Herbivore Lapis Balancing Facial Oil
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Herbivore Botanicals

Lapis Balancing Facial Oil

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 72.00
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Brand Overview

Herbivore’s Lapis Balancing Facial Oil starts out on the right track with a beneficial blend of plant oils, but the inclusion of sensitizing fragrance ingredients steers things off course.

According to Herbivore, “Lapis Facial Oil is named for the precious blue oil it contains, Blue Tansy.” Blue tansy, also known as Tanacetum annuum, is a fragrant oil that’s a mixed bag of benefits and risks. In unison with the formula’s fragrant jasmine and rose extracts, it can irritate skin. The scent is strong enough to linger on skin, which makes us more leery of the sensitizing potential (see More Info to learn how fragrance impairs skin and can make excess oil and breakouts worse).

That’s unfortunate considering the true superstars of the formula, such as non-fragrant jojoba oil, kukui nut oil and antioxidant-rich vitamin E, provide replenishing hydration that absorbs nicely into skin + provides soothing benefits.

Bear in mind that the see-through glass packaging can reduce the effectiveness of the light-sensitive ingredients (i.e. antioxidants), so you’d need to store this facial oil in a dark place, such as a drawer or cabinet, to limit light exposure and ensure maximum potency.

Check out our list of top-rated facial oils for options that are all-around better for your skin.

Pros:
  • Contains beneficial plant oils + antioxidants.
  • Absorbs nicely into skin.
Cons:
  • Fragranced formula poses a risk of irritation.
  • See-through packaging limits the effectiveness of the formula if not stored properly.

More Info:

 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:
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

Not being gentle to skin can increase oily skin & breakouts: Using irritating ingredients is a  problem for all skin types, especially for those with oily, combination, and acne-prone skin.

Research has clearly established that when skin is irritated, the oil gland at the base of each pore is stimulated to make more oil, creating a perfect environment for breakouts, white bumps, and clogged pores to get worse.

Using a product that is gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin—this is true even if you cannot see or feel the damage taking place.

It is also vitally important to use products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. The gold standard over-the-counter ingredients for these concerns are salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide.

References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25–30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527–532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433–438
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41–53
Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422–427

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Lapis Facial Oil is named for the precious blue oil it contains, Blue Tansy. This oil holds a component called Azulene which aids in soothing dry irritated skin, reducing appearance of redness and balancing skin. Formulated for combination, oily, and blemish-prone skin types or any skin in need of balancing hydration.

Squalane, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Capric Triglycerides, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Nut Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Flower Oil, Jasminum Sambac (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract.

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.

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