Lip balms are a wintertime staple for many people with dry lips. Many different formulations exist, but most of them tend to feature very similar ingredients. Among the most popular lip balm ingredients are petroleum jelly, beeswax, and cocoa and shea butter. All of these ingredients do a great job of moisturizing with minimal side effects.
Lip balm is a special treatment designed to add moisture to the lips and improve their condition. Lips can become dry easily, particularly in cold weather. A lip balm soothes and hydrates the lips. Some lip balm ingredients also help protect the lips from developing further damage.
Petroleum jelly is found in almost every lip balm available. It sometimes appears on lip balm ingredients lists as petrolatum. It is widely used in balms in conjunction with hydrating ingredients to help seal in moisture and form a protective barrier. Many natural lip balms use beeswax for this purpose instead of petrolatum. Beeswax is a natural emulsifier that keeps moisture inside the lips and is unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
Cocoa butter is one of the most popular lip balm ingredients thanks to its creamy texture and superior moisturizing abilities. It is also inexpensive and non-irritating. Cocoa butter not only provides hydration, but also forms a seal to help the lips retain moisture. It leaves lips feeling soft and smooth.
Shea butter is another ingredient that moisturizes lips and protects them from the elements. It contains fatty acids that help keep the lips supple and elastic. It’s another one of the more common lip balm ingredients because it contributes to the smooth texture of the balm in addition to boosting moisture.
Menthol and phenol are common lip balm ingredients that should be avoided. These ingredients are responsible for that cool tingling sensation some balms provide. The downside is that these ingredients can dry out the lips, which increases the need to use lip balm. Salicylic acid also can contribute to peeling lips. People with very dry skin should also avoid balms with eucalyptus and peppermint oil.
One of the most important lip balm ingredients to look out for is sunscreen. Protecting the lips from the sun’s harmful rays is vital even during winter when the sun doesn’t seem too strong. The lips are susceptible to skin cancer, so more and more lip balms are addressing this problem by including sunscreens. Some forms of sunscreen found in lip balms include avobenzone, octinoxate, and padimate. Lip balms that offer sun protection will usually indicate the degree of protection on the label.