I am a bit of a klutz. There, I said it. Because I am frequently tripping and bumping into things, it’s a rare moment when I don’t have a bruise somewhere on my body. I bruise so easily (and, yes, I should probably make sure there’s nothing else going on internally) that half the time I don’t even remember how I got this bruise or that one. Body cover-up has become my best friend.

Enter Marjorie Borell, founder of Optimal-Outcome Rapid Healing Skincare and UpKeep Anti-Oxidant Skincare, who stopped by the Truth in Aging office a couple of months ago to personally drop off some of her products. She told me these were formulated “for anyone that bruises easily or is having any procedure that will cause skin damage.”

I was intrigued. Marjorie has an impressive resume: She was an executive for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and is a member of the Cosmetic Executive Women and the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers Association, which awarded her UpKeep Body Builder Anti-Bruise Body Lotion the title of best new skincare product.

Still, I wasn’t totally convinced that the product was for me. Perhaps this is why it sat in our beauty closet for some time as I tried to figure out who the right reviewer of this product should be – how would I find someone who just had a cosmetic procedure?

Then one evening, while still at the office, I climbed a ladder and my foot slipped on one of the steps, which caused my shin to knock into the metal rungs. Argh, I thought. No doubt a huge bruise was imminent. And that’s when I remembered the Upkeep Body Builder Body Lotion ($39), billed as a “Deep Moisturizing Anti-Bruise Formula.” Okay, here was the perfect opportunity to give this one a try. I was desperate for anything that might help prevent the onset of one of my garish bruises.

I applied it right then and there over the sore spot. And again before bed that night. It’s worth noting I have also been taking bromelain supplements (pineapple enzymes) daily at the recommendation of a dermatologist friend. This natural anti-inflammatory helps prevent bruising, which occurs when capillaries are damaged to the point that they allow blood to seep into the surrounding tissues.

Any major contusion I get usually develops as quickly as the next day and progressively gets worse. The discoloration goes from light purple to bluish-purple (and sometimes to near-black), then SLOWLY fades to a greenish hue before FINALLY disappearing after seemingly weeks and weeks.

As it happens, me being klutzy me, I actually took a tumble that same weekend, hurting my left arm and leg. Really?! Well, I diligently applied a thick layer of the Body Builder lotion to all the sore spots day and night (and upped my bromelain intake to two pills a day) – and each day that passed without a bruise developing was a happy one.

So what was in this stuff that seemed to be working? Well, a host of antioxidants and botanical anti-inflammatory ingredients, including Calendula officinalis, algae, Camellia sinensis leaf, burdock root, and Arnica montana flower extract, which Claire called a “bona fide bruise basher.” Also in the mix are the collagen-boosting carbohydrates glycosaminoglycans.

The lotion has a thin consistency and the color is light beige.  When it’s first applied it leaves your skin looking greasy, but this dissipates after a few minutes and the product does seem to sink in quite well; it kept my skin feeling moisturized all day – likely attributable to the ceramides and other fatty-acid-rich ingredients. My only (minor) qualm is the fragrance, which Upkeep describes as lavender scented. It is vaguely floral, but more earthy… it’s hard to pinpoint, but it is far from lavender, in my opinion.

Nevertheless, after two weeks (and having only the slightest discoloration from my bumps), I was totally won over by this body lotion. I thought it probably helped that I was doubling up on the bromelain – that is, until I discovered a spot on the side of my ankle that I missed! This small bruise developed into the typical bluish phase, which I had not been treating with the lotion. I am ever grateful to this product for sparing me from a few less embarrassing bruises – and will be keeping this bottle safely stashed away for future emergencies. Knock on wood.

Ingredients: Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Algae, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Arctium Majus Root Extract (Burdock Root), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycereth-7 Trimethyl Ether, Alge, Glycosaminoglycans, Panthenol, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6, Ceramide 1, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract (Butcher’s Broom), Paullinia Cupana (Edemine) Seed Extract, Niacinamide, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Bupleurum Falcatum Extract, Caffeine, Coenzyme A, Squalane Oil, Dancus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Menadione (Vitamin K), Lavender, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Amino Methyl Propynol, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate