Self-Care: It’s for Alaskans Now!

The whole personal care industry fails to recognize our unique grooming needs.

Listen up, Last Frontier! Have I got news for you! And it’s got nothing to do with government turmoil or environmental meltdown! Can you believe news even exists outside those categories? Well, it does!

Here goes: self-care isn’t just for cheechakos anymore. That’s right, Alaska, it’s for dog mushers, gold prospectors, bush pilots, wilderness racers, Bering Sea crab fishermen and ice road truckers just like you and me.

It’s no secret Alaskans tend to be extremely casual when it comes to personal appearance. Think about it. Do you consider rubber knee-boots to be “evening wear”? In fact, does your shoe collection contain anything other than rubber boots? (Okay, Crocs, fine). When was the last time you wore a suit that wasn’t an immersion survival suit or a skirt that wasn’t insulated with PrimaLoft? How many fleece garments do you own, and of those, how many aren’t completely covered in dog hair — even if you don’t have a dog? When was the last time you shaved? Or showered?

Now take a look at all the tourists at your local glacier, bear viewing platform or tanzanite shop. See how well kempt they are, with their un-stained clothes and store-bought haircuts? That could be us!

Because like it or not, Alaska, we’re hot right now (thank you very much, government turmoil and environmental meltdown). People are watching us, and not just in the national news media. It’s been an epic summer up here for film crews, and especially killer for selfies with minor celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Guy Fieri. And after that crazy Gordon Ramsay run this past winter, too

Problem is, the whole personal care industry fails to recognize our unique grooming needs. Sure, regular products may work fine for whatever it is they do in the Lower 48, like sitting in traffic or consulting with an Apple Genius. But we’re up here dog mushing, gold prospecting, bush piloting, wilderness racing, Bering Sea crab fishing and ice road trucking, every day. We need products as rugged and exotic as the Alaska presented on the Discovery Channel.

Well, finally we have them:


Men, women, non-binary … if you live here, chances are your skin exudes not so much of a “healthy glow” as a “cadaverous vitamin D deficiency.” Enter, MAK-up, made from actual salmon blood — a little dab’ll do ya! Your MAK-up kit also includes duct tape, WD-40, super glue, a tarp and a bottle of Old Granddad, because after all, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with duct tape, WD-40, super glue, a tarp and Old Granddad.

Vitamin D+

Speaking of vitamin D deficiency, not only does Vitamin D+ administer a dose of vitamin D the equivalent of spending a week in the Mojave Desert, they’re also packed with Vitamin R. That’s right, Rainier Beer, now in convenient pill form. Take two of these and call me in the morning!


Don’t just look like Alaska; smell like Alaska, too! Available in a variety of patented scents: Spawned-Out Salmon, Wet Dog, Chum Bucket, Burn Pile (Original and Chemically-Treated), Defrosting Outhouse and Retail Dispensary (don’t spray that one until the kids are asleep).

All the Random Bath and Body Products with Fireweed in Them You’ve Won at Silent Auctions Over the Years and are Now Sitting in Your Bathroom Collecting Dust (and it’s that Gross, Sticky Bathroom Dust, Too)

Use them yourself, or re-gift them to your kids’ teachers at Christmas.

Home Liposuction Kit

For those extra 10 pounds of nachos weight you put on every winter, s’mores weight, every summer. In the true spirit of Alaska’s Do-It-Yourself culture, perform your own liposuction surgery in the comfort of your own homestead. Kit includes a filet knife and a shop vac. Duct tape, WD-40, super glue, tarp and Old Granddad sold separately.

Now, I realize being a slob is every Alaskan’s naturally given right. Honestly, that’s the primary reason I live here (the reindeer sausages are nice, too). Plus, we’re not slobs all the time, either. Like every once in a while we’ll put on a vest. And, of course, some of Alaskans work in the artisan food and beverage industry, so their neck tattoos and mustache wax has to be just so.

Still, there’s always room for improvement. And we can each do our own small part to show the world what Alaska really looks like. As opposed to, you know, what Alaska really looks like.

Tell you what, I’ll start. In fact, there’s the delivery person with my home liposuction kit, now. Now, where’d I put the Old Granddad?

• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears every second and fourth Sunday in Neighbors.

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