I've been coming across so many drug store potions that I will soon be able to compile a Five Best under $25. I thought Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Line Diminishing Day Lotion would be a good candidate, proclaiming to be 99.96% natural (why not round it up to 100%) and scraping in at $24.99 at Walgreens. It was not to be.

Sure, the pomegranate is a good idea (an anti-oxidant with a good pedigree), sunflower seed oil, yam and para cress. There are some milk enzymes and the product is paraben and phthalate free. So far, so good. But why on earth is there sodium borate?

In the north of England, shortly after the dawn of the industrial revolution, people would clean their front door steps with something called borax. It is also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate. It is extremely toxic. Before people knew better and thought it was OK to clean wounds with something you'd clean the floor with, the unfortunate recipients would frequently die. Infants are especially prone to borax poisoning, but thankfully it is no longer used to clean nurseries. Spillage on the skin will cause blisters and red rashes.

I can only imagine that Burt's Bees have used such a miniscule amount of the stuff that it is rendered harmless. Nevertheless,it just seems so inappropriate and surely replaceable with something that is entirely benign.