Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review | Probiotic VitC & Glycolic Pumpkin | Andalou Naturals

Finding opportunities to switch over to natural products have been a personal quest of mine for a number of years. While I am not your typical Westcoast health nut, I do appreciate the idea of natural ingredients that have a more synergistic relationship with our bodies. As a beauty blogger however, I also have very strict criterias and many of the natural brands I've used in the past have yet to gain permanent residence in my beauty routine. For me, switching to a more earth friendly products does not have to mean a loss. I expect the same level of quality, texture, scent and price point from a healthier option as I do some of my favourite synthetic counterparts.


THE BASICS
Brand: Andalou Naturals
Range: Brightening
Availability: Andalou Naturals (online USA), iHerb (international), select health food stores
Full range: Cleanser, Toner, Mask, Day/Night Cream, Serum, Eye Cream, Exfoliator, BB Cream
Key Points: We champion Certified Organic, Natural Origin, BioActive, Fair-Trade, Verified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegetarian and Vegan Ingredients, Eco-Friendly Practices, and a Meaningful No Animal Testing Policy. We reject GMO’s, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Sulfates, Synthetic Colors, Dyes, Fragrances, Triclosan, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA, or Paraben Preservatives.
Website: www.andalou.com

My chance discovery with Andalou Naturals happened one day on iHerb, my favourite health product website where I purchase everything from organic spices to SLS-free shampoo. While searching for a new face cream for the warmer months, Andalou's Brightening range caught my attention with its well curated selection of products and its very promising listing of natural ingredients.



Digging a little deeper into the brand, it seems Andalou has a great foundation in skincare with CEO Stacey Kelly Egide having worked in developing similar brands like Alba Botanica and Avalon Organics which are now popular names in the health market. 

I decided to ease my way into the brand with two products from their brightening range, the Probiotic +C Renewal Cream and the highly rated Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask both formulated for normal to combination skin, a perfect on paper description to my own complexion.


PROBIOTIC + C RENEWAL CREAM
Size: 50ml
Price: $20 USD (via iHerb)
Would I (re)purchase: Yes.

Packaged in a green plastic jar with a brushed sliver lid, this cream has a texture similar to light yogurt and is scented like citrus candy. A combination of fruit stem cells, vitamin C, goji berry, manuka honey, white tea and hyaluronic acid is meant to brighten, protect and hydrate without greasiness.

In fact, it's beautiful texture is one of my favourite things about this cream. Used during the day on it's own or at night (paired with a heavier serum) this makes my skin feel balanced and comfortable in the warmer weather. There is no initial white cast that comes with many natural creams and absorption is immediate so makeup can go right on top without waiting. This would make a great product if you're keen on layering your skincare as it does it's job without feeling heavy.

When it comes to the brightening test, I've yet to notice a major visible change yet it seems that my complexion is more clarified and skin texture is notably smoother when I use this consistently. If you feel that the winter has left your skin rather lack luster then this would be a great pick up.

Do note that this is not an oil-free product but I have not encountered any breakouts or adverse reactions. 

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Monolaurate, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Glycopeptide, Probiotic Complex (Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Polymnia Sonchifolia Root, Maltodextrin and Lactobacillus), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Olive Squalane, Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, Manuka Honey, Acacia Gum, Calendula Officinalis Extract*, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) and Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oils*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract*†, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) and Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oils*


Non-GMO verified    *Organic    † Fair Trade


PUMPKIN HONEY GLYCOLIC MASK
Size: 50ml
Price: $12 USD (via iHerb)
Would I (re)purchase: No.

Housed in an identical green and silver jar, this Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask has a near perfect rating wherever I searched and for an incredibly affordable price of only $12 dollars, I thought my face should get some of this pampering as well.

With a light consistency and strong scent of spiced pumpkin this mask is a potent cocktail of chemical exfoliants including pumpkin, pineapple, glycolic acid and sugar cane. It's thin texture makes the mask easy to apply either all over the face or just in problematic areas and after 10-minutes the non-hardening formula can be easily rinsed off with warm water.

Sadly for me, this product was just too strong for my skin. Initial application caused a great deal of stinging upon contact and my skin was quite red post mask as well. Once the sensitivity subsided, my skin was very smooth and my overall complexion looking refreshed but after a few uses I've decided it probably wasn't worth the discomfort. If you have very tolerant skin then this could be a great one to try but those with sensitive skins should seek another.

Ingredients: Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Puree*, Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Manuka Honey, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Juice*, Pectin, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Lecithin, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract*, Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) and Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Oils, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon), Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) and Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Powders*


Non-GMO verified    *Organic    † Fair Trade


For all you science buffs out there, many of Andalou's products contain plant/fruit stem cell additives which in theory is supposed to provide the ingredients to repair your damaged skin cells. Depending on the specific extract, they are said to provide renewing, repairing and regenerating properties. While this is beyond my personal scientific knowledge, you can read this on their brand page.

THE FINAL VERDICT
Despite only having 50% success with the Andalou Naturals products I purchased on my first trial, the quality, attention to detail and the abundance of natural ingredients used have really won over my interest. In fact, I've already ordered their new 1000 Roses Sensitive Skin range which are sitting prettily waiting to be opened. What really impressed me from a pure product point of view are the perfectly formulated textures (a failing point for more natural products) which is very comparable to higher end natural brands such as KORRES but at a much more universal price point. The brightening range itself would be a great approach for those with slightly more mature skin but aren't ready for full on anti-aging yet or those looking to clarify a dull complexion. In other words, I think I've found my new favourite natural skincare range and I'm smitten!

STAY IN TOUCH



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