I’m a certified lip balm-aholic. I have them everywhere – purse, car, bedside table, bathroom, kitchen … you name it, I’ve got them stashed everywhere.
But when I was chatting to one of my brothers the other day, he said to me that he never uses lip balm because it dries his lips out. Oh honey, I said, have I taught you nothing over the years? And promptly sent him off with a batch of my home made lip balms (of which more, later!).
It did get me thinking, though. I know all about what ingredients are nourishing and moisturising, but I didn’t know which ingredients are drying. And call me cynical, but I know that big cosmetic companies want you to use as much lip balm as possible, so they make it feel smooth going on, but it’s drying so that you have to use more and more lip balm. Which means they sell more. Hmmm.
What to look for when buying lip balms
Go natural! You’re eating that stuff – putting it on your lips, then licking your lips, biting your lips and rubbing that lip balm off on the apple you’re eating.
Avoid the usual suspects:
- synthetic fragrance
- synthetic colours
If you’re putting it on your lips, you’re putting it on your mouth, so avoid the synthetics altogether!
Some more ingredients that you’re going to want to avoid: camphor, phenol, menthol. They’ll cool your lips and give them a nice tingly feel, but they’re very drying, so best to avoid.
Alcohol is another drying ingredient, so avoid lip balms with this.
Salicylic acid might be exfoliating, but it’s super drying, so skip this one, too.
Here’s what you do want to look for when you’re checking lip balm ingredients:
- natural oils like avocado, jojoba, macadamia, coconut
- natural butters like cocoa butter, shea butter,
- a natural humectant (which will increase the moisture and prevent irritation) like glycerin
- natural waxes like beeswax, candelilla or carnauba waxes or lanolin
Are you going to be out in the sun?
Then you need a lip balm with sunscreen. Avoid the chemical absorbers and go with a physical barrier like zinc or titanium dioxide (and make sure they’re non-nano!).
Some citrus oils are phototoxic and will make your lips more likely to burn in the sun, so choose carefully.
Do you want night time lip moisture?
Go with something a little heavier and super moisturising that’s going to give your lips a moisture bath while you’re sleeping.
Want a hint of colour?
If you’re after a bit of colour, but good moisture, then you need a tinted lip balm. Avoid synthetic FD&C colours, and look for micas or plant based colours.
If we’ve inspired you to switch to a natural and organic lip balm, you’re in luck! Jump on over to Hello Charlie and check out our great range. Do your lips a favour!
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