AESOP Skincare Review - The Dermatology Review

AESOP Skincare Review



The story behind Aesop Skincare

Melbourne-based brand Aesop Skincare was established in 1987 with the objective to formulate skin, hair, and body care products of the finest quality. The brand’s minimalist packaging catches your eye, and the formulations appeal to consumers looking for clean beauty products. In this review, we’ll discuss a few of the best selling products, key ingredients, Aesop Skincare reviews from real customers, an alternative for you to consider, and more.

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2021?

What are the best selling Aesop Skincare products?

Aesop Skincare creates products that can be used to follow your traditional skincare routine: Cleanse, Tone, and Hydrate. Some of the best selling products from those categories include the Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser, the Aesop Bitter Orange Toner, and the Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Cream. Let’s take a closer look at each of these best selling Aesop Skincare products.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser
The Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser comes from the brand’s popular line of parsley seed based products and works best for those with normal to combination skin. This Aesop cleanser is a clarifying cleanser that provides gentle exfoliation while deep cleaning the skin. It can be used twice daily. 

Aesop Bitter Orange Astringent Toner 
The Aesop Bitter Orange Astringent Toner is a daily toner that is said to clarify the skin and remove any impurities that may have been leftover after cleansing. It is claimed to be a non-drying formulation, however, as you’ll learn in the next section, this toner contains an ingredient that is well known to cause skin dryness and irritation!

Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream
The final best selling Aesop Skincare product we’ll discuss is the Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream. This popular Aesop moisturizer is said to deliver antioxidant fortification and richly nourishing hydration without a weighty after-feel. This facial cream is best for those with normal to dry skin types. 

What are the key Aesop Skincare ingredients?

There isn’t just one key ingredient used throughout the Aesop Skincare line. Rather, the brand uses a variety of botanical extracts combined with safe synthetic ingredients to formulate their skin care products. Below we’ll discuss each of the key ingredients you’ll find in the best selling Aesop Skincare products we introduced above. 

Like most cleansers, Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser includes surfactants, such as sodium laureth sulfate and coco-betaine, in order to clean the skin. A surfactant molecule contains one end that is hydrophilic (attracted to water) and one end that is lipophilic (attracted to oil). This allows surfactants to attract and suspends oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away, leaving the skin clean. A few other beneficial ingredients in this cleanser include lactic acid, jojoba oil, and blackcurrant seed oil. Interestingly, even though this is named the Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser, there is less than 1% parsley seed oil in the formula. 

The Aesop Bitter Orange Astringent Toner formula is actually quite disappointing, primarily because the highest concentration ingredient (after water) is denatured alcohol. The problem with this type of alcohol is that, at first, it seems like it’s benefitting the skin. Initially, alcohol gives products a quick-drying finish, immediately degreases the skin, and imparts a weightless feel. The major problem with using high concentrations of alcohol is that this ingredient is well known to cause skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier. In fact, alcohol can dry out the skin so much that the skin will produce more oil over time to compensate for the dryness. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

As the name implies, the Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream features a high concentration of camellia japonica seed oil. This oil absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving a greasy feeling behind. Camellia oil is best known for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other beneficial ingredients in the Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream include rosehip seed oil, coconut oil, macadamia seed oil, and cocoa seed butter. However, cocoa seed butter ranks high on the comedogenic scale, which means that it can clog pores. Thus, if you have acne-prone skin, you may want to avoid this Aesop Skincare product.

Something to keep in mind is that all Aesop Skincare products contain fragrance ingredients. The brand does use natural fragrances and essential oils, but, unfortunately, any fragrance ingredient has the potential of causing sensitization, irritation, and even damage.

Where is Aesop Skincare sold?

Aesop Skincare is sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party retailers such as Amazon, Nordstrom, Walmart, and more. Aesop also has brick-and-mortar stores around the world. You can use the store locator on the brand’s website to find an Aesop location near you. 

What is the Aesop Skincare return policy?

The Aesop Skincare return policy states, “We offer refunds for all products returned within 30 days of purchase, in their unopened and original condition. If you would like to return an item purchased online, please contact us. Regrettably we are unable to accept online returns for products purchased in an Aesop signature store, department store or elsewhere.”

Is Aesop Skincare cruelty free?

Aesop Skincare is cruelty free. The brand has never conducted nor commissioned animal testing for any product.

Aesop Skincare reviews

Unfortunately, Aesop does not display reviews for their products on their website. Thus, we had to turn to a third party website to evaluate Aesop Skincare reviews. 

On the website Makeup Alley, Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser has an average of 3.6 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews for this product are mostly from those with oily and acne-prone skin, who mention that it works well to decrease oiliness and clean the skin. However, there are several reviews from customers who weren’t impressed with this cleanser, especially considering the price. For example, one reviewer shares, “There is absolutely nothing special about this cleanser that would justify the high price. Yes, it does clean nicely, is mild, has a nice foam and a pleasant herbal smell. But so do many other cleansers.”

Aesop Bitter Orange Astringent Toner has an average of 3.3 out of 5 stars. These Aesop Skincare reviews reveal that customers can really tell how much alcohol is used in this toner. For example, one reviewer shares, “This stuff smells lovely and has a really nice apothecary packaging- and those are the only pros. This fact that it’s alcohol based will do more harm than good. It’s really harsh on the skin, I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your face. Also the strong fragrance irritated my eyes. Not worth buying for that price.”

Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream has an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews for this product mention that it absorbs well, leaving the skin soft and silky. Negative Aesop reviews for this product are mostly concerning the scent, which some find to be overpowering. 

What are some alternatives to Aesop Skincare?

Overall, we aren’t very impressed with the Aesop Skincare collection. Some products contain high concentrations of ingredients that can potentially damage the skin, such as the denatured alcohol used in the Aesop Bitter Orange Astringent Toner. Plus, all Aesop Skincare products are laden with fragrant ingredients. Remember: fragrance is not skin care! That’s why we recommend using a skin care brand that maximizes the use of powerful ingredients that benefit your skin while minimizing the ingredients that might make you smell and feel nice (but don’t actually work), such as Formulyst

Take Formulyst’s Lifting and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream for example. This velvety smooth cream is formulated to help lift and refine the appearance and tone of your skin. The formula features Moringa seed oil for intense moisturization, Evodia rutaecarpa fruit extract to help brighten and refine, and peony extract to help improve the appearance of skin density for a smoother, recontoured look. In the short term, Formulyst Lifting and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream helps the skin appear smoother and healthier looking, while over time helping your complexion feel firmer and more youthful. 

There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that is effective and safe. Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.



Carrot & Stick

Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare. What does this mean? It perfectly balances the power of plants with innovative science, offering the best of both worlds.Read More


The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.Read More

Advanced Dermatology

The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns.Read More

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