The Browse: Skin 1

Skin 1, a jewel of a shop, hides in an old office building on Gold Coast. Worth finding your way to.

Skin 1, a jewel of a shop, hides in an old office building on Gold Coast. Worth finding your way to.


Chicagoans. Rejoice. You have in your city a hidden jewel of a product playground. My good friend Yvonne said to me after lunch the other day on Michigan Avenue, “because I like you, I’m going to show you a place.” When Yvonne directs you, you obey. She then added “Only share it with good people.” I followed her lead as she walked through the Northwestern hospital cluster area to an unimpressive and large looking building on McClurg between Huron and Erie. She stopped outside. “I go to physical therapy here. But I always leave myself extra time. Come on.” What was behind the magical wardrobe in her physical therapists building I wondered?

Down a ways along the long entry hall of this oppressive building we came upon an oddly shaped strip of store space. The sign said Skin1. She was right. Narnia indeed.

Its quite simple. This place carries SERIOUS skincare brands. The best from around the world, the best of organic, the best of breakthrough technology skincare. These brands are the ones your dermatology office aesthetician’s are using. Skin1 lets you try anything (“I’m so into face sprays!” Yvonne said as she practically took a shower in the radiant and aromatic Eminence Wild Plum Tonic). The people who work there are a wealth of knowledge – they take care of you like an old-world alchemist who wants to understand your needs before he creates the perfect elixir. And, of the brands they carry, they can order you anything you don’t see. This shop is like Sephora’s much brainier, much more sophisticated older sibling. In other words, Sephora went to a party school, and Skin1 went to M.I.T.

Some of my personal favorite brands they carry which can be hard to find include Nuxe products (their huile prodigieuse has a cult following among french women), Natura Bisse, Eminence, Guinot, Kinerase and Glymed Plus.

The best part? They have a website so you don’t have to be a local to enjoy this well cultivated assortment of top tier products. But if you live in Chicago, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a browsing session in skincare Narnia at this little shop with an old-world feel.


Skin1 Chicago locations:

Skin 1 website:




1 Comment

  • Reply July 31, 2013


    I have been looking for a place like this for skin care!! I am going tomorrow! Great find!!

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