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Meet The Founder

Meet the Founders: fresh

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert4 years ago
View Verity Douglas's profile

One of our most requested brands, we couldn't be more thrilled for {fresh} to join the Cult (hallelujah!). Pioneers of natural skin care, the company's co-founders - Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg - ploughed everything into starting their business in Boston; a haven for beauty obsessives who wanted to source boutique brands and the world's greatest remedies, carefully chosen by those in-the-know.

Originally a stand-alone store on a Boston side street, {fresh} quickly started creating their own line of soaps which sold-out with astonishing speed... and the rest is history! From tiny acorns mighty oak trees grow, and this couldn't be truer of this brand's incredible rise to the top of the beauty game. We chatted to Lev and Alina about their beginnings and which are the products you *need* in your cabinet...

{Cult Beauty} Hi Lev, Hi Alina! First thing’s first, can you start by telling us what fresh is all about? If fresh (brand.) was in the dictionary, what would its description say?

{Lev Glazman} "{fresh} is always on the path to discovery, always searching for the best of the best. We have an unrelenting dedication to quality, to innovation, and to effectiveness, combined with the special sensorial experience our products offer, making our vision very strong.”

{CB} You’re celebrating 28 years of fresh! Congratulations on such an incredible milestone. Can you talk us through your backgrounds and the brand’s beginnings?

{LG&AR} “It took nine years of hard work and learnings to build and develop our business from the first line of soaps that we were wrapping ourselves. By the time LVMH partnered with us, we had a product line of over 300 skin care, body care, and fragrances; 2 stores in NYC, and wholesale distribution with Sephora, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and other fine specialty stores. {fresh} was a pioneer 28 years ago and to this day we advocate for and have a vision of bringing natural ingredients and modern science to the forefront of beauty.”

{CB} And moving swiftly on to product – how does the product development process work? How do you hatch an idea for the next beauty hero?

{Alina Roytberg} “We are intimately involved in every step of the product launch. Each product begins as a passionate idea that Lev and I work closely on to bring to life. Lev works with the lab to develop the precise formulation that is efficacious, yet maintains that {fresh} sensorial experience. I work on the design elements to tell the story of the product’s journey. That personal passion is living through our products, and we are lucky to have people in our company that are as passionate about it as we, the founders, are.”

{CB} And ingredients? The word ‘natural’ is so mired in mystery these days. As pioneers of natural ingredients in skin care, can you talk us through the meaning of the term and why you felt the need to break the beauty mould?

{AR} “We are inspired by the purity of the past and look to natural beauty traditions passed down through generations because these remedies have withstood the test of time. We then develop the science needed to further their efficacy without compromising their integrity.

Traveling the world, we seek out natural ingredients to incorporate into our products, introducing new, highly innovative formulations into the market, keeping fresh at the forefront of the beauty industry. The combination of innovative natural ingredients, time-honoured rituals, and modern science offers a highly effective sensorial experience with undeniable results completely unique to {fresh}.”

{CB} For those who’re unfamiliar with Fresh, what would you say is the product that’s certain to trigger addiction?

{AR} “The must have items from fresh are the {Soy Face Cleanser} and the {Sugar Lip Treatment}.”

{CB} Your {Sugar Lip Treatment} is worshipped the world over (we’ve heard it’s beloved by a Duchess?) – what do you feel is the key to its success? Any celeb fans you’re able to name-drop?

{LG&AR} “The key to its success is sugar! It’s been known as a remedy for centuries. When we were little, our grandmothers used to apply sugar on our scrapes. Sugar is known to be a natural antiseptic and natural humectant. It helps to lock moisture into the skin without over drying and without stinging. Meghan Markle is one of our Sugar Lip Treatment fans.”

{CB} Can we talk about soy? It’s the key to your bestselling cleanser – what makes it such a brilliant ingredient? Who’s it good for?

{LG&AR} “Good skin starts with clean skin. When creating {Soy Face Cleanser}, we wanted it to be for every skin type. The idea was for a simple, universal product that takes care of all your cleansing needs, even makeup and eye makeup. That was our goal and a challenge, because it’s not common to have a cleanser that’s safe around the eyes. That’s the magic of this product. Young or old—this product is for everyone. It’s never too early to start using it.”

{CB} And sticking with ingredients, which are the weirdest (but wonderful) discoveries you’ve made along the way? And are there any recent finds you’re feeling really psyched about?

{LG&AR} “There are many ingredients that are used as natural remedies or revered for their nutritional value. Human civilization is using only 90 out of 400,000 plant species in medicine. So there’s a lot still to discover and learn. Right now we are infatuated with kombucha and exploring the nutritional benefits of fermented black tea.

The process of fermentation transforms the molecules of sweet black tea into metabolites that are more bioavailable, meaning they are smaller and are more compatible with the skin. With kombucha, this fermentation process also creates a high-quality composition rich in numerous vitamins and organic acids. Our research revealed that kombucha provides significant antipollution protection which is critical for youthful skin.”

{CB} If you were to choose your ‘Desert Island’, have-to-prise-it-from-your-cold-dead-hands fresh product, which would it be and why (sorry!)?

{AR} “The list is endless, but if I had to pick it would be {Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15}, {Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream} and the {Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask}.”

{CB} And which product – or achievement – are you most proud of? Was there a moment when you really thought ‘we’ve nailed it’?

{AR} “One of the most rewarding aspects of our business is seeing people buying your products. From the first day we opened and still today, clients responding to our products and our concepts is the most rewarding part of being in business. People talking about the products and their experiences with each other, recommending them, and giving them as gifts to their friends and family. We were confirmed in our knowledge then that the need for our concept was there.”

{CB} And finally, what’s next for {fresh}? We’re excited to see what the next years have in store for this game-changing range. Can we have a sneak peek?

{LG} “As a brand we’re always pushing the envelope with the ingredients we incorporate into our products, introducing new ideas into the market place. We’ll always challenge ourselves to bring the formula to life. Innovation is a 24/7 process and our focus. It’s a constant discovery with {fresh}.”

Thanks to Lev and Alina!


Verity Douglas
Writer and expert
View Verity Douglas's profile
Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...