Some time ago I came across claims that lip balms can actually dry your lips making you use more of the product! That explained a lot…
At one point I was sure I had lip balm addiction, I had them in every pocket, every draw, shelf everywhere I looked there had to be a lip balm. My visit to Boots or Superdrug always resulted in buying a lip balm but my lips were always dry. So I looked into saving some money and making my own. Pinterest was an amazing source of recipes for all sorts of scented, coloured, complicated and simple lip balms. Some simply recommended melting a bit of a lipstick with Vaseline to create perfect tinted moisturising lip balm. I wanted something more natural.
Vaseline (brand name for petroleum jelly) was never my cup of tea. Firstly I hate lip products in little metal tins that have to be applied with your finger. Let’s face it your fingers (and hands in general) are not always 100% clean when you applied Vaseline on your lips!! How many times have you found yourself in public transport or just off the Tube out in the cold and realised your lips are super dry and urgently need a bit of Vaseline? So you take the little tin out, dip your index finger in and apply a generous amount of moisturiser (together with God only knows how many millions of bacteria and dirt) for an instant relief…
I worked in customer service for years and spent a fair amount of time at receptions greeting clients, shaking hands, handling paperwork and talking, constantly talking. During the few quiet seconds in between customers you want to reapply whatever you have on your lips which have completely dried but is dipping your fingers in a little tin of moisturiser really good for your lips?? Again imagine applying millions of bacteria on your lips and mouth!! Gross!
The second reason why Vaseline aka petroleum jelly is not for me is because it is a derivative of oil refining. It was originally found at the bottom of oil rigs while extracting oil. As a by-product of oil refining industry it is not a sustainable product therefore not eco-friendly. I know I probably use hundreds of non-eco-friendly products but the sound of petroleum on my lips just puts me off. It reminds me of petrol and I wouldn’t put petrol on my skin… yes it is a bit paranoid as Vaseline is super filtered, purified and FDA approved but still… not for me…
And the third reason, although I’m sure there are more reasons, is that Vaseline doesn’t actually moisturise your lips. It only seals lips a bit like cling film. If your lips are already dry and chapped it only appears to provide relief and moisture but what it actually does is it covers your lips with a coat of grease and stops moisture coming out but also coming in. So if your lips are already moisture free, I mean dry, there is no point locking the moisture, in mean dryness, in. You need to moisturise your lips not just grease them on the outside. As the petroleum jelly seals your lips it also makes it hard for the body to eliminate the toxins through the pores meaning they stay trapped under the skin!! According to an article from blisstree.com, petroleum jelly can slow cellular regeneration, which can damage collagen, elastin and connective tissue and contribute to the appearance of aging. Now I’m sure nobody wants that! We are desperately trying to prevent all of these things!!
Vaseline is not water-soluble so while creating the illusion of moisturised lips it actually seals them and dries out the pores by keeping air and moisture out. If applied to your skin before thoroughly cleaning it, petroleum jelly will effectively seal in the dirt potentially causing skin irritation and breakouts.
So what should you use??
I hear you asking yourself… The answer is simple, use natural products without petroleum jelly like Burt’s Bees lip balms. Or, EVEN BETTER, make your own lip balms!!
You want to stay clear of lip balms containing hyaluronic acid, glycerine and alcohol as these ingredients (humectants) make lips worse by pulling the moisture out. So in order for your lips to actually stay moisturised these humectants need occlusive agents like beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter and various oils to create a physical barrier and prevent water loss. And there it is!! The answer to all your troubles with chapped lips!! Natural products! Why do we even need these humectants? I don’t think we do.
How to make your own lip balm from 100% natural ingredients?
Here is the recipe I’ve been using for couple of years now for my AmazeBalms. It is very simple and sooo beautifully moisturising and soft on your lips!!
- Shea butter
- Coconut oil
- Vitamin E oil
The quantities are 1:1:1 plus a few drops. So I normally use around 20gr of each ingredient plus around 10 drops of Vitamin E oil. That makes 12-15 tubes. All ingredients including the tubes can be bought on Amazon or Ebay and are relatively cheap.
Here is step by step guide, in pictures, on how to do make it:
Can’t be simpler than this! I have tried using scented essential oils in the past but I don’t like smelly stuff on my lips so have stripped it down to the bare minimum. If you want to add colour you can melt a bit of lipstick when melting all ingredients but that won’t be 100% natural. If you do like smelly stuff on your lips feel free to add a few drops of your favourite essential oil but bear in mind that some oils can dry your lips.
I also add labels on my lip balms to make them prettier and more professional …
And finally as these labels are printed on just a regular cheap inkjet printer they are not waterproof so I cover them with a transparent nail varnish to stop my beautiful labels getting smudged off.
I hope this post has convinced you not to use Vaseline and to instead start making your own natural, moisturising lip balms.
Let me know if you’ve tried the recipe, have any questions or want to share your own recipe for perfect lip balms.
Speak soon x