Accutane and Justin Bieber – spot the difference

Celebrity is one of these strange cultural things. People become famous, often for no particularly important reason except their ability to sing or play a sport well. It’s always been around. In ancient times, top warriors and “entertainers” would rule the cultural roost. Today, we seem less impressed by real soldiers, preferring the Hollywood version. Anyway, for better or worse, these people are able to use their fame to influence their fans – that’s one step away from fanatics whose intense enthusiasm leads them to dress and act in the same way. It becomes a kind of fame by association when you suddenly see people walking around wearing the latest styles shown on the pages of the influential magazines. Most of the time, this is fairly harmless. Manufacturers and distributors pay celebrities to endorse their products. The fans buy the products. If the products are good, everyone is happy. Sometimes the products are less than good and the celebrity’s name gets dragged through the mud. Although not quite on the same point, Paris Hilton is being sued again. This time, a hair extension company paid Hilton to wear its product but, remarkably, she turned up on red carpets wearing a competitor’s product. How sad for all involved given the names of the two competing products have now been trumpeted all over the news media for the last few weeks.

The most recent example is Justin Bieber. He’s the latest baby-faced, teen sensation to step out of YouTube. And, wherever you look, you see pictures of him. What great skin! But, like all sixteen year olds, he’s prone to the odd outburst of acne. So, moving with the cultural tide, one of the leading benzoyl peroxide products has recruited him as the new face of their anti-acne lotion. He follows in the tradition of Jessica Simpson, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry and others prepared to speak out in favor of this antibacterial. The marketing theory is solid like a rock. The target market buy his music and swoon over his picture. They will also want skin as smooth as his. They will buy this product. And, for the mild cases of acne, this will work out well. Benzoyl peroxide is a tried-and-tested way of dealing with skin problems. The addition of a moisturizer also leaves the skin feeling good.

But don’t get too carried away by endorsement. Justin Bieber may be the best new kid on the block, but the product will not deal with the more severe cases of acne. Indeed, if you use it for too long, moisturizers or not, it can cause the skin to dry and peel. For the really dramatic outbreaks that will not respond to any of the other treatments you need Accutane. Like benzoyl peroxide, there are side effects if you don’t follow the rules. But when you step up to the more powerful medications, you always take a risk to get the results. So, remember the name Accutane. It may not have the endorsement of Justin Bieber, but we think he would use it if he did get severe acne.