Here's yet another moisturizer with a mixed message claiming its botanical extracts are just what your skin needs to look and feel better - but in this case, a lot of what's "natural" about this cream is also not good for your skin, further proof that natural isn't automatically better or safer for skin! But first understand that the Burt's Bees line is decidedly not "all-natural," as is the case with this product.
This moisturizer is claimed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but it contains fragrant plant ingredients that can actually damage skin and impair its ability to heal. Of major concern are the citrus extracts, which can be phototoxic, meaning they can cause a reaction on skin that's exposed to sunlight (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).
Ingredients that hurt your skin are the opposite of anti-aging helpers, no matter how many times Burt's Bees announces they're "botanical!" See More Info for details on why these kinds of ingredients should not be a part of your daily skin-care routine!
The "star" ingredient in this cream is daisy flower extract, which is supposed to fade dark spots. While there is some research showing that this extract does have wound-healing properties, when tested on animals (Source: Pharmaceutical Biology, August 2012, pages 1031 - 1037), there is little independent study pointing to its effectiveness in treating hyperpigmentation. We do know that this plant extract can cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to ragweed and marigold (Source: naturaldatabase.com).
This product also contains plant extracts, such as sugar cane and maple syrup, which are supposed to be associated with AHAs such as glycolic acid. However, using the plant extract in this case, especially in such minute amounts, does not resemble or provide the benefit of AHAs. It'd be like thinking that because paper is derived from trees you can write a letter on tree bark; you want the actual paper, just like you want the actual effective AHA ingredient.
This does contain some great, antioxidant-rich emollient ingredients, such as olive oil and grape seed oil, and it is packaged in a pump container that keeps the good ingredients protected from light and air. Still, this ends up being a moisturizer with claims on the packaging that are much more impressive than what is actually inside.
- Contains some good emollient ingredients that will make skin feel moisturized.
- Pump container will keep the beneficial light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable.
- Contains fragrant plant ingredients, which can be damaging to skin.
- Contains a small amount of alcohol, which could pose further risk of irritation.
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).
A combination of Summer Snowflake, Daisy Blossom, and other botanical extracts provides rich moisture to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Aqua (Water, Eau), Cetyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tapioca Starch, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Leucojum Aestivum Bulb Extract, Pearl Powder, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Powder, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Sucrose, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sodium PCA, Parfum (Fragrance), 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.