When a skincare master like Vered Back launches her first new product in two years, the news is enough to excite a fan frenzy. I, for one, couldn’t wait to snap it up. Let me tell you, Vered Organic Botanicals Herbal Balancing Oil Cleanser is every bit worth the wait.
Not a fan of cleansers
Vered explained to me in a phone call that she was never satisfied with any cleansing products and frankly didn’t enjoy using anything to wash her face. Oils left her feeling greasy and were too hard to deal with at the end of a long day, but lathering options disrupted the pH balance of her skin. So she would use sweet almond oil followed by the Herb-Infused Toner to remove makeup and that was that.
However, as a renowned esthetician, her clients kept begging for a cleanser that would remove makeup prior to toning and could be used on multiple skin types—and they finally convinced her to make one.
Vered sent the Herbal Balancing Oil Cleanser to me in early February, and I’ve been using it since then. (The version that I received has since gotten a masterful tweak and performs even better. Vered sent two small sample sizes of the update. The color is even richer than in the photo and more opaque.)
What makes this cleanser exceptional?
What can I say? It is gorgeousness in a bottle. Here’s why I’m more than a little excited about it.
Vered is an expert in the field of healing skin. She has 27 years of experience as an esthetician and as an herbalist, so when she formulates something, there is wisdom infused into every drop. Not a single ingredient goes into this lavish cleanser without careful consideration and testing as to its purpose and how it will contribute to the overall performance of the product.
The result of her meticulous attention is an oil-based cleanser that’s the perfect fusion between a traditional oil cleanse and a lightly foaming face wash. What’s incredible is that it doesn’t contain any emulsifiers to create a luscious milky lather.
Unlike an oil cleanse, this cleanser is meant to be used with dampened hands and face. The plush golden drops bathe my skin in cushioned comfort thanks to a symphony of oils that lift dirt off the skin. When mixed with water, it gently lathers thanks to a metered dose of Castile soap for a cleanse that does not strip the skin or leave it dry and taut. The more water added, the more it emulsifies and rinses clean.
I like to depress about 7-8 pumps to get a rich amount into my palm—per Vered’s recommendation—and will sometimes repeat to remove all traces of makeup. The cleanser even works well to remove eye makeup without irritating or stinging (something that happens with most cleansers). I’m defenseless against a powerful cleanser that melts off mascara this easily.
Ingredients to calm and soothe
I will say that before I started using this cleanser, my skin had just erupted with bumps under the skin and peeling, thanks to my overly aggressive use of an AHA treatment. (Read: don’t try this at home. Ever.) Despite the raw and sensitive condition, this cleanser didn’t upset it further. Actually, the balancing ingredients helped soothe and calm it down.
It’s no wonder too. Some of my favorite oils make it into this formula, like jojoba oil (the optimum oil for almost all skin types), hemp seed oil (rich in the trifecta of omegas 3, 6, & 9), pumpkin seed oil (amazing for oilier skin types), and almond oil (high in healing vitamin e).
But it also contains several noteworthy surprises: Self-Heal, Speedwell, Echinacea, Lemon Thyme, White Willow Bark, Turmeric (anti-inflammatory), and May Chang, a.k.a. Litsea Cubeba.
Vered explained why she selected some of them.
The power of Self-Heal + May Chang
Self-Heal is high in rosmarinic acid, a well-studied antioxidant. It has astringent, demulcent, and antiviral properties and is great for wound healing. It’s from the mint family, so it is cooling to the skin, making it ideal for burns and scrapes too.
Litsea cubeba, or May Chang, is a gentle astringent with anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties that work overtime to clean pores and heal flare ups. It’s good for a variety of skin conditions.
The essential oil is extracted from the ripened and dried fruits of the litsea cubeba tree, a native of south China, Indonesia and also wildly cultivated in Japan. In combination with the other essential oils, the cleanser has a wonderful citrus aroma.
It is products like this one, formulated by an expert who knows skin well, that raise the bar high and make it challenging to test other cleansers with the same zeal. (Yes, I’m becoming a bit of a skincare snob. Very good for you, my friends and readers, not so great for brands.)
Are you looking for a new cleanser? What else have you tried from the Vered Organic Botanicals line?
Here’s the full list of ingredients
*certified organic * Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis) *Hemp Seed Oil (Cannabis Sativa) * Pumpkin Seed Oil (Cucurbita Pepo) *Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) *Organic Extracts of * Helichrysum Flower (Helichrysum italicum) *Chickweed (Stellaria media) * Speedwell (Veronica Extractum) * Selfheal (Prunella Vulgaris) * Lemon Thyme (Thymus Citriodorus) * Turmeric Root (Curcuma longa) * Echinacea (Echinacea Angustifolia) * Calamus Root (Acorus calamus) * White Willow Bark (Salix alba) * Castile Soap * Vegetable Glycerin *organic therapeutic-grade essential oils: May Chang (Litsea Cubeba) *Tangerine (Citrus tangerine) * Pink Grapefruit (Citrus x pardisi) *Geranium (Pelargonium) *non-GMO Vitamin E