First Impressions – Herbivore Botanicals

As a packaging designer I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, doing research. One of the brands I kept coming across was Herbivore Botanicals. At first I thought they were just a packaging concept, but imagine my delight when I discovered they were an actual company making cosmetics out of Seattle.

Founded in 2011 the company focuses on making high quality, natural, sensorial beauty products. From skincare to salt sprays every product has been carefully formulated and beautifully packaged.

Now, a lot of natural beauty brands don’t work for me. I have very sensitive skin, which breaks out with certain natural ingredients. Oils make me break out, and Witch Hazel makes my skin crack and peel. I really wanted to try Herbivore out though so I researched their ingredients and decided to purchase their Soap Trio.

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I have very oily skin for most of the year but it gets extremely dry in winter. I thought the trio would be a great way for me to get a taste of what Herbivore had to offer, while also allowing me to transition through the seasons. I also really like using bar cleansers, so their formula seemed perfect!

My package arrived in the mail a few days later and I was so enthralled by the packaging and all the little details. The clay-based soaps were amazingly pretty, and I ended up using them as face and body wash! I’ll be breaking down full reviews of each of the soaps in future posts, but today I wanted to focus on my first impressions.


Bamboo Charcoal: This soap is actually black! We’re talking dark, scary, midnight black. I love products that contain charcoal, especially when I’m on the verge of breaking out. You could tell by the smell (very straightforward, but not overpowering) that this had a lot of charcoal in it. There was also a slight grit to the bar which I felt would help in terms of gentle exfoliation. Meant to detoxify oilier, acne prone skin type I have to say that this has become my go to cleanser for those times when I break out. It definitely delivers on its promises.


Pink Clay: At the opposite end of the spectrum, Pink Clay is a gentle hydrating cleanser for sensitive skin. The bar itself is a smooth peachy-pink, and smells like France. (Or what I imagine a picturesque country landscape in France would smell like.) I first used this when I was recovering from an allergic reaction that had blistered the bottom half of my face. It was indeed gentle and soothing and has become my go-to for when I’m recovering from sensitivity issues. Out of all the bars, this was my favorite.


Blue Clay: Blue Clay was actually slightly green, with flecks of dark brown and black. It smelled like a beach vacation, and is intended to balance and clarify combination skin types. I found that it left my skin pleasantly nourished, with significantly less shine in my oilier areas. A fantastic everyday cleanser, I felt like I was at a European spa every time I used it. The only downside is that some of the exfoliating particles could be a bit sharp – but I suppose that’s what you should expect when using a natural product. I probably won’t buy this again, but it did deliver on what it promised.

Overall I was quite impressed with Herbivore. I will definitely be making additional purchases, so look out for future posts! Right now I have my eye on their Brighten Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask. Let me know if there are any more Herbivore products you think I’d enjoy, or if you’d like any specific reviews. And don’t forget to check back for more detailed reviews of each cleanser! I’ll add the links here once they’re published!


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