“All-Natural” Personal Care Products to Avoid: Burt’s Bees Lotion

| 8/11/2016 7:00:00 AM

Over the past few years, I’ve been working to reduce the number of skin- and personal-care products I use on a daily basis, and transitioning to natural products whenever possible. It’s been hit-or-miss on occasion, but with a little trial and error I have been able to find quality alternatives that meet my needs.

Since I’ve been a fan of Burt’s Bees lip balms over the years, I thought trying out a few of their other products would be a good place to start. My primary needs for a good lotion are that it’s non-greasy and water-based, the latter of which is harder to find than you might think. Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive lotion met both requirements, but left me very disappointed and itchy…keep reading to find out why.

Burt's Bees Body Lotion

Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive Body Lotion (Aloe & Buttermilk)

Burt’s Bees is widely available at big box retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target. Although Burt’s handcrafted lip balms have been popular for quite some time, the company was purchased by Clorox in 2007 and has been adding new items to their product line ever since. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database ranks this particular lotion 5 out of 10 on its safety scale (moderate risk).

Ingredients of Concern

Fragrance: Commonly found in most personal care products, fragrance—may also be listed as parfum or perfume—is a mixture of unnamed chemicals, often containing phthalates. Fragrance is by far the most hazardous ingredient (scoring 8 out of 10) in this product, as it may contribute to allergies, skin irritation and respiratory disease.

Phenoxyethanol: This ingredient ranks 4 out of 10 (moderate risk) and is used as a preservative in moisturizers, sunscreens, deodorants and several makeup products to reduce the chances of bacterial growth. Skin exposure to products containing as little as 1 percent of phenoxyethanol may cause eczema, hives or other skin irritation in the area of application.