Herba Apotheca is a cruelty free Australian brand that makes a wide range of products, including soaps, body care and face care. The website currently has a range of home fragrance options too, but these are being discontinued, so if you like wax melts, you might want to get in quick. Herba Apotheca products are hand made in Brisbane by Christine. Christine describes the mission of Herba Apotheca as helping to “provide you with knowledge and products you can utilise to bring peace and love to your own home.” “I believe when we view the home as a whole, with respect and care, and resolve to lead a simpler, more natural existence, we can improve the very nature of our mind and well-being.” Wherever possible, Herba Apotheca products do not contain preservatives or unnecessary fillers. All products are also free from petroleum and SLS/SLES as well as being packaged in a way that leaves minimal environmental impact. All Herba Apotheca products are tested on humans, not animals, but not all products are vegan, however there is a full ingredient list on every product so to make it easy to choose what you want. I have three products to review today, the Herba Apotheca Goddess Herblore Lotion, the Vanilla All Purpose Balm and the Lipcraft in Natural. Christine was also kind enough to donate a chamomile and calendula cold pressed soap, wooden soap dish and lip balm for my Tick-borne Illness Awareness Giveaway. The products I’m reviewing, and those in the giveaway are all vegan friendly.
I just want to give you some quick background information on Christine, as she has been in the Aussie indie beauty community for a while now, so you may have seen her before. For many years she was a nail polish blogger who swatched many of the Australian indie nail polish brand new releases, originally under the name of Serenity Nails, then Cured By Chris and most recently as Freckles In Suburbia. She moved on from that to start making wax melts and body care products in partnership with Celestial Cosmetics under the name Celestial By Christine and now she is the owner of Herba Apotheca. So she has a lot of experience in when it comes to indie beauty.
The Herba Apotheca Lipcraft in Natural is a lip balm mainly comprised of mango butter to help with skin elasticity and hydration, as well as lemon balm infused with avocado oil for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Hemp seed oil is also included to aid with healing, and castor oil aids a shiny finish. I have tried a lot of cruelty free lip balms trying to find replacements for my previous non-cruelty free favourites, and this is one of the better ones I have tried. It comes in a typical 4g twist up tube, similar to most lip balms on the market and has a very slight natural smell, it’s barely detectable to me. If you prefer to have a lip balm with a scent then there are three other scented versions that are all vegan friendly, Peach and Raspberry Tang, Vanilla Mint Cream and Apple Passion Delight. Each of those varieties contains a sweetener, where as the natural version doesn’t. The listing for the natural version mentions that there is a mild herbal taste, but I haven’t tested anything when using it. The Natural Lipcraft is more moisturising than some of the very popular cruelty free lip balms that I have tried and it looks nice on the lips because it does have a shiny finish. It applies to the lips easily, and it has a very slight gritty texture on application, which does go away after rubbing the lips together quickly. I will be using it regularly as a day lip balm, but I need something thicker for night time. I do however have very dry lips so I think this would work fine for most people as a night time lip balm as well.
The Herba Apotheca Herblore Lotion in Goddess is a hand and body lotion made with aromatherapy grade essential oils to help with anxiety, pms and menopause. It is a thin lotion that is easy to rub into the skin and doesn’t leave any residue behind. The scent is strong and it stays on the skin for a long time after application (which it is designed to do). I am really bad at determining scents but it is very floral to me with a slight citrus scent too. The product listing describes the scent as “a floral blend of citrusy bergamot, blue Roman chamomile and rose geranium followed through with a touch of delicate ylang ylang and exotic jasmine, and finally, smoothed out with base-notes of delicate vanilla.” If that scent description doesn’t suit your taste, or you want other benefits from your product, then you could try one of the other Herblore Lotion versions – High Priestess, Draconian Dreams or Peaceful Slumber. Every Herblore Lotion is packaged in a 50 ml amber glass bottle (to protect the essential oils inside) and has a pump applicator for ease of use. The inclusion of apricot seed oil, sweet almond oil, wheatgerm oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and vitamin E make this lotion moisturising without being too thick or heavy for it to properly absorb into the skin. The main thing that will make you like or dislike the Herblore lotions is the scent. If you’re sensitive to scents or essential oils, then this product isn’t for you, but if you love them, then it would be worth trying. I like the Goddess version which is supposed to lift your spirits with its mix of essential oils, but the scent is a bit too floral for me to really enjoy it, although it’s not off putting. The High Priestess lotion is a vanilla and citrus blend so that might be one for me to try next.
