Thursday, September 26, 2013

PRODUCT REVIEW: Alba Botanica, Giovanni, and Burt's Bees Hair & Bath Products

About a year ago, I had to go see my dermatologist due to what appeared to be a rash on my scalp.  Turns out it was dermatitis.  The doctor made it seem like I would have to use a scalp spray and prescription shampoo on and off for the rest of my life due to flare ups.  I was not a happy camper.

I decided to give all natural shampoos & conditioners a shot to see if they would require me using the medicated shampoo/spray less.  Turns out, it worked.  It's been months since I've had to use the prescriptions I was given on my scalp.  As a note, I recently went back to using Suave temporarily because all natural products tends to cost a little more and I've already noticed the dermatitis is flaring up again so I'm going to repurchase some all natural goodies.

This is a review of the all natural bath products I've tried to date with my honest opinions.  The first thing I'm going to point out is that I'm from Florida and we have hard water here - so if you see in my notes "did not lather well" or something like that, could be related to the type of water we have here and may not be applicable to you should you wish to give these products a go.

Let me start off by saying that if you've ever visited Hawaii, you will LOVE these products.  Every morning in the shower reminded me of our trips over there and brought a goofy smile to my face (you know how they say a sense of smell triggers memories - totally true).

Specific products I used:
Body wash: LOVE this product - it lathered up nice & bubbly and smelled fantastic.  It rinsed cleanly and left a slight hint of tropical passion fruit without smelling like I doused myself in body spray.  Would definitely purchase again.  Only complaint is I felt like I went through it quickly and for $10 I'd like it to last at least a month.

Shampoo: I was kind of meh on this product.  It didn't really lather which made it more difficult to apply and work into the hair in my opinion.  However, after showering my hair looked clean and smelled nice - and my dermatitis did not bother me so overall I feel the product worked effectively.  I think I would have preferred a more cream based shampoo as opposed to this gel (especially since it apparently has coconut milk in it).  Would probably buy again, but mainly because I like the other products so much.

Conditioner: the conditioner was great - it was a nice thick cream and I didn't need to use a lot.  It smelled wonderful and left my hair shiny and feeling great throughout the day with a slight hint of coconut (again, it was a nice smell, not an overly perfumey smell).  I brush my hair right out of the shower when it's still wet and I did not have a lot of issues with tangles.  Would definitely buy again.

Facial cleanser: this is one of those cleansers that wakes you up in the morning due to the infusion of pineapple (smells great!).  This product gently exfoliates due to the acid in the fruit it's infused with - so you get the exfoliation without the harsh scrubbers that you find in some cleansers.  I really did not notice a huge change in my skin from using this product - it just maintained the status quo.  My face did feel clean and refreshed after using and my skin did not dry out (as sometimes happens with overly chemicaly cleansers).  Overall, this product basically broke even for me - it did what I expected it to do, but I wasn't in love with in.  I would probably purchase again because finding a good all-natural face cleanser is difficult.

These products remind of the Aveda products I used to use (but cost much less).  I LOVE this shampoo/conditioner combo and would definitely recommend.

Specific products I used:
Shampoo: Root 66 Max Volume - this shampoo lathered wonderfully (even in my hard water!).  I could actually feel it working in my roots (I have notoriously thin hair).  This product has been great on scalp and rinses cleanly - I love LOVE these products and would definitely purchase again.

Conditioner: Tea Tree Triple Treat - this conditioner smells heavenly and feels great in my hair and on my scalp (yes, it's got mint as an ingredient and who doesn't love that fun scalp tingle?).  It's a thick cream that coats hair and moisturizes.  Rinses cleanly and I'm able to brush my hair right out of the shower.  LOVE this stuff - would definitely purchase again.

I was not impressed with the Burt's Bees product I tried.  I know the company is owned by Clorox and I feel like their "all natural" goods have perhaps taken a hit due to cost savings measures.  Who knows?  I do know that the body wash product I tried did not deliver like I hoped it would.

Specific products I used:
Body wash: This body wash is specifically marketed as an exfoliating body wash.  Personally, I got none of that out of it.  The body wash consistency seems to be halfway between a gel and a cream wash.  Due to the royal jelly (I'm assuming), it doesn't have an overly pleasant smell.  I used the same amount I use with other products, however this body wash did not lather hardly at all - I got some light bubbles for the top half of my body and it felt like I was using my loofah with nothing on it by the time I hit my legs.  I did use the whole thing because I'm not a huge fan of waste, but this is not something I will be purchasing again. 

If you're interested in trying these (or other) all natural bath products - has a great selection of all natural products that are sometimes hard to find in stores.  They also ship for free if you order over $35.  You can buy all your household goods there (I get my all natural laundry soap from them as well).

Do you use any all natural products in your house?  Which ones do you love or dislike?  Share below.

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Disclaimer: I was not requested to review, nor was I compensated in any way.  The thoughts expressed above are mine and were observed firsthand.  
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  1. With a baby due very soon, I like the idea of switching to more natural products. Before getting pregnant I was doing the whole no poo thing, but pregnancy changed my hair and it got greasy much faster. I might have to try the alba conditioner. I love the smell of coconut.

  2. I have never tried any of these but I do have to watch trying the "natural" products because I have tried two different facial cleaners that were "natural" and both of them irritated my face something terrible. Who knew, right. I always thought of something that is natural of being more gentle on your skin but I learned my lesson when I had to sit with a cool rag on my face for about an hour one night.

  3. I loved this review, especially since I am an Aveda product user. The cost is really prohibitive though, and I like that I might have a substitute with Giovanni Hair Products! Thank you!

  4. We use some Burt's Bees, but I really like Babyganics for my son. I'm using a Neutrogena Naturals face wash that I really like. How natural it is, I don't really know...but it treats my skin well.