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Why is Silver “What Men Want”? A Look at Nivea for Men

March 31, 2010

So while women lust after diamonds men dream of  silver – a goal that’s much more achievable but what’s it all about?

Nivea have launched a new deodorant for men that contains little particles of silver to help boost its efficacy which sounds….. interesting!  One view of the ad will have you jumping in a human sized hamster ball and taking on the world thanks to your shiny new molecular friends.  You’ll be scoring goals, making friends and generally feeling great. Want some?

uses in computers, workshops, clothing and cooking equipment to keep things clean and bug-free for longer but it has now found a use in cosmetics.

Adding  silver to cosmetic products is not new, in fact it has been a staple ingredient in many alternative remedies and lotions for hundreds of years, sometimes with some rather odd side-effects!   The injection or absorption of some silver compounds such as Silver nitrate and colloidal silver can cause the skin to take on a blue-grey hue if taken in large enough doses (this condition is called Argyria) and so while electrolytic Colloidal silver is the only type of silver that is permitted for use by the FDA  its use must be carefully monitored to avoid over-exposure.

So how does silver kill bugs?  It has the ability to penetrate the cell walls of a wide range of bacteria and fungi which then leads to them suffocating and dying. In fact, silver is such a good bug killer that it only has to be present at between 0.1 and 1 part per million in a formulation to do the job – the ‘safe’ limits for colloidal silver are thought to be around 5 micrograms per Kg of body weight per day ingested (figure set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency). That is way higher than you would come into contact with through a deodorant.

From a health perspective colloidal silver as a bug killer seems to be a good choice.  Anything that kills bugs could damage our healthy cells too so when looking for an antibacterial agent the key is to find something that is effective at really low levels – this ticks that box. As far as YOUR internal health goes, colloidal silver is mostly silver as the metal which is pretty un-reactive meaning that any that does get through the skin and into your blood stream is likely to do very little unless you absorb lots quickly. 

Environmentally colloidal silver is not something that you want lots of in your waste water as it will kill any bugs that you have in your eco-water treatment plant.  Colloidal silver can upset the natural biodegradation of organic matter and for that reason is undesirable but it is generally less toxic and less problematic than silver in it’s ionic form. Overall colloidal silver can biodegrade but the speed that it can do this will be determined by the acidity or alkalinity of the soil and the amount of water present. The largest area for environmental hazard is at the colloidal silver manufacturing plant and at the factories using this in their manufacturing.  The anti-bacterial properties of the colloidal silver will probably trump any down-stream environmental impact – indeed, the packaging is probably more worrying than the ingredients.

So silver looks like a winner for the boys (and girls) looking for shiny, bacteria-free arm pits.  Sounds like a plan to me!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2011 4:45 am

    I have been using CS for years! kills germs on things, athletes foot, I drink it too. Eliminates a cold (or drastically shortens the duration), and probably has kept me from getting many of them! Great stuff! I make it myself…..

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  1. Nivea Silver Protect – uma inovação para homens | Stash

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