Cold weather is coming, which also means dry, chapped, and cracked lips. No one likes dry or chapped lips.
And for many of us, lip balm is an essential product that we apply and reapply over and over in the course of a day. Now with winter months ahead, the frequency of lip balm use is only going to increase.
I am someone who was addicted to lip balm. I used to keep it in my car, purse, bathroom, bedroom, and pretty much everywhere in my house.
I used to think lip balm is meant to protect, moisturize and heal uncomfortable lips, so it had to be harmless and safe, right? Well, I learned it’s not the case.
Let me ask you this. Have you ever wondered about the ingredients in your lip balm?
So I got curious and decided to do some research. And I was shocked to learn that some common lip balms are loaded with questionable ingredients that are toxic and even carcinogenic.
In this article, I am going to share with you the following:
- Toxic ingredients found in lip balm.
- Why natural homemade lip balm.
- How to make natural lip balm.
- Easy homemade lip balm in 10 minutes.
- Benefits of each ingredient.
Table of Contents
- Toxic Ingredients Found in Lip Balm
- Why Homemade Natural Lip Balm?
- How to Make Homemade Natural Lip Balm?
- Benefits of Each Ingredient
Toxic Ingredients Found in Lip Balm
Here is a list of toxic ingredients found in common lip balms.
- Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly)
- Mineral Oil
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Synthetic Color & Dyes
- Chemical Sunscreen
- Fragrance or Flavor
1. Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly)
Yes, petroleum is what you put in your car. Would you apply petroleum on your lips and even lick your lips knowing that is what is on there? Petrolatum, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of petroleum, which requires refining.
During the refining process, if Petroleum Jelly becomes contaminated, possible Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and other carcinogenic agents may get into the jelly, which has been linked to breast cancer and cause allergic reactions such as skin irritations and rashes.
The main purpose of using lip balm is to protect, moisturize, and hydrate your lips and make them feel and look moist and soft. However, if your lip balm contains Petroleum Jelly, it creates an airtight barrier layer on top of your lips, so it actually suffocates your lips rather than moisturize them.
The airtight barrier created by Petroleum Jelly on the lips also acts as a penetration enhancer. This means absorption of any of the toxic ingredients below will be increased.
Despite the fact Petroleum Jelly is FDA approved; it certainly is not something you want to include in your lip care routine when there are so many other better and safer alternatives out there
2. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is colorless and odorless oil that’s made from petroleum, a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline.
Like Petroleum Jelly, mineral oil suffocates your lips with an airtight barrier layer and prevents it from normal breathing.
Similar to Petroleum Jelly, during the refining process, if mineral oil becomes contaminated, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other carcinogenic agents may get into the oil; PAHs are considered potentially carcinogenic and have links to breast cancer. Is that something you want to put on your lips daily?
Phenol is an ingredient found in many common lip balm remedies. It is also a chemical found in embalming fluid that is used to preserve bodies of deceased persons and in the case of medical research cadavers.
Phenol is a chemical that can cause allergic reactions. And if the skin is exposed to high amounts on a regular basis, it can produce skin burns, liver damage, dark urine, irregular heartbeat, damage to the nervous system, and even death.
The skin on your lips is far thinner than it is anywhere else on your body, so ingredients can absorb into the bloodstream much more easily than other areas. Phenol is definitely not something you want to smother on your sensitive lips.
4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Butylated compounds are primarily used as a preservative in lip balms. Butylated compounds have been linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, cancer and respiratory irritation.
You’ll see butylated compounds on labels as BHA or BHT.
Why buy and use a lip balm that has this ingredient in it when there are better and safer alternatives.
Parabens prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in your favorite lip balm. Parabens are potential endocrine disruptors due to their ability to mimic estrogen. This effect is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and their use may also influence the development of malignant melanoma.
Parabens may also interfere with male reproductive functions by reducing sperm production and lead to reduced testosterone levels.
On labels, you’ll see them listed as Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, and other ingredients ending in paraben. Be sure to avoid this ingredient, it is hazardous to your health and lips.
6. Synthetic Color and Dyes
Synthetic color and dyes are derived from coal tar; these color pigments contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation, which can also be carcinogenic.
On labels, you’ll see them listed as FD&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33.
7. Chemical Sunscreen
Oxybenzone is the most common chemical sunscreen that has been shown to have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body. It also alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women.
8. Fragrance or Flavor
When you see the word fragrance or flavor on a label, they are also known as hidden chemicals. Cosmetic manufacturers can include nearly any ingredient they want in their products under the name fragrance or flavor without actually having to list what they are.
Independent testing has found high levels of phthalates hiding under the label fragrance or flavor. Phthalates are potent hormone disruptors linked to pre-term births, reproductive system birth defects in boys, decreased sperm counts in men, reduced female fertility, and a worsening of allergy and asthma symptoms.
Many lip balms are infested with toxic ingredients, by avoiding these 8 toxic ingredients, you can dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals you put on and end up in your body.
Why Homemade Natural Lip Balm?
The lip balms on the market are loaded with so many harmful and toxic ingredients. However, there are many amazing natural and organic lip balms available that you can smother your lips with all day long.
They are slightly more expensive than other lip balms but considering you are applying it on your lips and practically ingesting it. Health is worth more than money. In my opinion, it’s well worth the investment.
If you want to be adventurous like me, you can even make your own lip balm in the comfort of your home using all natural and organic ingredients, which I will be showing you shortly.
I used to think making lip balms would be difficult and impossible, but I’ve managed to do it successfully and I want to share this recipe with you.
In fact, I’ve been making lip balm for a few months now. I love to experiment with different ingredients and essential oils to find the right recipe for myself. My favorite is the Peppermint and Orange scent. You may use any scent you prefer.
These homemade lip balms are packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, moisturizing Shea butter and coconut oil, and soothing beeswax. They are also hypoallergenic, paraben, petrolatum, preservatives, and chemical free for soft, smooth, healthy, beautiful lips.
These homemade lip balms are not only free of all the toxic ingredients listed above, but they are also easy to make and good on your budget.
They are also much more moisturizing, soothing and has a much faster healing ability than commercial ones.
How to Make Homemade Natural Lip Balm?
Homemade natural lip balm is very easy to make. In fact, it can be done in less than 10 minutes. You will only need 4-5 ingredients. These ingredients are readily available in local health stores and online stores.
It’s important you buy organic ingredients for any homemade skincare products since anything you put on your skin will get absorbed into your body.
The skin on your lips is much thinner than anywhere on our body, so good quality ingredient is especially important.
This recipe yields about 5 lip balms.
Ingredients You Need: (All ingredients are available on Amazon)
- Shea Butter – 2 teaspoon
- Coconut oil – 2 teaspoons
- Beeswax – 2 teaspoon
- Vitamin E oil – 5 -8 drops
- Essential oil – 15 drops
Other Things You Need:
- Double Boiler or a Small Glass Bowl and a Small Pot
- Stir Stick
- Measuring Spoon
- Lip Balm Tubes (These are BPA free plastic tubes which are heat resistant)
Easy Homemade Lip Balm in 10 Minutes
1. Anytime you make a homemade skin care product, make sure the tools, containers, surfaces you are working with are clean. You don’t want to end up with a contaminated product. So cleanliness is very crucial.
2. Melt 2 teaspoons of Shea butter, 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon of beeswax in a double boiler or in a small glass bowl over a small pot of boiling water over medium heat as shown in the image below. Stir constantly until all ingredients are completely melted.
3. Remove the pan from the stove and continue to leave the small glass bowl in the still-hot water to keep the mixture melted. Add 5-8 drops of vitamin E oil.
4. Add any essential oil you prefer. My favorite is the peppermint and Orange scent. You don’t have to add any essential oil if you prefer the Shea butter scent.
5. Stir to mix the ingredients.
6. Carefully and quickly pour the liquid into each lip balm tube. Make sure you do it fast because the liquid is going to harden as soon as it is removed from the hot water. Be sure to use these Empty Lip Balm Tubes (They are BPA free plastic tubes which are heat resistant). So you don’t have to worry about the plastic leaching toxic chemicals into your lip balm.
7. Let the lip balm cool for 1 hour before putting the cap on. You can also put it in the freezer for 10 minutes if you don’t want to wait. Once it’s solidified, your lip balm is ready for use.
This recipe makes a smooth and soft lip balm. If you prefer a firmer and harder lip balm, use one or more teaspoon of beeswax. If you prefer softer lip balm, just use less beeswax.
Benefits of Each Ingredient
- Excellent moisturizer
- Natural Anti-Inflammatory
- Antioxidant properties
- Anti-aging and anti-free radical Properties
- Provides healing benefits to skin wounds and cracks
- Speeds up healing
- Offers protection from sunburn
- Prevents premature aging
- Soothe chapped lips
- Safe, effective and hypoallergenic
- Relieves Pain
- Heals Dry, Cracked Lips
- Protects the skin from environmental toxins and irritants
- Has Vitamin A, which improves hydration to the skin and promotes cell regeneration
Vitamin E oil:
- Antioxidant helps fight free radicals
- Powerful antioxidant that helps to prolong the shelf life of an oil
- Naturally hydrates and heals damaged skin while preventing future damage
- Repairs and improves the appearance of the damaged tissue
- Prevents and soothes chapped skin
Ok, there you have it. Now you know what ingredients to avoid in lip balm and how to make homemade lip balm.
I hope you got value out of this post. And if you did, don’t forget to share this post with others.
If you have any questions, concerns or thoughts, please leave them in the comments below. Feel free to also share any homemade products you’ve made. I would love to know what you have to share.
Thank you for visiting.