RICHARD ORD: Rodent droppings and human urine – beauty is in the eye of the rat-holder

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WHEN I read this week that rats’ droppings had been found in beauty products, I had to keep reading to find out whether this was good or bad news.

For those of us who watch the workings of the cosmetic industry from the sidelines, it’s not always clear.

In this case, the discovery of rat poo and human urine in counterfeit cosmetics was, by most accounts, bad news.

City of London Police have uncovered the unpleasant ingredients in fake make-up and perfume seized from unscrupulous dealers.

Yet, in my experience, women are only ever one unsubstantiated Laboratoire Garnier rumour from caking their face in rodent bowel excretions - or worse - in the pursuit of perfection.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was sent out to buy haemorrhoid cream … for my wife’s face! She heard on the cosmetic grapevine that pile cream Preparation H can work wonders on the bags under your eyes. And muggins here, was sent out to buy it. Who thought of trying Preparation H on their face?

What was going through her mind? There she is; bent over; applying Preparation H to her painful piles. She’s still got a bit left on her finger … what to do? Of course, don’t waste it, smear it on the bags under your eyes!

Should be thankful she wasn’t suffering from swollen gums. I suspect that all great discoveries have been given the beauty test too. When Louis Pasteur discovered the process of pasteurisation by observing mould in a petri dish, I bet that while he was off informing the world of his breakthrough, Mrs Pasteur had dipped her finger in the mould and rubbed it in her cheeks. It’s how women work. When man discovered fire, woman was grabbing the charred wood and pencilling in their eyebrows.

A couple of teaspoons of botulinum toxin is enough to kill everyone in the UK. Yet, women - and more than a few men - pay top dollar to have it injected into their foreheads. Botulinum toxin is better known as Botox.

Surprised? Well if you use the stuff, you may be … but you won’t look it. “I thought she’d be surprised when she found out the world’s deadliest poison was being pumped into her head, but not a flicker! Didn’t even raise an eyebrow.”

Still, I’m sure these beauty products are worth every penny. Unfortunately, they are never bought in pennies, only pounds, and usually in bundles of tens. My wife even visits beauty parlours to relieve headaches. “Reflexology, works wonders,” she said. Reflexology is when they massage your feet to heal the rest of your body. When I heard how much it cost, I said I’d learn how to do it and save us some cash.

“The woman said she can teach couples how to perform reflexology on each other,” my wife said. I suggested she signs us up. “No way,” my wife said, “I’m not touching your feet.” Charming! And what if Laboratoire Garnier revealed that the sweat of men’s feet smoothed out wrinkles? “It’d be my loss,” she said.