Hey everyone! At the beginning of this year I decided to make an unofficial resolution to start using better skin care. For the last 2-3 years I had been struggling with a sudden bout of really bad acne along my chin and jaw line. I am someone who never really suffered from acne during adolescence, so this sudden issue at 23 years old was very disturbing and made me totally miserable. Now, this wasn’t due to any products in particular, it came on suddenly and wouldn’t go away unless I was on antibiotics or using a vitamin A cream, prescribed by my doctor. So, even though I knew that whatever regular skin care I was using wouldn’t really make a difference in my acne, I decided to start taking better care of my skin overall.
A happy ending to this story is that this summer my acne finally started going away! I am no longer on antibiotics or using a prescribed cream. This isn’t because of any product in particular, I really think it is just something you have to wait out. Whatever hormonal issue I was having for the last three years appears to be gone.
Now, on my journey to start using skin care that had less fillers and more beneficial ingredients, I identified a few companies that I was very interested in trying. One of them was Herbivore, which is a “clean at Sephora” brand that formulates their products without synthetics and with more natural and active ingredients. I was tired of paying for products that were mostly filler with only a few beneficial ingredients, even if they were less expensive. While this required an expensive initial investment, this bottle lasted me 11 months!
One point to note is that I have oily/combo skin, with my jaw and cheeks being normal to dry. Regardless of your skin type, I believe everyone should use a facial oil. There is no such thing as too much hydration. It will keep your skin looking youthful and will help you avoid any seasonal dryness. The only issue is if you have oily skin you may encounter certain formulations that make you break out. It is only a matter of trying different formulations until you encounter one that works for you. And you can expedite this process by researching the ingredients. My favourite research is always Paula’s Choice, who uses peer-reviewed scientific journals as her sources.
Packaging and First Impressions
This facial oil comes in a transparent glass bottle with a dropper. The oil itself is orange and smells lightly herbal. I never had any issues with the dropper leaking or becoming messy. This oil has a shelf-life of 12 months.
Like a Phoenix being reborn from the ashes, renew your skin with a blend of luxe botanical oils and CoQ10. Phoenix Facial Oil dramatically re-hydrates and revitalizes dry skin or any skin in need of replenishment and deep renewal.
Recommended for: Suitable for all skin, but those with dry or mature skin may benefit the most.
Concentrated Moisture. Oils are concentrated, long-lasting, and effective moisturizers. Our oils sink in deeply to moisturize and nourish with antioxidants and vitamins, which work to hydrate dry skin and give it a radiant glow.
Ingredients of Note
Something that I don’t usually do in these reviews is give the full list of ingredients, mostly because they are usually too long and interested purchasers can look them up themselves. However, this ingredients list is so impressively short, that why not!
As you can see, this formulation is packed with beneficial ingredients. I am not going to talk about all of the ingredients, but I will talk about the ones that I think are the most impressive. Surprisingly, I see no preservative in here which gives me a few question marks..
Jojoba seed oil has a smaller molecular size rich in fatty acids that lends to its ability to be absorbed well into the upper layers of the skin. That means that this oil won’t leave a greasy layer on top of your skin because it does actually get absorbed. Additionally, the molecular structure of jojoba oil is thought to be quite similar to the natural oils on our skin, so it is thought to absorb more easily because of that. It is also more stable, which is perhaps why this formulation doesn’t have a preservative.
Rosehip oil is another wonderful oil because it is unfragranced and therefore non-sensitizing, and it has a variety of fatty acids to help replenish the skin barrier. It has also been associated with having calming properties, meaning that your skin tone should become more even with continued use (less redness and inflammation).
Meadowfoam seed oil is also a very stable oil rich in fatty acids that result in skin softening. The molecular structure of this oil is larger, so it leaves a protective barrier on the surface of your skin, rather than being fully absorbed.
Chia seed oil has omega-3 fatty acids as well as antioxidants that help with anti-aging. It is also known to have calming properties.
CoQ10 is a coenzyme, also known as ubiquinone, that is a major player in cellular respiration that is already present naturally in our bodies. For all you intro bio people out there, ubiquinone helps shuttle electrons in the electron transport chain, a hugely important process for giving us the energy that keeps us alive! How this ingredient is actually relevant to the skin is that it is an antioxidant itself, and can also react with Vitamin E, tocopherol, in the body to help regenerate it so that it can continue acting as an antioxidant too!
Tocopherol is a form of Vitamin E, which is a good antioxidant. It is important to continually replenish Vitamin E since our natural stores deplete over time with sun exposure.
