Posted by Copley

I received my VIC face & body cloth ($12) as a practical/posh present from my godmother purchased from the luxury apothecary Caswell-Massey. To be honest, I didn't think much of the VIC when I received it, assuming that it was just a regular washcloth marketed as a classy gift, for people who like to put their bathroom accessories on display and really care about brand names. And so, I immediately shoved it to the back of my medicine cabinet. A couple of months later, I had all but forgotten about my VIC...until I noticed a reader's comment in our message boards (under Favorite Accessories) that the VIC was the number one beauty tool she absolutely could not live without. It made me wonder, how could a ho-hum washcloth make it to the top of somebody's "desert island" wishlist? So, I pulled my pink-trimmed Vic out of its plastic baggie and got to work.

The VIC is recommended for use with or without soap, for the face or the body. Seeing as I am a particularly fastidious washer, I'd need two separate VICs- one for my face at the sink and one for my body in the shower. I surely wouldn't use my shower pouf on my face, so why should a washcloth be any different? With this in mind, I decided to focus just on my face. I ran warm water over the VIC and rubbed it in circular motions all over, from my forehead down to my neck. Expecting some sort of tingling, invigorating sensation, I was disappointed that the VIC's effect was rather mundane. It was just like washing with any other facecloth, except rougher...

The next time, I tried it with a creamy cleanser and found that the VIC soaked the solution right up. Therein lies the rub. If you are using a cleanser with active ingredients you'd prefer delivered to your skin rather than to a cloth, the VIC should only come into play once the cleansing part is complete. But is it worth adding an extra step in your beauty regimen? Despite my initial misgivings, I'd conclude that yes, the VIC is an excellent tool for dermabrasion. It has a special gently coarse texture, resulting from a complicated manufacturing process whereby strands of cotton are twisted and shrunk at different rates during wetting and drying. The VIC deeply cleans by removing makeup, impurities, and dead surface skin cells. This simple act of scrubbing provides great stimulation for the skin and produces a smooth, glowing complexion. My face looks rosy and rejuvenated after each run-in with the VIC.

The only concern I have is whether exfoliating every day is safe for skin in the long-run. Even if it only affects the surface layer of skin, could it possibly hurtle your face towards the Hayflick Limit just a bit faster? Or at the very least, trigger a rash or flare-up from perpetually irritating the skin? Setting these queries aside, the VIC is a great buy compared to other exfoliation devices, such as the Clarisonic Brush. And thanks to its thin, lightweight, machine-washable material, the VIC can join you on any trip. I might just have to procure another VIC to smooth out rough spots on my elbows and knees. Considering a VIC is supposed to last several decades, I'd say that's a pretty sound investment.

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