."
They mean: Massage a ten-quarter size amount on bikini line, which you've been pressured into shaving because of our hegemonic society's unrealistic expectation of women's bodies and also your friend made a weird comment to you when you were wearing jean shorts the other day. Shave. Rinse razor blade with hot water periodically, and then realize this is certainly a two razor job. Curse men for getting better razors and better shave cream.
They say: "Just turn it on and brush as you would with a regular manual brush. Dentists recommend changing your brush every 3 months..."
They mean: Just turn it on and get creative as you would with a regular manual brush. Brushing your teeth is pretty low on your list of grooming priorities, but you know what it isn't? Lip plumping! Sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, baking soda, and whichever other grainy mostly non-toxic substances you can find in your kitchen cabinets and start scrubbing. Your lips will probably bleed, prompting friends to ask you what the hell happened to you rather than whisper about whether or not you had a rejuvenating cosmetic procedure. At least they're talking! Use the second toothbrush in the two-pack for other gross stuff, like cleaning out the grout in your shower.
They Say: "Oral debriding agent: Adults, children over two years of age: Mix with an equal amount of water. Swish around in the mouth over the affected area for at least one minute, then spit out. Use up to four times daily after meals and at bedtime"
They mean: Tooth whitening agent because you've neglected your teeth so much: Adults, children over, let's say, 18: Mix with a guesstimated amount of water. Swish around the mouth for five minutes while you're watching a video your aunt sent you over email. Don't check how you're technically supposed to use a poison to whiten your teeth, mostly because you keep forgetting, then spit it out. Swallow a little bit and consider calling a poison control hotline for thirty minutes, but figure it's not worth the effort. Use up to four times daily, especially when your self-esteem is low.