Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: Burt's Bees Intense Hydration products

Disclaimer: I got these products free from BzzAgent.

I received full-size bottles of Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, Intense Hydration Night Cream, and Intense Hydration Treatment Mask, as well as samples of the Day Lotion, so I tried them all. My reviews below.

First of all, let me state that I do not care about natural/organic skincare products. It’s nice that Burt’s Bees tries to reduce landfill waste. I don’t give a fuck that their products are natural or organic. That does not make them better. So that won’t factor into my review.

Second, I want to make it clear that I am absolutely not the target customer for these products. I do not have dry skin. At all. I have oily skin. On a good day, I have combination skin, but it’s really a combination of oily and normal, not dry. So I don’t really use moisturizers, as I am plenty moist naturally. I certainly don’t require “intense hydration”. Nevertheless, they sent me this shit, so I figured I’d try it out for a week. Maybe I’d been wrong all along and moisture would magically transform my skin (spoiler: I was not wrong).

Also the magical ingredient is “clary sage.” Never heard of it. Here’s what the back of the bottle says: “Deep in the windswept hills of the Mediterranean, a lone plant fights for its life against the elements. Clary Sage not only survives, but thrives in its harsh environment because of its fierce will and exceptional ability to trap and retain moisture. This remarkable botanical is the inspiration behind Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration, our natural ode to soft, supple skin.” Ah, I see. The formula is ‘inspired’ by the ‘fierce will’ of this plant. The ‘remarkable botanical’ itself probably doesn’t do fuck-all for your skin. Very clever wording there, marketing folks.

Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser: Of all the products I tested, this is the one I liked best. If you have anything approaching dry skin, I say it’s worth trying. It costs $10, but since this is a new line, you should be able to find coupons and not spend more than $6 on it.

It smells lovely, but not too strong, and not too perfumey. The texture is wonderful - really slippery and soft. It feels great. It works well as a cleanser. It gets rid of oil and most makeup (not eye makeup, but then I don’t really rub facial cleanser into my eyelids), and it rinsed away clean without leaving my skin tight and dry. At the end of the week of using this, I broke out pretty badly. I’m pretty sure that was entirely hormonal/stress-related, though. So while I don’t think the cleanser caused me to break out, it didn’t do anything to prevent it, either.

Intense Hydration Night Cream: Fail, fail, fail, fail. Don’t buy this. First of all, it costs $18. Are you fucking kidding me? But worst of all, it comes packaged in a glass jar. Do not ever, EVER buy creams that come in a jar/tub. They will deteriorate more quickly than things in a tube or bottle because of the amount of surface area exposed to the air. Also, any cream that you have to stick your fingers into to get out has a 100% chance of bacterial contamination100%! Oh and Burt’s Bees boasts about not using parabens, which are preservatives, so this stuff is pretty much fucked.

I understand why they put it in a jar: more marketing. Somehow, it just seems right that a rich, hydrating, night cream should come in a jar, doesn’t it? You’ll have it sitting on your gilded vanity and glamorously spread it on your lovely face at night before you go to bed like fucking Gloria Swanson or some shit. Don’t fall for it.

As for the cream itself, well, I didn’t like it either. It smelled okay, though not great, and the smell did not fade for hours after I used it. It’s pretty greasy, too. Again, I have oily skin, so this might be a plus for you. The worst thing was that it kept getting in my eyes and stinging. I didn’t put it on my eyelids, but think about it. It’s greasy night cream. You smear it on your face and then you go to bed. It gets all over your pillow, and it’s eventually going to get in your fucking eyes. Ouch. Bad design. I never used this a second time. I absolutely do not recommend this product.

Intense Hydration Day Lotion: If you’re sulking now, because you really wanted that night cream, just buy this instead. I mean, if you’re really desperate to pay $18 for some fucking moisturizer. At least it comes packaged in a bottle with a pump so it won’t get spoiled and full of bacteria right away. It’s not as thick as the night cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less moisturizing. But you’re better off just buying this.

My first problem with this stuff is that it has no SPF. What exactly is the point of a day lotion with no SPF? That just means an extra step for me. Again, I will emphasize that I am not the target audience for this shit, so take that into consideration when you read the following.

I put this on my face in the morning after a shower, waited half an hour or so, and then put on my makeup. It smells about the same as the night cream. Don’t love it, but it’s okay. By the time I put on my makeup, my skin still felt really greasy. It felt greasy for the rest of the day. In fact, it made my face feel gross and sweaty. I hated it. But if you’re looking for lasting hydration, then I guess that is a good thing. I also didn’t use this product a second time, because it made me so uncomfortable. If you have really, really dry skin and money coming out of your ass, you might want to check it out.

Intense Hydration Treatment Mask: This was the second best of the bunch, but I would still never, in a million years, spend $18 on it. You’re supposed to spread a thick layer of it over your freshly washed face, leave it on for 5-10 min, wipe it off with a kleenex, and then rub whatever’s left into your skin.

I decided to try this, because I had used a sulphur mask for acne that left me pretty dry and flaky. After a shower, where I exfoliated and washed my face, so it was a little tighter than usual, I used this mask. It smells the same as the other creams. I didn’t put on a super-thick layer, since I’m not super-dry, but it was quite a bit. After 5 minutes, most of it had absorbed, so there wasn’t a lot to wipe off. But then the residue never really sinks into your skin. An hour later, you can still feel it. It’s not greasy like the lotion - it’s more of a waxy feeling. I prefer that, personally, but I think it would be better to use this at night than during the day, like I did. The flaky patches on my skin remained kind of crusty after using this. So overall, not a terrible product, but not really necessary.

Summary: Buy the cleanser if you can get your hands on a coupon. I’ll probably keep using it, but I’ll alternate with my usual routine. The other products I would not recommend based on the expense alone. Even if you like to throw your money around (and why exactly are you reading this blog, then?), do not, under any circumstances, buy the night cream.

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