By Laura Medina
In honor of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the dehydrating and cold climate that comes along with Winter, Fresh's Alina Roytberg has what ails you from down-home (Russian-style) family recipes that become a skincare empire, Fresh.
Dr. Oz has it wrong when it comes to time-honored family skincare recipes...
“I do say we have so much many recipes from the Ukraine. The one thing where we started was both Lev and I, obviously I’m from Ukraine, he’s from Russia, they were the same thing back in those days…both our grandmothers use sugar to put skin cuts and scrapes because sugar is an humectant. It retains moisture. Actually, a great healer. That’s where it came out, we started wondering why it’s a great healer then we start looking into that. We start the brand. We launched all the Sugar products. That’s what put Fresh on the map in a whole degree. You know, we all started to look at other influences and other remedies from other cultures with the same passion, you know.”
Alina said their Fresh skincare products deliver a singular experience, indulgent as they are results-driven...quick.
That being said and knowing the living conditions of the Olympians living at the dorms, they could sure use some tender, loving, care from Fresh.
When amenities are elemental, such as at the Olympic Village, Alina said the Soy Face Cleanser not only feels good, it is good because of the anti-oxidant flavonoids. They are so beneficial for your system. We want to put those things in our products, gentle things in our products. Soy Face Cleanser is our Number One product worldwide. It was launched in 1999 and it’s still an amazing favorite.
Making it's debut last month in January, Alina has traveled far and wide for her latest release, the Black Tea Collection.
When Alina and her husband, Lev, are interested in something, they delve deep into it; and that's how a new collection gets started...
"You know, the Black Tea Collection was started in the early 2000s. We were starting to work on anti-aging products because we were getting older, you know. We need that too.”
"Don’t you know Black tea was popular in Russia before it became known in Western Europe because it takes 6 months to ship it from Mongolia to Russia, to the Russian Tsar. 6 months caravan to get there. Tsar, at first, didn’t know why the Mongolians sent him a bunch of dried leaves then they figured it out. For awhile tea was very expensive, until the railroads were invented, of course. Black Tea is Russia’s national beverage. People drink Black Tea all the time. I mean morning, night, everything. They also drink vodka but Black Tea is really an essential part of recipe for everything. I think, you know, you grew up looking at that. It wasn’t until we tried kombucha, fermented tea that is not well-known in China. Actually, started in Russia and India. We actually developed an ingredient from the Black Tea ferment. That has an extra boost of anti-oxidant that is actually in our Black Tea Face Cream. You know, we just went to Jiangnan Region region in China in November of last year where they grow tea. We’ve been to China but to a very different region where they grow the tea. We went to Jiangnan, where they grow the tea. The tea fields where they grow Dragon Well Tea. You heard of Dragon Well? It’s one of the best green tea in the world. That’s the region from where it comes from. So, we went to the tea fields. We did the tea ceremony. It’s amazing.“
"This is the reason why we went to China, to find out how the tea is really fixed and where it comes from. It’s a really innovative product we’re doing, launching in January. For the eyes, Black Tea Concentrate for the Eyes. Extra push, we created a new complex. New Black Tea Complex, that we have nothing the ferment but also the Black Tea Leaf, blackberry leaf extract really great for smoothing , and lychee seed extract is proven to inhibit damaging free radicals and improve skin elasticity; and we have an ingredient that is not used anywhere else, have you heard of Noni fruit? Noni Fruit juice is known to retain and increase moisture, improving the appearance of the skin. Noni Fruit for that extra boost of anti-oxidiants and immunity."
This scribe can attest to the luxurious yet so non-greasy Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask.
More cream than mask, it sinks right into the skin, leaving a matte but moist appearance, not one oily residue in sight. Ideal for high-performance sports in a Russian winter, say the Sochi Olympics right now.
For the very emerging Olympians, like 15 years-old figure skater Julia Lipnitskaia, Alina said for those just starting their skincare, she recommends the new Lotus Youth Preserve Radiance Lotion...
"When you’re younger, starting on your skincare and you need introductory, we have introductory products in our line, especially for the new Lotus Youth Preserve Radiance Lotion. It’s the first-ever 7 Complex. Actually, very preventative, extra hydration, this is the first you do when you start to grow up and you feel like you want to take care of it. At $32, it’s not gonna break the bank.“
For the more mature, established customer, Alina recommend something more "couture,"..
“CRÈME ANCIENNE is “couture” because it’s all Meadowfoam seed oil, no water, made in a monastery. Really, the product drives the price. That is everything that every product in Fresh is based on.”
Alina's Makeup Formula=Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy + Cherry Sugar Lip Treatment + Sugar Lip Berry Treatment.
For the most elemental for both female and male, chapped lips, Alina always puts on SUGAR LIP TREATMENT ADVANCED THERAPY as her base.
Then for the females, Alina offers her own makeup tips...
"I wear Passion Sugar Tinted Lip Balm. I always start with Advanced Lip Therapy to make sure my lip lines don’t get older. First, you use Advanced Lip Therapy then you use the Color. I use Passion for the red. I love Petal when I want to do more nude. I love the Plum sometimes for a little more drama. Then, of course, there’s the new Cherry which I mix with Berry, Cherry and Berry."
Alina calls her sugar-based lip balms as "treatments," going beyond superficial appearances...
“The whole idea behind the Sugar Line from the idea of slightly amplifying the nude shades of real girls’ lips. So, it depends on the impression. So, the problem for you is that this isn’t your real lip color…I have two daughters. While growing up, before putting on lipstick, we use these colors to emphasize the real colors of the lips. So, the Sugar Treatment Lips really follow that. Remember, the texture is a really soft balm formula. So, I really can’t use no more than 20% pigment in the formula. So, you know , when you look at the stick, you can tell that when you put it, it’s really sheer. That’s how it always pay off. So, the treatment is the priority then you have a little bit of the tint. I think it’s really easy to put on. You can put it on without looking in the mirror. I like mixing it, creating different shades with different things. Like this Plum, everyday it becomes your nude. Say, you dress up and you want to have a sexy, night one, you mix with a little bit of Sugar Berry with the Plum and it gives you a little richer, a little sexier, a little cooler evening shade. ”
“It took us almost two years to launch the Sugar Treatment line because we’re really concerned about the product. How we’re gonna to sell a $22 lip balm? But, we decided that it is the best thing there is, really beautiful texture and package but very functional, amazing flavor, we gotta do it. I think now, it’s our ambassador.”
For the women Olympians who needs an extra pick-me-up while packing light, Alina said there's nothing in using the tinted Sugar Lip Treatment Balms as moisturizing cheek tints...
“There’s no way why you can’t. I mean a little bit. Obviously, we don’t necessarily sell it as a cheek tint but the fact is…why not?! Obviously, you understand it is an oil balm with very little pigment. Obviously, you may want to use something with a denser pigment but you know you’re putting moisturization and color on your cheeks, why not?”
Down-home Russian family skincare recipes honed into high-performance, luxury skincare passed down from a globe-trotting Russian mom who searches all four corners of the globe for the best, can't think of a better way to survive the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.