"These hard-working towelettes scrub away toxins…" Let's stop right there, because skin doesn't have toxins lurking on or in it that need to be scrubbed away. The liver and kidney take care of toxins, not the skin, and given that toxins are poisons, what poisons are lurking in skin that need to be removed? No one ever specifies—and a vague term like "pollutants" doesn't count.
Even if skin was rife with toxins and those toxins could be expunged via a cleansing cloth, these cloths would be a terrible way to get that job done. The formula is loaded (really, shockingly loaded) with irritants, including witch hazel, alcohol, citrus extracts, and smaller but still potentially irritating amounts of citrus oils. See More Info to find out why daily use of an irritant-laden product is bad for all skin types.
The fruit extracts and citrus oils are part of Alba Botanica's Fruit Acid Detox Fusion, but these ingredients have nothing (zero, nada, zilch) to do with detoxification—and everything to do with being sources of fragrant irritation, which is not "the cleanest way to perfect harmony". Simply put, these towelettes hit all the wrong notes, and that's not to your skin's advantage!
To rebalance your combination complexion, you need to exfoliate, cleanse and tone. These hard-working towelettes scrub away toxins with their exfoliating side then purify and tone with their smooth, cleansing side. Powered by ten AHA-rich botanicals, the unique Fruit Acid Detox Fusion partners with Witch Hazel to detoxify while carefully clarifying and rebalancing combination skin. It’s the quickest, cleanest way to perfect harmony.
Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Alcohol, Propanediol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Lactobacillus/Arundinaria Gigantea Ferment Filtrate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Calcium Gluconate, Gluconolactone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citral, Limonene.
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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