Photo by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Favorite and Essential Toiletries for Home and Travel

 

A reader question:

I greatly enjoy your website. With the proliferation of toiletry options and items, and with changes to included ingredients, what toiletry items have readers found to be worthwhile and to maintain their quality over time? 

Sincerely Yours. 

33 comments:

  1. Toms of Maine toothpaste and Burt’s Bees lip balm. Burt’s has changed a little over the years, but still by far the best!

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  2. I concur with the above!

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  3. Geo F. Trumper's "Extract of Limes" cologne and aftershave, especially in the summer. It's insanely light, fresh, and very clean. It's also gone after about half an hour, but what an amazing, classic half-hour it is.

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  4. Toms of Maine deodorant/antiperspirant, good ol' Gilette Foam shaving creme, Nivea for face 'moisturizer', Grandpa Pine Tar for shower soap...

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  5. We use Lightfoot’s Pine Soap. Made in Rhode Island. Buy it by the case, today!

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    1. Same here- it's great- but getting hard to find. We have about a quarter case left.

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  6. Loved the comment on Geo. F. Trumper's "Extract of Limes". My mainstays are Penhaligon's "Bluebell" eau de toilette that I like to use in the spring and summer. The soap is divine. Also a classic for me is "Mughetto" (lily-of-the-valley) cologne from the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Sta. Maria Novella. In the old days, I would take the train to Florence just to buy a bottle, but these days, everything is orderable online, which takes away some of the mystique.
    I also still use boar bristle hairbrushes by either Mason Pearson (I've had mine for over 35 years!) or Kent & Sons. I also like two Italian brands; Jäneke for my plastic blow-dry brush, and Acca Kappa for a wooden paddle brush.

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    1. Acca Kappa, as well as a company called Piave (like the cheese), make fine pure bristle toothbrushes. We stock up on them when we’re in the Veneto.

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  7. Clubman, of course - who doesn’t want to smell like the barber shop? And Taylor of Old Bond Street or Trumper shaving creams in a huge variety of traditional and eccentric scents with a travel brush - takes forever to get through a tub and the shallow, screw on cap tubs themselves can be repurposed for 1000s of uses - change, nuts and bolts, fishing gear, etc.

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    1. I also use Taylor's and Trumper's shaving products and colognes every day. Truefitt and Hill and DR Harris, also based in St. James's in Lindon are excellent too. Tubes of shaving cream are ideal for travel. The trial sized ones are great for testing, choosing scents and short trips.

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  8. Corn Huskers Hand Lotion has been around for a long time. There is nothing better for your hands in the winter when things get very dry. I've found nothing that can match its curative properties. And it's inexpensive and available everywhere.

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  9. Floris (Limes) and anything made by the French company Avène. You can now purchase Avène at Ulta, Walgreens and on Amazon. If you have any skin issues, this is a great brand to use.

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  10. KISS...old school, Cremo Mint Shave Cream, Feather AS -D2 Razor Double Edge, Feather Platinum Blades, Osage Rub....gave up on Proraso shave cream, bricks of Italian shaving cream, & other aftershaves. Caswell Massey Lime, Eau Sauvage , all that remain. You want to be a he man not a fruitcake. Enuff said.

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  11. 4711 or St. John's Lime for summer aftershave and cologne. Guerlain Vetiver or Habit Rouge for special events. Martin de Candre shaving soap. My favorite scent of theirs is the fougere. Suave mint/rosemary shampoo and conditioner. Cremo Blue Cedar and Cypress or Seagrass and Drftwood body wash.

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    1. What IS body wash ?

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    2. Body wash is soap that is in liquid form, some with nice scents, some with odious scents, some with additives such as moisturizers or deodorizers, some without. It is an alternative to lathering up with bar soap that has had close encounters with other people's areas you might not wish to encounter. I suppose Dawn would work fine.

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    3. Maybe it will. Thank you.

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  12. I guess I should have included this in my other post, but since someone has named razor and blade, I'll list gear. My razor is an Above the Tie Windsor with a copper plate, and my blades are Personna Lab Blues. Razor and blades are made in the USA. Hair brush, badger shaving brushes, and comb are Kent. Tooth brush is Oral B electric, used with Colgate and augmented by a Water Pik (highest recommendation).

