Agave+ Nighttime Lip Therapy
Bite Beauty’s Agave+ Nighttime Lip Therapy promises “more supple lips overnight,” and it really does feel nice, but a couple of snafus hold it back from greatness.
Housed in plastic pot, this “balm-to-oil” formula melts into lips as it glides on, imparting rich glossy shine. We wouldn’t rank it in the top tier for “all night long” hydration since the formula doesn’t adhere as long as some other lip masks/balms we’ve tested, but it still does a good job of coating lips with a moisturizing barrier of beneficial plant oils and emollients for a few hours—all without a sticky/tacky feel. True to claim, lips are left looking and feeling soft, smooth and supple.
As for the antioxidants that Bite Beauty highlights, their effectiveness is cut short by the jar packaging. That’s not a total deal breaker as the formula has other benefits to offer—we just don’t want you to get your hopes up in that regard. See More Info to learn more about why jar packaging isn’t ideal.
The bigger disappointment is the inclusion of fragrance-based ingredients, such as limonene and linalool, that are known to be irritants, possibly compromising lips’ delicate barrier with long term use (see More Info). Granted they’re not in high concentration but omitting them altogether would have been a safer bet. The formula also contains non-sensitizing flavoring agents which lend a sweetness if you happen to inadvertently lick your lips during wear.
The bottom line: Agave+ Nighttime Lip Therapy delivers on soft, smooth hydration but isn’t as “therapeutic” as it’s made out to be. Peruse our top-rated lip care reviews for superior options.
- Balm melts into lips, imparting a moisturizing barrier + supple shine.
- Creates a plush, smooth feel—not sticky or tacky.
- Leaves lips soft.
- Contains potentially irritating fragrant ingredients.
- Jar packaging isn’t ideal.
Jar Packaging: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight is also problematic for these ingredients.
Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, especially in water-based formulas, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin.
References for this information:
Molecules, July 2018, ePublication
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
A hydrating lip sleeping mask in a decadent, balm-to-oil formula, with a dreamy chamomile-bergamot scent, for more supple lips overnight.
Strengths: Richly pigmented Cashmere Lip Cream; several beautiful lip color options; a couple balm-like products to soothe chapped lips; good lip exfoliant; the bulk of the formulas contain natural ingredients that are beneficial (or at least not harmful) for the skin and lips.
Weaknesses: Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil is extremely irritating; some of the lip colors tend to bleed; flavored formulas are tempting to lick off, which can lead to chapping and dryness; not all their ingredients are natural, many products contain synthetic coloring agents Bite Beauty is a Canadian-based cosmetics company centered on lip-care and lip-color products formulated with natural ingredients. Although the natural spin is attractive to some consumers, it doesn't necessarily translate into better or safer cosmetics (read this article for more info).
As a nice change of pace (and as mentioned above), the majority of Bite Beauty's formulas do indeed contain natural ingredients that are beneficial (or at least not harmful) for the skin and lips. The exception is the Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil, which contains an irritating amount of peppermint oil. The preponderance of natural ingredients doesn't make these products inherently better, but if a product being "all" natural is important to you, then you should know that some of the Bite Beauty products contain synthetic coloring agents.
Bite Beauty takes things even further, saying that their products are "healthy enough to eat" (hence the name Bite Beauty). We certainly don't recommend eating your cosmetics; just because an ingredient comes from a natural source and is then formulated into a cosmetic doesn't mean it's edible!
As a matter of fact, Bite Beauty's naturally flavored products make it tempting to lick your lips, which in the long run can lead to chapping and a cycle of constantly applying more flavored lip balm, licking it off, then feeling the urgent need to apply more, and none of these lip products should be eaten. For vegans, you should be aware that some of these products contain lanolin, which is an animal-derived ingredient. There's nothing wrong with lanolin, but a cosmetics company selling their products as edible should be more forthcoming with this issue for those who wish to avoid animal-derived ingredients.
Another big marketing ploy is Bite Beauty's claims about their products containing the antioxidant resveratrol, in amounts equivalent to five, ten, or fifteen glasses of red wine, depending on the particular product. This is a meaningless claim, and here's why: First, we hope they don't mean a dual benefit; that is, being able to eat your lipstick and get resveratrol onto your lips and into your body. Second, while resveratrol is a great antioxidant, how much you need to gain a health benefit is unclear from the research. Third, the amount of resveratrol in an average glass of red wine ranges from 0.2 to 2.0 mg, which isn't much. Plus, if you want resveratrol, you can buy resveratrol supplements that contain 100500 mg per capsule!
In short, resveratrol is a good antioxidant, when applied topically or when consumed; just don't get caught up in thinking it will work wonders for your lips. Clearly, Bite Beauty is capitalizing on a buzz ingredient here, and skin care, especially for the lips, is never as simple as one ingredient, however good it may be.
Those issues aside, in terms of performance, Bite Beauty does have some standout products, including their richly pigmented Cashmere Lip Cream. The price point is on the high end for lip care (you can find less expensive options on our Best Lip Products list); you certainly don't have to pay this much to get a good lipstick or gloss. However, if the price isn't an issue for you, and you find the allure of natural ingredients hard to resist, then this line is worth checking out.
Bite Beauty is sold exclusively at Sephora; the brand also has a flagship store in New York.
For more information about Bite Beauty, call 416-961-1234 or visit www.bitebeauty.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.