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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: new Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Moisture Plus Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF15

In my never-ending quest to find a better facial moisturizer (thanks so much for all of the fantastic recs, by the way), I picked up a new Avalon Organics product that I found at my local Rite Aid about a month ago.

Want to know if this is my new favorite facial moisturizer? Keep reading!

 Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Moisture Plus Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF15
(retail: around $12, 4.0 oz)

Note: I believe I paid $12 for this at Rite Aid, although it's considerably more expensive on the Avalon website. So if you're interested, look for it locally before ordering online. And if you can't find it locally, it's $11.86 over at iHerb.

On paper, this product has all the things I want in a good moisturizer, and none of the things I don't. No parabens or other controversial ingredients, and no artificial fragrance or dyes. It's also vegetarian and cruelty-free, according to the label:

It's got lots of skin-loving ingredients such aloe, jojoba oil, arnica, olive oil, etc. and for those who are trying to avoid chemical sunscreens (which use chemicals to filter UV rays), this product contains physical sunblock (zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which physically block UV rays). 

But as is the case with most products that contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide, this product is very white and very opaque:

It's also thick, and it takes some time to work into the skin before the visible white cast subsides:

It's hard to see in this photo, but once this product is absorbed, it turns VERY matte (no indication of this on the bottle, so beware if you have dry skin):

After using this product every day for several weeks now, here are my thoughts:

Texture, consistency and absorption: This is a thick lotion. So thick that it's difficult to squeeze out of the flip-top lid. But it IS easy to spread on the skin at first, although it becomes increasingly difficult to apply the longer you work it in. It's hard to explain, but the consistency almost gets gummy the longer you work it in, until finally your fingers just can't move it around anymore. Absorption take a minute, but once it's absorbed, it's REALLY absorbed. Once this product settles, it takes on a severe matte quality. In fact, it feels so matte on my skin that it provides absolutely none of the added moisture that I require when applying my concealer. I use a long-wear concealer (Maybelline SuperStay) that really requires some added help from moisturizer to go smoothly on to the skin, and I get no added help from this product. It actually makes concealer application difficult for me, because it makes my fingers tug and pull on my skin.

Finish and performance: Like I mentioned above, this product leaves a dramatic matte finish on the skin. It's quite deceiving because the bottle says "Moisture Plus" and doesn't give any indication that this product absorbs so dramatically on the skin, leaving a seriously crazy matte finish behind. Also, because of the physical sunblock in this product, expect to see a strong white cast on your face before this product absorbs. Once it absorbs, the cast diminishes, but I've found that if I use too much of this product, the white cast never fully goes away. This is a dilemma for me, because for any sunscreen to be effective, you must use a good amount of it on your skin. But if I use too much, I turn into Casper the Friendly Ghost.  As far as performance goes, it certainly helps keep oil at bay, which is probably the best thing about this product. I've used it underneath powder, liquid and cream foundations and it works well to control oil for all three, but if you've got dry skin, I simply don't think this will deliver the level of moisture that you need. In other words, this one's for oily-skinned people only.

Fragrance: Oh yes, the fragrance. When I first apply this to my face, I get a beautiful whiff of pure oranges. It's pretty strong, so those who are fragrance-sensitive should be aware of that. Also, the orange fragrance is masking something that eventually makes its way straight to my nose: burnt plastic. And lots of it. The longer this product sits on my skin, the more burnt plastic I smell. The orange oil is doing its best to hide it, but no matter what, that strong burnt plastic scent always comes to the surface within a few minutes. The combo of burnt plastic mixed with a little bit of orange is the fragrance equivalent to drinking orange juice right after you brush your teeth: strong, sharp, bitter and quite off-putting.

FINAL VERDICT: If you have super oily skin, can get past the fragrance and you don't rely on your moisturizer to facilitate makeup application, this might be worth checking out. It provides probably the strongest matte finish of any moisturizer I've ever used, and if you don't use much, you can avoid the strong white cast. However, if you don't use a fair amount of this product, you won't benefit from the sunblock, so that kind of renders the sunblock useless (unless you prefer a white cast on your face, of course).  If you need a fair amount of moisture from your moisturizer and you're the slightest bit sensitive to fragrance, I wouldn't recommend this product. It was difficult for me to get through the testing period with this one, but I gave it my best shot and now that it's over, I won't be reaching for it again.

Do you own any Avalon Organics skincare products? If so, which products do you own, and how are they working for YOU?


  1. I almost bought this moisturizer. I have the vitamin c cleanser and the toner. I love the cleanser, but I had to get used to the toner. It feels sticky on your face if you use too much, but other than that, it's pretty good. Thanks for this review, but I'll pass on the moisturizer

  2. Thank you for the review G! You had me at mattifying, but then the burnt plastic smell made this one a no-go.

    Also, it includes bergamot oil, which smells divine, but seems to be associated with sun sensitivity and hyper pigmentation when applied to skin with UV exposure. I actually wish DS products had less essential oil content. Some companies like MyChelle, Badger and Mario Badescu use them brilliantly, but in the drugstore I'd rather avoid the risk of sensitivity reaction.

    Have you tried the blue PF moisturizer yet? I liked it when I tried it on my very oily skin, but I still have a lot of the Cetaphil so it will probably be a while before I get to it.

  3. I've tried some Avalon stuff before, and actually a Vitamin C moisturizer, but it looked different than the one above. I liked it enough, but the Vitamin C kind of stung my eyes. I liked some of the lavender stuff I tried, but not enough to repurchase.

    1. I don't know if it's the same as you have, but I have the Vitamin C serum. I know it burns my boyfriend's face, but to me it's a nice light moisturzer that I use sometimes after work. There are probably better serums for how much it costs so I won't likely buy it again, but I'll probably be a little sorry when it runs out...

  4. I tend to favor the moisturizers from the Paula's Choice line. For daytime I use the Moisture Boost or Resist daytime moisturizer or sometimes I'll just use her sunscreen for dry skin. Of the drugstore products I've tried, my favorites have been from Kiss My Face (Face Factor for Face and Neck) and CeraVe. I have many friends who swear by the Neutrogena daytime moisturizers but the ones I've tried have irritated my skin.

  5. Your review of this product intrigued me. If it wasn't for the low SPF, I'd give this a try. Unfortunately, I like my SPF to start at at least 30. Good review though.

  6. The new formula is drying and leaves a white finish on your skin. It is literally like spreading zinc oxide on the face only more matte. I do not like the new formula. I purchased it at Publix in Atlanta and returned it. What a disappointment. I am switching to a different natural brand.

  7. Try waiting about 10 minutes after application and then add a little bit of water to your face and it thins out that thick pasty feeling and seems to absorb well. Actually feels pretty good and like my pores have tightened and still get the benefits of the vitamins. I agree this is better for oily skin but I like it enough I think I may try it under a moisturizer...

  8. I don't know that are yall talking about, I am a sensitive skin person, and i have tried many moisturisers and none have done nothing like this product has done to me, my skin looks heathy with elasticity and my sun/acne spots are fading and i just love the smell like, if someone doesnt like doesnt mean that it wont work for you.


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