Lip balms come in a mouth-watering array of flavors and varieties, and often smell good enough to eat. But eating them is the last thing you want to be doing. Common ingredients include petroleum-derived mineral oil, or liquid paraffin—a "possible human immune system toxicant or allergen," according to the US consumer watchdog Environmental Working Group (EWG)—along with the known hormone disruptors oxybenzone or benzophenone-3 and a long list of artificial flavors, colors, fragrances and preservatives with questionable safety profiles.1
Unfortunately, ingesting some lip balm is inevitable when talking, eating, drinking or licking your lips, so it makes sense to choose one that's free of potentially harmful ingredients—especially as they're entirely unnecessary, as these products show.
Our selection of lip balms all perform wonderfully and contain only natural, nourishing ingredients—with no noxious nasties.
Lip Balm, $17 (0.15 fl oz/4.5 mL)
www.dr.hauschka.com; tel: 800-247-9907
This little tub is crammed with moisturizing, softening and repairing ingredients like apricot kernel oil, cocoa seed butter, and extracts of Calendula and St John's wort—all natural and certified by NATRUE, an international nonprofit organization with strict standards for natural and organic cosmetics. The balm is said to promote skin renewal, strengthen the delicate lip tissue and even help reduce fine lines around the mouth. It sinks in well and leaves lips with a subtle, translucent sheen.
Black Cherry Tinted Lip Balm, $3.79 (0.15 oz/4.3 g)
www.hurrawbalm.com; tel: 406-730-2571
Hurraw! has a brilliant range of lip balms that are all 100 percent natural and vegan—made with organic, raw ingredients like safflower seed oil and cocoa seed butter. From the Black Cherry Tinted Balm (pictured) to the SPF15 Sun Protection Balm and the flavor-, fragrance- and nut oil-free Unscented Balm, there's something for everyone. They all come in a handy stick applicator, have a lovely creamy texture and won't
melt in your pocket.
Luxury Lip Balm, $22 (0.35 fl oz/10 mL)
This 99 percent organic lip balm is a delightfully soothing mix of coconut, avocado and jojoba oils, shea and cocoa seed butters, beeswax, and vitamin E. There's nothing else added whatsoever—no fragrances, essential oils or herbal extracts—so it's ideal if you suffer from sensitive skin (although avoid it if you're allergic to bee products). For ultra-smooth lips, use it in combination with one of the Henné lip exfoliators.
Pistachio Lip Balm, $4.16 (0.15 oz/4.25 g)
Proving you don't need artificial colors and flavors to make a fantastically fun and unique range of lip balms, Crazy Rumors relies on totally natural and vegan ingredients in its products, which have names like Cinnamon Bun, Sweet Thai Tea and Hot Cocoa. This Pistachio balm is a hydrating combination of plant oils and waxes blended with natural flavors and essential oils as well as the natural sweetener stevia.
Lysine + Herbs Lip Balm, $7 (0.15 oz/4.25 g)
www.100percentpure.com; tel: 415-814-9788
Not just great for moisturizing dry, chapped lips, this multitasking balm is also designed to alleviate cold sore symptoms and assist with healing. It contains the amino acid lysine, shown to be a useful nutrient for combating cold sores in research studies,2 plus anti-inflammatory herbs like lemon balm, licorice root and Echinacea. Other hero ingredients include soothing coconut oil and antibacterial propolis, a substance made by bees.