Whatever Fresh's "proprietary Super 7 Complex" is (you can't tell from the ingredient label or their marketing information), this lightweight moisturizer isn't the anti-aging powerhouse it's described as—not even close! You're getting a very standard mix of water with slip agents, thickeners, film-forming agents, and preservatives.
The amount of proven anti-aging ingredients is minimal, with maca root (listed by its Latin name of Lepidium meyenii) having no research supporting Fresh's claim that it's known to make skin more luminous while boosting skin cell turnover rate.
What does have research pertaining to its use is lemon peel oil, also present in this moisturizer but not in a good way. The problem is that lemon peel is a strong skin irritant, not an anti-aging wonder (Sources: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, November 2002, pages 709–714; and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, www.naturaldatabase.com).
Along with a boring formula laced with problematic citrus oil, this face cream is packaged in a jar. See More Info to learn why buying any anti-aging skin care packaged in a jar is a waste of money.
- Really boring formula that barely qualifies as anti-aging.
- Jar packaging won't keep the good plant ingredients stable once opened.
- Lemon oil is a skin irritant.
- Maca root has no research proving it increases skin cell turnover or luminosity.
The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
A universal daily age-defy moisturizer proven to provide 24 hours of significant moisture. It is formulated with a proprietary Super 7 Complex specifically designed to minimize and prevent signs of aging, deliver intense hydration, and boost radiance. It is further enriched with maca root extract, noted for enhancing luminosity and cell turnover.
Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Pentylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Betaine, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Steareth-21, Phenoxyethanol, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Sodium PCA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Limonene, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Lepidium Meyenii Root Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Caramel, Algae Extract, Citric Acid, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Citral, Potassium Sorbate, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol.
The story of how Boston-bred "fresh" came into existence is full of compelling adjectives and phrases like "dynamic," "passions," "inspiration," and "destined to create." It seems that back in 1991, two happy newlyweds, both with artistic backgrounds, felt there was a void in the world of luxury bath soaps. They searched far and wide, but could not find a soap that met their criteria. Of course, they began experimenting, gained a following for what they developed, and yet another clone of The Body Shop was born.
Their success has led them from a single boutique in Boston to a series of shops in New York City and a presence in upscale department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. In 2000, fresh was purchased by luxury good purveyor (and owner of Sephora) LVMH, which is not surprising given fresh's price point and positioning.
Naturally, given all of this attention, fresh quickly expanded beyond soaps. They now also offer "future of beauty" products that capitalize on such innocuous-sounding, good-for-you ingredients as black tea, rice, and soy, coupled with the latest scientific advances. In other words, according to fresh, they're giving you the best of nature and science, with a heavy accent on natural (even though in most cases it's the synthetic ingredients that are responsible for their product's texture and functionality).
In the marketing copy each fresh product includes a history of how it came to be. It's pleasant to read about products inspired by stories passed down from one generation to the next, and about cultural secrets that have been discovered, incorporated into cosmetic potions, and adorably packaged for your "fresh lifestyle" experience. However, we wouldn't encourage anyone to rely on fables and anecdotal information when it comes to making serious decisions about how to care for your skin, any more than you would do so to make dietary or health-care decisions. What your grandmother ate or what your great-grandmother put on her skin is no more relevant than basing your computer needs on what they were using back then. (Oh, that's right, there weren't computers back then—my point exactly.) We now know a lot more about skin care than ever before in history. Going back to the old ways may sound idealistic, but that doesn't take the best care of you.
Almost the entire fresh premise revolves around their products' fragrance content. For all their talk of cutting-edge technology and the wisdom of traditional remedies, what you will notice most about all of these products is the almost overpowering fragrance. Compared with countless other skin-care and hair-care lines, including Aveda, Bath & Body Works, and Origins, fresh is far more perfumed—and that spells trouble for all skin types. Perfume and eau de cologne, natural or otherwise, are serious problems for skin. The irony is that fresh's signature scents are what put them on the map, and what continue to enthrall consumers. (Women find it hard to give up fragrance in their skin-care products, just like lots of women can't eschew sun tanning, smoking, or using overly expensive skin-care products.) In contrast, many of the natural ingredients in fresh products are present only for show, not effect, and the effects from the beneficial plants are impeded by irritating plant extracts.
From facial skin care to body and hair care, fresh products are a collection of relatively standard to below-average formulations counting on the romanticized stories behind them to help them make the leap from store shelf to your home, and that seems to be happening quite a lot. However, very few of fresh's facial-care products have anything that approaches the current state of the art, especially in regard to interesting skin-identical ingredients, anti-irritants, or antioxidants. And for all the fancy posturing, their soaps are just that, soap, and the fragrance is the only unique aspect of each. None of this makes for superior skin care.
For more information about fresh, call (800) 373-7420 or visit www.fresh.com.
Fresh's makeup offers very little to get excited about. Those who adore a lot of shimmer in their cosmetics will fare best with this line. The company's lineup includes very few matte options, and given the overwhelming prevalence of shimmer products, those over 40 should approach cautiously. This much shine works best on younger, unlined skin because shine makes wrinkles more apparent, not less. The packaging has a youth-oriented appeal, so clearly the marketing department knew who their customers were most likely to be.
Doubtless many shoppers of all ages have been lured to try Fresh cosmetics due to the beautiful packaging, but beautiful exteriors don't have anything to do with the quality of the product inside. If you shop carefully, there are a handful of products you'll probably be satisfied with, but be prepared to pay dearly; just as Fresh didn't skimp on the shimmer, it certainly didn't skimp on its retail pricing.