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  13. I have a difficult beard to shave (wiry and coarse), and the best shaving cream I have ever found is a drugstore brand called Kiss My Face. Their "fragrance free moisture shave" beats Trumpers and Truefitt & Hill at a fraction of the cost in my experience. Used with or without my Simpson's shaving brush, it can't be topped for a smooth, comfortable, nick-free shave. For a razor, I used to use and love Gillette's Sensor Excel. But here's the strangest thing. Gillette still makes the cartridges but stopped making the handle!? I don't like their newer 3-, 4-, and 5- blade models. One or two is enough! I do love and use Trumpers lotions (called Skin Food) and think they are worth the money. Limes is wonderful, but I generally prefer sandalwood. CereVe moisturizing cream is also great and very inexpensive.

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  14. I've just signed up for Harry's, a subscription/delivery service supplying razors and associated men's toiletries to your door. So far I like what they've sent: the gel is nicely scented and the fragrance lingers about half an hour post-shave. I can't yet comment on the rest of the range, but the convenience suits me fine. Seems reasonable value for money. I get the impression they're a US firm that's now expanded into Europe. For special occasions I'll still apply Floris products after shaving.

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    1. I did dollarshave club and hated it- poor quality. I signed up for Harrys and love it- great blades

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    2. I was thinking of trying Harrys and will do so now.

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  15. We tend to favor a few brands in our household and are usually disappointed when we try something new or trendy. Clinique makeup/face care can't be beat for value and performance. I've used their products since I was a teenager and have never stopped. There have been deviations over the years, but I always return. They have products that are great for both men and women. Clarins is also great for anti-aging creams, not so much cosmetics. They also have a men's line that my husband can't live without! Neutrogena for face wash and bodywash. Original Rainbath (brownish color) is fantastic and unisex. They sell it in huge pump bottles at all the warehouse clubs. For fragrance, my husband uses 4711, which is very nice and light. I tend to favor Penhaligon's anything (3 cheers for Bluebell mentioned above). I like Bluebell, Ellenisia, and Orange Blossom by Penhaligon's. For my 'nice' perfumes, I favor Hermes. Summer is Rose Ikebana and for winter, I like 24 Faubourg. I'll also second the recommendation for Harry's razor blades for men. My husband swears by them.

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  16. Dr. Bronner's castile soap bars. Kiehl's Olive Fruit and Amino Acid shampoo - I rotate them. For dry/cracked skin, Bag Balm (mainly lanolin with a few other ingredients) and shea butter. 100% unrefined shea butter from no-name sources in Africa is inexpensive, I buy it in 16 oz. containers.

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  17. I use O'Keeffe's Working Hands for dry skin in the winter and Tom's of Maine for toothpaste. In metrowest Boston area we are fortunate to have Molly's Apothecary, which makes wonderful soap locally.

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  18. A recent discovery for my ultra sensitive skin: Amish Farm Soap. Love love love it. No residue, no itch! The bars are so big I have to cut them in half to fit them in a traveling soap cup, but so worth it! https://www.amishfarmsoap.com

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  19. My Favorites: Badger Sport Mineral Sunscreen Tin, Zum Bar Goat's Milk Soap,
    Zum Aromatherapy Room and Body Mist, HELLO Charcoal Toothpaste Tabs, GEORGANICS Natural Mouthwash Tablets, Wildly Organic Vegetable Glycerin and Little Ant Soap's Solid Perfume.

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    1. Yes, Badger Balm is classic New England and the company holds itself to its ethics. Some of my best products come from them

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  20. Thayer's witch hazel (alcohol-free), neroli oil to remind me of orange groves in CA, birch tar extract for itching and bug bites, Aquaphor, Trader Joe's mint lip balm, raw aloe vera juice for overall skin moisturizing, apple cider vinegar for scalp health

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  21. Another vote for Trumper's and Taylor's shaving products. I find Taylor's grapefruit shave cream, especially, to be a great pick-me-up in the morning.

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  22. Burt's Bees lip balm, Aveeno products (face cream, face wash, shower gel, body lotion-- I still miss the blueberry acai they used to have!), Tom's of Maine deodorant.

    --EM

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  23. I still use Ivory for a good scrub and cleaning. I follow that up with a good application of 100% authentic German-made NIVEA (not the american brand), it comes in a large round tin and it's very thick and it moisturizes beautifully. It has a nice, light scent(Amazon is the source).
    If I'm up at the lake, I wash up with Dr Bronner's Peppermint wash, head to toe. My camp is very close to the lake and the less impact on the lake the better.
    I'm not one to go for any strong scents. The light scent of Ivory and putting on clothes that have dried in the Maine sun and sea breeze makes one smell incredibly fresh and clean.

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