Burt’s Bees will launch its natural cosmetics campaign starting next month, which warns consumers to read labels before buying any branded products that claimed to be natural. The company’s lip balm ad compared the benefits of beeswax against the yuckiness of petrolatum (read: non-renewable hydrocarbon made from crude oil; greasy film that could contain contaminants; sometimes used to stop corrosion on car batteries).
“It’s not about how harmful a synthetic ingredient is. It’s that we believe that natural alternatives are fundamentally better and that truly natural products shouldn’t contain synthetic ingredients.” – Burt’s Bees Chief Marketing and Strategic Officer, Mike Indursky.
Warning consumers about misleading natural claims is fine but Indursky seems to be misleading consumers as well about petrolatum. Admittedly, it is petroleum-based but saying natural alternatives are fundamentally better? I’ve used petrolatum-contained lip balms all my life and my lips hasn’t turned blue so far.
And stating petrolatum is sometimes used to stop corrosion on car batteries..what is that all about? Beeswax are also used in industrial applications such as in inks and coatings. The only problem with beeswax not being widely used is its volatile supply. If all cosmetic and personal care products around the world will use beeswax, either the poor bees will lose their food storage or we will have a much higher-priced lip balms.
Chemical ingredients work just the same if not better than natural alternatives, except they don’t make you feel fuzzy and warm when you think about them. Another thought, the bees will probably thank petrolatum for restraining demand on their precious wax.