Molton Brown is a mixed bag for me. Some of this English brand's products are great, while others fail to get the job done or impress. One product that fits in the latter category is Molton Brown's Purifying Ambrusca Body Tonic ($39).

One of the saving graces of Molton Brown's Purifying Ambrusca Body Tonic is the argan (argania spinosa) kernel extract. This nutrient-rich extract is quite nourishing and helps tone and tighten the skin. And there's plenty of it in the product. There's also some grape (vitis vinifera) leaf extract, which is a great antioxidant—as you should know by now!—that helps combat free radicals, thus reduces premature aging. There's also vitamin E, another antioxidant that helps soften the skin and sodium cocoyl amino acids, a natural amino acid that's a great nutrient for the skin and energizing. So far, so good, right?

Not for long. The product is chockfull of chemicals and useless emollients, including some hazardous ingredients that always raise red flags for me, like citronellol and benzyl salicylate and geraniol (although if you're a constant target for mosquitos, you may actually benefit as this last one is a common ingredient in repellants). Even if I liked having all these ingredients rubbed all over my body, I couldn't get over the overwhelming fragrance, completely unnatural (fragrance is high on the list of ingredients). It was truly gagging. I wish they had just added some essential oils and took out some of the preservatives but we're used to brands having to do what they have to do. Definitely not worth the price. Definitely not worth using at all, knowing there are better body moisturizers out there.

Ingredients:

Water (aqua), isopropyl myristate, cyclopentasiloxane, litchi chinensis pericap extract, vitis vinifera (grape) leaf extract, argania spinosa kernel extract, sodium cocoyl glutamate, carbomer, xanthan gum, fragrance (parfum), acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, tocopheryl acetate, sodium cocoyl amino acids, sarcosine, potassium aspartate, magnesium aspartate, alpha-siomethyl ionone, benzyl salicylate, butylpehnyl methylpropional, citronellol, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, hydroxycitronellol, hydroxyisohexyl, 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, limonene, linalool, butylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol, methylisothiazolinone, triethanolamine, citric acid, yellow 5, yellow 6.