Soy Moisturizing Cream SPF 20

by fresh  
Price:
$42 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Last Updated:
6/25/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen has a lightweight cream texture best for normal to combination skin. It provides broad-spectrum sun protection bolstered by avobenzone for sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) screening.

The rosewater-scented formula (rosewater is little more than eau de cologne for skin, but fragrance isn't skin care) contains some good antioxidants, most of which are plant-based. The claims specify vitamins C and E, and they're included, but so are other notable antioxidants like green tea and the product's namesake, soy. In short, this doesn't scrimp on antioxidants, and that's to your skin's benefit!

Other than this product being a bit less expensive, the only other drawback is the pervasive fragrance. Most of Fresh's skin-care products have wafting fragrance, and this is no exception. Although not as central to the formula as we've seen in other Fresh products, the overall amount of fragrant ingredients is what keeps this from earning a higher rating (see More Info for details).

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Contains a good mix of proven antioxidants.
Cons:
  • Combined amount of fragrant ingredients can put skin at risk of being irritated, especially so given the sunscreen actives this contains can be sensitizing on their own.
  • Borderline pricey.
More Info:

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).

This product provides a range of ingredients to protect and nourish the complexion. Enriched with an antioxidant tea complex that aids in protecting the skin, meadowfoam and jojoba seed oils that help to nourish and hydrate, and vitamins C and E that help to soften and smooth.
Active: Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 7.49%, Octisalate (Ethylhexyl Salicylate) 5%, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3) 5%, Avobenzone (Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane) 3%; Other Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Stearic Acid, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Distearate, Silica, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Limonium Gerberi Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Jojobate, Jojoba Alcohol, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Polyisobutene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyacrylate-13, C14-22 Alcohols, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sodium Benzoate, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Parfum (Fragrance), Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, BHT.

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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