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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Shower Shock Soap Contains Caffeine

Aired September 21, 2002 - 08:27   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: It's still kind of early in the morning, of course. So maybe you need a little pick me up. What will it be? A quick shower? A cup of coffee? How about doing all that at the same time by using a bar of Shower Shock soap that has caffeine in it? Yes, soap with caffeine in it.
Here to explain all this to us is health correspondent Kat Carney.

We have some of that soap right now, Kat. I don't know, this is dope on a rope.

KAT CARNEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, and it's not just Shower Shock. There's a couple of brands out there.

CALLAWAY: Oh, really?

CARNEY: That's right. In fact, some clever marketers have taken the caffeine craze into the shower stall. How about some soap on a rope? Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARNEY (voice-over): For many Americans, coffee is truly the stuff that mornings were made of. Thanks to some clever marketers, mornings are about to get another pick me up -- caffeinated soap. The makers of Shower Shock and X Oxide claim you can get your a.m. Java jolt by sudsing up with their caffeine infused glycerin bars.

Just in case you're not ready to end a love affair with your Mr. Coffee, each serving of the caffeine cleanser contains 250 milligrams of caffeine. That's about twice the caffeine of an average eight ounce cup of coffee and five times the amount in an eight ounce serving of tea. By the way, when it comes to caffeinated soap, this is a serving.

The companies which market the high octane body bars claim some of the caffeine is absorbed through the skin. But they have no idea how much because the soap hasn't gone through any formal testing. But that's not stopping online consumers from snapping up X Oxide caffeinated soap bars at a rate of 200 per month.

Starbucks, watch out.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CALLAWAY: All right, Kat, I've got to know, you've got the soap here. Did you try it?

CARNEY: I tried both of them.

CALLAWAY: You smell good.

CARNEY: Thank you. I smell a little minty. I tried the X Oxide yesterday and I felt like the girl in the play "Chorus Line." I was like I feel nothing. But...

CALLAWAY: You were just kind of waiting for it to happen, right?

CARNEY: I was trying. I even lathered up again. And then I tried the Shower Shock this morning and I don't know if it was like the adrenaline of like coming in this morning, but I do feel a little alert and I haven't had any caffeine this morning.

CALLAWAY: Yes? That's good. All right. Now, you know, pregnant women are supposed to stay away from caffeine. I guess the true test is if doctors start telling you to stay away from the soap when pregnant, right?

CARNEY: Right. Well, I did, I heard from Dr. Leslie Luekeena (ph). She's the head of dermatology at Brigham & Woman's Hospital in Boston. And she says that pregnant women should avoid the soaps.

CALLAWAY: Really?

CARNEY: They haven't been tested. Absolutely.

CALLAWAY: Wow.

CARNEY: Back in 1980 the FDA advised all pregnant women to eliminate caffeine from their diets and Dr. Luekeena says because these haven't been tested, pregnant women should err on the side of caution, stay away.

CALLAWAY: All right, Kat, it is a drug. I mean we do, but caffeine, really, you know, it's got to be regulated. Can they say things like caffeine can be absorbed through the skin? I mean can they advertise it that way? Is that regulated by the government?

CARNEY: Well, I heard from FDA Attorney Scott Bass (ph) and he says that that would fall under the FTC's regulation. They look at truth in advertising and, you know, the companies were very honest. They said we haven't tested it. We don't know. Dr. Luekeena says that most likely it isn't being absorbed through the skin because it's a wash away product.

CALLAWAY: Oh, all right.

All right, where can you get this if you're desperate and want to try anything but a cup of coffee in the morning, right?

CARNEY: Well, the X Oxide is available at xoxide.com. And don't be surprised when you get to the Web site, it's actually a computer geek site. So you'll see a lot of like computer minds, I guess like people who work in computers want to stay up late. And the Shower Shock soap is available at thinkgeek.com. And they run about $7 a bar.

CALLAWAY: That's funny.

CARNEY: Um-hmm.

CALLAWAY: Strange Web sites to be selling soap, I guess, right?

CARNEY: I know.

CALLAWAY: Very odd. I've tried the mint. This supposedly is a caffeine that you eat like a mint. Ooh, that was terrible. I'm going to try to soap now. Sure thing.

CARNEY: Well, if you start getting a little tired I'm going to leave this with you. Go wash your hands and get a little perk up.

CALLAWAY: All right, there you go.

CARNEY: OK.

CALLAWAY: All right, thank you, Kat.

Kat Carney, appreciate it.

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