This article was originally published on June 12, 2023 and has been updated.
If quiet luxury is all about refined minimalism and elevated yet understated basics, perhaps no place holds more stealth wealth gems than your bathroom. The most intimate and private room of your abode is likely home to your most frequently used, holy grail beauty, grooming and personal care products. And just like a nondescript black baseball cap or a well-tailored suit, these items can say a lot about you. (Quietly, of course.)
In fact, interest in personal care products is at an all-time high. While the pandemic was a major blow to makeup sales, other beauty categories — like oral care, skincare and hand soap — saw significant growth. At the time, the reasoning for this growth was clear (hello, we were stuck at home with nothing to do but wash our hands all day long), but in today’s post-pandemic world, the personal care category’s continued success is more surprising. Just this past April, L’Oréal Group acquired the king of chic hand soap, Aesop, in a massive deal that valued the skin- and body-care brand at a staggering $2.5 billion.
And it’s not just sales figures. Culturally, soap et al. are having a bit of a moment, too. Take, for example, the popular TikTok trend where creators sneak into their dates’ bathroom cabinets to rate (and read into) the type of soap, personal care, hair and body products they find. Too high-end and he might have a girlfriend. Too many run-of-the-mill products and he may not be into self-care. Hardly any personal care products at all? Run. (It’s a fine line.)
But wait — when did Gen Z become such hand soap and toothpaste connoisseurs? The newfound obsession could have something to do with the fact that we’re in the age of GRWM videos and the contents of creators’ bathrooms are constantly on display. Who wouldn’t want to show off a recently acquired taste for chic hand soap? Maybe it’s the Sofia Richie Grainge glow-up effect. Or perhaps we’re all longing to recreate what we imagine Shiv Roy‘s brushing, flossing and hand-washing routine to be.
What we know for sure is that when it comes to true stealth wealth, no other category does it quite as quietly as chic hand soap (and its close cousins, elevated oral care and luxe bathroom spray). These items are tucked away in your bathroom, never being seen by the outside world. And yet you know they’re waiting, in understated packaging, to greet you each evening to help you strip away the remnants of a long day with a wash, brush, floss and a spritz.
Perhaps quiet luxury lies not in GRWM videos, but in the get un-ready with me process when all is said and done.
Shop some of our favourite chic hand soap and personal care products below.
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