Sunday, August 29, 2010

Alba Botanica Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel

I'm just about finished with this, and I'm really impressed with it. As with all Alba products, there is no animal testing involved. But one of the main things that I've really appreciated about Alba, and a lot of these organic/natural cleansers is, well, how natural and clean they feel. Compared to a lot of the other body and facial washes that I've tried, which seem very chemical- and scent-heavy, Alba's seem to just go on, and wash off, much cleaner. This Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel is no exception. In fact, it's probably less scented than any of the other Alba products I've tried thus far. It foams up nicely which, I assume, means it's washing away all the impurities on my face. My skin does tend to dry out pretty easily, though, and facial cleansers usually contribute to that. This cleansing gel hasn't been as bad (in terms of drying out my skin) as some others I've tried, like Nivea and Neutrogena. But it still did seem to dry me out a little bit. No fault of the cleanser, really. More just a problem with my skin type. But for a foaming skin cleanser, I have to say it's probably the best I've tried thus far.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


As I'm standing in the bathroom, considering which cruelty-free product I should write about next, I saw it. A wave of guilt washed over me as I stared at it. OK, well maybe "wave" is a bit of an overstatement. It's not like I'm this huge evangelist of only supporting companies that hold a 'no animal testing' policy. It's something in which I strongly believe, and I certainly aspire to have a house completely free of products that test on animals. Though that aspiration isn't entirely realistic either. After all, I don't know that it would be possible to ever have prescription medicine produced by a company that doesn't test on animals. But it's certainly possible to eliminate household products, and bath and beauty supplies that have been tested on animals. So that, really, is my goal. And I thought I was doing pretty well, particularly when it came to bathroom products. That is until I saw the tube of Crest staring back at me. Crest is, of course, made by Procter and Gamble who famously made claims that they were eliminating animal testing, though that was more of a PR ploy than a commitment to action. Their initial testament to say no to animal testing impressed many animal advocacy groups until those groups discovered the truth behind the claim. Sadly, Procter and Gamble remains on the list of companies that test on animals and, given the enormity of the company, they are one of biggest offenders.

So, there I am with my tube of Crest, which was probably rubbed in the eyes of some adorable little bunny or something. Sadly, it's not like I just forgot about P&G's animal testing record. I just really hate the toothpaste that's made by companies that don't test on animals (sorry, Tom's). Granted, it was a number of years ago that I tried Tom's of Maine toothpaste, so maybe it's time to give it another shot.

I guess I'll give this one a try. Seems like the most popular one on Amazon. I really hope I like it. Even if I don't, I guess anything's better than a tube of blinded-bunny toothpaste.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Alba Botanica Rainforest Copaiba Shampoo

I recently finished off a bottle of Alba Botanica Rainforest Copaiba Shampoo. As with all Alba products, the smell is good, light, fresh and clean. And given the fairly medical smell of a lot of scalp treatment shampoos, that seems to be a pretty significant accomplishment. As for the results, I'd say they're no better or worse than other brands. By that, I mean that I noticed a slight difference (less itch, fewer flakes, etc.), but I wouldn't call it a cure. I'm not implying that I've got 'Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club' levels of dandruff or anything. So, I'm not requiring miracles. I've just never found dandruff shampoo in general to be very effective.

All in all, I liked it and may use it again. Though considering all of the other great choices that Alba offers, I'll likely choose something else.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Alba Body Wash

Alba has quickly become my favorite company for skin care products. I use their products whenever I can, simply because they work well, they smell great and, most importantly, they don't test on animals. Here are a few of the Alba products that I've used.

Alba Botanica Bath and Shower Gel, Midnight Tuberose, 32-Ounce Bottle

I'm a huge fan of this. I like all the scents, but the Midnight Tuberose is amazing.  Leaves you feeling clean and refreshed, and smelling like a bed of roses. Well, tuberoses, I guess. I don't even know what tuberoses are, but they must smell freakin' fantastic. I've tried the other scents, as well (Island Citrus, French Lavender, Honey Mango, and Sparkling Mint), but the Tuberose is where it's at.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Choosing Cruelty-Free Products

I've never really liked the idea of animal testing, particularly when it came to beauty products. It just seemed so unnecessary and, well, cruel to me to torture animals for the sake of making a nice sudsy, perfumy shampoo. So, I made occasional efforts at seeking out products that didn't test on animals and was happy to find that Paul Mitchell shampoo didn't test on animals. But I didn't like having to go into hair salons or beauty supply stores (this was pre-Amazon) to seek out my shampoo, and the local grocery stores never carried it, of course. So, for a long while, I just purchased various types of shampoos and body washes at the grocery store for the sake of convenience.

Finally, I was at Whole Foods one day, and took a look at their bath and beauty aisles (or however they're labeled there) and found a whole host of products that weren't tested on animals. Whole Foods being Whole Foods, of course, some were pretty expensive and not very practical for that reason. However, some weren't that expensive, so I thought I'd give it a shot and test some out. Now, I'd tried some products (who shall remain nameless) in the past that were great from an environmental and cruelty-free standpoint, but I just couldn't stand the smell/taste/effectiveness of the product. So, I bought a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of body wash while I was there, and was eager to go home and try out my new bath products.

So, the next morning, I hopped in the shower, got my hair all wet, squirted the new shampoo in my hand and started to lather up. Only problem is the shampoo just smelled funky. I could never really pinpoint the smell. It was almost like rubber. Very weird. So, I was discouraged. Next up was the body wash. Got my little shower puff ready to roll and put a few squirts of the new body wash on there and worked it around. And this one was freakin' awesome! It smelled great, I was clean, and no little bunnies had to suffer at my expense. I was thrilled.

I've tested a number of products since then, and have had hits and misses. This is going to chronicle the ones I've really liked. I hope it helps you too.