Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quest for Cruelty Free {Alba Botanica--Brand Intro}


When I saw this brand on the shelf next to Burt's Bees I was pretty stoked. I used their lip balm YEARS ago and loved it, that was back before I new about Leaping Bunny Standard. I did know that their label stated they did not test on animals. I was re-introduced to this brand when I finally ran out of my Clean and Clear acne spot treatment ointment and wanted to go with something cruelty free and with more natural ingredients.
I went to the store with the intention to purchase the Burt’s Bees brand of spot treatment but I saw that the price had gone up several dollars. Almost resigned to the fact that Clorox realized they could force us to pay more for the natural products we desire…I spotted Alba in all its Hawaiian designed glory.
At first I thought it looked cheesy and I didn’t recognize the brand. Then I saw the acnedote which was several dollars cheaper than the product I went in for. After reading the label and ingredients and checking for the Leaping Bunny logo I decided to give it a try. Then I saw ALLL the other stuff they had and I knew I would have to try out some more. I only purchased the acnedote that day.
hawaiian albaalba logoacnedote alba
I researched this brand as well as I could and found that they are owned by a larger company called Hain Celestial Group. Their website claims they are “a leading natural and organic food and personal product company in North America and Europe.” All of the brands listed appear to be mainly natural, organic, or at least healthy in some manner. The only negative aspect I stumbled onto was that Hain Celestial was sued May 2011/June 2011 for falsely labeling products as organic. The brands belonging to Hain Celestial that were falsely labeling products were Jason Naturals and Avalon Organics, both of which now boast certified organic on their label—which can be verified with the certification group.
I was unable to find any trouble relating to Alba Botanica brands, who does not claim to be organic but 100% vegetarian and cruelty free. On their label they may have a few ingredients listed as organic, but most states require at least 70% of the product’s ingredients to be organic in order to label it as such (California). 
Here is a breakdown-- The USDA has identified categories of labeling organic products:
  • 100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients
  • Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients
  • Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
  • Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic claims on the front of the package.
So I’m not sure where those brands fell short but Alba doesn’t appear to have a problem and the other brands associated with Hain Celestial have been in the clear for a year or so.
Alba Botanica was created in 1979. They offer natural, 100% vegetarian, cruelty free personal care products. They state they do not use parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial colors, propylene glycol, aluminum, mineral oil, petrolatum, oxybenzone, PABA, nano-particles, DEA, MEA or TEA, PEG’s, PEG derivatives, ethoxylated ingredients associate with 1, 4 dioxane, formaldehyde donors, or GMO’s. (whew, that was a lot). They are Leaping Bunny certified which means they do not test any of their ingredients or final product on animals and they also state that their products DO NOT contain by-products of animal killing or cruelly obtained animal ingredients (even if the animal is not killed). They limit use of those products to ingredients that are naturally created by the animals who would have no future use of the ingredient, like beeswax.
Look out for the next “Quest for Cruelty Free” post which will review the acne spot treatment and whatever else I decide to get at walmart with my $30 gift card (thanks Mom!).
Other Sources: USDA 2008 National Organic Program—Organic Labeling and Marketing Information
Disclaimer: I am not being paid to review, blog, sample, or talk about any of these products or brands. I am simply trying to find the best products out there that are 1. Cruelty free and 2. Natural (organic is a plus). All opinions expressed in any posts on this blog are entirely my own. If I am ever being compensated to express an opinion on an item/brand/etc that opinion will always be my own despite any compensation. I will always inform you if I am receiving free product or other payment.
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