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Reviewed and rejected: Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
May 4, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 4 Comments
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.
  • December 31, 2017

    by Suze

    Well, everyone can be happy now. I read all the labels and can't find a single Burt's Bees product with sodium borate. Someone there believed that it had to be replaced with something much worse. Have you not seen the many reviewers on other sites who are now allergic to the reformulations?

    I have no intention of buying any of these remade products. I used to love their buttermilk lotion - gone.

    Yes, borax is used to kill ants. But it's also used in laundry. And it's been used in cold creams for ages. I never had face allergies before they took sodium borate out of creams and replaced it with something worse. Keep that in mind. The something worse is what made me get rashes I never had before they messed with time honoured formulas. Me and many other women just so we'd pay more for a "safer" cream. No, they are not safer. There is still borate in eye drops and I welcome them. They are antibacterial and healing my dry eyes. Borax and sodium borate has a place in cosmetics but fear of the unknown has removed it. The same fear that thinks mineral oil is toxic. Baby oil. People jump on bandwagons and whole new "natural" lines of makeup are born to make a profit.

    I can still buy a real cold cream online, with the original recipe using sodium borate. No store carries it anymore, the $4.98 cream, but just the $8 and $20 and $30 ones. Ah, people, do research and find out what's in the creams and why.

  • November 3, 2012

    by Craig

    The simple answer is because Sodium Borate is not dangerous at the very low concentrations used here. It prevents or retards bacterial growth, and thus protect the creme from spoilage. Also the basic form buffer the pH and minimize the change in the pH. The post author's comments reveal a poor understanding of the sciences of chemistry and toxicology.

    to note: The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Sodium Borate and Boric Acid, in concentrations less than or equal to 5%, are safe as cosmetic ingredients.

  • June 8, 2009

    by Nhan

    Why do some beauty companies use borax, or sodium borate as an ingredient when it is dangerous?

  • October 9, 2008

    by Stan

    <p>Oh, I just saw that you reviewed Burt's Bees. Thanks for pointing that out about Borax. I know some people say it is a natural Roach insecticide. They sprinkle it behind refrigerators etc. </p>

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