This is a very good lip balm with sunscreen whose subtle tint helps offset the white cast that comes from the amount of zinc oxide the formula contains. The zinc oxide provides reliable UVA protection while the other sunscreen actives kick in varying degrees of UVA plus good UVB protection, making for a broad-spectrum benefit.
The twist-up stick is convenient for taking anywhere you go, and treats lips to a conditioning blend of natural, non-fragrant plant oils, waxes, and butters. All of the plant oils provide an antioxidant boost, and the price makes this an all-out beauty bargain! Although the formula is fragrance-free, it contains a small amount of flavor.
One last comment concerning the hypoallergenic claim: "Hypoallergenic" is little more than a nonsense word meant to make products sound safer or somehow better for sensitive skin. There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic. Any company can label any product "hypoallergenic" because there is no regulation that says they can't, no matter what proof they may point to—and what proof can they provide given there is no standard against which to measure? Given that there are no regulations governing this supposed category, which was made up by the cosmetics industry, there are plenty of products labeled "hypoallergenic" that actually contain problematic ingredients and that can indeed trigger allergic reactions, even for those with no previous history of skin sensitivity. The word "hypoallergenic" gives you no reliable understanding of what you are or aren't putting on your skin (Sources: www.fda.gov; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, May 2004, pages 325–327; and Ostomy and Wound Management, March 2003, pages 20–21).
This hypo-allergenic SPF 25 lip balm provides natural sun protection for your delicate lips. Made with preferred sunscreen ingredients combined with Aloe Vera, Cocoa Butter and Sunflower Seed Oils, this balm keeps lips moisturized, soft and supple. Vitamin E provides the rich antioxidant protection needed after a day in the sun.
Active Ingredients: Octocrylene 10 %, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate 7.5 %, Zinc Oxide 3.9 %, Ethylhexyl Salicylate 1.0 %; Other Ingredients: Beeswax, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Flavor, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter , Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Allantoin, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Iron Oxides (CI 77491)
Alba Botanica At-a-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; several good cleansers; some good moisturizers; nice lip balms without sunscreen; most of the facial and body sunscreens provide sufficient broad-spectrum sun protection; mineral sunscreens options are available; self-tanner that includes antioxidants for added benefit.
Weaknesses: The natural ingredients in some of the products are natural irritants; jar packaging won't keep air-sensitive ingredients stable; most of the lip balms with sunscreen lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; subpar toners and exfoliants.
Alba Botanica is part of the Avalon Natural Products group, which is owned by natural product marketer Hain-Celestial. In addition to owning the Jason Natural and Zia Natural brands, Hain-Celestial also owns Avalon Organics, of which Alba Botanica is a part. Although Alba Botanica is not any thinking person's definition of an all-natural line—they use plenty of synthetic ingredients, including sunscreen actives and preservatives—they shine in comparison to the mostly disappointing products offered under the Avalon Organics name, but that's not saying a lot.
As far as the "natural" visage Alba Botanica portrays—while they do use plenty of natural ingredients, for the most part it's the non-natural ingredients that contribute to each product's texture and function; but then highlighting those ingredients isn't going to attract attention from consumers seeking natural products, is it? Because there are no established standards for use of the word "natural," any cosmetics company can take advantage of the term, as Alba Botanica does.
Despite not being an all-natural line (which isn't a bad thing), much of what they offer, while not state-of-the-art spectacular, is still worth considering. The prices are competitive with those of drugstore and health food store brands, and they offer some very good options in the categories of cleanser, scrub, sunscreens for face and body, lip balms without sunscreen, and a self-tanner.
It is also worth mentioning that Avalon Products (remember, Alba Botanica is part of this master brand) is commendable in that it uses environmentally conscious business practices, including solar-powered offices and warehouse and relying on organic farming for several of their ingredients. Their environmentalism may or may not correspond to good skin care, but it is admirable. As we have said many times before, just because an ingredient is organic doesn't make it safe or effective for skin (and there's no proof that an organic ingredient is preferred to a synthetic ingredient when it comes to skin care), but the practice of organic farming is a positive step toward creating products that reduce negative environmental impact.
Turning to what Alba Botanica needs help with, you'll see they fall short of being a comprehensive line. There are no reliable exfoliants such as AHAs or BHA products, and those struggling with blemishes or any type of skin discoloration are out of luck. Also, not every sunscreen (especially those for lips) makes the grade in terms of providing sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients, and some of the toners have truly boring, antiquated formulas. Other less impressive products include the enzyme scrubs, masks, and a few of the jar-packaged moisturizers.
Overall, these products aren't the most advanced around, but comparatively speaking they best many other products from brands with a natural angle (Lauder-owned Origins comes to mind).
For more information about Alba Botanica, call (888) 659-7730 or visit www.albabotanica.com.
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