This citrus-scented body cream's main drawback is the amount of lavender and other fragrant plants, along with being packaged in a jar. Please see More Info for details on the problems jar packaging presents. As for the lavender, at least the form used is flower "juice" (water) rather than the more potent oil. Still, research has shown lavender isn't a skin-friendly ingredient; it may make your nose happy, but it can cause problems for your skin (not to mention that fragrance isn't skin care).
This body cream contains a mix of helpful and potentially troublesome ingredients, making it tough to recommend for those with dry skin. If the amount of troublesome plant extracts were lower, this would be a safe bet, but this still wouldn't be preferred to a body moisturizer packaged in an opaque tube or bottle, which helps keep the delicate ingredients stable during use. You'll find such options on our Best Body Care Products list.
- Contains a mix of emollient ingredients that benefit dry skin.
- The plant oils and shea butter supply antioxidants.
- Contains some fragrant plant extracts that are potential irritants.
- Jar packaging won't keep the antioxidants and plant-based ingredients stable during use.
- Strong fragrance, and fragrance isn't skin care.
All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
Note that fragrance in body creams may appeal to your nose, but whether natural or synthetic, it can be a problem for all skin types. It’s less of a concern when present in low amounts, but ideally, fragrance-free is the best way to go.
Nutrient-rich tropical fruits blended in a refreshing body cream to soften, soothe and smooth rough, dry, flaky skin.
Certified Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower And Aloe Barbadensis Juices, Purified Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) And Psidium Guajava (Guava) Fruit Extracts, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Certified Organic Mangifera Indica (Mango) And Carica Papaya Fruit Extracts, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Dimethicone, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) And Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Polysorbate 60, Stearyl Alcohol, Certified Organic Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol And Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Carbomer, Caramel, Beta Carotene, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Citric Acid And Botanical Fragrance.
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.