Lip balm good ingredients

Best and worst ingredients for dry and chapped lips

The cold winter months, the use of irritating skin products… all of them could worsen the level of hydration of your lips and dry them out even more. But do you know how to choose the perfect lip balm with the best ingredients for chapped lips?

It’s not uncommon that when a person’s lips get dry, they opt for buying some type of lip balm or cream to improve their lips condition and moisturize them, but do you know what ingredients you should choose in a lip balm and which ones you should avoid?

Best ingredients for chapped lips

  • Panthenol (Vitamin b5): Helps repairing and hydrating the damaged and irritated skin, promotes wound healing and reduces itching and inflammation.
  • Fatty alcohols: Fatty alcohols (Cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol …) act as emollients and when they’re combined with other ingredients they promote hydration and help supporting skin barrier.
  • Shea butter: It is an emollient that contains many vitamins and antioxidants. It is a fantastic ingredient to choose in your lipstick since together with other ingredients it helps to hydrate in depth.
  • Some vegetable oils: Sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil (and some others) are excellent emollients with a high content of fatty acids that help with dryness.
  • Waxes and paraffins: They help keep hydration by “sealing” the skin and preventing hydration loss. Although it is one of the best ingredients to prevent skin from dehydrating, on its own it does not produce hydration, it only seals the existing one so it will be better when we use it with other hydrating compounds.
  • Bisabolol: Calms irritated skin and provides comfort, it is anti-inflammatory and has a high panthenol content.
  • Allantoin: Helps with wounds healing, improves the softness of the skin and increases the skin renewal cycle.
  • Ceramides: They are naturally present in high amounts in our skin, its main function is to protect and repair the skin barrier helping to retain skin hydration.

Good ingredients, but not for everyone

There are some very good ingredients that moisturize and repair the skin a lot. Unfortunately some people are sensitive to them and they can cause allergies drying and irritating the lips even more, if you do not show sensitivity to them they will be some of your best allies to deal with dry lips, so remember to try them in some other small skin areas to check if you are sensitive.

  • Lanolin: Is a type of wax with a high cholesterol content, it is easily absorbed by the skin and it protects and hydrates our skin. It’s practically non-toxic.
  • Vitamin E: It is an antioxidant that skin easily absorbs and can moisturize and protect some of its driest areas.
  • Beeswax: It has properties that make it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and seals the skin hydration.

What to avoid when buying a lip balm

  • The use of humectants without occlusives: Most of humectant ingredients (hyaluronic acid, glycerin…) need to be sealed with occlusives (Petroleum jelly, beeswax, shea butter…) since they only trap the water around them and could dry out the lips more by trapping moisture from the lip skin. They can be used if the balm also contains occlusive ingredients since these prevent skin from losing moisture.
  • Fragrance and flavor: Some fragrances, essential oils and other compounds (camphor, phenol, eucalyptus, limonene, menthol…) could cause allergies and irritate your skin, worsening the state of the lip skin.
Carmex lips balm
Carmex lip balm with menthol
  • Bad alcohols: There is a group of alcohols (alcohol denat, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol…) that dry the skin out giving it a touch of freshness. These types of alcohols damage your skin in the long term by drying and irritating it, there is some controversy that some of them may produce free radicals but this has not been proved yet.