Hello, everyone! Today’s post is a review of the Herbivore Botanicals products included in the Balance & Clarify set. My interest is always piqued when it comes to popular brands and whether they are actually worth the hype. Last year, I tried the Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme and I really loved it, so I was itching to try more from Herbivore. However, the price of Herbivore products is on the pricey side, so I figured that sets are a more affordable way to be able to try their products. The Balance & Clarify set comes in four minis of some of their bestselling products, which includes:
- Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask
- Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion
- Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner
- Lapis Balancing Facial Oil
For reference, I have normal to dry skin that is not particularly sensitive, but is prone to flaking and dry spots. My skin is not acne-prone, but I do have issues with clogged pores, uneven texture and some redness every once in a while.
This set is “specifically formulated for oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin types in need of balancing, clarifying, gentle exfoliation, and light daily hydration”.
As you can tell from this description, the products in this set are not exactly formulated for my skin type, but let me tell you why I purchased it. Despite having dry skin, I get deal with bumps on my skin that are not acne or pimples, but won’t go away unless I squeeze them, which is NOT a good practice! I also suffer from a bit of redness and irritation that comes and goes. I bought this set mainly to try the Prism Glow Potion and Blue Tansy Mask, which are two products that I felt would address these specific skin issues. They retail for $80 and $60 for the full sizes, respectively, while this entire set retails at $62. I thought this was a much better way to test out both products (plus two more) without spending over $100 to try full-sized bottles of skincare that might not even work for me. I hope this review will be helpful specifically for people with my skin type who are interested in this set and wondering if it will work.
One thing to note about Herbivore products is that they don’t use any unnatural preservatives, which I take to mean that they will still contain natural preservatives. However, this lowers the shelf life of their product, and the brand says most will last for 12 months.
Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion
A super lightweight serum featuring a rainbow of natural fruit acids and hydrators to exfoliate, smooth, and clarify skin. The Glow Potion gently resurfaces, evens skin tone, improves texture, increases clarity, and boosts hydration—for your best skin yet, naturally. Bilberry lactic, sugar cane glycolic, orange peel citric, and apple malic acid pair with vitamin C-rich kakadu plum to gently resurface and brighten skin. Rose water, aloe water, and plant-derived vegan sodium hyaluronate are included to soothe and hydrate.
As I mentioned above, this was one of the main items I wanted to try. The Prism Glow Potion is fairly new to the brand, but I’ve had my eye on it since it came out. The Prism Glow Potion is a 5% natural fruit acid blend, which makes it super gentle; of course, like with every single skincare product out there, you have to use your own discretion. For acids in particular, it’s a good idea to start off by using it once a week, then working your way up once your skin has acclimated. My skin is quite hardy and is used to acids, so the Prism potion is gentle enough to wear on an every day basis (although I use it every other day). I don’t see any major results with this; it simply keeps my skin normalized while still being soothing and not irritating on my skin.
While Herbivore warns that it might make your skin tingle, I didn’t feel any tingling sensation with this. Seeing as how gentle this product is, I think this might be a great option for people who want to try AHAs/BHAs for the first time to ease into it, or for people with sensitive skin.
This exfoliator comes in a glass dropper bottle. The dropper itself is a strange shape with a blunt tip, and I’m very confused why they chose this shape considering I feel that the traditional pointed dropper seems to hold liquid better.
This smells quite nice – a subtle floral yet fruity scent that I don’t think would be offensive to anyone. At $80, this is quite an investment to make to your skincare routine. It works well, but it doesn’t give drastic results to someone with hardier skin like me.
One thing to note is that after owning this AHA/BHA for 6 months, this product started to turn amber on me. The colour you see above was taken about January, and it has turned even darker since. I’ve done some searching online and can’t find much about this other than the Herbivore website saying that this is normal due to the natural ingredients in this product.
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Water, Glycerin, Malus Fructus (Apple) Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract (Kakadu Plum), Vaccinium Myrtillus, (Bilberry) Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract.
PURCHASE IN FULL SIZE? No
Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask
This face mask’s star ingredient—blue tansy oil—is naturally high in azulene and a powerful anti-inflammatory that soothes irritated skin and reduces redness. It also contains white willow bark, a natural beta hydroxyl (BHA) that is high in salicylic acid; natural alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs), including papaya and pineapple, that work to gently exfoliate and rid skin of dead cells; and aloe leaf to gently decongest and unclog pores for a smoother, healthier-looking complexion.
The Blue Tansy mask was the other product I mainly purchased this set for. Even though I have dry skin, I have some texture issues with my skin, so anything with AHAs/BHAs and has the word “resurfacing” in the name always sucks me in as I was hoping that this would draw out all the gunk from those bumps that I mentioned earlier that never go away.
When I first opened this up, I found the murky blue/green shade of the mask so interesting – I’ve never used a product in this shade before! It has a slightly goopy but fairly thin consistency. I apply a thin layer of it all over my freshly washed face, and let it sit for 10 minutes. It kind of hardens a little bit as it dries out, but not in the way a clay mask does where you can’t move your face. After 10 minutes, I rinse it off with warm water and follow up with my usual skincare routine.
