In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews.
Just in time for the sweaty end-of-summer heat that has everyone's pores mass-producing sebum, Herbivore expanded their Blue Tansy line this month with their new Aquarius Pore Purifying Clarity Cream. Along with giving it an iconic ‘60s periwinkle hue, the blue tansy oil in the cream is said to balance oil production in the skin, while white willow bark, a beta-hydroxy acid, rids the pores of excess oil and dead skin, significantly minimizing the appearance of breakouts.
But, of course, the word cream doesn't seem to sit well for those who have oily skin, or those with combination skin types who tend to battle an oily t-zone, flaky cheeks, and excess blackheads. Instead, you'd likely hit purchase on a water-based moisturizer that doesn’t add a greasy residue to your complexion, but only provides a surge of water and softness to your skin during the warmer months. As someone who has dealt with hormonal acne, blackheads, and dry, flaky cheeks paired with a greasy t-zone her entire life, I was excited to see how exactly Herbivore's new Aquarius formula lives up to its claims. Well, I've given this baby blue moisturizer a whirl, and here's what I’ve found.
My Lifelong Journey With Blackheads
If the breakouts I experience along my jaw and chin weren't enough for me to constantly look for new products that will actually work, I also tend to deal with blackheads all along my nose and chin, and have done so my entire like. I even had people in elementary school refer to them as freckles because they were too young to know what clogged pores were just yet. Frustratingly enough, I've never been able to last longer than a week with clear, clog-free skin, even after professional extractions. And I've yet to find a product that completely eradicates them once and for all.
My blackheads have always prompted me to choose a lightweight, water-based moisturizer during the summertime. Of course, these moisturizers are great for my greasy t-zone, but along with enduring a myriad of comedones, I also have combination skin with severely dry cheeks. Water-based moisturizers have always been just fine, but I tend to lose a great deal of moisture in my cheeks towards the middle of the day, even in the summer heat. I always thought, well, this is just the price I have to pay if I want to keep my blackheads at bay. I'll simply spritz my cheeks with a hydrosol throughout the day.
The Specs On The Aquarius Pore Purifying Clarity Cream
Other than this cream moisturizer's shockingly beautiful periwinkle color, the Aquarius Pore Purifying Clarity Cream holds some impressive ingredients within its formula. The star is blue tansy, an essential oil with a host of good-for-your-angry-skin benefits. It is said to soothe breakouts, diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and even help moisturize the skin. It's also what gives this formula its pastel blue color.
As mentioned before, this formula also contains white willow bark, a BHA that many refer to as nature's salicylic acid. It helps to provide a deep clean to congested pores and sloughs off dead skin cells to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Lastly, there’s zinc PCA, which works overtime to promote moisture in the skin while minimizing excess sebum.
How I Use The Cream
Now, these ingredients sound like a one-way ticket to smooth, texture-free skin — but how does it perform in real life? First, I put it to the test by incorporating it into my nighttime routine. Herbivore recommends using this moisturizer both day and night, but I always err on the side of caution with a low-and-slow approach when introducing any new chemical exfoliator into my routine. After using a dime-size amount nightly for a week, I then ushered the Aquarius cream into my morning skin care routine, as well.
I never thought that using a cream moisturizer during the hottest month of the year would be the answer to clear, soft, and radiant skin. But it has a light, whipped-like texture that soaks into my skin almost immediately for a barely there look and feel. I find that I'm able to layer the cream with my typical routine of essences, mists, serums, and sunscreen without ever looking slick.
My skin feels soft and moisturized throughout the day while sporting a radiance that rarely looks slick, even during my long, daily mental health walks around my Brooklyn apartment. In fact, I've almost stopped using blotting papers altogether. It gives me a balanced complexion that I never thought was possible with a single product.
And the long-term effects are certainly worth mentioning — this product finally provided me with my post-extraction blackhead-free nose that I've been coveting for a lifetime. Surprisingly, thanks to the white willow bark, it also provides a gentle exfoliation that makes it look like I've hit rewind on the imaginary clock attached to my skin. Plus, it gives a luminous dewiness I thought was only available after makeup application.
Does This Cream Merit Its Price Tag?
So, does this new addition to Herbivore's product line belong in your routine? It depends on your skin type. This product's intended use is for those with oily and combination skin types prone to acne and blackheads. If this sounds like you, I'd definitely give this product a try. The Aquarius cream provides a balance to my combination skin that I haven't really seen in a while, and it has eliminated every remanence of comedone on my skin with its blue tansy oil and white willow bark BHA. Most balancing and acne-fighting products that actually work can enter the three-digit realm in terms of price—considering this moisturizer is less than $50, I'd say that it's worth every penny for a clear and balanced complexion.
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