After over a decade of testing different types of facial oils from low-end to high-end and everything in between, I think I’ve finally found my Holy Grail skincare oil! I literally just sighed out loud with relief as I typed that sentence! It felt so good… 😁🙌✨🙌
Facial oils have been all the craze in green beauty, many of which hold bold claims of producing miraculous results. It can be hard to navigate the world of oils and to find an oil that meets all of your skincare needs. When Ava, the owner of Earthwise Beauty, released Black Locust, I didn’t think it would be the oil for me, since I usually run for the hills whenever I see “aging” as the primary skintype the product is marketed for. Products designed for aging skin tend to be too thick for my oily skin. Despite being 32 and seeing signs of aging creeping up faster than ever before, most anti-aging products tend to be very pore-clogging and are geared towards dryer skin types, in general. Although Black Locust is indeed an anti-aging facial concentrate, it holds a multitude of plant extracts and oils that address acne and other skin issues (psoriasis, eczema, dryness, wrinkles, texture, etc) in a truly unique and mind-blowing, dare-I-say, miraculous way! Black Locust immediately produced visible results on my skin and quickly weaved its way into my heart with each day of use, reminding me that even a woman with the most finicky of skin can find a facial oil that sets her soul ablaze! 🎉
Since the beginning of my green beauty journey back in 2008, I’ve struggled with facial oils because they always have these bold claims to address acne and have almost always made my acne worse 🤷♀️. The only oil I can honestly say without a doubt in my mind, prior to Black Locust, does not clog my skin is passionfruit seed oil, which is what I went back to after my last skin freak out (see photo below) from using skincare that didn’t agree with me as well as the concealer from Fitglow (great concealer for the eye area, but it’s never going near the rest of my face, again!). I was trying too many different skincare products at the same time and was even mixing Black Locust into other serums without experiencing it by itself. We all do that, right? When we get super excited about new skincare, we can’t just use one thing, we have to try allll the new stuff! 😅 Then the breakout that would never heal happened and I really paired down my skincare routine and stuck with my tried and true Earthwise Beauty products (see my Earthwise Beauty Brand Spotlight Blog post for more details!).
In the morning and at night I wash with Marshmallow Suds Cleanser and use a combo of Nap in the Meadow serum & Resiliency serum with two drops of Black Locust in the morning (up to four drops at night) and mix it all together in my hand. I mist liberally with Cistus & Moonlight Hydrosol, which works wonderfully to tone the skin and diminish my enlarged pores, while creating a moist surface for the serums to absorb into. I make this as zen an experience as possible (with a two year old wandering around close by 😂) as I massage it into my face, under my eyes, my eye lids, and down my neck. Any product I have leftover on my hands, I run down my decollete, back of neck and shoulders to be fully emersed in the sensory experience of plant healing at its finest. 😊
Here is a photo of the wicked breakout of Winter 2018:
I woke up the next day and the blemished area on my cheeks that would not stop filling and re-filling, was flat for the first time since it formed (a month prior!). The healthy areas of my skin were simply glowing from within in ways that I never dreamed possible.
With each day of consecutive use, the discoloration faded more rapidly than I’ve ever witnessed in the past and my skin became more and more buoyant (which I believe is what Ava means when she says the skin becomes thicker?😃). Aging and troublesome skin becomes thinner over time due to a loss of moisture, collagen and healthy skin tissue formation. Black Locust uses plant extracts that have been recently proven to address these major concerns like never before, without all the side effects of conventional skincare.
What makes Black Locust unique:
Black Locust has the scientifically studied bakuchiol extract from the Ayurveda babchi herb, and two types of extracts from the wildflower white lupine. This facial concentrate serum is full of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other phytonutrients for firmer, more elastic, and thicker “buoyant” skin. During one of the conversations I had with Ava about how Black Locust was helping my skin so much, she stated that, “I would credit primarily the babchi extract and the two seabuckthorn extract types in Black Locust, but the lupine extracts stimulate healthy collagen production, so I think they also play a role. One thing that is a differentiator in Black Locust is that the ratio of plant extracts is high to carrier oils, while it is nonsensitizing because the “actives” are nutritious, not the peeling type.” I could listen to Ava talk about skincare until the end of time 😂😊.
This brings me to bakuchiol, a scientifically studied extract from the babchi herb used in Ayurveda & Chinese medicine that is purported to visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles and acne in a very similar way to retinol without all of the skin-sensitivity, flaking, & photosensitivity pitfalls of retinol. Bakuchiol also remains active in direct sunlight, so it can be applied day or night! This natural alternative to retinol has proven itself “in many side-by-side studies of retinol and bakuchiol, bakuchiol was found to have a very comparable effect in areas such as reducing acne, lowering inflammatory response, diminishing wrinkles, stimulating production of new healthy collagen, and inhibiting the peroxidation of squalene. Bakuchiol has been shown to improve aging skin in several categories (wrinkles, roughness, dryness, uneven skin tone, lower elasticity, etc.), and to cause a significant (57%) improvement in acne in seven weeks.” (quote from Ava’s Black Locust product info page)
I can personally attest to ALL of these claims, which I don’t think has ever happened to me before! My very oily skin was experiencing rough patches and dryness in certain areas. I could see my mineral makeup sitting on top of my skin, separating in the dry areas like sandpaper, and Black Locust smoothed all of that dryness out in rapid speed. My pores are also notably diminished and the skin that doesn’t have post acne scarring looks healthier and more radiant than it has ever looked in my life! Or well, since puberty 🤣.
