Sunday, 30 August 2009

Skincare and bees - a bee-autiful combination!

By Naomi

I have to confess that my cosmetic-purchasing behaviour has been less than eco-friendly over recent years. I used to get sucked in by the joy of trying the latest thing; products that I truly believed would somehow change my life for the better, but which usually ended up relegated to my ‘maybe one day I will need this again’ box. Hairsprays, mousses, body sprays, soaps, cleansers, moisturisers, make-up – you name it and I’ve got a redundant one. To make things worse, I have problem skin, for which I am perpetually trying to find a solution. Buying skincare for problem skin can be a headache. Do you go natural? Astringent? Expensive? Cheap? Do you stick with one product in the hope that it will eventually calm your skin, or change as soon as you think it isn’t working? And that is before you even get to the ecological and ethical aspects!

I am increasingly becoming converted to the ‘buy less, buy better’ school of thought. Skincare is now a considered purchase, rather than a lunch-hour splurge. I consider what the products are made of, where they are from, and how long they will last. It often feels as though you need a degree in chemistry to understand what is put into many products, even those that are supposed to be eco-friendly options. In my view, ingredients should be clearly labelled, in terms that make it easier to assess how eco-friendly and natural the product is. I was shocked to read that research shows that 60% of the ingredients we put on our bodies are absorbed into it.* Suddenly products that are loaded with chemicals and synthetic ingredients seem to lose their appeal!

Thankfully there is a brand out there that thinks the same! After being given samples of some Burt’s Bees products recently I have since become a huge fan of the brand. They are an ‘Earth Friendly, Natural Personal Care Company,’ that make products from beeswax, botanical and essential oils, herbs, flowers and minerals. They never use Petroleum (not renewable and potentially toxic), Sodium lauryl sulphate (a harsh and aggressive ingredient) or Propylene glycol. Furthermore, they never test on animals, work with many community projects and use recycled packaging. To help on your mission to be an Eco Goddess, each product’s ingredients are clearly explained and a little bar shows the percentage of natural ingredients – genius! Equally importantly, the products are fabulous!

My favourite is the Beeswax lip balm (100% natural). It smells of peppermint and the beeswax and oils keep my lips soft for ages. It’s also a bargain at a mere £3.42!
I was initially dubious about using the face products, as I thought they would be too rich and oily for my complexion, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub (98.45% natural) - which utilises finely ground peach stone, sea algae and ginger extracts - left my skin feeling soft and deeply nourished rather than oily. It smells gorgeous too. Another favourite is the Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream (98.8% natural.) It thoroughly cleansed my skin and left it soft enough to skip moisturiser!

Other products I tried include:
Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion – a light moisturiser that smells like holidays.
Radiance Day Cream – with royal jelly and retro-glam packaging.
Orange Essence Facial Cleanser – a rich cleanser that is great for normal to dry complexions.

Find Burt’s Bees products in John Lewis, Debenhams and Waitrose, as well as many independents.

Visit for more information.


Do you experience similar problems buying skincare? Have you tried these products? What did you think? I would love to hear your stories!

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