03.13.2015
12
1383
Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen Natural Protection Lip Care SPF 25
Rating
0.35 fl. oz. for $2.99
Category:Skin Care > Lip Products (Including Lip Exfoliators)
Last Updated:03.13.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

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).

Claims

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.

Ingredients

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)

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 new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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06.15.2015
Horrible taste!

as with all chapstick/lip balm, it's inevitable that some gets into the mouth. I have never had a chapstick leave such a horrible taste in my mouth. When I first started having this chemical bitter taste in my mouth I didn't realize it was being caused by the chapstick (which I'd just started using), but I stopped using it for a few days and no longer had the issue. I cannot use this product.

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Reviewed by
Rodee
04.29.2015
Yuck!

Picked this up because the other Alba balms, which I LOVE, weren't available- good lord, it has the most horrible bitter taste!!! I wonder if it's one of those things where some people can taste the bitterness, and others can't??? It's awful, I wiped it off.

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Meghan C.
02.21.2015
Horrible Taste

I really wanted to like this product as it provides sun protection and is inexpensive. However, as others have also indicated, the taste of this lip balm is awful and doesn't go away until you remove it completely. Stopped using it before I finished the tube.

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Reviewed by
Elizabeth O.
11.20.2014
Perfect lip balm!

So happy that I used the recommendations from this website to find a lip balm. This is perfect! No stickiness, no artificial taste (no taste at all really), and it goes on very smooth. Also, there are no artificial sugars in this product that some other lip balms include in their products for whatever reason. Perfect!

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Anonymous
09.10.2014
Excellent lip balm with SPF

For me this lip balm is the best. Super emollient, feel smooth and no taste or fragrance. I didn't experience a bad taste or anything like the granular texture other reviewers mentioned. Perhaps Alba has a quality control issue? I purchased mine at a local Whole Foods for $3.49 after looking for it for months. This is my new go-to lip balm with SPF. I'm purchasing a couple more so I'll have one handy wherever I go.

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Reviewed by
ANN P.
08.31.2014
Excellent SPF lip balm! :-)

It's so hard to find a good broad spectrum protection lip balm that doesn't have irritating ingredients and truly leaves your lips moisturized! (the inexpensive price is also awesome)! Very pleased with this product, and I am confused by a comment below saying the texture is strange, because it feels very smooth and moisturizing to me. I can even wear this under my Paula's Choice SPF lipstick! I know I am keeping my lips protected & pretty! ;-) Thanks for the review PC! Love you guys! :-)

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
07.16.2014
Tastes like sunscreen

This $2.99, SPF 25 lip balm is soothing and goes on very smoothly BUT has a very strong taste of sunscreen which other SPF lip balms do not have. I liken it to applying sunscreen inside your mouth; it is a taste I can't get used to and have stopped using it.

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Anonymous
05.06.2014
Strange granular-like texture...

I, also, purchased this product because it was a "best" product. Although the lip balm is a great value and protects my lips, the texture was really strange. Applying it felt like I was putting cookie crumbs on my lips, however, once applied my lips felt smooth.

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Reviewed by
CHRISTINE L.
10.26.2013
Awful, do not buy

I bought this because it received a best rating on this website. However, it has the most awful after taste that I had to throw it away. I NEVER do that with lib balms, because I always need one in my purse, nightstand, car, etc. I love Paula's Choice invisible lip balm and that is my go-to for lips now.

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Reviewed by
Jen
10.18.2013
Not Tasty

I ordered this from Alba Botanica's site back during the summer. I agree it is very emollient and leaves no detectable white cast. However, an objectionable taste will register a little while after it's applied. If you can somehow avoid eating, drinking, or other activities which transfer the product inside your mouth, you may like it.

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Reviewed by
Gail
10.01.2013
Finally found it!

I finally found this at my local Whole Foods. This has no detectable fragrance, is moisturizing, and I love that it has sun protection. It doesn't leave behind a white cast on my lips either. This is very affordable, and I highly recommend it.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
07.05.2013
Not listed on website

I went to the Alba Botanica Website and could not find this product. Am still looking for a good lip balm since Paula's Choice discontinued them.

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Reviewed by
Carla
07.05.2013
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello, and thanks for your comments! We were still able to find it on the Alba Botanica website at this link: http://www.albabotanica.com/sun/lip-protection/lip-care-spf-25.html. We hope this helps you out!

—Paula's Choice Research Team
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