Honest Review of 2 Buzzy Products, By a Skincare-Curious Man-Boy

Meet ishonest Boy Andy Verderosa. Each month, we'll be sending him new beauty products to test and review. Ahead, his thoughts on aging and his honest review of two buzzy new skincare finds.

I’ve been lucky enough throughout my adolescent and adult life to mostly avoid knowing much about my skin, let alone skincare. I’ve had an occasional pimple and some dry spots a family member dermatologist waved off, but overall my skin hasn’t called for much attention or product intervention.

That’s been my prevailing strategy. If there’s no overt problem, there’s no real need for an answer. I’ve been told lotion makes your skin softer, which seems cool in theory, but I’ve never really felt my skin to be anything other than, well, soft and...skin-like. Not really oily. Mostly dry. My ignorance of skincare has even been a kinda bizarre source of pride. I’ve had people tell me my hands are soft, and the only thing I can credit is my complete neglect.

Which has been all fine and good for the majority of my life, but last month I turned 30. And with 30, I’ve been forced to grapple with some real questions about my body and the human aging process.

While women, through the many systems of our media apparatus, are acutely aware of the virtues of youthfulness, guys get to mostly take a pass. We’re not taught to fear the aging process before we can buy cigarettes, to stave off wrinkles and their many cousins through a series of creams and processes that require constant upkeep. No, men wake up one day, start to see the same wrinkle pattern that their dad has, and wonder if there’s something we can do about it. This is me at 30.

Once dry, the mask starts to wrinkle and you can peel it off—an equally satisfying experience that's probably even better if you don’t facial hair. Sure I was peeling off the Boscia mask, but really, I was peeling off 30 years of skincare ignorance. I emerged from my cocoon, freshly cactus-scented and undoubtedly clean. My skin felt smooth and freshly baked. Like a refurbished iPhone, I had been restored to factory settings. Newly reborn, I was ready to start the next, or rather, first phase of new skincare life.

Luckily, I had just the product to finish my new ritual. I’ve been told that after a mask, you’ve got to moisturize—strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. I used the Sobel Skin Rx Bio Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cream, which comes in a little tub that feels so heavy and expensive, I’m not sure you can fly with it.

As I rubbed moisturizer on my newly-manicured face, I started to understand how good your face can feel with barely any effort. I felt alive. I felt delicate. I felt like I could kind of see myself doing this every night after Jeopardy and before bed. I can’t say I necessarily felt un-30, but I did feel like I had taken a step towards caring more about my skin and investing in my future face.

Of course, a face doesn’t just moisturize overnight (or does it? I really have no idea) so I applied the Sobel Skin Rx Bio Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cream every morning for a week to see if if I noticed any changes. And while my skin doesn’t necessarily look outwardly different, it did bring me a nice bit of excitement. I’m usually looking to minimize the things I do between getting up and getting out the door, but moisturizing my skin became a little treat for myself. I love testing how just how much to put on. I love the feeling of the cold on my still-damp face as I step outside and start my day. Even if I’m the only one who notices, it makes me feel responsible for taking care of my skin—to be more mindful of the ways my body feels beyond simply "good" and "not good." I’m going to have this thing for a while, after all. A few more years at the very least.

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