The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Beauty Review: Alba Botanica Very Emollient Facial Sunblock

A quarter size glob of Alba's rich sunscreen will generously cover one's entire face.

Recently I received a complimentary sample of Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Facial SPF 20 Sunblock (normally $9.95 for a 4 oz. tube). I've been applying it every day now for about a week and a half, prior to my hour-long afternoon walks with my dog in the hot sun, and here's how it went:

What they say: "Formulated with Vitamin E, oraganic Lavender and organic Aloe, this formulation is ideal for delicate skin. Despite the gentle formulation, the mineral-based sunblock offers strong physical SPF protection.

All Alba Botanica Sunblock formulations are hyp0-allergenic, paraben-free, 100% vegetarian and never undergo animal testing."

What I think: A little of this rich formula goes a long way. It leaves skin feeling very lubricated, for lack of a better word! Skin is slightly oily to the touch, but this isn't a bad thing if you have normal to dry skin. This sunblock sinks in relatively quickly and won't make your face look white as long as you smooth it on evenly and spread it well. It doesn't clog pores and I didn't experience any breakouts but it always feels good to wash your face in the summer after a long day in the sun, wind, etc. I never burned despite my pale complexion but I almost feel like I still got a little tan color, which is nice. I like that it has shea butter and grape seed oil, among other botanicals, that make skin feel soft, smooth and subtle. Best part is, no nasty fragrance, big plus in my book! I'd definitely recommend this sunblock and plan on purchasing it in the future. 4 stars!

Available nationwide at Whole Foods, CVS, Target and natural food stores as well as at
I live in humid FL. Do you think it would be too much "lubrication" for this climate?
#1 dana on 2010-06-29 13:43 (Reply)
It's been really humid here in Connecticut too -- not a dry heat at all -- so I know what you mean about the climate being a big factor, but I would say that you can probably just use a smaller amount and you'd be fine. You can kinda layer this stuff on for more or less protection. Your skin will feel ever-so-slightly oily to the touch hours later but for me, this is a good thing. It feels like a real protective barrier against the elements. NOT gross at all but might take some getting used to! Also, it doesn't get gross when you sweat nor does it sting your eyes like some sunscreens (although I wouldn't recommend getting it in your eyes in the first place!)
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2010-06-29 14:21 (Reply)
This sounds great, I've been using neutrogena for sun screen, but will have to check this out!
#2 Justine on 2010-06-29 13:44 (Reply)
That's what I had been using, have a bottle of Neutrogena in my cabinet, love that "clean" feeling. But I really like the Alba's emollient feeling now, too!
#2.1 The Budget Babe on 2010-06-29 14:22 (Reply)
I use a mary kay moisturizer with SPF 25, and I love it, but I may have to give this a try. Sunscreen is a must every day, even in the winter, to keep your face wrinkle free later in life :-)
#3 Jessica (Homepage) on 2010-06-29 14:07 (Reply)
Hey BB, where in Connecticut are you from (if you don't mind sharing)? I'm in Charlestown RI, so maybe not too far from you!
#4 Fiola on 2010-06-29 21:13 (Reply)
This stuff does not work. Period.

I applied this stuff TWICE over 3 hours time and got a very bad sunburn.

I wasn't in water, either. Just walking around and got one of the worst sunburns I've had.
#5 Joe Mahma on 2010-08-26 01:49 (Reply)
I burned after only 20 minutes when using this product. And I gave it a second chance.with the same results. Plus it made me look dead. It whitens about 5 shades whiter shades of pale.

Also, I used albas lavender one. It prevented sumburn but the lavender went rancid quickly.

I recommend neutrogena.
#5.1 burned by alba on 2012-05-15 12:10 (Reply)
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