Best Lip Balms and Why Most Are A Waste of Money

by Kate on July 21, 2013

in DIY, Natural Beauty, Skin Care

I had never searched for the “best lip balm” before getting pregnant. As a naturally oily-skinned lady, dry lips just weren’t something I generally had to deal with. But, with the hormone changes of pregnancy, dry lips have become a reality and I’ve had to start googling.

I knew I wanted something natural (since lip balm is one of few cosmetic products you actually ingest instead of just absorb!), but I didn’t realize just how much better natural lip balms are than synthetic ones until I started researching.

Drying Ingredients in Mainstream Lip Balms

Mainstream lip balms often contain cooling or “soothing” ingredients like menthol, phenol, and camphor.  Many also contain alcohol (often disguised by name as any ingredient that ends in “OL”). Some even contain sloughing ingredients like salycylic acid–the common anti-acne ingredient which many users have found to be too drying.

These ingredients often give you a tingling sensation that many users grow somewhat addicted to. The unfortunate thing is, using these balms can create a vicious cycle: you use them to soothe your lips, but they simply dry them more, meaning you need to use more of the product. Good for lip balm companies, bad for your lips!

Petroleum is another common lip balm ingredient that likely causes more problems than it fixes. While it may not be as drying as the above ingredients, it also doesn’t actually moisturize. All it really does is seal you lips against allowing any moisture in or out. So if your lips are already dry, you’re basically just going to maintain the status quo or even make them dryer by locking moisture out.

The Worst Lip Balms

Most of the mainstream lip balms contain at least one of these ingredients. Although there may be exceptions, you generally will want to avoid the mainstream brands–ChapStick, Blistex, etc.

As to the natural brands, you can’t trust those either. Beeswax lip balms like Burt’s Bees work similarly to petroleum in that they seal the lips against moisture getting in or out, which like I said, can cause issues with dryness.

The Best Lip Balms

Coconut Oil for Hair, Skin, and Lips

I think it’s best to always start with single, simple ingredients first, and only graduate to bigger cocktails of ingredients when necessary.  So, my first suggestion would be to try oils.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is deeply moisturizing and actually penetrates into the skin.  It exists naturally as a solid and once it comes into contact with the heat in your skin it will melt into an oil. You can find it in any health food store. It’s best to buy an organic version–I really like the Nature’s Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which you can buy on Amazon. For me, just using a little coconut oil on my lips morning and night is enough to keep them soft and moisturized. I also have an electric toothbrush that I’ll sometimes buzz across my lips with coconut oil for a little exfoliation.  If you’d rather just use something you have on hand, olive oil will work, but it just doesn’t penetrate as deeply as Coconut Oil. Jojoba oil may work, but I actually find it a bit drying (which is why it’s so great for acne-prone skin), so try Coconut or Olive oil first.

Honey Mask

If the coconut oil routine isn’t quite enough, add in a daily honey mask until your lips are healed. Honey is antiseptic and helps encourage healing and tissue rejuvenation, so it makes a great addition to your lip care routine.  Simply apply and leave it on as long as you can before licking it off.

Yogurt Mask

Yogurt is a great anti-fungal (candida can cause dry lips) and the full fat versions are quite moisturizing. Just use plain greek yogurt for this–avoid any extra sugars which may encourage the growth of candida.

More Help for Chapped Lips

There are a few other things you can do to encourage your lips to retain more moisture. Adding a humidifier to your bedroom will prevent your lips from drying out while you sleep (especially necessary when you’re sick and breathing through your mouth). And of course, there’s always the go-to cure-all for just about everything: drink more water! Adding more fats to your diet can help as well. And be sure to consider how any medications you’re taking might be affecting your lips: birth control hormones can definitely dry out your lips (much in the same way pregnancy hormones can).

Related Articles:

*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: