Keep It Clean

By: Jen Shoop

A little early-morning mini-post for you — I felt compelled to write this after realizing that I have recently become something of a hand sanitizer addict.  I know I’m a little late on the bandwagon (I recall that it became all the rage to carry around a little tube of Bath & Body Works sanitizer in some cloyingly sweet scent in about the 6th grade), but ever since I reached to open the door of my cab up in New Haven and found an old, shriveled pepperoni slice in the handle well (and I actually touched it…sick), I’ve been compulsive about throwing one in my bag.  The experience has left me grateful to my “cleansiness” tools (those of you who watch Real Housewives of New Jersey will recognize/appreciate that gem of a Teresa Giudice neologism), including my Molton Brown body wash in Suma Ginseng:

My fiance turned me on to Molton Brown a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back since.  The Sumo Ginseng is gender-neutral — a tad on the soapy-cologne side if anything — and it’s among the most invigorating, “clean,” and appealingly spicy (a touch of cinnamon, a hint of Juniper berry) smells I’ve found.  (It also yields a great, sudsy lather, which I love).  I also keep Molton Brown Naranji hand soap in my bathroom.  It smells light and fresh — “light” being the operative word there.  I hate hand soaps that scent whatever you touch/eat for the rest of the day.

I fell in love with Roger & Gallet’s line of bath soaps when I lived in Lyon, France.  I’m fairly certain they don’t distribute the product within the U.S. (or at least I haven’t been able to find them), so I’ve been doling out the last few precious bars of soap over the past few years.  They are beautifully-scented, rich bath soaps in the true French tradition.  I loved the Vetyver scent (earthy, mossy, and — well — “soapy clean” scented in the best of ways), but they seem to have retired it permanently, even within France.

Switching gears to haircare, the real oh-my-God-how-did-I-live-without-it product?  Oscar Blandi’s Dry Shampoo.  O.M.G.  If you’ve been using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder as an antidote to second-day hair, you have another thing coming.  It smells phenomenal (like a freshly-squeezed lemon) and it works like a charm every time.  I thought I’d test-drive it when I saw it on sale on Gilt Group last year (it came in a bundle, with some volumizing hair care products — all of which were decent but nothing to write home about) and quickly had one of those “I can’t believe no one told me about this” moments.

(Apparently they have some great “root-touch-up” tools for those of you with color-treated hair, but I’ve never dyed or highlighted my hair, so I can speak to them.)  If I have the time to shower and blow-dry, I always use Frederic Fekkai’s volumizing shampoo and conditioner.  They smell wonderful, and they actually gives some body to my otherwise straight, straight, straight hair.

Can’t live without it — just wish it weren’t so pricey ($23 for shampoo should be illegal).  I can legitimize the expense (…) because I always buy a cheap body scrub.  I’ve tried loads of brands, but I always come back to Neutrogena’s Body Clear Body Scrub.  It’s inexpensive, widely available, and — though it’s no frills (and somewhat scent-less) — it leaves you squeaky-clean.

(A close runner-up?  Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Scrub.  I’m not bananas over the scent — or any of the Bliss scents, for that matter — but it’s a nice option.  When it comes down to it, though, I’d rather save a few dollars and just buy the cheaper workhouse classic.)

For the face, I’m a devotee of Philosophy’s MicroDelivery scrub.  It’s not too abrasive (the grain is small — I think you could probably use it every day) but it scrubs your pores and leaves your skin soft and unirritated.

A good drugstore alternative?  St. Ives’ Apricot Invigorating Scrub.  CVS usually sells it in a travel size, so I’ll take it on the road with me.  But when I’m at home, I’m all about the Philosophy version.

Until later…

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