When I spoke to Herbal Face Food’s founder, J. Michael Zenn, he shared a deeply personal story with me about how the brand came into fruition. After spending close to 15 years in tanning beds, he’d sustained massive hyperpigmentation and damage to his skin that professionals told him would be permanent. Rather than turning to temporary solutions like lasers and bleaching, he decided to instead look to plant actives that are more powerful than synthetic drugs or creams. He collaborated with an array of herbalists and botanists for over a decade to identify the world’s most potent plants with healing antioxidants and phytochemicals. The result is a set of products that are some of the most powerful youth-enhancing serums on the market.
Zenn also explained to me that Herbal Face Food is unique in the way that each formula is composed of completely raw plant ingredients in the perfect concentration. They’re also free of additives, harmful chemicals, and basically, all the other low-quality synthetic ingredients that the cosmetics industry usually relies on. The brand is on a mission to prove that organic, whole-plant chemicals (when harvested in the right way) are far more potent than even other organic skincare out there on the market, which is often too watered down to be very effective. Each formula addresses so many different concerns—fine lines, hyperpigmentation, acne—you name it.
Serum I is considered the brand’s “starter” serum. It’s packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that heal your skin at the cellular level and address signs of aging and acne in record time. Serum II turns up the heat a bit more (quite literally—the serum produces a warm, tingly sensation on the face). It contains a higher concentration of plant actives while Serum III dials it up even more and delivers maximum youth-enhancing benefits.
Lastly, there’s also The Cure, the brand’s super-concentrated spot treatment that can be used directly on blemishes or dark spots for speedier healing. For my review, I was able to try Serum I and The Cure, which Zenn personally curated for my particular concerns (acne, dark spots, and uneven texture). For my thoughts on both, keep reading below.