I’m switching up my skincare routine, and I’ve been really impressed with Herbivore Botanicals so far. Their packaging is mostly glass, which is much easier to recycle and has a smaller footprint than plastic, and their ingredients are primarily plant-based and certified organic. I don’t shy away from ingredients made in a lab (even if it comes from a plant, it’s still a chemical, and not necessarily sustainable) but I do appreciate their focus on paired down yet effective formulas and a supply chain that relies on organic farms.
All of their products are made in the USA in small batches and are cruelty free, so they pass my test for sustainability and ethics. The first product I tried was Moon Fruit because I needed a new night treatment and kept seeing it pop up in my Instagram feed. It’s honestly beautiful, and while using a better product should be the the goal even if it’s in truly ugly packaging, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of their presentation.
Even though it may seem like a moisturizer or a cream, this is definitely a serum or treatment to be used first in your routine. It doesn’t spread very far like a cream would, and it has an almost matte feeling, though it’s not drying. This could be because it’s a concentrated oil formulation and doesn’t have water in it. The first few ingredients are organic aloe leaf juice, raspberry seed oil, prickly pear oil, kokum butter, and shea butter, so it makes sense that it has a thicker feel.
I use Phoenix Oil afterwards for its anti-aging effects, then skip a moisturizer cream entirely. You won’t need one. My skin is problematic, having both redness and large pores but also dryness, so I try to do most of my moisturizing at night, then deal with my pores in the morning.
My critique is their claim to include AHAs. Glycolic acid is the most common AHA that I know of, and lemon juice or ground up fruits aren’t going to be nearly as potent. Here’s a quote from Paula’s Choice, a website dedicated to debunking skincare myths:
Citrus, like lemon and lime, or apple juice applied topically can result in irritation, dryness and phototoxic reaction in sunlight (not to mention discoloration of skin.) While sugarcane does contain small amounts of glycolic acid, adding sugarcane to a skin-care product won’t make for an AHA exfoliant.
So, while this does sugarcane extract, the other enzymes probably won’t act in a similar way to actual AHAs, but they’re still good for your skin! Just in other ways, like as antioxidants. Especially in your 20s or 30s, you can get away with some less serious skincare, or just use another product with a chemical exfoliant under this (I’d recommend using it under just because most of the AHA products I’ve used were very light, and might not work as well layered on top of the heavier treatment).
Overall, I’m happy with this. I replaced my Sunday Riley Luna Oil with Moon Fruit, and I’m not sure if I like it more, but it is less expensive. Once I finally graduate and start working full time, I might go back to the Luna Oil, but this is a pretty, sustainable, and effective alternative.