We have often heard from customers seeking rich, nourishing products for mature and dry skin that would be modern, sophisticated, and noncomedogenic—not oily or heavy. To respond to this need, Ava created a flexible facial-care concentrate that improves a wide range of mature skin concerns, including wrinkles, loss of firmness, loss of elasticity, and roughness, all without causing clogged pores or sensitization.
Black Locust is a product of contrasts: It contains extremely nutritious seed and fruit extracts and anti-acne plant-derived ingredients in very specific ratios, for an overall effect of noncomedogenic nurturing. This oil-based concentrate can be used by itself day or night, or it can be dosed with a few drops mixed into a favorite moisturizer or face oil.
For scent, Ava added a touch of exotic feminine florals to our usual earthy-mossy palette of scents, with Indian golden champaca flower (perfumers' gold), Nepalese rhododendron, and the unusual herbal scent of the herb babchi.
With Black Locust, we are venturing deeper into the territory of botanical ingredients that are being newly proven in scientific studies. Many of our ingredients are organic herbs we grow or that are grown for us by organic farms, and we have for a long time focused on plants that have been used in skincare preparations since antiquity (such as calendula, chamomile, and frankincense). But we want to keep an open mind and explore the options offered by the most forward-looking natural cosmetic manufacturers; those who understand the current needs and expectations of the most discerning luxury beauty customers. In Black Locust, you will find scientifically studied bakuchiol extract from the Ayurveda babchi herb, and two types of extracts from the wildflower white lupine.
The result of our efforts is a thicker oil serum that delivers a wide spectrum of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other phytonutrients for firmer, more elastic, and thicker skin.
With this concentrate, we focused on ingredients that are high in the specific phytonutrients that are most beneficial for dry and mature skin (such as betacarotenes that the body converts to vitamin A, a wide spectrum of tocopherols that result in the best vitamin E complex, omega fatty acids, and many others). You can expect a long-term improvement to the skin's elasticity, firmness, and thickness from Black Locust, not a temporary lift. Here are the key ingredients:
Bakuchiol: This extraction from a seed of the babchi herb used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine has recently received a lot of attention among cosmetic chemists as a safe natural replacement for retinol. In many side-by-side studies of retinol and bakuchiol, bakuchiol was found to have a very comparable effect in areas such as reducing acne, lowering inflammatory response, diminishing wrinkles, stimulating production of new healthy collagen, and inhibiting the peroxidation of squalene. Bakuchiol has been shown to improve aging skin in several categories (wrinkles, roughness, dryness, uneven skin tone, lower elasticity, etc.), and to cause a significant (57%) improvement in acne in seven weeks. Unlike potentially-damaging retinol, however, bakuchiol does not cause side effects and it can be used for the daytime without the risk of photosensitization.
Lupine seed: In Ava's tests of wrinkle-reversing plant ingredients, she was particularly impressed by the results from gentle, non-invasive extractions from white lupine seeds. Our lupine extracts have been scientifically proven to improve wrinkles, skin firmness, skin elasticity, and sagging facial contour.
Seabuckthorn berry: This vitamin-E- and carotenoid-rich berry is one of the superfoods for the skin. We used two types of seabuckthorn extracts in Black Locust; one extract from the whole berries (seeds and pulp), and one just from the pulp. The seeds are oily and contain linoleic acid (omega-6) and α-linolenic acid (omega-3), but using too much of the seed or whole-berry extract could create a pore-clogging product. So we supplemented the whole berry oil with an extra dose of just the fruit-pulp extract, which boosts the incredible range of seabuckthorn's tocopherols and tocotrienols (vitamin E compounds) and carotenoids (including beta-carotene and lycopene). We have found that unrefined seabuckthorn extracts improve eczema, psoriasis, acne, and other skin disorders, and help the skin recover a healthy and even coloring.
Calendula: Quality calendula extractions excel at normalizing the skin, helping with stubborn dryness, roughness, eczema, psoriasis, cold-sore outbreaks, and acne. Calendula adds significant skin-softening benefits and helps the skin recover an even tone.
Açai berry: This very light oil, derived in this case from whole açai berries, has superior acne-reducing and skin-soothing benefits.
Kalahari melon seed oil: This oil has been one of Ava's favorites when formulating for dehydrated or dehydration-prone skin. Many acne-prone skins thrive on this oil as well.
