07.01.2014
2
Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub
1.7 fl. oz. for $14.95
Expert Rating
Community Rating (0)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:07.01.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No

While Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub does have a few pros (like moisturizing non-fragrant plant oils and fatty acids), especially for dry skin not prone to breakouts, the cons make this an overall disappointing entry into the scrub category. The most significant cons are a few questionable ingredient choices (an overly coarse scrub agent and citrus extracts) and the fact that it’s packaged in a jar. See More Info to find out why jar packaging isn’t a good idea for a product like this.

Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) extract is the scrub ingredient in this product—but it’s a bit too good at its job and can cause micro-tears on the skin’s surface due to its irregular and jagged edges. The kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix) extract is also problematic due to its potential to sensitize skin, and this type of irritation can be exacerbated in a scrub formula.

What about their claim that sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is a natural source of glycolic acid? That’s true. However, sugarcane contains only a small amount of glycolic acid, and that tiny amount won’t do much of anything for the skin. It certainly won’t be as effective as a true exfoliant product.

When well formulated, scrubs are a good option to facilitate the cleansing process (like using a soft washcloth with your cleanser or a facial brush like the Clarisonic), but they don’t replace a well-formulated AHA or BHA leave-on exfoliant in terms of anti-aging benefits, unclogging pores, and fading discolorations.

Andalou Naturals included manuka honey, which has some research (like many varieties of honey) demonstrating antibacterial and antioxidant benefit for the skin—which is true of many ingredients. Manuka honey is sometimes rumored to have benefit in treating acne, but we couldn’t find a shred of research supporting that direct relationship (and in a cleanser it is rinsed off before it has a chance to really work anyway).

What research we could find noted that manuka honey works, to a degree, on Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria, which isn’t the same or similar to Propionibacterium acnes, the type of bacteria that plays a role in acne breakouts (Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2011).

Rather than considering Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub, opt for the better-formulated (that is, more gentle) options available from other brands that don’t share this product’s problematic ingredients and packaging. Check out our list of GOOD to BEST Scrubs for our top picks. Better yet, check out our top AHA and BHA exfoliant picks from other brands on our list of Best Exfoliants.

Note: Please totally ignore the claims made about the fruit stem cell ingredients (see More Info if you wish to read the considerable details explaining why). While these ingredients aren’t harmful or irritating to the skin (and can have antioxidant benefit), there is no research to support the claims of regenerating skin or functioning like your skin’s own stem cells, which would push this product from its status as a cosmetic to a drug. The notion that plant stem cells can “renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, or regenerate healthy cells” may be true for a plant, but it isn’t for human skin.

Pros:
  • Contains beneficial emollients for normal to dry skin.
  • Includes a nice array of beneficial antioxidants and anti-irritants.
Cons:
  • Includes a scrub agent (bamboo extract) that is potentially irritating to the skin.
  • The lime extract present can promote skin irritation and sensitivity.
  • Jar packaging means the beneficial ingredients will begin to break down from the first use.
  • Plant stem cells don't renew or generate human cells of any kind.

More Info:

Why Jar Packaging is a Problem: The fact that this product is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most 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 present a hygiene issue because even if you wash your hands or use a spatula to remove the product, you’re introducing bacteria that causes further breakdown of key ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Stem Cells in Skin Care: Stem cells are cells in animals and plants that are capable of becoming any other type of cell in that organism and of producing more of those cells. Despite the fact that stem cell research is in its infancy, many cosmetics companies claim they are successfully using plant-based or human-derived stem cells in their anti-aging products. The claims run the gamut, from reducing wrinkles to elastin repair and cell regeneration, so the temptation for consumers to try these is intense.

The truth is that stem cells in skin-care products do not work as claimed. In fact, they likely have no effect at all because stem cells must be alive to function as stem cells. Once these delicate cells are added to skin-care products, they are long dead and, therefore, useless.

Plant stem cells, such as those derived from apples, melons, flowers, and rice, cannot stimulate stem cells in human skin, but because they are from plants these ingredients likely have antioxidant

properties. Actually, it’s a good thing plant stem cells can’t work as stem cells in skin-care products; after all, you don’t want your skin to absorb cells that can grow into apples or watermelons!

There are also claims that because a plant’s stem cells allow a plant to repair itself or to survive in harsh climates, these benefits can be passed on to human skin. How a plant functions in nature is unrelated to human skin, and these claims are completely without substantiation.

