AVEENO Fresh Essentials proves you don't have to spend a lot to have hydrated, healthy skin. The products (which all come in under $20) boast active natural southernwood extract and vitamins A, C, and E, and they do all the basic things one requires of a skincare regimen: hydrate, protect, nourish, cleanse, and exfoliate. Here's a closer look at the 3 AVEENO Fresh Essentials products I tested.
The AVEENO Fresh Essentials Daily Exfoliating Scrub ($12.99 at London Drugs) has a gel-like translucent texture and contains natural luffa and coconut pulp as manual exfoliating granules. The gel-to-granule ratio is pretty high and the particles aren't actually very scratchy, making this mild oil-free formula gentler than other drugstore scrubs. However, its mildness is also its downfall as it's not very good at cleansing dirt, oil, and makeup after a long day. I suggest using the Daily Scrub once a day in the morning in lieu of your normal cleanser: It has just enough cleansing power for skin that's probably still pretty clean, and its fresh scent and exfoliating action will invigorate your senses and wake up your complexion.
The AVEENO Fresh Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer ($19.99 at London Drugs) is a wonderful makeup bag basic to have: a colourless, oil-free, SPF 30 moisturizer that provides sun protection and all-day hydration. It's perfect for wearing under foundation and, when fully absorbed, leaves no chalkiness thanks to a mix of chemical sunscreens. It does take a little longer to absorb than other moisturizers I've tried though, and if you use too much your face will have a slightly sticky texture all day long. Like the Exfoliating Scrub, it has a light fresh scent.
I'm kind of in love with the richly moisturizing yet strangely light texture of AVEENO Fresh Essentials Hydrating Night Cream ($19.99 at London Drugs), which is reminiscent of night creams with a much bigger price tag. Like the SPF moisturizer, the formula has a fresh scent and contains vitamins A, C, and E. It's also oil-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic. Because the texture is so rich, slathering it on leads to unabsorbed product and a tacky, sticky finish; I recommend smoothing it over the face and neck in a thin, easily absorbed veil.
I don't understand why the marketing materials make such a big deal about how Fresh Essentials helps "combat the many environmental factors that cause stress to the skin." Isn't that what all skincare should do? At its core, this is just an affordable, effective, no-nonsense drugstore collection that covers the essentials. I'd recommend it if you're in your teens or twenties with normal/oily skin and you're just starting out on a skincare regimen.