Clinique’s daily dose of vitamin C: Have you had yours?

clinique fresh pressed

You may have noticed the eye-catching advertising visuals for a new anti-ageing product recently launched by Clinique: Fresh Pressed 7-day System with Pure Vitamin C, to give it its full name. In bold orange and white, a powder explosion – Pow! – promises an elixir of youth for the impatient.

I’m not so much impatient, more short of time. I’m 43. It may already be too late….

Before any actual skincare starts happening, the packaging itself is seriously fun. Unpacking the little box onto my dressing table, the seven sachets of powder and the syringe capsule make the process feel like the coolest science lesson you never had. It also has the effect of making me feel like I am my very own white-coat-wearing smart NY dermatologist about to administer the secrets of an A-list complexion.

To use Fresh Pressed, you take one sachet of Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C, empty the contents into your hand, mix with a little water and cleanse your face. Do this once a day. Then use a couple of drops from the capsule of Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% morning and evening along with your moisturiser. Clinique claims this will lead to “brighter, even-toned, retexturised skin starting in one week and visibly firmer skin with diminished lines and wrinkles over time”.

Here’s hoping.

I start off by slightly breaking the rules. The instructions advise using the sachet of cleanser in the morning to “jump start skin’s renewal” but I decided to use mine in the evening. I feel that using it before I go to bed will mean that my skin is wonderfully cleansed and ready to take in all the Fresh Pressed benefits while I sleep rather than cleansing and then immediately covering my face with make-up in the morning. Also, I tend to have more time in the evenings to concentrate on a skincare routine. The mornings are a crazed blur of trying to get several humans fed, washed, dressed, ready and out of the house with not many minutes left over to simultaneously try and halt the ravages of time.

So to business. I make the mistake of trying to get into the first sachet with my teeth resulting in me tasting some of the powder. Not good. It does not taste like orange sherbet. As the instructions say: Do not ingest.

On the first application, the cleansing powder did have a slight astringent feel to it which made my skin feel tightened. Not necessarily a bad thing as right from the start it made me feel ‘lifted’ and perkier. Not a bad thing at all. Especially as, once I had applied the Booster along with my regular moisturiser (in the interests of full disclosure it is not a Clinique one but the sky didn’t fall in) the tightening sensation passed to be replaced with a pleasant toned feeling.

Activating the Booster gives you another enjoyable science lesson moment: First, press the button in the top of the capsule which releases the pure vitamin C, and then shake it for 15 seconds to mix with the soothing emulsion. By activating the product only when you are about to use it, the potency of the fresh vitamin C is maintained.

Now, I have fairly sensitive skin so I am always wary of using strong products that could irritate my skin thereby off-setting any benefits they may offer by making my complexion look red and sore. Clinique states that Fresh Pressed is suitable for all skin types and personally, I found that a week of using the product didn’t cause me any problems.

Seven days later. The verdict.

The exfoliating nature of the cleanser definitely kept my skin in better condition. It felt softer, looked more luminous and any breakouts seemed to clear up faster than normal. I loved the sensation of the Booster, a serum-type formulation that I am convinced made my skin look brighter, smoother and (the holy grail of the forty-something woman) less tired. It also seems to work as a primer under make-up, making everything just look better.

I may be easily persuaded but the individual doses and the pumping and mixing required make the whole thing feel slightly medicinal and that straight away makes it feel like it’s really doing me good. Not a scientific analysis I realise but if a product makes you feel good, that counts for a lot in my book.

Taking this no-basis-in-scientific-research personal theory further I’m also experiencing knock-on, positive benefits of using Fresh Pressed: Because I feel the product is having a positive effect on the way I look it makes me keen to capitalise on that by living well, drinking lots of water, eating fresh and clean, making that exercise class, getting enough sleep and so all the parts cheer each other on and add up to a much-improved whole.

It has definitely earned a place on my bathroom shelf and I would particularly recommend using it for a week in the run up to a special event to help you look your best.

I’m not on the quest for an eternally youthful look. I am not interested in finding my own picture of Dorian Gray. I think a face that tells the story of a life is a much more attractive face than one that has been eradicated of all emotion and experience. Fresh Pressed is my happy place: It makes me feel like I look better and more awake but still me.

Post script:
Once I had finished the seven days and the seven sachets of cleanser, there was still some Booster left so I carried on using that over my regular cleanser, twice daily and in fact I’m still using it several days on. According to the packet it may discolour once the seven days are up and it will lose potency but I still feel it doing me good….

Clare Austin
written by: Clare Austin
With a background in fashion and beauty journalism for magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar Clare is a beauty enthusiast whose pulse quickens whenever a new product hits the shelves.