Another twist on the issue is that cosmetics company’s claim they have taken components (such as peptides) out of the plant stem cells and made them stable so they then can work as stem cells. This approach is not valid because stem cells must be complete to function normally. Even if you could isolate substances or extracts from these cells and make them stable, there is no published research showing they can affect stem cells in human skin.

Community Reviews
Claims

Fruit Stem Cell Complex, vitamin C, and Manuka honey diffuse with organic cane sugar to lift away impurities, gently exfoliating for even tone and texture, as Meyer lemon refreshes and revitalizes for a bright, healthy complexion.

Ingredients

Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) and Olea Europaea (Olive) Oils, Oleic Acid, Manuka Honey, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex, Bambusa Vulgaris (Bamboo) and Citrus Hystrix (Kaffir Lime) Extracts, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) and Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extracts, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Styrax Benzoin, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil

Brand Overview

Strengths: Good options for well-formulated facial moisturizers and serums; many products contain multiple antioxidants; a few good toners; (mostly) refreshingly free of hyperbole that is common with many “natural-themed” brands; reasonably priced products; multiple broad-spectrum sunscreen options.

Weaknesses: A few moisturizers packaged in jars; some products contain potentially problematic amounts of fragrance ingredients; lacks research-proven treatments for acne; the body-care products tend to be overly fragrant; claims about plant stem cells are over the top as they don’t renew or generate human cells of any kind.

Andalou Naturals is a rare presence in the saturated market of natural-themed cosmetics lines because the brand manages to keep the focus on their products and ingredients without resorting to the silly “scary chemical” and fear-mongering marketing approach common to so many other natural lines.

Just as impressive as their marketing are many of their formulas, several of which include many antioxidants and multiple skin-repairing ingredients, and aren’t laden with natural fragrance ingredients, which may please your nose but can be very irritating to the skin, even if you don’t see or feel the damage taking place.

Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Andalou Naturals was founded by husband and wife Mark and Stacey Egide—both of whom also created the Avalon Organics line. The duo sold Avalon Organics in 2002, and started Andalou Naturals in 2011, where it’s sold at health food stores and online.

Visit their site and you’ll quickly find the brand is focused on the “feel-good” approach to skin care. Andalou Naturals brand philosophy is heavily steeped in philanthropy: Their “A Force of Nature” fund regularly donates to various nonprofit groups, and every order you place on their site adds $1 to this fund. How wonderful!

Andalou Naturals offers an extensive line of face-, body-, and hair-care products, themed around what they call, “Fruit Stem Cell Science,” which includes extracts from apple, grape, and argan. While these types of ingredients have antioxidant benefit, the idea that they work like your stem cells to turn back time isn’t supported by published research of any kind.

Stem cells work only if they are alive, and in a skin-care product, they are long dead. Not to mention that even if stem cells could survive the skin-care formulation process, an apple stem cell is helpful only to an apple—your skin cells wouldn’t have the first clue how to use stem cells from a plant. Stem-cell research is still in its infancy—science is just beginning to understand how stem cells work and/or how they can actually benefit our health; the cosmetics industry isn’t beating the medical industry in this regard!

The company also includes what they refer to as “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” in many of their products. This is really a blanket name for a mix of non-fragrant berry juice extracts (acai, aronia, bearberry, bilberry, black elderberry, goji berry, rosehips berry, and sea buckthorn berry). All of these ingredients have antioxidant function on the skin, but, again, they aren’t miracle ingredients by any stretch, nor is Andalou Naturals the only line using them.

We should note that Andalou Naturals, at the time of this review, doesn’t list all of the ingredients in their “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” on their product labels. While the individual berry extracts mentioned above are listed on their website as part of their marketing messaging, they omit them on their products, which violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and FDA labeling regulatory requirements. This is an important oversight, because you have the right to know all of the ingredients in your skin-care products, without having to jump through extra hoops. We hope the company rectifies this in the near future.

On a more positive note, we found that many of the skin-care products Andalou Naturals offers were good—mostly for normal to dry skin, although there also are a few winners for those with oily to combination skin. Many contain some amount of fragrance (but to their credit, the facial formulas that did contain fragrance mostly had only a minimum amount, which is not typical of natural-themed lines).

