Metro Man & Metro Home

By Richie Kul

Not so long ago, a progressive man’s skincare regimen consisted largely of soap and water, with furtive use of a wife or girlfriend’s products here and there. Fortunately in 1965, Baxter of California rendered this sneaking around no longer necessary, as the company became one of the first in the country to actively address men’s grooming needs. From Anthony to Zirh, the plethora of men’s skincare products that now line department store shelves owe much to this ever-potent pioneer. And as with most things, nothing ever quite measures up to the original.

A man’s skin has a different composition than a woman’s, with the former tending to be thicker and oilier. While this extra lubrication serves a needed purpose (it’s essential for beard growth and protects the skin by acting as a natural wrinkle reducer), it gives rise to a host of undesirable side effects as well – namely clogged pores and skin breakouts. In formulating its extensive skincare line, Baxter of California has been acutely aware of a man’s unique grooming needs, and it’s reflected in the presentation, smell, feel and efficacy of their products.

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Baxter of California’s Invigorating Body Wash ($12.50 for 10.15 oz.), a highlight of the line and can be aptly described as a high-end, masculine spin on Clairol’s ubiquitous Herbal Essences brand. The bergamot and pear formula lives up to its lofty nomenclature, and aloe vera and jojoba team up to keep skin feeling smooth and soft. The line’s new Oil Free Moisturizer ($18 for 4 oz.), which is also fragrance free and feels light is a particularly great choice for the humid summer days and nights.

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For frequent travelers, the Journey Man Kit is a great buy at $40. It consists of refillable two ounce bottles of Baxter of California’s most essential products – Face Wash, Super Shape SPF 15, Super Close Shave Formula, After Shave Balm and Daily Protein Shampoo. The Super Close Shave Formula and After Shave Balm combo is a refreshing way to liven up an otherwise tedious daily ritual, and the Daily Protein Shampoo, while a bit watery in consistency, lathers up well and has a nice tingly effect. The set is packaged in a stylish and durable travel bag and is both a great way to get a sample of a wide spectrum of products for first timers and a convenient means of transport for mobile Baxter loyalists.

With Baxter of California’s commitment to simplicity and acknowledgement of both science and nature, the cleaning agents and scents that drive its products are subtle and pleasant, as the focus is on not aggravating the skin but improving it. Delivering results is what translates into repeat customers, and with Baxter of California’s balanced formulation and proven expertise, it’s no wonder that the company continues to go strong even after four decades.

Baxter of California’s products are available online at

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Originally published July 2005
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