Cleaning up


For my birthday, my parents gave me a big box of expensive things from Kiehl’s: Kiehl’s sells cosmetics and skincare products, and in their Hong Kong shop had a Harley Davidson that poor, put-upon men could look at when their wives forced them to accompany them shopping for unguents. I like motorcycles as much as the next bloke, but there’s also something to be said for Kiehl’s amino acid shampoo, and they do actually make things for men to use as well as all the stuff that is usually judged the preserve of women.

Several years ago, my parents gave me a big bag of expensive things from Clarins; again, lots of different moisturisers, cleansers and facial scrubs, to keep me looking young and beautiful. Occasionally, I go a bit mad and buy things like face wash, or Face Protector (as the Body Shop over-enthusiastically has it) or things from Organics (mainly things that are scented with ginger, which means I only tend to buy them at Christmas). Thus I have at least five different tubes of face wash, of varying expense and exfoliation, inside the bathroom cabinet, and I’m sure that if I investigated further I’d find more.

I worry that they’re trying to tell me I’m filthy and disgusting, and need to fix myself.

I’m not going to start on the soaps, or the shower gels, or the way that shaving foam seems to keep proliferating, whether it’s the good stuff (Penhaligon or L’Occitaine), the ok stuff (Gilette) or the horrific tidy aerosol can that only has Japanese writing on it: suffice it to say that there’s probably slightly more skincare products around me than I need right now.

When I had a beard, the shaving foam was irrelevant. Facial scrubs were also utterly unhelpful, because as well as lathering up, most of them have little bits in them of something or other, and if you rub that into your beard, you’ll be shedding little bits of favourably-smelling dander for days to come.

But now I’m clean shaven, I am going to try to make a serious dent in all these cleaning products, because it feels rather ungrateful not to do something with them all. I’m going to go at them one at a time, until they’re all done, and hopefully placate my wife and not scare my child when I accidentally put something in my eye. Since so much of my energy is now devoted to regrowing hair when previously I could use that for thinking, it’s quite possible I’ll do something stupid like try to drink these lotions.

I did contemplate only washing one side of my face, so that we would have a good way to compare and contrast the effectiveness of different treatments, but I already have enough ways to make myself look stupid. Perhaps I should talk about each of these things in turn, but I worry that I don’t have the vocabulary to describe them properly. Maybe I should eat some of them after all and tell you all about that.


One response to “Cleaning up”

  1. My initial reaction when exhorted to “Leave a Reply” was to think I must be more imaginative in all aspects of present buying in 2014.
    And as for yesterday’s incomprehensible to us lesser mortals on how to keep tabs on said expenses, I am in the process of having a complete meltdown! Only joking! I think! Looking forward to a comment. Although it could be worse – think hand knitted festive jumpers!

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