Andalou Naturals

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.

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+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Good Acai + White Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer Andalou Naturals Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $24.95 2.10 fl. oz.
Good All-in-One Beauty Balm Sheer Tint with SPF 30 Andalou Naturals Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen  $19.95 2.00 fl. oz.
Good Aloe Mint Cooling Body Lotion Andalou Naturals Body Lotions/ Creams/Balms/Butters  $11.95 11.00 fl. oz.
Good Aloe Mint Cooling Shower Gel Andalou Naturals Body Soaps/Washes  $9.95 11.00 fl. oz.
Good Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk Andalou Naturals Cleansers/Soaps  $12.95 6.00 fl. oz.
Average Argan + Mint Lip Remedy Andalou Naturals Lip Balm Without Sunscreen  $8.95 0.40 fl. oz.
Good Argan + Omega Natural Glow 3 in 1 Treatment Andalou Naturals Face/Body Oils  $24.95 1.90 fl. oz.
Average Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask Andalou Naturals Moisturizing/Firming Masks  $14.95 1.70 fl. oz.
Poor BioActive 8 Berry Fruit Enzyme Mask Andalou Naturals Moisturizing/Firming Masks  $14.95 1.70 fl. oz.
Poor Blemish Vanishing Gel Andalou Naturals Blemish/Acne Treatments  $12.95 0.60 fl. oz.
Good Blossom + Leaf Toning Refresher Andalou Naturals Toners  $12.95 6.00 fl. oz.
Good Blue Geranium Creamy Clay Mask Andalou Naturals Moisturizing/Firming Masks  $14.95 1.80 fl. oz.
Average Chia + Omega Radiant Skin Polish Andalou Naturals Scrubs  $14.95 2.00 fl. oz.
Poor Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel Andalou Naturals Cleansers/Soaps  $12.95 6.00 fl. oz.
Good Clementine + C Illuminating Toner Andalou Naturals Toners  $12.95 6.00 fl. oz.
Average Clementine Ginger Energizing Body Lotion Andalou Naturals Body Lotions/ Creams/Balms/Butters  $11.95 11.00 fl. oz.
Average Clementine Ginger Energizing Shower Gel Andalou Naturals Body Soaps/Washes  $9.95 11.00 fl. oz.
Best Fruit Stem Cell Revitalize Serum Andalou Naturals Serums  $24.95 1.10 fl. oz.
Poor Kombucha Enzyme Exfoliating Peel Andalou Naturals Enzymes  $14.95 1.80 fl. oz.
Best Kukui Cocoa Body Butter Andalou Naturals Body Lotions/ Creams/Balms/Butters  $13.95 8.00 fl. oz.
Average Lavender Shea Body Butter Andalou Naturals Body Lotions/ Creams/Balms/Butters  $13.95 8.00 fl. oz.
Average Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub Andalou Naturals Scrubs  $14.95 1.70 fl. oz.
Best Luminous Eye Serum Andalou Naturals Eye Moisturizers  $19.95 0.60 fl. oz.
Poor Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser Andalou Naturals Cleansers/Soaps  $12.95 6.00 fl. oz.
Average Oil Control Beauty Balm Un-Tinted with SPF 30 Andalou Naturals Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $19.95 2.00 fl. oz.
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