My acne is not cured from Black Locust, as I’m still getting sporadic breakouts here and there, especially during ovulation, which seems to be more of a trigger for me than my period. Being a woman is so much fun, right? 😀 But, it has much improved, overall, and when the breakouts do occur, they heal much more quickly and hyperpigmentation is much more quickly reduced. This is also my initial review, as I’ve only been using it by itself in the way I described above for almost a month. I’m very excited to see what the future may hold with continued use! The studies done on acne had a 7 week window and a moderate reduction of acne by 57%. So, it may not be a cure-all, but may be just what you need to bring your skin to the next level of where you’d like it to be! And you never know, it just may prove to be your new favorite, plant-powered miracle oil whether you struggle with acne or not!
Some other standout ingredients in Black Locust taken from Ava’s description on earthwisebeauty.com:
” Lupine seed: In Ava’s tests of wrinkle-reversing plant ingredients, she was particularly impressed by the results from gentle, non-invasive extractions from white lupine seeds. Our lupine extracts have been scientifically proven to improve wrinkles, skin firmness, skin elasticity, and sagging facial contour.
Seabuckthorn berry: This vitamin-E- and carotenoid-rich berry is one of the superfoods for the skin. We used two types of seabuckthorn extracts in Black Locust; one extract from the whole berries (seeds and pulp), and one just from the pulp. The seeds are oily and contain linoleic acid (omega-6) and α-linolenic acid (omega-3), but using too much of the seed or whole-berry extract could create a pore-clogging product. So we supplemented the whole berry oil with an extra dose of just the fruit-pulp extract, which boosts the incredible range of seabuckthorn’s tocopherols and tocotrienols (vitamin E compounds) and carotenoids (including beta-carotene and lycopene). We have found that unrefined seabuckthorn extracts improve eczema, psoriasis, acne, and other skin disorders, and help the skin recover a healthy and even coloring.
Calendula: Quality calendula extractions excel at normalizing the skin, helping with stubborn dryness, roughness, eczema, psoriasis, cold-sore outbreaks, and acne. Calendula adds significant skin-softening benefits and helps the skin recover an even tone.
Açai berry: This very light oil, derived in this case from whole açai berries, has superior acne-reducing and skin-soothing benefits.
Kalahari melon seed oil: This oil has been one of Ava’s favorites when formulating for dehydrated or dehydration-prone skin. Many acne-prone skins thrive on this oil as well.”
Pricing & ingredients:
At $90 for 1/2 an oz, Black Locust is definitely up there in terms of price (I honestly can’t think about it for too long 😅). There’s no way around that. I rarely sugar-coat things in life. All I can say is that there are some products that are ridiculously priced and have no reason to be that price other than fulfilling a “luxury” status or symbol. Ava’s line is pricey because everything is handmade in small batches, each ingredient is carefully sourced, and the ingredients used are rare & pricey in and of themselves. I feel good about supporting small female-owned & operated businesses like Earthwise Beauty. I’ve already tried to figure out how many drops one bottle has (about 250 if you’re curious) and how long it will last me if I continue to use so much each day. The good thing about Black Locust is that since it is a facial oil concentrate, it can be mixed with other oils or balms you love and if you’re only using one or two drops at a time, it will last a very long time and the results will be well worth your investment. I used a lot to test results when my skin was in dire need of help, but I’ve been using less for the last few days and this serum is potent enough where I still see marked results!
Ava also always offers the option to purchase a deluxe sample size of .17oz for $38 so you can get a feel for the product to discover if it’s worth the investment for your skincare needs & goals. The coupon code Clarity15 saves you 15% off one order, as well! You can shop at earthwisebeauty.com & be sure to read Ava’s detailed product descriptions!
Full ingredients: Euterpe oleracea (açai) fruit oil†, Citrullus lanatus (Kalahari melon) seed oil†, Lupinus albus (white lupine) seed oil and extract, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil unsaponifiables, Hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) fruit CO2 extract* or †, bakuchiol from Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Calendula officinalis flower CO2 extract*, Sambucus nigra (black elderberry) fruit extract, Rhododendron anthopogon essential oil†, Warburgia ugandensis (greenheart wood) essential oil†, Michelia champaca flower CO2 extract or absolute†, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.
*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted.
All absolutes are hexane free whenever available.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch.
This is hands down the most impressive facial oil I’ve ever experienced and I highly recommend giving it a try! Black Locust was kindly gifted to me by Ava during the holidays so that I could offer my input from a woman with temperamental, oily, acne-prone skin with aging concerns. And now that I’ve fallen in love, I’ve already made a contingency plan of how I’m going to afford to keep this serum in my life moving forward because I can’t be without it!
The olive green hue and the inviting, whimsical soft scents of seabuckthorn berry mingling with the plant extracts of champaga flower makes this a true joy to behold. I feel that Ava’s products are not only rejuvenating to the skin, but to the very soul. Each synergistic blend, carefully formulated and prepared by hand, intermingles with one’s skin to heal the root source of what needs to be addressed the most. It’s unlike anything that can ever be found in conventional beauty or any product that is formulated by a distant chemist that is creating on a surface level. Earthwise Beauty transcends this surface level by providing vibrational skincare that resonates with the user in a way that truly has to be experienced in order to be fully understood. 🙏💖
I hope you found this post helpful! My goal is to empower you to never give up on achieving the skin you’ve always dreamed of!
Love & Light, 💞✨
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