Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser

After a long while, the beauty blog bug bit me hard today. I've tried some new things during the last year, and am eager to share! Burt's Bees (BB) Orange Essence Facial Cleanser is a good place to start.

My skincare routine has not changed much since The Neverending Skincare Story II post in July 2010. I repurchased and continue to use Avene Cold Cream Emollient Soap-Free Cleansing Bar, Nivea Soft moisturizer, and Neutrogena Dry-Touch SPF 55 sunscreen. I did, however, move on from the oil-cleansing-method (OCM) with jojoba oil. No reason, other than the fact that I used up the whole bottle (good) but was ready to try something new (good and bad). I wanted something that would remove makeup well (since I try to make the most of my collection lately, and because the Avene bar isn't the best for this) and was as all-natural as possible. Since I had a good experience with 2 BB cleansers in the past (Soap Bark & Chamomile Cleansing Cream and Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub), I thought it would be fun to try a third.

I'm sure that if I suggested this orange-tinted, Vaseline-like cleansing balm, they would be pretty skeptical. But after Avene's cleansing bar, this has been my next-best find. In terms of texture, it is a happy medium between liquids, creams, and gels, both in terms of use and effect on the skin. For me, this is also a refined version of Vaseline in high school to remove makeup (mostly eye makeup at the time). Let's face it, we've all been there! I, for one, rather miss the simplicity of it. So while the Orange Essence Cleanser might seem scary to some, it is actually a treat to use.

Once massaged onto the skin (with or without moistened fingertips/face), this cleanser softens and spreads smoothly into a thin layer. It's nowhere as thick and greasy as Vaseline, and washes off easily. This does not lather, so if you need something sudsy, you'll either be pleasantly surprised or just not into it. I don't have a problem with the lack of lather, because unlike many cleansing milks which also do not lather, this stays on my face before I wash it off. My skin feels moisturized and balanced, without an oily or waxy residue, and it is super soft in the morning. I think come summertime, I could get away without using moisturizer after. Many reviews on MakeupAlley suggested wiping this off with a washcloth, but I found that a water rinse works just fine. I imagine that this is what Clinique Take Off the Day Cleansing Balm is like, but I've never tried that and prefer the both price-tag and all-natural goodness of BB's version.

I'm a big advocate of this cleanser because the texture makes it versatile, regardless of skin type or purpose. For oily skin, this could replace oils for the OCM. Since the texture is thicker and doesn't absorb the same way an oil would, I actually find it easier to apply and remove than say, jojoba oil, especially if you prefer a water rinse afterwards (since the oil repels water). You could also try: 1) Removing it with a cleansing towelette like Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes; water rinse optional 2) Rinsing with water, following-up with a toner to remove any residue if you feel it. For dry skin, this is a no-brainer. For basic cleansing, also a no-brainer. As a makeup remover, using the cleanser along with either of the 2 steps above is especially effective but still gentle. However, I wouldn't suggest using this as an eye makeup remover - the orange essence (acidic, although I'm not sure how strong) maybe not be a good idea in that area, and the company website warns against it. Removing very light eye makeup or just eye shadow is probably fine, but if you really need to get in there, try a separate remover. I haven't experienced any stinging or bad reactions myself when this came near my eyes, but it's better to be careful.

I'm usually a major skeptic when it comes to marketing claims that involve a "special" ingredient like orange oil. But I must say, my face looks fresher and brighter after using this. And not just because it's clean and dewy from water. I think the orange oil really does act like an exfoliator and makes a difference in the texture of my skin and complexion - a slight brightening effect and a noticeable smoothness. Not complaining!

Overall, this is an effective cleanser that does improve my skin, and fulfills my desire for new and interesting products. $12 @ drugstores and the like.


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