05.21.2014
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Burt's Bees
Facial Cleansing Towelettes – Pink Grapefruit
Rating
30 cloths for $6
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansing Cloths
Last Updated:05.21.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Overview

These cleansing cloths are pitched as a simple, effective, and gentle way to cleanse even acne-prone skin - don't believe the claims! The ingredients in these wipes are among the last thing that any skin type needs.

Look on the label and you will notice that fragrance is the third ingredient listed - and no matter how many times we've said it, it bears repeating: Fragrance is not skin care, especially not in this saturated amount!

Listed just after the fragrance is grapefruit seed oil. Topical application of grapefruit oil may cause contact dermatitis and/or a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). This is especially a concern when you consider that the ingredients in these wipes are not meant to be rinsed off ("no rinsing" is one of this product's selling points). See More Info for details on why the irritation from fragrant plant extracts is terrible for skin!

We simply cannot recommend these: They are too irritating to keep any skin healthy. For better options, check out our list of Best Cleansers.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Contains a high amount of fragrance, and fragrance isn't skin care!
  • Grapefruit oil can cause contact dermatitis and/or a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to sunlight.
  • Because the solution from these cloths isn't meant to be rinsed, you'll be leaving strong irritants on your skin.
More Info:

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).

Claims

Specially crafted for normal to oily skin, our invigorating pink grapefruit towelettes cleanse away pore-clogging dirt, oil, and even makeup, for naturally clean skin with no heavy residue—and no rinsing. Gentle enough for daily use, even on acne-prone skin.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water, Eau), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Parfum (Fragrance), Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycerin, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Citral, Limonene, Linalool

Brand Overview

Burt's Bees At-A-Glance

Strengths: Budget-priced (it's always a letdown when you pay too much for lackluster to ineffective products); good lip gloss; complete ingredient lists for every product are available on the company's Web site; one of the few lines that actually adheres to its all-natural marketing (though the results aren't always best for skin).

Weaknesses: Pervasive use of irritating ingredients, all of which have documentation proving their problematic nature for skin (and lips); average to poor sunscreens; poorly formulated toners and masks; antioxidants sullied by jar packaging in many instances.

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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06.12.2014
Grapefruit is extremely irritating!

Is it a good value if it isn't healthy for your skin? I remember years ago I bought a toner from Estée Lauder that contained grapefruit. It made my skin want to scream! I had to eliminate each product to figure out what was causing the pain. It was the toner.

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Annette D.
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