Product advice for lip balms 2020
I would like to talk in more detail about lip balms. I do get lots of mails about them every autumn and winter. About what I actually use myself, and whether I have any good DIY tips. Recently, though, I have been seeing that increasingly more of you are concerned about how safe lip care is. And that isn’t so strange because if you research lip balms on the internet the first things you read are scary stories about all sorts of hazardous substances in these products. And isn’t it right that you could ingest them without realising? After all, you do apply them on your mouth…
Why all the commotion about lip balms?
I’ll start with the latter. The recent concern about the safety of lip balms. The concern came out of advice from the Belgian and Netherlands consumer organisations to stay away from lip products containing mineral oils. These oils could be contaminated with hazardous substances which are certain hydrocarbon compounds (MOSH and MOAH). What we know about these substances is that, in large quantities, they can have a carcinogenic effect on humans. That is why mineral oil is highly purified prior to being used in cosmetic products. Traces of those hydrocarbons can, nevertheless, be left behind. So, what does that mean? Is it dangerous? A substantial amount of research has been carried out into this and, according to the latest scientific insights, the amounts that may be left behind are safe for humans.
Use mineral oils safely in cosmetics
A few years ago the German Consumers Association (Stiftung Warentest) also carried out research into mineral oil in cosmetics. They came to the conclusion that the use of mineral oil in cosmetics (including lip balms) is safe. In my advice about skincare I always think that it is very important that the information is scientifically based. I don’t want to get caught up in the madness of stories you sometimes see online. So, from a scientific point of view, there is no reason why mineral oil shouldn’t be used in lip balms. Ultimately, of course, you have to make the choice whether you are happy with using mineral oils. If you don’t feel comfortable about it there are enough alternatives on the market.
Just to let you know, I don’t use mineral oil in my skincare products.
What ingredients does a good lip balm contain?
The classic lip balm contains lots of fat. Examples of that fat are, Vaseline (petrolatum), mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), a plant based oil, a butter or wax. A combination of these often makes a fine lip balm in itself.
If you want to go a step further then you can look for active substances, such as panthenol and ceramides, which repair and strengthen the skin barrier. But, as with antioxidants, these substances aren’t readily found in lip balms. The reason is that these ingredients are soluble in water. And that makes it difficult to formulate in a classic lip balm, which almost always consists entirely of fat. Are there ingredients you wouldn’t want to see in a lip balm? Most definitely! I, myself, would rather avoid fragrances, flavours and essential oils in a lip balm.
Don’t forget to check the shelf life of your lip balm
Do you know how long that lip balm has been in your hand bag, coat pocket or toilet bag? Remember that these products cannot be kept forever. Bacteria will not readily grow in a product that consists entirely of fat as lip balms often do. It needs water for this. However, the dirt and bacteria which gets into that pot via your finger ‘will’ live there. I, personally, don’t like the idea of that very much. And something else. While there are probably no antioxidants, which can oxidise once you’ve opened the jar, plant based oils are sometimes used in lip balms and they can quickly become unstable through exposure to light and air. So just make sure that you buy a new lip balm each year and throw the old one away.
Make your own? And some more tips
I can understand if you don’t feel like checking through endless ingredients in the shop. So, I have already done some research for you. Below you will see some products that I can advise, with and without mineral oils. I’ve also got a DIY recipe for you, because it’s fun to make it yourself.
And oh yes, before I forget… What do I like to use most of all? For now, that’s a combination of my Repair Cream and some Vaseline. Because I am also secretly thinking of creating a product. But we are not that far yet. I will, of course, keep you posted.
DIY – lip balm
What will you need?
– 30g shea butter
– 10g coconut oil
– 10g bees wax
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and heat up in a bain-marie. Stir well with a spoon so that the heat is distributed evenly throughout. Heat it up until everything has melted.
- Then remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring until it has cooled down completely. If you don’t do this there is a chance that the lip balm won’t harden properly and you’ll have lumps in your balm. That won’t go on as smoothly.
- Once the consistency is smooth you can put the product into containers. Don’t wait too long as it will become more difficult to fill.
- Now apply it!
PRODUCT ADVICE 2020
|Repair Cream BY Dr. Jetske Ultee||Unscented Lip balm by Hurraw|
|Malin + Gutz Lip Moisturizer||Lip Active by Eucerin|
|Lip and Body Treatment Balm by Paula’s Choice|
Do you often suffer from cuts in the corners of your mouth? That don’t heal easily? This may be caused by a fungal infection… Consult your GP. Treatments are available for this.