When the co-founder of Fresh skin care, Lev Glazman, told me about the inspiration for his company’s latest face product, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. “I was imagining jam,” he said. Yes, the stuff you spread on toast. I’m a big fan of Fresh products (the Brown Sugar Skin Polish is my fave exfoliator) and its science-meets-the-kitchen mentality, but was this taking it too far?
Glazman has been experimenting with food as skin care since he was a little boy — putting fruits, jellies, and whatever else he could find in his family’s fridge onto his face. Unbeknownst to him at the time, this predilection would last long into adulthood and even shape his career. Today the company he and Alina Roytberg started with a simple bar of soap is celebrating its 25th year. And in honor of this milestone, Fresh is launching the Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask. This latest creation taps into Glazman’s boyhood playtime activity once again — and he's not kidding when he says it's basically marmalade for your face.
When you first open the jar, the product smells like marmalade (saccharine and citrusy) and even looks like marmalade (laden with chunks of orange rind) — and this is what gave me pause. I’ve said it before: I’m sticky-phobic. Even the idea of having something sticky on my face gives me the icks, so why would I ever want to put something jam-like on my skin? Thus it was with more than a bit of hesitation that I tried out this mask.
But as I spread the rich goopy gel on my face, I instantly let out a loud sigh of relief. It was absent of one distinct marmalade-like quality — that dreaded tackiness. It was so smooth and soft on my skin, easy to spread, and thankfully easy to rinse off as well. After I let it sit on my face for about 15 minutes, just a few wipes with a warm washcloth left no trace, and my skin was noticeably glowing. Did I mention this was just after one use?
So why marmalade? Citrus fruits are packed with vitamins — stuff that obviously makes our bodies healthier, and they can have a similar effect on our skin, too. “I am obsessed with nutrients and vitamins,” Glazman told us. “I have been using and trying a lot of different supplements for many years and working with a nutritionist to find which work and which don't. So I wanted to find a way to bring the same level of nutrients and supplements to the skin.”
And after almost three years of research and development, Glazman and his team at the Fresh Research Lab outside of Paris have managed to do just that. They started by developing the mask, but plan to unveil an entire line of Vitamin Nectar products in the future. “Masks are always a fun way to start, because you can put so many ingredients in them,” says Glazman. This concoction is made up of 50 percent citrus fruits, including oranges, clementines, and lemons, plus a vitamin fruit complex, a blend of vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B5, lemon and orange extracts, and AHAs. Together they exfoliate the skin to leave it looking brighter, softer, and more glowy.
Fresh even claims that during in-vivo testing, the mask improved participants' skin glow by 31% after just one use, and 49% after four weeks. I’ve integrated this mask into my regular routine and can personally attest to this claim. The dullness that shows in my face from stress and lack of sleep has dissipated, and people keep complimenting me on my skin. It's safe to say, this stuff is officially my jam.
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, $62, available at Fresh.