SUMMARY: Avalon Organics' Intense Defense line of facial products are intended to defend skin and support its natural renewal cycle with ingredients like vitamin C, white tea and lemon bioflavonoids. Reviewed: Toner and Moisturizer
ABOUT THE BRAND: Avalon Organics is a US-based brand that creates products that they claim are safe, effective and conscious of the greater good. Their products are affordably priced and widely available at most major supermarkets and retailers as well as online. The company claims that their products are NSF/ANSI 305 certified, vegan, biodegradable, and contain no GMO's, parabens, phthalates or synthetic ingredients.
"Environmental aggressors such as UV rays and pollution create free radicals on the skin that cause premature signs of visible aging. Studies show that antioxidants can neutralize these damaging free radicals. Intense Defense balances vitamin C, white tea and lemon bioflavonoids to defend skin and support its natural renewal cycle" - Avalon Organics
USE: I've been looking for a quality, affordable toner to use after the gym and between facial cleansing but that didn't contain salicylic acid that could dry my skin (as I already regularly use an acne wash). Out of curiosity, I checked out the beauty aisle at my local Publix supermarket (Florida) and discovered the Intense Defense line from Avalon Organics. The Balancing Toner is infused with botanical extracts that can recalibrate natural moisture levels and tighten pores on freshly cleansed skin.
The experts at Paulaschoice.com explain, "After cleansing, even with the gentlest cleanser, skin needs to be replenished with what cleansers rinse or wipe away. This is where a toner can play an important role. A toner can quickly and efficiently provide skin with generous amounts of antioxidants, soothing agents, and hydrating ingredients. A state-of-the-art toner can enhance skin’s surface, giving skin what it needs to look fresher, smoother, and hydrated."
With an easy to dispense squeeze bottle and spout, I use a small amount in the palm of my hand that I then splash and lightly massage into my skin. This is great after a workout to remove sweat and rejuvenate skin. It doesn't leave any sticky or greasy residue.
Marlen's Tip: Toners are awesome products to keep in refrigerators in warmer weather when a little extra cooling sensation is appreciated.
AROMA & TEXTURE: The non-greasy formula is like a splash of water. The product is indeed scented and smells like citrus rind; I find it unpleasant but the aroma quickly dissipates upon application and leaves no lingering scent.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Glycerin, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract(1), Arnica Montana Flower Extract(1), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract(1), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (White Tea)(1), Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract(1), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract(1), Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract (Lemon Bioflavonoids), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract(1), Echinacea Angustifolia Extract(1), Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract(1), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract(1), Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract(1), Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil , Ascorbyl Glucoside, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Citric Acid, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Potassium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alcohol(1), Calcium Gluconate, Gluconolactone , Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Benzoate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool. (1)Certified Organic Ingredient.
PROS & CONS: Intense Defense with Vitamin C Balancing Toner is a great choice for an affordable toner that removes excess oil and impurities while gently moisturizing and tightening pores with anti-oxidants. It is easy to find, leaves no scent and claims to be an eco-conscious, vegan product.
The inclusion of limonene and linalool are a bit dubious; some have claimed that the formula has recently changed; others claim that the product encourages breakout and redness.
WHERE CAN I BUY IT? $8.25 USD at Amazon.com for an 8.5 oz bottle.
USE: Ever in search of a non-greasy, vitamin-rich hydrating moisturizer, I decided to try the corresponding Intense Defense Moisturizer from Avalon Organics. This rejuvenating oil-free moisturizer nourishes and hydrates while energizing skin for a smoother, firmer, more youthful appearance.
AROMA & TEXTURE: I love the soft, whipped texture that feels creamy but not greasy, and definitely not too oily. It absorbs quickly and though like the toner it is similarly scented with citrus, the aroma here is more pleasant albeit it disappears just as fast as the aroma of the toner. In the first few minutes after application, especially when using in conjunction with the toner, I do indeed smell orange juice!
INGREDIENTS: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol,Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter(1), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter(1), Arnica Montana Flower Extract(1), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract(1), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (White Tea)(1), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract(1), Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract (Lemon Bioflavonoids) ,Cucumus Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Extract(1), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract(1), Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract(1), Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate , Xanthan Gum, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Alcohol(1), Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool. (1)Certified Organic Ingredient.
PROS & CONS: Intense Defense with Vitamin C Oil-Free Moisturizer offers a great texture, low aroma, and a fantastic price with quality ingredients. It is easy to find, leaves no scent and claims to be an eco-conscious, vegan product.
Some users have claimed that the alcohol is drying and instigates acne prone skin as does the cocoa butter which can be a comedogenic.
WHERE CAN I BUY IT? ~$9.75 USD at Amazon.com for a 2 oz jar.
At less than $20 USD for both the toner and moisturizer combined, the price is right! I appreciate the mission of the company and the widespread availability of the products. I've read that the company has had some issues establishing the veracity of their organic ingredient claims and that some of the products have been reformulated to some disappointment by users. After a week of continuous use, I've had no problems with breakouts or redness and I have sensitive skin. I'd be even happier with the products if they included some SPF ingredients to make the 2-step process of toning and moisturizing even more effective.
Products mentioned in article
Avalon Organics Intense Defense Balancing Toner
Avalon Organics Intense Defense Oil-Free Moisturizer
Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as Playboy...(more)
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