Let’s get this started.
I was asked to write a blog about lip balm products. In this mini- blog I’ll try to comment on as many lip balm products (or other products) as possible. Here is a little history on lip balm citing that even ear wax was once used for lip balm…ummm gross. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lip_balm .
It’s an urban legend to say that lip balm is addictive-none of the ingredients are addictive and they won’t cause cancer*, but I’d say that if you have an oral fixation of any kind, then likely you’re addicted to the hand to mouth or “anything” to mouth routine/habit therein. You may have a psychological addiction to it if you find yourself obsessing, not concentrating at work or play, i.e. riding your bike because you have to stop and get your lip salve/balm. What makes a lip balm addictive is the constant licking of your lips. Some companies add a sweetener in their balm to enhance the “flavor” such as with vanilla, mint,
bubble gum, cherry, etc. The sweetener tricks our mind into thinking that we are eating something. So you apply the lip balm, lick the yummy flavor of bubble gum for about 20 minutes, then your lips are dry again and feel funky, so then you reapply again only to continue the chapped lip saga.
Common ingredients in lip balms are petrolatum, vitamin E (aka alpha-tocopherol), natural essential oils, butters, bees wax, safflower oil, olive oil, and fatty acids. Then you get into those big chemical names such as hydroxyethylcellulose, Myristic acid (named after the nutmeg Myristica Frangrans) butylene glycol (a small organic alcohol), or hexylene glycol. Some of these ingredients are used in products which are sold in higher end medi spas. But, it sure is nice to read a label, be able pronounce the ingredient, and know what the heck it is!
Now for sunscreens. Oxybenzone is an organic product used in sunscreens “It is concluded that the human viable epidermal levels of sunscreens are too low to cause any significant toxicity to the underlying human keratin.” (wikipedia.org) . Also to try to avoid: Menthol, camphor, and phenol, fragrances, silicone oil, and Salicylic acid. These ingredients can burn, peel, irritate lips especially if they’re already cracked or irritated
One could get severely obsessed with looking up each and every item listed in a lip balm like C.O Bigelow’s brand for instance so here is a website you can use to research chemicals (both natural and man made) on your own http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ .
*though a balm doesn’t cause cancer, a shiny “gloss” product will attract the sun’s harmful rays. So if you’re using a shiny gloss find one that has SPF in it or use an SPF on your lips prior to application of the gloss.
Other resources: beauty.about.com/cs/facialskin/a/lip_care.htm; http://global.burtsbees.com/c/shop/
**Disclaimer Chapstick Chickey is not the end all, be all, know it all on lip balm ingredients. If you would like to know more, or if you’d like for me to research a product, or have questions, please let me know.
Next article is on Fat Tire SPF 15 Orange Peel Lip Balm.