The Good: Easy to use, Not tested on animals
The Bad: Expensive, Odd smell, Limited results
The Basics: Mediocre on dry skin on hands or feet, the Burt's Bees Hand Salve is expensive and does not offer much in the way of benefits for the price.
My new wife is much more into trendy products than I am. Truth be told, she's absolutely beautiful, so she's almost turning me around on the benefits of specific creams and lotions for each different part of her body (though some days, this makes her body like one confusing Scratch N' Sniff book). Still, there are products that she gets that leave me baffled and I end up slightly amused to see she uses far less than the rest of them. One of the tins that was more reduced by my use for review purposes than her actual use was Burt's Bees Hand Salve, which she got in in the .3 oz. sample size.
Burt's Bees Hand Salve comes with little to explain or recommend it. I asked my wife what the product was for and she said that it is designed to keep skin supple to prevent cracking and to protect areas that do have cracked skin. I commented on how this might be an ideal foot salve, but all I got was a glare from her on that. The primary use of this little tin of waxy goo appears to be to protect normal skin and repair dry skin. In my experience, it did the former and not the latter (on my hands or feet!). Given how pricey this is, it became easy to not recommend as there are many products on the market that do what this claims for less money and with better results.
Burt's Bees Hand Salve comes in a .3 oz. tin (that's 8.5 grams for those on the metric system) and the tin is about an inch and a half in diameter and less than a half-inch tall. The tin is sealed initially with a plastic safety seal which makes it easy to see if anyone has tampered with it. Once that is removed, one need only twist the top of the tin off and one has access to the Hand Salve. Burt's Bees Hand Salve is a thick, waxy substance that occupies the bottom half of the tin. It has the consistency of candle wax, until one runs a finger over the top of the surface. Then, a thin film forms and that allows the Hand Salve to be transferred from the container to a finger to the skin.
Burt's Bees Hand Salve smells like the classic Noxema products. I wish I had a non-brand name product association for this, but there it is. This smells precisely like Noxema or, as I recall it, my grandmother's house. The product tastes slightly buttery, but otherwise is inoffensive. Unlike the Noxema product it smells like, it does not tingle when put on the skin of the hands or lips. This bland product leaves no yummy taste on my - or my partner's - lips to make the healing process more fun or interesting. The Hand Salve's smell wears off within half an hour of being applied to the skin.
Unfortunately, Burt's Bees Hand Salve does leave a greasy film on the hands or other places one applies it. For an objective testing, I applied the Salve to a dry spot on my toe and after four hours, it still was shiny. This looks like an oily film or ointment on the skin and while the smell dissipates, after half an hour, even, the salve comes off on the skin. In fact, I was able to blot the salve off the skin still after four hours from applying it!
Despite the claims that Burt's Bees Hand Salve will heal the dry or broken skin, all the Salve did for me was stop the further damage. Even on the dry skin, there was no noticeable acceleration of the healing process (whereas, with something like antibacterial ointment, there is). My hands did not dry out while using this product, but the protective claims of the Hand Salve are objectively a wash. The skin on my hands is not apparently more protected than they are with the use of a much less expensive hand cream or lotion. Moreover, because it does not seem to have anything in the way of extensive healing benefits, it is easy to not recommend this, even in the trial size.
Finally, this is expensive for what one gets. I am a fan of the "all-natural" cosmetics concept, but Burt's Bees seems to milk consumers for that! Made with Sweet Almond Oil, Olive oil, and beeswax primarily, there is little in Burt's Bees Hand Salve that is unpronouncable. Unfortunately, there is equally little in it that is effective at doing anything. The Hand Salve is not bad for a protectant, but it is a poor restorative. And at $2.75 for a .3 oz. container, the benefits make for a ridiculously poor overall value. There are other product that either do the same thing for less money or do what the Hand Salve claims to do for a more reasonable price.
For other skin care products, please check out my reviews of:
Dr. Scholl's Smooth My Sole
Bath & Body Works Sassy Strawberry Mint 3-in-1
For other health and beauty products, please visit my index page on the subject!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.