Oil + Water Review

April 17, 2017

Oil + Water skincare

When Erika Martins, founder of Oil + Water, reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to try her handcrafted, micro-batch, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free skincare line, I was like GIRLFRIEND, hook a sister up! I’ve been playing with this line for a couple of weeks now and it has so much to offer. So let’s get to it; my Oil + Water review.

Oil + Water is a zero-waste lovers dream come true. It’s built around the principles of simplicity, purity and sustainability. Each Oil + Water product contains 12 or fewer ingredients – many of which are certified organic, food grade, fair trade or wild harvested. Plus their products are not only hand packed but packaged in glass or compostable materials and feature beautiful tree-free and recycled letterpress labels. Also all shipping boxes, tape and packing materials are either biodegradable or recyclable. Oil + Water offers a skincare line that is simple, luxe, natural and effective.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Raw, unrefined plant oils and butters + organic, fair trade, wild harvested and food grade ingredients – Oil + Water” quote=”Raw, unrefined plant oils and butters + organic, fair trade, wild harvested and food grade ingredients – Oil + Water”]

Above all else Oil + Water’s driving principle is reduction. Reduction meaning to reduce the number of ingredients, products, amount of waste and our overall skincare footprint. And that is what we get here.

Oil + Water organic skincare_

Erika sent me her entire line to try including the Emulsifying Balm, Face + Hair Oil, Herbal Clay Mask, Lip Tint and Lip Balm. She is working on adding a toner and an exfoliator as well as making some products that are specific to different skin types.

One thing that I love about this line is many of these products are oil-based or sold dry so they do not require a chemical preservative. Because of this Erika recommends using a clean, dry utensil to extract product before applying to skin. This limits potential bacterial contamination and extends product shelf life.

Okay on with my Oil + Water review. Let’s go in order and start with the Emulsifying Balm.

Emulsifying Balm

Oil + Water emulsifying balm
Emulsifying Balm, $32

If you’ve never cleansed with a balm before girl, you ain’t livin’! Balms are so great for taking off makeup and then repeated as a cleanser. To take off makeup, take between a pea and a dime size amount of balm and rub it over eyes and skin to loosen up makeup and grime. Then take a warm wet washcloth and wipe off balm and all your makeup will come off with it. After this initial cleanse you can go in and do it again or follow up with your fave cleaner.  I know it sounds scary but do yourself a fave and give it a try.

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This balm goes on like silk and leaves my skin feeling wicked soft – plus it also smells beautiful too (like roses and chocolate). The stars of the show here are neem oil and hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is high in linoleic acid (heals, hydrates and plumps) and is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and neem removes bacteria from the skin’s surface preventing breakouts. It also has jojoba which helps balance oil production, castor oil to act as a natural astringent and olive oil to clean and nourish. Here is a full list of ingredients:

  • emulsifying wax NF, organic mango butter, organic castor oil, organic olive oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic jojoba oil, organic neem oil, candelila wax, organic soy lecithin, rose floral wax, non-GMO vitamin e oil, organic rosemary antioxidant 

I asked Erika about the “emulsifying wax NF” is because I haven’t seen that ingredient before. She said it is a waxy solid that helps bind oil and water together. She sources her Emulsifying wax from Mountain Rose Herbs. but is currently looking to upgrade so stay tuned for a potential reformulation.

Most of Oil + Water’s formulas have dual function which is also true for the Emulsifying Balm. This vegan formula can also be used as a moisturizer if you are looking for more of a treatment rather than an everyday moisturizer.

Face + Hair Oil

Oil + Water face + hair oil
Face + Hair Oil, Daily Hydration, $60

Like the name implies, this oil has more than one use as well. It can be used either as a daily (or night) face moisturizer and/or as a hair oil AND even a body oil too. I’m not a huge fan of hair oils. I know some people live and die by them but not me. I just can’t get into it. I mean, I love an occasional application to kind of define and peace-out hair but it’s not a daily or even a weekly practice for me. But that being said, I do love that this product is a three-in-one because I have access to a hair oil when I do need it once or twice a month – without having to invest in one.

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I enjoyed this formula as a face oil. It is heavy enough where I knew it was working but light enough that I didn’t ever feel greasy. And I absolutely love the smell of it too. To me it smells like licorice but I think my nose has led me a stray because here is the full list of ingredients:

  • single source organic argan oil, organic grapeseed oil, cupuacu butter, organic roman chamomile essential oil, organic carrot seed essential oil, non-GMO vitamin e oil

Erika says the scent comes from the Roman chamomile and carrot seed essential oils and also because the argan, grapeseed and cupuacu butter are all raw and unrefined, they contribute slightly as well. She said others have told her they smell tea tree and apple pie. Either way, it smells super yum.

