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Somme Institute Five-Step Regimen

6 Jan

Obviously I’ve been away from blogging for far too long: I nearly just started this post with “Hi.” Anyway, I disappeared to spend some time with my family before my dad heads overseas for work and I head to the city to live. I thought this five-step regimen would be a good way to ring in the new year. You know, get you guys while you’re most determined to take better care of your skin. Full disclosure: The kind folks over at Somme sent me these products.

The first thing that attracted me to Somme is the packaging. It’s gorgeous and simple. I’d buy the products based on that alone. I might have ordered the dots, orange, green, blue, purple (like the rainbow) to make the order in which to use the products a little more intuitive, but I still can’t get enough of this packaging. I loved opening my medicine cabinet and seeing these gorgeous products (Nourishing Cleanser (blue), a chemical exfoliator (purple), serum (orange), vitamin A cream (green), and a sunscreen (pink)).

In this case, I’m lumping all five products into one review because I started using all of them at the same time. I’ll do my best to keep this review from getting too long. I’ve called Cetaphil water on steriods. Somme’s Nourishing Cleanser is Cetaphil on steroids. It’s packed with vitamins A, B3, B5 C and E — Somme’s patented combination of vitamins, called MDT5. According to Somme, these vitamins penetrate deeper into the skin than most, which allows the products to treat fine lines, sun damage, uneven skin tone, acne and rosacea. I adore this cleanser, and if I made more money, I’d definitely keep buying it. It’s non-foaming, gentle and it feels hydrating and silky on my skin. Plus, it’s full of soothing extracts such as lavender, jasmine and ylang ylang. The only downside is that it doesn’t break down makeup quite as well as Cetaphil does, but that’s a relatively minor complaint. I opened my 8 oz. bottle in November, and I still have about half of it left after using a few pumps to cleanse morning and night.

The second step in the regimen is Transport, the exfoliator. Transport’s key ingredient glycolic acid, which is often used in chemical peels. At smaller concentrations, as in Transport, it’s an effective exfoliator, which results in brighter, smoother skin. Somme suggests that Transport be used morning and night, but I found that once at evening was plenty for me. Most people don’t need to exfoliate twice a day. The glycolic acid is balanced with green tea extracts as well as the same flower extracts from the cleanser. Again, MDT5 makes an appearance.

Step three is a serum that’s rich in vitamin C/MTD5. And SD alcohol, which I’m not fond of. When I chatted with a Somme rep before they sent over the system, she said that I might break out for a bit when I started the regimen. I broke out for three weeks. I eliminated the serum first because it’s the most intense, vitamin-wise, and my skin cleared up in a few days. This isn’t a common reaction to this product, but it’s a good lesson: If you’re reacting to a product, but you don’t know which one, eliminate the product with most intense or most foreign ingredients first. Also, it’s generally a good idea to change only one product at a time.

Step four is most people’s favorite: a vitamin A and E cream that brightens and evens skin tone. The thick but not oppressive cream feels amazing, and again, it’s packed with MTD5 and calming extracts. It feels a little sticky if you don’t top it with a moisturizer, but it’s delightful and great at evening skin tone.

The final step is Double Defense, which is a sunscreen that aids in sun damage repair. I can only use this once a day because this step is oppressive, which is common with sunscreens and isn’t necessarily a signal of a bad product: The active ingredients in sunscreen are naturally heavy. I have some brown spots on my nose that have almost disappeared with Double Defense and the rest of the regimen. I’m amazed. I have to keep this a few inches away from my eyes, though. If I get any closer than that, my eyes water for hours.

Bottom lines:
Nourishing Cleanser ($40 for 8 oz.): If your budget allows, buy this cleanser. It should last about four months.
Transport ($58 for 50 pads): This is probably my favorite product of the set. I’ve already bought myself a replacement for the tub I used up. Really, once a day will do you, especially at $58.
Serum ($82 for 1 oz.): I’d pass on this one due to the SD alcohol, which can be incredibly drying.
A-Bomb ($70 for 1.5 oz.): This did for me what I think the serum was intended to. A-Bomb didn’t have the collagen-boosting effects of the vitamin C, but it did plump and brighten.
Double Defense ($48 for 3.8 oz.): This should last for about four months, and it really will make a difference in the appearance of dark sun spots. Win.

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