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I have never been the sort of girl who had any sort of beauty routine. My mom never wears makeup so I never did when I was younger, and I still don’t with any regularity, though I’m trying to the more I notice that it does make a difference (I’m pretty darn pasty without it).
When it comes to skincare I’ve never done anything consistently, either. I managed to get through my teens with tiny pores and few pimples — my breakouts came later, mostly as a result of stress.
My favorite beauty tool is a makeup-removing wipe. Sometimes I wash my face after, sometimes not. I occasionally moisturize at night (and sometimes even use eye cream!) but I’ve never done anything long enough to know if it works.
All of that is to say when my buddy Stephanie invited me to a local blogger event sponsored by a skin care company launching a lip product, I was skeptical about attending. I’m not into makeup — I really never wear lipstick — and worried that I would be out of place among all the pretty people. She told me to come anyway. And it was a lot of fun. I’d just met a lot of these ladies at Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged, and it was nice to get out of the house on a Saturday afternoon and hang out with grownups for a change.
I got a fancy new headshot (which you can see in the sidebar on the left) and some cool goodies to try out, including some of that lip product: Therapon’s Theraderm Anti-Aging Lip Complex. I may not be a makeup girl but I am a dry lip girl, and this stuff is awesome. It’s sort of glossy, fruity smelling and super-hydrating. I use it (usually) morning and night, and while I still find myself hitting the Burt’s Bees mid-day, I think my lips generally are less dry than they used to be. We’ll see when winter gets here.
My New Face-Saver
At the event I had the chance to meet Christina, the social media marketing manager for Therapon. First, I love that more and more companies have such a position, and I love that Christina and Therapon have been really open to we local bloggers about how we can help each other.
She told us a little bit about the company, which is based in our neighbor to the north (Springdale) and its products, which use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and, before ecommerce, were only available from dermatologists and plastic surgeons.
Since I’m way too lazy to actually go to a dermatologist, I went to Twitter a few days after the event instead. I was complaining about my stress face thanks to that ever-more-looming book deadline, and suggested I might be a great candidate for whatever acne-reducing products Therapon offers.
Christina responded quickly and enthusiastically, sending me their Skin Renewal System with Peptide Hydrator to try. I first noticed that these products are lovely. I like the streamlined packaging and the fact that they don’t look too clinical. But I was also a little intimated. How was I supposed to go from maybe washing my face sometimes to a four-step program twice a day?
The answer is I’m still not doing it 100 percent consistently, but I am noticing a difference when I do it. My skin feels nicer, is more hydrated and it seems like the pimples are kept at bay when I’m using it more regularly. Which I absolutely need to be doing for the next five weeks. I have no fancy before and after photos, but if you want to see some, head on over to Still Seeking Martha, who used the same products to help her rosacea. Pretty dramatic results just two weeks in.
Using the System
The first time I tried it the whole routine took me six minutes, mostly because I had to stop and read the directions. I haven’t timed it lately, but I’ll bet it’s less than five minutes when you know what you’re doing. Here’s a quick rundown of the different parts (pictured from left to right above) and my thoughts:
Cleansing Wash: This is a nice, soap-free clear gel with no real scent that makes a little bit of suds and foams a bit when you rinse it off.
Fruit Acid Exfoliant: You put these clear drops on a round application pad that feels (and smells a little, too) like the Oxy pads of our youth. The pads are scrubby so it feels like it’s doing something, and only rarely does the pad come out looking completely clean, even though I just washed my face. Eww.
OPC Reparative Gel: The included materials say this antioxidant gel is 20 times more effective at reducing free radicals than vitamin C. What it doesn’t say is that the stuff is brown, which came as a bit of a shock the first time. It also smells kind of like pine tar, which makes sense because it has pine bark extract in it. I was momentarily skeptical about putting it on my skin, but the color doesn’t appear on your face.
Peptide Hydrator: This thick, minty green confection reminds me of Pond’s Cold Cream, and I probably slathered on too much the first few times because it left my skin looking shiny. Also, it asks that you apply this with “gnetle upward strokes,” which I am apparently incapable of. Gentle sideways strokes will have to do.
All in all, I like this system and really think it is helping. I think it will help more when I get in the habit of using it as often as you’re supposed to.
Didn’t You Say Something about a Giveaway?
If you’ve made it this far, I want to reward you with a chance to try out this whole Skin Renewal System for yourself. It’s everything you see above, a $150 value, that I’m going to give away to one lucky reader.
You can earn up to four entries by leaving a comment below about your favorite beauty item and following Therapon on Facebook and Twitter and liking me (or my page, really) on Facebook. I’d love it if you spread the word in all your social media hangouts as well! This contest is open through the end of the day next Friday, Oct. 19, and is open to residents of the United States only, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
All of this is a long-winded way to say these products are great and if you’re in the market for a new (or any sort of) skin-care routine, they’re worth checking out. The products I tried are also available in a travel system so you can try them without so much expense.
If you were wondering, yes, I got these great products for free from Therapon, a lovely local company. They did not ask me to review them and I did not get paid in any way for my opinion.