Your lips are one of the most exposed areas of the body. With only a thin layer of skin to protect them, the cold, dry air can wreak havoc. When every ounce of moisture counts, we have to take steps to protect them. For convenience sake, many of us run down to the local market to pick up our favorite brand of pre-made chapstick.
As convenient as this is, some of the ingredients in these brand name products can do more harm than good. Certain ingredients in pre-made lip balms dry your lips out, which in turn makes you apply more, and then it starts an addicting habit that isn’t doing you, or your lips, any favors.
The sad part is, the cosmetic industry already knows this and regulates itself so they have no one to answer to. This means you need to be on the ball and do your own research so you’re aware of the toxic ingredients. Moreover, these no-no ingredients can also have harmful side effects such as skin irritations, allergic reactions and, in some cases kidney and liver damage. Before you purchase lip balm at the store, make sure they do not have any of these ingredients. Chances are, most of them will.
Avoid these lip balm ingredients altogether:
- Vaseline – Vaseline is an extremely effective and non-irritating lip moisturizer. As well, because it is derived from oil, it may contain carcinogens and cause allergic reactions.
- Fragrances and artificial colors – Simply put, these added artificial ingredients can cause lip irritation.
- Menthol, camphor and phenol – these ingredients are what causes that cooling sensation on the lips, but can also dry your lips out further, thus causing your body to need more of the product. As well, they have a tendency to produce redness and swelling. Some of these ingredients are even toxic to the point of causing kidney and liver damage.
- Parabens – This is used as a preservative in some cosmetic products, but so-called “long-chained” parabens can act as estrogens and disrupt hormone signaling. You want to ensure that your chapstick does not have this ingredient. Note: A very popular lip balm at the store has this harmful ingredient.
- Salicylic acid is used to exfoliate dry skin and relieves pain but it also has a tendency to irritate skin, leading to inflammation and dryness. Note: Salicylic acid contains the same anti-inflammatory ingredients as aspirin. This product should be avoided if you are allergic to aspirin.
Feel confident knowing there is an alternative – a natural alternative
Homemade lip balm is far more gentle on your sensitive, chapped lips. Making lip balm is also one of the easiest homemade products you can make and is a great project to get the kids involved. This homemade lip balm recipe is soothing, moisturizing and will help heal chapped, sensitive lips.
Soothing Lip Balm
- 2 tablespoon grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
- 2 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 2 teaspoons organic raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil or three vitamin capsules
- 7 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of rose hip essential oil (If you are pregnant or lactating, consult a physician)
- 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
- In a double broiler, on low heat, melt the beeswax until it has almost liquified.
- Next, add the coconut oil and honey when about half of the beeswax is no longer solid.
- After the oils are liquified, remove from heat, add vitamin E oil and essential oils and stir well.
- Transfer to a small container and let set for 3 hours (or until completely set).
Lip balm can not only be used for chapped lips, but can be used on chapped skin. Gently rubbing lip balm onto dry skin such as the hands, knuckles or even on the heels of the feet can do wonders. Here are 6 emergency uses for lip balm that may come in handy.
Stop using store-bought lip balms and make your own! It’s one of the easiest projects and your lips will stay moistened much longer.