Aesop Product Review
Photographs by Tala Parker
Is Aesop worth the hype and the $$$?
I was first introduced to Aesop a few years ago when my mom gifted me the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm ($27 for 2.6 oz). I loved the packaging and the rich, decadent feel to the lotion. However, I felt it was too fancy and expensive to just use whenever. Because of this, I still have the same tube of lotion three years later. So that begs the question; is Aesop worth the money?
When I committed to buying plastic-free, cruelty-free, and non-toxic products I immediately thought of Aesop. All of their products are packaged in ether glass or aluminum (the one exception being Control, an acne treatment packaged solely in plastic) with plastic caps or pumps. They're vegan and cruelty-free and claim to source the best "plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients." So when I began to make the switch from my old drugstore products to more ethical products, I took the plunge and bought Aesop.
For all of these purchases I visited one of Aesop's stores in San Fransisco and talked with one of their specialists about which products were best suited to my skin. For reference, I have normal/dry facial skin prone to breakouts.
Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm ($27 for 2.6 oz)
Pros - The Resurrection Balm smells great, like many of Aesop's products. I'd describe it as being a little bit citrusy and a bit woody too; an overall earthy and herbal smell. It's also very moisturizing and leaves my hands feeling soft and smooth. The packaging is appealing to they eye and blends in with your decor and style, unlike many products.
Cons - The Resurrection Balm takes time to really absorb into your skin, so I wouldn't recommend it if you wash your hands frequently. It's also a little greasy, but not nearly as much as lotion bars or DIY lotion.
Would I Buy Again? - No, because I just don't feel comfortable spending nearly $30 on such a small amount of lotion. Even though it's a nice product, I hardly use it for fear that I'll just wash it off 10 minutes later and won't get my moneys worth.
Herbal Deodorant roll-on ($35 for 50 ml)
Pros - I love the packaging for this deodorant. It's sleek and doesn't stand out when it's sitting on my bedside table, unlike the Secret deodorant I was using before. Rolling on a liquid rather than a solid was a little different, but completely fine. I'd just have to wait an extra few minutes before I dressed in the morning.
Cons - The herbal smell (which I liked more than their non-herbal deodorant) was overwhelming and didn't fade... Until it did fade, four hours later, and left me smelling worse than I would have if I hadn't used deodorant at all. Worse, when I went to reapply it, it didn't eliminate or mask the sweat smell at all.
Would I Buy Again? - Definitely not. If I feel like I have to take a shower twice a day the pretty packaging is not worth it.
Fabulous Face cleanser ($33 for 3.4 Fl oz)
Pros - I bought the cleanser in store and asked to not receive the plastic pump, so the only plastic was a small cap. The packaging is nice but unnecessary now that I know bar soap is a much better plastic-free option. That being said, I was able to use a very small amount of the cleanser, which extended the life of the product and allowed me to get my moneys worth out of it. The smell was herbal and pleasant.
Cons - The soap is a very low foaming gel which I found made the product difficult to use, as it was hard to tell if I was using enough. Unfortunately, it left my skin feeling dry. It also seemed to do little to prevent acne, which was extremely disappointing.
Would I Buy Again? - No. It didn't prevent me from breaking out.
In Two Minds Facial Hydrator ($60 for 60 ml)
Pros - This facial lotion is lightweight and smells nice (herbal).
Cons - Unfortunately, the Hydrator made my skin feel tight and dry even after multiple layers of the lotion. My friend who has oily, sensitive, acne prone skin borrowed it and mentioned that her face stung afterwards.
Would I Buy Again? - No, it didn't feel hydrating and certainly wasn't worth $60.
Control ($23 for .3 fl oz)
Pros - Control is a thick gel salicylic acid acne treatment that you apply directly on your acne. Control is great for just a few occasional pimples. I noticed it dramatically improved pimples and didn't excessively dry out my skin like the Kiehl's acne treatment I had been using before.
Cons - It's pricy for such a small amount and is packaged in plastic. It would not be suitable for people with bad acne.
Would I Buy Again? - If I can't find anything that is packaged in less plastic and works just as well.
On reflection, I believe Aesop cares more about their packaging and image than the product itself. I was blinded by the simplicity of Aesop's packaging and didn't notice that the brand spends more time talking about their design rather than their products. That being said, they're a decent brand (if over priced) for cruelty-free and primarily plastic-free products.
Let me know what you think about Aesop in the comments!