Friday, January 19, 2018

REVIEW: Earthwise Beauty Green Leaves and Co. Facial Oil

By now, my Instagram friends must be well aware of my love and devotion towards Earthwise Beauty, an organic, luxurious skincare brand based in the US. Ava, the brand's founder, is well-known for her vast knowledge, passion for herbs, flowers and gemstones, impeccable sourcing of ingredients, flawless formulations and the praiseworthy customer service. And all this is topped by truly unique, highly effective and sensuous products.

I was introduced to Earthwise Beauty through the Boxwalla June 2017 Beauty box which included three popular and truly unique products—Nap in the Meadow, Ruby Facial Oil and Farizad's Veil. Needless to say, I fell in love with these products as did almost every green beauty connoisseur out there. Which is why in this blog post, I want to focus on a different product from the Earthwise Beauty line-up, the Green Leaves and Co. Facial Oil, reviews of which are not so easy to find among the beauty blogging community. After using a sample of this, and while using a full-sized jar, I have come to some conclusions about this product and acne-prone skin in general.

My skin battles:
Before I tell you what this product did for me, I want to give you an idea of what my skin is like. I have acne-prone skin, but not in the conventional sense. I don't suffer from cystic or hormonal acne but I'm forever prone to clogged pores due to whiteheads and sebaceous filaments, and sometimes an odd pimple or two. Because of the clogged pore situation, I tend to have a gritty texture especially on my nose, sides of the nose and chin.

If you Google treatments for such skin type, you'd see salicylic acid as the number one solution, followed by glycolic acid. And trust me, I used both religiously for a couple of years. Bravura London was my brand of choice for these products. My skin, right after treatment with these products, would appear super smooth and almost poreless—a gratifying sight indeed. The salicylic acid seemed like a holy-grail product for me.

The side effects: 
Until I started noticing the side effects of using these chemical exfoliants. After the initial 'wonder' effect wore off in a day or two, I'd be left with a dull/gray complexion and even some form of hyperpigmentation, possibly because salicylic acid is known to increase the skin’s sun sensitivity by 50%, and if you're not careful/adequate about sun protection, you're inviting other harmful skin conditions. And I admit I wasn't adequate in the sun protection dept a couple of years ago because I hated using icky sunscreen creams living in a humid, tropical climate. Sunscreen gels, on the other hand, didn't feel adequate. Most of all, I was using chemicals to exfoliate my skin but not supplying enough hydration. A very well-known side effect of salicylic acid is skin dryness. Over-dry skin leads to overproduction of sebum, thus creating a vicious cycle.

The revelation:
After using the trio of Nap in the Meadow, Ruby Facial Oil and Farizad's Veil, my hydration, nourishment and sun protection issues were addressed immensely. But the acne situation was yet to be resolved. Until...I came across Green Leaves and Co. Facial Oil.

Green Leaves and Co. Facial Oil is an acne-healing facial oil described as "noncomedogenic, fully absorbent, refreshing, creamy-velvety, and antimicrobial in a virgin coconut–virgin jojoba oil base". Until this point, I had only heard about facial oils that targeted aging and wrinkles but this was the first time I heard about an oil blend targeted at acneic skin. Yes, we've all heard about tea tree oil spot treatments, but this promised so much more. I was immediately intrigued.

Consider this. What if your chemical exfoliant was replaced with herbs known for regulating  oil production so that you're not constantly oily and using blotting wipes all the time? What if you use a facial oil that not only purges acne but also nourishes the skin, thus eliminating the chance of excess oil production, a side effect of drying exfoliants? Green Leaves and Co. Facial Oil does all this and more.