The Scent and Energetic Impact
The scent of Black Locust is a mixture of the unusual, assertive herbal notes of babchi, the exotic floral opulence of Indian golden champaca, and the edible-green yet fruity-floral scent of rhododendron flower. Lupine seeds provide a grounding backnote of sweet beans and satisfying buttery nuts.
Ava worked to achieve an energetic message with Black Locust that would support the state of mind and emotions of the man or woman who is beginning to see signs of aging in themselves. For example, a person in their forties, fifties, or maybe sixties who is at a juncture where they know that they know things and have accumulated wisdom and life experience, yet are also experiencing accompanying thoughts about looking older, about their skin beginning to show wrinkles, and about the way Western society as a whole embraces youth more seamlessly. They may be coming to terms with a new awareness of their maturity inside and outside, and of their mortality.
The black locust tree is Ava's choice of symbol for this stage in life. Black locust trees look dark and wrinkled most of the year, yet they have an arresting woman's energy as well. In the spring, black locust trees become covered in large, fragrant blooms, usually white or off-white: The female remembers and enjoys her beauty and lightness.
How does this concentrate compare to the other face oils we offer?
Black Locust Firming Concentrate is a rich oil that feels quite active and is focused on firming, pore minimizing, and maintaining hydration throughout the day or night. It is especially formulated for mature and dry skin. We also offer three other face oils to suit a wide range of skincare needs: Ruby Face Oil, Magical Babassu Face Oil, and Ferns and Moss Serum.
Ruby Oil is one of our beststellers, a light yet powerful and nonirritating oil that absorbs very fast, is noncomedogenic, and feels very light even on a hot and humid day. It is one of our top choices for sun damage repair and for treatment of scars.
Magical Babassu is the most emollient of our facial oils, and is more geared toward softening the skin and soothing irritations in sensitive skin. It is most appropriate for dry to very dry skin, sensitive skin, winter skin, and eczema, alone or mixed with Ferns and Moss Serum (for maximum healing and repair) or Ruby Face Oil (for added phytonutrients and firming benefits).
Ferns and Moss Serum is thicker than Black Locust, but it is a dry oil (Magical Babassu and Black Locust are not dry oils; they are emollient). Ferns and Moss includes anti-acne ingredients.
For dry and damaged or dry and mature skin, you may want to test all our oils. Ruby is most popular in the summer months and Magical Babassu, Ferns and Moss, and Black Locust are most popular in the colder months.
I've been using the oil serum for less than a week and I'm already seeing great results. I'm so impressed! . . . I kid you not, even after the first night, my skin was noticeably firmer, more elastic, and baby soft to the touch. I literally can’t stop touching my face!
- Yenny of ecochicbeauty
I am already in love with Black Locust. The scent is really beautiful and super unique. I've never smelled anything like it before, but I couldn't stop smelling my hand this morning. Another incredible creation!
- Lin Chen
Mature, wrinkled, sagging, with low elasticity, sensitive, and dry to very dry; also for eczema and psoriasis.
Euterpe oleracea (açai) fruit oil†, Citrullus lanatus (Kalahari melon) seed oil†, Lupinus albus (white lupine) seed oil and extract, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil unsaponifiables, Hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) fruit CO2 extract* or †, bakuchiol from Psoralea corylifolia seeds, Calendula officinalis flower CO2 extract*, Sambucus nigra (black elderberry) fruit extract, Rhododendron anthopogon essential oil†, Warburgia ugandensis (greenheart wood) essential oil†, Michelia champaca flower CO2 extract or absolute†, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.
*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted.
All absolutes are hexane free whenever available.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch.
Add a few drops of the concentrate to your face moisturizer or aloe-based serum once or twice a day. Dry skin types may massage a few drops directly into freshly cleansed, moist skin day or night. Shake the closed bottle gently once in a while to remix.
Freshness guaranteed for 6 months. Full size 1 fl. oz. (30 ml); travel/sample size 0.2 fl. oz. (6 ml).
Due to the very high cost of our ingredients and the labor-intensive (highly time consuming) small-batch production process, we are unable to accept returns of opened or unopened products at this time. But most products have a sample size option for purchase, so we encourage you to buy a sample first to ensure that the product suits your skin's needs and that you enjoy the texture, fragrance, and healing properties.