You might think cleansers are fairly basic products and that their ingredients don't matter much because they're rinsed down the drain, but a gentle, effective cleanser can be your skin's best friend. That said, Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser is NOT the least bit friendly to anyone's face because it contains a high amount of fragrant irritants. See More Info to learn why these ingredients aren't as skin-friendly as their "natural" origins may seem.
The "star" ingredient in this creamy cleanser is daisy flower extract, which is supposed to help treat hyperpigmentation. There is little independent evidence that it can lighten dark spots as claimed, and even if it could, you wash this off your face too soon for it to have any impact. Skin-lightening ingredients are most beneficial in leave-on products, where they have time to work.
The true problem here is that this is not a gentle way to cleanse your face. Mixed among the potentially beneficial ingredients - and in fact, listed before many of them - is a cocktail of fragrant plant extracts that serve to irritate and damage skin. These include peppermint, lemon, and orange extracts - our skin tingles just from reading the ingredient list. Even though you don't keep them on your skin for a long period of time, why risk even a little irritation - no irritation is better, and these ingredients offer no real benefit for skin in the first place, especially not for improving skin color. See More Info on why irritation and fragrant plant extracts are a bad idea when it comes to skin care!
Though this cleanser is relatively inexpensive, the price your skin pays is too high - give this one a pass. Instead, consider one of the much better options on our list of Best Cleansers.
- Contains some soothing ingredients, such as olive oil and soy protein.
- Little independent evidence showing daisy flower extract can lighten dark spots, plus, in a cleanser, this ingredient is washed down the drain anyway.
- Contains potentially irritating fragrant plant extracts such as peppermint, lemon, and orange, which can harm skin and impair its ability to heal.
Fragrance in Skin Care: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Clinically proven to help improve the appearance of surface dullness, this cleanser, infused with Daisy extract, helps reveal a more even skin tone in as few as 4 weeks. Formulated with a multifruit complex, our cleanser effectively removes dirt oil and makeup.
Aqua (Water, Eau), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Olivoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane, Extrait De Canne Á Sucre) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Oil, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Powder, Jojoba Esters, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Xanthan Gum, Sucrose, Arginine, Parfum (Fragrance), Potassium Hydroxide, Alcohol Denat., Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.
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.