Seaberry Restorative Body Cream

by fresh  
Price:
$26 - 6.76 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Body Lotions/Creams/Balms/Butters
Last Updated:
6/21/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This thick, rich, body cream contains some good ingredients for dry skin, but the amount of fragrance is cause for concern. Fragrance isn't skin care and when a formula contains more fragrance than state-of-the-art ingredients like plant-based antioxidants, it's not a product that's worth your money—not if you want anti-aging benefits and understand that irritation can make all signs of skin aging worse, not better!

As for the seaberry in this product's name, that refers to sea buckthorn, also known by its Latin name of Hippophae rhamnoides. Sea buckthorn is believed to have several topical benefits, including for reducing acne, but the research to support such claims is lacking (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).

More convincing is the research pertaining to sea buckthorn's ability to help skin heal when administered to wound sites, and it does appear to have some antioxidant ability (Sources: The International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds, June 2005, pages 88–92; and Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, October 2006, pages 821–831) but that hardly makes it a must-have ingredient as there are many potent ingredients that have this benefit.

Research has also shown that oral consumption of sea buckthorn can help reduce topical symptoms of UV damage by controlling the rate of collagen degradation and increasing the activity of superoxide dismutase, a naturally-occurring antioxidant that helps skin repair damage (Source: International Journal of Molecular Medicine, August 2012, pages 392-400). That's great, but you need to eat the stuff rather than apply it to skin as you would with a body cream.

Pros:
  • Contains some helpful plant oils and extracts.
  • Very rich formula for dry skin.
Cons:
  • Highly fragranced, but fragrance isn't skin care (see More Info).
  • Seaberry (sea buckthorn) appears to benefit skin most when eaten, not applied topically.
More Info:

Daily use of leave-on body-care 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).

An ultra-hydrating and nourishing treatment designed to calm and relieve irritation. The moisturizing formula is fortified with omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9 and seaberry oil, a powerful antioxidant that helps to restore, protect, and soften the skin. Its creamy rich texture offers a luxurious skin-soothing experience.
Aqua (Water), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Palmitic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Cetyl Alcohol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Shorea Robusta Seed Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Limonium Gerberi Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Caprylyl Glycol, Jojoba Alcohol, Potassium Jojobate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Butylene Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PPG-5-Laureth-5, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Limonene, Citral, Coumarin, 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 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.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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