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Holiday travel and ski trips have left our skin parched and dull. So the recent arrival of Aesop on Fillmore Street was much welcomed, especially when we looked in the mirror.

The Melbourne-based cosmetics company just opened its first West Coast store here in SF. Its skin, hair and body products employ plant-based, research-backed ingredients and copious antioxidants--two things we fully support when it comes to beauty lines. Especially when they?re effective: The aloe leaf in Aesop?s Fabulous Face Cleanser ($33) refreshed our complexion without drying it out. And the shea butter in the Nurturing Conditioner ($27) made our hair softer and shinier.

The store itself is an architectural attraction: Aesop teams up with innovative designers to create airy, minimalist spaces. At the Fillmore location, inspired by pre-20th-century apothecaries, merchandise is showcased along a cork wall, on shelving crafted from reclaimed pine boxes. And a giant basin in the middle of the space invites you to experiment with the products.

A recent visit resulted in a friendly conversation with one of the store?s well-versed consultants, who prescribed the Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream ($45) and the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm ($25) to quench said dry skin.

2450 Fillmore St.; 415-775-1837 or aesop.com

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