A Face Oil Fail... and Three Alternatives

Emerald CBD Review + Other Face Oil Faves


During the Sephora sale earlier this year, I brought the Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil into my life. With high hopes I might add. CBD is all abuzz right now, and my expectations were that it could calm redness and give me some decent hydration. These are generally my summer skin ailments that need a little healing. Unfortunately, I found it to be a little bit of a dud and for the high price of $58, couldn’t justify keeping it in my beauty cabinet. After a while with it, time to review.

Was it moisturizing? Sure. But I found that it didn’t absorb quite as effectively as other oil favorites. I also didn’t notice any redness improvement on the spot, or, after using it for several successive days. I also found that it didn’t have enough other “good stuff” in it to sub in for any of my other brightening or age-defying products and its thick texture didn’t mix well into a skin care cocktail with any of these other essentials in my beauty routine. I’m certainly not above an investment face product, but in terms of value-for-money this one just didn’t hit the mark.

That said, I appreciate that Herbivore’s products are vegan, cruelty free, and made in recyclable packaging. If these are high priorities in your clean beauty routine, you might be interested in still trying this face oil. This gets high marks on Sephora, so I may be in the minority here, but for my skin and money, these three face oils beat the Herbivore hands down.

  • The Ordinary, Squalane

    My love for this oil runs deep. It’s shockingly versatile and doesn’t at all aggravate my acne-prone skin. It is an incredible “carrier” oil for many of the other Ordinary products that can layer. Completely plant derived, this is also vegan, gluten, and cruelty free so it’s an elixir I feel good about having soaking into my skin. It is extremely lightweight—so much so that with 20 minutes of drying time I can put makeup over it with no greasy after effects. And, because it’s very similar to the oil your skin naturally produces, it actually helps balance oil production. How useful is that? Throw the remarkably easy to scrape together $7.90 at it and marvel at your bouncy skin and equally stunning frugality.

  • Argan Oil, Josie Maran

    I’m not even sure what Josie did before she made oil but here we are. This is a cult classic for a reason and the one I throw in my bag for long travels. In a pinch, a drop can be run through your ends or to slick down flyaways, brushed through brows for a little sheen and taming, or even swirled in your body lotion for some extra hydration. I will say that this makes my skin a touch congested, so it’s not an everyday for me but one that comes out seasonally for that extra punch.

  • Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil

    I can’t quit this sleeping oil. It’s exactly what it says—the thing that you smear all over your face and wake up looking, not dewy….but hydrated. The retonic acid is the most gentle wrinkle-fighting formula I’ve experienced and its delivery in this rich but not goopy oil means I have yet to suffer a single flake from fighting the uphill aging battle. I’ll note again that people think the blue tansy is a bit BS, and yes, it does have added coloring and fragrance but it’s vegan and not tested on animals so it checks a few of my newer boxes in terms of skincare priorities.

    What face oils do you love?