Budget Skincare Review: Alba Botanica Good & Clean

Monday, June 24, 2013

I've been on a massive skincare kick lately, but while you'll soon be seeing a high-end skincare haul, that doesn't mean that I've been neglecting the drugstore aisles where my face is concerned. This is the second installment of my Budget Skincare Reviews (read the first one here) and yes, it's featuring an Alba range again. I almost went the Yes to Grapefruit route, but wound up with Good n' Clean because I have good history with Alba products, and appreciate the brand's natural ethos. Plus, the new line focuses on detoxifying which is an unusual find for drugstore skincare. (If you think this post is because Alba knows who I am, or sent these products for free, I'm flattered, but I assure you that few people pay attention to my little corner of the Internet. As always, I've purchased everything myself--just truth and product reviews here at MM!

The Good n' Clean range is unusual in that 1) it only offers cleansers and treatments--no moisturizers, 2) it's one of the few affordable detoxifying ranges and 3) they launched the first drugstore chemical peel I've ever seen. You'll notice the emphasis on exfoliating with this line, which is apparently based in the idea that exfoliating the skin is what draws out impurities and helps detoxify it. I don't know if I believe that, and after about a month of using these products, I'm not sure that my skin contains any fewer toxins.

For reference I have incredibly oily, acne-prone skin, and for lazy readers (shame!), I've got a summary at the end of the post.

Enough chatter--let's crack on to the reviews!

Alba Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser: This is one of the two cleansers of the range, and is the one more suited to sensitive skin. The product itself is actually a cream consistency (it comes out like a lotion), and is one of the most gentle cleansers I own. My face feels soft and incredibly comfortable after rinsing, like I could follow with moisturizer but don't necessarily have to. This is one of those basic, fuss-free cleansers that would be best suited to normal skin types, with some leeway for combination/oily and combination/dry. I prefer this one for evening cleanses, with the product below for the morning. 

Gentle Acne Wash: I don't like the Alba AcneDote face wash, but this is an acne-fighting cleanser I can get behind. I've been using this one the most consistently (it's about half empty) and I actually think some of my skin's recent good behavior can be attributed to this cleanser. Some of the anti-acne ingredients make the area around my nose tingle a bit (which I like as a sign that it's working), and after I've rinsed, my face doesn't feel tight. It's not quite as hydrated as when I use the Daily Detox, but my face still feels comfortable. That being said, it is ridiculously humid right now so I'm not sure I could use this every day in the winter. I might need something more moisturizing then, but I could definitely still use this a few times a week. 

Dual Textured Exfoliating Wipes: In line with the exfoliation theme, these wipes are double-sided with one side meant to scrub away impurities and then the other to cleanse. I've seen similar wipes before, but the scrubby side on these was almost too intense. I have very hardy skin, and while this didn't feel painfully abrasive, on someone with more sensitive skin, it would definitely be too much. The solution the wipes are soaked in is capable of removing light makeup, but they're not meant to be makeup removing agents. These just aren't my favorite wipes, and I really can't get past how sticky my face feels after using them--like I need to rinse or wash my face afterwards. I thought the point of wipes was sink-free "cleansing"?

Toxin Release Scrub: The other Alba scrubs I've tried have been non-cleansing, so I'm pleased to see they've gotten it together and made a two-in-one wash and scrub. I don't know that it's my favorite drugstore facial scrub (I'll have to retry the Neutrogena Naturals one), but it's definitely up there. The texture of the product is interesting, as it contains mostly sand-like grains with a few larger bits thrown in, so the exfoliant overall is a consistency just slightly larger than grains of sand. The gritty cleanser actually comes out as a reddish-brown gummy, but it's concentrated so a little splodge is enough for the whole face. It's another cleanser that leaves my face very comfortable, with the added bonus of feeling extra soft. 

Pore Purifying Mini Peel: I saved the best for last--the first drugstore chemical peel I've seen, and hopefully not the last! Just a thin layer of this stuff (the packaging says to use a liberal amount, but that's just a waste of product) eats away at all the dead and old skin on your face, and it's a quick 3-5 minute treatment. There's definitely some tingling across my T-zone, and once the peel's dried and I've rinsed it off, my face feels fabulously soft. I'm not sure that this has made any impact on my acne scars and hyper-pigmentation, but it feels like a thorough exfoliation and my face is always smoother the next morning. I don't know about purifying pores, but I think the craters on my nose look smaller after using this, though that could just be wishful thinking. 

Overall: This line (with its two cleansers) could work for just about every skin type, and while I question whether or not these products actually detoxify, they (for the most part) do their job. Four out of the five items of the range are solid skincare products that, despite not being wow-worthy, perform well and are diversifying the aisles of typical drugstore skincare.  

Try It!: Acne Detox Cleanser, Daily Detox Cleanser, Toxin Release Scrub, and the Mini Peel (so basically all of them).

Skip It!: The Dual Textured Exfoliating Wipes--there are way better drugstore face wipes out there. 

I really enjoy doing these Budget Skincare posts, so if there's a range you want me to explore, leave me a comment with your request!

Happy Monday!


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  2. what kind of "chemicals" are in the mini peel? I thought there stuff was on the low end of chemical products

    1. Sorry for the confusion, Anon, but I meant that the peel is a chemical exfoliant so the ingredients in the product eat away and dead and old skin, instead of being a physical exfoliant like a face scrub with rough particles to physically slough off old skin.

      Basically, the peel can be left alone and it does its job, whereas a scrub needs to physically scrub at your face.

      And yes, Alba doesn't use as many chemical nasties--specifically, most of the brand does not contain parabens, phthalates and a few other unpleasantries.

      Hope that clears things up!

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  5. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

    Best Facial Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

  6. should I be worried that most of the comments got removed?