Imagine putting on lip balm on a dry day. Not only do your lips absorb the various oils, but a pleasant scent is left behind! When you rub your lips together, you already notice that your lips are so much smoother. As a result, you continue applying the balm every 2-4 hours, but then you stop to think. Is this lip balm truly helping me? Or is it simply a bad habit?
What’s The Problem?
Many lip balms provide only temporary comfort, and some types can make chapped lips even drier. Furthermore, as the thin film of moisture provided from the lip balm evaporates, it can actually dehydrate your lips further. “It starts a vicious cycle,” Dr. Leah Jacob says. What she means is that this moisture and dehydration cycle of applying lip balm can essentially make the application compulsory.
Surprisingly, your lips are very similar to your skin, despite the fact that they look so different. Our lips are made up of three layers of cells: the stratum corundum, the epidermis, and the dermis. The stratum corundum provides a barrier over the other layers and is made mostly of dead cells. In our lips, the stratum corundum it is much thinner and more susceptible to damage. Therefore, a solution which not only keeps your lips moist, but also protects them from sun damage, is required.
Lips don’t have any oil glands or hair follicles. Each of us have probably licked our lips in hopes of providing moisture for them. However, the oil from glands around your lips are the source for real moisture, and your saliva is just making your lips even drier!
Many lip balms can contain various ingredients which can be drying, addictive, and sometimes both. Some of these ingredients include those of lanolin, salicylic acid, and benzocaine. Now, you may be wondering if there are any natural alternatives which would serve as beneficial.
What Can We Do?
There are several natural alternatives to lip balms. Firstly, it is important to remember to stay away from parabens, synthetic colours, and BHA. These ingredients are the most common ones in lip balms which often cause detrimental effects. In addition, although beeswax may seem like an excellent solution, studies have shown that grape-seed and buckthorn oils show greater penetration levels.
In general, when reaching to purchase your next lip balm, try to find one with natural ingredients, as well as SPF. Although many individuals don’t use SPF lip balms, it is critical for you to do so. SPF reduces skin cancer, which is likely to occur on your lips because of its’ thin stratum corundum. Furthermore, SPF lip balm helps lock in moisture and repairs cracks and other issues much more successfully than lip balm without SPF, making the results so much more appealing. Try and find balms with natural ingredients and SPF, as they will not only keep your lips softer for longer, but the ingredients will have better long-term effects on your body. The next time you reach for your lip balm, question whether your need for application is simply voluntary, or becoming compulsory.