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5 scary ingredients hiding in your humble lip balm

Perhaps not as innocent as it looks or as good for you as it smells, your little lip balm may have been made with some not-so-healthy ingredients. Our Nutritionist debunks five ingredients to to look out for when choosing your next lip balm.

1. Petroleum Jelly

Turns out several brands of a popular, super-commercial lip/multi-purpose ointment are made with 96% petroleum jelly…and just 4% paw paw extract. Highly refined and processed, petroleum jelly is an oil industry by-product.

Ointments with a petroleum jelly base may be cheap, but the petroleum jelly creates a physical barrier on the skin – so your lips might look lovely and feel nice and moisturised, but this is only superficial, as no moisture will be able to get in - or out - of the lips for that matter. Hello clogged pores and pimples.

We like our beauty and skincare products as natural as we do our food at GMB, so petroleum jelly is a definite no in our books. Other sneaky names for petroleum jelly:

  • Mineral oil
  • Liquid parrafin
  • Parrafin oil
  • Petrolatum

2. Propylene Glycol

This science-lab-sounding ingredient - which you may skip over on your lip balm’s ingredients list because it’s so hard to pronounce - helps to maintain moisture…but is also known as anti-freeze! Propylene Glycol is also a main ingredient in brake fluids and protective embalming liquids. Oh, and it’s used as a solvent (the substance in which another is dissolved) in the production of plastics.

We’d rather put something else on our lips, thanks – like Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm; shea butter, a natural fat from the fruit of the African Karite tree is the first (meaning the main) ingredient in this one, combined with ingredients like tropical scented coconut oil and botanical waxes, which together help keep your lips moisturised for eight hours.

3. Menthol, Phenol and Camphor

These are the ingredients that make your lips feel all nice and tingly, creating the feeling that your lip balm is soothing your lips. The cooling, anaesthetising sensation can actually irritate some people’s lips even more; if you find your lips are more sensitive and chapped than they were before you started using a certain lipbalm, it’s worth reading the ingredients list.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Yep, really – you’ll find the artificial sweetener saccharin in one very commercial lipbalm brand, where it’s used to add flavour and impart sweetness. Hmm. Since when is lip balm in the same category as diet food?

5. Artificial Colours

We don’t like synthetic colours in our food or our beauty and skincare products at GMB. Seeing that our skin is our largest organ, and that it’s easy to ingest whatever’s going on our lips, we’d rather tint our lips with something natural thanks, like Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm; this one also doesn’t smear or bleed, so you’ll like it if like me, you’re not a lipstick person but like a hint of colour. Available in six colours, but the Pink Blossom is my fave.

Buy Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm for yourself now.

Did you know all of these products could be found in your lip balm? Let us know your favourite natural lippy brands!

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