Jasmine Green Tea Water Balancing Toner
Herbivore’s Jasmine Green Tea Water Balancing Toner has a transparent cool-green hue that looks soothing, but appearances can be deceiving. As it turns out, this mist-on toner is more likely to upset skin than it is to “balance” it, due to the irritants that it contains.
Among the formula’s issues, you’ll find a high concentration of witch hazel water. While this form of witch hazel is not as potent as the extract or distillate variety, it still has potential to irritate and impair skin. That combined with the jasmine-infused fragranced formula spells trouble… especially for the oily/breakout-prone skin that this toner is marketed to. (See More Info for a deeper dive on how these irritating ingredients impact skin.)
As for the self-proclaimed “salicylic acid-rich willow bark,” although it has soothing properties, it hasn’t been shown to function as an exfoliant, so we wouldn’t count on any “clarifying” action there.
What this toner has going for it is its green tea extract + other plant-based antioxidants that help strengthen and revitalize skin. Just keep in mind that the clear bottle packaging exposes them to light, which destabilizes those ingredients prematurely. The solution is to store this toner in a dark place (i.e. drawer or cabinet) to ensure maximum benefit.
The bottom line: You’re better off with a toner that treats your skin to only the beneficial ingredients and none of the irritating ones. We’ve compiled those kinds of formulas on our best facial mists & toners page.
- Formulated with green tea extract + other beneficial plant-based antioxidants.
- Fine mist feels refreshing on skin.
- Witch hazel water poses a risk of sensitizing/impairing skin.
- Fragrant jasmine adds to the irritation factor.
- See-through packaging limits the effectiveness of the formula if not stored properly.
Sensitizing, harsh, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!
Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.
Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.
A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don’t get lulled into thinking that if you don’t see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.
Generally, it’s best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there’s no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.
References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Organic Jasmine Water is infused with antioxidant-rich Green Tea and a clarifying combination of Salicylic Acid-rich Willow Bark and Aloe Vera. Formulated to bring balance to combination, oily, and blemish-prone skin.
Herbivore Botanicals got its start when Julia Wills and her husband Alex Kummerow started making soap in their kitchen in Seattle in 2011. The couple began selling those soaps at local farmer’s markets, then opened up a shop on arts & crafts site Etsy. As the story goes, national retailers Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters reached out to the pair to sell their products in their stores. That led to beauty giant Sephora taking notice and a couple of years later, Herbivore proper was born.
Herbivore’s core philosophy is on natural skin care, a constantly growing market with a lot of interest. The brand’s site states that its products are chemical-free and non-toxic, though those terms aren’t meaningful (or, in the case of chemicals, accurate) descriptions. Nature is full of chemicals – water, after all, is a chemical! – so none of these products is chemical-free, and no skin care product sold in the U.S. is toxic when used as directed. In short, people aren’t dropping dead from skin care and makeup, despite the occasional dire reports alleging such likelihood.
Specific to Herbivore’s products, they offer moisturizers, toners and face mists, masks, exfoliants, facial oils, and scrubs. In line with many natural-themed brands, a daily sun protection product isn’t part of the mix (yet) even though it’s the most important skin care product you can use.
While most of the products have some positive antioxidant ingredients, all of them have fragrant components known to put skin at risk for irritation. Yes, these fragrances are naturally-derived (often from essential oils or flower extracts), but fragrance, regardless of its origin, is not good for skin.
Another issue is that clear packaging and jars are used for many Herbivore products, yet this type of packaging exposes the beneficial ingredients inside to light and air, reducing their effectiveness with each use.
While we appreciate Herbivore’s desire to bring naturally-derived skin care to the masses, it would be better if the brand skipped the fragrance and focused on the non-fragrant natural ingredients (and there are many of them!) that truly have benefit for skin. Ironically, many of the natural ingredient this brand uses do have some benefit for skin; it’s just that they also present risks. There are plenty of natural ingredients that only offer the good stuff, so our recommendation is not to compromise.
You can find out more about Herbivore at https://www.herbivorebotanicals.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.