|Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial toner and mask|
|The fun, gelly mask that I wish worked better on my skin|
I prefer to keep things positive, but I must share my disappointment on these two products that really did not work out.
I came across this line of pretty skincare from Alba Botanica a few months back. After reading some good reviews, I decided to try out the hibiscus toner and papaya enzyme mask from their pore-fecting range, that were both under $10.
The problem with these products is that they are extremely irritating. When I apply both the toner and mask, my skin immediately turns red and starts to sting. Regardless of what the product contains and what it is supposed to do, visible, instant irritation is never a good sign. Irritation of this nature can cause active blemishes to scar deeper, or even more blemishes to arise.
Although I do have sensitive skin, I've used many strong toners and masks in the past that aren't nearly this irritating. It could just be my skin reacting to the papaya/fruit acids in these products, but I would steer clear if you're ever considering the "Hawaiin Facial". I don't think all Alba Botanica products are this irritating, since I have heard some good things about the Vitamin C line, which is carried at my local Rexall drugstore.
Alba Botanica does not claim to be "natural", but they are a cruelty free line and contain "vegetarian" ingredients. The scent of these products isn't bad, but it is very potent and sweet.
This experience has been a great reminder that gentle skincare really is the best. I remember when I'd apply rubbing alcohol to blemishes, thick globs of salicylic acid gel, and harsh sandy scrubs hoping they would "clean out my pores". Funny enough, that excess drying and irritation made breakouts 10x worse, with scarring 10x deeper. A simple clay mask, gentle exfoliation, some BHA liquid and nourishing moisturizer is definitely the way to go. My favourites can be found here, and here!