Wegmans supermarket is a beloved upstate staple, valued for its excellent selection of hard-to-find foreign imports, organic produce and ready-to-eat food bars. Even for students from downstate New York, it’s on the radar from day one — I remember my own resident assistant talking about the store at floor orientation when I moved in. What I didn’t recognize until senior year, however, was Wegmans’ truly phenomenal skin care section. The singular aisle is teeming with organic face, body and hair products, including classics like the full range of Burt’s Bees products, and many that I’ve never seen outside of the grocery store’s hallowed halls. Move over, Neutrogena; Binghamton University students are about to overhaul their skin care routines.
The Staple — Weleda Skin Food
Wegmans carries my all-time favorite moisturizer, Skin Food. I began using Skin Food to combat the harshness of Binghamton’s colder seasons, after switching acne regiments made me ultra sensitive to the changing seasons. The packaging says it’s perfect for hands, elbows and knees, but feel free to use it on your face — it won’t clog pores if your skin type leans anywhere close to combination or dry. It’s thick enough that it smoothes your pores as a primer before makeup, and you can also blend it with some products for a creamier, more seamless application, like a powder blush or highlighter. The moisturizer is not available in most drugstores, so Wegmans provides a far more convenient alternative to Amazon.
Most Environmentally Friendly — Alba Botanica
Wegmans carries comprehensive stock for two organic product lines, Burt’s Bees and Alba Botanica. The tiebreaker between these two brands comes down to the ethics of ownership: Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox, conflicting with its message of eco-friendliness. For your organic fix, choose Alba — its products are vegan and typically do exactly what their packaging says they will.
Best in Show — Giovanni Cosmetics Eco Chic Hair Care
Wegmans stocks three varieties of Giovanni shampoo and conditioner combinations, but no matter which one you choose, the products will without a doubt be the prettiest addition to your bathroom. The minimalist, blocky bottles are sure to make a statement on your shower shelf, or at least add a visually soothing element to your cleansing routine. While you’re picking up these hair products, perhaps grab a candle or an orchid in nearby aisles to spruce up your bathroom — you deserve it.
For Dry-Skin Season — Avalon Organics Eczema Relief
If you’re an adult who’s still finding yourself battling against eczema in Binghamton’s frigid winters, look for relief no further than this lightweight moisturizer from Avalon. It’s available in both tube and tub, so you can purchase according to the amount you anticipate using. The cream really does exactly as advertised — after a few uses of the cream, my dry-skin symptoms all but evaporated. It smells faintly and pleasantly of oatmeal, so there’s an added bonus for those who are into their whole grains.
Spa Treatment — Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Rosewater Mask
This product, another sensitive-skin saver, comes in a tiny jar promising to deliver on “essential hydration” using the stem cells from alpine roses. Fortunately, you only need a thin layer of the treatment to get such results. Apply it when you’re winding down for the evening, or trying to revive your skin after a particularly taxing study session, in order to revive your skin for the following day.