For an industry that takes itself so seriously, the beauty business provides a steady stream of hilariously outlandish, silly and preposterous products that it tries to peddle to consumers. And, from time to time, Truth In Aging mercilessly exposes one of them and consigns it to the Dept of Daft. Here are some of my favorites:

Sadly, this year’s Dept of Daft Award must be bestowed posthumously as it seems as if Clarins Expertise E3 has finally bitten the dust. Nordstrom still features it but says it is no longer available. Expertise E3 was no ordinary overpriced facial mist, it uniquely protected us from the information age, specifically cell phones and computers. They may be modern day conveniences to you and me, but to Clarins they are a “new form of pollution” that ages you! “If electromagnetic waves can penetrate walls, imagine what they can do to your skin.,” said Clarins darkly. Expertise E3 valiantly provided an “invisible shield” to protect us, despite the British Advertising Authority taking it to task, as well as the FDA. And now we mourn its passing and will have to resort to other means of self-protection. Collectors will be relieved to know that the odd bottle of Clarins Expertise E3 bottle can be found on Amazon.

There must be a reason why animals or their by-products seem to feature in Dept of Daft so frequently (bird shit facial anyone or the nibbling fish pedicure that Angelina Jolie recently told Vanity Fair that she had subjected her children to). This year, elk antler velvet made its beauty breakthrough in a $225 potion called Immunocologie Treatment Crème. There isn’t much research to back up the claims made for elk antler velvet but I was delighted to see a study on policemen in Edmonton that tested its effects on their testosterone. Immunocologie Treatment Crème had an unusual celebrity endorsement: Ricky Gervais (the squat Brit from the TV series The Office). Had to have been a joke. Right?

Dept of Daft gives its award for the worst named beauty product to Snoxin. As our reviewer put it, its hard not to think of toxic snot. She was, perhaps, due to these connotations, the only one who volunteered to test it for us. I can’t help but conclude that choosing Snoxin as a name inhibits sales. Which makes me wonder what Indeed Labs (also the purveyor of Nanoblur) was thinking of.

Orlane’s Hypnotherapy Eye Cream is the love child of a dermatologist and psychologist, delivered by a traveling fairground manager. This is an eye cream that works on your emotions no less and if you are wondering how, Orlane helpfully points out that “the brain and skin have the same origin in the embryo”. I would hope so, was my first reaction to that. As I read the following about Orlane Hypnotherapy Eye Cream, I can feel my eyelids getting a little heavier and my mind drift: Hypnotherapy Eye Cream “stimulates release of neuromediators to fight against extreme stress, calms eye area from emotional shocks and brings an instant sense of well-being.” Although, thinking about it, $250 eye creams don’t just sell themselves so perhaps Orlane suspects it may have to resort to hypnosis.

As far as hair care is concerned, I was tempted to give the 2011 Dept of Daft Award to the Hands Free Hair Rejuvenator, but in the end the $239 shampoo called Truffle by Fuente seems too deserving. I love that it has space rocks in it. Surely that more than truffle justifies the price.  I hadn’t been aware of the commercialization of meteorites and had assumed that they were rather rarely found on earth (there is an estimated 30,000 of them lying around, but that doesn’t seem enough to supply the beauty business with meteorite extract – perhaps Truffle by Fuente intercepts showers in space.  And why not. Euoko, maker of an even more outrageously expensive skincare product, brings back its rock extracts from Mars. Course it does.