Jen’s quest for free samples – Burt’s Bees edition


Cost: Freeeee
Success: 4/5

Quite a few years ago, I signed up for something called BzzAgent. The idea is that people try out products sent to them by BzzAgent and spread word of mouth about the products. The word of mouth doesn’t have to be good – it just has to be honest. Generally the companies behind the campaigns have a lot of faith in their products, so they tend to be good.

I think BzzAgent had me of their ‘slacker list’ for a while because I signed up for an e-book campaign, then didn’t read and review it. I was kind of surprised they would re-appear with such a generous campaign. I filled out the survey, found out I was eligible, and not too long later I got a surprisingly generous parcel with two full-sized bottles and several little samples of moisturizer to give to my friends. The cleanser and moisturizer are worth about $45 together – score! All I have to do is tell people about my experience, which I’m doing right now. (Sneaky, eh??)

So I went into this with high hopes. Both skincare products boast as 99% natural, and neither contains fragrance. I am surprised and intrigued by the lack of parabens, because any cosmetic that contains water (as these do) needs a preservative (you wouldn’t believe how quickly germies breed in water). From skimming the list it looks like phenoxyethanol is used as a preservative, which has a moderate toxicity score according to the Cosmetics Database.  It gets score of 3-4 , while parabens get about 5/10. I would recommend that anyone who’s concerned about the safety of their cosmetics take a look through the Cosmetics Database and evaluate each ingredient – including the natural ones. There are natural ingredients that are dangerous as well. If you are curious, the Cosmetics Database gives the moisturizing cream a toxicity score of 3/10, which is pretty good I guess.

I started using the facial cleanser and moisturizer about a month ago. I found the cleanser very oily, and I had to rub my face with a wash cloth after I left the shower. The moisturizer is quite nice. It has a pleasant natural smell.  It’s light and makes my skin fairly smooth. Sometimes it almost seems like it makes my skin shinier rather than more moisturized.

My skin changes throughout the month, so there are times I’m more prone to acne than others. I think it may have contributed to slightly more acne than usual.

Overall it was okay, but I wouldn’t buy it for myself. I prefer the stuff I usually use – 9 to 5 cleansing lotion from Lush, and a Vichy moisturizer, which leaves my skin glowing in an oh-so-healthy European way (when I remember to use it).

I do appreciate the effort, though. It’s harder and more expensive to formulate an effective cosmetic without using the regular junk, and hopefully Burt’s Bees will perfect the formula over the years.

BzzAgent wants me to include this:


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