If you’ve ever had persistent chapped lips—the kind where you freak out when you realize you don’t have chapstick in your pocket—you know how annoying, distracting, borderline debilitating they can be.
You’re constantly on the hunt for the most effective chapstick, and sometimes don’t realize what you’re putting on your lips is not only not effective and making the chappness worse, but it’s even toxic to your body.
Here are some ingredients that aren’t good for your health that you want to make sure aren’t on your lip balm or chapstick’s ingredient list:
Petrolatum (otherwise known as petroleum jelly, mineral oil)
Petrolatum is essentially refined petroleum, which might be OK for your car, but not your lips. Especially if the petroleum jelly became contaminated as it was being manufactured.
“Fragrance” or “Flavour”
Though a vague description of an ingredient, words like fragrance or flavour generally mean more unwanted chemicals. Usually these ingredients contain phthalates, which are hormone disruptors linked to decreases in sperm in men and fertility in women. Not only that, they’re super bad if you have allergies or other respiratory issues like asthma.
Ingredients that end with ‘Parabens’ (such as propylparaben, butylparaben, isopropylparaben etc…)
Parabens disrupt your endocrine system by acting like estrogen in your body. This ultimately leads to an increased risk of various forms of cancer. In men, propyl and butylparabens have been shown to decrease both sperm count and testosterone.
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
This is sometimes put into lip balms and chapsticks to preserve them, but they’re just more chemicals your body can do without. Some of the potential consequences include toxicity, disrupting your endocrine system, respiratory irritation, and, once again, cancer.
Now that we’ve covered the no fly zone, here are two recommendations for chapsticks I like. Both are made from natural ingredients and wouldn’t make you sick even if you ate them, not that we’re recommending pounding chapstick…
It’s hypoallergenic, paraben-free and dermatologist-tested and made from moisturizing organic coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter and Vitamin E.
Not only does it come in a cool container, but it’s all-natural, petroleum-free and is made from castor-seed oil and beeswax.
What about Burt’s Bees, you ask? Why isn’t it on the list? They have been around forever and are known for being 100 percent natural. Not. so. Fast. Apparently they’re not as wholesome as they once were. Check this out for more.
The point is, do your research before putting things in your mouth and on your lips this season, and definitely avoid paragons, petrolatum, BHA and “fragrance.” And any other ingredients you have a hard time pronouncing…