Burts Bees – The Best of Drugstore Green Beauty

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Burts Bees photo: we heart this

Welcome to the latest installment of Green Monday at we heart this! After a year and a half of reviews, we are thrilled to be talking about a company close to our natural beauty loving hearts. If you ever tried to add some green into your routine, shopped for beauty on a budget, or purchased a lip balm at the register, you’ll be very familiar with drugstore fave Burt’s Bees.

It all started over 26 years ago north of Bangor, Maine. Burt Shavitz knew the wisdom of a simple life, with his 8’ by 8’ turkey coop, cabin dwelling, flock of chickens, and 30 beehives. Roxanne Quimby came along and in an attempt to get to know Burt better, offered to help him with his bees. He had been saving the left over beeswax from the hives for one of those projects you just never quite get around to, and he and Roxanne decided to just make some candles with it. Well, people took notice of these high quality candles and they immediately started selling like hotcakes at local fairs. Eventually, Roxanne happened upon a 19th century book of homemade personal care recipes. That was the start of the business that we know today. (See? Behind every great man is a great woman!) This batch of products, soaps and perfumes made on a gas stove, gave her the idea for their famous lip balm – still their best seller.

And deservedly so. Any lip balm addict worth her salt, has one or two (or a dozen) of Burt’s Bees Lip Balms stashed around their home/office/car/pockets/bags. This little tube of balm perfection has it all – a smooth, creamy texture, a soothing formula that both heals chapped lips and protects against future damage, 100% natural ingredients, a just right minty taste and smell, a hint of a tingle upon application – all for just 3 bucks a pop! Forget the tired old myth about that pink and green tube of mascara – Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is the one bargain beauty product that everyone owns, professional makeup artists and beauty insiders included.

The question is; how do the rest of their products stack up to this all natural, mythical balm?

Today, Burt’s Bees makes over 150 products that are sold all over the world. yet, they have never let go of their basic business model of “The Greater Good.” To reflect this philosophy the company uses all natural ingredients, engages in environmentally friendly business practices, and helps the community at large.

Natural Products Association Certified logo Did you no there is no Governmental Standard for labeling a beauty product “natural”? Burt’s teamed up with the Natural Products Association to help develop The Natural Standard for Personal Care Products. They have created a system, which dictates which ingredients, and ultimately products can be considered natural. (Products must have 95% all truly natural ingredients to be deemed Natural). You will know a product meets this standard by seeing the label at right on products starting later this year.

Plus, check out my favorite part of their website: the extensive ingredients glossary, where you can find out in everyday language what the ingredients in any product really are and what purpose they serve. The amount of information and education on their site rivals some of my college ecology textbooks! How’s that for a company’s trustworthiness?!

Ready to start talking beauty? Our review team will be in the comments leaving their reviews on Burt’s Bees items, including the Exfoliating Body Bar (jojoba beads and fruit acid work together to scrub and soothe skin) from their popular Radiance line, and two conditioners from their expanding Natural Hair care collection, the More Moisture Raspberry & Brazil Nut Conditioner for dry hair, (using a combo of natual oils – Coconut, Brazil Nut and Marula, plus honey and sugar for an intensive moisture treatment) plus the Very Volumizing Pomegranate and Soy Conditioner especially for fine hair (it uses pomegranate as a natural, light cleanser and soy amino acids help to lift and separate hair, adding volume). We’ll also take a look at what Tyna’s been calling “Burt’s lip balm in a tub”, the super healing Farmer’s friend Hand Salve loaded with botanical oils, herbs and beeswax.

we heartsters – I know we have some Burt’s Bees fanatics out there. What are your must have BB products?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • Mel

    Mel is a Mom, an avid makeup junkie and a junior high science teacher. Beauty and brains; just what we want in a we heart this author!


  1. Ooooo! That Farmer’s hand salve is a LIFESAVER! It’s best for really dry hands, the kind that lotion just doesn’t seem to take care of. Some people find it too greasy, but I think it’s best used before going to bed or while watching TV and not doing anything. It takes a bit to absorb in, but it’s totally worth it. Regular hand cream is fine for at your desk, but Farmer’s Friend Hand Salve needs to go by your bedside table!
    (Not a reviewer for this one, just a fan!)

