Not all chapstick and lip balm ingredients are created equal. In fact, some do more harm than good.
Since it’s high lip balm season, we spoke to leading dermatologists to discover which products you should NEVER be using, because they’re actually terrible for your lips. Read your labels, folks!
"You should avoid things like propolis which is a component of bees wax," Dr. Richard Torbeck, board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC warns. "This is the most common cause of lip allergens in chapsticks and lip balms." Yikes!
And not only that--but it doesn't work, either. "People should avoid beeswax," Dr. Debra Jaliman explains. "It just sits on the surface of the lip and doesn't penetrate it. It isn't hydrating."
But that's not all. The derms we spoke to also warn against these ingredients, too:
"Individuals who have a sensitivity to fragrance or flavoring would do best to avoid products that contain fragrance and or flavoring," Dr. Francesca J. Fusco, MD explains. "A study in the March April 2010 issue of Dermatitis examined individuals who had allergic reactions on their lips and the skin around the lips. They were tested with a variety of products and lip balms. Their results showed peppermint oil as a very common culprit," she warns. Yikes!
"Other ingredients to avoid if you have sensitive lips are the lip plumper lip glosses and chapsticks that usually have capsacin (from hot peppers) that cause an allergic reaction that leads to lip plumping," Dr. Torbeck warns.
So--what should you buy instead? "I would stick to bland emollients like aquaphore or vaseline if you notice you have sensitive but dry lips," Dr. Torbeck suggests.