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Update: How’s the Retread Working?

Some of you will recall my recent enthusiasm, now a few months old, to renovate the aging face, which was beginning to show the signs one might expect in a survivor of the Pleistocene.

After a fiasco with a product called RoC, I ordered up some Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion from the Internet. This old favorite has about the same concentration of alpha-hydroxy acid as the expensive stuff my dermatologist used to dispense, at a tiny fraction of the cost. The plan was to try to plump out some of the wrinkles and fade the age spots a bit, and then to disguise what remained with liberal application of new-fangled powder mineral makeup.

So, did any of these shenanigans do any good? Well, judge for yourself. Here’s a before:


A bit blurry, but probably just as well. Some things are best not studied with excessive acuity.

Now here’s the after:

Doctored and painted!

Definitely not going to win any beauty contests. But I think it’s better. The hide looks healthier, and the splotches and uneven coloring are smoothed out.


The keys were twice-daily application of Alpha Hydrox (which I could only find at and various ordinary drugstore face creams or hand lotions; daily application of a sunscreen; weekly exfoliation with plain old baking soda, and artful painting with Kirkland Borghese mineral makeup.

Naturally, sensing that I liked the stuff Costco immediately took the makeup off the shelf. It appears to be out of production altogether—you can’t get it online, either, nor, apparently, can you buy it from Borghese. After traipsing to three Costco outlets, I finally found a few in one store, where I bought two sets for the cost of one small jar of powder from The Body Shop. When it runs out, I guess I’ll try L’Oréal, which is the drugstore version of Lancôme.

Benign sunscreen

Considering that it’s been barely four months since I started this regimen (not to say “experiment,”), the results are not bad. No doubt if I keep it up, by the time I’m 70 I’ll look like I’m 18.


4 thoughts on “Update: How’s the Retread Working?”

  1. Isn’t it neat when you find a product that works? I never really believed you could see results from a face cream because I’d never personally had it happen. But I’d read a review of Garnier Ultra-Lift Pro Gravity Defying Cream and seen Sarah Jessica Parker in the TV commercials, plus I’d used Garner’s leave-in hair conditioner and had fantastic results, and I was in the market for a new face cream, so I thought I’d give it a try. Well, I did and I can’t believe it. It’s taken 20 years off of me! Only $13.79 at Wal-Mart too. It feels great, doesn’t it? I know it does for me.

  2. @ Holly: It sounds like it must be a Garnier product. Several of the big drugstore-level cosmetics manufacturers now have AHA creams, and I think I recall seeing that Garnier had one of them.

    Garnier is the line that comes in the brilliant lime-green containers. They make a nice shampoo and conditioner, too.

  3. It’s the name I put there – Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Pro Gravity Defying Cream. It’s a pretty red jar and it’s a good price too. I can’t guarantee it works for everyone since everyone is different, but it certainly works for me.

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