Fresh Mask Menu

My first ‘good’ skincare product was a kit of Fresh skincare products; cleanse and moisturize was the goal. I remember my thoughts the first time I used it; I felt bored. The cleanser left my skin comfortable and the moisturizer was lightweight, both facts which ran counter to my idea of a good thorough clean followed by a thick layer of occlusive hydration. I only realized how much my skin had improved months later when I switched to something else, and it was then that I made a point to try Fresh’s seaberry oil, umbrian clay treatment bar, and umbrian clay lotion; all became staples in my routine for over a year of controlling acne and oiliness. As always I become bored of things and move along, but it was a pleasant opportunity to revisit the brand where it all began for me.

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For a few weeks I have been making proper use of the binge masking routine, that is, masking every day. Excessive, possibly, but it is rather nice to carve out ten minutes each day to do a proper balancing treatment for the skin. I started with a gentle cleanse of the skin (my current favourite is Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser) followed by a thin layer of Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask. Composed of a high mineral content, this mask acts to balance the skin and is a brilliant—and surprisingly non-drying?—fixture in a routine for often-irritated skin. After five minutes I rinsed then followed with a more generous layer of Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. This mask was newer to me, and I was surprised by how much it knocked away redness in my skin which is a permanent fixture along my forehead and nose. It does have a rather gentle cooling sensation on the skin, but I cannot pinpoint the ingredient which gives it that property though it is a rather nice way to start the day. I followed with the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, which is a favourite of mine for almost three years now as it tackles a little bit of everything (hydration, elasticity, antioxidants) with a complex of ingredients rather than resting upon one single component.

So while my daily routine may not be Fresh (instead more clinical in nature), Fresh is a classic which should not be overlooked for those who want to take a moment and experience their skincare.

Disclaimer: Products mentioned were given as a gift from Fresh with no obligation for promotion, I have simply enjoyed Fresh for years and thought it best to share my experience.

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Indeed Laboratories Exfoliator and C24

Finding balance between old and new is a difficult task in skincare. With so many new releases, it can be rather difficult to stay with what is tried and true. But never mind any of that; here are a few dear favourites and recent additions.

Indeed Laboratories Exfoliator

Long have I been a critic of physical exfoliants; today I can add at least one to the list of acceptables. With a few drops of water, this powder becomes a gentle foam. Bamboo and rice bran extracts—the latter high in acne- and wrinkle-fighting silica—gently exfoliate physically, whilst red algae strengthens skin’s ability to retain moisture; hyaluronic acid hydrates and stimulates the production of skin-plumping collagen. Pineapple enzymes act as an AHA exfoliant to gently clear skin of dead skin cells.
Immediately skin feels smoother and appears more luminous. The effects seem to last for a week, though this is gentle enough to use several times a week. I used it twice weekly and will continue to do so. A truly simple yet brilliant product.

Indeed Laboratories Vitamin C24

A new release from Indeed Laboratories, Vitamin C24 is a serum-cream hybrid formulated with 22% vitamin C and 2% hyaluronic acid. Vitamin C aids in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin elasticity, and hydrates. As an antioxidant, vitamin C aids in the defence against free radical, sun damage, and pollution. Whilst not advertised as such, vitamin C can aid in the calming of acne as free radical damage is often associated with a greater frequency and severity of blemishes; reducing free radical damage thus reduces inflammation, ergo visible redness and sensitivity. Hyaluronic acid aids in the hydrating and plumping of the skin.
New to topical vitamin C treatments, I was unsure what to expect and quite frankly a tad sceptical. To my surprise, I cannot see a routine without this product. Applying it twice daily after a hydrating serum, my skin feels healthy. It looks less red, it feels less sensitive, and it appears more radiant. I even left the house having only applied this and Hylamide HA Blur; no colour correcting required. This hydrates my normal skin well enough that—when paired with a hydrating serum like Hylamide Sensitive Fix or, my next conquest, Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron—this is all that is necessary to keep my skin balanced.
I highly recommend this product to those wanting preventative anti-aging. This will not return matured, damaged skin to what it once was; but start in your early 20s with something like this, and your skin will be plenty healthy in your golden years. I also like this for those with blemishes, as this paired with a topical retinol/retinoid would do a world of good.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

An old favourite, and one that I went into great detail here in its review, this is such a nice treat to return to. I currently use it as a morning cleanser, swapping in Boscia Black Cleanser in the evening to do a bit more for my skin without throwing it out of balance. The smell—of rosewater and cucumber—is worth the purchase alone.
You can find it at Sephora.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Type of product?

A gentle, natural face cleanser for all skin types that even removes makeup.

What does it claim?

Soy proteins support the retention of moisture and make skin appear elastic and firm. Rosewater balances. Cucumber and borage seed calm and nourish, respectively. Skin is left supple, smoothed, softened, balanced, toned, and radiant.

How should I use it?

Wet skin and massage over skin and eyes. Rinse. Use twice daily. Use as a second cleanse, but may be used as your only cleanser.

Verdict:

First up, this is a luxurious cleanser to use. Its light smell of cucumber and rose is so fresh, the smooth watery-gel texture is soothing to the skin, and it never leaves my skin dehydrated. This was the first cleanser I found that calmed my acne down, and this is the cleanser I recommend most because it is just so simple and soothing that all skin types would love it. Perhaps not those sensitive to botanicals, but even more oily skin types will enjoy the balancing and calming properties of this face cleanser.

