Style :: Grooming

January Grooming Guide: Winter Products to Beat the Blues

by Mark Thompson
EDGE Style & Travel Editor
Friday Jan 6, 2012
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Let’s face it, the holidays are a lot of work for most of us - and it’s a victory of sorts to make it to January. So then, toast to yourself - and follow through with your resolutions, which most probably include regaining your sanity and your health.

January is a good month for cleansing (not only your closets but also your skin). If you’re not fortunate enough to be cruising to some island resort, then, by all means, avail yourself of a good masseur and some good product. Use those gift cards for spa treatments. Indulge yourself with time for relaxation. Take time to read a book and to breathe deeply. Stare into space and let your imagination take you wherever it wanders.

In spite of its cold reputation, January provides plenty of time for rehabilitative solace. Take care of yourself - and emerge into February ready for Cupid’s arrow.

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Primavera: Ginger Lime Hand & Nail Cream

No joke, we keep this one in our nightstand. Apart from Taylor Lautner, it’s the next best thing to wrap your hands around at night. Rich and creamy, Primavera Ginger Lime Hand & Nail Cream glides on easily and absorbs quickly - and puts all sorts of ideas in your head, thanks to the intoxicating fragrance of ginger and lime. While your mind wanders off to a tropical isle where you and Taylor are the sole residents, this all-natural hand and nail cream moisturizes your skin and strengthens your nails while you sleep.

Founded twenty-five years ago in southern Germany, Primavera has remained popular with Europeans for its collection of all-natural aromatherapy products. The company’s inception was, in the words of its co-founder, "rooted in a desire to share our collective knowledge of healing plant therapy."

Primavera Ginger Lime Hand & Nail Cream is formulated with organic ginger and lime essential oils, as well as organic jojoba and macadamia nut oils. The ginger provides a warming effect, and both the macadamia nut oil and green tea extract rehydrate the skin while helping to prevent free radical damage.

Primavera uses the highest percentage of certified organic ingredients available, thanks to fair-trade partnerships with 18 growers from around the world who supply the company with their 125 organic ingredients. Loved by Europeans for the company’s effective, natural formulas, Primavera is available for the first time in the States.

Now you, too, can have hands that move as provocatively as Taylor’s.

PRICE: $20.00 / 1.7 fl oz / 50 ml
LINK: Primavera Ginger Lime Hand & Nail Cream

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LUSH: Ocean Salt Cleanser

If you’ve ever lived by the ocean, then you know how beach towns are the Land of Beautiful Skin. All that time in the ocean exfoliates the skin beautifully - and everyone’s skin seems to glow with health.

Some of us love the ocean so much that we want it on our skin long after we’ve left the water. We love the ocean in our hair and on our skin - and how the salt polishes every pore.

If, however, like us, you left the beach for the city and now you’re cooped up in a high-rise apartment rather than a dune shack, you might enjoy LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser. Not only does this product take you right back to the beach, but it also scrubs your skin clean and leaves you feeling invigorated.

By now, you’ve probably fallen in love with more than a few LUSH products. Founded in 1995 by a team that once supplied products to the Body Shop, LUSH now has over 650 stores in more than 40 countries, with a philosophy that espouses environmental responsibility and no animal cruelty.

LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser is 50% sea salt that is mixed with lime extracted in vodka. (And no, you cannot use this on the rim of a margarita.) The lime is both antibacterial and ideal for blocked pores while the addition of fresh avocado butter and coconut fats rehydrate your skin with unsaturated oil.

Use LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser from your head to your toes - and while your eyes are closed, it’s likely that you’ll be seeing yourself on the shores of Waikiki.

PRICE: $34.95 / 8.8 oz.
LINK: LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser

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Obagi: CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser

Winter got you down? Is your skin scratchy, itchy, and red? You might consider Obagi, a California skin care line designed to minimize premature aging, skin damage, and symptoms of rosacea.

Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser is perfect for the shower. Leave it alongside your shower gel and use it every morning on your face, while warm water cascades down your back.

Formulated for normal to oily skin, Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser is the only prescription-strength acne treatment that contains a solubilized form of 5% benzoyl peroxide that treats acne where it starts. This gentle foaming serum gel cleanser removes dirt and excess oil with 2% salicylic acid, which washes away dead skin cells.

The menthol fragrance is as stimulating to your senses as it is calming and cooling to your skin. The result is skin so clean that even winter’s indignities can’t touch you.

PRICE: $26.00 / 4 fl. oz.
LINK: Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser

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Kinerase: Cream

Some of us have seriously sensitive skin - and sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find a product that doesn’t leave us looking like a bird picked at our face. (Hey, it happened to Prometheus. Remember the eagle picking at his organs, which grew anew overnight, so the birds could eat them day after day after day...)

That’s why it’s a joy to find a daily moisturizer that’s both gentle and effective - for even the most sensitive skin.

Kinerase Cream is formulated with Kinerase’s eponymous signature ingredient, Kinetin (0.1% N6 Furfuryladenine), which is a plant-based antioxidant. Horticulturists discovered that it was Kinetin that prevented the leaves of plants from drying out and withering. Think of Kinetin as the equivalent of those little floral powder sachets that keep your bouquets looking fresh. And then imagine how Kinetin might keep your own skin from withering. In other words, Kinetin is a serious anti-aging agent.

Gentle enough for post-procedures, such as chemical peels, laser resurfacing, or microdermabrasion, Kinerase Cream increases skin hydration (by 25%, according to one study), while eliminating free radicals and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. The result is a more even skin tone, with noticeably fewer freckles and brown spots. Luxurious and gentle enough to be applied both in the morning and night, Kinerase Cream is hypoallergenic, as well as non-comedogenic (translation: no more bird-picked skin).

Thanks to plant-based technology, Kinerase Cream makes you as happy as a sunflower.

PRICE: $119.00 / 2.8 fl. oz (80 ml)
LINK: Kinerase Cream

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Gianna Rose Atelier: Year of the Dragon Soap Set

Those who celebrate birthdays in January are accustomed to receiving regifted Christmas presents. That doesn’t mean that they’re happy about it. For those friends (as well as hosts) who invite you into their homes in January, you might think about Gianna Rose Atelier Year of the Dragon Soap Set.

According to the Chinese zodiac, the Chinese New Year begins on January 23, 2012 - and this year is particularly auspicious because 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. The mythical dragon symbolizes success and happiness, which means that if you give good gift, then you’re going to be wildly successful and contagiously happy. Hey, it could happen.

This gift set features four vegetable-based, French-milled soaps that are formulated with natural botanical extracts including fresh ginger, green tea, and bergamot. Rich in nurturing emollients, these luxurious soaps are silk-screened with images from two ancient wood carvings - and the images remain for the duration of the soap.

Founded in 1989, Gianna Rose Atelier employs artisans who utilize old world tools to assemble home and bath products in a studio atmosphere. Gianna Rose Atelier gift sets and home fragrance products are sold at more than 2,000 stores in the US, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Caswell-Massey.

Go ahead, grab a dragon by the tail.

PRICE: $25.00 / four silk-screened soaps in gift box / 14.7 oz.
LINK: Gianna Rose Atelier Year of the Dragon Soap Set

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A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.

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