Q&A Herbivore - Plantpowered clean energy for your skin.

Photo: Frazier Nivens

Introducing 100% plant based retinol that will do wonders for your skin with Erica Lang creative marketing manager at Herbivore Botanicals.

We have loved Herbivore Botanicals skincare since the first time we heard about them as their products are 100% powered by nature, ethically sourced and full with vitamins and minerals for our skin. Herbivore has solved our skin issues from spots to dry and dull skin and now they are releasing a 100% natural retinol serum that smoothes fine lines and is totally safe to use in the sun! Retinol will no longer be irritating for your skin and even safe to use while pregnant.

Q: Should we change our skin routines during the hotter summer months?

“Warm weather months call for a skincare refresh! Skin routines will vary depending on the concerns that a person aims to treat, which may be affected by age, diet, stress and overall lifestyle. Generally speaking though, heavier creams and butters should be swapped for lightweight moisturizers; radiance-boosting exfoliators and treatments will be your best combat to dull, cold-weather complexions; and of course, never leave the house without SPF!

Gentle exfoliation will help revive any and all skin types and help the complexion to retain moisture. Our favorite product for this is the just-released Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum, which is perfect for even the most sensitive skin types.”

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Q: Please tell us more about Bakuchiol, what is the difference between this and other retinol products?

“Traditional, synthetic retinol—a derivative of vitamin A—helps to fight acne, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, help fade dark spots, and increase skin cell turnover, but can be very harsh on the skin. And because of the intensity of synthetic retinol, the skin can become too thin, which can decrease its protective capacity against the sun.

Bakuchiol Smoothing Serum, a 100% natural and non-irritating retinol alternative, and contains no fillers or synthetics of any kind. Bakuchiol is safe to use day or night (although we do recommend to apply SPF daily, no matter what!) and is even safe to use while pregnant. Made from the Ayurvedic Babchi plant, Bakuchiol mimics the function of traditional retinol on the skin, encouraging skin-cell turnover and regeneration, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and refining skin’s appearance, but with none of the irritating, skin-sensitizing side effects.”

Photo: Frazier Nivens

Q: We normally use liquid cleansers , why do you recommend bar soaps instead?

“Whether liquid cleanser or a bar soap, the most critical part of any cleanse is to make sure that all impurities are removed from the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.

All of our bar soaps are made with gentle, but effective clays, minerals and oils that deeply cleanse the complexion without ever leaving skin feeling tight or dried out. For particularly oily and blemish-prone skin, our Bamboo Charcoal Bar Soap is excellent for clarifying pores, but is still gentle enough to use daily. Likewise, our Pink Clay Bar Soap and Blue Clay Bar Soap are both skin-softening and each improve the skin’s tone and texture with French Pink Clay and mineral-rich, Cambrian Blue Clay, respectively.

Another reason we love our bar soaps: They are multi-purpose and can be used on the body as well as the face. The rich lather can even be used as a shaving bar!”

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Q: Our skin therapist (where we go to make facials) says that if you don’t exfoliate your skin - any product you put on your skin won’t have any effect because it can’t reach down through all the layers, all the old skin cells needs to be removed first, what do think about that, is that 100% true?

“Our skin is constantly turning over—shedding skin cells in order for fresher, younger cells to push their way to the skin’s surface. But as we age, this turnover process slows, forcing us to find new solutions for sloughing away dead skin that can build up and dull the complexion. Exfoliation is the best way to resurface fatigued, dull skin and is absolutely crucial to any complete skincare ritual. How you choose to exfoliate, and how often, depends largely on your skin concerns, your skin type and sensitivity level.

At Herbivore, we have many types of exfoliating treatments. For the body, our Coco Rose Body Polish uses sugar combined with highly moisturizing virgin coconut oil for skin that is buffed and hydrated with the light scent of coconut and rose petals, while our Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish uses real amethyst crystal powder to reveal calmed, luxuriously soft skin.

For the complexion, we harness the power of natural chemical exfoliants for smoothed skin. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHA), and poly-hydroxy acids (PHAs) work by combining with the lipids in the outermost layer of the skin and dissolving them so that the dead skin cells break away. Essentially, AHA’s, BHA’s, and PHAs break down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together.

Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion is a rainbow of natural fruit acids—bilberry lactic, sugar cane glycolic, orange peel citric and apple malic acids—natural AHA’s that work together to brighten and smooth skin. This super lightweight serum is highly effective, but gentle enough for everyday use, even for sensitive skin types. For a skin-softening nighttime treatment, try Moonfruit Superfruit Night Treatment, also brimming with fruit acids to gently exfoliate and brighten skin by morning, or (our brand new!) Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum, a formula that includes PHAs, which are gentle and safe enough for everyday use.

Enzymatic exfoliants are a more mild exfoliating option and are great for sensitive skin types. Both Brighten Instant Glow Mask and our Blue Tansy Resurfacing mask contains pineapple and papaya enzymes to gently exfoliate the skin to reveal a softened complexion that glows. Additionally, Brighten Mask contains rice powder, a gentle physical exfoliant for twice the buffing power! Blue Tansy Mask is an excellent exfoliating treatment for acne-prone skin in particular because it contains white willow bark: a natural BHA high in anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, clarifying Salicin.”

Q:  What’s the secret behind your marketing success?

“At Herbivore our mission statement is “Beyond Clean Beauty.” It speaks both to our promise to create beautiful skincare that is truly natural, and the responsibility we have to make our world a better place for all. Our goal is to always represent ourselves and the people we employ in the most authentic way possible, and so we use the power of the Herbivore brand to advocate and support causes that align with our values and that are dear to our hearts. I believe that this genuine call to service engages our community and helps grow our cause.”

Q: Please describe in what way you work to make our world a better place for all?

“In 2018 we’ve donated portions of our sales to Oceana, Women for Women International, Trans Women of Color Collective, Queer & Trans Youth Music Project, and Americans for Safe Access and we’ve raised over $40,000 for these communities.

This year, we partnered with Clear Blue Sea to assist their mission to eliminate plastic pollution from our oceans. In May and June, we donated proceeds of every Phoenix Facial Oil sale to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) as they combat the suppression of women’s reproductive health rights in the USA. We continue to donate portions of each sale of Prism Exfoliating Glow Serum to support LGBTQ+ charities and organizations (currently, we are fundraising for Immigration Equality). Additionally, $1 of every Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil and Emerald CBD sale continues to support Americans for Safe Access.”

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Q: What would be your most important to go products?

“It’s so difficult to choose, but my favorite potion at the moment is Phoenix Facial Oil layered on top of our latest release, Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum. My skin feels revived and nourished after using this combination and the texture of my skin has never been better—perfectly smoothed, plumped and deeply moisturized.

I also love all of the Herbivore body oils and I currently have Jasmine and Coconut Body Oil in rotation for the summer. Another of my favorite combinations is using Jasmine Body Oil after exfoliating with Amethyst Body Polish. The divine scent of jasmine sambac oil stays lightly on my skin all day and reminds me of summers in Los Angeles.

When I travel, I always have the Mini Facial Oil Trio with me. I love to have vials of each of the oils when I’m away from home to mix-and-match treatments for whatever my skin might be craving.”

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