We try it!

We Try It: Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

For a long time, I was a devotee of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. I’d heard really good things about it from friends, coworkers, and just about everyone else, and when I finally tried it I found that it lived up to the hype. Plus, I’d also heard that it was dermatologist recommended, and with the word ‘Gentle’ in its name, I figured it couldn’t be all that bad. Apparently, though, I was wrong.

Disturbingly, it would appear that my face wash is not the only potentially toxic product that I’ve been using, but that could be material for a different post altogether! So rather than go into the gory details, I’ll offer an assessment of Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, the first mostly-natural face wash I tried after ditching Cetaphil. I decided to try something mostly natural for a couple reasons: 1) I feel I can trust a product a bit more when I understand what the ingredients are; 2) since there’s less potential for risk, there’s no reason not to.

I guess this Burt’s Bees product could be considered a bit of a rebound relationship. I did some research into other cleansers, but since I like Burt’s Bees, this one seemed like a good place to start. My skin is kind of weird and picky. One minute it’s dry, the next it’s oily. ┬áSometimes I get extremely dry patches around my mouth, where the skin looks really irritated and gets very flaky. I have occasional breakouts, but they’re rare. My ultimate goal in finding a new face wash was to see if I could get something that would be balanced–it wouldn’t leave my skin feeling dry, but it also wouldn’t make it too oily an hour or two later. It also had to be good for somewhat sensitive skin in order to address the flaky/occasional pimples situation. The BB Deep Cleansing Cream seemed to fit this bill well enough.

The product is smooth and creamy with a light, pleasant fragrance. It feels gentle on the skin, and has a slight tingling feeling, which I’ve always loved since I grew up in the age of Noxzema, where if your face wasn’t tingling, you couldn’t be sure it was getting clean! I wash my face once a day, during my morning shower. When using this cleanser, I applied it with my fingers and massaged it in a bit, then rinsed it off with warm water, using my hands to help. I think if I had used a washcloth, the effect might have been too abrasive (that’s at least been my experience in the past), but I did find at times that I probably would have done well to have had a sponge or something gentle to help remove the cleanser.

I never felt like my skin was overly dry while using this product, but I did notice at times that my skin felt oilier than normal (which could very well have been a sign of it being overly dry). I was also a little disappointed to see that my skin seemed a bit more reactive than usual; I never had any major breakouts but I did seem to be getting random spots more frequently than I had while using Cetaphil, which was something of a disappointment.

I did like the overall feel of the Deep Cream Cleanser, but I don’t really think it was the right product for my skin. The results I got from its use weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either. This could be a good product for someone looking for a gentle way to remove make-up (I don’t wear any), or just a good, gentle cleanser for skin that isn’t all that picky. Personally, I’m going to move on to the next thing, and continue my quest for a Cetaphil replacement.

By Emilie

Runner, yogini, knitter, Manhattanite in spite of myself. Also blogging at

8 replies on “We Try It: Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream”

I’ve been trying to do the natural cleanser thing for about two years now and it’s worked out pretty well. I have an oil cleanser I made that I use once or twice a week (jojoba/grapeseed/castor for oily skin – oily like my nose can solve the energy crisis on a summer day). For the rest of the week I have a raw shea butter bar, but only if I wear makeup or get sweaty that day. I’m finding that I don’t even have to use an eye cream anymore doing this.

I had no idea about Cetaphil! Anyway, I would like to recommend Evan Healy skincare products. They are expensive, and can be hard to find, but my skin has never looked better, I swear. Many places like Whole Foods carry the line, and you can order it from Amazon. I use the rose milk cleanser and the facial oil. You won’t believe me, but the oil does not actually make my skin oily. There are samplers you can try – that’s how I got hooked. A little goes a long way, so the expense is spread out over a couple of months.

I’m thinking of seeing if I can get a sample of ultra bland from lush to try out. I like their products, but the salesgirl the last time I was there was really pushy and had me get their Fresh Farmacy cleanser and it is way too drying. I looked on the site and it’s intended for “troublesome skin” and to use when you are getting acne, so I can’t figure out why she pushed it on me when I said that I only rarely get zits when it’s that time of the month and struggle with dryness.

I think we have the same skin.. mine is definitely very tricksy, I get both zits and the super dry spots around my mouth which google has led me to believe are eczema. I have found that Aveeno products are excellent (I am a fan of their eczema care cream and wash) as well as Spectro Hydracare for Dry Skin (there is also a face wash and moisturizer). Both leave my skin feeling clean (which not all moisturizing face wash does) and the moisturizer is nice and light feeling, not to thick or oily, but it really moisturizes. (Unlike, say, Oil of Olay Classic, I think that actually dries out my face).

Eczema! It never even occurred to me that that’s what those dry flaky spots could be. I’ve always jokingly (and offensively) referred to it as my leprosy. I will definitely check out Aveeno–I used to use a cleanser of theirs and I remember liking it. I’m actually not sure why I stopped? Sounds like it’s worth going back and trying them again.

You are a runner right? I think for me the face eczema seems to almost be brought on with intense exercise and sweat on my face. I have found that if I do something like go to jiu jitsu and not was my face right away after it definitely gets worse. So other thing that’s been really helpful is washing my face THE MOMENT I step out of the gym/dojo/get back from a run or bike ride.

The only thing with Aveeno stuff is it can be on the pricey side. But I’ve been really happy with it. As in- the eczema spots are GONE (but I still don’t get zits from too much oilyness). Anyways, good luck on your skin care search! It seems to be really tricky finding something that works in between the “ugh I’m a teenager and get zits like crazy” phase and the “I need to start investing heavily in wrinkle reducing moisturizers” part of life.

I’m a Cetaphil refugee too! I was so annoyed when I learned it was toxic :( Anyway, I’ve also started using the BB Deep Cream Cleanser as well. I actually really like it. I have moderate combination skin, issues with eczema, and black/white heads. I use this at night and try to massage it into my skin for about a minute. Like the author, I feed the Noxzema-esque tingling and feel like my skin is super clean. It doesn’t really irritate my skin or overly dry it out, but I can see how it can be on the intense side.

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