Editor's Note [3/9/23]: Soft Services has recalled Theraplush, citing concerns over mold growth within the housing system. Several customers have filed complaints, but there are no reports of adverse effects. Those who use Theraplush should stop, the brand says, and throw the product away. Those impacted can reach out to Soft Services for a full refund.
Most of us don't keep much beside our beds — maybe a charging cable for your phone, the phone itself, a glass of water or a book (if you're feeling burnt out by screens). But body care brand Soft Services wants to occupy space on your nightstand. Theraplush, a refillable overnight hand cream packaged in a reusable ribbed vessel, is positioned as the absolute last thing you do before going to bed — even after brushing your teeth.
The oil-based cream is formulated with 0.05 percent retinol and 1 percent colloidal oatmeal, ingredients that help create a more even tone and repair dry, cracked parts respectively. The added retinol is also the reason you need to use it at night, not in the morning.
Retinol can make your skin sensitive to light, allowing the UV rays to penetrate more deeply. While the Skin Cancer Foundation says most products with retinol added should advise consumers to use them only at night — Soft Services explicitly does — there's an increased risk with any use.
What is Retinol?: Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that boosts collagen production in your skin, reduces the appearance of pores, prevents breakouts, improves circulation and nutrient delivery (resulting in healthier, stronger, brighter cells).
"Retinol stimulates cell renewal to produce new skin cells; the new skin that develops is more delicate and thinner and therefore should not be exposed directly to sunlight," the foundation's resource guide to sun sensitivity reads.
The brand is clear about Theraplush's role in your nighttime routine. With its mess-free airless pump applicator, you truly can reach for it and get the right amount without worrying about spilling the product on your bed or onto the floor beside it. The only thing I would be mindful of, though, is that the product sort of coats your hands in a wax-like layer.
While it's really only intended for the back of your hand and fingers, when applying it you naturally get some on the underside, too — especially when you're trying to get it into your cuticles. The filmy feeling doesn't stop you from doing things, but it might make your phone case or water glass a little greasy. The same can be said for the area where you press down to push out your dose — with repeat use, some of the smeared formula stays there, creating a dried, darkened mess. It's easy to clean, though, or hide with the included lid.
These first-world faults, however, are well worth it for the results. This highly effective formula evened my redness, helped a few blemishes fade away and smooth dry patches near my knuckles and between my fingers. (Weather changes — especially cold fronts — impact everyone's skin differently.) I also found it easy to remember, because while I might doze off on the couch most nights, I wake up and stumble to my bed eventually. And applying some of this hand cream is an easy step to add to my bedtime routine, which previously consisted of just brushing my teeth, taking off my glasses and plugging in my phone.