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Alba Botanica Sunscreen 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 sunscreen sport SPF 50

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. 

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 sunscreen kids SPF 50

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 sunscreen Face SPF 40

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?

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¹ Skin Cancer Facts. Skin Cancer Foundation. Retrieved June 25, 2017. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts

*This post contains products sent to me for review and affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!

  • I am with you: No sprays on my Kids, I don´t want t risk them inhaling anything not meant to be inhaled. And my kids are non fuzzy when it comes to sunscreen application. They do mimick me, and if I apply spf, they ask for it as well. That way I don´t need the speed a spray would offer me.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • SamanthaSeries

    I find that a bit strange that they would make a spray sunscreen FOR kids. I don’t think most mums would use that for their kids. And that’s sort of scummy that the ingredients are the same as the Sport version lol.

  • That’s disappointing, I heard so much of Alba Botanica being this eco-friendly brand, such a shame that isn’t the case..but I love your brutally honest review! <3

    with love, Bash   |   HEY BASH

    • I think they’ve changed up a lot of their products recently, this may be from old stock? But yes, it is a real shame for sure!

  • Thank you for the ingredient breakdown, Lindsey, many of my customers bought this brand because they are under the impression that it’s a green brand….if only they know what I know now. I used to use sprays but that’s before I know any better but starting from this year, no more sprays in the house.

    • Yes for sure! You want to put your trust in companies, but you definitely cannot always go by what they tell you! Spray does seem easier for sure, but it can be hard to tell a little one not to breathe while you’re spraying it haha

  • I actually hate sprays– I hate the smell, I hate the feel of it on my skin– I bought a sunscreen from trader joes which I’m hoping is more green– but I’m honestly going to have to research the ingredients better if I’m being honest. This was a great read Lindsey– I need to wear more sunscreen and its really bad because I’ve been seriously forgetting and I am a little sunburnt on my arms.

    http://cynicalduchess.com

    • Look for products that say mineral sunscreen on the label! Those will definitely be more green and will not contain nasty oxybenzone! (I definitely need to apply sunscreen more often too! Shhh!)

  • You’re always great at spotting and going through the ingredients in products. I’ve never tried out or heard of Alba Botanica, but honestly I don’t know my sunscreen brands that well. I’m currently using this one that was sent to me from Cyberderm and it’s made with Zinc Oxide so that makes me feel good! :]

    Stacey, thebambieyes.com

    • Yeah! That’s a great ingredient. It won’t penetrate your pores and get into your bloodstream 🙂

  • Shame that you weren’t impressed with the sunscreens! I’ve never used a spray one either, I try and use a lot of sunscreen and have one (Australian) brand I stick with and try to apply often when I’m in the sun. Sun safety is so important!

    Hope you have had an amazing weekend! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • It’s very important! Especially because we don’t even see the effects of UVA rays until much later.

  • I’m glad they worked but it’s a pity that they’re not as green as they let on ! I’ve been looking out for more environmentally friendly products , I’ll definitely try the ones you’ve recomended in it’s place 🙂

    lots of love, Marianne xxx

    https://myhappybubblexx.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Rosy Ferry

    I’d definitely be put off by the amount of non green ingredients there are if you’ve specifically been in the market for green beauty, I think I’d probably break out too, every single sunscreen gives me facial breakouts for some reason :/

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog
    My Instagram | Instagram

    • Ugh, yes… breakouts from sunscreen are the worst! It’s a double edged sword… either you get breakouts or your skin ages faster and gets a sunburn LOL

  • I’ve loved alba face wipes and moisturiser forever but am bummed to hear that their sunscreen isn’t great. I think pretending to be green is such a frustrating thing for brands to do!

    xx Pia
    http://gymbagsandjetlags.com

  • Back in my 20s I used to break out as soon as any product with SPF touched my face. However, the one for face I tried from Alba Botanica did not, so it was my go-to for quite a few years.
    I see on their site that they have a new look for this, but the ingredients are also different.

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