This fragrant moisturizer has a sleek, lightweight gel-cream texture that's great for normal to combination skin, but the amount of fragrant plants is cause for concern. Fragrance is a source of skin irritation, and applying too much of it to oily skin or oily areas can trigger more oil production (see More Info for details).
The types of rose extracts this moisturizer contains do not have special benefits for skin; they cannot protect skin from pollution, which is one of the farfetched claims being made (no skin-care product or ingredient can completely protect skin from pollution). Rosa damascena oil has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, but so do many other plants that don't expose skin to irritating fragrant components.
Rose Hydrating Gel Cream has its strong points, but for what this costs it's not a must-have product—not if you want a moisturizer that's chockfull of beneficial anti-aging ingredients.
- Sleek, gel-cream texture feels light and refreshing.
- Contains some beneficial plant extracts that function as antioxidants.
- Highly fragrant formula puts skin at risk of irritation.
Irritation and Oily Skin: Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being oilier and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).
Daily Use of Fragrant Products: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
A daily moisturizer for all skin types proven to provide 24 hours of significant moisture while protecting against damage caused by pollution. Its unique texture has an immediate cooling effect and instantly hydrates the skin for a healthy-looking, radiant complexion.
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Methyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Angelica Keiskei Extract, Porphyridium Cruentum Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Faex (Yeast Extract), Rhodiola Crenulata Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Oleate Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, C12-14 Pareth-12,Yellow 5, Red 4, Yellow 6, Citronellol, Geraniol, Phenoxyethanol.
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.