Burt's Bees

Brightening Even-Tone Moisturizing Cream

1.80 fl. oz. for $ 20.00
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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.
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).

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

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.

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. Its also important to consider the potential benefit (or potential harm) of the ingredients used.

There are some formulas to consider among the brands 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 Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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