Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dear Burt's Bees,

Greetings. I am a naturally-minded registered nurse and health writer/blogger -- and I am a fan of your products. Finding natural lotions and hair care products (much less, ones that work for me!) has been a challenge, but I have come to count on your products as effective, widely available, and -- most important -- natural. I regularly use your More Moisture Conditioner, and think that it is very clever that you use glucose oxidase and lactoperoxidase -- naturally occurring oxidizing enzymes found in honey and milk -- to preserve your products. Ingenious!

Perhaps you can imagine my horror when I glanced at the back of the conditioner bottle this morning by chance and noticed phenoxyethanol -- a decidedly UNnatural preservative! -- on the ingredients list. I have stopped using products because of this ingredient. How is it that I missed it before in your conditioner? Well, I hadn't. Because I reuse plastic bottles sometimes, I happened to have an old More Moisture Conditioner bottle on hand and compared the ingredients. The list had DRAMATICALLY changed! And phenoxyethanol had been added!

Taking a look at your website, the ingredients advertised reflect the list found on the older (better!) bottle. Can you please explain the discrepancy? Can you also explain the change in ingredients (starting with "why?!") and if this new formula will be permanent?

If this is how Burt's Bees products will continue to be formulated, you can count me out. I took a look at Dr. Bronner's hair rinse and creme ingredients, like what I see, and am more than ready to make the switch.

Thank you. Boy, am I disappointed...

--Christie Bailey


  1. I used to use Burt's Bees Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Shampoo but recently stopped due to this formula change, specifically the addition of phenoxyethanol. I am so disappointed in Burt's Bees and will not purchase ANY more of their products, not even their lip balm, which I have been using for years. I guess I am not surprised, I expected to see negative changes after they were purchased by Clorox. What pisses me off the most is that they are making these changes without any indication like "new formula" on their packaging. They know that they have the customer's trust so they just pull the switch and expect us not to notice. The only reason I did notice is that the bottle changed from frosted plastic to clear plastic and the shampoo itself seemed much thinner and runny. So I looked at the ingredients and immediately spotted the drastic differences.

    Shame on Burt's Bees!

  2. I would like to think that consumers of natural products are generally more savvy about ingredients lists (and little details like changes in packaging and product consistency!) than the average consumer, so I wonder how many of us noticed this switch! So, they were bought by Clorox... Very disappointed to hear this. :(



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