You’ve probably seen this facial oil around, it’s definitely been all over my posts and it seems like the company is doing a good job at getting it out there. I’ve received a bottle from the Look Fantastic Beauty Advent Calendar 2017 and the Glossybox January 2018. However, I’ve also been sent a bottle from Dr Botanicals directly and since it is an interesting item, in the present skincare front lines, I though I’d give it a detailed functionality and ingredient review.
I was initially planning on doing a head to head comparison post between this oil and the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum but they both have a huge amount of ingredients and slightly different functions and so I wanted to give them a more individual, detailed attention.
So, is it worth the hype? Does it work? And more importantly, is it worth your time and money?
Here’s my chemist’s verdict:
This facial oil has a light pink colour. Admittedly, I think that really works for the product, it is almost a genius choice. It makes it feminine, interesting, and it gives the bottle the stand out factor. Most importantly, I think it really works because it suits some of the ingredients like for example, the Moroccan rose oil, and it suits the rose like smell too.
However, after looking at the ingredients, I was a little disappointed to figure out that most of the colour, if not all of it, comes from a red dye, the last ingredient on the list, CI 17200 (Red 33). It would obviously been much nicer if the colour came naturally from the ingredients but anyhow, I still think it is a very clever move and it really works.
Although it is labelled as “facial oil”, the texture is actually not oily at all, not even near. It is very watery which is not necessarily a bad thing and it definitely doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work.
The only negative about this is the fact that you cannot really apply this by putting it on your fingers first and then distributing it on the face, as the watery nature of it means that it will run all the way down your fingers and all over your hand. You have to apply this directly on the face. This can be awkward as in your attempts of trying not to touch the dropper on your face (that would contaminate the bottle and be unsanitary) you will have to get into some interesting and funny angles. I also managed to get it into my mouth a couple of times, as the liquid run quickly from my cheek to my lips, which I do not recommend at all. Do not eat this, it is not for consumption! If you are wondering, it tasted really bitter.
Additionally, because of the watery texture, your skin will absorb it very quickly and it will also run all over your face and neck, which means you will need a lot of it. A small, travel size, 15mL bottle lasted me about 2 weeks of everyday, twice a day use. Considering the price, this might be an issue, however, considering the results, it might not!
If there was one thing I would change about this product, it would definitely be its watery texture. It doesn’t need to be oily or thick but it needs to be a little bit more easy and practical to use.
This face oil smells lovely. It has a subtle rose like scent that is sweet but very subtle and almost calming. As I mentioned previously, the scent really matches the pale pink colour of the liquid.
A 30mL bottle retails for £55. Admittedly, it is a steep price, especially since this will last you roughly about a month, if you use it twice daily. However, if you consider the ingredients and the results, it might be worth it. Good skin care often comes with a price tag. Protect your skin now, be grateful later!
The bottle is made of glass and it comes with a dropper. It looks nice and sleek and it obviously looks like some kind of oil or serum.
The branding is minimal, but to the point and the label on the bottle has a strong wood/paper feel to it which is typical of Dr Botanicals. I guess this is meant to give it a more natural appeal.
The outer packaging also has a very strong wood/paper feel to it. It is made of brown cardboard and has the traditional, simple but to the point, Dr Botanicals branding on it.
Strangely, the three bottles I have came with a slightly different outer packaging, not in terms of looks but it terms of information, what it actually says on the pack. This is common, companies do change up their packaging and marketing strategies as well as tune up their formulations however, it was slightly confusing as one of the packaging has a much, much simpler list of ingredients than the other two.
Personally, I don’t really like the rough wood/cardboard feel of the packaging and bottle label but that’s just my preference. It actually suits the company’s brand and it gives it a unique presence.
This face oil has been reported to be suitable for dry, normal and oily skin.
I have oily skin and this definitely helped control extra oil production while not feeling too moisturising or sticky. Definitely works for oily skin.
Note: Do not use this product on broken skin. This goes without saying for all cosmetics and skin care products but especially for this one, as some of the ingredients may not be safe or have not been approved for application on broken skin.
This product is vegan friendly and cruelty free.
This face oil is meant to rejuvenate, renew and protect skin while creating a brighter and more even skin tone.
Obviously, it’s very difficult to know if it rejuvenated, renewed and protected my skin but it definitely brightened and evened out my skin tone. Within 5 days of every day, twice a day usage, I actually noticed that my crate pores where much smaller and almost as if they were part of the skin now. They didn’t look like holes in the face anymore but rather little unevenness on the skin surface. I don’t think that this product claims to reduce pore size but it definitely did on me and it sort of makes sense after looking at some of the ingredients contained.
This facial oil really does work, my skin is much more calm and healthy looking. If it made obvious changes in appearance, one can only imagine that it must have been beneficial on the molecular level too, in rejuvenating and renewing the skin. Definitely worked for me.
Do note however, that I always applied a moisturiser after using it and just in case there is a synergistic/combining effect, I’ve been using the Estée Lauder NightWear Plus Anti-Oxidant Night Detox Crème.
As I mentioned above, the ingredients were slightly confusing as one out of the three packages I received has a much simpler list of ingredients, which is obviously not as impressive as the other two. This is why in my Glossybox January 2018 review, I said that the formulation is surprisingly simple.
