Thursday, December 4, 2014

Green Beauty: Andalou Naturals Probiotic + C Cream and Lemon Sugar Scrub

I wasn't really planning to give these two a separate review, but my skin's been doing so well and I've been liking them so much that I just had to put my two new skincare loves in the spotlight: the Andalou Naturals Brightening Probiotic + C Renewal Cream ($19.99 for 1.7 oz/ 50 ml), and the included gift with purchase, the Clarifying Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub (regular size is $11.99 for 1.7 oz/ 50 ml on Vitacost, if you use my referral link you can get both for $21 - pretty nice, huh?).
Here's the reason I bought the Probiotic + C Renewal Cream in the first place: as you may remember, I had the Kate Somerville Goat Milk moisturizer on my wishlist instead. Well, I was contemplating that purchase, but I really wasn't very happy about the recent price increase (to a hefty $65), but also about the fact that the brand uses pollutant plastic microbreads in their products. I had tried a mask from Andalou in the past, and as I was browsing their product line, the word 'probiotic' jumped out: Aurelia Skincare, another natural brand, also makes probiotic products but at a much higher pricetag, and if probiotics can restore healthy bacteria in your gut, maybe they could also do it on your face? You know, like conquer all the bad acne bacteria and overall strengthen the skin's defense mechanisms?
So while I do buy into the probiotics and maybe more importantly, the high Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (form of Vitamin C) content, I'm not so convinced about the whole 'fruit stem cells' technology, for various reasons. But hey - if you can at least give some antioxidant power harnessed from apples, grapes and berries, as well as hyaluronic acid, manuka honey, peptides, resveratrol, coenzyme Q10, allantoin and Vitamin E all in one moisturizer, who am I to complain? I also had no idea my Renewal Cream would come with a free Facial Scrub, so bonus points for that.
But sometimes even the best ingredients list doesn't guarantee good product performance. This is NOT the case with the Brightening Probiotics + C Renewal Cream: it's probably the BEST moisturizer I've used in a really long time, surpassing the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve, my former favorite. Both Andalou products come in sturdy plastic jars, the full size having a nicer brushed metal lid (the deluxe sample's lid is just plastic) - nothing groundbreaking here, but aesthetically pleasing and functional.

The Probiotics + C Renewal Cream has a beautiful, fresh tangerine scent that feels refreshing and energizing as you're applying the moisturizer to your skin. It has a very lightweight, almost gel-like texture that spreads easily and absorbs quickly into the skin. It definitely feels more hydrating than moisturizing (as in more water than oil content) and while I've been using it at night, the weightless formula would be perfect to wear as a day cream under make-up. As a night cream, it acts as a seal to my serums and treatments, and layers well with a facial oil for the added boost of moisture in the winter.
I've only been using it for a couple weeks (so I can't vouch for long-term results) but here are my thoughts so far: the Andalou Renewal Cream makes my face feel velvety soft, hydrated and balanced. By balanced, I mean that I now rarely get dry flakes around my face, but it also seems to help minimize oil production a bit. I've also noticed fewer large breakouts and less congestion, and my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is fading faster. Can you tell how happy I am to have this in my routine?
The Clarifying Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub was also a very nice surprise. I generally prefer chemical to physical exfoliation, but sometimes the only way to get rid of some pesky dry patches is to incorporate a gentle scrub once a week. The Lemon Sugar Scrub is maybe a bit coarser than I would like (the sugar crystals are larger than what I'm used to), but with the right amount of water, they dissolve easily, forming a thick, creamy, slightly foamy layer on the face. Because the sugar dissolves in water, the scrub is easy to rinse off, and leaves my skin quite matte but not dry or tight. I did get some redness on my sensitive skin, though it disappeared quickly, and after usage my face was smooth and perfectly prepped for further steps in my routine - everything seemed to absorb that much better! Again, I can't vouch for long-term results, but so far I'm really liking it, and I'm happy to see aloe vera, sunflower, coconut and olive oils, manuka honey and MAP in the ingredients. And it smells heavenly of Meyer lemon and ylang ylang :)

So finally, after a long period of putting up with mediocre moisturizers, it seems that I have found my match. I'm really glad I gave Andalou Naturals a chance, and I'll be definitely trying more products from the brand; in fact, I also bought the 1000 Roses Sensitive Skincare Kit to try over the Holidays. Andalou Naturals is carried in Whole Foods in the US, and from my experience, the employees are happy to make a sample if you want to try before you buy. Have you ever tried anything from Andalou Naturals? What is your current favorite moisturizer?


  1. Thanks for the link love, Monika. I was thinking about trying something from this brand - I can't remember what it was, but I think a Vitamin C serum or something. I'll have to look into it again. I couldn't find too many reviews last time, so I sort of gave up. Glad to hear you like these products!

    1. My usual problem with a lot of 'natural' brands is that the ingredients list is really not that impressive, with active ingredients towards the very end - so probably not enough to make any difference in your skin, or with alcohol denat. in the third or fourth place. Looking at Andalou's INCI, I'm pretty happy with what they use in their products, and in terms of texture/ cosmetically elegant formulas, they're doing a pretty darn good job as well. If you do try the Vit C serum, please review or let me know how it goes!

  2. I've tried shampoo from this brand before and remember really liking it. I'll have to look out for their skincare 'cause this moisturizer sounds like exactly what my face needs right now!

  3. That moisturizer sounds awesome, Monika! I have a whole freakin' slew of moisturizers to try this winter (ack), but once I get through them, maybe I'll pick this one up, too :P No such thing as too much hydration!

  4. What? Shame on Kate for using the beads!! O.k. that opened my eyes, a bit, I'm not a tree hugger but I watched the video about how damaging those exfoliating beads can be, esp on the salmon population here, so I've been avidly avoiding the brands which still use them. Sad, sad. But thanks for mentioning about Andalou, I often see the products on sale on local health food market, so I must check this out.