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29 April, 2017

Alba Botanica+Burt's Bees Purchase & Review

Hey ya'll :)

Here is the first post regarding items I've bought since touching down again in the US of A, 2016. While they are admittedly more essential than monumental, I thought given the fact that they're body products it'd be a good idea share.

On the note of following up, here's that one that I promised to you over summer about my now-previous skin-care product of choice.

Although the product was good enough, it didn't come from a brand that I know a lot about or support as such and was more of a one-off try based on my friend's good experience with it and my desperation to find something to help my skin since the move to London  It's not that I had a bad experience with the Garnier Active 3-in-1 facial scrub, I actually quite enjoyed how easy it was and the feeling it left you with of having fresh, clean skin, but alas, it didn't combat London's pollution's effect on my skin & the fact that it contains micro-beads alone has now put me off since I've learnt how detrimental they are to our environment.

I'd been hoping to find some new products during my holiday that were healthier (for myself & Mama Earth) and given Daddy's penchant to shop at Scrubs, I had a pretty good shot at finding products that were environmentally friendly.  I'd already done quick & simple skin test on Burts Bee's website earlier that day to determine which of their many products might work the best for me and they had all of it in stock when we headed out to run our errands where some shampoo, conditioner, and body wash were on the list of things needed as well.

I've tried the Alba Botanica brand before and fell in love with their Hawaiian body scrub when it was gifted to me nearly 3 years ago by my auntie but couldn't seem to find it anywhere for a reasonable price in my neck of the woods.  While enjoying the refreshing feeling that a hot shower has to offer after a long flight, I recognised the packaging on the remainders of my sister's shampoo & decided to give it a go.

Their products contain no damaging sulphates, phthalatesor, heavy minerals, silicones, parabens, or artificial colouring for a start.  Secondly, they do not test on animals & are 100% vegetarian as well. What's not to like based on that?!

If you'd like to give them a try you can get the products I purchased here (shampoo), here (conditioner), here (body wash), & here (body scrub).

I have nothing against the shampoo and conditioner, and would buy again but I don't think I was able to use them long enough to be able to visibly see or feel any results, even after having used them for two months.  It's more-than worth noting that every single one of the Alba Botanica products that I tried smelled absolutely amazing and all would be re-buys!

Now, I'm nowhere near as environmentally conscious and friendly as I'd like to be in my lifestyle but am also nowhere near the worst either and I take pride in that.  That being said, it's using products like these and supporting these brands that are steps that I'd like to think contribute to making a difference in the world we live in.  I find it hard to know the ins & outs of all of the products I use, the brands I buy (this ranging much further than just body products) and sometimes I think the best you can do is reach a compromise...if you're doing something that's not great for the environment, balance it out by doing something that is.  Nobody reaches full-blown hippy overnight & some people don't want to either but I do think that supporting the right companies and using less hazardous (both to us & to the environment) items is an important step that we should all try to take collectively.

Another brand that I've wanted to try more of is Burt's Bees.  I love what they stand for and the few products of theirs that I've used before have been great but they are, unsurprisingly, a bit pricier.  It's off-putting to many, I realise & understand, but again I think that's something we should all accept for now because at least there's a good reason for it given the ingredients & the quality.  The cheaper stuff is always easier to make annnnddd what does that really say for what they put into the products (both ingredient-wise and the work behind it)?

After completing their test about what kind of skin I have & the climate/conditions its exposed to regularly, I was given the recommendations of Burt's Bees: 1.) Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub, 2.) Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser, 3.) Natural Acnes Solutions Clarifying Toner,  & 4.) Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment--all made with Willow Bark.

I think there was another product recommended  in addition to that collection's moisturiser but due to the lack-luster reviews on only that product alone out of the entire range, I opted for the Radiance Night Cream that's made with Royal Jelly and opted out of the other product as it was so similar to one of those listed above that I didn't see the need for it.

I additionally decided to take one of Burt's Bee's 100% natural Lip Crayon's since my current go-to daily, natural-ish pink lipstick has reached it's end.  I got number 429, "Hawaiian Smolder".


Now, five months later (whoopsies!) I'm not positive I'll ever get my skin completely back to what it was before while I'm still living in London but I noticed a significant change, nonetheless, both during my time in Arizona and since coming back as well.  I don't get spots quite as much, don't constantly feel or like I've got a million layers of greasy pollution stewing in and on my face, in addition to it always being super soft.

I strongly disliked the smell of the spot treatment and didn't see what effect it had on anything so it was not repurchased after I'd run out.

I only just this past week re-ordered the cleanser and toner from Burt's Bees as I'd run out of toner and wished to continue on with these products.  I've probably still got another 2-3 weeks work of the cleanser left in the bottle as-is but it made sense to get them both in one go!!  I love the feeling and consistency of the cleanser, it has an unexpected yet refreshing smell and leaves my face feeling uber soft and clean.

The toner is expected to be the strongest (feeling and scent-wise) out of the group but this one isn't over-the-top, which I like. It doesn't feel or smell like I'm putting acid on my face but it certainly does the job!

I only use the scrub maybe once a week (mainly because I forget that it's there and I don't want to irritate my skin) but I think that does enough!! You definitely that satisfying feeling of taking away whatever isn't meant to be there, leaving you "lighter" and refreshed.  It's a pretty gently scrub as far as they go (well, as far as what I've tried and experienced up until now) and you certainly get bang for your buck as even after accidentally squeezing out far too much product a few times, I wouldn't be surprised if I have enough to last me through the rest of the year.  In saying that, and call me a weirdo, but I do like the feeling of almost rawness when I'm done using a facial scrub and I don't think that this product satisfies that feeling enough.  I also feel like it leaves a coating of itself, even after being washed away which although not distinctly noticeable or irritating in any way, I can't say that I'm a huge fan of.  Even after having used it for five months, I can't say for certain if it makes a massive impact on the overall state of my skin, contributing to being part of the "team" of other products and I'm not sure that I like it enough to re-buy vs trying something new once I run out.

I'm sure that I will have enough of the night cream to last me through the rest of the year, easily, and apart from being obsessed with the smell, it's great that I only have to use the tiniest amount to get the desired results and it makes your skin damn-near glow and feel super, super soft!  It's a treat every time I use it and it comes highly recommended!!

"Hawaiian Smolder" hasn't replaced any of my previous "daily" lipsticks as I'd hoped it would have as the colour is a bit too pink for me.  It is a lovely color and I still use it, just not for what I'd originally purchased it for.  Also, sadly, upon my second time using it, the top broke.  I was careful so it did not break entirely but alas, less than a day into my new product and it was already damaged...

Do any of you have any experience with any of these products specifically or with the brands overall? Sound off!!



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