I haven't used beauty products for the past 7 years, until this summer when I finally figured out that truly natural ones do exist. I decided to test out a few select brands, ones with ingredients that I recognize and trust. One of those brands was Herbivore Botanicals, and oh man am I glad I went for it!
Let me paint you a picture of summer in New York City: hot, sweaty, grimy. We all walk around in this swampy environment doing our best to give off that quintessential summer glow - or at least to look presentable as opposed to melting. For me, summer brings frizzy hair, a buildup of icky oils and dirt on my face, and extreme flare-ups of eczema in all of my sweaty creases and clothing contact points (think waistband, armpits, backs of the knees...). I'm certainly a special case when it comes to skincare, with my lifetime of eczema and sensitivities preventing me from using conventional products, and effectively scaring me away from trying anything containing ingredients that aren't specifically plant based. But even if you don't have the caveats of my cranky skin, you can feel great knowing that when you use Herbivore Botanicals, you are using truly natural, non-toxic, beautifully simple ingredients that won't provoke nasty reactions.
I got a huge kick out of reading Herbivore Botanicals' ingredient list for the first time - Lactobacillus Ferment used as a preservative?! How cool is that. In my years of trial and error around what works for my skin and what doesn't, I've discovered that probiotics, like Lactobacillus, when either ingested or topically applied, help my inflammation not only go down but actually heal on a longer-term basis. So, yes, I am feeling great about spraying this friendly bacteria all over my body! The rest of the ingredients in any given Herbivore Botanicals beauty product are quickly recognizable (and pronounced, if you're into that rule) as either herbal, or edible. Each ingredient "is there for a specific therapeutic reason," meaning no fillers or unnecessary additions. To me, that's what natural really means.
In addition to 100% natural, non-toxic ingredients, Herbivore Botanicals ticks off a whole host of sustainability boxes on my list. Recyclable packaging in the form of pretty glass bottles and easily removable plastic spray caps not only assist the fight for less waste, but also make my shelf look adorable. My love of indie, hand-made brands is fed by knowing that Herbivore Botanicals makes all of their products in small batches out of a mini, Seattle-based studio. Their products are always vegan, and never tested on animals. Oh, and they smell amazing, making every use feel like a little spa moment!
Herbivore Botanicals has many gorgeous beauty products on offer, and I'm willing to bet that they're all pretty darn effective. The four below have been my favorites of the season, my summer heroes you could say. I'd love to know what you think of these four products and the rest of those on offer over at Herbivore Botanicals in the comments below!
1. Sea Mist Texturizing Salt Spray
Beach hair. It's a fun, sexy concept, but can rarely be achieved with success, unless of course, you're actually at the beach. If you're anything like me, your beachy waves are perfectly textured when you're off on a deserted island with no one around to witness, but the second you encounter humidity in the city (and impressionable onlookers) your waves morph into a frizzy mess of tangles. Well, Herbivore Botanicals is here to change all that.
My favorite way to use the Sea Mist Texturizing Salt Spray is to spritz all over on dry hair, then spray on my hands and run my fingers through the roots. This helps keep the ring of frizz around my face in control while simultaneously amping up the volume of my waves. I've also generously sprayed the Sea Mist on wet hair, resulting in textured, allover waves upon air-drying. Another major bonus to the Sea Mist is that it acts as a dry shampoo, getting rid of greasiness and breathing life into limp locks when you just don't have time for a full shower.
2. Coco Rose Body Polish
While I'm a huge fan of slathering my body in coconut oil for super-moist and soft skin, that can be a bit messy (think stained clothes and sticky sheets). Herbivore Botanicals' Coco Rose Body Polish gives me the moisturized skin I need without the mess. The roughness of the sugar crystals combined with hydrating coconut oil and shea butter leaves my skin feeling so smooth and soft. It feels as if my skin has just downed a glass of ice cold water when I step out of the shower. Even for my skin, no lotion is needed after I've scrubbed down with coco rose. The heavenly scent of Moroccan rose petals adds an element of self-indulgence, making every shower with this body polish a special event.
3. Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist
While my SW Basics face cleansing routine (more on that later!) does a great job of keeping oil and grime buildup at bay, there are still days where I need a little cleansing in the middle of the afternoon. Herbivore Botanicals' Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist is the perfect thing to keep in my purse, ready and waiting to be whipped out on those occasions. The witch hazel and hibiscus cut through oil and sweat to tone and tighten pores, making me presentable for work, events, or going out to a nice restaurant without having to rush home and wash my face first. Coconut water, rose, and aloe vera balance out the astringents to moisturize and keep my face looking and feeling soft, healthy, and glowing. This little spray magic is one item that I've kept in my purse all summer long and would absolutely consider an essential!
4. After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist
Personally, I never would have purchased this little spray bottle of easy hydration, but I was lucky enough to receive a free sample from Herbivore as a thank you for including their products in the EWC's Spring Style Swap. Little did I know, that this After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist is an excellent antidote to a mild sunburn. I had the opportunity to properly test it out last week after a trip to Fort Tilden beach in the Rockaways, during which I neglected to apply sunscreen on my legs. My normal remedy for a sunburn is coconut oil, which works like a charm, but, as we've discussed, is a messy option. Instead of going for glistening, oily shins, I decided to give this spray a try, and it has worked like a charm!
Easy to spritz on before going to bed or walking out the door, this spray has aloe in it to help heal that sunburn and prevent peeling. The addition of mint and lavender essential oils add a cooling, soothing effect while witch hazel keeps everything from getting gunky. I wouldn't recommend this for a severe sunburn, since it isn't quite as intensive as you would need it to be, but for a burn on the mend or something mild, this easy mist is perfect.