I didn’t really find this product to be particularly effective. I followed the instructions of using this every day for the first five days, then two or three times a week after that, but it didn’t seem to have any effect on my skin. My face does feel quite smooth upon immediate removal of the mask, but the effects aren’t long-lasting and it doesn’t really reduce any redness the way I thought it would. The brand warns that there might be some slight tingling with this product as well, but I didn’t experience any.
This smells quite strongly of licorice, which is not pleasant to me at all, but luckily, the scent dissipates fairly quickly after applying.
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose (Plant Derived), Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Flower Oil, Jasminum Sambac (Jasmine) Flower Water, Ananas Sativus (Organic Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Organic Papaya) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Organic Papaya) Leaf Extract, Leucidal (Radish Root Ferment).
PURCHASE IN FULL SIZE? No
Lapis Balancing Facial Oil
Lapis Lazuli, a favorite stone of ancient Egypt, is known for its gorgeous deep blue color. Lapis Facial Oil is named for the precious blue oil it contains, Blue Tansy. This quick-absorbing oil holds a component called Azulene which aids in soothing dry irritated skin, reducing the appearance of redness and balancing skin so that it can stop producing excess oil, while protecting against dryness and heat. Formulated for combination, oily, and blemish-prone skin types or any skin in need of balancing hydration. This luxurious formula is made with 100 percent natural and pure plant oils to thoroughly hydrate skin without clogging pores.
Herbivore has three oils in its line, and this was the one I was least interested in trying because it doesn’t fit my skin type. However, I’m always open to trying new skincare regardless. This also contains blue tansy, so it has a similar licorice scent to the Blue Tansy mask, but sweeter. I found this scent to be more bearable, although it fades pretty quickly anyways.
Based on the descriptions, I only used this when my skin had a bit of redness. There was one day when my face broke out in all these tiny red bumps that almost looked like a rash, but wasn’t. After going back and forth between cutting my skincare routine to ONLY moisturizer and letting my skin heal by itself (sometimes piling on skincare exacerbates skin problems), or using the Lapis oil underneath moisturizer to try and soothe the dryness and redness, I decided to give the oil a try. After the first night, I saw a reduction in the bumps, and they weren’t as red. After the second night, they were about 50% cleared, and by the third day, my skin was back to normal. Would my skin have healed on its own? I’m not entirely sure. Part of me wishes I’d only tried this on half of my face as an experiment! But this oil did not cause more issues, and actually felt quite nice on the affected areas.
The lapis oil comes in a glass dropper bottle, and the dropper itself is a traditional dropper shape with a more pointed tip compared to the one in the Prism Glow Potion. I agree with its claim of being quick-absorbing; while it’s not really a dry oil, it absorbs into the skin instantaneously without sitting on the surface or feeling greasy. I think is a big plus for people with oily skin, whom this oil is designed for. I was worried that this would mess with my oil production, but it was actually quite hydrating, and my skin didn’t feel dry either during my use of this product or when I stopped using it. However, I don’t think I get enough use out of this to justify buying a full size.
Ingredients: Amaranthus Squalane Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Capric Triglycerides (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Nut Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Leaf Oil, Jasminum Sambac (Jasmine) Absolute, Rosa Damascena (Moroccan Rose) Absolute.
PURCHASE IN FULL SIZE? No
Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner
Organic Jasmine Water is infused with antioxidant-rich Green Tea and a clarifying combination of Salicin-rich Willow Bark and Aloe Vera. Formulated to reduce oiliness, fight blemishes, and bring balance to combination, oily, calm redness, and blemish-prone skin.
This wasn’t a product that has been on my list of products to try like the Prism Glow Potion or the Blue Tansy mask, but I have to admit that I was still a little curious. I’ve never used a toner that comes as a spray before! I’m not sure how I feel about this packaging. On one hand, you save on using and disposing of cotton pads because you don’t need them for a spray toner. While you erase the need for a cotton pad, I feel like the toner kind of gets everywhere – in your hair, in the air, etc. etc, and you end up wasting product. On the plus side, the spritzer dispenses a very fine mist, so I never feel like I’m getting drenched in the face by a garden hose. The green shade is really pretty…
In terms of order of usage, I spritz this as the first product in my skincare routine to freshly washed skin, then layer other serums and moisturizers on top. Overall, I have found that this doesn’t really do anything. I try not to use it too often as it is meant to help control oiliness It doesn’t calm redness and doesn’t calm blemishes, at least not on me. It’s kinda just like spraying water on my face, to be honest.
I thought this would smell nice and refreshing or floral (I absolutely love the scent of jasmine), but it smells very, very green, and not necessarily in a good “flower shop” way. I don’t hate it, but I know some people would be put off by it.
Ingredients: Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Flower Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Jasminum Grandiflorum Floral Extract,Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract.
PURCHASE IN FULL SIZE? No
Overall this kit was a flop for me, which is not too surprising considering it’s not meant for my skin type. I did enjoy the Prism Glow Potion, but I do feel like my skin needs a stronger active than that to see noticeable results. I also liked the Lapis Oil, although I will not be repurchasing it in the full size as I feel like I don’t need it regularly. Despite this set not working for me, I am still curious about other Herbivore products and will likely try those once I am done with these.
Have you used any of these Herbivore products, and if so, what did you think?