When Lip Balms Lie

What to look for in a lip balm by Reviews.com

Men and women everywhere rely on lip balm to soothe irritated, chapped lips. This beauty staple has been an essential for years, and we’ve come to rely on it on a regular basis to combat the chapping effects of saliva, water, sun, wind and cold. For many, lip balm is a part of their daily routine. Surprisingly enough, many of the lip balms on the market aren’t quite what they seem. The team at Reviews.com recently released a study of leading lip balm brands, in which a surprising 151 of the 177 formulas contained common allergens or irritants. So as it turns out, many of the products available include ingredients that negate the lip balm’s intended purpose.

Because of these findings, Reviews.com released a guide to finding a lip balm that actually moisturizes lips instead of leaving them drier than before. Keep these common allergens and irritants in mind when searching for the right product for our lips:

Allergens – Vitamin E, Fragrances, Beeswax, and Lanolin

Allergens are experienced differently by each body’s unique system, so there is no one ingredient that will be safe or harmful for everyone. With that said, there are some ingredients that commonly cause allergic reactions that are a good idea to avoid as a precaution. Interestingly enough, Vitamin E has been found to cause contact dermatitis in a wide group of people. This ingredient has been thought of as a key moisturizer in the beauty community, but remember that the skin of our lips is different than on the rest of our bodies. Another ingredient that has been commonly thought of as good for the skin is beeswax. Not everyone is sensitive to beeswax, though some components can be very irritating to certain types of skin.

Similarly, many lip balm formulas include fragrances and dyes as well. While not all of them are necessarily terrible for your skin, they do open the door for an allergic reaction. And lastly, the moisturizing alcohol lanolin (a wool derivative) is known to cause dermatitis on contact for some people. This is a less common ingredient, but still important to keep an eye out for.

Irritants – Phenol, camphor, and menthol

Lip balms will oftentimes advertise “medicated” properties that give a tingly, cooling sensation that we’re all familiar with. The ingredients that actually do this to the skin are typically acids, which are more commonly used in exfoliating treatments like chemical peels. And though exfoliating chapped lips seems like a good idea to remove flakes, the skin on our lips is highly sensitive. It needs to be repaired, not stripped away. These ingredients may help to numb and cool lips, but in the end they can actually burn (especially on damaged skin). What’s more, they can cause skin to be sensitive to the sun during use.

At the end of the day, the lip balm that’s best for you is determined by personal preference. Considering allergens and irritant when shopping around can help lead you to a great formula for your needs. To read the full article and see which products the Reviews.com team recommends, take a peek here: www.reviews.com

Adrielyn Christi

Senior US Fashion Editor and PR for Trend Prive Magazine. Finding the latest and greatest in fashion and to have the ability to share it with the world is truly my passion.