I Tried Fresh’s New Tea Elixir Serum (That Took 15 Years to Make)

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fresh tea elixir serum cat
  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Results: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 97/100

In an oversaturated beauty world, the chances of finding a product that actually works is one in a million these days. So when I heard about fresh’s new Tea Elixir Serum (and that the brand has been working on it for over 15 years), I decided to try it out for myself. While testing the serum for several weeks, I even spoke with the brand’s Skin Biologist to get the inside scoop on the science behind the ingredients.

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Meet the Expert:

Dr. Anne-Laure Bulteau is fresh’s Skin Biologist. She conducts research at the brand’s lab in France, where she specializes in the biology of aging as it pertains to the skin.

fresh tea elixir

What’s So Special About This Serum?

With over 15 years spent on formulating the serum, there had to be a magic ingredient involved, and sure enough, it's right in the product’s name: tea.

The exclusive ingredient is APT Technology™ (short for Adaptive Phytocompound Tea) and it was created using plant genetic research. As Bulteau explains: “APT is a potent ingredient that acts as a food-like source for your skin cells. It boosts the synthesis of fatty acids and supports essential structural proteins in your skin like elastin, collagen and fibrillin.” Simply put, it will help you get smoother, brighter and healthier-looking skin.

According to Dr. Bulteau, the serum was clinically tested by a dermatologist, so whether you have aging, dry, acne-prone or sensitive skin, you can slather fresh’s Tea Elixir Serum without any hesitation. As someone who has jumped through many hoops to eradicate my acne—including going on Accutane for a year after all else failed—my skin’s texture has changed from oily to dry throughout the years. Now with a combination skin type that’s drier around the chin and jaw, I had to make sure this serum wouldn’t cause any undue irritation. Dr. Bulteau reassured me that it wouldn’t, adding that “regardless of age or skin type, this serum will boost your skin’s overall resilience.”

The formula combines nourishing ingredients like ocean kelp to improve texture, hyaluronic acid for a boost of hydration, niacinamide to minimize the look of pores and ceramides for a layer of protection against those stressors Dr. Bulteau warns us about.

How to use the serum in your routine:

After cleansing and toning, I dispense 4 to 6 drops of the Tea Elixir Serum into the palms of my hands and lightly press it into my face and neck. I top the serum off with the fresh Lotus Moisturizer as my last step (and apply sunscreen during the day).

My final thoughts on using the tea elixir serum:

The first thing that stood out to me as I applied the serum was how luxurious it felt on my skin. Also, the serum smells divine. With hints of cucumber and lotus, I feel like I’m at the spa whenever I catch a whiff of it. The consistency is extremely lightweight and milky, so it absorbs quickly into your skin without leaving behind any icky stickiness.

I also appreciate the larger sized bottle, as I know I’ll get a lot of uses from it. At the rate I’m going through the serum, it will probably last me about four months until I need to replenish my stock.

Victoria Bellafiore for PureWow

While I didn’t notice any major changes in my skin initially, I was shocked to see my before and after photos. The biggest difference was how much more glowy and radiant my skin looked. Before, I had dark circles under my eyes and some scarring around my nose and mouth from picking at acne, but they had visibly softened after three weeks of consistently using the serum. And while I don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles yet, it's never too early to start some preventative treatments.

Overall, I’m happy with the results. My skin looks better and feels so supple. “Our goal with this serum was to give your skin what it needs to protect and defend itself, which can help to slow down the natural aging process,” says Bulteau. “90 percent of visible signs of aging comes from your everyday lifestyle stressors, such as sleep, emotional stress, diet and pollutants in the environment,” she adds. This includes screen time, so if looking at my laptop all day is speeding up my aging process, you better believe I’m going to keep using this silky serum as a protective barrier.

The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.

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