The full list of ingredients is as follows:
Virgin cold-press unrefined Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*†, virgin cold-press unrefined golden Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone (rosemary) oil*, Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool (thyme) oil*, hexane-free Viola odorata (violet) leaf absolute*, wildcrafted Lavandula angustifolia (high-altitude French lavender, from Haute Provence) oil, Citrus clementine leaf oil* (from Corsica), Ocimum sanctum (holy basil) oil* (India,), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.
*Certified organic.  †Certified Fair Trade

Green Leaves and Co. contains coconut oil, which typically clogs pores for many, including me. But this oil doesn't! I'm sharing an excerpt from Ava's recent interview with The Boxwalla, wherein she says this about coconut oil:

"A skincare myth you'd like to debunk?
Some will disagree, but I came to believe that cold-press unheated unrefined coconut oil is not pore-clogging. It is a highly cooling oil that has a detoxifying property, which in some cases means a customer may with initial use get breakouts that are impurities, toxins coming up to the surface. This type of detox reaction is more likely to happen if a customer has an acne tendency and has long used suppressing, strongly astringent anti-acne products. With customers who are just beginning to test different topical acne solutions, this reaction is usually brief, nondramatic, or nonexistent. I leave it up to customers to decide whether to hang in there and support the body’s detox through skin-care products and herbs (I often encourage customers to look into light yet effective herbal detoxes, such as Dr. Schulze’s 5-Day Liver Detox or classic Chinese formulas prescribed by an acupuncturist), or to return to skin care products without coconut oil."

What it did for me:
I'm sure you are most interested in reading this part of the blog post. So here's what it did for me:

1) The first thing you notice about this green-tinted oil is its scent. OMG! It smells like fresh green leaves but combined with the most sophisticated violet/lavender and the earthy aroma of petrichor, the smell of earth right after a rain shower, after a long dry period! I have been hunting for products with this kind of scent so I was pleasantly surprised with this discovery. Several Earthwise Beauty customers have also praised the scent, but you can't really know until you smell it yourself. I use it as an aromatherapy perfume, rubbed into my palms and breathed in deeply. It helps me center myself and lift my mood, especially when I'm feeling tired or sulky.

2) I noticed its purging properties when I had a particularly large pimple starting to surface on my chin. It hadn't fully formed so I thought it would be a good time to test this oil. I applied it as a spot treatment one night; by next morning, the spot stayed the same. By day 2 morning and regular spot application, the spot came to a surface. I could see the pus brought up to the surface of the skin. Sorry, gross I know! And by day 3 morning, the spot vanished completely. I'm not kidding. It's like the pus and impurities were pulled out without me touching the spot at all. The only thing I'll say is that for me, even after the pimple goes away, the scar remains for a long time. And this oil is not enough for scar reduction. However, the Ferns and Moss serum has been phenomenal for repairing scars, whatever little I have used of it as a sample.

3) When used as a facial oil all over the face, I notice that it regulates/balances the oil production (my skin is less oily now), while giving my face a hydrated yet velvety-matte look and feel. You don't know what a boon that is for combination skin types. We either get doled out icky/drying gels just because we have oily skin; on the other hand, heavy creams are just too heavy for us.

4) This oil also works great when used with Farizad's Veil. In fact, when I asked Ava, she said that all of her oils can be used during the day as well as night. Combination skin types will appreciate the hydrated yet matte look this oil gives when combined with Farizad's Veil sunscreen powder. I certainly appreciated it in hot weather.

Green Leaves and Co. is a keeper for me for its acne-purging, hydrating yet mattifying, and aromatherapy purposes. If any of these properties interest you and you have acne-prone skin, I urge you to look into it. Try a sample first as I did, especially if you're not confident about how it will benefit your skin.

I apologise for the very long review. I just had so many things to say about this product and I don't like writing just one paragraph about such a good product.

If you decide to get this, let me know how it goes, here or on my Instagram (@skinsleuth). Have a nice weekend! 😙


  1. I too use the Bravura exfoliants... all 3 of them... i have noticed very fine bumps under my skin ... can see in mirror on side of face .. like prickly heat very small... trying to find something to rid... its like the clearer my skin gets the more visible. .. these small bumps.. i too suffer from individual breakiuts but my skin type is dry combination...

    1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean. You know what's funny with chemical exfoliants is that they work brilliantly but only in the short term. The side effect that I experienced is that the sides of my cheeks (pun not intended) had turned a shade of red-purple, almost like bruised skin. It didn't hurt but I could not figure out for the life of me what made these appear on my skin. It was only when I stopped using chemical exfoliants did they disappear. Until then, I didn't even know the two were connected. I had changed nothing else in my routine. You know, Ava is working on a face tonic for oily-combo skins to tackle acne. Let's hope it aims at the bumpy skin you and I experience.