Skincare review: Fresh / by Didier Young

Since it is a new year, I figured that it was time to start Fresh. Literally. Fresh is one of those skincare lines that I didn’t know much about before starting this blog post. I have seen them on the shelves of Sephora for years and I had given their Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment a try. It was a fantastic lip balm but for some reason I never thought twice about giving their other products a try until now. Since the brand does carry a fairly sizeable and diverse product line, I decided to focus on face products with an emphasis on hydration.

Fresh started in 1991 when owners Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg decided to open up an apothecary store and eventually created their first in-house product, a set of aesthetic soaps. Their nourishing formula and amazing scents proved to be a hit with their first wholesale order selling out in a mere three days at Barney’s NYC. The launches of their Milk collections and the Brown Sugar Body Polish both sparked an industry wide trend of using milk and sugar in beauty products but it was not until 1999 that Fresh made their first foray into skincare with their Soy Skincare line. Over the years, the brand released a multitude of variating collections including a rose, lotus, black tea, creme ancient and seaberry lines.

The first product that I picked was their best selling Soy Face Cleanser which is perfect for pretty much every skin type. The cleanser contains soy proteins (help support natural elasticity), rose water (soothes and balances) and borage seed oil (nourishes) and I found it to be quite gentle on the skin. I am fairly picky when it comes to cleansers as I often find them to be drying but Fresh’s version left my skin feeling soothed and healthy looking. To further soothe my skin, I followed my cleansing with the Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner. The alcohol- free toner has real rose petals and hyaluronic acid which helps to minimize pores while still deeply hydrating your skin. This award winning toner was quite effective and my skin did feel soothed and immediately refreshed through the month when I used it but I absolutely hated the smell. However, I do not usually like the smell of roses nor am I a huge proponent of scented skincare so I am a tad biased.

It is currently winter in Toronto and my skin always feels like it needs an extra boost so I tend to exfoliate and do lots of masks during this time of the year. if you are looking for a great dual use product, the Sugar Face Polish can be used as a scrub and a mask and it is fantastic if you are hoping to target dullness and uneven skin texture. The sugar based product is great at gently buffing away dry skin while the wild strawberries are packed with vitamin C which is a fantastic brightening ingredient. This might be the best scrub I have ever used and I love how exfoliating the brown sugar and strawberry seeds were without being too harsh on my skin. The second treatment that I tried out was the Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask. This mask proved to be a life saver during the colder days of December as I found it to be incredibly nourishing. Made with pure honey, the mask is also enriched with echinacea which is a powerful antioxidant, sea buckthorn oil, shea butter and vitamin E. The result is a product that leaves your skin feeling intensely hydrated but the scent is not for the faint of heart (nor is the price). That being said, I do enjoy the smell and I would splurge on a product with such great results. 

The last Fresh product that I tested out in December was the Crème Ancienne Eye Cream. The Crème Ancienne is a cream with such delicate ingredients that it has to meet some pouring requirements that can only be met by hand. As such, each jar is hand-blended in a monastery by a monk as Fresh wanted to respect the history of the formula. Given the back story of the line, you can understand why they would be priced at a higher price bracket. That being said, I did enjoy this eye cream as well. It is quite thick which means that you need to be very light handed when you’re retrieving product from the jar but it was very effective. The formula absorbed rapidly into the skin and helped with any puffiness that I might have experienced.The eye cream retails for $152 which isn’t the cheapest on the market by far but given how much product you need per application, a little jar is sure to go a long way. It is definitely more of a long term investment but a worthwhile one.

After a month’s worth of usage, I can honestly say that I am very impressed by Fresh’s products and I am eager to explore their shelves further the next time I am at Sephora. If you haven’t given them a try yet, make sure to do so as they are sure to leave you fresh faced.

-Didier