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C.O. Bigelow, and this magical little pot

April 13, 2011

So I happened upon C.O. Bigelow totally by accident. I was going to the Body Shop at my local mall to purchase my holy grail body butter, and there their store was. I’m a total fool for things with a vintage look, and between the window display (old wood, glass, painted gold lettering on the window pane) and the logo itself, I couldn’t resist walking in. What a wonderful shop! Definitely different from Bath and Body Works, the avenue by which I guess most of America gets their hands on C.O. Bigelow. It had more of an apothecary feel, especially given the vintage glass bottles and bell jars. When I came in they had these fantastic metal wire racks with older sugar jars on their side, all in a row, with a different kind of lip gloss in each jar. I had seen these racks and jars before at antique stores, and it’s quite frankly one of the best and most clever displays of cosmetics I’ve ever seen.

candy jars

Talk about playing on the impulse buy! What feels more impulsive then “just one” of those penny sweets?

bigelow balms

Anythehoo, what I really wanted to talk about was this little bad boy.
bigelow scrub
Meet the C.O. Bigelow Rice and Bamboo Gentle Dermabrasion scrub.

I had mostly approached C.O. Bigelow as if it were the poor man’s Kiehl’s so to speak…. a lot of their products are dead similar, from the fixed fruit lines for bath products to the ubiquitous black and white lip balm tube. But this little thing is just in a category all its own.

I’ve had good experience with the qualities of rice as a mild exfoliator. It’s the basis of Dermalogica’s famed Daily Microfoliant, and L’Occitane also uses it as the basis for their oily skin line. So it’s not just because I’m Asian and I like Rice!!* As for the bamboo part, it seemed like something less evil than that old staple exfoliant, walnut shells from St. Ives’ Apricot Scrub (as a tangent, thank you Esqwire for this precious image analogy of that product, that “exfoliant of masochists”…)
ahem, less evil than walnut shells but more effective than the silica beads many exfoliants use and my oily skin finds lacking. Now, knowing that instant results tend to be false promises for beauty products, I will say this: I got INSTANT RESULTS with C.O. Bigelow’s Rice and Bamboo Gentle Dermabrasion. My skin looked noticeably and visibly smoother. I had skin texture worthy of an intense close-up. IMMEDIATELY. Holy frick.

Surely the super-effective exfoliant agents had something to do with it, but maybe there was something else to it. My theory? Whatever the hell the cream base for this scrub is made up of. It’s a thick, rich, beige sort of cream, and according to the official blurb it is: “extra-gentle, creamy and skin-cushioning formula leaves skin soothed, never uncomfortable.” Vague right? Even more vague, the two magic ingredients to this mix are C.O. Bigelow’s “Healthy Skin Complex” and “Skin Renewal Complex.” What these are, I’m not so sure. Here again is the official blurb:
“Healthy Skin Complex is super-boosted with Vitamins and Minerals – such as Zinc, Cooper and Iron – along with Antioxidant-rich Berries that deliver essential nutrients for healthy, strong, youthful-looking skin.”
“Skin-Renewal Complex combats visible signs of aging and skin dehydration with a unique blend of vital ingredients, including Soy, Apple, Pro-Vitamin D3 and moisture-replenishing lipids.”

Well that sounds promising, doesn’t it? And I will proudly declare, it delivers. If you’re looking for a hardworking scrub that will work right away for skins both dry and oily (a la moi), go for it. At only $18, there’s no reason not to venture into you B&BW and brave the obnoxious smells and bored middle-aged women for this jar of goodness.

* I know this is the world’s worst stereotype but, um, I LOVE RICE. I’ve told my boyfriend that if we ever got married then we would name our son Rice. Just so you know.

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