We often get asked about the best methods to maintain healthy lips. Before using lip balms, you should make sure you are drinking enough water. Staying hydrated is very important for your body as well as your skin's and lips' health. Eating well-balanced meals with recommended dietary allowances of vitamins and minerals should also be a focus for overall health.
Lip balms can help tremendously with your lips' condition, but not all lip balms are created equal. Nicola Dall'asen of Allure recently published an interesting article about lip balm ingredients (2020). The link will be provided below but we want to highlight some key takeaways from it as well as offer our professional opinion and advice.
1. Avoid lip balms with fragrances, they can dry out and irritate lips. Fragrances can be the culprit for reactions called contact dermatitis as well. This is why the current offerings of Lipster lip balms contain no fragrances despite people desiring it.
2. Avoid lip balms that cause a tingling effect because the ingredients used - menthol and/or camphor - can cause hives. The tingling effect doesn't mean the lip balm is doing something beneficial! Companies like to make you think it is though.
3. Phenol is sometimes found in lip balm ingredients and is included for claims of "lip-plumping" effects or as a preservative. In small amounts, phenol hasn't been proven to cause harm, but it is another unnecessary ingredient in a lip balm.
Here is a really good quote from the article that presents the information succinctly with an analogy:
"Gohara's approach is simply to change balms if you feel like you're constantly having to apply the one you're already using. 'It’s like drinking a soda to quench thirst,' she says. 'You drink something that appeals to senses with no nutritional value, and shortly thereafter you are still thirsty. Same thing goes for balms loaded with flavor, fragrance, and menthol.'"