This serum, which has more of a lotion texture than a serum texture, is a problem for all skin types and absolutely not recommended. The lightweight texture glides on and contains a few good moisturizing ingredients, but the amount of fragrant citrus oils presents a strong cause for concern due to their irritation potential (see More Info for details).
Of particular concern is bergamot oil, a citrus oil whose volatile components are known to cause brown discolorations when skin is exposed to sunlight (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). What is that ingredient doing in a product meant to improve discolorations? Moreover, the other citrus ingredients present similar concerns, as do the fragrance ingredients (such as limonene).
For superior skin-lightening products that don’t pose a risk of making matters worse, see our list of Best Skin-Lightening Products. By the way, there’s no pure vitamin C in this serum; rather, the company is probably using the association of the citrus oils being natural sources of vitamin C—yet most of the research on vitamin C for skin lightening has examined pure forms of vitamin C, not indirect forms from plants that contain vitamin C.
- Contains some good moisturizing ingredients.
- Stands little chance of improving skin discolorations or signs of aging.
- The bergamot oil can trigger more brown spots when skin is exposed to sunlight.
- All of the citrus oils this contains put skin at risk for pro-aging irritation.
- Does not contain pure vitamin C.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
This highly concentrated treatment serum is designed to target hyperpigmentation, sagging and lines, the most visible signs of UV-induced stress. Our unique combination of antioxidant-rich Vitamin C, Lemon Bioflavonoids and White Tea help reactivate cellular renewal and promote collagen and elastin production while evening skin tone.
Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Squalane, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Algin, Ascorbic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool
Avalon Organics is one of many companies owned by Hain-Celestial, a company that specializes in marketing "natural" products. Along with various food and beverage brands you often see lining the shelves of health food stores, Hain-Celestial is also behind several other cosmetics lines, including Alba Botanica, Jason Natural, and Zia Natural (and just to be clear, none of these are all natural in the least).
Avalon Organics is most similar to Alba Botanica, but strangely enough, Avalon in many ways is the inferior line. Relative to the Alba Botanica line, Avalon Organics products cost more and their formulas aren't nearly as state of the art. A major thumbs down for Avalon Organics is the fact that none of their sunscreens contains sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. In addition, many more of the Avalon Organics products contain irritating plant oils (lavender, orange), and almost all also feature a plant tea concoction that includes not only lavender but also arnica, a problematic plant if ever there was one (Sources: American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, June 1996, pages 94–99; and www.naturaldatabase.com). It is these natural ingredients that sabotage many of the Avalon Organics products.
Avalon does include several helpful natural ingredients (among them willow herb, licorice, borage oil, and aloe), but their benefit is diminished when they must overcome the potential skin problems presented by the not-so-helpful plants. Moreover, several Avalon Organics products contain a blend of unidentified essential oils. These are used for fragrance, but Avalon opted to list the generic term "fragrance" as "other essential oils," which means that consumers do not know exactly what oils they're applying to their skin. This goes directly against FDA regulatory requirements: "other essential oils" is not a legitimate ingredient term.
It is indeed admirable that Avalon Organics is dedicated to organic farming and to sustainable agricultural practices that improve the environment, but such a mission doesn’t translate into great skin-care: farming is one issue, but brilliantly formulated products is another. In this case you can't rely on Avalon products to take care of your skin without some careful consideration. There are a handful of recommended products to consider, especially if you prefer a ratio of ingredients that favors natural over synthetic. (Note, however, this is not an all-natural line, any more than munching on Skittles candy is like eating real fruit.) But taking "the time to honor yourself" (Avalon's statement) by using products only from their line, or being swayed by this brand's "Consciousness in Cosmetics" for the sake of your skin, would be a mistake.
For more information about Avalon Organics, call (888) 659-7730 or visit www.avalonorganics.com.
Note: Avalon uses the term "other essential oils" on their ingredient lists, which does not comply with FDA or international regulations. These regulations state that you must list by name ALL the individual ingredients you include in your product for this category of ingredients.