If you’re going to spend this much on a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen (and just to be clear, you do NOT need to spend this much), it should be loaded with anti-aging ingredients, be gentle, and also provide broad spectrum protection. This product from Fresh scores on two of those fronts, but even though that’s good news this still ends up being too expensive for what you get. If you want to spend this much, go for it—but ask yourself how likely you will be to apply this liberally, which is necessary to get the stated level of sun protection.
The lightweight lotion based is best for normal to combination skin, and works well under makeup. Skin is hydrated without a thick or greasy feel, and the formula contains some well researched antioxidants such as soy and green tea, plus cell-communicating ingredients like adenosine and lecithin.
Where this falters is the inclusion of fragrance and the fragrant ingredient linalool. Although the amount of both is low, we’re concerned that the active ingredients plus the fragrance might make this moisturizer more likely to be sensitizing, especially if applied around the eyes (and your eye area absolutely needs sun protection).
Black Tea Age-Delay Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 20 is a powerful formula that protects skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays and free radicals, making it an essential step in any skincare ritual. It is formulated with a proprietary complex proven to hydrate, firm, and improve radiance. Its unique, weightless texture absorbs quickly, making it easy to layer with serums and creams.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 1.80%, Octinoxate 7.49%, Oxybenzone 2.40%; Other Ingredients: Water, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Litchi Chinensis Seed Extract, Adenosine, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Fragrance, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Trisodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Maltodextrin, Hydrogenated Phosphatidylcholine, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, BHT, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Biotin, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool.
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 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 visit www.fresh.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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