Joe Mercola: A Pest Selling a Pesticide For Your Face

By Josh Bloom — Dec 23, 2015
Our old friend Joe Mercola had a rather embarrassing week. His obscenely overpriced Organic Daily Face Cleanser was found to contain a pesticide called azadirachtin. And, if that isn't funny enough, the stuff also contains aloe vera, which was just placed on California's Proposition 65 List as a carcinogen. Oh Joe, say it ain't so!

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.42.32 PMInternet supplement mega-huckster "crazy" Joe Mercola is essentially a scientific piñata. He is wrong about almost everything, which is hardly news, but now and then even Mercola outdoes himself, which is no easy task. Occasionally we need to take a swing or two at him.

He earned it this time. The "purer than rainwater" Mercola just happens to be selling an "Organic Daily Face Cleanser" that contains a pesticide. My sides!

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At least you're getting a good deal:

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It would be profoundly disturbing to pay $41.25 (MSRP he must be kidding) for something that is useless AND contains pesticides when you could buy the same 3.4 ounces for $32.97!

Mercola does not think that his useless product is useless. He has much to say about it (SO DO I):

"Isn't it time you treated your skin to the cleanser it deserves?" (UH, NO)

"And that means a cleanser without harsh detergents or other chemicals that can dry out your skin and even worse." (BEWARE OF KILLER DOVE SOAP)

"With USDA Certified Organic Daily Facial Cleanser you can have such a 'treat' without any preservatives or animal products used in the formula whatsoever." (TREAT? OR TRICK?)

"Plus, no synthetic ingredients or potentially-damaging petrochemicals and estrogen-mimicking ingredients are used in this cleanser." (NOPE-JUST BUG KILLERS)

"Simply use morning and night to remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities from your face. And of course, rinse thoroughly." (OF COURSE. AND IF YOU RINSE REALLY THOROUGHLY, THE WATER ITSELF MAY DRY OUT YOUR SKIN. FORTUNATELY, YOU CAN BUY MERCOLA'S "DAY AND NIGHT MOISTURIZER COMBO PACK" FOR A MERE $67.00.)

"There are a number of USDA Certified Organic soothing ingredients you'll find in the Daily Facial Cleanser formula ¦" (AND?)

"Neem [aka neem seed oil, or neem oil] is the unique ingredient which makes Daily Facial Cleanser clearly stand out." (IT SURE DOES. NORMAL SOAP DOES NOT CONTAIN PESTICIDES.)

Even though it's been used for thousands of years, neem is not just based on folklore. (AGREED. PROBABLY SOME VOODOO AS WELL)

And it's made in the USA! (SO WAS THE FORD PINTO)

Mercola did not need any help in looking bad here, but he got it anyhow. His product also contains the obligatory aloe vera, a fact that is both profoundly timely, amusing and ironic. Why? Aloe vera was just placed on California's Proposition 65 List as a potential carcinogen (!).

Most of the components of neem seed oil are common fatty acids, oils and juice extracts that are commonly used or consumed. With one exception: azadirachtin.

As is the case with virtually all extracts, neem seed oil contains many chemical (yes, Joe they are chemicals) components. One of these chemicals is a naturally-occurring pesticide called azadirachtin, which is used in organic farming, It is sold commercially (as a insecticide) under the brand names Align, Azatin and Turplex. It can also be purchased from the chemical supply company Sigma-Aldrich.

Although the chemical is quite safe for animals and humans, it is banned in Britain because of toxicity to honeybees. I guess Joe forgot to include this in his glowing description of the product.

Anyhow, let's leave Joe alone for now. It's almost Christmas, and he has an awful lot of useless junk to sell. He must be busy as a bee.

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Josh Bloom

Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science

Dr. Josh Bloom, the Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science, comes from the world of drug discovery, where he did research for more than 20 years. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry.

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