This eye cream from Burt's Bees claims to brighten and even out your complexion, but there's very little it can do in that regard. Worse yet, it contains problematic ingredients, which makes it a product we simply can't recommend, despite quite a few emollient plant oils! But first, understand that the Burt's Bees line is decidedly not "all-natural," as is the case with this product.
First things first: There's nothing in this cream that makes it specific for use around the eye area. In fact, the ingredient list is strikingly similar to that of Burt's Bees' facial moisturizer in its Brightening line. See More Info for reasons you might not need a separate product labeled an eye cream.
That aside, what really makes this a cream to avoid is the inclusion of fragrance, plus irritating and potentially harmful fragrant plant ingredients, including lemon and orange fruit extracts. This is wrong-headed all the way around, especially when you consider you're supposed to be applying this cream to your eye area. See More Info for details on why fragrantce plant extracts like these are bad news for your skin!
Brightening Eye Treatment does contain some great emollient ingredients, such as sunflower seed oil and apricot kernel oil, so it will make your eye area feel moisturized. These plant oils provide an antioxidant benefit, too, but your skin deserves only the beneficial ingredients, and none of those that are problematic.
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. However, we do know that this plant extract can cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to ragweed and marigold (Source: naturaldatabase.com).
In the end, this cream is likely to do more harm than good, so we advise giving it a pass, and checking out one of the superior products on our list of Best Eye Moisturizers instead.
- Contains great emollient ingredients that help moisturize skin.
- Research shows daisy flower extract can have wound-healing properties.
- Very little independent study showing daisy extract can fade dark spots as claimed.
- Contains fragrant plant extracts that can be irritating and pro-aging to skin.
- The fragrance this contains isn't what you want to see in a product meant for use so close to the eyes, or anywhere on the face for that matter.
Why You Might Not Need an Eye Cream: Most eye creams aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye cream doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye gel. You would be shocked how many eye gels lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams (like this one) don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream or gel, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.
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).
Infused with Daisy extract, Burt's Bees' clinically proven Brightening Eye Treatment led to visible results in 94% of women who used it. Make it part of your daily regimen for a brighter and more even complexion, naturally.
Aqua (Water, Eau), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Leucojum Aestivum Bulb Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Lactobacillus/Dipteryx Odorata Seed Ferment Filtrate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Powder, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Arginine, Alcohol Denat., Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), 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.