Friday, 13 December 2013

Burt’s Bees Hand Salve (review)

Burt's Bees Hand Salve
Burt’s Bees Hand Salve is the hardcore answer for rough, flaky witches hands. I’d know. Unfortunately, many products won’t touch that kind of thing.

I’ve tried so many different hand creams in my time, but this product really caught my eye: the ingredients list is about as plant-based as you could probably find in a cosmetic product, and it’s filled with skin-softening extracts rather than fillers like some products are. There’s sweet almond, olive, rosemary, eucalyptus, and sunflower seed oils, and they form the bulk of the product. There’s also a healthy dose of beeswax. 

As you might expect from a salve, it is very hard to the touch. It isn’t like a body butter that you can scoop up. Rather, you have to either warm it with your fingers or really dig in. 

Rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender are the dominant aromas which make it smell both wholesome but slightly medicalised in an old-world kind of way—perhaps like something one might have found in a victorian pharmacy. 

Packaged in a tin, this product is hardy enough to take around in a bag. It is extremely practical and hardwearing. It contains 85g of salve, which is an extremely generous amount, as other, similar products tend to come in tiny little tins, the size you might imagine would contain a lip balm. The label advises that the product will store for a year, which is more than enough time, though I don’t know whether I’d get any use from my tub when the weather is warmer and my hands are taking less of a beating. 

When applied to the hands this product melts onto the skin. There is a slight viscosity to it--rather than full-on stickiness--but it will leave a thin film on your hands. It isn’t unpleasant. I’ve reserved this as my bedtime treat, so a little extra product doesn’t bother me. It isn’t the kind of stickiness you’d worry would ruin your bedsheets—in fact, it is quite hardy and hands stay treated for quite a long time after application. It is this film that has such a great softening effect upon the skin.

This salve leaves my hands feeling beautifully soft and well-treated. It is a pleasure to use and it really does what it ought to do; it provides a luxurious treatment in a way that would justify a much higher price tag. The texture lends itself perfectly to a nail and cuticle-softening treatment and massaging the hands with it is a delight. 

From a daily care product, for my particular skin type, I find that I need products which contain glycerine or other ingredients that bind water to the skin. Oils are only one side of the coin when it comes to skin hydration and moisturisation. However, that’s not a fault of the product, because it would fundamentally ruin its texture and consistency.

Although I’ll keep a tin of this on my bedside table, and I really will use it each night, I don’t think it could ever be my only hand product. It is extremely rich and it’s not the kind of thing I could apply at work after washing my hands, or when I know I’m going to be busy. I couldn’t wear it when wandering about the shops or going out for a meal or a drink, because it would be too sticky. It just doesn’t absorb completely, though nor should it.

The wonderful thing about Burt’s Bees, of course, is that they have an ethical, natural philosophy. This product displays the leaping bunny logo because it’s not tested on animals, and there are absolutely no cheap fillers—you’re getting 100% quality here. 

Burt’s Bees, again, have released a winning product.

Rich, luxurious consistency 

Great value

Handy packaging


Brand: Burt’s Bees

Size: 85 g
Price: £9.99 (£12.48 / 100 g)

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: prunus amygdalus (sweet almond) oil, oleaeuropaea (olive) fruit oil, sera alba (beeswax, cire d’abeille), helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, lavendula hybrida oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, eucalyptus globulus oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, tocepherol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, canola oil (huile de colza), linalool, limonene, geraniol, citronellol.

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