We were especially impressed that they avoided the boring or basic formulas so common among natural skin-care brands. Several of their products contain the types of beneficial ingredients that have plenty of published research to back up their claims. What a great change of pace!

The missteps were the few instances of jar packaging (which marred what would’ve otherwise been well-rated products) that expose delicate ingredients to air and light, as well as their body-care formulas, which tended to include higher amounts of fragrance.

For more information, call (888) 898-6955, or visit www.andalou.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!

See all reviews for this brand

Strengths: Good options for well-formulated facial moisturizers and serums; many products contain multiple antioxidants; a few good toners; (mostly) refreshingly free of hyperbole that is common with many “natural-themed” brands; reasonably priced products; multiple broad-spectrum sunscreen options.

Weaknesses: A few moisturizers packaged in jars; some products contain potentially problematic amounts of fragrance ingredients; lacks research-proven treatments for acne; the body-care products tend to be overly fragrant; claims about plant stem cells are over the top as they don’t renew or generate human cells of any kind.

Andalou Naturals is a rare presence in the saturated market of natural-themed cosmetics lines because the brand manages to keep the focus on their products and ingredients without resorting to the silly “scary chemical” and fear-mongering marketing approach common to so many other natural lines.

Just as impressive as their marketing are many of their formulas, several of which include many antioxidants and multiple skin-repairing ingredients, and aren’t laden with natural fragrance ingredients, which may please your nose but can be very irritating to the skin, even if you don’t see or feel the damage taking place.

Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Andalou Naturals was founded by husband and wife Mark and Stacey Egide—both of whom also created the Avalon Organics line. The duo sold Avalon Organics in 2002, and started Andalou Naturals in 2011, where it’s sold at health food stores and online.

Visit their site and you’ll quickly find the brand is focused on the “feel-good” approach to skin care. Andalou Naturals brand philosophy is heavily steeped in philanthropy: Their “A Force of Nature” fund regularly donates to various nonprofit groups, and every order you place on their site adds $1 to this fund. How wonderful!

Andalou Naturals offers an extensive line of face-, body-, and hair-care products, themed around what they call, “Fruit Stem Cell Science,” which includes extracts from apple, grape, and argan. While these types of ingredients have antioxidant benefit, the idea that they work like your stem cells to turn back time isn’t supported by published research of any kind.

Stem cells work only if they are alive, and in a skin-care product, they are long dead. Not to mention that even if stem cells could survive the skin-care formulation process, an apple stem cell is helpful only to an apple—your skin cells wouldn’t have the first clue how to use stem cells from a plant. Stem-cell research is still in its infancy—science is just beginning to understand how stem cells work and/or how they can actually benefit our health; the cosmetics industry isn’t beating the medical industry in this regard!

The company also includes what they refer to as “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” in many of their products. This is really a blanket name for a mix of non-fragrant berry juice extracts (acai, aronia, bearberry, bilberry, black elderberry, goji berry, rosehips berry, and sea buckthorn berry). All of these ingredients have antioxidant function on the skin, but, again, they aren’t miracle ingredients by any stretch, nor is Andalou Naturals the only line using them.

We should note that Andalou Naturals, at the time of this review, doesn’t list all of the ingredients in their “BioActive 8 Berry Complex” on their product labels. While the individual berry extracts mentioned above are listed on their website as part of their marketing messaging, they omit them on their products, which violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and FDA labeling regulatory requirements. This is an important oversight, because you have the right to know all of the ingredients in your skin-care products, without having to jump through extra hoops. We hope the company rectifies this in the near future.

On a more positive note, we found that many of the skin-care products Andalou Naturals offers were good—mostly for normal to dry skin, although there also are a few winners for those with oily to combination skin. Many contain some amount of fragrance (but to their credit, the facial formulas that did contain fragrance mostly had only a minimum amount, which is not typical of natural-themed lines).

We were especially impressed that they avoided the boring or basic formulas so common among natural skin-care brands. Several of their products contain the types of beneficial ingredients that have plenty of published research to back up their claims. What a great change of pace!

The missteps were the few instances of jar packaging (which marred what would’ve otherwise been well-rated products) that expose delicate ingredients to air and light, as well as their body-care formulas, which tended to include higher amounts of fragrance.

For more information, call (888) 898-6955, or visit www.andalou.com.