It is likely a printing error or perhaps the company recently changed the formulation of the product. Unfortunately, Dr Botanicals does not have a product ingredient list on their website but let’s assume that the more complex one is the actual list, for two reasons:
- Some of the ingredients present in the complex list make sense in terms of the results I got
- The majority, two out of three bottles, have the more complex ingredient list
- Water based formulation.
- Tocopheryl Acetate – this is a more stable form of Vitamin E. It is a hero anti-oxidant molecule with anti-ageing effects and can even help with moisturisation and inflammation.
- Bakuchiol – anti-oxidant, anti-flammatory and anti-microbial. It has a restorative activity when applied twice daily and it can help brighten the skin. It is known as the natural alternative to retinol with less side effects. Its retinol like activity has been reported to help with collagen production and can therefore, be considered an anti-ageing compound too.
- Glycerin – A good skin condition and humectant (locks moisture in). Can help improve the appearance of the skin’s smoothness and moisture content.
- Ethylhexylglycerin – An alternative preservative to parabens. Sometimes used in ointments to treat eczema.
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder – Anti-flammatory, skin conditioning and can partially help against sun damage (it is not a sunscreen!). Some have reported that it can stimulate the production of collagen and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- Ascorbyl Glucoside – Stable form of vitamin C, anti-oxidant. Replenishes skin, makes it smoother, brighter, and younger looking. Can improve uneven skin tone.
- Charcoal Powder – Normally cleanses, exfoliates and gives a healthy glow. It is either suspended or dissolved here and therefore might be fulfilling a different function.
- Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Oil – Skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and anti-ageing effects. It can reduce wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, protect against photoageing and even stimulate collagen production.
- Pumice – A good exfoliator, although its function here might be different.
- Benzyl Salicylate – UV light absorber.
- Glucose – Skin conditioning and moisturising agent due to its ability to bind water.
- Hydrolyzed Pearl – Skin conditioner.
- Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil – A fragrance, astringent, antiseptic, tonic, antibiotic, anti-flammartory agent. Some reports on it being used against itchy skin, acne, eczema and cellulite. It has been reported to calm irritated skin, clear acne, and heal bruises, burns, cuts and eczema.
- Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Seedcake Extract- Skin conditioner, anti-flammatory, soothes itchy, irritated or sunburnt skin. Absorbs UVB, anti-oxidant, emollient (softens and soothes skin), skin replenishing. An almost hero compound.
- Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Flower Oil – Said to replenish skin, reduce pores, help with oily skin, tone and brighten.
- Rosa Damascena Flower Oil – Skin soother and anti-oxidant. Fragrance can have relaxing properties when inhaled. Mixture of compounds including Vitamins. Has UV resistance.
- Sodium Lactate – anti-microbial agent naturally present in the skin.
- Lecithin – A lipid that improves skin equilibrium.
- Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate – A very interesting peptide that excites even a chemist like me. This peptide replicates the effects of a peptide found in an Asian snake and is a safer alternative to botox. It blocks the body’s uptake of sodium which causes facial muscles to relax and therefore, reduces the formation of wrinkles. Anti-ageing.
- Sodium Benzoate – Anti-bacterial and fungi, mainly used as a preservative.
- Lactic Acid – Hydrating properties and can help even out skin tone. It can also used as an exfoliator in concentrations between 5-12% however, I believe that it’s concentration here is much lower than that, possibly lower than 0.6%.
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 – Stimulates collagen production, conditions and helps restore skin. Can reduce wrinkle length and depth as well as skin roughness.
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 – Supresses inflammation which in turn allows the skin to heal faster. Increases skin’s production of hyaluronic acid and can stimulate the synthesis of collagen, all leading to anti-ageing properties and functions. It can reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones, reduce skin roughness, fine lines, thin skin and wrinkles. A high-end compound and a definite hero.
- Parfum (Fragrance) – Nothing against nice scents, however, this term refers to a large amount of compounds not anything specific. It would be much nicer if the full list of compounds present was given, so that people with specific sensitivities would know instantly whether they can use this product or not. Also, I’d like to know the full list of what’s inside a compound I’m putting on my face. Wouldn’t you? Note though that this is a general term used by all companies and on all products, it is not specific to this face oil.
- Large amount of possible sensitizers, allergens and irritants. See list below.
- Lecithin – Generally considered safe but some suspect this to be a carcinogen. However, there is no proof.
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 – Might cause skin discoloration to some.
- CI 17200 (Red 33) – A red dye. Not exactly a negative ingredient, just a little disappointing but at the same time understandable, that they had to colour the solution.
Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:
This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen even products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.
If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.
With that being said, the following compounds present in the face oil have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum (Fragrance), Hexyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Subtilisin, Limonene, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Seedcake Extract, Geraniol, Linalool, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Lactic Acid.
Of course, as we are all different, it might be a different compound that causes you irritation and not one of the common/known ones that I listed above. As I mentioned previously, if you are concerned, try a little bit of this product somewhere else first before using it fully on your face.
There are many more ingredients in this product that I did not mention as they are mostly general skin conditioners, formulation agents etc, nothing too special or worth singling out.
This face oil definitely works and it gave my skin noticeable changes in a very small (for skin care) time frame. It has a huge amount of good for your skin ingredients and even some, what I call, hero compounds, that are absolutely brilliant for your skin.
I only wish it was slightly thicker in consistency, so it’s a little more practical to use, and I truly wished it contained hyaluronic acid too.
Nevertheless, it is still a good product and I recommend it.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa, please leave your comments below!
I’d like to thank Dr Botanicals for sending me a free bottle to review.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
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