It Just Didn't Work Out Between Us (Sorry, Alba)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I'm back with another round of reviews of products I don't really like--this time all from Alba Botanica. I didn't plan for this, but as I kept updating my notepad of not-so-stellar products they all happened to be Alba ones, so here we are. I really like some Alba products, which you can see in other posts (here and here), and I gravitate towards the brand because I have typically good history with their skincare and appreciate their natural ethos and drugstore prices. Having tried as much of their range as I have, I was bound to come across some of the duds you're about to meet. 

Very Emollient Facial Sunblock SPF 30: This isn't terrible, but it's still a product I have a hard time making myself use. It takes a while to absorb and set to a powdery finish, likely due to the thick and paste-like texture. It certainly takes longer to rub in and does next to nothing for preventing shine--which might be a plus for anyone with dry skin. What I really can't get over is the incredibly potent sunscreen smell, as it may be the strongest sunscreen scent I've ever encountered. For those afraid of chemical nasties, like a lot of the Alba line, this suncream is paraben free and hypo-allergenic, and while it is oil-free, the packaging doesn't specifically state that it's non-comedogenic. This didn't make me break out or anything, but for my oily skin, I like to be make sure I'm using something non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging). 

Even Advanced Eye Makeup Remover: The Even Advanced toner and cleanser are some of my favorite Alba products, but I can hardly make myself use this eye makeup remover. It's not nearly as strong as my go-to Neutrogena oil-free remover, but the real problem is that it burns my eyes. It's not a sharp stinging sensation, but rather a slow burn that takes a bit of time to identify as pain. This product would still be here even if it were the world's most efficient makeup remover--there is absolutely no reason a product made for the eyes should be burning them. 

Clear Enzyme Deodorant Stick: I bought this to test out as part of My Favorite Aluminum-Free Deodorants post, and discovered that it's yet another dismal natural deodorant. By that I mean it's in line with Tom's and all the other all-natural deodorants in that it does next to nothing for my underarms. The stick goes on clear, which is nice, but it doesn't offer anywhere near a decent amount of protection, and the "aloe" scent reminds me unpleasantly of baking soda and Tom's toothpaste. Its one plus side is that it's aluminum, preservative and paraben-free. 

Very Emollient Sunless Tanner: Remember the self-tanning nightmare I mentioned last week? Meet the culprit. This didn't streaky terribly on me (though there were definitely some uneven patches), but the distinctly orange shade is what has it firmly on this list. This self-tanner goes on white, and the packaging said I would have tanned legs after three hours. I had a gentle tint at the three hour mark and went to bed only to find orange legs in the morning. Maybe on someone with less blindingly pale legs the color would have appeared more natural, but I couldn't deal with it and went to wash it off. A potential benefit is that this stuff didn't completely come off for about five days, despite repeated washing and exfoliating. I scrubbed twice the first time and only emerged with tiger-striped legs. The longevity of the color would definitely be a good thing if only this tanner wasn't so orange. At least Jergens Natural Glow washes off easily! 

Despite my experiences with these products, I'm not at all deterred from my strange interest in the Alba skincare line. I actually just picked up their new cleansing milk (like I needed a new face cleanser), which you'll be seeing on the blog soon.

Let me know if you've tried any of these products and how you got on with them!

Hope you're well!