Lip balm is possibly the most ubiquitous body care product on the market today. You can buy lip balm in gas stations, book stores, grocery stores, coffee shops, basically anywhere that sells small "impulse buy" items. Lip balm differs from lipstick or lip gloss in that it is waxy in texture and is used to relieve chapped and dry lips. It is also usually not tinted, or if it is, is only tinted very lightly. Lip balms are made with a variety of ingredients based around a waxy substance such as beeswax, carnauba wax, camphor, lanolin or paraffin. Some varieties contain essential oils and flavorings, some contain sunscreens, and some contain various medicines, such as cold sore treatments.
So, with all of the thousands of brands of lip balm to choose from, which is the best one for you? The variety available these days can be absolutely overwhelming. The purpose of a lip balm is to create a layer on the surface of the lip to seal in moisture and protect the delicate skin from external exposure. Dry air, cold, and wind draw moisture from the lips, and so lip balms protect the thin skin from drying out, chapping and cracking. However, the agent that is used to provide this protection can be anything from natural beeswax and hemp oils to low quality petroleum and mineral oils. The other additives that are included in a lip balm can also vary widely in quality from product to product.
Surprisingly, certain lip balm additives can also actually dry the lips out! For example, the ingredient phenol is meant to treat bacteria on cracked or broken lips and should only be used for a very short time. Camphor, alum and menthol create a nice tingle, but are very drying and not that useful in the long run. And salicylic acid exfoliates the lips, but is also very drying. Also keep in mind that, more than pretty much any body care product, you WILL be consuming a good portion of whatever lip balm you apply to your skin. You wouldn't go and intentionally eat synthetic flavorings, or petroleum products, so why apply them to your lips where they can enter your body? More than any other body product, it is essential to always read the ingredients on any lip balm you want to purchase. If you wouldn't allow something to be an ingredient in your lunch, you shouldn't allow it to be an ingredient in your lip balm!
The best lip balms are those based around beeswax, Shea butter, nut oils, and cocoa butter that contain only natural, plant based essences. Here at Spiritual Scents, we absolutely love the Zen line of lip balms
, which are incredibly good for the delicate skin of the lips, and also taste great if you happen to get a little taste. These lip balms are made with sweet almond oil and cocoa butter and also contain silk protein which helps the gloss to go on silky smooth, creating a rich protective layer against the elements. These lip balms come in an incredible variety of natural fruit flavors so that you will be sure to find a favorite quickly.
No matter what sort of lip balm you choose, make sure that it is something that you don't mind consuming, that is safe, healthy and supportive for your body as well as your skin. With the vastness of the present day lip balm market, there are quite a few low quality types that you probably don't want to apply to your skin. On the other hand, though, there are plenty of high quality, healing and luxurious lip balms that can be obtained easily and at a great price, so there's absolutely no reason ever to settle for less!