The Complete Guide To Herbivore Facial Skincare Products: What To Buy, What To Skip

by Gio
best and worst of herbivore skincare

Herbivore Botanicals is having a moment.

The indie brand has won over our hearts with its sleek packaging and natural formulations that promise to exfoliate, soothe, and moisturise without irritating skin.

Is it too good to be true?

Kinda… With a few exceptions, most of Herbivore products are just average or worse. The line is proof that just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

How do you know what’s worth to buy and what’s best left on the shelf? Here’s the complete guide to Herbivore facial skincare products to help you out:

Best Herbivore Skincare Products To Buy

Best Antiaging Treatment For Sensitive Skin: Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum ($54.00)

Can’t tolerate retinol? Try Bakuchiol instead. This natural extract works similar to retinol: it can slow down collagen breakdown, reduce wrinkle surface area and even fade away hyperpigmentation. BUT, without the irritation. The catch? Despite what brands and the media tell you, there’s no proof that Bakuchiol is as powerful as retinol. For all we know, could be weaker. Still, it’s a good alternative for anyone who can’t use retinol, like pregnant women or people with sensitive skin. Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum also has its fair share of antioxidants to help keep wrinkles at bay. Plus, it’s hydrating, too!

Available at: Dermstore, Revolve, SpaceNK and The Detox Market

Related: Retinol Side Effects: What Are They And How Do You Deal With Them?

Best For Dry Skin: Herbivore Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil ($48.00)

Herbivore Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil is loaded with moisturising oils. Squalane, hemp seed oil, and safflower oil all have their fair share of fatty acids to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier against harsh weather, germs, and anything else that wants to harm your skin. Plus, a strong protective barrier means your skin is better able to retain the moisture it badly needs to heal. Result? Softer, plumper, brighter skin. The catch? Herbivore claims shiitake mushroom and ashwagandha root have adoptogenic properties that can defend your skin from environmental stress. It’s true these plants are able to adapt to the changes in their environments – but they can’t do the same for your skin!

Available at: Cult Beauty, Nordstrom, Revolve, Sephora, and SpaceNK

Related: How To Strengthen Your Skin’s Protective Barrier (And Why It Matters)

Best For Oily Skin: Herbivore Pink Clay Exfoliating Mask ($22.00)

Herbivore Pink Clay Exfoliating Mask harnesses the oil-absorbing power of clays to soak up all excess sebum from your skin. Now that’s out of the way, it won’t be able to clog your pores and give you breakouts. Plus, it’s soothing, too.

Available at: Dermstore

Related: How To Care For Oily Skin

The OK Facial Products From Herbivore

Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme ($48.00)

Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme has a lot going for it. For starters, it’s loaded with natural moisturisers, like sunflower oil and shea butter, that strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and keep the complexion supple and soft. Plus, it has its fair share of antioxidants to prevent premature aging. Too bad the jar packaging exposes them to light and air, making them go bad quickly. The other problem with this cream? It has fragrance, which can irritate sensitive skin.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Nordstrom, Revolve, Sephora, SpaceNK

Related: Is Fragrance In Skincare Bad?

Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil ($88.00)

Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil started off so well. The base of the formula is made up of non-fragrant oils like rosehip and jojoba that moisturise skin, soothe irritations, and prevent the premature signs of aging. Plus, they make your skin glow. Unfortunately, Herbivore also added Morroccan rose and Neroli extracts, two ingredients that smell lovely but can irritate sensitive skin.

Available at: Anthropologie, Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Nordstrom, Revolve, Sephora

Related: Why Rosehip Oil Is My Go-To For All My Skin Woes

Herbivore Orchid Facial Oil ($64.00)

Like most Herbivore Facial Oils, Orchid is a mixed bag. On the plus side, it has moisturising, non-fragrant oils like camellia and squalane that deeply moisturise skin and keep it soft and supple. On the downside, jasmine and orchid extracts can irritate sensitive skin. Use it carefully.

Available at: Anthropologie, Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Nordstrom, Revolve, Sephora

Related: The Complete Guide To Squalane: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist ($16.00)

Let’s start with the good: Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist is every bit as hydrating as it claims. Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid pump moisture back into the skin while aloe vera soothe skin. But the lingering rose scent may be a problem for sensitive skin.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Dermstore, and Revolve

Related: The Complete Guide To Hyaluronic Acid: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

Worst Herbivore Skincare Products To Avoid

Herbivore Prism 20% AHA + 5% BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial ($58.00)

With such high concentrations of acids (have you ever seen 5% BHA anywhere before?!), Herbivore Prism 20% AHA + 5% BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial looks like an exfoliant on steroids. Too bad it’s all smoke and mirrors. Here’s why: this exfoliant doesn’t contain glycolic acid (AHA), salicylic acid (BHA) & co. Instead, it uses natural extracts, like sugarcane and willow bark, that contain these acids. Brands will tell you they work just as well as their synthetic counterparts. They don’t. Please, don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Getting these acids from plants and extracts is useless. They won’t exfoliate your skin. But hey, at least they’ll hydrate it.

Related: AHAs VS BHA: Which One Should You Choose?

Herbivore Prism 12% AHA + 3% BHA Exfoliating Glow Serum ($54.00)

Herbivore Prism 12% AHA + 3% BHA Exfoliating Glow Serum is a gentler version than the serum above… and shares the same problems, too. Instead of pure glycolic acid, you’ve got sugar cane. Instead than pure salicylic acid, you’ve got willow bark… These natural alternatives don’t work as well. Period. Plus, the see-through packaging makes them go bad quickly.

Related: How To Choose The Best Exfoliator For Your Skin Type

Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil ($72.00)

Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil owes its blue colour to blue tansy, an oil with mixed properties. On the one hand, it has azulene to soothe dry and sensitive skin. On the other, its fragrant components can irritate dry and sensitive skin! See why it’s often better to isolate the beneficial chemical instead than using the whole plant? Worse, blue tansy isn’t the only irritant here. Shame, because this oil is moisturising indeed.

Related: 7 Natural Ingredients That Can Irritate Sensitive Skin

Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner ($22.00)

You don’t need toner. And you certainly don’t need Herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner. It’s true it has a couple of soothing ingredients thrown in for good measure. But the rest of the formula is a mess. Willow bark is no exfoliating alternative to salicylic acid. Witch hazel can dry out oily skin too much. Jasmine and citrusy extracts can irritate skin… Don’t go there.

Related: Do You Really Need A Toner? (The Answer May Surprise You)

Herbivore Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment ($58.00)

Herbivore Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment is another example of a good product gone bad. It has its fair share of moisturising oils and butters plus antioxidants to keep wrinkles at bay. And then, Herbivore goes and ruins the formula with a strong lavender and citrusy fragrance that irritates skin. Go figure….

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask ($48.00)

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask promises to exfoliate skin without irritation – but DOESN’T deliver. As I’ve already mentioned, fruit enzymes and willow barks are NOT effective alternatives to exfoliating acids. Plus, blue tansy and other fragrant extracts can irritate skin.

Herbivore Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask ($48.00)

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record now. But Herbivore Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask is another mask with exfoliating ingredients that don’t work. Actually, there’s not much here that does much of anything. It won’t hurt your skin but won’t benefit it either. You may just as well splash water on your face… Just saying…

What do you think are the best and worst Herbivore facial products? Share your picks in the comments below.

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