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fresh

Crème Ancienne Supreme Face Serum

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 240.00
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Crème Ancienne Supreme Face Serum's major drawback is its price. We'll state up front that you do not need to pay anywhere near this much for a great anti-aging serum, especially not one that has as strong a fragrance as this one does, along with a potentially problematic plant extract. See More Info to learn why daily use of highly fragrant products is a step in the wrong direction for all skin types.

On the bright side, assuming the price hasn't already depressed you, this fluid serum contains some very good, non-fragrant plant oils along with several antioxidant plant extracts like ginseng and echinacea. Multiple types of ginger are also included, and these likely have a calming effect on skin as well as potentially reducing dark spots (but these are hardly the only ingredients that have this benefit).

Crème Ancienne Supreme Face Serum will also make dry skin feel hydrated and smoother, but again, you can get those benefits along with anti-aging, skin tone-improving results from many other serums that cost significantly less than this one. This isn't a case of expensive being better!

The potentially problematic plant extract mentioned above is Commiphora mukul resin extract. Known in Ayurvedic medicine as Guggulu, this resin has some intriguing health benefits including some topical benefits; however, research has shown that it has a tendency to cause a temporary skin rash, whether the raw form of resin is used or if that resin is purified, which is recommended before being used in cosmetics (Scientifica, October 2015, ePublication).

Last but not least is the claim that this serum is made in a monastery (we hope it's equipped with sterile mixing equipment and is a regulated facility authorized to manufacture cosmetics!) and relies on "botanical extracts historically used by apothecaries for their natural powers". This sounds enticing but we'd rather you rely on what modern research has shown to be true about these ingredients rather than bank on anecdotal information being the skincare answer. (Think about relying on the historical use of a typewriter as opposed to a computer, historical rarely proves anything about quality.)

This serum has its strong points, especially its cavalcade of ginger extracts, but there are far better serums that don't come with eyebrow-raising price tags. See our list of Best Serums for extraordinary formulas with more down-to-earth prices.

Pros:
  • Hydrates dry skin.
  • Contains beneficial non-fragrant plant oils and antioxidant plant extracts.
  • Multiple types of ginger might help soothe skin and possibly reduce dark spots.
Cons:
  • Drastically overpriced.
  • Contains a potentially problematic plant extract.
  • Fragrant formula poses a risk of sensitizing skin.
More Info:

Why Fragrance is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This leads to all kinds of problems, including disruption of skin's healthy appearance, worsening dryness, redness, depletion of vital substances in skin's surface, and generally keeps skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see the negative influence of using products that contain fragrance has on skin, the damage will still be taking place even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see or feel the effects on your skin for your skin to be suffering. This negative impact and the visible damage may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:

Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419

Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80

Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832

International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446—475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 11, pages 789-798

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes
Crme Ancienne Supreme Face Serum is a highly effective formula crafted with exotic root extracts and botanical extracts historically used by apothecaries for their natural powers. Handmade in a monastery to preserve these precious ingredients, the blend combats signs of aging while protecting against future damage, and is proven to smooth the appearance of wrinkles, improve elasticity, enhance luminosity, and provide 24-hour hydration for the ultimate ageless complexion.
Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Water, Aqua (Water), Glycerin Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglycerin-3, Steareth-21, Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Zingiber Zerumbet Extract, Panax Notoginseng Root Extract, Alpinia Galanga Leaf Extract, Commiphora Mukul Resin Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Adenosine, Tocopherol, Steareth-2 Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyacrylamide, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Parfum (Fragrance), Xanthan Gum, Tromethamine, Tetrasodium EDTA, Caramel, Laureth-7, BHT, Sodium Metabisulfite, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Salicylate

fresh At-A-Glance

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. They began experimenting, gained a following for what they developed, and fresh 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. 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 perfumedand 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 visit www.fresh.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.