  2. Obviously Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is a staple (I put some on right before I sat down at my computer), but I also adore the Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. For whatever reason, my hands get extremely dry when I’m at work so I’m always in need of hardcore moisture for my finger tips. Luckily, Burt delivers! My cuticles always look better after I use the Cuticle Creme and I love the light lemon scent! It really is one of my favorite products.

  3. I have been a long time Burt’s Bees fan. Of course it all started with the legendary lip balm. I am especially fond of the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. It is genius. My cuticles tend to be a dried out mess. But when I remember to use this amazing little tin I am in heaven!

    I received the Peppermint Foot Lotion for this review. Wow!! My feet are disgusting! But with this lotion I was really able to pamper myself. The smell is amazing. The lotion effectively moisturizes even the driest feet! The peppermint creates an amazing cooling sensation for your tired feet.The Peppermint Foot Lotion is the perfect anecdote for your dry, aching feet! I totally recommend this and give it 5 stars along with many of the other Burt’s Bees products that I have been so lucky to try.

  4. Like Alyssa, I’m simply a fan this time around and I can attest to how awesome the Hand Salve is. It comes in handy during those harsh winter months. And of course, I keep a tube of the lip balm with me at all times. I’ve also used various BB’s facial cleansers, shampoos, lotions and body washes and everything has been superb! It’s rare to find a company who’s products are consistently this good!

  5. First of all, I’d like to add my love for Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I keep it in my desk at work and use it at least once a day!

    I’ve been a fan of Burt’s Bees wonderful products for many years, but had never tried any of their hair care products, so I was excited to test More Moisture Raspberry & Brazil Nut Conditioner for dry hair.

    I’m a little wary of fruity-smelling products in general, but the raspberry scent was light and not overpowering. My hair tends to be a little dry, but is also easily overwhelmed by too much moisture, and that list of moisturizing ingredients had me a little concerned. But no need to worry with More Moisture! It left my hair soft and manageable without weighing it down or leaving it over moisturized. In fact, More Moisture is a great everyday moisturizer for normal to dry hair. I plan to pick up the matching shampoo to see what kind of results the duo gives me. The price is certainly reasonable, and I love supporting Burt’s Bees admirable business practices.

    5 stars for More Moisture!

  6. What a great company! It was such a pleasure to research them for this article ~ it made me go out and buy all their baby products I could get my hands on for Kellyanne! And even though we didn’t officially review the Baby Bee line, it gets 5 stars from me!

    For this review, I tested the Very Volumizing Pomegranate and Soy Conditioner (and there was a lip balm thrown in, too – yay!). The light smell of the conditioner is wonderful – fresh and pretty – not overpowering at all. The formula is more for fine hair and mine’s thick and coarse, so generally I use a thicker condioner. This is an excellent daily conditioner, though, and I absolutely have fuller, more voluminous hair when I use it. For my next purchase I would personally try a thicker formula, probably More Moisture – and at Burt’s price point, that’s an easy thing to do!

    The lip balm is of course, awesome! I tried the original formula, which I like much better than the pomegranate variety I had previously bought. The original gives a nice menthol tingle, which is missing in the pomegranate.

    Since we can only give one rating, I’m going with 5 stars, for the lip balm and baby products. I’d go 4 if I was only referring to the conditioner, but then that wouldn’t really be fair either, since it’s not made for my hair type – and it did do what it claimed.

    You ladies are making me want to go out right now though and get that lemon cuticle cream!!

  7. I love Burt’s Bees. I don’t use a lot of their products. I use their Radiance royal eye cram (so moisturizing).

    However, I highly, highly recommend their Res-Q ointment and Bug Bite Relief stick. I use them all summer long as I’m notorious for being bug bitten. They both smell very herbally (Bug Bite smells like camphor, which is the main ingredient, ich) but nothing stops the itch from mosquito bites like those two do. I use Res-Q ointment too when I burn myself or get hives/contact dermatitis (both happen more often than I’d like) as it’s really soothing. I’m on my second tin so it lasts a really long time too. They don’t irritate me either which is a big bonus.

  8. I’m a fan too. I’ve used Burt’s Orange Essence facial cleanser (I think that’s the name, I’m out of it right now). Smells wonderful and works just fine. And everyone has at least one BB lipbalm in her collection, right? I was so glad to read these notes because I had forgotten about the lemon cuticle cream – oh, that is the best!

