Fresh Soy Face Serum — A Real Soy Joy
Ten years ago, soy emerged as the ingredient du jour in skincare products aimed at improving elasticity, softening skin, and brightening the complexion. Fresh co-founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg pioneered the soy-loving cosmeceutical movement, incorporating soy in their haircare and skincare products as early as 1999. By 2002, Aveeno had followed suit with its Skin Brightening Daily Moisturizer (which was later reinvented and transformed into part of the brand’s Positively Radiant line). In 2008, Origins, too, started favoring soy as an anti-aging and softening ingredient, making it a vital component of its Origins Organic skincare line.
Why soy? Well, the isoflavones in soy boast antioxidant properties similar to those found in vitamin E and can help to prevent photo-aging. Hydrolyzed soy proteins also help to stimulate collagen production, improving elasticity and hence making it a great anti-aging agent. The amino acids in soy—among them, threonine, valine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine and tryptophane—also help to increase the production of collagen, elastin and keratin.
Of course, in the decade since soy emerged as a buzz word in healthy eating circles, some controversy has arisen regarding its dietary benefits — particularly after some medical studies surfaced suggesting that, when consumed in large quantities, soy’s estrogen-like substances could heighten the risk of developing breast cancer. But before you join the anti-soy crusade, here are two things to consider: first, that the jury is still out on the subject; and second, that, the topical use of soy does not produce any hormonal side effects. In other words, don’t go banishing soy-based skincare products from your bathroom cabinet just yet — especially before you try the new Fresh Soy Face Serum, the latest addition to Fresh’s best-selling, consumer-approved soy skincare line!
The Fresh Soy Face Serum features a lightweight, slightly creamy consistency (think of a watery mayo texture or even a Caesar dressing feel). When you first apply it, skin will feel a bit balmy but, within 10-15 minutes, the serum will be fully absorbed by your skin and you’ll notice it feels smoother and softer thanks to its hydrating and nourishing properties. In addition to soy proteins the Soy Face Serum features natural ingredients like: hibiscus peptides and anise extract, which are said to reduce the contraction of the facial muscles that lead to expression lines (but not to worry —these won’t have a Botox-esque, face-freezing effect); cucumber extract, which soothes skin; evening primrose root extract, an anti-inflammatory that helps to reduce redness; rose flower water, which tones skin; moisturizing, fatty acid-rich jojoba seed oil and sunflower seed oil; and antioxidant-rich, emollient grape seed oil.
The product promises to hydrate and soften skin, help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten skin tone, and improve elasticity within 4-6 weeks of consistent, twice-daily use. My experience: I did notice that skin felt softer and more hydrated and that, overall, the texture of my skin seemed to improve. In terms of the serum’s brightening effects, I didn’t see quite as dramatic an improvement. Sure, skin had a nice healthy glow, but any pesky dark spots remained well past the 4-week mark. If brighter skin is your main concern, I’d suggest investing in a line specifically developed for this feat (such as the Clinique Even Better range or the Clarins Brightening range). The major issue for me was the smell, which was far from savor (I built a resistance to it after an adjustment period of about 1-2 weeks, but I still think it’s an odd, almost rancid scent). Still, I did appreciate the end results: mainly a healthier, smoother, more supple complexion.