Religiously using the same skincare breakthrough day after day and then waiting for several months to see the results has become the norm in the beauty world. So when I caught wind of Clinique’s new innovation Fresh Pressed being touted as “de-ageing for the impatient” it was mixed emotions: naturally a touch of skepticism and eagerness to get my hands on said product, stat.
Vitamin C – the key ingredient in Fresh Pressed – won’t be anything new to beauty enthusiasts; in fact, many of us have been using it in our skincare regimen for years. But those familiar with this powerful antioxidant will also be aware that vitamin C is notoriously difficult to stabilise. Expose it to sunlight and it photodegrades rapidly. “It’s highly unstable,” Tom Mammone, Clinique’s vice president of skin physiology and pharmacology, told me when I visited New York last year to find out more about Fresh Pressed. And, according to Mammone, the vitamin C most of us are using in our routine tends to be a low-concentration derivative. “And that changes efficacy and performance dramatically.”
Why is Fresh Pressed different?
According to Clinique’s senior vice president of product development, Janet Pardo, the idea for Fresh Pressed was inspired by the farm-to-table movement. While other products start degrading the second they’re opened, Fresh Pressed isn’t activated until you decide to use it. The product itself is two-prong: there’s a granular cleanser that can be used once a day, and a Daily Booster serum that contains 10 per cent pure vitamin C. “The vitamin C is in a separate container, in the daily booster it’s in the lid and you press it and it activates it,” explains Mammone. “There are lots of other goodies in the serum – peptides, antioxidants. But we keep it separate and in a stable form, so once it’s activated it’s only fresh for a certain period of time.”
Unsurprisingly I didn’t have to have my arm twisted to take part in Clinique’s Fresh Pressed Seven-Day Challenge – there’s a plethora of science behind the skin benefits of vitamin C, and unlike vitamin A it won’t irritate sensitive skin and is suitable for most skin types. “There are so many benefits. The first one you’re going to notice is clarification, tone and radiance in a really quick time frame,” explains Mammone.
To start with the products are a joy to use. At first I was concerned that the powder cleanser formula might act as an exfoliant – not something you want to be doing every day – but as soon as it’s mixed with water it foams into a gentle lather. After using it my skin immediately felt softer and appeared smoother.
The most exciting part of Fresh Pressed however, comes in the form of the Daily Booster. Despite packaging technology advancing all the time, I’m always cautious about the stability of high-strength actives – it’s much easier to expose formulations to light and bacteria than you think, plus there’s shelf life to consider. The most ingenious feature of Fresh Pressed is that you get to decide when to activate the ingredients, and therefore you’re aware of how long they’re active for. And while the Daily Booster is supposed to last about seven days, I got ten days out of mine – there’s no wasted product which I love.
As far as results are concerned, they really are visible. Even though I use sunscreen religiously, coming out of summer I felt like I had my fair share of sun spots. My Fresh Pressed 7-day Challenge came at the right time; at the end of the test run my skin is clearer, I’m definitely using less foundation and the foundation I am using doesn’t have to work quite so hard. The quest for radiant, glowing skin seems to be one that most women are on, and while there are oodles of make-up products that promise a solution, you really can’t beat a natural glow that comes from within. When I come to the end of my Daily Booster my skin is noticeably more radiant – in fact, I received compliments and get asked what I’m using at the moment.
Clinique Fresh Pressed is available now. Clinique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser Pure Vitamin C ($70 for a 28-day supply); Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C ($60 for one booster and seven cleanser sachets); Clinique Fresh Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% ($130 for four boosters).