Fresh Peony Brightening Moisturizing Toner & Foam Face Cleanser review, photos

Fresh Peony collection review

The product: Fresh Peony Brightening Foam Face Cleanser, Peony Brightening Moisturizing Facial Toner, and Peony Brightening Moisture Face Cream

Fresh recently added three new products to their Peony Brightening range, and even though I’m not always into brightening products, I love these.

I don’t really believe in the brightening powers of peony (it’s only ever been “proven” to work in petri dishes), and I highly doubt that peony/mushroom/etc-based products truly brighten. That being said, a great brightening range will also make your skin seem brighter by leaving it clean, fresh, and well-hydrated–and the Fresh Peony Brightening range definitely delivers on that kind of brightening.

Fresh Brightening Peony collection review

The ingredients: The range is formulated with Chinese tree peony extract, Madonna lilly root extract, and vitamin C glucoside, and each product has an additional star ingredient: shea seedcake extract (an antioxidant) in the cleanser and moisturizer, and sodium hyaluronate (to act as an to help the skin retain moisture) in the toner and moisturizer.

Unfortunately, the Fresh Peony Brightening Moisture Face Cream ($72 USDcontains silicones, but the new cleanser and toner are ‘cone-free!

Fresh Peony Brightening Moisture face cream review

Fresh Peony Brightening Moisture Face Cream

Fresh Peony Brightening Foam Face Cleanser ($42 USD/$49 CAD)

I tried out the Fresh Peony Brightening Foam Face Cleanser ($42 USD/$49 CADexpecting to enjoy it, and it totally exceeded my expectations.

It’s a super-thick foam formula that’s honestly kind of hard to squeeze out of the tube, but it’s really luxurious — the packaging is gorgeous, and the foam applies kind of like a traditional shaving cream, or a face mask. (Or like fancy glue.) It feels like a ritual sort of product, and the sweet, soft, floral scent of the Peony Brightening range only compounds on this luxe kind of feeling.

Fresh Peony Brightening Foam Cleanser review

I don’t think I love this one enough that I’ll be rebuying it (my skin’s too dry to use something that foams on a daily basis), but I definitely love it enough that I’m not sharing. A’s gonna have to earn this level of pampering if he wants to touch my Peony cleanser!

Fresh Peony Brightening Moisturizing Facial Toner ($60 USD/$70 CAD)

Conversely, I tried out the Fresh Peony Brightening Moisturizing Facial Toner ($60 USD/$70 CAD) expecting it to be a flop — but I actually like it even more than the cleanser.

Fresh Peony Brightening Moisturizing toner review

The Fresh Peony toner is, in a word, phenomenal. It’s softly scented and absorbs quickly, and its glycerine-based formula leaves my skin feeling moisturized, velvety, and plush, but never sticky.

I know that this one is a huuuuge stretch for most budgets, but it’s honestly the best-performing toner/lotion-type product that I have ever tried for dry skin. It acts more like a really excellent beauty essence than a toner, and while I’m doubtful that it’ll be brightening in the long term, it’s just beyond lovely.

I can even skip my hydrating serum on days that I use this toner (which is something that I never do), so even though it’s priced at a luxury price point, it’s kind of like spending $70 on a serum, not a toner. Which… seems more reasonable, right?

Fresh skincare picks Peony

The verdict?

If you haven’t checked out the Fresh Peony Brightening range yet, I have two words for you: DO IT. 

I’m not sold on the range’s brightening abilities, but these three products are fantastic nonetheless. The moisturizer has a really lovely texture and scent; the cleanser feels literally like it belongs in a high-end spa; and the toner acts more like a liquid serum that’ll soften and balance your dry skin every morning and night.

There are actually quite a few products in the Fresh Peony range now, and if the rest are anything like these, they would make a fantastic Mother’s Day treat for this time of the year!

Availability: New permanent products as of April 2016. Find them online at Fresh and soon at Sephora.

Fresh skincare package review

Nothing like a gorgeous box of skincare.

The Fresh Peony Brightening Moisturizing Facial Toner ingredients:

Aqua, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Licorice Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Tromethamine, PEG-150, Sodium Citrate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance, Citric Acid Limonene, Phenoxyethanol.

The Fresh Peony Brightening Foam Face Cleanser ingredients: 

Water, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Licoriche Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Tromethamine, PEG-150, Sodium Citrate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol.

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  • Lily @ChloeAsh

    I have yet to try anything from Fresh, but I find that they are quite overpriced here. Many things at Sephora are, and this is no exception. I am curious and the blogger in me want to try it, but … you know how it goes ;-)
    Hope everything's well with you, Raewhale!
    My recent post April Empties and Updates

    • These are my firsts from the brand! I was really surprised at how expensive they are — definitely more Sunday Riley than Dermalogica, you know?

      Right back at you! <3

  • Rebekah

    Yikes at the price of the toner! It does sounds amazing though and I love Fresh… will have to put it on a wishlist and leave it somewhere for my husband to find lol
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    • Not gonna lie, the price is so horrifying that I'm honestly skipping the cotton pad for this one. Thankfully, it's thicker than a facial mist, so I can sort of spread it around in my hands and press it into my skin!

  • esharp1978

    I like almost all Fresh's products. Their Black Tea line is a favorite. I like the Peony Sleep Mask they have. I use their Black Tea Infusion religiously and I can't live without it. It's very much like an essence from a company that puts a lot of good ingredients in theres. Some essences are barely more then toners but not this one. I think the price on the Peony one is steep. The one I have though is in the same size bottle and it lasted me a year for the first one using it every day and sometimes 2x a day along with occasional uses by my husband. It's one of his favorite products to use because of how moisturizing it is.
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    • Ooh, that Black Tea Infusion sounds excellent! I definitely agree that not all essences really work (this toner certainly does more for my skin than Cremorlab or May Coop), so it's great to hear that their Infusion really does!

      • esharp1978

        I swear May Coop does nothing but make my face sticky and give me zits.
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  • shireenplatt

    Err, I don't think I'll ever try anything from this brand. The price is way up there, I mean $70CAD for a toner is ridonkulous but on the other hand, if you can skip serum then…ugh, no, still not worth it. Haha!
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    • Oh god, right??? It's SO expensive — and yet, so good.

      Weirdly, I think the name of this one is the only thing holding it back. If it was a "Tata Harper Essence" or a "SK-II liquid serum" or something, I don't think the price would be as much of an issue — and it would be an excellent product under any of those names. But as a Fresh toner? It just seems way too pricy to me, no matter how good it is (or how much I love the Fresh brand).

  • Useng

    Wow the toner is very expensive hope they will reduce the price..