Some regular readers have asked me to have a look at the Avalon range (it being fairly low priced and using mostly natural ingredients) and, specifically, to compare it to Yes to Carrots (the body lotion from Yes to Carrots just made it into Truth In Aging's Five Best for Under $30). The elevator version of my verdict is that Carrots wins hands down. Avalon isn't bad; its just that its not that great.

Avalon Organics Aloe Unscented Hand & Body Lotion is $10.95 (like all the body lotions in the range except for the CoQ10, which I'll come back to later). Apart from water, the first four ingredients - and four others further down the list - are silicones and emollient type things that go into making creams. The first three in Yes to Carrots are water, Dead Sea Water and carrot juice.

Avalon has plenty of plant oils and extracts. However, none (with the possible exception of flaxseed) stand out as good anti-oxidants. Whereas, Carrots has algae and olive, as well as carrot juice, ginko (like carrot, this is a flavenoid) and seeds. Plus there is niacin (vitamin B group and some believe that it is one of the best anti-agers, although can be difficult to find a formula that is easily absorbed by the skin). Carrots also has an interesting ingredient called propolis. This a natural resin than bees use to build their hives; it is supposed to speed up healing.

Both Avalon and Carrots each have a preservative that is a potential ingredient.

So if Avalon Organics Aloe Unscented Hand & Body Lotion isn't much of an anti-ager, what of its CoQ10 range? I must say, this is a pretty good potion, although you'll be forking out $16.95 for it (still good value, I think). The first four ingredients are lavender, chamomile, tea, and amica montana (from which arnica, a really good healer and soother, comes from). In addition to CoQ10, an anti-oxidant with a good pedigree, there is vitamin E and some alga extract. For moisture, there is sodium hyaluronate. Two preservatives that are potential irritants, but otherwise a candidate for the next Five Best Under $30 round up.