Dear Sephora.com, this is not about commerce — it is about greed.

Dear Sephora.com,

This is about one of the products you sell from the Philosophy brand called “Turbo Booster C Powder.”

I realized that it is your business to sell little tiny jars and tubes and bottles of little tiny amounts of miracles, hope, and illusion.  I get that.  Cosmetics, skin care, make-up, fragrance — all that stuff.  I buy a lot of things from you.  I even buy several of the Philosophy brand products.

And I get that the chemistry of skin care has changed so rapidly in the last 25 years that it only resembles pre-1985 industry products in name and in the little tiny bottles and jars it is packaged in.  Who but Linus Pauling would have ever dreamed of using Vitamin C topically before the 80’s or 90’s?  The whole concept of anti-oxidents and their ability to fight the aging of cells due to exposure and corruption by oxygen was unheard of.

But to sell this product from Philosophy — which is essentially 98% Vitamin C powder and 2% aloe and other trace botanicals and chemicals — at a price of $35 per 1/4 oz ?!?!?  Really?  In this economy?  How is that even possible?

The very same Vitamin C powder can be purchased at any natural foods market or health store for $14-$20 per pound.  PER POUND.

But Philosophy puts it into a little tiny bottle and suddenly the markup shoots into the stratosphere.

If you are truly the business you claim to be, wouldn’t you be well served (and wouldn’t your customers be well served) if you also offered Vitamin C powder by the pound/ounce/gram — at the actual FAIR MARKET PRICE, along with instructions for its use?

I’m not saying STOP SELLING THIS RIPOFF PRODUCT.  I’m saying offer fair and honest choices to your customers who may not know that they’re paying over $34 for a common amber bottle and label.  Maybe they’re willing to pay that price for the branding, the hope, and the illusion.

But some may appreciate your concern with their financial well being (as well as the health of their skin.)

Like so many headlines and protests these days, this is not about commerce or the free market or capitalism.  It is about greed.  Nobody will begrudge you or Philosophy a profit for doing the work of testing and formulating and sanitary production facilities and marketing and a secure website etc….  But just about ANYBODY on earth would begrudge you a 3000% markup over other brands and other retailers.  Philosophy did not do the the research into the efficacy of topical Vitamin C.  That research was a direct result of the work of Linus Pauling.

Yes, I realize this comment will probably never see the light of day.  It seems any comment about the economics side of the products you sell disappear into the ether of the internet.  So I will blog it and Facebook it — and at least I will have done my part to help other women in these tight economic times.  It would be nice if Sephora and sephora.com adopted that philosophy as well.

Philosophy brand Turbo Booster C Powder (available at Sephora.com) — to be added like salt to moistureizers, lotions, makeup, serums, and other skin care products. $35 per 1/4 ounce

Source Naturals brand Vitamin C powder (one of at least 5 brands available at Amazon.com and many other websites) for $16.90 per POUND.

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