Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser
5 fl. oz. for $10
Last Updated:03.13.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is a very good water-soluble cleanser for all skin types. The detergent cleansing agents are quite gentle and so are not especially adept at removing makeup, but those who wear minimal to no makeup won’t find this to be an issue.

The active ingredient is 1% salicylic acid, but its blemish-busting effect is limited when it’s in a product that’s quickly rinsed from skin. The salicylic acid isn’t derived from willow bark as claimed, so this product shouldn’t be construed as a natural alternative to other anti-acne cleansers. Willow bark contains salicin, a chemical that can be converted via enzymes into salicylic acid when ingested, but not when applied topically (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Including salicylic acid and willow bark in this product is a way to make a claim about natural effectiveness while including a synthetic ingredient that has all the research showing it has benefit for skin.


This cleanser is clinically proven to help wash away acne causing bacteria, excess oil and impurities without over-drying or irritating skin. Salicylic Acid, derived naturally from Willow Bark Extract, penetrates pores to help reduce acne and prevent future breakouts. Evening Primrose and Beet Root Extracts help soothe acne prone skin resulting in clear and healthy-looking skin, naturally.


Active: Salicylic Acid (1%), Other: Water, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Sucrose Laurate, Salix Nigra Bark Extract (Willow), Coco Betaine, Betaine, Beta Vulgaris Root Extract (Beet), Oenothera Biennis Leaf Extract (Evening Primrose), Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Glycerin, Glyceryl Oleate, Coco Glucoside, Fragrance, Glucose, Alcohol Denatured, Glucose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol

Brand Overview

Strengths: Inexpensive.

Weaknesses: Many products have potent fragranced formulas; several formulas packaged in jars, which compromises their ingredients.

With humble beginnings in the town of Bangor, Maine, Burt's Bees is a brand focused on natural-themed, earth-friendly skincare. Unfortunately, in many cases, this also translates to less than beneficial formulas as not all of the natural ingredients used are helpful for skin.

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. It’s also important to consider the potential benefit (or potential harm) of the ingredients used.

There are some formulas to consider among the brand’s offerings, but some to be wary of—see our individual reviews on Burt’s Bees products for more details.

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

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Good, non-irritating

Purchased as a lower cost alternative to dermatologist branded products as I read on dermatologist website that if you have to save money, cleanser as it doesn't stay on the face long enough for ingredients to be beneficial. Cleaned without drying. I don't depend on it for anti-acne, only to remove oils/makeup. I was swayed again by a dermatologist branded product promising to decrease the appearance of pores, so I stopped using. Tried samples of Paula's choice, indecisive right now.

Reviewed by
Ruth B.
I Like

I do like this product, although I'm not in love with it. For about four months, it was the only thing that made a difference in my acne. It cleared my skin up and kept it clear for about 2-3 months. After that, I've been getting acne again, and it's worse than it has ever been. The source could be a variety of things, so I do not believe this product is to blame. However, it's not keeping my skin clear on its own anymore. The price is steep for the amount, too.

Reviewed by
Jessica N
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