Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Showdown: Burt's Bees vs. Neutrogena

I ran out of my favorite secret weapon against dry winter skin, Neutrogena's Body Oil. So I went to Target to get some more, but they were all out. (What's up with that?)

Anyway, I was desperate for a replacement. Not that I don't enjoy that awful itchy, parched skin feeling, but I thought others might not enjoy watching me do the entire body scratch that is necessary to stop the itching. I came across Burt's Bees Lemon and Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil, and I decided to give it a try.

So here's the comparison:

Packaging: They both come in easy-to-use plastic containers that aren't too exciting but aren't too offensive either. According to the Burt's Bees Web site, they are a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (sounds good), which means they "strive to use the most environmentally responsible packaging systems available that meet or exceed regulatory, product and customer requirements." Neutrogena doesn't really make any claims about their packaging, but it does come in a #1 bottle, which is easily recycled in most areas.

Ingredients: Again, Burt's Bees is marketed as environmentally friendly and all natural. I don't like to delve too deep into the issue of "natural" because it starts to make my head ache. The ingredients do include six different types of oils, including canola so it's heart healthy too. The main problem with all of these "natural" oils is that I'm sure some of them can cause allergic reactions, so be forewarned. The Neutrogena Body Oil contains one oil, sesame (I can't remember if that one is heart healthy, or not) and it contains four other chemical sounding ingredients.

Scent: Burt's Bees oil smells like lemon (hence the name). It doesn't smell like Pledge though. It smells fresh and it's not overpowering. But I think if you are putting it on your body after a bath or shower, you might want to be careful about the other fragrances you are wearing that might clash. I think the Neutrogena fragrance of sesame oil is more subtle, and I don't worry too much about it overpowering my perfume. I had a friend in college who swore that the smell of this oil attracts guys. I can't really vouch for that, but it is defintely the sexier of the two scents.

Function: You can really use body oils in two different ways, as an oil to put in your bath or as an after bath/shower moisturizer. In the winter it's definitely not overkill to do both. As a bath oil, Burt's Bees won me over. I put a couple of tablespoons in the bath and it definitely felt like I was getting moisturized but the bath wasn't greasy. But as a body oil, I still love my Neutrogena. The key thing with body oils is to put them on before you dry off. I really didn't feel like the Burt's Bees was quite as moisturizing as the Neutrogena.

Conclusion: Either of these body oils will get the job done and release you from the torture that is dry winter skin, but I think I would still pick the Neutrogean Body Oil, Sesame Formula over Burt's Bees Lemon and Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil. I like the more subtle scent and the after bath feel was just a little nicer. But if you are concerned about natural ingredients (or your stupid Target store runs out), the Burt's Bees is a great alternative.

Daily Randomness: I finally watched the finale of Iron Chef: Super Chef Battle. The battle was between Mario Batali with Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay with White House Chef Comerford. The secret ingredient was anything growing in the the White House garden. I was so jealous of the judges. All of the food looked great, and I think it is great that Michelle Obama is setting such a good example with the White House Garden. Maybe I'll plant one this summer. OK, I probably won't. But I will enjoy the tomatoes my husband plants. Does anybody else have plans to plant a garden this spring?

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