9

fresh

Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy

for $ 36.00
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Ingredients

Brand Overview

Fresh is a brand well-known for its lip products, which are the stars of this line, but the brand makes a misstep here. This addition is supposed to be extra special for the lips, but it has too many issues for us to recommend it.

Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy comes in a small pump container that dispenses a somewhat creamy, yellowish "serum" that you're directed to apply to your lips. The first thing you'll notice—certainly the first thing we noticed!—is the strong lemon scent. Though fragrance is relatively far down on the list of ingredients, it becomes apparent as soon as you take the cap off. In addition, the lemon flavor lasts the entire time this is on, and has an almost bitter aftertaste.

The serum itself is silky and glides easily onto the lips, but the longer it's on, the more film-like it becomes, which could pose a problem if you want to apply other lip products over it.

As always, we checked out the ingredient list; while many are skin-beneficial ingredients, there is one inclusion that could be a problem: Commiphora mukul resin extract. C. mukul, also known as guggul, is related to myrrh, a potent irritant that could damage your lips.

For the amount of money this costs and the potential problems it could cause, we instead recommend any of the options on our list of Best Lip Products.

Pros:
  • Contains many beneficial ingredients for the lips.
Cons:
  • Has a strong, somewhat bitter lemon flavor that persists the entire time it's on.
  • Forms a film on lips that could get in the way of other lip products applied over it.
  • Overpriced for what you get.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

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.