09.19.2013
2
Alba BotanicaGood & Clean Gentle Acne Wash
6 fl. oz. for $8.99
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Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

Good & Clean Gentle Acne Wash is anything but gentle on skin! Although this contains gentle cleansing agents, they're joined by numerous fragrant plant extracts and oils, including citrus oils, that are a problem for all skin types—and absolutely not what you should use anywhere near the eyes.

The anti-acne angle is due to this cleanser being medicated with 1% salicylic acid, which Alba Botanica claims reaches,” deep into pores to oust the bacteria and grime that can cause dullness, blackheads and blemishes.” Although salicylic acid is an all-star ingredient for battling acne when used in a well formulated leave-on product, it is far less effective for exfoliation, if at all, in a cleanser. That’s because it’s rinsed off before it can begin to work. If you are hoping for this cleanser to provide pore-unclogging benefits think again.

Some companies recommend leaving these types of cleansers on skin for a longer period of time so the salicylic acid can absorb, but that means the cleansing agents would also be left on too and that can cause dryness and irritation.

In short, this highly fragranced, skin-aggravating cleanser is not recommended. See our list of Best Cleansers for superior picks.

Pros:
  • Contains gentle cleansing agents and is water-soluble.
  • Inexpensive.
Cons:
  • Contains several skin-aggravating fragrant plant extracts and oils.
  • The salicylic acid is rinsed from skin before it can treat breakouts.
  • Cannot provide "deep down detoxification" as claimed—and acne has nothing to do with toxins in skin (see More Info).
  • Very likely to make acne-prone or oily skin worse (see More Info).
More Info:

Why Beauty Products Can’t Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many cosmetics company’s make, you cannot “detox” your skin. In fact, brands making this claim never specify exactly which substances or toxins their products are supposed to eliminate, which makes sense, because your skin does not store toxins.

Toxins are classified as being produced by the body or introduced into the body, usually through eating or inhaling. They can be produced by plants, animals, insects, reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings), etc. They also can be inorganic, such as heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and others.

When it comes to your skin, toxins cannot leave your body vis-a-vis your skin or sebaceous gland. It is physiologically impossible. Other parts of your body, mainly your kidneys and liver, handle the process of “detoxifying” just fine as long as you have a healthy diet.

It should be pointed out that there are a handful of studies showing sweat can be a carrier of “detoxifying” certain trace heavy metals out of the body. However, the methodology of those studies is considered questionable. Nonetheless, if you choose to sauna, steam, or exercise to increase sweating that is a lifestyle option to discuss with your physician but that has absolutely nothing to do with skincare.

Skincare products are not going to detox your body or skin. As we always urge, stick to what the research says really works, and ignore the fantasy claims because they aren’t helping your skin or your budget.

References for this information:

Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, December 2015, pages 675-686

Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012, pages 1-10

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-dubious-practice-of-detox

How Harsh Ingredients Make Oily Skin and Breakouts Worse: Whether you can see it on the surface of skin or not, using harsh, skin-aggravating ingredients, is a serious problem for all skin types but uniquely so for those with oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin.

Research has clearly established that when skin is aggravated the oil gland is stimulated by nerve endings to make more oil creating a perfect environment for blemishes, breakouts, and clogged pores to get worse.

Using any product that’s gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin.

It’s also vitally important to use appropriate products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin and blemishes. The two gold standard ingredients are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

References for this information:

Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25-30

Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527-532

Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433-438

Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41-53

Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, pages 41–49.

Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832

Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764

Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17-23

 European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422-427

Last Updated:12.19.2016
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews
Claims

Is your skin suffocating under oily toxins? This frothy cleanser gets deep into pores to oust bacteria and grime that cause dullness, blackheads and blemishes. Powered by ten AHA-rich botanicals, the unique Fruit Acid Detox Fusion in this gentle cleanser partners with Salicylic Acid and Willow Bark Extract for deep down detoxification. Rebalanced and squeaky clean, your skin will enjoy purified clarity.

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 1.0%. Other Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Lauryl Glucoside, Glycerin, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Coco Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Stearyl Citrate, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citric Acid, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Sodium Sulfate, Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene.

Brand Overview

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


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