Acai fruit is the current all-powerful and all-healing antioxidant you will find touted on the Internet these days—it seems to have kicked noni juice, pomegranate, and grape to the back seat. Despite the hype, none of these, including acai, in any way, shape, or form are must-have ingredients for skin, especially not in a body wash that's quickly rinsed down the drain. Antioxidants work when they are left on the skin so they can intercept the free radicals causing collagen and other elements in skin to break down. Nonetheless, this is still a very good water-soluble body wash for normal to dry skin, albeit with silly claims. The inclusion of fragrance prevents a recommendation for use on sensitive skin. It’s pricier than most you'll find at the health food store, but it is an effective option.
This antioxidant-rich body wash contains protective Açaí to help neutralize free radicals and reduce the signs of aging. Rich, nourishing Cocoa Butter leaves your skin feeling soft and healthy.
Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Euterpe Oleracea (Açaí) Fruit Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Seed Oil, Panthenol (Vit. B5), Allantoin, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 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.