Sadly, there's one ingredient in this lotion-textured moisturizer that makes it impossible to recommend, and that's lavender oil. Despite its alluring scent, lavender is a skin irritant that can cause a host of issues, even if you can't see or feel the damage taking place. See More Info to learn why it's best to avoid skin care that contains lavender oil.
Otherwise, this is a good moisturizer for normal to slightly dry skin, and it contains a mix of "good and healthy" natural ingredients which provide antioxidant benefit.
This would be an easy recommendation for an inexpensive facial moisturizer if not for the aforementioned lavender plus the addition of fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation. Those fragrance ingredients are not present in truly worrisome amounts, but research has shown even a tiny amount of lavender oil can be a problem for skin especially when used repeatedly.
- Lightweight yet hydrating lotion texture.
- Contains a good mix of beneficial natural ingredients which have antioxidant action.
- Lavender oil is a known skin irritant even when used in tiny amounts.
- The fragrance ingredients won't do skin any favors, because fragrance isn't skin care.
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Lucky for you, this instantly absorbed, water-based moisturizer is loaded with Lutein, multiple vitamins and other phytonutrients from Kale, Spinach and Swiss Chard. Replenished and recharged, your skin will look its healthy best with a smooth, matte finish.
Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Isoamyl Laurate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Garcinia Indica Seed Butter, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Beta Vulgaris Cicla Extract , Brassica Oleracea Acephala Leaf Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Extract, Lactobacillus/Arundinaria Gigantea Ferment Filtrate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Ribes Nigrum (Blackcurrant) Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Bisabolol, Calcium Ascorbate, Cetearyl Olivate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Potassium Hydroxide, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbitan Olivate, Squalane, Stearyl Alcohol, Sucrose, Tapioca Starch, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Xanthophyl, Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Levulinate, Sorbic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Amyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool.
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.