Chicago, IL

Crepe Erase, My Butt

Sherry McGuinn

No truth in “TruFirm.”

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I get up in the morning between seven and eight. If I’ve been “over-served” the night before, or, if my mental state is wonky, I might sleep in, but, as I am adept at punishing myself, I normally force myself to get up and at ‘em.

Do I want to burrow in and say, “fuck this?” or bound out of bed, ready to take on the new day? Burrow or bound. Bound or burrow. What a conundrum.

Most of the time, I bound. Having no actual job to go to, I recognize how easy it is to slip into slug mode, so I try my best to be present and productive.

I’ve found that when you no longer have one, establishing a routine is key, and mine rarely goes off the rails

I get up (bound!) from the bed, clamor down to the basement (finished) and perform a mini workout to get my blood flowing. This sets me up for the day and gives me the impetus I need to get in a more strenuous workout, later in the afternoon. After I’ve been sitting on my ass in front of my computer for hours. (I’m talkin’ to you, Medium.)

The crap that’s on early morning TV. Normally, I like to watch the Food Channel when I’m working out. But, they don’t get going until later in the morning. So, until “Chopped” or “Guy’s Grocery Games” come on, the station runs infomercials. All kinds of informercials.

Why I don’t change the channel and put on a movie or another TV show, since we have cable up the wazoo, is anyone’s guess. For some reason, when I see Jane Seymour, she of the Rapunzel locks and flawless skin, I am riveted.

Seymour hawks a product called “Crépe Erase,” which, as most women know, because we need one more thing to feel shitty about, is a treatment for “crepey” skin.

The product is trumpeted as being “The number one solution for reversing dry, aging, crepey skin on the body.”

Now, to be clear, crepey skin is not wrinkly skin. It is a condition that is actually named for crepe paper, which is dry, tissue-thin, and crinkly.

Crepey skin shows up on the arms, chest, knees, and backs of hands, where the skin looks fragile and saggy. It represents the thinning of the dermis and epidermis. Anyone can get crepey skin but those with fair skin are more susceptible to it.

That’s right. For the most part, anyone can have crepey skin! Age…weight…none of this matters. I’m fairly slender and the front of my thighs have begun to look like a crinkled-up shower curtain.

So, where do these crinkles come from?

Crepey skin can be the result of sun damage, as the sun’s rays can break down skin’s elastin, which gives skin its ability to “bounce back” and retain its firmness.

The thing is, collagen and elastin can deteriorate over time, making the skin’s creases more prominent, with a decidedly unsexy, saggy appearance. Kind of like a human Shar-Pei.

In the infomercial, we learn that Crépe Erase’s “magic ingredient” is something called “TruFirm,” which is formulated with plant-based phytonutrients.

An aside: I would love to be in the room when the marketing hacks are naming these products, wouldn’t you? (“Abilify!” Get it? Gives you the ability to lead a less fucked-up life!”)

Also in TruFirm: Extracts of apple, dill, and sage which are thought to support elastin and the skin’s resilience, resulting in firmer, smoother looking skin. Apple is thought to support the skin’s structure while dill oil is meant to promote elastin production. It is ”believed” that sage targets the signs of aging.

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Why does a pork roast suddenly come to mind?

Other key ingredients in Crépe Erase products are known to be effective — but common- moisturizers such as coconut oil, olive oil, and shea butter. Some of the products contain dimethicone, a type of silicone that feels like silk on the skin, and glycerin, a humectant.

Along with Seymour, legendary figure skating champ, Dorothy Hamill also extols the virtues of Crépe Erase, touting it’s “legendary healing properties.”

As I peddled away on my stationary bike, I half expected Bernadette of Lourdes to make an appearance.

Guthy-Renker is the company that markets Crépe Erase, along with several other products, including Cindy Crawford’s “Meaningful Beauty” skincare line. (“It has melon extract! From French melons!”)

By the way, there is no proven evidence on the company’s website that Crépe Erase works.

There are seven wondrous products in the Crépe Erase lineup:

Exfoliating Body Polish — a body scrub that promises smoother, firmer, more radiant skin.

Intensive Body Repair Treatment — a cream which may repair and condition the appearance of dry, aging, crepey skin on the neck, chest, arms and legs.

Advance Firming Eye Serum — a serum to apparently smooth, lift and tighten the look of wrinkled, sagging, crepey skin around the eye area.

Refining Facial Scrub — a cleanser and exfoliator.

Restorative Facial Treatment — a moisturizer that allegedly smooths, tightens, and lifts the appearance of the facial skin.

Ultra Hydrating Body Lotion — a body moisturizer.

4 in 1 Eye Renewal Capsules — an eye serum that possibly helps reduce puffiness, improve dark circles, and smooth wrinkles.

For the most part, reviews have been lackluster. Of course, GR makes certain to state that “user experience may vary.”

Here’s a sampling of what Crepe Erase consumers are saying:

I thought it was $59.95 for the entire kit, not 3 payments and an auto-ship set up,” said one anonymous poster.

“Seymour is paid a ton to endorse what is basically a moisturizing product. Just buy a good moisturizer at your local store (one specifically for face and other parts of the body) and save hundreds of dollars. And remember, there is no such thing as the Fountain of Youth,” says another.

In my humble opinion, Crépe Erase is bushwa. As for the cost, let’s just say that it’s far too much for a product that, as the above commenter noted, has no benefits beyond that of a good moisturizer. Plus, the pricing is so convoluted that I don’t even want to get into it. All of this is readily available online.

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After much trial and error, here’s what I recommend: Get a good body brush. If you haven’t heard of dry brushing, look into it posthaste. I do it, and it works to help shed dry, dull skin all over the body.

A body brush, a rough shower cloth or loofah and a good moisturizer. That’s all you need gals. If you want to keep it chemical-free, like I try to do, give coconut oil a shot. Your skin will be silky, with a luminous sheen and you’ll smell like a Pina Colada.

TruFirm, be damned.

Finally, Seymour says, “Ever since I have used Crépe Erase, I just have so much more confidence in my body and certainly in my skin. I am really embracing 67. You can be fearless in your 60s.”

Here’s what I say to that, Jane: If you look the way you do because of Crépe Erase, I’ll eat my Fascia Blaster.

© Sherry McGuinn, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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