Sensitive Night Cream

Price:
$15 - 1.8 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
5/24/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
No

This fragrance-free moisturizer contains mostly natural ingredients, and given that this product is meant for those with sensitive skin, we're glad Burt's Bees left out the problematic plant extracts and fragrant oils they usually use, which aren't good for anyone's skin but especially not sensitive skin. Instead, skin is treated to a thick-textured cream rich in non-fragrant plant oil and a rather high amount of zinc oxide.

In addition to functioning as a sunscreen (though this product does not have an SPF rating and skin doesn't need sun protection at night), zinc oxide also functions as a skin protectant (it's the active ingredient in most diaper rash creams because of the strong barrier properties it has). That can be helpful for sensitive skin, but the drawback is zinc oxide can feel too heavy and occlusive—and there are other soothing, protective ingredients that help sensitive skin. Still, if you have sensitive, dry skin, you'll likely find the texture of this product acceptable.

The plant extracts this contains function as antioxidants and some have research pertaining to their anti-inflammatory properties, but it's disappointing that this moisturizer is packaged in a jar because it means the helpful plant ingredients won't remain stable during use (see More Info for details). Note that Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream has a very similar formula and it has packaging that keeps the plant ingredients stable (and it's just fine to use at night, even though it's not labeled "night cream").

Pros:
  • Gentle, fragrance-free formula.
  • Contains some good soothing and protective ingredients.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging won't keep the many plant ingredients stable once it's opened.

The fact that this night cream is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

This rejuvenating night cream is clinically proven to moisturize sensitive skin overnight without causing redness or irritation. Specifically formulated with softening Cotton Extract to help skin replenish its outer layer, rice extract to moisturize, and aloe to soothe. Naturally kind and gentle, you can use it daily.

Aqua (Water), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Zinc Oxide, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sucrose, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Artemisia Umbelliformis Extract, Jojoba Esters, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Lecithin, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Fructose, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Glucose, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol Denat., Sucrose Polystearate, Inositol, Trehalose, Sucrose Stearate, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Glyceryl Laurate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium PCA

Almost all the skin-care lines in the world prefer to identify themselves as originating from companies established to create elegant, scientific formulations conceived with an in-depth understanding of the skin’s functions and needs. We say almost, because Burt's Bees makes no such claim. Quite the contrary; this line is about as unglamorous and as unscientific as it gets (the picture of Burt on the label made me think we were buying fishing gear, and press materials for the brand mention he used to live in a turkey coop). Talk about being an iconoclast!

This is how the company's founder Roxanne Quimby describes its history on its Web site: "I guess you could say it all started because there weren't many jobs up there north of Bangor. Though we found, grew, or traded for most of what we needed, I figure a person's got to have at least 3000 dollars a year in actual greenbacks to survive in this old world, especially if you've got kids. I'd been let go from my last three part-time waitressing jobs and had been buying low and selling high at yard sales and flea markets, which brought in about $150 a week during good weather. How we got started making lip balm and ended up in North Carolina is another story, and a long one at that, so I’ll save it for some other time." This is a skin-care line?

Aside from its humble, amorphous beginning, Burt's Bees is about natural, earth-friendly skin-care products, as well as overly fragranced products. Its philosophy in this respect is sincere: "To us, the word 'natural' means only one thing. It means, 'harvested from nature.' And we adhere to that definition like the strictest of school teachers."

For those seeking a line of skin-care products with truly natural ingredients, this is one of the few that steadfastly adheres to its commitment: there is no hypocrisy here. If the ingredient lists are accurate, and there is no reason to assume otherwise, then you will not find preservatives or synthetically derived ingredients of any kind. Just from the all-natural point of view, there will definitely be people who will be excited about these products, but I'm not one of them. Many of the plant extracts and oils used in these products, including orange oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil, pine tar, alcohol, lime oil, and balsam peru, are problematic for skin and present a significant risk of irritation or a sensitizing reaction. Both the intriguing philosophy and inexpensive products are attractive, but it takes more than that to establish reliable products that are good for skin.

We know that most people are attracted by fragrance, and in this regard these products excel. They are also notable for the lack of preservatives, which can be beneficial for those who can’t tolerate preservatives. (That lack may be an issue for product stability, although we did not have these products tested for contamination.) But for any other skin-care need, we suggest you use your wisdom and recognize that while Mother Nature is assuredly wise about the Earth, She does not have everything the skin needs. In fact, Mother Nature offers up many problematic things for skin, including the sun and poison ivy.

For more information about Burt's Bees, call 1-800-849-7112 or visit www.burtsbees.com.

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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