Suffering from dry lips? As the weather cools down and we hibernate inside, our lips can suffer. A lip balm in your pocket becomes a must have over winter but have you considered what they are made of?
Although our lips need love all year round, I feel it’s the winter months that I really notice the effects of cold winds and indoor heating. I have to admit that I have been quite set in my ways with lip balms for many years but I have made the switch over the last couple of years to ones packed full of natural ingredients that can do just as good a job as the mainstream brands we have all been relying on.
I have been a big fan of Blistex lip balms for many, many years and truthfully I went through withdrawals when I realised what was in them and decided to make the switch to more natural alternatives.
Want to know why I am swapping my Blistex lip balm pot for a Burt’s Bees one – and a few other ones? Read on…
I had to take snap shots of the ingredients list with my phone in the chemist to discover the contents of the pictured Blistex lip balm (and the dark blue Blistex pot I also loved) because the ingredients aren’t on the containers…annoying! I then used my trusty Chemical Maze App to check the ingredients. Low and behold, not one of the ingredients listed is given a happy green face…in other words, every ingredients is suspect!
So what are the nasties you need to look for in your lip balm?
1. Petroleum based ingredients including parabens and mineral oils. Avoid ingredients ending in “paraben” such as methylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben. Petrolatum and Benzoic Acid are another two names you might see on the ingredients list. Not only do they originate from the oil we put in our cars (need I say more) and are therefore labelled carcinogenic, but they are also non-renewable, and they coat the skin which doesn’t allow it to breathe.
2. Fragrances and flavors – when these aren’t from a natural source, these words may be masking phthalates which are not only toxic to the body but hazardous to the environment. They give those sweet fruity lip balms a tempting smell but best to find products using natural ingredients that can smell just as yummy without being toxic.
3. Dyes – look for artificial colours which are used to colour the lip balms but are best to avoid. Natural colours from fruits and other natural ingredients can do this job instead. Consider the screen shot below of the ingredients in a Lip Smacker Lip Balm which our children love. Look at all those numbers indicating colours/dyes! (as well as some other questionable ingredients)
4. Oxybenzone and Octinoxate are used in lip balms with a SPF rating. They are considered endocrine disruptors effecting some body functions, so best to avoid. If you want an SPF factor look for zinc instead (although this can be an issue for some people too).
So with this in mind, let me name a few well known lip balm brands likely to contain at least a couple of the above nasties – Blistex, Carmex, Nivea, Chapstick (although they have just released some all natural products), Lip Smacker, Revlon, Maybelline, Covergirl, Banana Boat, Palmers, Natio, Kiehl’s and Avene.
Now don’t be disheartened because there are so many other lip balms using natural ingredients out there you can switch to and can find easily!
Below I photographed six that I currently use which I find super nourishing for the winter months. Most of them can be found at the super market or pharmacy. I have even managed to convert my daughter!
Brands pictured above are Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Tin , Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF 30, Hurraw Papaya pineapple lip balm (there are so many amazing natural flavours of these!), Suvana Natural Paw Paw & Acai balm with SPF, Natralus Paw Paw Lip Balm and Coconut Revolution Lip Balm in Cherry (love the texture of this and the rich coconut oil effect).