Just as with almost all self-tanners, this option includes dihydroxyacetone to turn your skin color. It also contains a small amount of erythrulose, a self-tanning ingredient that works more slowly than dihydroxyacetone. What sets this self-tanning lotion for normal to dry skin apart from most others are the many emollient plant oils and antioxidants. Those additions are helpful and make this worth considering as something more than just a self-tanner—and the price is great! What's not so great and keeps this self-tanner from earning our highest rating is the inclusion of several fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritation. The risk is low, and likely the fragrance helps cover up the after-smell some self-tanners have, but it would be better for your skin without these additions.
A golden tan year-round for face and body. Easy to use, non-streaking formula absorbs quickly for natural looking color in less than 3 hours.
Water, Dihydroxyacetone, Glyceryl Stearate SE, C12-15 Alkylbenzoate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-20, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Erythrulose, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lactic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Citrate, Steareth-20, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, 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.