If you've ever been to a Target, you've probably seen Burt's Bees chapstick on the impulse buy rack near the checkout counter. Burt's Bees is a big name in the beeswax lip balm and chapstick industry. Customers ask us about the quality of Burt's Bees "natural" skin care products all the time. Many people automatically associate Burt's Bees cute little bee logo with natural skin and lip care, but is Burt's Bees really natural? Are the ingredients used in Burt's Bees really good for you?
Many people think Burt's Bees is a grassroots company that one day made it big, and in many ways these people are right. Burt's Bees started out as a small local company in Maine back in the 1980s firmly dedicated to offering customers natural and "earth friendly" skin and lip care products.
While Burt's Bees started out strong, once they started getting success they (like so many natural companies) shifted their focus away from the quality of their products, putting more attention on increasing profits and turning their company into a large corporation. Many people aren't aware of this, but back in 2007 Clorox officially bought out and took over Burt's Bees.
Is Burt's Bees Really Natural?
I don't know about you, but I definitely don't associate Clorox bleach with natural lip and skin care. In fact, I can't really think of many products less natural or worse on your skin than bleach, but that's just personal opinion. How has the Clorox takeover affected the ingredients used in Burt's Bees natural and healthy skin care line (if at all)? Is Burt's Bees really natural?
Burts Bees Ingredients
The primary ingredient in Burt's Bees chapstick is at least still beeswax, one of the best moisturizers found in nature. In fact, most of the ingredients listed on Burt's Bees website look good, with coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, and rosemary leaf all very natural ingredients. The ingredients used in Burt's Bees look good at first glance, but it's the ingredients at the end of the list that are a little bit more questionable and obscure. What is lanolin? What is limonene? Tocopherol?
What is Limonene?
Limonene Limonene is a natural essential oil found in orange peel. Limonene is basically the thing that gives oranges their strong, pungent citrus smell.
What is Tocopherol?
Tocopherol is another Burt's Bees ingredients that is natural and isn't really that bad. Related to Vitamin E, tocopherol is found in many vegetables and foods like spinach and nuts.
What is Lanolin? Hint: Burt's Bees Chapstick is not Vegan
Lanolin While still classified as a natural ingredient, lanolin is also known as "wool grease" and is an oil secreted from the fur of wool-bearing animals like sheep. Animal byproducts sound like a yummy ingredient to put on your lips, right? Also, don't let anybody tell you that Burt's Bees skin care products are vegan or even vegetarian.
Soybean Oil and Canola Oil: Low Quality "Filler" Ingredients
If you listen to alternative health experts, many of them will tell you that soybean and canola oil aren't really good for you. In fact, the canola plant didn't even exist before 1974 and has never existed in nature. Burt's Bees products include more of these low quality oils so they can include less of the good ingredients like beeswax and coconut oil, that are actually good for you and of course more expensive. Including less of the good stuff and more fillers allows Burt's Bees to keep a good reputation while cutting corners where they can when it comes to offering high quality ingredients.
The Best Natural Beeswax Lip Balm
Is Burt's Bees really natural? Strictly speaking, yes, Burt's Bees ingredients are still natural and don't include any of the really bad chapstick ingredients. However, questionable ingredients used in Burt's Bees chapstick like canola oil are starting to blur the line between natural and artificial. As you might expect, though, the Clorox buyout of Burt's Bees has affected the company's ingredients list. The price of Burt's Bees beeswax chapstick is only a few cents cheaper than MoreNature's 100% natural beeswax lip balm. Why not pay less than a dollar more for vegan, all natural beeswax lip balm made from 100% pure beeswax and organic coconut oil?
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