Andalou Naturals Product Group
Brand Reviews

Andalou Naturals’ Beauty Industry Veterans Build a Great Brand Once Again

Andalou Naturals Brand Review Quick Facts

Ingredients | Vegetarian; Sulphate Free; Organic; Natural Minimum of 70%; Gluten Free tested by Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) on behalf of Celiac Sprue Association (CSA); Non-GMO as certified by the Non-GMO Project

Eco-Friendly| Recyclable without BPA

Ethical | Cruelty Free; 100% of the net profits from A Path of Light Hand Creams benefit women; Supports She-Can and Vital Voices Leadership, $783,000 total given

The Good Guide| Not Rated

EWG | 1-4

Andalou Naturals Brand Review Table of Contents

Smells like Entrepreneurial Spirit | A couple of veteran beauty entrepreneurs get back in the game

Natural Skincare is Actually Within Your Reach With Andalou | Democratic natural skincare

The Low Down on Plant stem cells | Plant stem cells are a new development in the beauty industry

My Take On Andalou Naturals | A generally good brand

Best of Andalou Naturals | Products and Reviews

Smells like Entrepreneurial Spirit

Packed Aisles in a Grocery
Packed Aisles in a Grocery but Nothing to Buy

The story of Andalou Naturals starts like this:

Stacey Egide goes to market.

Stacey Egide doesn’t find a single night cream she likes.

So, being Stacey Egide, she decides to make her own night cream.

Now, what separates this Stacey from the thousands of other people who create products is that this is Stacey Egide.

If you’re familiar with the beauty and personal care space, you’ll recognize this is the Stacey of the Stacey and Mark Egides, entrepreneurs who started Avalon Organics, the Sonoma Soap Company and the San Francisco Soap Company.

These are serial, successful entrepreneurs.

As anyone who has ever started a business before will know, the biggest obstacle is fear.

Rubber Duckie Taking a bubble bath.
Andalou’s veteran founders must find starting a new business as relaxing as taking a bubble bath at this point.

These guys have none. They’ve entered the beauty industry so many times that what is a cold shock of water to most people must be a comfortable, relaxing bubble bath with a squeezable rubber duckie to them.

This is a good thing, since when they set up Andalou Naturals in 2011 they had some really tight deadlines. They wanted to launch at Expo West, which was only months away. They also had a major presentation to Whole Foods.

So, they recruited their former Avalon Organics team members Nathalie Internicola for sales, and Alissa Berihu for product development. And they knew where to source and who to tap, which made the deadlines achievable even though they were tight.

By 2013, they were the first company awarded full non-GMO certification. They also made it through the door of Whole Foods and Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, which often takes years for less established brands.

They were so successful they were ranked the No 1 facial skin care brand in the natural channel (SPINS Oct 2016).

The Egides strike again.

Natural Skincare is Actually Within Your Reach With Andalou

Shea butter in its raw form in two jars.
Shea Butter is a nourishing skincare ingredient often included.

What I like about Andalou Naturals is how accessible they make organic skincare.

They’re an affordable, well-formulated line that is sold everywhere. They make trying out the organic lifestyle simple, not just for the woman who can afford hundreds of dollars for moisturizer.

Women want products that have quality, healthful, and nourishing ingredients that make their skin feel great, they want the company and the ingredients to be transparent and, ultimately, they want products that are affordable.

Stacey Kelly Egide, Andalou Naturals Founder and CEO

This is democratic – and still organic – skincare.

And it isn’t like they are skimping on ingredients either.

They pack in the antioxidants with their BioActive 8 Berry Complex composed of acai, aronia, bearberry, bilberry, black elderberry, goji berry, rosehips berry, and sea buckthorn berry. They are solid, non-fragrant choices for proven skin benefit.

Closeup of Goji Berries, which is an ingredient in Andalou Naturals Bioactive 8.
Andalou Naturals uses the antioxidant rich Bioactive 8 mix of berries in several products.

I also really like that they were the first companied certified by the Non-GMO project.

Certification is not easy, and Andalou states that it had to certify over 200 ingredients with manufacturers and suppliers to do it. It confirms that the manufacturing process and not just the ingredients were non-GMO. This is an important point to those concerned about the growing use of pesticides and rumored links to health.

It’s important to shine a light on natural and organic ingredients and label transparency for food and personal care safety.

Stacey Kelly Egide, Andalou Naturals Founder and CEO

Label transparency is nothing new to the Egides. They’d previously fought for organic standards by lobbying for new Californian legislation in 2003. This eventually resulted in the California Assembly Bill 2823 or The California Organic Products Act of 2003.

 

The Low Down on Plant Stem Cells

Close up of a Plant's Stem with Water on It
Andalou Naturals uses Plant Stem Cells for anti-aging even though the science may not yet support it.

If you’re familiar with the skin care space at all you’ll know that Andalou’s point of differentiation and innovation is the inclusion of plant stem cells.

Plant stem cells are supposed to revitalize skin and fight against anti-aging by visibly reducing fine lines and wrinkles. They provide hydration, improve elasticity and brighten the skin.

Another brand I looked at tended to overpromise (yes, all that and the moon too), but Andalou is suspiciously quiet on it.

All that is left on their website is a brief blurb about PhytoCellTec Fruit Stem Cells, stating that they provide energized anti-oxidant defense.

I heard about Andalou before and a lot of what was written about the brand was linked to their use of plant stem cell technology. An initial interview talked about how they were going to use plant stem cells as a point of differentiation and how they’d heard about the technology from its use by Michelle Obama.

Plant Cells under a Microscope
Plant Cells under a Microscope

And then I went to the science reviews, where people essentially said it was overblown hyperbole. The technology was too early to be useful and the one study on effects was flawed.

I think Andalou took it down.

For a brand that is generally transparent and uses pretty proven ingredients, it was really odd to suddenly find exaggerated claims about ingredients.

That’s not to say that Plant Stem Cells are crock. They are a promising new area that could have significant effects. It is also likely they have antioxidant benefits as they come from antioxidant rich sources.

So bottomline: not proven but they really can’t hurt.

My Take On Andalou Naturals

Cosmetics and Shampoo Aisle
Andalou Organics is widely available at accessible price points.

There are some things that are immediate hot buttons for me. Fragrances are a no-go, jar packaging can be problematic and I really want brands that are transparent.

So, the fragrances and the jar packaging that I often find in Andalou are things that I wish they would change. In addition, I think it should be clear that this is a line that has mostly all-natural non-GMO ingredients. This line doesn’t commit to all ingredients being natural.

Still, I think that there is a lot of good in this brand.

First, I like how accessible this brand is.

While I appreciate all brand stories and tend to fall in love with the brand I’m trying out at the moment (It’s a flaw; I’m working on it 😊), I’ve a special fondness for accessible brands.

People can sigh over the $350 serum and the $58 face masks, but they buy the ones that provide value.

With Andalou’s most expensive product at $40 and several in the $20 range, everyone benefits. It is suddenly possible to try out natural products to see if they work for you.

In addition, generally good ingredient choices and limited fragrances are huge pluses. These are ingredients that are low on irritation and have proven benefits, which I can totally get behind.

This is a pretty good brand. If they’d avoid jar packaging and take out some of the fragrances, that would really amp it up for me.

Best of Andalou Naturals | Products and Reviews

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