Autumn winter time. Many lips suffer from the inclement weather, temperature differences and the dry heating air. You notice that. A good lip balm can help keep your lips soft and supple. But what is a good lip balm? And weird but true, did you know that many lip balms do more harm than good to your lips? It sounds very plausible that a lip balm should be edible. But is that also the case in practice? Read more in this knowledge blog.
So pure you can eat it?
That would make sense since the balm goes on your lips. So some of it will end up in your mouth. Then it is strange that many lip balms contain ingredients that your lips or body are not very happy with. While regular users quickly swallow about 57 grams of lipstick and lip balm per day, or 4 lip balms per year.
Mineral oils in lip balms
Most lip balms contain parrafinum liquidum, petrolatum and/or another ingredient from the oil industry as one of the main ingredients. Also called mineral oils . These close the skin of your lips, so that it can no longer protect your lips themselves. Which makes you need more and more balm to make your lips feel soft. Super smart from a sales point of view of course, but personally I don't think this is really ethically responsible. Moreover, these ingredients appear to have another disadvantage, according to an article by the Consumer Association.
Research by the Belgian Test-Achats and the German testing authority test.de shows that these ingredients on your lips are even more tricky than on your body, because they immediately enter your body when you eat them. According to the Consumer Association, mineral oils can contain carcinogenic substances MOSH (mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons) and MOAH (mineral oil automatic hydrocarbons). The substances accumulate in your body. It is therefore forbidden to use MOAHs in food!
MOSH and MOAH were found in 15 of the 21 lip balms tested by Test-Aankoop. These substances are also found in children's lip balms such as Disney Princess, Hello Kitty, Minions and Labellino, for example! Even more medical-looking brands such as Dr Leenarts, La Roche Posay and Eucerin contain these harmful ingredients. See here the list of brands examined in 2017.
Worth considering to smear only, which is also edible
Pay attention to your purchase
Mineral oils may be referred to by the following terms: Cera microcristallina, Ceresin, (Hydrogenated) Microcrystalline wax, (Hydrogenated) Polyisobutene, Mineral oil, Ozokerite, Paraffinum (liquidum), Petrolatum, Polyethylene, Polybutene
Good intentions! The Labello case
A number of brands do not use mineral oils (anymore). Good news you would say! But not if you know that these ingredients, for example, have been replaced by polybutene and / or polyethylene (Vichy for example) that are used in plastics and are irritating to the lungs, skin and eyes + can be harmful to your organs.
Labello now also has a formula without mineral oils. The fact that Labello has started making a lip balm without mineral oil is of course great. And also that the brand is very transparent about the ingredients in the balms (you can't say that about all brands!). But some ingredients are still questionable.
- Main ingredient is now Octyldodecanol instead of Petrolatum. This ingredient receives a 'low hazard/low risk' rating from the Environmental Working Group (reputable independent ingredient database), noting that it is a skin irritant and that it may amplify irritation from other ingredients in a product.
- Another substitute is Octocrylene (in the Hydro care lip balm). According to the Environmental Working Group, this ingredient builds up in your body and can disrupt your cell function.
- And almost at the end of the ingredients list (which means that relatively speaking there is not a lot of it) is BHT. You can easily read about this. But a little research shows that this stands for butylated hydroxytoluene . An ingredient that, according to the EWG, is better avoided because it (at high doses) is associated with cancer / tumor formation, appears to be an allergen, not so nice for your organs and possibly endocrine disrupting.
Does Labello really have good intentions? Or has it removed mineral oils from the balms, because there is discussion about this. And immediately communicated this in a big way on the packaging. But has it left other questionable ingredients in the balms, because the consumer does not know the ins and outs of this.
Other questionable ingredients
We have already mentioned a number of less fine / questionable ingredients that occur in lip balms. BHT are also on the ingredients list, including Vichy and Hello Kitty. Parabens are still used as a preservative in many balms. Which are disruptors of your endocrine hormones (e.g. thyroid gland, sex hormones, part of your pancreas)
Misleading product descriptions
How difficult it is to make a good judgment as a buyer (if you don't look at the ingredients list) is often apparent from the product description. An example:
"Dry and cracked lips are annoying. We often lick the lips in response to this. You think you are moisturizing - but you do the opposite: it makes the lips even drier. This licking is a well-known phenomenon, especially on cold days Drs Leenarts developed the Lipcare+ especially for dry and cracked lips. A nourishing lip balm with macadamia oil and vitamin E. These active ingredients make Lipcare+ the ideal lip care for dry, cracked lips. This product is nice and oily, yet not sticky, making it pleasant Drs Leenarts Lipcare + is a lip balm without perfume and parabens. Because this lip balm does not contain any substances that can irritate the skin, the chance of an allergic reaction is very small. Lipcare + is therefore suitable for young and old."
Drs Leenaarts lip balms contain petrolatum, paraffinum liquidum, ozokerite, dimethicone (a silicone that also puts a layer on your skin and closes it off, is often found in high concentrations in hair lice products to suffocate the lice)
Lip balms that do it differently
Don't worry: there are lip balms that do it differently. Who want nothing more than to make a good lip balm that cares for, protects and restores your lips, but does not disrupt your skin function. Think of brands like Hurraw! or Pure Papaya Lips. Hurraw! only makes lip balms - nothing else -, but very pure. Vegan and 'raw'. 'It's not about us or making a profit, but about the best lip balm for you' is the humble opinion of the founders.
An example of a Hurraw! ingredient list: Carthamus tinctorius (safflower/safflower) seed oil*, Euphorbia cerifera cera (candelilla) wax, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*, Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter*, Simmondsia chinensis ( jojoba) seed oil*, Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, Aroma, Tocopherol, Alkanna tinctoria (alkanet) root extract, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil *certified organic.
As you can see only pure oils and extracts!
In all lip balms that you will find with us (INDISHA), there are no questionable ingredients (Hurraw!, Loveli, deMamiel, Dr Baumann, Raw Elements, Dr Hauschka, Pure Papaya, children's balms from Klee). Dr. Kneipp lip balms also do not contain mineral oils. Actually, these brands are not smart at all ;-) - because they are not addictive, you need less of them. It turns out that these brands really care about your skin and are not marketed by a company that wants to get rich in the first place.
- Test investigation of the Belgian Test-Achats of 21 lip balms for the presence of MOAH and MOSH. Including animation video about the research.
- Test results from the German test.de
- Article Consumer Association - harmful substances in lip balms
- Article Consumer Association - Lip balm; 11 questions about hazardous substances in it.
Sources: Consumentenbond.nl, vichy.nl, drleenarts.nl, wikipedia, test-aankoop.be, int.labello.com