Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil
1.7 fl. oz. for $50
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This surprisingly lightweight facial oil contains some very good, antioxidant-rich oils. The oils are a rich source of beneficial fatty acids and other repairing substances that are of particular benefit for dry skin. A facial oil like this shouldn’t replace your regular moisturizer, as its formula isn’t as elegant and it’s missing some key ingredients that could help dry skin even more. However, this is a good option to mix with your moisturizers, especially during drier, colder winter months.

This missed our top rating due to the inclusion of fragrance ingredients known to be irritating. They’re not present in a large amount, but no question this would be better for all skin types without the fragrance. The inclusion of fragrance makes this a poor choice for those with sensitive, reddened skin. By the way, the “sea” part of this product’s name refers to sea buckthorn oil. This is listed by its Latin name of Hippohae rhamnoides.


Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil is a precious blend of pure oils—seaberry, cranberry seed, camellia seed, grapeseed, and sweet almond—packed with restorative omegas to maintain a youthful appearance. The lightweight formula absorbs quickly for a boost of vital moisture, while vitamin E works to maintain the skin’s elasticity and smoothness. This powerful antioxidant protects the skin from aging free radicals, leaving your complexion soft, smooth, and refreshed.


Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Fragrance, BHT, Linalool, Limonene, Citral, Coumarin, Geraniol

Brand Overview

fresh At-A-Glance

Strengths: fresh provides complete product ingredient lists on their Web site; some good facial cleansers and a handful of praiseworthy makeup items.

Weaknesses: Very expensive; very fragrant; several products contain potent plant irritants; limited sunscreens; boring below-standard toners and masks; no viable exfoliant options (at least if you're aiming to avoid extraneous irritation); no products to manage acne or reliably lighten skin discolorations; the lip balm with sunscreen does not provide sufficient UVA protection.

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 Makeup

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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BHT is it safe?

This works fine for me. But i don't think it worth it? The ingredients list shows that it contains BHT in it, which can cause cancer. Do you have any further idea? I also have the booster of this range, looking forward to the review soon :")

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hey there! Thanks for your feedback and question. BHT is a potent synthetic antioxidant that has does have carcinogenic properties, but the studies have only shown a link when consumed orally (source: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, May 2002, pages 1203-1210). In cosmetics the amount used is 0.01% to 0.1% typically, which does not pose a cancer risk to skin, nor is it able to penetrate into the skin far enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream (source: 2008 CIR Compendium, Cosmetic Ingredient Review, 2008, pages 43-44). I hope that helps! :)

Break outs

I love the way this moisturizes my skin and makes it glow, but I have acne prone skin and I think I have targeted some breakouts in unusual areas to this. I get hormonal blemishes around my chin, but I think this made me break out around my upper cheeks which never happens. I will give it another go in the winter, but I set it aside for now and switched back to my trusty rose hip oil.

Reviewed by
Chris C
Love it

I was surprised to see this negative review. I love this oil for my super dry skin. I use it alone at night and mixed with my seaberry face cream during the day. Works well under foundation. My skins is smoothe, plump, and healthy looking. And the struggle is real with my dry skin. Highly recommend.

Reviewed by
If you want Sea Buckthorn, go with Sibu

This product touts the benefits of sea buckthorn oil but it's the last oil in the ingredients. If you want sea buckthorn oil try Sibu-you can get 100% for 16 bucks. Seaberry oil is nice, but there are better cheaper options out there.

Reviewed by
Ruth M
Love in the morning

Tried it last night, absorbs into the skin after a while. Skin looks and feels good the next morning. I have combo skin.

Reviewed by
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