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Ingredients to Avoid in Lip Balms

Lip balm, also known as lip salve, is a wax-like substance applied topically to the lips to moisturize and relieve symptoms such as chapped or dry lips, stomatitis, or cold sores. Lip balm is a soft, emollient product designed to soften, hydrate, and protect the lips. It often comes in the form of a solid stick or sometimes in a pot or tiny round jars. It protects the lips from sun and wind while keeping the skin hydrated and crack-free. Lip balms are either clear or colored and can be applied directly with your fingers or with a Q-tip.


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Avoid lip balms containing menthol, salicylic acid, camphor, phenol, or alcohol.

These ingredients may provide an immediate cooling feeling but can irritate your skin. In some cases, they even remove the outer layers of the skin, leaving your lips unprotected, sensitive, and vulnerable to environmental hazards. They actually make your lips drier, just so you apply more, and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Avoid lip balms containing fragrances and phthalates, flavors, and parabens.

When it comes to lip balm, the simpler, the better.

Fragrance and phthalates work hand in hand
because phthalates are used to make the fragrance stay longer. And they have both been linked to adverse health issues such as reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, and cancer.

Flavors and fragrances are added to lip balms to make them smell and taste better, but they can irritate your lips or cause allergies. 

Cinnamates are one of the most popular culprits which are often used for their sun-blocking properties and smell. Preservatives and antimicrobials like Parabens, which are contained in methylparaben and butylparaben, have very severe health effects.
Look for ingredients like simple petroleum-based jelly products.

These ingredients include glycerin, mineral oil, aloe vera, and lactic acid. Beeswax and vitamin E are great at sealing moisture in but can cause irritation if you have a sensitive skin.

Beeswax contains natural emulsifiers that help retain moisture, making it an excellent alternative that for dry, chapped lips. It also protects the lips from UV rays.

Vaseline or Aquaphor should do the trick for severely over-chapped lips but do not over-apply. Applying the right lip balm twice a day is usually enough.

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