Lovin' It: Burt's Bees Skincare

I have officially been using the Burt's Bees 3-Step Treatment System for about a month now, and I am hooked! Prior to this I've tried just about everything, with the Clinique 3-Step System being one of the favorites. However, Burt's Bees is surpassing Clinique by leaps and bounds.

I began using the Burt's Bees system after I had a terrible reaction to a trial set of ProActiv. WAY too harsh for my skin, and overall, my skin isn't really "bad" enough to even warrant a skincare system like ProActiv — not even close I guess (self-perception can be a tricky thing). So after letting my skin calm down for about a week (calm down = get rid of a chemical burn), I made the decision to try out Burt's Bees line of products. I figured since they use all-natural ingredients, they wouldn't be too harsh for my skin. Luckily, I was right. Burt's Bees products are paraben free, sulfate free (SLS-free), petrochemical free and phthalate free, and they utilize natural ingredients like willow bark extract, which is a natural salicylic acid from the willow tree, allowing it to treat skin naturally. For me, this meant a few wonderful things. Most treatment systems use harsh acids or peroxide chemicals that not only strip my skin of its natural oils, making it significantly more oily due to overcompensating for the lost oil, but it also dries out areas like my cheeks, leaving me with combination skin that's very hard to manage. In deciding to use a natural line of products I was worried it wouldn't be as effective without the more "powerful" ingredients, but I was very wrong. Burt's Bees' products are like heaven for my skin compared to other products like ProActiv, Clean & Clear and Neutrogena. The cleanser doesn't dry out my skin, the lotion doesn't make my T-zone oily, and the spot treatment doesn't irritate my skin and leave it blotchy and red. It's quite amazing. At this point, as long as my skin doesn't become "immune" to the products (I've heard that's physically impossible, but I beg to differ based on past experience), I think I'll stick with this for a while.

The Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions 3-Step Regimen Kit includes the following products:

* Burt's Bees Purifying Gel Cleanser (5 fl. oz.)
* Burt's Bees Daily Moisturizing Lotion (2 fl. oz.)
* Burt's Bees Targeted Spot Treatment (.26 fl. oz.)

I don't use my 3-step system exactly as directed, because my skin is sensitive and prone to dryness and irritation. However, after using it for a month without any noticeable side-effects, I'm confident that if necessary, I could use this system twice a day without any problem.

My routine:
In the morning I only wash my face with warm water and a washcloth, allowing the natural oils in my skin to stay at healthy levels versus drying it out. The washcloth also helps to exfoliate. Every-other day I add Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap to the water (the lavender kind), which leaves my skin extra soft and doesn't interfere with my 3-step system (Dr. Bronner's is also a natural cleanser). I follow the cleanser with the Burt's Bees Daily Moisturizing Lotion (about a dime-size amount) and finish with the spot treatment on appropriate areas. Since the spot treatment isn't harsh at all, I don't have to worry about using it too much.
At night I remove my eye makeup with Almay's Eye Makeup Remover Pads (the oil-free version) and then use the entire 3-step system — cleanser, moisturizer and spot treatment. I'm still looking for a good anti-wrinkle night serum to wear overnight, but haven't found one that I like that's light enough to let my skin breathe.

I would recommend the Burt's Bees 3-Step System to anyone with combination skin, or as I call mine, temperamental skin, as it changes from week to week. One week it's completely clear, and the next, well...it isn't. In the last four weeks I haven't had that problem though, so I believe my Burt's Bees products, combined with my new skincare routine, is to thank for that. And at around $30 for the entire three-piece set, it's definitely affordable — it looks like it will last me at least three months. If you don't want to commit to the entire 3-piece system, I would suggest starting with the moisturizer and going from there.

Stay Fabulous!

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