* Prices may differ from that shown
If you have wanted to try organic body care products but have been put off by the price then this product could be for you. This is a small brand that most people will not have heard of and as a result their prices are very good. All is not quite pure in the product though so be aware of what you are actually buying.
This hand wash is in a 350ml bottle and costs around £4.50 from health shops and online. It if course can be used for other things too such as a shower gel or even a shampoo should you wish as it is basically just a good quality soap base with essential oils and quality ingredients.
Avalon were founded in 1989 and offer a range of personal care products from hand washes to soaps and make up. The company profess to be "inspired by organic agriculture and the ongoing cause of sustainability" and therefore their products are both vegetarian and not tested on animals at all.
Now this hand wash contains 70% organic produce and a small amount of sodium benzoate plus a few other chemicals so it is not up there with Dr Bronners, Green people or Weleda but it is a vast improvement on supermarket hand washes that are full of toxins and chemicals. However you will find that this hand wash contains no nasty parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, propylene glycol, artificial colors or synthetic fragrances.
**** Full boring ingredients list ****
Aloe barbadensis leaf juice(¹), aqua (water), decyl glucoside, coco-glucoside, sorbitol, xanthan gum, calendula officinalis flower extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract(¹), citrus limon (lemon) peel extract(¹), lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower/leaf/stem extract(¹), styrax benzoin resin extract, cedrus atlantica bark oil, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil, litsea cubeba fruit oil, bisabolol, citric acid, glycerin(¹), hydrolyzed wheat protein, tocopheryl acetate, alcohol(¹), benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, citral, limonene.
(¹) Certified Organic Ingredient
**** End of boring ingredients ****
This hand wash has a strong smell of lemons which is what I first noticed when I used it. Lemon is an astringent oil with antiseptic properties and it can be quite drying to the skin. However this did not seem to be an issue for me and I do suffer from dry hands. The sharpness of the lemon is a clean and fresh smell which balances out with the addition of lavender oil. The addition of other citrus oils such as grapefruit (another antiseptic oil), orange and lime make this a very refreshing hand wash. It cleans the hands well, even ingrained coal comes off easily.
Due to the fact that it contains sweeteners and a few chemicals I would not use it for anything else such as body washing etc like I do some other products. It is a shame that a company puts so much effort into having 70% organic ingredients only to add in a load of chemicals. Yes it is better than mainstream hand washes but I would like to see this company (and others like Lush) go the whole hog. If you do want a true organic product for washing with then I truly recommend Dr Bronners products for soap based items.
The bottle is user friendly with a pump action top and you get a fair amount of hand wash for your money.
I found that over time it did not dry out my hands, probably due to the glycerine content, and it really does smell good if you enjoy citrus scents. I would recommend it to people who want to break away from using as many chemicals in their products but I would not recommend it as being "healthy" as such because it isn't.
The bottle can go straight into a recycling bag but I tend to save bottles like these for my own potions and shampoos that I like to make (whilst cackling into my caudron).
Summary: Good but not good enough for me.
Of all the natural and organic hand washes I have tried, Avalon Organics has impressed me the most. This lemon glycerin hand soap is not thin and watery like some natural liquid soaps, but neither is it thick and "gloopy" in the way that something like Radox is. It's thick enough that it feels luxurious, and it lathers well without going berserk! Although this product is not creamy, it feels smooth and extremely gentle on the hands. Being lemon-based, it does a good job of making skin feel clean as well, without stripping it of natural oils.
The smell of this hand wash is lovely - very fresh and lemony, but not too strong. In its tall green bottle with matt-finish label, I think this brand has one of the most appealing images of a product in this price range. Considering Avalon use natural, organic ingredients, and their products look more like premium brand products in my opinion, this hand wash seems very good value for money. It only costs around £3.99 and for that you get 350ml, which is 50ml more than many of the mainstream brands.
Avalon Organics makes the following pledge about its products: "Safe, effective, pro-organic body care without artificial colours, synthetic fragrances or parabens". All this at this price seems almost too good to be true. However, having very sensitive skin, I have to be careful which products I use, and so far, this is the gentlest and most effective - and luxurious - hand wash I have tried. After a couple of weeks of use, it has not caused any irritation and the lemon does not make it harsh in any way.
This brand does seem to be relatively undiscovered and I only came across it by accident in my local health food store. While the lemon does the cleaning, the glycerin noticeably softens the hands with each use. Avalon's products are vegetarian, are not tested on animals and do not contain ingredients that you would want to avoid being absorbed by the skin. They are also hypo-allergenic, and this particular hand wash contains panthenol, a natural form of Vitamin B that moisturises the lower layers of skin.
The great thing about this hand soap is that you don't feel that you are simply using it because you have sensitive skin and are restricted in terms of the products you can use. It wouldn't look out of place in a hotel bathroom and certainly outperforms the majority of common brands in terms of both appearance and efficacy. I would recommend it to anyone.