Acne-Buster or Bust?: Alba Botanica’s Natural ACNEdote Clean ‘n Treat Towelettes Review

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I was pleasantly surprised when Alba Botanica released their new ‘Natural ACNEdote’ line with a bunch of products specifically tailored to treat and fight acne. I picked up the ACNEdote Clean ‘n Treat Towelettes and even managed to snag another Natural Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes (click here to see why I love them so much) on my recent trip to Whole Foods.

The whole trip had me thinking deep thoughts though. My battle with acne has been long-fought and I am still dealing with the fallout (i.e. terrible acne scars and still occasional hormonal acne). Fighting acne is tough! I have been sufficiently traumatized with using Neutrogena and Murad products- they were harsh, irritating, filled with bad ingredients, and made my dry skin breakout even more. So I’m crossing my fingers. I hope Alba Botanica’s new acne-fighting line actually works! I might even pick up the Invisible Treatment Gel and Face & Body Scrub to review and let you know how they performed.

Product: Natural ACNEdote Clean ‘n Treat Daily Cleansing Towelettes, 30 count towelettes (7″ x 7.5″/17.8 cm x 19.1 cm).

Clean 'n Treat Towelettes

ACNEdote Clean ‘N Treat Daily Cleansing Towelettes

Towelette size when removed from package

Ingredients: (Active ingredients: Salicylic Acid 2.0%)

Inactive Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C14-22 Alcohols, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (1), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil (2), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil (2), Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil (2), C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool.

Thoughts: These moist towelettes are meant to be daily cleansing towelettes (a fun portable way of cleaning your skin with towelettes instead of a standard cleanser), so I have been diligently using them every day for the past week. The towelettes contain a ‘2% Salicylic acid medication formulated with willow bark extract’. Willow bark is usually used in most natural acne-fighting products because salicylic acid is naturally found in it.

The towelettes have the same soft and sturdy construction as the Natural Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes which I really liked. IMPORTANT NOTE: Unlike the Hawaiian towelettes, these ACNEdote towelettes contain thin, shiny particles that are meant for exfoliation. I was a bit worried when I rubbed it on my face and saw all those little things being stuck on my face. I was assured by a Customer Service Representative for Alba Botanica that they were not meant to be harmful and it depends on the construction of the towelettes. I didn’t experience any irritation but if you do personally experience irritation, stop using them and let Alba Botanica know!! I really did not like that I saw these particles in my towelettes and this particularly affected my review of them.

Another thing, these towelettes are very, very pungent-smelling. Think mint (from the peppermint oil) and a mixture of medicinal herbs (pine needles and rosemary would be the closest things I can think of). Whew! I found myself coughing as I wiped my face, because that’s how strong the smell was! If you are very sensitive to medicinal smells, I hope you can find a way to get a whiff of the scent before you purchase it. I didn’t exactly hate the smell because I can be tolerant of most smells, but I very much preferred the citrus fragrance of the Hawaiian towelettes.

After using it on my hormonal acne (found on my cheeks and chin area) for the past week, I didn’t notice the acne being healed or banished. It did make my face feel comfortable and not dried out at all. If it makes sense- when I have hormonal acne, sometimes my facial skin just feels itchy and uncomfortable. One swipe of these towelettes calmed my skin down. However, I didn’t test the effectiveness of the towelettes with regular use of the entire ACNEdote line. If you buy these ACNEdote towelettes with the mindset of using them just as regular towelettes, I might point you to the Natural Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes because they have a more pleasing scent. These ACNEdote towelettes may not solve all your acne-related woes but they can be decent moist towelettes if you get over the incredibly strong smell and shiny particles being left on your skin. I don’t think I will be repurchasing these towelettes. In fact, I’m going to stick with the trusty Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes.

I’m going to dance in the forest right now because I smell like pine needles and mint. Okay?

Purchased: $5.99 at Whole Foods Chelsea

The Author

Brooklyn-based natural and organic beauty writer.

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