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About Face wonders if skin is our largest organ, why aren’t we pampering it more?


Unlike your other organs, everyone sees your skin every day. So be nice to it!

Our skin is our largest organ, which is the reasoning I use when justifying yet another body or fragrance purchase. Plus, I’m not buying overpriced celebrity perfume or anything (sorry, Britney and J. Lo), so what’s the big deal if I buy another body scrub or body wash? Yup, no huge thing.

So I stock all my items under my bathroom sink, waiting for when my current shower essentials run out so I can transition new stuff in. Now that we’re moving into winter and it’s becoming cooler and wetter outside, it’s not like I’m showing off my skin in shorts or T-shirts. But I actually think winter is a better time to try new products: If something goes wrong, who will really notice? And if my skin ends up super-moisturized or awesome-smelling thanks to a new product, then I know what to start using again when spring rolls around and more people can recognize my skin’s updated greatness.

What’s been languishing in my bathroom, just waiting to get used? It’s kind of a weird collection of items, but that’s to be expected, I guess, when I do that justifying-any-purchase thing. (It’s a problem. Sigh. I know.)

700_4876+ Lather up. Nothing is more multi-purpose than a full-body product — why deal with extra clutter in the shower when you can have just one product do it all? (First photo, top row, first and second items on the left) For either men or women, Jack Black’s All Over Wash for Face, Hair, and Body with Wheat Protein & Panthenol is great for gentle cleansing; plus, it’s vegan, free of harsh parabens and sulfates ($15, Jack Black). If you want more grit, Freeman Beauty Guava Salt Body Scrub has large salt granules that can really slough away excess dirt ($3.99, Freeman Beauty).

+ Smell some new scents. I don’t often wear perfume, mainly because I figure I’m using so many scented products in the shower that I don’t want too many fragrances competing with each another. But for a special occasion, it’s nice to have a variety of options, ranging from subtly masculine to flirty and fruity. (First photo, top row, six items on the right) I’m dying to try out A Beautiful Life’s M. Lenoble ($52, A Beautiful Life), which is spicy and musky, like berries and your boyfriend. Brisker is Demeter’s Snow (from $6-$39.50, Demeter), a mix of chilly and cool. Drastically different is Soap and Paper Factory’s Bella, a solid perfume with a mix of grapefruit and pepper ($18, Soap and Paper Factory). The company’s solid fragrances for men are also intriguing, like Skull, a mix of black tea, anise and citrus ($22, Soap and Paper Factory) — plus, the old-timey sketch of a skull on the pot’s lid is pretty awesome. And if freshness is your most important requirement in a fragrance, take a look at Pacifica’s spray perfumes, which vary from violet-and-myrrh Persian Rose ($22, Pacifica) to almond-and-cinnamon Mexican Cocoa ($22,  HYPERLINK ” Pacifica).

+ Be a little manly. Beyonce had a hit single with “If I Were a Boy,” and maybe that yearning song has a little to do with my interest in more rugged, aggressive products designed for men. Sometimes the scents are crisper, last longer and are less frou-frou than typically floral or citrusy female products. (First photo, bottom row, first four items) I’m looking forward to the forest-themed, piney fragrance of Philip B Nordic Wood Hair and Body Shampoo ($8-$90, Philip B), and even though AXE commercials often veer into the absurd, their Cool Metal Fine Quartz and Zinc Shower Gel ($3.99, Drugstore.com) and Excite Daily Clean Shampoo (about $4, your local CVS or other drugstore) are pleasantly affordable. More peppery and musky is Bath & Body Works’ Twilight Woods Body Wash ($10.50, Bath & Body Works), which I hope won’t smell like vampires.

+ Clean out those pores. Winter weather means fashionable layering, but while my outfits may include sweatshirts and sweaters, that also means my pores are probably getting clogged with sweat and dirt every day. (First photo, bottom row, last three items) To combat acne and oily skin, I’m considering Lab Series Skincare for Men Power Wash ($20, Lab Series), a face wash to use in the shower both morning and night; Murad Acne Body Wash, which also exfoliates ($39.50, Murad); and Peter Thomas Roth Botanical Buffing Beads ($36, Peter Thomas Roth), containing jojoba beads that help clean out pores and then partially dissolve under warm water. 700_4878

+ Keep things smooth. It is SO tempting to think of winter as the time when I can stop shaving my legs, since no one will see them, anyway! But such laziness never ends well, and I’d rather remember summer with (second photo, top row) Schick’s Hawaiian Tropic-scented razors, which smell just like the suntan lotion ($7.99, Walgreens). I can definitely use those in tandem with Dove Ultimate Go Sleeveless Nourished Beauty Deodorant ($3.83, Drugstore.com), which protects against odor and wetness for 24 hours and supposedly provides enough moisture to make underarm skin softer within five days. Certainly something I want to test out!

+ What’s the deal with castile? Castile is just a fancy name for olive oil-based soap, inspired by the original product from the Castile region of Spain, but how does that idea translate into a liquid body wash? (Second photo, bottom row, first two on left) I’m interested to find out with Kiss My Face Peace Soap in pomegranate acai, a super-fruity combination ($15.99, ” Kiss My Face), and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Liquid Soap in Peppermint ($2.99-$59.99, Dr. Bronner’s), one of the decades-old company’s most popular scents.

+ Make it moisturized. Your hair and skin will inevitably get drier during the winter, so I try to tag-team my skin with both moisturizing body wash and lotion. (Second photo, bottom row, last four on left) I can either go scentless, such as Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body with Nutrium Moisture ($8.99,  CVS), or try out different fragrances, like Lavanila Healthy Body Wash 2-in-1 Shower & Shave in Vanilla Grapefruit ($14, Lavanila), Alba Botanica Acai Antioxidant Body Lotion ($10.95, Alba Botanica) or Napoleon Perdis Moroccan Citrus Body Lotion ($15, your local Target).


EDITORIAL NOTE: The product/s reviewed in this post were provided to Chesapeake Family’s About Face blog by the manufacturer or their public relations company for review. Chesapeake Family’s reviews are inspired by personal experience and opinion, and are not paid for or influenced by the manufacturer, PR company or any other organization unless mentioned.

Product photos by Adam Fried.





In middle school, Roxana Hadadi was a cosmetics-scorning tomboy; in high school, a glitter eye shadow- and black nail polish-loving trend kid; in college, obsessively committed to dying her hair unruly colors that upset her mom. Now a bit older and a bit more mature, she’s trying to figure out what hair, body and cosmetics products will work for her, you and your family in About Face, Chesapeake Family’s new beauty blog — and she’ll leave the sparkle makeup and neon highlights in the past. Roxana also writes movie reviews for Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents blog.

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