Friday, May 29, 2009

Review: Burt's Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30

I promise that I wanted to love this, I really did. I've been trying to use a daily facial moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or preferably 30 for a long time. And none of them have really worked out. And then I saw some blurb for this product and it had those buzzwords that really got me going like...creamy, and moisturizing and smooth. So I thought I'd give it a go.
First of all, it is creamy and smooth. To a point. It has quite a nice texture if you're working on a small area of skin. It is a little hard to rub in, as are all chemical-free sunscreens, but it's not too bad. Except I would go to the mirror a little while later and see white fuzz around my hairline and on my eyebrows - not that that's an issue for this product alone, as again, it's a "feature" of using a physical sunscreen, but it bugs me to think that other people might be thinking that I have a dandruff problem on my eyebrows.
As for using it as a facial moisturizer, it is not quite emolient enough for me. I wouldn't hold that against it if it were the only problem, though, as it's not marketed as a facial moisturizer so I don't expect it to perform wonderfully on that score.
Oh but the smell. I can't deal with the smell. Maybe you'll love it. Maybe it's just me. And I'm assuming the smell comes from the hemp seed oil, as I don't know what that normally smells like, but I squeeze some out of the tube, and am immediately transported to my elementary school, and more to the point, to the disinfectant that they used in the bathrooms. Now, I didn't grow up in the States - maybe your elementary school disinfectant experience was different than mine, and this product won't create any such associations in your mind. But, I can't escape it, and I don't like the thought of putting toilet cleaner on my face.
So, I tried using it for its intended purpose, as a body sunscreen. I had an outdoor event to go to, and decided to slather some on my arms, neck and shoulder areas. Except I have got used with sunscreen to squirting a lot out, smoothing it a little over the entire skin area I wish to cover (for example, my arms, neck and shoulders), and allowing it to soak in a bit while I am rubbing it in. This is not the way to use this sunscreen. If you don't use a small amount on a small area, rub it in well, and then move to another small area and reapply another small amount, and rub that in well, you are facing disaster. It dries out easily and becomes impossible to rub in if you leave it sitting on your skin too much. I ended up with flaking, balling, nasty dry sunscreen. I tried to go and wet my hands to see if I could improve it, but then ended up with flaking, balling dry sunscreen with a wet yellowy layer of milky stuff on top. Ugh. I rinsed it off and started again with a different product.
I am still using the product, as a daily sunscreen for my hands. And it's not so bad. After all, the backs of my hands are a pretty small area so it is hard to go wrong with that. It's moisturizing enough as a hand cream but I have switched to something else for my face.
I'm going to go with 2 and a half stars. It could work for some things, if you are careful with how you apply it.