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Natural Beauty: Fresh

A pioneer of fusing artisanal beauty with scientific expertise, cult apothecary Fresh is the brand to know. Celebrating its recent launch at harrods.com, we caught up with co-founder Lev Glazman to get his thoughts on everything from ancient beauty traditions to personalising your skincare routine.

On creating the brand…
Ever since I was a child I was always infatuated with beauty. I lived in Russia up until I was ten years-old, and that love came from the sheer fact that things were not available because of the Iron Curtain. And then it was curiosity: how are perfumes made, why do they do what they do? I always thought that beauty products could not only be transformative, but are a luxury that anybody can afford. In the late eighties I became completely obsessed, going through department stores and interacting with beauty consultants. My experience was never rich enough; they never really talked about ingredients in the way that I could understand them. I felt that there was so much more out there in terms of beauty rituals and ingredients that are not explored and are forgotten. By that time I was already making my own concoctions, and I wanted to dive into the history of ingredients and discover how you incorporate them with modern technology.

On Fresh’s iconic soap…
Soap was a number one thing for me because I love taking showers, but I have very sensitive skin and I had a very hard time using typical animal fat soaps. The biggest organ in your body is your skin, so if that doesn’t feel right then that’s no good. In beauty you have to have a 360-degree experience – it has to be luxurious, the ingredients have to be incredible and the results have to be amazing. Creating our first soap was a big deal for me; I spent a few weeks formulating the soap in the laboratory, I worked in the perfumery to create the fragrances, created the shape of the soaps, and when it arrived, well, people immediately fell in love with it.

On presentation…
For anything in relation to beauty you have to consider the appeal as well as the functionality. The inside is so amazing and so precious and everything else has to complement that.

On ancient beauty rituals…
There’s been a recent move away from the history of ingredients and some of the beautiful rituals that have withstood the test of time. I feel like these stories have to be shared, they have to be told. I find that Asian traditions are always very interesting. They’re all different depending on the area but all use nature and herbal therapies. I have always been inspired by the Geishas who would spend six or seven hours just dealing with their skin, or the rice farmers who found that their hands were always flawless because of the protein residue from washing the rice. 

On cleansing…
I think great skin starts with clean skin. Cleanse two or three times a day if you can, especially if you live in the city as pollution really causes a lot of damage to your skin. The Soy Face Cleanser is gentle and cleanses without irritating, while still giving skin essential nutrients. I truly can’t live without it.

On customising skincare…
I really think customising your own skincare is going to become a big deal in beauty. I always like to mix and match products. We introduced a Seaberry Booster so you can drop a couple of drops into any product for an extra boost. I’m really diving into the experimental side of skincare, because, personally, I do it all the time at home, and love having a booster that amplifies the products. 

On Fresh must-haves…
Our Sugar Lip Treatment is huge - it’s literally revived lip care. It’s also impossible not to fall in love with the Soy Face Cleanser, it’s an everyday must. Anything in the Black Tea Collection is a big deal for me. I grew up on black tea in Russia, people used it for remedies to fight colds. I knew about the ingredient on its own because it has the highest level of caffeine in the tea world and I thought it would come to life in skincare with the most amazing results. So we started extracting it and found it really softens your skin, detoxifies it and also boosts moisture levels, making it one of my favourite ingredients. 

Discover our Fresh favourites below.

Find a new summer beauty favourite with New Beauty We Love.

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