This post contains affiliate links and products sent to me for review.
Sunscreen is a product I reach for regularly – yet I’ve never really placed emphasis on the importance of its use. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in the course of their lifetime and even more concerning, over the past three decades more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined.¹ So clearly sunscreen is something that we need to focus on when we plan to enjoy these beautiful summer months.
Alba Botanica Sunscreens
A couple months ago I was sent three different sunscreens from Alba Botanica to try out; the Sport, Kids and Face sunscreen. Prior to being sent these products I have never tried anything from the Alba Botanica line.
What is Alba Botanica?
Alba Botanica’s motto is to #dobeautiful through their no animal testing policies, focusing on being more earth friendly, vegetarian and using high quality ingredients. Alba Botanica focuses on the greener side of skincare and hair products by using more organic ingredients when and where they can.
Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF50+ $21.99 CAD
The Alba Botanica Sport Sunscreen is hypoallergenic and water resistant. It comes in a convenient spray form for ease of use. I don’t usually use sunscreen that comes in spray form I was really impressed at how easy the application was – it has a very fine even mist and rubs into the skin well. When you spray it you do have to ensure that you are not inhaling the product because the sun protecting ingredients are very bad for your lungs, I would suggest only using this outside. For about 10-15 minutes afterward the sunscreen made my skin a little bit sticky and somewhat greasy looking which I was not a huge fan of.
Ingredient Safety Key
Ingredient to use with Caution
Medical Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0% (UVA Protection,) Homosalate 10.0% (UVB Protection,) Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB Protection,) Octisalate 5.0% (UVB Protection,) Octocrylene 10% (UVB Protection.)
Non-Medical Ingredients: Alcohol Denat., Algae extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, VA/Butyl Maleate/Isobomyl Acrylate Copolymer, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water. *Certified Organic Ingredient
Alba Botanica Very Emollient Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 50+ $21.99 CAD
Similar to the Alba Botanica Sport sunscreen, the Kids sunscreen also comes in spray form and has a similar application. To be entirely honest I would avoid using this on my child in the fear that they would inhale while spraying it – the chemicals really should not be inhaled and I would not take that risk. The ingredient list is exactly the same as the Sport version… so if you buy one you really don’t need to buy the second one.
Alba Botanica Very Emollient Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 $12.99 CAD
Along with the two spray on sunscreens I received the Facial sunscreen which comes in a bottle format (because you should never spray sunscreen near your face!) Interestingly, this one has a lower SPF than the other two. This sunscreen is also water resistant and does not leave a white-cast on your skin after application.
Both my boyfriend and I tried this out – it worked well for me, but for some reason as soon as he applied it on his skin he started to break out in a rash and his skin turned red. He has very sensitive skin so if you know that your skin is very sensitive as well I would definitely err on the side of caution and avoid this product.
Medicinal Ingredients: Homosalate 12.00% (UVB Protection,) Octinoxate 7.50% (UVB protection,) Octocrylene 7.00% (UVB Protection,) Octisalate 5.00% (UVB Protection,) Avobenzone 3.00% (UVA Protection.)
Non-Medicinal Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Dimethicone, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride.
Are these Alba Botanica Sunscreens really green?
In all honesty, I’m pretty disappointed with these products – not because they didn’t work (I’m not sunburnt so that’s a good thing!) But because Alba Botanica is a company that markets itself as being more earth-friendly and using natural ingredients. There’s a lot of ingredients within these products that are not earth-friendly nor green. In fact, if you want to use a more natural sunscreen then it should really only list Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide on the label.
It looks like Alba Botanica have switched their product range to be focused on mineral sunscreens on their website. It may just be left over stock that is being sold at different retailers; if this is the case then I will fully support Alba Botanica as a brand. Based on these products I feel as though they were getting away with some form of greenwashing.
I’m pretty bummed out that the Sport Sunscreen and the Kids Sunscreen are literally identical formulas packaged differently – it seems kind of shady and just a way for them to make more money. If it’s the same thing then market it as one thing.
Have you tried anything from Alba Botanica?
¹ Skin Cancer Facts. Skin Cancer Foundation. Retrieved June 25, 2017. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts