Burt’s Bees doesn’t fall into either of these categories. Rather, this brand’s unique story began with the union of an artist and a beekeeper.
In 1984, artist Roxanne Quimby started making candles out of unused wax from Burt Shavitz’s beehives. After Quimby read one of Shavitz’s 19th-century books about beekeeping, which included homemade personal care recipes, Burt’s Bees entered into the personal care products industry.
While this brand is most well known for the Burt’s Bees Chapstick, they also offer a variety of personal care products, including skin care, hair care, cosmetics, oral care, and even pet products.
In this review, we’ll focus on the 10 best Burt’s Bees skin care products. We’ll cover the formulation details, including the key ingredients and the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care.
We’ll also share some Burt’s Bees reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of these products.
What Are The Top 10 Best Burt’s Bees Skin Care Products?
The Burt’s Bees skin care collection consists of everything you would need to create a complete regimen, from cleansers to toners to moisturizers and more. Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 best Burt’s Bees skin care products.
Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil
If you’re tired of tugging on your eyes with makeup-removing wipes, it’s time to upgrade your cleansing routine by adding in a cleansing oil.
When you use a cleansing oil to remove oily makeup and sebum, you’re employing the chemical principle called “like dissolves like.” Basically, oils will dissolve other materials that have a similar chemical structure.
Inside Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil you’ll find a base of coconut-derived emollient caprylic/capric triglyceride, as well as a high concentration of Crambe Abyssinica seed oil. These ingredients not only help to dissolve makeup and impurities on the skin, but also offer a silky and cushioning skin feel, similar to the feel of silicones.
Unfortunately, there’s a high concentration of fragrance in the Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil. In fact, there’s more fragrance than there is argan oil and coconut oil!
While fragrance certainly creates a pleasant sensorial experience, it’s not doing your skin any favors. Fragrance ingredients have the potential to cause sensitivity reactions and even skin damage. We’ll explain more in the Key Ingredients section below.
Bottom Line: Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil uses caprylic/capric triglyceride and Crambe Abyssinica seed oil to dissolve makeup and impurities, but keep in mind that this formula includes a high concentration of fragrance.
Burt’s Bees Hand Salve
Do you hate when hand creams promise to moisturize your skin, but instead they don’t absorb and just leave your hands feeling greasy? We do, too. Fortunately, this isn’t the case for Burt’s Bees Hand Salve.
The rich salve absorbs into the skin easily due to the high concentration of olive oil. Olive oil contains several different fatty acids, but is mostly composed of oleic acid (65 to 85%). Oleic acid is an omega-9 monounsaturated fatty that functions as a penetration enhancer. Ultimately, the high concentration of olive oil in this hand salve will help deliver other active ingredients deeper into the skin.
Additional key ingredients in Burt’s Bees Hand Salve include sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil, and beeswax. All of these ingredients function as emollients to soften and moisturize hands.
Note: this is another Burt’s Bees skin care product that includes fragrance.
Bottom Line: A rich hand salve that absorbs into skin quickly thanks to olive oil while also helping to soften hands with sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil, and beeswax.
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Eye Cream
This lightweight, fragrance free eye cream is ideal for those with dry, sensitive skin around the eyes due to the combination of humectants, emollients, and soothing extracts in the formula.
Humectants like glycerin, carrageenan, and aloe vera help to draw moisture into the upper layers of skin. This not only increases hydration, but also helps to disguise fine lines because the extra moisture is extra volume.
Emollients like olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and coconut oil help to lock in moisture while cotton flower, rice, and beet extract soothe the skin.
Bottom Line: A lightweight, fragrance free eye cream that should help to hydrate and soothe the skin around the eyes.
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser
This Burt’s Bees face wash is said to gently remove dirt, oil, and makeup without causing redness or irritation. One of the key ingredients in this cleanser is Quillaja Saponaria (soap bark) extract, which functions as an alternative to synthetic surfactants.
Soap bark extract contains triterpenic saponins that act as natural foaming agents. Specifically, these saponins have surfactant properties because of their lipophilic triterpenoid structure, with side chains of hydrophilic carbohydrates. This structure allows soap bark extract to attract and suspend oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away.
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser also includes soothing extracts like cotton flower and rice extract, as well as several emollients like sunflower seed oil, beeswax, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. These ingredients help to soften the skin while locking in moisture, making this cleanser best for those with normal, dry, and/or sensitive skin.
Bottom Line: Soap bark cleanses the skin, while extracts like cotton flower and rice help to soothe skin in this Burt’s Bees face wash.
Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Eye Cream
If you’re starting to notice crow’s feet around your eyes, you’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to add a retinol eye cream into your nightly routine. Maybe you’ve tried a retinol product, but you’ve experienced the common (yet annoying) side effects of retinol, like skin dryness and irritation. If so, then Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Eye Cream could be a good option due to the key ingredient bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative.
Research has shown that bakuchiol provides many of the same benefits of retinol, including the ability to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and reduce the effects of sun damage (including uneven skin tone). One of the main benefits of bakuchiol is that it provides retinol-like effects without irritation.
Plus, Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Eye Cream includes plenty of hydrating and soothing plant extracts, such as beet, watermelon, lentil, apple, and hibiscus, just to name a few.
Bottom Line: An anti-aging eye cream that helps to firm the skin around the eyes thanks to bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative.
Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream
Burt’s Bees Cuticle Cream is made to nourish dry, brittle nails as it moisturizes and softens cuticles with emollients like sweet almond oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, and candelilla wax.
Plus, the lemon oil in this cream not only provides a refreshingly clean scent, it also has cleansing and astringent properties that help to cut through oil and dirt.
The only problem is that almost every Burt’s Bees review for this product mentions how the can is nearly impossible to open. One reviewer shares, “Used once tried several times to reopen and it’s just not possible!” and a similar review says, “Ridiculously hard to open. Can’t even use the product anymore.”
Bottom Line: A nourishing cuticle cream with a lemon scent that helps to moisturize and soften cuticles, but many reviews mention how difficult the can is to open.
Burt’s Bees Brightening Eye Treatment
Burt’s Bees Brightening Eye Treatment is said to naturally diminish the appearance of dark spots and discoloration around your eyes with daisy flower extract.
Daisy may be able to help brighten eyes because it contains a compound called arbutin. Arbutin is a glycosylated hydroquinone that has the ability to inactivate tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is a key enzyme involved in the synthesis of melanin, the pigment that gives skin color. Therefore, by inhibiting tyrosinase, daisy extract may be able to reduce abnormal pigmentation and brighten the skin around the eyes.
In addition to daisy extract, Burt’s Bees Brightening Eye Treatment contains several botanical oils and butters, such as sunflower seed oil, apricot kernel oil, shea butter, olive fruit oil, and more. These ingredients function as emollients, softening the skin and locking in moisture.
Of note, Burt’s Bees Brightening Eye Treatment includes several ingredients that can potentially aggravate the skin, such as denatured alcohol and many fragrant plant extracts. Denatured alcohol is well known to cause skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier.
The fragrance ingredients in this product include lemon fruit extract, orange fruit extract, citral, geraniol, limonene, and linalool. These ingredients can cause sensitization and irritation, especially when used on the delicate skin around the eyes.
Bottom Line: Burt’s Bees Brightening Eye Treatment may help to brighten the skin around your eyes with daisy flower extract, but keep in mind that the formula contains denatured alcohol and fragrance.
Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum
Hibiscus is not only a beautiful tropical plant, but also an excellent skin care ingredient. As the key ingredient in this Burt’s Bees serum, hibiscus inhibits the activity of the enzyme elastase, which is responsible for breaking down a skin protein known as elastin. Thus, by inhibiting elastin breakdown, Hibiscus extract actively combats the aging process by firming and lifting your skin.
There’s also plenty of nourishing, hydrating ingredients in the Renewal Intensive Firming Serum, such as apple fruit extract, raspberry seed oil, watermelon fruit extract, lentil fruit extract, and more.
Bottom Line: Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum helps to reduce signs of aging with hibiscus flower extract.
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub
With the help of jojoba beads and fruit enzymes, Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub is said to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, prevent future breakouts, and refine the appearance of pores.
This scrub also features black willow bark extract, a rich source of tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and various minerals, all of which help soothe the skin and aid in cell regeneration.
Black willow bark also contains a compound called salicin, which provides exceptional anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce the appearance of pores and wrinkles, even out skin tone, and increase skin firmness.
Bottom Line: Jojoba beads, fruit enzymes, and black willow bark extract are the key ingredients in this scrub that help to exfoliate skin and clear pores.
Burt’s Bees Skin Nourishment Night Cream
This night cream for normal to combination skin is said to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles thanks to royal jelly.
Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that’s considered to be one of the world’s most nutrient-rich substances, packed with more than 100 nutrients, including essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, C, E, biotin, niacin, and folic acid.
The royal jelly used in Burt’s Bees Skin Nourishment Night Cream should help enhance skin’s texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Royal jelly has also been found to have antioxidant and humectant properties.
Of note, this Burt’s Bees product contains fragrance, which could lead to skin sensitivity reactions.
Bottom Line: Royal jelly is the key ingredient in this Burt’s Bees night cream that helps enhance skin’s texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines, but keep in mind that the formula includes fragrance.
What Are The Key Ingredients in Burt’s Bees Skin Care Products?
You already know that beeswax is the key ingredient used throughout the collection of Burt’s Bees skin care products. But perhaps you’re wondering what beeswax actually does for your skin. If so, read on to learn the skin care benefits of beeswax.
Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees in the cell walls of honeycombs.
According to a publication in the journal Molecules, beeswax is composed of hydrocarbons and free fatty alcohols, and also contains triterpenes, β-carotene, volatile compounds and phenolic compounds. The flavonoid chrysin relieves inflammation and also has antimicrobial and regenerative effects.
