10.06.2014
0
15
Very Emollient Sunscreen Aloe Vanilla Mineral Protection SPF 30
Rating
4 fl. oz. for $11.49
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > SPF 30-49 Sunscreen
Last Updated:10.06.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This sunscreen contains the mineral actives of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and so provides reliable broad-spectrum protection. Normally, we'd recommend such sunscreens for sensitive or rosacea-affected skin, but in this case the inclusion of fragrant ingredients (eugenol, geraniol, and others) negates that thumbs up.

If sensitivity is not your concern, this is still a fairly gentle and, as stated, effective sunscreen. It is best for those with normal to very dry skin not prone to breakouts. As with most mineral-based sunscreens, this requires thorough blending to minimize the white cast the high amount of zinc oxide can leave behind. Despite the gentleness of the active ingredients, think twice before exposing your skin to fragrance ingredients known to be irritating. There are plenty of mineral sunscreens that do not contain these problematic extras.

Claims

This very emollient and botanically moisturizing mineral sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection as defined by the FDA. Made with chemical-free sunscreens, this quick absorbing lotion is water resistant (40 minutes), paraben free and lightly scented with a fresh, all-natural fragrance. Powerful antioxidant rich Green Tea, Grape Seed Oil and Vitamin E nourish skin while Aloe Vera, Lavender and Chamomile moisturize and smooth.

Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 12.0 %; Titanium Dioxide 1.0 %; Other Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyglyceryl-3 Ricinoleate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate , Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Fragrance (Parfum)

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 Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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.

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