I woke up one morning a few years ago and found myself in the middle of a cosmetics commercial: Where the hell did these "fine lines" come from? Hello, crow's feet. Hello, laugh lines. Hello, mid-thirties. I discovered moisturizers—ten years too late, says a friend—and slathering it on became part of my daily routine.
I'm a cheat, though. (I've had many one-bottle stands.) I can't seem to find one brand I absolutely love. And in the past, all I cared about was whether a product was tested on animals. (If it was, out it went.) Then I started reading all these articles on toxins in body-care and beauty-care products. How they're chock-full of chemicals with ingredients lists that read like science experiments (or, sadly, a box of, say, overprocessed cookies on supermarket shelves); how they contain toxins that could be harmful to us. So now I'm scared straight.
Except: So many of the "organic" or chem-free (or nearly chem-free) products I've tried aren't winners. They smell sickly, feel too tacky or simply don't work (hello, crow's feet yet again). They're not as silky as their chem-laden counterparts. And many of them don't contain sunscreen, which is a big lack considering the importance of protecting one's skin from sun damage. (I blogged about it here.)
This guy who runs a clothing store in my neighborhood recommended Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless beauty line—notably the daily lotion. (How the topic went from what's-your-return-policy to moisturizers, I don't know. It's a classic New York City conversation digression.) He said his boss loved it and was a convert. Using natural ingredients like pomegranate and the herb para cress, the lotion purportedly diminishes the appearance of wrinkles without loading you up on bad chemical junk.
I've been using it for three weeks now and though I'm not sold on the idea that youth comes in a bottle priced at $24.99, it does seem to soften my skin and make it look, if not refreshed, then certainly brighter than it once was. Dare I say it, the fine lines do actually seem a little finer. And my face smells like a fruit tart—in a good way.
Still, it does feel a little sticky to put on—I apply it before I go to bed, ignoring the "day" designation—and it has no sunscreen. So I think after this bottle's done, I might have to keep looking.
The verdict: A want. With a caveat.