This cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid, which is a great ingredient for exfoliation and absolutely can penetrate into a pore to reduce blemishes and blackheads. However, in a cleanser it has minimal to no effect on breakouts because it is rinsed down the drain before it has a chance to go to work in your pores.
For those who like the aura of natural ingredients, there are several in this cleanser; regrettably, some of the plant extracts are problematic for your skin. Although Alba Botanica did include some soothing plant extracts, ideally, every plant extract should be soothing and healing, especially for acne-prone skin, because redness and inflammation are persistent issues. Although some of the ingredients listed present problems that make the claims a bit bogus, this is still a good water-soluble cleanser for normal to oily skin. This is capable of removing makeup and rinses without a residue. On balance, it deserves a Good rating, although it doesn't cleanse "deeper" than other water-soluble cleansers.
Gentle foaming wash fights breakouts even after you rinse. Powerfully natural, botanically effective foaming facial wash naturally treats and helps prevent blemishes and leaves skin squeaky clean.
Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Water, Coco-Betaine, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Lauryl Glucoside, Glycerin, Azadirachta Indica Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Sodium Chloride, Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, 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.