I love a good origination myth and the one behind Fresh’s Crème Ancienne doubtless justifies why this eye cream at around $86 on QVC is so more expensive than most Fresh products. Apparently, the formula is based on the world's first emulsion-based cream, developed in the 2nd century by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ doctor. The formula is so fragile that it has to be made by hand and Fresh has recruited monks in the Czech Republic to perform this delicate task.

My first thought was yeah right…. But I am reliably informed that all this is true. If like me, you are wondering what a 2nd Century Roman doctor was doing with pentylene glycol, a synthetic solvent, then know that Fresh readily admits to “perfecting and updating” the formula.

As far as I am aware, the Roman empire of Marcus Aurelius did not extend to South America, so the key botanical in Crème Ancienne may also be a modern addition. Annona squamosa, native to Bolivia amongst other Latin American countries is known as sugar apple. The first thing that comes up if you search the extract of the seeds (used in Crème Ancienne) is that it is good against headlice. I did find that it has antioxidant properties, but according to one research study less so than papaya seed.

Sea buckthorn, however, has been around in Europe for a long time and the research is more convincing – it is established, for example as a very rich source of vitamin C. It seems to be one of the ingredients du jour (see my recent post on Dr Mercola and Tilvee’s sea buckthorn products).

There are a few oils – including jojoba and lemon – but with meadowfoam being a very common carrier oil and things like beeswax and corn starch, this formula doesn’t seem all that remarkable. But then I’m probably overlooking the magic touch of those monks.

Ingredients

Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Water (Aqua), Beeswax (Cera Alba), Pentylene Glycol, Corn Starch Modified, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Carbonate Decahydrate, Annona Squamosa Seed Extract, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Limonene, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Osmanthus Fragrans Flower Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract.