Shortly before Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Long Island I received a complimentary set of Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Face Care products to review via BzzAgent. Without the distraction of TV, internet or any electricity I was really able to focus on testing these items on myself and others and gather feedback from those around me. Seriously, we had nothing better to do. Electricity to 90+% of the Island was non-existent. Without electricity, gas stations couldn’t operate their pumps; traffic was at a standstill because cars didn’t have gas, trees were blocking roads, and traffic lights weren’t working; and the mall/supermarkets stayed closed. Everyone was pretty much trapped in their homes and the only people that we interacted with were neighbors within walking distance. In spite of the crappy conditions, the circumstances were perfect for setting up a human lab.
The Intense Hydration Face Care line is inspired by Clary Sage, a Meditteranean hillside plant that somehow thrives despite the harsh, windy surroundings.
I gave away most of the samples and coupons that I received but since my BzzKit didn’t contain a full size of the Intense Hydration Day Lotion I kept a couple of those to test on myself.
The Intense Hydration Day Lotion has a very light consistency that absorbs very quickly into the skin, and compared to the Burt’s Bees Sensitive Day Moisturizing Cream that I tried awhile back I definitely prefer the Intense Hydration Day Lotion. It’s just as moisturizing as the Sensitive Day Cream but not as heavy and doesn’t leave behind a residue.
One major difference between the Intense Hydration and Sensitive products is that the latter is unscented. Almost all of the Intense Hydration products that I tried have a light, predominantly herbal-floral scent that I assume is the Clary Sage extract that’s listed as one of the ingredients. The fragrance isn’t very strong and fades within 5-10 minutes so it shouldn’t bother most people.
I’ve used this lotion for the past month and I honestly really like it. Some lotions don’t work well for me because my skin is so dry; oftentimes the moisturizing effect is gone by midday but with the Intense Hydration Day Lotion my skin still feels hydrated at the end of the day. Also, some lotions I’ve used before have caused my foundations to ball up on my face but the Intense Hydration Day Lotion has worked beautifully under all of the foundations and BB creams I’ve tried with it so far.
The Intense Hydration Night Cream, like the Day Lotion, possesses a Clary Sage herbal-floral scent with a hint of citrus and absorbs into the skin just as easily but has a richer, more emollient consistency.
I must say that while I like the Day Lotion I love the Night Cream. Oftentimes I’ll use a supposedly ultra moisturizing night cream before bed but when I wake up in the morning my skin will be parched. Not so with this Day Cream. The morning after, my skin still feels like I’ve just moisturized.
Once my samples of the Day Lotion ran out I started using the Night Cream both in the morning and at night and it’s been working fantastically. I really feel that it’s made a huge difference in the condition of my skin. My skin is more hydrated and supple and I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in flaky skin. Over time my face has become a lot softer and more even in texture.
Burt’s Bees claims that the cream will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but I haven’t seen much evidence of that on myself. Of course hydrated skin will look plumper because it’s more moisturized than dried out skin but I haven’t seen anything as mind-blowing as fine lines or wrinkles totally disappearing.
In my opinion if you’re looking for a wrinkle cream you’d be better off buying a retinol cream because any wrinkle fighting power the Intense Hydration Night Cream has is very subtle.
Overall I think the Intense Hydration Night Cream is a great product if you’re not looking for a wrinkle cream. It’s very moisturizing and rich without being greasy and although a jar of it doesn’t seem very large, a little bit goes a long way so I feel that it’s a very good value for the money.
The Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser is a bit of a departure from the other products in the line in that it has a strong citrus scent. If you love the smell of fresh squeezed oranges you’ll love this cleanser because that’s mostly what it smells like with some of that Clary Sage scent added to the mix. Personally, I love how this stuff smells!
Unfortunately that’s where the love affair ends. If you’ve ever tried the Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser, the Burt’s Bees cleanser is a bit thicker but they’re both non-foaming cleansers with a thin, lotion-like consistency.
But unlike the Philosophy cleanser the Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser is not an all-in-one face cleanser and makeup remover. It’s more of a basic facial cleanser. I’ve tried using it to take off the cosmetics on my face at the end of the day and it doesn’t work for that. Your best bet would be to remove your makeup first with a facial wipe or makeup remover and then follow up with the Burt’s Bees cleanser.
Frankly, lack of makeup removing ability aside, I’m not a fan of this cleanser. Although it’s touted as a hydrating cleanser I actually found it a little drying. As far as moisturizing cleansers go, the Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser in my opinion was a whole lot better for dry skin. It made my face feel just as squeaky clean after use as the Intense Hydration cleanser but it had a thicker, creamier consistency and didn’t leave my skin feeling tight afterward.
As for the Intense Hydration Treatment Mask I have to say it was the dud out of the bunch which is so disappointing because it had been the product I was most looking forward to using.
Unlike most masks which you apply, let dry and then rinse off, this particular mask is one you apply, wipe off with a tissue or washcloth, and then massage the remainder into your skin. According to the directions you’re not supposed to wash it off and therein lies the problem.
Like the Day Lotion and Night Cream the Treatment Mask has a Clary Sage fragrance and feels even more emollient on the skin than the Night Cream, almost like a body butter. For a dry-skin gal, that rich texture seemed very promising but after trying it out I can’t understand why anyone would want to leave this stuff on their skin. The residue it leaves behind is disgusting. It literally feels like I’ve rubbed a tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm all over my face. After wiping off as much of the cleanser as I could with a tissue and massaging the rest into my skin as instructed, my face was left with a thick, waxy, oily coating sitting on top of it. I waited as long as I could (3 hours) before I finally couldn’t take it anymore and had to wash it off. Ironically, the Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser from the same skin care line wasn’t strong enough to remove the waxy, oily film of the mask from my face; I had to use soap and follow up with a toner before I felt that I’d removed all traces of the mask from my skin.
In theory I can understand why someone would want to use a mask like this. It’s kind of like when you wax your car to create a protective barrier against the harsh elements. The Intense Hydration Treatment Mask is supposed to perform a similar function; the waxy, oily film serves as a barrier that helps skin seal moisture in but keeps the bad stuff out. Great idea but the reality is less than desirable.
Final Verdict: I like the Day Lotion, love the Night Cream, suggest skipping the Intense Cream Cleanser and getting the Sensitive Facial Cleanser instead, and hate the Treatment Mask.
If you would like more info about the BzzAgent organization I’ve already written a more in-depth blog post about my experiences here.