You can further investigate the beneficial properties of different oils on Paula’s Choice, which was my source for the above information.
Price and Quantity
This oil is priced at $115 CAD ($88 USD) and has 1.7 oz of product. Since you only use a few drops at a time, this oil lasts a very long time. For me with nightly use, 11 months. So really, when you think about it, this oil only cost me around $10 CAD a month, which isn’t so bad!
Now of course, when you compare to other facial oils, there are more affordable options, and also more expensive options! I do wonder if the ingredients are of a comparable quality. I have included some of the other oils offered by Herbivore in the comparisons. Their main differences are the base oil, whether it be jojoba, coconut or other oils.
Here are the comparisons listed from best value to worst value:
|Quantity (oz)||Cost-Quantity Ratio for 1 oz of product|
|1||The Ordinary Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Oil||$10||1||$10/oz|
|2||Pixi Rose Oil Blend||$34||1||$34/oz|
|3||Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil||$64||1.7||$38/oz|
|4||Herbivore Orchid Facial Oil||$84||1.7||$49/oz|
|5||Herbivore Emerald Glow Oil||$63||1||$63/oz|
|6||Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil||$115||1.7||$68/oz|
|7||Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil||$95||1||$95/oz|
The reason why I specifically included the Ordinary Rose Hip Oil and the Pixi Rose Oil Blend is because I have used them both. I actually have gone through a whole bottle of the Ordinary Rise Hip. I remember liking it, but it was a couple of years ago and it was my first experience with an oil so I can’t really speak to how good it was. But honestly, for $10 you probably can’t go wrong. I currently own the Pixi Rose Oil Blend, but haven’t used it a lot. However, it has good ingredients and I am looking forward to using it more now that I am done this Herbivore bottle. To be honest though, I totally want to try another one from Herbivore. They all sound so nice! Have you used any?
Overall, I have really enjoyed this oil. Sometimes I find it can be hard to tell the difference between oils, except on a few points.
This oil is non-irritating and has never caused any break outs. It does not have an obnoxious smell, and it does sink in relatively well. When I first purchased this oil, I actually asked Herbivore a few questions over Facebook messenger, and they were very responsive! I think a lot of people wonder whether oils should go below or on top of your moisturizer. To keep things simple, and less greasy, I typically mix the two together on my hand, and apply at the same time. Herbivore recommended that you apply the oil after moisturizer, which is the most common answer. However, I find that mixing the two together first leaves you with less of a greasy feel on the face, and I still believe that I am locking in that moisture!
One thing that is inevitable with using facial oils at night is that some is going to get on your pillow case. There is no avoiding it. However, this oil does not stain my pillow, which is great! This is likely because some of the oil does actually absorb into the skin. Even if a slight mark does develop, it washes out.
One thing that I found interesting was that I noticed in September that the colour of my oil had changed! When purchased in January it was a bright orange. By September it had become more of a pale yellow. At first I was concerned, because I wondered if it had gone rancid or was rendered less effective in some way. The oil lives in my bathroom, which has no windows, so it is not like it had been exposed to excess light (the formulation would be further protected though if it was in a non-transparent bottle). So, I asked Herbivore about this, and again they responded promptly.
Altogether, I love how helpful Herbivores customer service has been.
Now the last point to talk about is obviously the hydration. That is the main point of an oil, right? Well yes, I have definitely always woken up with really hydrated skin. I usually find myself ready to wash my face, because so much hydration is there. But these are all good things! Since using this oil I have literally experienced no dry patches.
Overall, I have been not only impressed with this product, but with customer service too! I have had nothing but positive experiences with Herbivore.
I did hear that earlier this year they had to do a recall on their Pink Cloud Moisturizer, which I was actually using at the time. Apparently customers were finding mold in their cream, however, I did not experience this personally. While disturbing, this isn’t altogether surprising given that they use minimal preservatives that are usually of a natural nature. The fact that they handled the situation by issuing a recall is great. That is exactly how a company should handle such a situation, so I see no problems there. One can only hope that they have improved the formulation. I personally stopped using the Pink Cloud Moisturizer because it was a bit on the expensive side and I was using it quite quickly.
Altogether, I think that this is a really nice facial oil. Did it make me glow? I don’t know. Did I wake up with hydrated skin? Definitely. I think most of the battle is finding a formulation that works well for you, and this one definitely did for me. I do find now that I am curious about Herbivore’s other oils. They all sound so nice! I think I am most tempted by the Emerald and Orchid oils.
Have you used any Herbivore products? What has been your experience?