Friday, February 17, 2012

GUD by Burt's Bees - Why I will never use it

I want to preface this by stating that I am a firm believer that everyone should do what is best for them based on their own experience, beliefs, and comfort levels. I also want to mention, for anyone new to my blog, that I am personally a fan of truly natural and organic products/ingredients, so this is the mindset with which I write this post. 

I'm sure you've heard by now that Burt's Bees (which might I add was purchased by Clorox back in 2007) has launched a new brand called "GUD". They're marketing these products as natural and healthy for you. The packaging is attractive and modern, which is one of the reasons I'm guessing Clorox launched this new brand--to bring in a younger, new-to-natural crowd.

Burt's Bees was originally created by 2 individuals right here in New England, in Maine. They used amazing, natural products and even used recycled packaging when possible. Then Clorox purchased them and I started to keep a very watchful eye on the ingredients and new products that were released. I knew it was only a matter of time before red flags started going off and seeing this new brand launch was it for me.

I actually saw these products in-store before I heard about them, ironically. I was in Target and noticed the display. I grabbed a few bottles and immediately looked at the ingredients, but I suspected by the un-eco-friendly looking packaging that my concerns were probably true. After all, I see very few truly natural companies that put plastic on absolutely everything. Sure enough, my concerns proved accurate.

GUD Natural Body Lotion

For example, the lotions are full of natural ingredients (though I'm not sure how they're sourced and since they're not all organic there's a chance they may be grown with chemical help), but one of the first ingredients listed is "fragrance". For anyone well-versed in cosmetic ingredient lingo, this is an umbrella term used to describe chemical components (and it can be many, many different components) used to provide scent to a product. The FDA allows cosmetics companies to use the term "fragrance" so that they aren't forced to reveal their exact perfume formulas. Also, cetearyl glucoside is an emulsifier that can be naturally or synthetically derived, but either way it is processed.

Here are the ingredients for the Floral Cherrynova Natural Body Lotion, taken from the actual site...

Ingredients: water, cetearyl glucoside, fragrance, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), cetyl alcohol, tapioca starch, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glycerin, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, phenoxyethanol, hyssopus officinalis extract*, juglans nigra (black walnut) leaf extract*, melissa officinalis leaf extract*, rosa canina fruit extract*, rubus idaeus (raspberry) leaf extract*, tocopherol, cetearyl alcohol, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, citric acid, glycine soja (soybean) oil, alcohol denat. *Organic.

GUD Natural Shampoo

The shampoos, while SLS-free, do contain Sodium Coco-Sulfate, which is believed by the green community to be almost as strong a detergent as SLS. Also, SLS and Sodium Coco-Sulfate are often processed through a similar process (though both coconut derived), so many people avoid it as well. Also, the shampoos contain fragrance, yet again. You can see the rest of the ingredients for yourself.

Here are the ingredients for the Floral Cherrynova Natural Nourishing Shampoo, taken from the actual site...

Ingredients: water, sodium coco-sulfate, sodium bis-hydroxyethylglycinate coco-glucosides crosspolymer, oryza sativa (rice) extract, fragrance, sodium cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein, glycerin, betaine, hibiscus sabdariffa flower*, mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf extract*, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract*, thymus vulgaris (thyme) leaf extract*, urtica dioica (nettle) leaf extract*, origanum vulgare leaf oil*, thymus vulgaris (thyme) oil*, sodium lauroyl lactylate, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, lauryl lactyl lactate, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, sodium chloride, disodium cocoyl glutamate, potassium sorbate, lactic acid, xanthan gum, sodium polyaspartate, sodium cocoyl glutamate, hydrolyzed jojoba protein, arginine, leuconostoc ferment filtrate, ascorbic acid, citric acid, alcohol denat. *Organic.

GUD Natural Foaming Hand Wash

Lastly, moving on to the foaming hand wash, this contains fragrance and alcohol denat. (aka denatured alcohol). From what I understand, denatured alcohol is simply alcohol that is not going to be used for consumption so the FDA requires a denaturant to be added to make it taste awful. Alcohol not only dries your skin, but it can easily irritate it. I prefer to avoid it in products I use on my body as much as possible.

Here are the ingredients for the Floral Cherrynova Natural Foaming Hand Wash, taken from the actual site...

Ingredients: water, coco-glucoside, fragrance, polysorbate 20, sodium chloride, glycerin, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract*, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel*, hippophae rhamnoides fruit extract*, silybum marianum extract*, citric acid, potassium sorbate, alcohol denat. *Organic.

Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are several reasons I don't personally feel these should be considered natural products and several reasons why I won't be trying these out. I'm a bit disappointed that so many people seem so entranced by the greenwashing of the marketing for these products, but then again, it's not uncommon to see companies pull this. Again, whether or not you choose to use these products or feel these ingredients are a problem is absolutely your personal choice. I simply want to point out that to me, natural products should actually be natural. As I believe that everyone should make an educated choice for themselves, I wanted to make sure a more natural point of view was voiced since I've seen so many others singing the praises of the natural factor of these products.

The choice is yours ;)   

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