I love tea. Since becoming caffeine curious (and weaning off coffee), I started drinking a lot of tea — iced, Earl Gray, Chamomile, Sleeptime — and other than the obvious downside of teabag waste, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen about the benefits, which for me have included better sleep, calmer mornings (read: less anxiety), and interestingly, more resilient skin.
On the skin benefits specifically, my tea consumption has actually been double-pronged: I’ve been drinking it, yes, but also rubbing a tea-leaf compound on my face. Not a literal teabag, but the new Fresh Beauty Tea Elixir.
Earlier in July, I flew to France to learn about the Fresh’s newest formula innovation that extends beyond its existing Black Tea collection (which is also very good, particularly the firming eye serum). I drove two hours south of Paris to a rural location known as the “cosmetic valley,” a business cluster of different laboratories that produce beauty products, to the LVMH lab where all the Fresh skincare is made.
The exotic Mauritian tea plant
I got an official lab coat and clogs (no open toes allowed) and enter into the sterile room with microscopes. There, I learn about the exotic tea plant that inspired the team of Fresh scientists: This tea plant grows on the island of Mauritius, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where the soil is volcanic and inhospitable for most vegetation. That’s one resilient tea plant, thought the scientists, and thus began the five-year process of sourcing then microscopically decoding the Mauritian tea plant’s genetic adaptations to see if there could be a human skin-care connection.
Biologist Dr. Anne-Laure Bulteau and her team of Fresh researchers determined that the Mauritian tea plant’s resiliency comes from adaptive phytocompounds, like citrate and polyphenols, which essentially act as