    I’m interested in trying the Bug Bite stick since I’m skeeter magnet. Will be looking for it on my next shopping trip.

  9. I used to love Burt’s Bees products, especially the lip balm, royal jelly eye cream, and the citrus facial scrub.

    But sadly we’re had a falling out after the company was sold to Clorox. I’ve heard from some individuals that the formulas have changed since being taken over by the giant company. Which is sad since I really loved the story behind the small company and used to order the products online.

    A similar company I do enjoy is Badger Balm, which is still a small run company and I had the opportunity to meet the owner who has a high standard against animal testing.

    That’s my bias though, hopefully Burt’s Bees still holds the same quality of ingredients for those who love the products.

  10. I agree it all started with the lip balms for me, but I quickly found out Burt’s has so many other great products worth trying out. I love their Baby Bee Buttermilk lotion. I started buying this for my kids when they were babies and decided I liked it so much I would buy it for myself too. Their lip shimmers are gorgeous. Feels like a lip balm but also gives you a hint of color. I also love the Lemon Butter Cuticle cream. Smells wonderful and does a great job keeping cuticles soft. Keep this by my bed and use nightly.

  11. I’m a fan of the Lemon Butter Cuticle cream. I use it frequently – it’s a must have!

  12. I LOVE Burt’s Bees. As another native of that “North of Bangor” area in Maine I remember being introduced to really old school Burt’s by my mother.

    My fave items- ALL the lip balms, the cuticle cream, and the baby items.

    I was sent the Exfoliating Body Bar to try out and I have mixed reviews. When I opened it up I was struck by the AMAZING smell. Seriously, it was wonderful! I was so excited to get into the bath. However, once I started lathering up I had to ask–“Where’s the exfoliation?!” Seriously, there was nothing. No jojoba beads, nada. When I hear exfoliating I think something scrubby and that was not this bar. When rinsing off I was concerned because it left me with that weird squeaky feeling that soap sometimes leaves and means dry skin, but I was pleasantly surprised when my skin stayed nice and hydrated throughout the day.

    Overall- I would vote the Exfoliating Body Bar as a 3, nothing too special. I would vote the long term body loves of my life (lip balms, cuticle cream, etc) as a 5, and I would vote the company policies (it’s owned by Clorox now and they’ve pulled some not so nice moves in Maine) as a 2. Overall we’ll go 3 :)

  13. Ok I have now added to my list the Bug Bite Relief Stick, the Farmer’s Friend hand salve, and the Orange Essence cleanser!
    @coopdedoo – I need to try that Apricot Oil!!
    @tiffany – I totally heart the Buttermilk Lotion! When I went looking for negatives actually on Clorox buying the company, the only thing I could find was someone complaining in their blog about the Buttermilk lotion being reformulated, but I still love mine! It seems to me like the company is still trying to practice The Greater Good for the most part, especially with the Natural Seal and all that work. But, I don’t have first hand knowledge of being in the area (I though they moved from Maine a long time ago @madaleem?). I wonder what Burt and Roxanne’s feelings are on the sale…other than the obvious!

  14. As a fan of all things Burts Bees – ESPECIALLY the lip balm, I can’t believe that I had never tried their Farmers Friend Hand Salve. This huge tin (it’s twice the size of that most famous rose salve)reminds me of a very large, super strength tube of the classic Burt’s Balm.These is a bit more of an herbally/menthol smell to the salve, but it is very similar in consistency and color. Plus just a light layer of this balm totally heals and soothes dry, chapped hands and keeps them protected for hours.

    As @lyssachelle says, this is a rich cream, not one you throw on and go back to work. I use this balm at night, just as she does, while vegging in front of the tv or right before bed (sometimes with gloves on – that I tear off in my sleep). My hands thank me for this later. They are smoother, less red and pain free (sometimes super dry hands can really hurt).

    A great green product, at a great price – just like everything from Burt’s!
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Green Monday Grocery Store Find – Beef Tips =-.

  15. As mentioned previously, they sold their company to Clorox, but continue to perpetuate the “little company” myth.

  16. Eh – as long as it wasn’t a hostile take over, I’m fine with a hard working little company becoming successful and making it on the market and then selling to the highest bidder. It’s always good to know stuff like that – thanks Joy. But as long as the products are still 95% natural and the same quality, I’m still using them!
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Etsy 4 for Friday – Sort-of a messenger bag =-.

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