In my cruelty free hair and nail favourites blog post from the start of the year, I mentioned that I was excited to get some Herba Apotheca products because my favourite cuticle balm had been from Celestial by Christine which I wasn’t able to get anymore. So I was really excited to try the Vanilla All Purpose Balm in the 4 g Tube from Herba Apotheca, as that could replace my old one. The Vanilla All Purpose Balm is also available in a 30 ml Jar, but the small tube version is the vegan friendly one. This balm is made with a solar infusion of plantain leaf, calendula flowers, and chamomile buds in a apricot kernel oil, for its softening and moisturising properties, and olive oil for it high antioxidant content. The product listing explains that plantain aids the skin healing process and that calendula and chamomile have antiseptic and anti-oxidant properties. Other ingredients include avocado oil, cocoa butter, rosehip oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E. The tube is just like the lip balm tube, and it is easy to apply to the cuticle area because of that. When rubbing on the product, the vanilla smell comes alive, and it stays around for a long time after rubbing the product in. The one downside of the Celestial by Christine cuticle balm was that it had a very gritty texture, it would go away once rubbed in, but it was gritty to begin with. The Herba Apotheca All Purpose Balm doesn’t have that problem at all, it is very smooth to apply and there is no grittiness when rubbing it it. It really does make the cuticles look and feel more hydrated, without giving the shiny look of a cuticle oil. I really enjoy using the Vanilla All Purpose Balm on my hands and it will be my go to cuticle balm from now on. For the best results, I always use a nail oil and cuticle balm together. A recent addition to the Herba Apotheca line up is the Nail and Cuticle Elixir with White Grapefruit and Frankincense. I haven’t tried it but it could be a good product to try if you’re trying to get your nail health back on track.
You can tell how much effort Christine has gone to to ensure that the very best ingredients are included in each product. Her research and testing has paid off, as every product has a great line up of ingredients and the textures of each product work really well. I know she puts a lot of effort into making her customers happy because my mum made an order from the store and after a couple of weeks received an email from Christine to see if she was satisfied with the products. That sort of customer service really makes me love a brand, because there are too many brands out there that don’t care about each customer these days. I’ve only reviewed three of the products today, but there are many more available on the Herba Apotheca website that you can check out. There are the handcrafted soaps that contain no animal ingredients and no palm oil or it’s derivatives, as well as other body and face products. I’m particularly interested in trying the Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil as I have heard people rave about it, so when I finally get through all my current oils, I will definitely try that. If you prefer Organic Rosehip Oil or Organic Argan Oil, those are available too. The prices of all the products are really reasonable especially considering the quality of ingredients, with the Lipcraft costing AU$4.10, the Vanilla All Purpose Balm in tube at AU$5.55 and the Herblore Lotions costing AU$10.95. Australian customers can purchase Herba Apotheca products from the Herba Apotheca website and Femme Fatale Cosmetics now stocks the brand so both Australian’s and international customers can purchase from there. Christine is always releasing new products, and I’ve found the best way to keep up is by joining the Herba Apotheca VIP’s group on facebook. I am really happy that I have found a replacement for my oil cuticle balm, as it was getting very low. With Winter beginning, I think the Vanilla All Purpose balm will come in very handy for me. Have you tried anything from Herba Apotheca? Does something pique your interest?
I will have more cruelty free product reviews coming soon, if you want to know when a new blog post goes up, you can subscribe to email updates or you can find me on social media on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.