TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set
TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set is Mary Kay’s contribution to at-home microdermabrasion kits. Just like its numerous competitors, this two-part product features a topical scrub and post-treatment moisturizer. Step 1: Refine ($30 for 2 ounces; may be purchased separately) contains alumina crystals as the abrasive agent, and yes, this is the same ingredient used in professionally administered microdermabrasion treatments. But there’s a difference between massaging a scrub on your skin and how the microdermabrasion machine works (and the way it’s operated). Further, recent research has shown that microdermabrasion doesn’t appear to have a cumulative benefit.
Either way, products like this (when used gently) are indeed viable topical scrubs. What we like is that Mary Kay’s version is free of added irritants and that it rinses easily (many microdermabrasion scrubs are difficult to remove with water).
Step 2: Replenish ($25 for 1 ounce; may be purchased separately) is to be applied after Step #1–Refine. Rather than create a product brimming with antioxidants, anti-irritants, and cell-communicating ingredients, Mary Kay created a functional, but ordinary, product that is just an OK option for normal to slightly oily skin. It’s being marketed for dry or oily skin, but if you have dry skin, Replenish will leave your skin wanting more, and for oily skin it may prove too emollient. It has some good antioxidants and the packaging will keep them stable, but the amounts are likely too small to bring much benefit to your skin.
Overall, there is nothing about the scrub in this kit that can’t be replaced by a washcloth, and there are better moisturizers than this.
Fight fine lines, refine pores and achieve beautifully smooth skin immediately with this simple, two-step set.
Step 1: Refine - An advanced exfoliator using the same professional grade exfoliating crystals used by dermatologists, to immediately energize skin and reveal more radiant, healthy-looking skin.
Step 2: Replenish - Separates the set from the competition. It's a rich serum, containing vitamins, antioxidants and anti-irritants. This serum nourishes the soft, smooth skin revealed by Step 1: Refine.
Mary Kay At-A-Glance
Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance-free; packaging that keeps light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; a handful of well-formulated moisturizers; very good eye-makeup remover; effective wrinkle filler; excellent cream blush and several other impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: The overall collection is a mixed bag of exciting and disappointing products; several outdated moisturizers and cleansers; no AHA or acceptable BHA products; the CC Cream doesn't provide good enough UVA protection; some lackluster makeup products.
The last few years haven't been glamorous for one of the world's largest direct sellers of cosmetics. Mary Kay lost a lawsuit filed by TriStrata, the company whose founders hold over 100 patents on the use of AHAs in skin-care products. It was revealed that Mary Kay's former AHA products infringed on three of these patents, and, after some back-and-forths in court, Mary Kay ended up paying royalties of over $40 million (interest included) to TriStrata. Perhaps because they're still licking their wounds after this defeat, the company has not launched any new AHA products, and no longer sells the ones that were in question during the legal battle (Source: www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2006/04/03/daily26.html).
However, the company's spin on the issue of AHAs is that they no longer use them because skin-care technology has advanced. That's an interesting twist, but the fact of the matter is that AHA products, when well-formulated, are still considered advanced and capable of doing far more for skin than the alternatives Mary Kay has devised (including an at-home microdermabrasion scrub and products with vitamin C derivatives).
Although they're not a company for you if you are looking for exfoliants (though you should be looking for a good exfoliant), Mary Kay has recently developed a surprising number of excellent products. With over 1.6 million Mary Kay consultants selling products in 30 countries, this family-owned company (founder Mary Kay Ash passed away in 2001) has slowly been proving that they intend to remain competitive with the best of the best. A refreshing change of pace is the omission of fragrance from almost all of the products. Now that is what we call progress!
Despite its size and capital (wholesale figures were $3 billion in 2012), Mary Kay still has a lot to learn. For instance, although their guiding philosophy of empowering women is admirable, the assortment of products still leaves much to be desired. Yes, things are looking up, but there are several weak spots that keep Mary Kay from being in the same league as Avon, Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble (Olay), and Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena, Aveeno, RoC). These include outdated cleansers, toners, and moisturizers, along with letdowns in products designed for oily, blemish-prone skin. The TimeWise product range has expanded considerably, and offers a few state-of-the-art products worthy of its name (although, as with all skin-care products, they're not going to turn back the hands of time and erase all signs of aging).
If improvements like those in Mary Kay's latest products were translated to the entire line, it would be standing much taller, at least as far as what current, substantiated skin-care research indicates is optimum for creating and maintaining healthy skin. As is, this is a line to approach with a keen understanding of what to focus on and what to avoid. One last bit of good news: Mary Kay offers well-packaged samples of selected products, either directly or from your consultant.
Unless mentioned otherwise, all Mary Kay products are fragrance-free.
Note: Mary Kay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Mary Kay does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they dont test on animals unless required by law. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
For more information about Mary Kay, call (800) 627-9529 or visit www.marykay.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.