This oil-control moisturizer has a thin, lotion texture, but doesn't contain ingredients known to keep oil in check. That means you can expect to see shine shortly after applying this; an "all day matte finish," as claimed, isn't even a distant possibility.
What about the 2% salicylic acid (also known as BHA or beta hydroxy acid) this contains? Although it contains a high enough amount and the pH of this product is low enough for the salicylic acid to function as an exfoliant, the formula contains some irritating ingredients likely to make oily skin (and breakouts) worse. Of particular concern are the plant extracts melissa and parsley. Melissa, also known as balm mint, creates a tingle, and that tingle means your skin is being irritated; parsley can cause a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). These irritants can stimulate more oil production, which is the opposite of what this product is supposed to do. In short, it's not recommended over a well-formulated BHA product, which you'll find on our Best BHA Exfoliants list.
Weightless moisturizer helps maintain an all-day matte finish. This light, oil-control moisturizer naturally treats and helps prevent acne while complexion maintains a shine-free appearance all day. Formulated with maximum strength 2% Salicylic Acid, Natural ACNEdote Oil Control Lotion features a powerfully natural, botanically effective formula that weightlessly hydrates skin as needed but keeps oil at bay for an all-day matte finish*. You’ll see a visibly clearer complexion with skin that’s touchably soft and never tight, dry or greasy.
Active: (2%) Salicylic Acid Other: Water, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Polysorbate 60, Azadirachta Indica (Neem) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Potassium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance
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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