All of this hype, and yet I do not use it every day? Hypocritical, I know, but the properties that make me love this cleanser are the same properties that make me apprehensive of making it my only face cleanser. While it is balancing and soothing, I never feel clean when I use Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. I do not have more blemishes whilst using this cleanser, but that ‘my face is clean’ sensation is unachievable. I am not looking for that dehydrated, pH-unbalanced sensation; I just want my face to feel clean. If you are reading this and just wishing I would shut up because it matters very little to you, then by all means buy this cleanser; you will love it. My only suggestion is you will likely benefit from using an exfoliant several times a week if you choose this cleanser.

I recommend this cleanser to just about everyone, and I have used it for about a year. It soothes, softens, tones; everything it promises, it delivers upon. This was the first cleanser that made my acne-prone skin feel like normal skin, and it balanced out my oil production to far more sane levels. It is a wonderful product.

You can watch my On The Shelf video on YouTube, and find Fresh Soy Face Cleanser at Sephora for about $45.

Fresh Skincare

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, and Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Treatment Bar.

Some days I imagine I could be committed for any number of reasons. For instance I rapidly organize products on store shelves despite not being employed by that particular store. I have a deep aversion and fear of touching certain metals, I exercise little restraint in voicing my opinion and I violently oscillate between spontaneously hopping about the house and sitting in complete silence whilst staring through the window. Despite all of these, the likeliest reason for my committal will be my inability to begin and end a month using the same skincare products. I swear to you it cannot be done, and if you believe otherwise you’re either complacent with using a shitty subpar product or you have discovered something I haven’t.

Fresh is the closest I have come to ideal skincare. You see, men fall into one of two groups:

1. Men with flawless skin who don’t really need skincare. These men can use men’s skincare products.

2. Men with less than flawless skin who really need skincare. These men cannot use men’s skincare products.

I, as a proud (reluctant) member of the second party, would likely die if forced to use men’s skincare products. They are nothing more than disgusting ingredients crammed into a blue or black package decorated with a ‘manly’ font. Extra points to the brands that attach a ‘manly’ backstory and include a beard-enhancing product in the product range.

Fresh is a skincare brand uninterested in dividing the world by biology; they just make awesome products that soothe, nourish and assist your skin.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Many people, myself included, have long thought that a cleaner is the least important fixture of a skincare regimen. Let me tell you I have seen the light and it is cleansed with Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. This is a gel cleanser made for all skin types. Soy protein is the primary ingredient, supposedly included for its support of moisture retention aiding in elasticity. Rosewater tones and calms. It is pH-balanced so the skin’s natural acid barrier is unaltered.

Used morning and evening this cleanser was awesome. It thoroughly cleanses, leaving my skin moist and even toned. Inflammation from current skin imperfections was reduced. Stress is a large component to negative skin health; the light cucumber scent was very relaxing. This is the first cleanser I have tried that succeeded in relaxing my skin while simultaneously removing impurities.

While I absolutely recommend Fresh Soy Face Cleanser product and believe it is one of the best cleansers available, I am not comfortable with spending $45. If that is within your price range I doubt a better cleanser exists.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream With Super 7 Complex

I was a little surprised when the sales associate handed me this jar. An anti-aging cream for a young man? Interesting. More interesting was that it was the best moisturizer I have tried (and I have more than a healthy number on my shelf at the moment).

To best understand this product pay attention to the name; it’s all about preserving the skin. Formulated to prevent the development of first signs of aging, this daily face cream calms, defends, moisturizes and improves the radiance of skin. Made for all skin types, it falls on the slightly-heavier-than-lightweight side of the viscosity spectrum. It was the first moisturizer I have tried that succeeded in balancing oil production while simultaneously making a discernible difference to both texture and radiance. I am still young, but this smoothed and gave my skin a bit of natural radiance I have not seen in years of acne-treating chemicals. We are experiencing a cold Canadian winter, but this moisturizer has fought away the dry patches around my jaw with incredible prowess.

Another miraculous product, Fresh Youth Preserve Face Cream comes in at about $49. In the future, perhaps when I’m less student-budget and more I-have-a-job-budget, I will repurchase this. Until then I have picked up Fresh Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion which is a bit more affordable at $45.

Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Treatment Bar

This is the type of product I can see myself hoarding if there were ever a discount offered. I cannot imagine most people even take note of this on the shelf—it is just a brick of white clay—but that’s alright because that means more for me. This incredibly simple yet versatile bar is pure Umbrian Clay, or Fuller’s Earth from a town in Italy. A high concentration of minerals gives it calming and purifying properties. Again, this is a product for all skin types especially those with sensitive skin who cannot typically handle masks or spot treatments.

It can be used in three ways. As a deep cleanser, wet your fingers and run against the bar to create a paste then apply to cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. Lightly massage the paste over your face—it has a very mild exfoliating sensation but results come from its calming and absorbent properties—then rinse. As a mask do the same and leave for five minutes; leave on overnight as a spot treatment.

The results of the Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Treatment Bar are immediate and obvious. When used as a mask my skin feels hydrated and smooth, redness is severely diminished and active blemishes are subsided. As a deep cleanser I notice fewer blackheads along my nose and less severe blemishes.

I imagine the bar will last me a seven months of daily deep cleansing in the evening, weekly masks and occasional spot treatments. Oh, and it’s only $36. If you try anything from Fresh, let this be it.