What’s In Your Lip Balm Might Shock You

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Lip balm is a staple in the purses and pockets of many people. After all, there is nothing as irritating as dry, cracked lips that are begging for moisture. What’s in your lip balm, however, can be even more irritating than the dryness itself.

Why use lip balm

Lip balm has many functions. It can:

  • Lock in moisture
  • Protect from sun damage
  • Heal damage and chapping
  • Prevent dryness
  • Keep your lips kissable

Let’s face it, that last point is all that we’re really looking for in a good lip balm. In order to keep the lips in pucker-perfect condition, there are several chemical additives commonly found in lip balm that should be avoided. Some of these ingredients can actually draw the moisture away from the lips, creating a desert-like dryness that no lip should ever feel. Other ingredients, however, can create problems that are much more concerning.

Stay away from the fearsome five

Many of the lip balms on the market, including the so-called big name balms, contain one or more of these five ingredients that should be avoided whenever possible:

  • Paraben (methylparaben, butylparaben). This can interfere with hormonal function in both men and women. It can increase toxicity, causing a risk of breast cancer and lowering male reproductive function.
  • Synthetic Colors (Blue 1, Yellow 5 & 6, Green 3, Red 33). Artificially created colors can cause skin irritation and sensitivity. These color pigments come from coal tar and contain heavy metal salts and potential carcinogens.
  • BHT. This is a possible carcinogen that can cause problems in the endocrine system. It’s been associated with developmental toxicity.
  • Chemical Sunscreen (Oxybenzone, etc.) Chemical sunscreens can get into your bloodstream from the thin skin of your lips and wreak havoc on your hormonal system.
  • Petroleum oil. Petroleum must be highly refined using toxic chemicals. Though the chemicals are supposed to be removed at the end of processing, any traces that remain can get into your body.

The bottom line on lips is stick with all natural lip balms like cocoa, peppermint, and tangerine that contain pure and natural ingredients like coconut oil, mint leaf oil, and beeswax to provide everything your lips need to stay protected, hydrated, and super-soft.

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71 thoughts on “What’s In Your Lip Balm Might Shock You

  1. betsy ferguson says:

    without a science degree and a lab., we are at the mercy of those who do – we are wrong to put ourselves there xx

  2. Christina Gould says:

    Wow, I had no idea. I’m going to take a closer look at my lip balm. Thanks for posting!

  3. Trisha McKee says:

    OH thank you for this. It is time to educate ourselves and each other. I will be shopping for a natural lip balm with ingredients that will not harm me.

  4. Philip Lawrence says:

    Good to know since the last thing I need to do is to irritate my lips more when they are chapped.

  5. Ayana Pendergrass says:

    Wow this is scary. Who knew there were so many harmful ingredients in lip balm. Thank you for the informative post!

  6. Brandy Hicks says:

    Wow smh I’ve learned something new. I use lip balm a lot because my skin peels when the season changes. I’m going to make sure I let my mom know about this.

  7. Jessica says:

    Myself, and others I know, have experienced exacerbated dryness after using these products, so it’s great to get definitive proof.

  8. Linda Cross says:

    I have NEVER been able to use lipstick, gloss , balm, any kind of lip treatment make my lower lip split

  9. Tricia J says:

    I had no idea that some of our lip balms are bad for our lips. Some lip balms seem like hard wax and some are oily and then there are the color additives which can be bad for our lips too. It sure makes think twice before you give away your hard earned money.

  10. MD Kennedy says:

    I’d love to agree with you, but there is no scientific evidence supporting any of your claims, especially in the doses any of these things are found in lip balms. Regardless, there is no harm in choosing to use a lip balm made without these ingredients.

  11. Marie C says:

    This is really making me wanting to go all natural with everything – not just lip balms. I used to use a lot on menthol lip balms and I found out recently that those aren’t so good for the skin on the lips.

  12. Deb E says:

    I’m really picky about my lip balm. I threw out all my old lip stick and only use natural balms now. Who wants to eat all those chemicals!?

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