The argan and grapeseed oils are also both organic and cold-pressed oils carrying moisturizing cupuacu butter, calming chamomile and rejuvenating carrot seed essential oil plus it is enriched with antioxidant vitamin e. I love that I could pack this and the Emulsifying Balm in my bag for a weekend trip and not need much else!

Herbal Clay Mask

Oil + Water Clay Mask
Herbal Clay Mask, Weekly Detox, $44
Oil + Water mask

The Herbal Clay Mask is another two-in-one product. Exfoliating and masking are two keys to success with obtaining glowing clear skin. This product does both. A base of French green and bentonite clays both rich in minerals, makes this mask great for drawing out toxins and impurities. Oil + Water says this formula is suitable for all skin types but especially great for acne-prone skin. You can mix this with water, witch hazel or your fave hydrosol to apply as a mask or mix with honey to make a scrub. You can see what it looks like on as a mask here but I personally prefered using this mixed with honey as a scrub to exfoliate.

Here is the full ingredient list:

  • Bentonite clay, French green clay, zinc oxide, organic white willow bark, organic calendula flowers, organic jojoba oil, organic arnica flowers, organic aloe vera powder, organic bergamot essential oil



Lip Balm and Lip Tint

Oil + Water Lip
Lip Balm, $26 and Lip Tint, $28

I am a sucker for a chubby lip anything. Not to mention an organic, fair-trade and wild harvested one packaged in compostable materials and adorned with recycled labels. Hello. Oil + Water currently has two lippies. A clear Lip Balm and a Lip Tint. They are very similar in wear except the Lip Tint uses wild harvested alkanet root to bring a very subtle sheer rose tint. Both of these keep lips moisturized and feeling supple. The Lip Tint has a touch of peppermint – love it. And the Balm has a barely there ginger and orange scent – so fun and unexpected.  Here are the ingredients:

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Lip Tint: organic sunflower oil, organic and fair trade coconut oil, beeswax, organic and fair trade cocoa butter, wild harvested alkanet root, non-GMO vitamin e oil, organic and fair-trade spearmint essential oil, Bulgarian rose absolute, organic and fair-trade peppermint essential oil, red oxide, silver mica

Lip Balm: organic olive oil, organic and fair-trade coconut oil, beeswax, organic shea butter, cupuacu butter, non-GMO vitamin e oil, organic sweet orange essential oil and organic ginger essential oil 

Responsible Packaging

Oil + Water lip balm

This review would not be complete with out highlighting how far Oil + Water goes to responsibly package their products. This company does not mess around, check it out:

  • All packages are shipped using UPS’s carbon neutral option
  • All packaging is 100% recycled, biodegradable and recyclable including boxes, paper cushioning and tissue paper
  • Packing tape is renewable, biodegradable and recyclable
  • Shipping labels are 100% recycled and recyclable
  • Info cards re 100% recycled, biodegradable and recycled.
  • Product labels are 100% recycled, recyclable
  • Cardboard tubes are renewable, biodegradable and recyclable
  • Glass jars and bottles are reusable and recyclable
  • Plastic lids are made from recycled plastic and are reusable and recyclable #5
  • Plastic lid/cap liners are reusable and recyclable #4
  • Shrink bands are recyclable #3

See!? Oil + Water is legit. No detail overlooked, no recycling opportunity left behind.


Currently this is Oil + Water’s full line. Erika is working on adding more product so check back often. Also, for a chance to win almost everything you see here, keep an eye out on my Instagram page.

Head to the Oil + Water website for more info and to buy! And code: TOG10 will save you 10% off through 6/18/17!


Disclosure: Thank you to Oil + Water for partnering for today’s post. I love working with brands who value organic + nontoxic ingredients.

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By Lisa

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    The only product I might get low on anytime soon (darn beauty box addiction!) is cleansing balm and “wicked soft skin” + scent of roses and chocolate sounds just about perfect! 10% off would bring it to just under $30 for 1 oz. and I assume there is a shipping charge… So this is a maybe for me – I think I’ll have to go back to your balm post from a month or 2 ago and do some comparisons. Thanks!

    1. Reply


      Cleansing balm is one of those stapels I didn’t realize was a staple until I started using it! HOOKED!

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