Revitalizing Lash + Lid Make-Up Remover is a very good, somewhat unconventional, option for removing eyeshadow, liner, or other types of makeup (even waterproof formulas). Andalou Naturals included antioxidants and skin-soothing anti-irritants, but missed a BEST rating due to the inclusion of a small amount of fragrance.
Despite the fact that this is a jojoba oil–based formula, it doesn't leave a heavy residue behind. However, this isn't the formula to use if you plan on reapplying your makeup right away (such as a transition from the office to a night out on the town)—stick to water-based formulas for those scenarios.
Andalou Naturals mentions that the Revitalizing Lash + Lid Make-Up Remover "fortifies for longer, fuller lashes" on their website, but there isn't anything present in their formula that research demonstrates can make good on this claim.
It is true that emollients like plant oils can minimally help to condition lashes for a softer feel, but that's not the same as creating or encouraging hair growth. As for the fruit stem cells, there's no research proving they fortify lashes. While these ingredients aren't harmful or irritating to the skin (and can have antioxidant benefit), there is no research to support the claims of regenerating skin or functioning like your skin's own stem cells, which would push this product from its status as a cosmetic to a drug. The notion that plant stem cells can "renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, or regenerate healthy cells" may be true for a plant, but it isn't for human skin.
This contains fragrance in the form of phenethyl alcohol, an ingredient considered an aromatic alcohol, which not only adds fragrance but also functions as a solvent and preservative. Although the amount is low, using fragrant ingredients around the eyes is iffy, and keeps this from earning our top rating.
Fruit Stem Cell Complex fortifies lashes, as gentle botanical emollients gently loosen and remove all types of facial make-up, including water resistant formulas, without irritation or oily residue.
Aloe Barbadensis Juice, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Cocoate, Biotin, Hyaluronic Acid, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate (Licorice) Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Oil, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos), Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts
Strengths: Good options for well-formulated facial moisturizers and serums; many products contain multiple antioxidants; a few good toners; (mostly) refreshingly free of hyperbole that is common with many “natural-themed” brands; reasonably priced products; multiple broad-spectrum sunscreen options.
Weaknesses: A few moisturizers packaged in jars; some products contain potentially problematic amounts of fragrance ingredients; lacks research-proven treatments for acne; the body-care products tend to be overly fragrant; claims about plant stem cells are over the top as they don’t renew or generate human cells of any kind.
Andalou Naturals is a rare presence in the saturated market of natural-themed cosmetics lines because the brand manages to keep the focus on their products and ingredients without resorting to the silly “scary chemical” and fear-mongering marketing approach common to so many other natural lines.
Just as impressive as their marketing are many of their formulas, several of which include many antioxidants and multiple skin-repairing ingredients, and aren’t laden with natural fragrance ingredients, which may please your nose but can be very irritating to the skin, even if you don’t see or feel the damage taking place.
Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Andalou Naturals was founded by husband and wife Mark and Stacey Egide—both of whom also created the Avalon Organics line. The duo sold Avalon Organics in 2002, and started Andalou Naturals in 2011, where it’s sold at health food stores and online.
Visit their site and you’ll quickly find the brand is focused on the “feel-good” approach to skin care. Andalou Naturals brand philosophy is heavily steeped in philanthropy: Their “A Force of Nature” fund regularly donates to various nonprofit groups, and every order you place on their site adds $1 to this fund. How wonderful!
Andalou Naturals offers an extensive line of face-, body-, and hair-care products, themed around what they call, “Fruit Stem Cell Science,” which includes extracts from apple, grape, and argan. While these types of ingredients have antioxidant benefit, the idea that they work like your stem cells to turn back time isn’t supported by published research of any kind.
Stem cells work only if they are alive, and in a skin-care product, they are long dead. Not to mention that even if stem cells could survive the skin-care formulation process, an apple stem cell is helpful only to an apple—your skin cells wouldn’t have the first clue how to use stem cells from a plant. Stem-cell research is still in its infancy—science is just beginning to understand how stem cells work and/or how they can actually benefit our health; the cosmetics industry isn’t beating the medical industry in this regard!
The company also includes what they refer to as “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” in many of their products. This is really a blanket name for a mix of non-fragrant berry juice extracts (acai, aronia, bearberry, bilberry, black elderberry, goji berry, rosehips berry, and sea buckthorn berry). All of these ingredients have antioxidant function on the skin, but, again, they aren’t miracle ingredients by any stretch, nor is Andalou Naturals the only line using them.
We should note that Andalou Naturals, at the time of this review, doesn’t list all of the ingredients in their “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” on their product labels. While the individual berry extracts mentioned above are listed on their website as part of their marketing messaging, they omit them on their products, which violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and FDA labeling regulatory requirements. This is an important oversight, because you have the right to know all of the ingredients in your skin-care products, without having to jump through extra hoops. We hope the company rectifies this in the near future.
On a more positive note, we found that many of the skin-care products Andalou Naturals offers were good—mostly for normal to dry skin, although there also are a few winners for those with oily to combination skin. Many contain some amount of fragrance (but to their credit, the facial formulas that did contain fragrance mostly had only a minimum amount, which is not typical of natural-themed lines).
We were especially impressed that they avoided the boring or basic formulas so common among natural skin-care brands. Several of their products contain the types of beneficial ingredients that have plenty of published research to back up their claims. What a great change of pace!
The missteps were the few instances of jar packaging (which marred what would’ve otherwise been well-rated products) that expose delicate ingredients to air and light, as well as their body-care formulas, which tended to include higher amounts of fragrance.
For more information, call (888) 898-6955, or visit www.andalou.com.
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