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The Scoop on our Sensitive Line from the Scientist Who Made It

by Burt’s Bees | 6 min read

We’ve made skin care specifically for sensitive skin for years. We’ve always used powerful natural ingredients to get great results and now, we’ve launched a NEW formula for our Sensitive Solutions face care line, and our Ultimate Care hand cream and body lotion. We’re so excited about it that we wanted to share all the behind-the-scenes details with you.

We asked Hemali Gunt, our head of clinical & scientific affairs, about why we made these new formulas, how they work and what she’s most proud of.

Why did we create the Sensitive Solutions line?

 “Sensitive skin” is a term generally used to describe skin with increased reactivity to cosmetics and skin care products. Skin sensitivity is not just self-identified, but also found in diagnosed conditions such as eczema and rosacea, as well as in people with dry skin.

In the last decade there has been a tremendous increase in this condition—recent surveys have shown that approximately 50% of women and 40% of men report having sensitive skin.

Most products made for these consumers are simply intended to do no harm—meaning they don’t irritate skin. We understand the power of nature, and know that nature-based ingredients can do better than that—not only can they be suitable for sensitive skin, they can also help restore skin balance. 

At Burt’s Bees, our approach to skin care is purposeful formulation, using natural and natural origin ingredients to work with skin nutrition. Our Sensitive Solutions line and our Ultimate Care products support the skin’s moisture barrier and ultimately deliver healthy-looking skin, which we know is important to people with these conditions, who frequently have symptoms of irritation and redness.

These results are particularly important as we find more people are looking for natural alternatives to conventional skin care—just as people increasingly seek more natural alternatives to what they put in their bodies, people want natural options for what they’re putting on their bodies.

"50% of women and 40% of men report having sensitive skin."

How does this line benefit the skin?

The cleanser gently cleanses skin without stripping its oils, while the Calming Day Lotion and Night Cream provide long-lasting hydration by forming a semi-occlusive barrier. Our new serum helps reduce visible redness.

Our Ultimate Care hand cream for very dry hands has been clinically shown to provide all-day moisturization, and the Ultimate Care body lotion does the same for extremely dry skin from head to toe.

We tested our Sensitive Skin Care line and compared it to a leading dermatologist-recommended synthetic regimen, to evaluate its effectiveness and tolerability in clinically diagnosed sensitive skin.

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin regimen clinically and statistically improved dermatologist-rated overall skin appearance in patients with rosacea by 34% (vs. 4% synthetic control) and atopic dermatitis or eczema by 38% (vs. 11% synthetic control). 

After four weeks of use, the Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin regimen improved the skin’s moisture barrier by 20%. A healthy barrier equals healthy skin!

"After four weeks of use, the Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin regimen improved the skin’s moisture barrier by 20%."

What makes these hand creams and body lotions different?

Our skin care products, including our Ultimate Care hand cream and body lotion, can soothe and strengthen the skin barrier over time, and provide relief for sensitive skin.

We conducted a clinical study on female subjects who suffered from dry and sensitive skin—they suffered from eczema or atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, cosmetic intolerance syndrome, or irritant contact dermatitis.

They used our product twice daily for 4 weeks. Results showed significant improvements in all efficacy parameters: smoothness, softness, peeling, redness, dryness and overall appearance. There was also a significant decrease in symptomatic responses noted by subjects, which indicates an improved quality of life—that’s what we’re after.

 What differentiates these products from others on the market?

Synthetic products made for sensitive skin often contain cetyl alcohol and sodium lauryl sulphate in their cleansing products, and leave-on products (like creams and moisturizers) contain ingredients such as polyisobutene.

Burt’s Bees products contain ingredients sourced from nature through responsible sourcing practices. They’re formulated without phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and other chemicals of concern, and petrochemical feedstocks are strictly prohibited.

These products feature Aloe Vera and Rice Milk—why choose those ingredients?

Aloe is known to contain over 75 nutrients and active compounds to help soothe skin and hydrate skin. Rice extract has hydrating and skin protective benefits—not only does it contain vitamins and minerals, but also amino acids, which are the building blocks for your skin. The products also contain honey, which is rich in sugars known to naturally soothe and soften the skin.

With these ingredients, our clinical results show that these products improve overall skin appearance.

We clinically test on a diverse range of skin types and tones to ensure efficacy and skin health for all.  

What do we mean when we say these products have been “developed with dermatologists”?

 Burt’s Bees research and development team works with and seeks guidance and alignment from consulting dermatologists and a scientific advisory board on our choice of ingredients based on the skin condition. (In this case, the ingredients we chose had to be suitable for sensitive skin types.) During the development phase, these dermatologists will assess and provide feedback on product forms and aesthetics as well.

Burt’s Bees has over 35 years of experience in providing consumers with the best solutions nature has to offer. Burt’s Bees doesn’t just use nature-based ingredients; our commitment is to ensure every ingredient has a purpose and is effective, and adheres to ISO standards of natural and natural origin ingredient definitions. We clinically test on a diverse range of skin types and tones to ensure efficacy and skin health for all. Over the years we have shown that our products not only improve skin health and appearance even in challenging skin conditions like sensitive skin, acne and hyperpigmentation, but are often superior to leading synthetic brands.

How did these products get the NEA seal?

 The National Eczema Association is a non-profit organization which has established the Seal of Acceptance program for products that provide benefit and improve the quality of life for people with eczema and sensitive skin.

The review panel consists of board-certified dermatologists, allergists and toxicologists who review the product information to ensure that the product is safe for this population. A thorough review of ingredients, formulation, stability, adverse events and clinical safety and efficacy data is part of the process. We’re proud that these products met the criteria to get this seal of acceptance.

 . . .

If you’re looking for skin care for sensitive skin, hand cream for very dry hands, intensive hand cream or body lotion for dry skin, give our Sensitive Skin Care and Ultimate Care products a try. They’ve all received the NEA Seal of Acceptance, and have been clinically shown to provide lasting hydration to dry, sensitive skin.

Your response to skin care products may vary. Ask a healthcare professional about the most suitable skin care regimen for you.

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