Furthermore, beeswax functions as a humectant by drawing moisture into the skin, and also as an emollient to soften the skin. It forms a soft, protective barrier on the surface of skin, which helps to prevent evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture. The barrier also protects the skin from environmental factors that may irritate the skin.
Besides beeswax, the Burt’s Bees skin care products are formulated with mostly naturally-derived ingredients, including the following categories:
- Extracts with anti-aging properties (i.e. hibiscus flower extract, bakuchiol, etc.)
- Emollients (i.e. seed oils and butters)
- Humectants (i.e. glycerin, aloe vera, etc.)
- Soothing extracts (i.e. cotton flower, chamomile, etc.)
Unfortunately, many of the Burt’s Bees skin care products are formulated with fragrance. Even though the fragrance ingredients are naturally-derived, they can still cause contact allergies, skin irritation, and even skin damage.
In fact, according to a 2016 publication in the scholarly journal Dermatitis, nearly 80 essential oils have caused contact allergy. This is because all fragrance ingredients (whether natural or synthetic) impart scent through a volatile reaction, and this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin.
Even if you don’t have a full blown reaction to the ingredient, the damage may still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term.
How Much Do Burt’s Bees Skin Care Products Cost?
Burt’s Bee skin care products are pretty affordable, in line with higher end drugstore brands such as Olay and CeraVe. For example, the Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil costs $15.99 USD for a 6 ounce bottle, while the Hand Salve costs $9.99 for 3 ounces.
Where to Buy Burt’s Bees Skin Care Products?
Burt’s Bees Skin Care products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as many third party online retailers such as Ulta, Amazon, Target, Walmart, and more. The products are also sold in beauty stores and drugstores throughout the United States and Canada.
What is The Burt’s Bees Return Policy?
The Burt’s Bees return policy states, “Every product purchase from BurtsBees.com is protected by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason the product does not meet your expectations, we will refund the purchase price within 30 days of delivery. Shipping and handling fees are not refundable.”
Is Burt’s Bees Cruelty Free?
Yes, Burt’s Bees is cruelty free and the products are officially Leaping Bunny Certified. Leaping Bunny Certification means Burt’s Bees skin care products are free of animal testing at every stage of product development.
Is Burt’s Bees Vegan?
No, Burt’s Bees products are not vegan since animal-derived ingredients (i.e. beeswax, honey, etc.) are used in the product formulations.
Burt’s Bees Reviews
Burt’s Bees reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. One product that has received plenty of positive feedback is the Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil.
The positive reviews for the Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil mention how well it works to remove makeup without stripping the skin or causing dryness.
For example, one review says, “I have been using this cleansing oil for about a year now and I absolutely love it. It removes my makeup with ease and no harsh rubbing. I feel it also leaves my skin feeling great. It does not create dryness or oil on my face.”
And another 5-star review says, “I REALLY enjoy this cleansing oil. My face in just a few days is SO much happier since it’s not being stripped by my cleansers I have been using and I tried them all. NEVER discontinue this gem. No breakouts. Doesn’t strip skin and feels healthy afterwards.”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil from customers who experienced breakouts and allergic reactions after using this product.
For example, one review says, “I thought I had bad skin cuz I’m picky but in reality I had a pimple or two with big pores. I tried this and it destroyed my skin. I broke out like I never have before. I have so many pimples and numbs COVERING my face. My face is like a bumpy road. It’s been a week since I stopped using it and my face still hasn’t even begun to heal.”
And there’s quite a few customers who recognize that fragrance should not be in skin care products, as one reviewer shares, “I bought this because I have dry skin and love the pump bottle! If it were fragrance free it would have been a great product. Even my dry 67 year old skin broke out and I haven’t had issues in years! Mine went back to the store, luckily I saved my receipt. Another reason skincare and makeup should NOT have any fragrance in them. Burt’s Bees please make more fragrance free products! Fragrance rates high on the Think Dirty and EWG apps and is not good for the skin!”
Overall, we think that the fragrance-free Burt’s Bees products could be a good option if you’re looking for natural skin care products, and we’d recommend avoiding the products with fragrance.
- Beeswax and other bee-derived ingredients have evidence to support their skin care benefits
- Many positive Burt’s Bees reviews
- Burt’s Bees is cruelty free
- Many Burt’s Bees products contain high concentrations of fragrance, which could lead to skin sensitivity reactions and even skin damage
What Are Some Alternatives to Burt’s Bees Skin Care Products?
If you’re looking for skin care products to address the signs of aging, one brand we recommend is Formulyst. Formulyst maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in clinically advanced skin care solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
One example is Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate, an all-in-one serum for healthy, younger-looking skin. It’s formulated with unique ingredients such as ProBioBalance to help balance the skin’s microbiome and a powerful Peptide Complex to help stimulate new collagen production. This serum also harnesses the natural skin care benefits of shea butter, green tea leaf extract, vitamins C and E, and more.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.