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Hey everyone, I was in Sephora the other day and I ran across the Fresh Ancienne Cream and I thought I would tell you about my experience with it. First off, let me start by saying I was stupid. I don’t mean that in a negative way. Just that I did something really stupid and I can admit it.
I was using a heavy-duty prescription strength Retinol; which isn’t so bad…except I was using it every night. Which is bad. Then add in my regular brush exfoliation and you have recipe for disaster. I wake up in the morning and my face feels weird. I’m not thinking so I hop in the shower, and now I am screaming. My face is: red, swollen, skin less and oozing in places, it looks as though I have fallen face first on a gravel road and dragged behind a donkey for about 10 miles.
The movement of air stings, and I have to go to work. I tried to put moisturizer on and I just ended up crying. My skin is peeling off to reveal the gooey zombie bits underneath. My boss asks me if I was in an accident; co-workers giggle at my pain and make comments about the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse. After work I book it to the nearest pharmacy to get some relief.
I pick up a variety pack of recommended treatments: CeraVe, Cetaphil, Nivea, Emu oil, Aquaphor, Eucerin and Aveeno. Pile all of this stuff into my bathroom and cross my fingers hoping that one of them will work. There was A LOT of screaming. I mean A LOT. The neighbors thought that someone was being killed. Not a single one of these products was able to help me. My skin got even more: red, inflamed and irritated.
I look like roadkill. I head to the shopping center hoping against hope for a miracle. With a lot of people staring at me I make the only good trip to Sephora I have ever had. I walk in to Sephora, quietly cursing because the air movement on my skin hurts. I go to the skin care section and I cry quietly. Maybe that is the trick to getting non condescending service at Sephora? Cry. Show that you have given up before they can talk down to you and they will be kind?
Suddenly, I’m being swarmed by skin care clerks. Like going to a car lot with a clear bag full of cash. Three people are there asking what they can do to help. I explain the situation and they go into a huddle. A literal huddle. I see a head pop up and look at me every so often…I’m in a ton of pain but still keeping an eye out in case the starting line up for the Oakland Raiders appears behind me.
When they finally break from the huddle and come over to me, they are carrying a jar of Fresh Creme Ancienne. The jar was open. This is a surprise in itself. Although you can sample almost everything at Sephora, it is not common practice to allow a person to sample the really expensive stuff. This cream retails for $190-$350 a jar. Now I am REALLY bawling. I can not afford a product that expensive. Try a sample of it. See if it works. I quickly agree. In the back of my mind I am waiting for Sephora management to override this and take it away. When the clerk hands me a small plastic bag, I take it and RUN for the door.
When I get home and open the bag, I see that each clerk had given me two big sample cups of the creme. Packed FULL. I had six cups packed to the brim. Somehow, I managed to come home with almost a quarter of a jar of creme. I am pretty sure they got fired for it. They were never there when I went back to say thank you.
The instructions given to me: using tepid water gently splash on face, allow to air dry. Take a very small amount of cream on fingers (this stuff has the consistency of icing) and allow it to melt on your fingers before gently dabbing it on face. Ok, worst case scenario is more screaming?
I followed the instructions and it didn’t sting. It didn’t hurt at all. In fact, it felt good. Really good. Air wasn’t making me scream. The next morning same routine. Going to work with no makeup sucked. But, I wasn’t in pain. The redness stayed for about 4 days. I ended up using the Creme Ancienne for about 3 weeks straight. During that time I added in Clinique’s Redness Solutions Cleanser. Which was another win product for me.
In retrospect I would have survived in pain without this cream. I’m very glad it didn’t come to that. I am so grateful that Sephora employees took pity on me; that they hooked me up with one of the most amazing products on the market. There may not be crying in baseball…crying in Sephora on the other hand is a way to win.
Let me tell you some more about this amazing cream….
Fresh Creme Ancienne comes packaged in a plastic jar. Not my favorite method of packaging. In all honesty, this is one product that is way to thick to put into a pump. It has the consistency of icing. Heavy icing. For the super high price point I would expect more than a plastic jar. It is at least recyclable.
The smell is mild and pleasant, it doesn’t last long on the skin, which is nice. This creme is touted as being “Handmade in a monastery” which is cool. But, it really doesn’t matter to the outcome of the product. Still cool.
The good stuff in the jar:
- MeadowFoam Seed Oil: This is a carrier oil made from the seeds of the Limnanthes alba plant. The seeds are supposed to provide a super antioxidant powers to the skin. This is an edible oil, that provides and easily absorbed form of emollient fatty acid to the skin. ** Note: you may wish to avoid this ingredient if you are allergic to nuts or nut products**
- Vitamin E: Well known antioxidant, great for soothing and protecting the skin
- Rosewater: Soothes and tightens the skin
- Chamomile Wax: As with any wax its going to hold in the moisture, soften the skin, and help get rid of dryness
- Sweet Almond Oil: This is another carrier oil, easily spreadable, moisturizing and soothing. ** Note: as listed above, this is also a nut oil and if you have a nut allergy then be super careful before using this product**
- Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil: Used to clean away impurities on the skin, lighten the skin and treat acne. Some users may find an additional sensitivity to the sun, so please wear SPF.
This cream is listed as acceptable for all skin types. I would recommend it for dry and very dry skin. This is an extremely heavy cream. If you are rocking oily skin then this is NOT the product for you.
Long Term Impressions:
Well, you already know my experience with the product. It saved my face. It saved me pain and suffering. If I was in the same situation and had to purchase the product at that high price… I would buy it. It did that much to reduce the pain and suffering.
This was actually the first Fresh product that I had tried. I became quite enamored with the company, I have lip products, face washes, face oils, creams, etc. I love the quality and I don’t have a problem paying for an excellent product. What I do have a problem with is the lack of a cruelty free status. Fresh as a company does not test its products on animals. However, they do sell their products in China. China requires that all products be submitted for testing on animals before being sold. It would be amazing to see Fresh as a completely cruelty free company.
I hope you all enjoyed story time, and that you will join me next time.