Burt's Bees

Cleansing Oil Balm

3.00 fl. oz. for $ 14.99
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Brand Overview

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil Balm is an okay option for removing dirt, oil, and makeup. Regrettably, it’s also one that makes a few critical missteps that keep it from achieving a spot on our list of best products.

This “balm” has a remarkably smooth, whipped texture, unlike the semi-solid state many similar balms have initially. It’s easy to spread across skin, and “melts” quickly, removing dirt, oil, and non-waterproof makeup. It rinses cleanly while leaving a bit of a moisturized feel. Because of its particularly emollient nature, it’s best for those with normal to dry skin if used as your only cleanser. For those with combination or oily skin, we recommended using as part of a double cleanse, followed by your regular water-soluble face wash.

While these are all good aspects, there are some issues: although Burt’s Bees doesn’t explicitly make waterproof makeup removal claims, most people expect that of this sort of product, and it doesn’t do a good job there – you’ll have to use a separate makeup remover to make any headway on that count.

Also problematic is that this has a strong, perfume-like fragrance that lingers, even after you’re rinsed it off. Fragrance, even in a rinse-off formula, is still irritating to skin and can also be risky to use around the eyes, which this balm requires to remove eye makeup.

The jar packaging isn’t as much of an issue because this isn’t marketed for having skin benefits beyond moisturizing. Plus, since the cleanser isn’t water-based, hygiene isn’t as much of a concern, but this formula’s texture easily could’ve worked in an opaque squeeze tube.

Lastly, although this does contain a smattering antioxidant green tea extract (camellia sinensis), in a rinse-off product such as this, its ability to “fight the harmful effects of pollution and free radicals” is limited. You’re better off using a well-formulated serum or moisturizer for those types of benefits.

All told, while not a terrible product, you’ll find superior options on our list of best cleansers.

  • Effectively removes dirt, oil, and regular makeup.
  • Skin feels softer after rinsing.
  • Isn’t adept at removing longwearing or waterproof makeup formulas.
  • Has a potent, lingering fragrance that poses a risk for skin irritation.
  • Packaged in a jar, which isn’t ideal (but is less of an issue with this specific formula).
  • Antioxidant, pollution-fighting claims are a bit overstated.
Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

This innovative formula transforms from a solid balm to a silky oil to gently remove impurities without stripping moisture from the skin. It includes Green Tea to provide a boost of antioxidants, which are known to fight the harmful effects of pollution and free radicals. You’re left with skin that glows and feels healthy and soft.

Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Isoamyl Laurate, Limanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquioleate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Fragrance, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Beeswax, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf Extract.

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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