The inside story of your lip balm

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Flipboard
  • Email
  • WhatsApp
Image Courtesy: Lauren Riebs
Image Courtesy: Lauren Riebs

New Delhi : Lip balm can be addicting – but is that a good thing? Studies show that the more often you are reapplying your lip balm, the less effective it is at moisturizing. Ideally, it should work to limit the amount of times you’re reapplying in your day. This is because many lip balms have common allergens and irritants that can make your lips even worse. Here are some irritants and allergens to avoid in your lip balm:

Irritants: Camphor, phenol, and menthol

When lip balms advertise they are “medicated”, they usually give our lips that tingly, cooling sensation that makes us think like it’s working. In reality, the ingredients in these formulas (camphor, phenol and menthol) are used as acids in exfoliating exercises, like chemical peels, and don’t work to moisturize your lips at all. If your lips are sore or chapped, menthol and camphor will actually burn and cause further irritation, making it more exposed to sun damage.

Allergens: Vitamin E, Fragrances, Beeswax, and Lanolin

Everyone has their own sets of allergens to be wary of, but some are common enough that most people should avoid them altogether. For example, a significant percentage of people who use lip balm containing Vitamin E experience contact dermatitis (an itchy allergic reaction). Unfortunately for fans of flavored lip balms, fragrances and dyes can also cause a flurry of allergic irritations. Despite the moisturizing features of Beeswax, it can also be a source of irritation for many. Lastly, the moisturizing alcohol lanolin (derived from wool) is known to cause itchiness or an allergic reaction for some people. While not all of these allergens are common, they are important to be aware of, especially if you find your lips constantly drying out regardless of how much lip balm you put on. 

So what lip balms work? Check out for a full review of safe and moisturizing lip balms to learn more from their research.