Today I’m kicking off a three-part series of reviews on a trio of Alba Botanica acne products I used up this month. Today I’ll review the regular wash, tomorrow I’ll show you the scrub, and on Sunday I’ll be posting a review on the treatment gel.
The product: Alba Botanica Natural Acne Dote Deep Pore Wash; $10
The claim: 2% salycylic acid derived from willow bark deep cleans pores. 70% of users saw clearer skin within 7 days. (From their website)
I tried it: My skin is combination-oily, with the odd breakout or blackhead, but it’s also sensitive. Finding a wash that addresses all of my concerns is tricky, so I was hoping I’d have good luck with a natural formula.
I’m not sold on the thin formula; it’s very watery, and I feel like it would be easier to work with a gel or cream cleanser. It’s easy to pour out way too much of this product, and if you’re not careful you can get it in your eyes, since it is so runny. However, it does lather up fairly well, despite being sulfate-free. (Sulfates are what cause traditional washes to lather and foam so wonderfully.)
I typically leave this cleanser on my face for 30-60 seconds so it can really work its magic. Most days this won’t cause any redness or burning, though on more sensitive days (if I’ve done a masque that morning, or if my face is wind-chapped) I just lather and rinse to avoid any stinging. This is an issue I’ve always had with acne washes, though, not specifically with this product, so that’s nothing new.
I feel like this cleanser does a good job of deep-cleaning my pores with overdrying my skin. It’s gentle enough that I can use it on a daily basis. A little goes a long way and the smell is not too harsh, which I appreciate, as I’m not big on scented face washes.
It does seem to pull off foundation fairly well but like any acne product, I would not use this to remove makeup around the eyes, since you’ll wind up burning yourself and needing to rinse out your eyes! I’ve used it after using oily makeup removers on my face and it does seem to cut through the oil fairly well to get my skin clean. I feel like I should just throw that out there for anyone who’s wondering.
I would agree with the statement that this wash gives you clearer skin within a week. I’ve switched back and forth from this wash to another a few times this winter and every time I switched back, there was a notable improvement in my skin within several days, with the most notable improvement being visibly cleaner and smaller pores. Long-term, my pores appear to have shrunk, I have to use deep cleansing masques less often, and my breakouts are reduced.
It also does seem that using this product keeps my skin looking and feeling less oily and shiny throughout the day. I have real problems with midday T-zone shine, whether or not I wear makeup of any kind, and I’ve noticed that the amount of oil and shine has decreased quite a bit since I started using this wash on a daily basis.
One last note: this product is 100% vegetarian and is Leaping Bunny certified.
My verdict: We have a winner! My skin has definitely changed for the better since I’ve started using this wash and I will definitely continue to buy it (even if I would prefer a thicker formula). I officially now have a Holy Grail face wash.