Skip to main content

Review: We Tried 5 Products From Atwater, a New Skincare Brand for Men by Kiehl’s Former President

Two months ago, we told our readers to make some room on their bathroom vanities after the launch of Atwater skincare, a new face in the men’s grooming world founded by one of the more recognizable faces in the same space. 

The latest venture in men’s grooming by former Kiehl’s president, Chris Salgardo, Atwater skincare takes aim at the active lifestyles of today’s man and provides him with the high-performance products he needs to look and feel (and smell) his best. 

Atwater’s lineup consists of products every man needs, like shaving cream and facial cleanser, as well as products men don’t realize they should be using, like an under-eye cream and a daily moisturizer tailored to their specific type of skin. 

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of ATWATER

To make matters even better, Salgardo and Atwater focus on finding simplicity in clean, ethical ingredients. Each product is formulated with non-toxic ingredients free of known allergens. They’re manufactured in the United States and have been dermatologist-tested to ensure safety. And while all products are certified animal cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny Program, their products are a combination of vegan and beegan (their bar soaps contain honey).

As of now, Atwater products are exclusively sold at Nordstrom and but luckily, we were able to get our hands on some.

We concluded our launch story with some of the Atwater skincare products we were most excited to try, and that’s precisely what we’ve done over the last three weeks.

Read on for SPY’s Atwater skincare review, complete with the five products we enjoyed using the most.


SPY’s Top Products from Atwater Skincare

1. Editor’s Choice: Oil Regulator Facial Cleansing Bar — $18 at Nordstrom

2. Calming Scent: Skin Armor Face Scrub — $25 at Nordstrom

3. Morning Routine: Eye Armor Eye Moisturizer — $29 at Nordstrom

4. Bald-Friendly: Smooth Target Shaving Cream — $18 at Nordstrom

5. Best Surprise: Oil Regulator Facial Moisturizer — $35 at Nordstrom


1. Atwater Oil Regulator Facial Cleansing Bar

Editor’s Choice
  • 5-ounce bar
  • Oily and combination skin
  • Beegan
Lazy loaded image
Anthony Mastracci | SPY

We’re typically not the type to double-take at a bar of soap, especially in a world filled with amazing face washes. But in this case, overlooking Atwater’s Oil Regulator Facial Cleansing Bar would be a mistake. Formulated with ingredients like kaolin clay, sodium cocoate, and glycerin, this multi-purpose cleansing bar helps clear our excess oil while balancing and refreshing skin. 

Take it from somebody with combination-type skin — this bar works. Oil likes to accumulate all over my face throughout the day and, especially in the Los Angeles weather, regular cleansing is necessary. Personally, I can’t stand the feeling of oil on my face.

This cleansing bar from Atwater skincare is so easy to use and this face soap lathers up in just a few sweeps on the bar. In fact, after a dozen uses, the logo on the bar still looks sharp. After massaging into a wet face and rinsing, my face felt completely reset and oil-free. If you’re not into anything else from Atwater, this is one I urge you to try. 


2. Atwater Skin Armor Face Scrub

Calming Scent
  • 3.4 ounces
  • All skin types
  • Jojoba bead exfoliant
  • Vegan
Lazy loaded image
Anthony Mastracci | SPY

At SPY, we love a good face scrub, so naturally, we jumped at the chance to try the Skin Armor Face Scrub from Atwater. What we found was unlike any other scrub we’ve tried in the past. 

Atwater’s scrub is GREEN — but why and how? The color comes from an ingredient called chlorophyllin copper complex, which is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant with wound-healing properties. If that’s not cool enough, this face scrub features jojoba beads, not walnut shells, as an exfoliant as well as salicylic acid to help clear clogged pores and prevent breakouts. 

This scrub is a joy to use. Even though we wish the grit-to-base ratio were a tick higher, the current formula makes this a wonderful face scrub for sensitive skin, as it’s not over-abrasive. Even though this is fragrance-free, there is a menthol-based ingredient that provides an enjoyable minty scent as well as a mild cooling sensation after rinsing. 


3. Atwater Eye Armor Eye Moisturizer

Morning Routine
  • 0.5 ounces
  • All skin types
  • Use a.m. or p.m.
Lazy loaded image
Anthony Mastracci | SPY

Atwater’s Eye Armor Eye Moisturizer is the type of product more guys need to start using. A daily eye cream provides the necessary hydration to combat dark circles and bags under our eyes. If you’re somebody who doesn’t have either of those, the hydration part is still a good idea. 

The Eye Armor from Atwater is formulated with yeast and rice extract that nourishes and plumps skin as well as anti-aging caffeine and something called niacinamide (vitamin B3) that controls oil. 

This little tube is, in a way, fun to use. In the morning, applying it feels like an intimate little meeting between you and your mirror with a major upside — you’re hydrating an area that’s so easy to forget about. In a 0.5-ounce tube, this fits into any Dopp kit and has made the journey with me across the states. It’s a very welcome addition for travel, especially when fighting the stress and jetlag that presents itself on those types of adventures. 


4. Atwater Smooth Target Shaving Cream

  • 5 ounces
  • All skin types
  • Vegan
Lazy loaded image
Anthony Mastracci | SPY

I recently became a bald person, somewhat by choice but mostly from genetics — thanks, fam. As an already bearded man, trying to link up with a new shaving cream has been on my mind, er, head. I’m happy to say that Atwater’s Smooth Target Shaving Cream is bald-friendly.

As with any shaving cream, it’s best to wet the target area, lather on the product, and then allow it to sit between 30 and 60 seconds to form a protective barrier on the skin. Using macadamia nut oil to moisturize, Atwater’s shaving cream played defense like Kobe. 

Even after two passes on the sides of my head, which is where most irritation occurs, I found that the razor could still easily glide across the skin with little resistance. After rinsing everything off, my head also didn’t feel dry. This is a win for bald guys everywhere. 


5. Atwater Oil Regulator Facial Moisturizer

Best Surprise
  • 3.4 ounces
  • Oily and combination skin
  • Vegan
  • Fragrance-free
Lazy loaded image
Anthony Mastracci | SPY

Everyone’s got a thing that irks them, whether it’s metal scraping metal, touching glass right out of the dishwasher or the time-old nails on a chalkboard. Personally, I’ve got a thing about applying certain types of skincare to my face, like moisturizer. Moisturizing is a vital part of a grooming regimen, but the thought of residual goop lingering on my naturally oily nose and cheeks makes my skin crawl. 

After using Atwater’s Oil Regulator Facial Moisturizer, facing my phobia in the name of SPY testing, I was happily surprised at how well it went. 

This moisturizer was specifically designed for people like me who have oily or combination-type skin. Atwater has formulated this product with salicylic acid for breakout prevention, aloe barbadenesis leaf extract for hydration and nourishment as well as niacinamide and brown algae extracts to combat the overproduction of sebum and surface oils. 

Very hesitant to use this, after cleaning my face with Atwater’s facial cleansing bar, I applied the necessary amount to cover my cheeks, nose and forehead. What a relief it was to discover that after 30 seconds of gentle massaging, the moisturizer absorbed completely into my skin and left absolutely no lingering goop feeling whatsoever — a win for the home team. 


About the Author

Anthony Mastracci, a new fan of moisturizer, is best known for his work in the beard space among other grooming topics. He’s already told the world about the launch of the Atwater brand as well as the best beard washes for men and his personal beard-grooming regimen.

Additionally, he’s helped the world dress better by creating content for SPY as well as his blog, The Next Gentleman, focusing on proper dress shoes, denim jackets and more dressed-up options like shirts and ties


Stay Fresh and Clean All Day Long With the Best Body Wash for Men